A Japan America Society of Minnesota Event/Trip: Exploring Gardens and Landscaped Parks of Japan

The Japan America Society of Minnesota presents…

Exploring Gardens and Landscaped Parks of Japan: A Trip to Some of Japan’s Famous and Unique Garden Treasures

In cooperation with: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Gardens have long been viewed as treasured arts of Japan.  Greatly admired for their simple beauty and graceful landscaping, the gardens of Japan have fascinated people around the world.  This tour will take travelers to some of the famous gardens and landscaped parks of Japan.  There will be visits to lesser known and uniquely landscaped parks and gardens in areas less traveled as well.  This tour is for people who like to travel and also carry with them a spirit of exploration and adventure.

The tour will be led by our very own J. Bernard (Ben) van Lierop, executive director of the Japan America Society of Minnesota, and Mary Hockenberry Meyer, professor and extension Horticulturist of the University of Minnesota.

The Itinerary

  • Arrive in Tokyo at Narita Airport, November 7th – Keio Plaza Hotel, Shinjuku (3 nights)
  • Spend two full days in Tokyo visiting Meiji Shrine, Kiyosumi Garden, Rikugien, and Showa Koen in Tachikawa.
  • Kobe, Takamatsu, and Kurashiki
  • In Kobe, board a ferry for a cruise on the scenic Island Sea to Takamastsu on the island of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s main islands.  There, visit Ritsurin Park and then the famous Korakuen Park in Okayama. Afterwards, we will enjoy Kurashiki, a jewel of old Japan bedecked with a cluster of museums, including the Folkcraft Museum. (3 nights)
  • Kumamoto in Kyushu
  • Visit Kumamoto, a region near the famous Mt. Aso.  Bask in the reverence of traditional Japan with a visit to Suizenji Garden, Kumamoto Castle, and Arita, the famous pottery town.  At the end of the day return for two night stay in a traditional Japanese inn.
  • Hiroshima and Kyoto
  • In Hiroshima admire Shukkien Garden and the Memorial Peace Park.  From there, we will go to Kyoto, the Classical City with its temples, shrines, and gardens made for strolling and viewing.  A visit to Nijo Castle, the Imperial Palaces Garden, Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) Garden, Ryoanji (Rock Garden), and other scenic parks and gardens will highlight the beauty of the old capital of Japan. (4 nights)
  • Tokyo, Narita Airport
  • Everyone will return to Tokyo for a return light home or wherever their final destination may be, transportation will be provided.
Included Costs:
  • Hotel: 12 Nights in 3 star hotels. Rooms are double occupancy (see below for single supplement).  All rooms are non-smoking and have private baths.
  • Transportation: All inter-city transportation by air conditioned coach, train, transportation between hotels and to bus or train terminals for tour activities are included.
  •  Food: Breakfast in hotels, eight dinners, including a “kaiseke” (traditional multi-course Japanese meal) and 6 lunches are included.
  • Admissions: All garden and park admissions for tour activities, all tour guides.
Not Included Costs:

The price of the tour does not include:

  • Transportation between Tokyo and participants’ point of origin.
  • Ground travel: Any ground transportation other than outlined above.
  • Other meals: Any meals other than those organized by the tour and described above.
  • Other: Any services not specifically identified under “Included Costs” above.

Eligibility and Reservations

All participants must be at least 21 years of age and able to walk some distance.  Reservations will be taken by Japan America Society of Minnesota on a first come, first served basis.  Total participation is limited to 24 people.

The price of the tour is $5,500 per person, based on double occupancy (Single Room Supplement: $600).  A partially refundable deposit of $2,000 (by check or credit card to Japan America Society of Minnesota) is due no later than Tuesday, September 3, 2013; the balance must be paid no later than Friday, September 20, 2013.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

If you cancel prior to September 3, 2013, Japan America Society of Minnesota will refund your deposit, less a $200 per person cancellation fee.  After that date, refunds can be made only if the tour is sold out and your space can be resold, in which case a $500 per person cancellation fee will apply.  No refunds for participant cancellation will be made after September 20, 2013.

All participants must sign and return Waiver and Release of Liability forms, which will be mailed to you after we receive the deposit and completed reservation form.  No reservation will be considered complete until Japan America Society of Minnesota has received these signed forms.

Japan America Society of Minnesota reserves the right at all times to cancel all or part of the tour and refund appropriate monies paid by the participant, without further liability.  For this reason, we strongly encourage participants to not make non-refundable reservations until we have confirmed that the tour will take place.

Reservations and Payment


To make a reservation for the Garden Tour please call into the JASM office at (612) 627-9357, email us here, or by filling out the form here.


You may pay for the Garden Tour by mailing a check to the JASM office, paying by way of credit card or through PayPal below.  Below is the amount for the deposit due September 3, 2013.  The full price of the tour is listed above.