RGS-HK is excited to welcome Stanley Shea, leader of many of our field trips, to present a captivating journey that transports guests back in time to the heart of Japan's rich cultural heritage. Join this remarkable overseas field trip, delving into the historical significance of Nakasendo – an ancient trail that once connected the imperial cities of Kyoto and Edo, now Tokyo.
The meticulously crafted itinerary promises a blend of historical exploration, immersive experiences, and cultural encounters that will leave an indelible mark on your understanding of Japan's past. Here's what awaits guests on this extraordinary journey:
1. Exploring the Nakasendo Trail
Embark on a picturesque journey along the enchanting Nakasendo trail, where the vibrant autumn colours paint the backdrop to our exploration. As we walk this historic path, we delve into the captivating system of official travel established by the Edo government, uncovering stories woven into its very fabric. Our adventure encompasses an average of two hours of hiking per day during the initial three days, ensuring a deep immersion into this remarkable experience.
2. Delve into the History of Woodblock Printing at Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena
The woodblock prints give you a great insight into the lives of the common people and travellers along the Nakasendo during the Edo period. Delve into the intricacies of this time-honoured craft, creating your own woodblock print in a hands-on workshop that connects you to the artistry of bygone eras. Immerse yourself further in a special exhibit that weaves tales of Japan's heritage through intricate woodblock prints, leaving you with a profound appreciation for this remarkable art form's enduring legacy.
3. Kabuki Theatre Experience
Experience the vibrancy of Edo-era entertainment with a visit to a charming countryside Kabuki theatre. Immerse yourself in its cultural significance to the common people and gain insights into the world of traditional Japanese performing arts.
4. Luxurious Guesthouse Stay
Indulge in the comforts of a meticulously refurbished guesthouse, once the abode of a sake maker. With a history spanning two centuries, this accommodation offers a blend of luxury and tradition that will enchant your senses.
5. Culinary Delights
Savor the authentic flavors of Japan with local cuisine experiences. Enjoy handmade soba sourced from nearby farms, relished at characterful family restaurants cherished by locals.
6. Well-Preserved Edo-Era Post Towns
Although the passage of time has rendered these highways and post towns largely obsolete, efforts
have been made to painstakingly preserve and restore certain sections. Exploring these towns today
allows us to step back in time and immerse ourselves in the ambiance of Edo-era travel. These
charming towns are replete with quaint little shops selling traditional crafts, sweets, and tea, offering
us a glimpse into the life of a bygone Edo-era traveler.
Stanley Shea is a highly accomplished freelance tour guide with over 10 years’ experience in the field. With a particular focus on curating captivating experiences, Stanley has been instrumental in organizing successful trips for the RGS-HK and numerous other organizations, including the American Women's Association HK. He also has extensive experience coordinating trips in Mainland China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan.