13 days in Japan with Dr. Avigdor Shachan April 24 - May 5, 2010 * Dr. Avigdor Shachan is a researcher of the Lost Tribes of Israel and the author of "Across the Sambatyon: In the Footsteps of the Ten Lost Tribes." There are those who maintain that the Lost Tribes wandered eastward along the Silk Road, through the tortuous Gobi Desert, and they stooped temporarily in the Land of the Rising Sun - a cessation that has lasted until today. Our aim in undertaking this expedition to Japan is to deepen our understanding of Japanese culture and with Japanese folklore, which, according to some traditions, have their origins in the descendants of the tribe of Efraim and other Israelite tribes who arrived to Japan some 2600 years ago after their exile from the Land of Israel. We will visit Japan's important, central sites connected to these ancient traditions associated with the Tribes of Israel and their rituals in Japan. We will meet with Japanese people who identify themselves as descendants of the Lost Tribes, who are proud of their belonging to the People of Israel, and who maintain their traditions proudly. This pride has its origins in the crucial influence of the Tribes of Israel via the Shinto faith - the ancient faith of the Tribes of Israel and one of the two main central beliefs of the Japanese people - on the development, culture and day-to-day life of the Japanese. Whenever possible, we will organize face-to-face meetings with Japanese who regard themselves as descendants of the tribe of Efraim. They claim their forebears arrived to the islands of Japan from Central Asia in ancient times along the Silk Road and became an influential core in the cultural development of the Japanese nation in general and the Shinto religion in particular. As we follow in the footsteps of the Lost Tribes in Japan, we'll enjoy the country's beautiful landscapes, we'll be impressed by the new and unique Japanese architecture, and we'll discover the fascinating contrasts in the east-west, old-new, secular-traditional land. Departure Dates: Meeting in Okayama for those arriving on their own, on Sunday evening April 25, 2010 For those coming from Israel - Departure from Israel on Saturday Night April 24, 2010 Ending in Tokyo, for those returning on their own, Thursday Afternoon May 6, 2010 For those returning to Israel - Arrival on Thursday evening May 6, 2010 The Expedition Route We will land in Okayama, Japan in the early evening and proceed directly to our hotel to rest up for the challenging days ahead. The next morning we'll depart for a secluded rural area, among the mountains of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's main Islands. We'll continue to the Tsurigi Mountains. Here, according to local tradition, beneath one of the impressive huge rocks, lies buried the Ark of the Covenant that wandered to Japan with the descendants of the tribe of Efraim. Near this rock, says an ancient tradition, are buried many of the Jewels of King Solomon, which were brought here by the exiles. We'll spend the night in the mountains and in the morning we'll climb the heights by cable car and foot. After descending the mountain, we'll head for the city of Kobe where we'll spend the evening with the local Jewish community - and will also meet with the Japanese members of Bnei Efraim. From Kobe we'll make our way to Nara, cradle of Japanese culture, and Japan's first permanent capital. In Nara we'll visit the huge statue of Buddha that resides in the Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden construction in the world. We'll also visit other sites that have a connection to the Lost Tribes. We'll continue to Kyoto, the "true" capital of Japan. Kyoto was Japan's capital for hundreds of years and continues to be a source of spirituality in the fast-paced modernity of Japan. We'll spend three days in Kyoto, including Shabbat. During these days we'll meet face-to-face with Japan's history, culture, esthetics, religion and folk tales that make up the mosaic of Japanese life. During our tours we'll observe creations of the past and how they reflect on the present and vice versa. We'll get to know day-to-day Japanese life in which we'll discover much of the past. We'll be introduced to concepts of Zen esthetics and the architecture and design of Japanese gardens. We'll visit the famous dry-landscape stone gardens of Ryoan-ji and the Golden Pavilion of Kinkaku-ji. We'll also stop at Nijo-jo, the Shogun's Castle from where Japan was ruled for 250 years. We'll visit Kiyomizu-Dera, the Temple of Pure Water, and the picturesque streets and alleyways that wind down Kyoto's eastern mountains. We'll also visit a Shinto Shrine, Keiko No-Washino, which is a fascinating example of the simplicity and modesty of original Japanese construction. This temple was built by a group connected with the Tribe of Efraim and it enables us to witness the similarities in design between Shinto Shrines and the ancient Israelite Tabernacle. Another fascinating meeting will be with a group of Japanese Christians, supporters of Israel at Beit Shalom. The jewel in the crown of our visit: meeting with members of the community who consider