2021 Cass Technical High School Japan Cultural Journey
|Travel Dates:||June 5, 2021 - June 15, 2021|
Airfare not included in program tuition
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow the option which works best for your family.
Program Tuition: $2,630
Pay in Full
All prices in United States Dollars.
Japan Cultural Journey
This island nation, situated in the Pacific Ocean along the “Ring of Fire” tectonic hot-zone, offers everything from high-rise cities and imperial palaces to snow-capped mountains and bamboo forests. This destination is perfect for those who want a mix of urban exploration and rural adventure, since you’ll experience plenty of both throughout your time in this diverse country. Soak up every moment of the neon skyscrapers and unique pop culture of Tokyo city, all the while being immersed in authentic Japanese culture and history first hand. Get a taste of Japan’s traditional tea ceremony, make your own local cuisine in a cooking class, and try your hand at short-story animation when you sketch and produce your own short film! Japan offers the experience of a lifetime for anyone with an appreciation for both the natural world and human history.
Cultural Journeys provide deep insight into the history, culture, and natural heritage of our host countries through authentic immersive experiences. Students will explore ancient ruins, sample new foods, and develop valuable leadership skills.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Try your hand at creating anime
Take a bullet train to Hiroshima
Walk through the Harajuku District of Tokyo
Experience some of most iconic parts of Kyoto
Explore Akihabara Electric Town
We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group.
|1||USA - Tokyo||Today the group will depart from the US to Tokyo, Japan.||Airplane|
|2||Tokyo||Say konnichiwa to your Smithsonian Student Adventures Leader, your expert on all things Japan and your travel partner for the duration of the program. At your hotel, throw on a yukata robe, pour a cup of green tea, and put your feet up to relax after a long day of travel. But don't relax too much! Before long we are off to explore the bustling streets of Shinjuku. See people enjoying meals at one of the 200+ eateries in Golden Gai alley or Godzilla towering over buildings in Kabukicho. Have a genuine ramen experience at one of Japan's most popular chains. End the day at the observatory deck on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan office. You may be able to see Mt. Fuji lit by the setting sun.||Super Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho|
|3||Tokyo||After breakfast visit Shinjuku Central Park. Then visit Meiji Shrine in Shibuya. Pass through the Meiji Shrine's sacred torii, a gateway to Japan's traditional architecture. Explore the grounds of the shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji. We'll also check out the heart of Tokyo's fashion and pop culture. Takeshita street, located across from Harajuku station, is lined with many trendy stores and boutiques on every side street. Mingle with chic teens, snap photos of Tokyo's wildest trends, and pick up a few pieces for yourself. You'll get a firsthand perspective on Japanese pop culture from a your leader as he or she guides you through Harajuku's hidden backstreets. Get a hands-on intro to Japanese food culture at a local restaurant. You'll learn to grill up perfect okonomiyaki, a tasty pancake made from eggs and cabbage, piled with your choice of toppings and sauce. Spend an hour walking around Yoyogi park playing with one of the canine residents of the Dog Heart Cafe. Head to Shibuya station and meet Hachiko. Together you can watch the phenomenon that is Shibuya crossing.||Super Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho|
|4||Tokyo - Hiroshima||Say "Say_nara" to Tokyo and depart for Hiroshima. We will be traveling on a Japanese bullet train , which will cut down our travel time from nine hours of driving to five hours through the countryside. Once in Hiroshima, we will go out for an evening of Japanese hot pot for dinner while preparing for our visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with an orientation and overview of the history of the city.||Urbain Hiroshima Central|
|5||Hiroshima||Today, we will visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park , which contains a museum, the remnants of buildings destroyed by the 1945 atomic bomb and monuments to the people killed by this nuclear attack. We'll also make our way to Miyajima , known for Itsukushima ShrineÕs giant Tori Gate which appears to float on top of the water.||Urbain Hiroshima Central|
|6||Hiroshima - Kyoto||We will travel to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan for over 1000 years , to learn about the temples, castles, and districts that make this one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We will stretch our legs by taking an early evening tour of Gion, one of the oldest areas in Kyoto made famous by its old wooden teahouses where practicing Geisha and other artists can still be seen in the neighborhood.||Local Ryokan|
|7||Kyoto||Today we will visit the beautiful Arashiyama. We will take a train ride on the Sagano railway. The train runs along the Hozu river providing amazing scenery. After the train ride we will take a walk through the famous bamboo forest. Near the bamboo forest is the famous zen temple, Tenruji. It has beautiful traditional gardens. After a soba lunch at the scenic riverside Yoshimura students can interact with monkeys that live in Arashiyama mountains. At the top of the mountain, there is a feeding station where students can purchase apples, sweet potatoes or bananas to feed the monkeys. After it gets dark students will take a boat cruise to observe Ukai, cormorant fishing (depending on when the fishing season begins/ends). This is an old practice of fishing using birds and a path lit by fire. Return to the hotel to get some much needed rest!||Local Ryokan|
|8||Kyoto||Head south to Kyoto's green tea capital, Uji, and visit the Phoenix Hall in Byodoin temple. This temple is featured on the 10 yen coin. Visit the Byodoin museum and learn about the temple's history. After viewing the Uji bridge we will head to Fushimi Inari Taisha. Located on the Inari mountain this shrine has more than 5000 bright orange tori gates. Each gate was donated by a Japanese business. Enjoy counting the gates as you climb the mountain, taking in the beautiful scenery. Watch out for fox gods and to visit the mini shrines you'll encounter along the way. In the afternoon stroll down Shijo Dori and check out the many stores. You may be able to find some souvenirs.||Local Ryokan|
|9||Kamakura||Very early in the morning, we will board the shinkansen back to Tokyo. In the afternoon, we will lace up our hiking shoes and explore the bamboo groves of Hokokuji Temple. We will visit Daibutsu, the second largest bronze Buddha in Japan and end the day by taking a well-deserved break from all the movement by relaxing on Yuigahama beach. We'll also enjoy our final dinner together. Last but not least we will sing our hearts out at karaoke before our international flight the following morning.||Super Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho|
|10||Tokyo - USA||Fly home||Your own bed, eventually!|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
Urbain Hiroshima Central Hotel
Attractively located in the Hiroshima City Centre district, this modern, elegant hotel is also conveniently close to the some of the city’s main attractions. Students will be able to put on a kettle of tea and relax in slippers in their rooms between visits to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park or the Atomic Bomb Dome nearby. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
This centrally located, traditional style Japanese hotel with Tatami mats and futon beds immerses students in a cultural experience. Famous for its long established restaurant on site, students will surely enjoy the traditional cuisine of fresh fish in between adventures in Kamakura. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Super Hotel Tokyo JR Kamata Nishiguchi
Start the day here with a traditional Japanese breakfast before setting out to explore Tokyo. This clean, three star accommodation provides modern amenities and a comfortable experience for all guests. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
This being my first experience with an international trip for my child I have nothing to compare it to. However I feel Walking Tree did an excellent job from conception to completion with informing me on costs, what to expect, safety concerns, and sharing the experience through their blog. While I was worried about how safe my child would be on a trip… on the other side of the world, she told me that she felt safer than school safe.
Parent of Brigid, traveler on Japan Cultural Journey
Your Adventure Includes
In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.
Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
Need to Raise Money? We Have you Covered.
Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!
Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.