Savor Japan: Tokyo to the Inland Sea, with Dean Bruce Suttmeier

Saturday, May 24th through Friday, June 6th, 2025


Sign-up Now

  • Click here to register
  • An initial deposit of $1,000 per person is due now to secure your spot.

  • Registration will remain open until it has reached capacity of 18.

  • Group Size: About 16 to 20 participants



Experience Japan’s perfect harmony of ancient tradition and modern way of life on a 14-day adventure through the cultural heart of the country. Tokyo’s soaring skyscrapers give way to Kanazawa’s classical architecture. Discover the intriguing diversity of Kyoto, the stunning art Island of Naoshima, and the energy of thriving Osaka. Travel with our experienced in-country guide, and Dean Suttmeier, who will help us dive deep into Japanese contemporary culture and eat well too! You will visit dynamic cities, spectacular temples, shrines, and castles, all the while interacting with local leaders and experiencing an authentic Japan.



Program Highlights

  • Find tradition in a very modern Tokyo, enjoy a night out “underground” with the Dean, meet local alumni, visit famous shrines and temples while marveling at the city lights, interesting alleys, and popular culture.
  • Soak up Japan’s natural beauty from tea covered hills of Uji to the beautiful island scenery of Naoshima, and from Kanazawa’s mountain villages to Kyoto’s special gardens.
  • There’s no better way to get around Japan than the country’s famous railway system. Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra-modernity as you zip from place to place by bullet train, enjoy some amazing scenery by bus, and relax on the occasional ferry ride.
  • Enjoy unforgettable experiences, including hands on activities such as origami, and tofu-making. Join monks in meditation and share the fellowship with our Japanese alumni. Explore new sites, tastes, and sounds from morning sushi, to sake tasting, and from a pottery center to folk song performances.
  • Accommodations include one special night at a temple, and another unique experience inside of an art museum. Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka hotels are all central and conveniently located.
  • Travel in the company of curios-minded, and adventurous alumni and friends of the College. Benefit from Dean Suttmeier’s background and knowledge of Japan. This trip combines a curated tour for seeing the most you can, with opportunities to wander and discover on your own.





This draft itinerary will be adjusted in small ways as we get closer to May 2025. Speakers and experiences are planned but not all activities can be confirmed a year out. For example, tickets for the Grand Sumo Tournament are likely but currently not confirmed. We are excited about all the listed speakers but availability can shift, and we might see a better opportunity that we want to integrate into our schedule be it a festival, an exhibit opening, or collective interests of the group that signs up.




Cost & Registration 

  • Total Cost - $9,695
    • Per person in a Double: $1,000 Deposit + $8,695 Balance Payment = $9, 695.
    • Solo traveler in a single: $1,000 Deposit + $8,695 Balance Payment + $1,995 Single Supplement  = $11,690.
  • $1,000 non-refundable deposit per person
  • $1,995 Single Supplement 
  • Additional “pre” and “post” nights can be arranged at itinerary hotels for an additional cost.   
  • Price does not include International airfare, most alcoholic beverages, or some small incidental fees like video or photo charges at specific sites, restrooms, etc…
  • Please read Terms & Conditions below.

Click here to register


Lewis & Clark Trip Leaders

Dean Bruce Suttmeier

Bruce Suttmeier joined the Lewis & Clark faculty in 2001 after receiving his doctorate in Asian Languages (Japanese Literature) from Stanford University. His early research examined the resurgence of WWII memories in postwar Japan, tracing its effects in writers such as Kaiko Takeshi, Oda Makoto, Oe Kenzaburo, and others. He continued this theme in several works, including an article on the uncanny return of a Japanese soldier from the jungles of Guam in 1972. He has also written on the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, focusing on the extraordinary building spree that accompanied the Games. His recent scholarship has focused on counterfactual history, work that has been supported by grants from The American Philosophical Society (2019) and The Japan Foundation (2020). He has led two semester-long overseas programs, first to Vietnam in 2010 and then to Siena, Italy in 2015. Since his return from Italy in Summer 2015, Bruce has served in the Dean’s Office, first as Associate Dean for Faculty Development, then Interim Dean, and since 2017, Dean of the College. As Dean, he oversees all academic departments and programs, as well as the library, overseas programs, advising, and several academic support offices. He loves to teach and continues to do so, including a Spring 2024 senior seminar called “Contemporary Japan in Fiction and Film,” an exploration of works from the past two decades.



Andrew McPheeters

Andrew lived in Japan and taught English at high schools and community centers in Iyo-Saijo, Ehime for three years. During that time he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the Prefecture of Ehime. Andrew has returned for work and personal travel a dozen times to Japan. Andrew curates all LC Travel programs, regularly accompanies trips on every continent, and has visited over 40 countries. He writes, “I look forward to greeting everyone upon arrival in Tokyo, but my heart is in the Kansai region. When we see the Inland Sea it will feel like home. Even now, as I think about Osaka — I get hungry!”



Andrew McPheeters, Associate Vice President of Community Education & Travel Programs at or 503-841-7657


Terms & Conditions

1) The $1,000 Deposit is Non-refundable. If the trip is cancelled for not meeting the minimum number of participants, th eso-it wil be returned.

2) Please do not purchase airfare or make other non-refundable travel arrangements until we have conformed we have met our minimum number of participants (twelve).

3) Lewis & Clark highly advises you to purchase Travel Insurance that will reimburse you if you need to cancel. Lewis & Clark can not reimburse for any reason. Please see Distant Horizons refund policy below.

4) Distant Horizon’s Policy: If a participant cancels, the following refunds will be available upon written notice of cancellation to Distant Horizons.

  • Notice more than 90 days prior to departure: a refund less a $1,000 cancellation penalty (for this reason the initial $1,000 deposit is non-refundable).
  • Notice between 90 days and 61 days prior to departure: a refund less 50% of trip price.
  • Notice between 60 days and 31 days prior to departure: a refund less 75% of trip price.
  • No refund shall be issued if cancellation is received less than 30 days prior to departure date (April 23, 2025).
  • No refunds shall be issued after the tour has commenced. No refunds shall be issued for occasional missed meals, sightseeing tours or any unused services.