Context Travel launches scholar-led ‘walking seminars’ of Tokyo, Kyoto

A girl with her father admires one of the dolls on view at the Tokyo National Museum © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

A girl with her father admires one of the dolls on view at the Tokyo National Museum. Context has a new walking tour of Tokyo that features the Tokyo National Museum © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Context, a critically acclaimed walking tour company whose small-group, scholar-led “walking seminars” have revolutionized day tours in cities across Europe and North America, is continuing its expansion into Asia with the opening of tours in Tokyo and Kyoto. Working with local historians, Context has opened with five innovative tours in each city, designed to help curious visitors understand and appreciate Japanese history and culture.

Offerings in Kyoto include a thematic walk on Japanese garden and landscape design that visits the Golden Pavilion, as well as a tour on Shinto and Buddhism in the historic Gion neighborhood. Context also offers a woodblock printing workshop with a well-regarded master of the craft as part of its ongoing “experiential tours” program in all cities where it operates. Context’s Kyoto experts include historians of 19th century Japan, architects, and culinary writers.

Context’s Tokyo program includes a tour of anime, manga, and other forms of pop culture, focused on the Akihabara neighborhood, an epicenter of such otaku culture. The organization is also offering a walk on Japanese aesthetics in the Omotesando and Harajuku areas, as well as a visit to the Tokyo National Museum, and a three-hour Welcome to Tokyo program in which a local expert meets travelers at their hotel and assists them with the basic logistics of visiting this large, complex city.

“We have been blown away by the local scholars we’ve pulled together in Tokyo and Kyoto,” says Jessica Stewart, expansion manager at Context. “From an anthropologist in Kyoto who researches ghost possession and religious healing to a pop-culture expert in Tokyo who’s authored several scholarly treatments of this topic, we’ve gathered an amazing array of docents. Our clients, who’ve come to expect immersive experiences when they join our walks, are going to love Context in Japan.”

In both Tokyo and Kyoto Context offers walks privately on request and as regularly scheduled shared group walks. Private walks start at ¥32560 for the party, while group walks start at ¥7040 per person.

Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead “walking seminars” in twenty-one world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Shanghai and Beijing. A certified B Corporation, Context was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 and 2012 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit: www.contexttravel.com

See:

Day One in Tokyo: Hitting Tourist Highlights and slideshow

Day Two: A day in Tokyo spanning all the days of Japan and slideshow

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

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