KYOTO, JAPAN - November 25 2013: Tourists walk on a street leading to Kiyomizu Temple on November 25 2013 for Sakura viewing. Kiyomizu is a famous temple in Kyoto built in year 778
The compelling tastes of Japanese cuisine range from the zing of wasabi to the subtle sweetness of mochi. And a visit to Japan offers the same high/low contrasts in cultural experiences, with hushed temple gardens and clanging pachinko parlors, chaste tea ceremonies and naughty anime costumes, futuristic bullet trains and rustic traditional villages. The 12-day tour with National Geographic Journeys gets to the heart of Japan with access most visitors can’t arrange, including meditation with a Buddhist monk, a lesson with a sushi chef, and an overnight stay at a traditional onsen or hot-spring spa. Starting in Tokyo, the small-group tour will enjoy upgraded services as it goes from ultramodern city to rustic village and back again.