Tokyo

March 8 - 17, 2018

Our tour will be led by Robert Markow, an internationally known music critic who has personally selected a rich and varied musical program for us. Performances include Les contes d’Hoffman, L’elisir d’amore, and concerts at Suntory and Orchard Halls with works by Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Chopin and more. Touring includes Kawagoe, Kamakura, Kyoto and Ueno Park.

Tokyo is a giant – “a concrete, steel and neon sprawl stretching almost to infinity” as one writer put it. Just the central core alone is inhabited by 13 million people. The entire metropolitan area, the largest in the world, eats up nearly 850 square miles with 23 wards in the core, 27 smaller cities, 14 towns and 27,000 islands with a combined population of over 35 million.

Tokyo roars 24/7. But it also has numerous exquisitely designed gardens – true oases of peace and tranquility. It has hundreds of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, a deep reverence for the past, a culinary tradition sans pareil, and a highly developed sensitivity to the arts. And the MUSIC!! Some 4,000 events a year given in 180 halls. Eight full-time professional symphony orchestras and several dozen opera companies large and small contribute to the plethora of concerts. This is Tokyo!

March is a pleasant time to be in Japan—temperatures in the mid-50s and relatively low rainfalls. Those wishing to indulge further are welcome to extend their trip with stays in Osaka or elsewhere, and we can assist with these arrangements.

Join us for a rare and wonderful opportunity to experience the joy of one of the world’s great cities.

We have recently partnered with Longitude, Recommended Reading for Travelers so that we can provide uniquely tailored reading lists for our tours and offer our clients competitive pricing. Please use the following link: Reading List for Tokyo 2018.

 

Itinerary

Thursday, March 8

Departures from your country of residence (for overnight flights), or early arrival day.

Friday, March 9

Upon arrival in Tokyo (Haneda Airport if possible), you will be met and transferred to the 5-star Palace Hotel Tokyo. Set in the heart of Tokyo’s business district with views of the Imperial Palace gardens, Palace Hotel Tokyo’s location is unbeatable. Heir to some of the city’s most exclusive real estate, Palace Hotel Tokyo re-opened in May 2012 on a stunning, moat-side setting in Marunouchi. The hotel features multiple restaurants and bars and Japan’s very first Evian Spa. The evening is at leisure to recover from the long flight. You will be given a dinner credit at any one of the hotel’s restaurants and lounges for dinner at your leisure.

Saturday, March 10

After breakfast (included each day), we meet for a brief orientation tour. Late afternoon we take our seats at the New National Theatre for Les contes d’Hoffman, with Dmitry Korchak in the title role. Dinner is included prior to the performance.

Sunday, March 11

Late morning we embark on a guided tour of some of Tokyo’s landmark sites, including Tokyo Tower, the Asakusa Kannon Temple, the skyscrapers of Shinjuku, Ginza, Tokyo International Forum and the Imperial Palace Gardens. Lunch is included. We return to the hotel in time for a rest and dinner on your own before going to our first concert at Orchard Hall: The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (one of Japan’s best), playing Symphony No. 2 by Rachmaninoff. A jazz pianist is also featured.

Monday, March 12

Today we embark upon a full-day excursion to Kyoto by Bullet Train. Founded as the new capital of Japan in 794, Kyoto is an oasis of gardens and Buddhist temples. Even after the seat of power moved to Kamakura and then eventually to Tokyo, Kyoto remained the cultural and spiritual heart of Japan. Our touring highlights Kyoto’s Imperial past and its traditional craftwork. Lunch and dinner are included.

Tuesday, March 13

Today we embark on an excursion to Kawagoe. Located 25 miles north of Tokyo, we explore this “Little Edo,” famed for its historic core of kurazukuri—black-walled merchant houses, some dating back to the 18th century. Japanese film directors love the place for its ready-made sets that are perfect for historical dramas. Lunch is included. Tonight we attend a concert by the New York Philharmonic at Suntory Hall (Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1; Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring).

Wednesday, March 14

Today we journey to Kamakura, former de facto capital of Japan and the seat of the Shogunate. Lunch is included. This evening we hear the Tokyo Sinfonia (in an all Mendelssohn program) at the intimate, recently-built Hakuju Hall. A champagne reception with the musicians and conductor follows the performance.

Thursday, March 15

Enjoy the day at leisure. This evening we gather for a cocktail reception before we hear the Toulouse Orchestra at Suntory Hall (Russlan & Ludmilla Overture, Khachaturian Flute Concerto, Suite from Swan Lake).

Friday, March 16

Today we visit the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park. With some 87,000 pieces, it is the largest collection of Japanese art in the world. We take in a matinée performance of L’elisir d’amore at the New National Theatre (cast includes Lucy Crowe and Saimir Pirgu). Our Farewell Dinner is included after the performance.

Saturday, March 17

Airport transfers are included, and will be arranged on-site.