themselves descendants of the Tribe of Efraim. We'll spend Shabbat in Kyoto; we'll enjoy kosher meals and stroll about the less well-known streets of this astoundingly beautiful city. From Kyoto we'll move on to Suwa - the site of the Binding of Isaac in its Japanese version. On the way, if time permits, we'll visit the villages of Kiso Valley where the period of the Samurai Marches from Kyoto to the capital in Edo, has been preserved. We'll make our way to Tokyo - the huge megalopolis that powers the Japan's powerful economy. We'll visit the impressive Edo-Tokyo Museum which details the life of the city from its earliest beginnings until today, as well as the Temple of Senso-ji, dedicated to the goddess of Mercy. We'll make our way through the colorful shopping street that leads to the temple before coming to the large incense burner at the footsteps of the temple. We'll also visit Meiji-jingu, where Emperor Meiji - who opened Japan to the outside world - is enshrined. We'll continue through Harajuku, Tokyo's funkiest area and then make our way to upscale, chic Ginza - Tokyo's version of Fifth Avenue. On one of the mornings, we'll visit Tzukiji - the world's largest fish market, and we'll add sites whenever time is available. On the afternoon of Thursday, May 21, 2009 - our 12th day in Japan - we'll fly home via Seoul, arriving to Tel Aviv in the evening. Sayonara! Price of the Expedition: $TBA Price for travelers from Israel, including international flights: $TBA Single Supplement: $TBA Price Includes: 12 days in Japan from the day of arrival on Sunday May 10, 2009 until departure on Thursday May 21, 2009. Hotel accommodation according to local conditions Kosher half board plus facilities for preparing sandwiches for lunch. 2 Israel-based bilingual guides. The tour will be led by Dr. Avigdor Shachan. Local Japanese guide. Local guides at the various sites. Meetings with local researchers. Entrance fees to all sites in the tour plan. Meetings with communities and members of the Bible Forum along the route. Land transportation according to the tour plan. Pre-departure seminar in Israel International flights according to the above price for those flying from Israel Price Excludes: International Travel to and from Japan (for those making their own travel arrangements) Airport taxes and fuel surcharges Tips of $8 per day per passenger. Total $96 (does not include the expedition guides) Extra lodgings in Japan for those arriving early or leaving late. Health and travel insurance. Personal expenses, such as drinks, telephone, laundry, shopping, etc. Important Notes The Expedition Program The expedition program may change depending on local conditions, such as weather, road works, local government permits, unexpected developments in meetings with local communities, etc. The expedition crew will make the necessary decisions and will inform the participants accordingly. Accommodation In Okayama, Tsurigi Mountains and Suwa, we will stay in good tourist class hotels, the best available, for a total of 3 nights. In Tokyo, Kyoto and Kobe we'll stay in first-class hotels. Transportation On Shikoku Island we'll use a mid-size bus suitable for local conditions. Our luggage will be transferred to Kobe separately and travelers will make do with a small overnight bag (trolley) for two days. For the rest of the expedition we will have use of comfortable touring coaches. Participants The Ten Lost Tribes Challenge is a unique expedition that travels to far-flung locations under challenging conditions, and requires a suitable mix of fellow explorers, that will be able to complete the expedition and will manage with the situational conditions. The adventure is very real and will be a lifetime experience for the participants. In order to ensure that all who register are suitable for the task, registrants will be asked to complete a personal questionnaire that will enable the organizers to choose those best suited for the expedition. The questionnaire is available from the expedition Project Coordinator Shuli Yazdi, email: shuli@shaibarilan.com Phone: +972-3-922-4410 ext 112. The number of participants in the expedition is limited to 30 Registration Participants who have been accepted to the expedition will pay a registration fee of $500 upon registration The balance will be paid up to 45 days prior to departure, and not later than February 28, 2010 Please forward to our office a Xerox copy of your passport (photo page) up to 45 days prior to departure, and not later than February 28, 2010 Cancellation Terms Up to 45 days prior to departure: $250 cancellation fee per participant 15-44 days prior to departure: $750 cancellation fee per participant 5-14 days prior to departure: $1850 cancellation fee per participant 4 days and less prior to departure: The entire cost of the expedition. Fridays Shabbat and Holidays (including Chol Hamoed in Israel) and Sundays and Public Holidays abroad are not considered working days. Cancellation notification must reach us via fax, email or mail. Details, application forms and registrations forms are available from: Expedition Coordinator, Shuli Yazdi: +972-3-922-4410 email: shuli@shaibarilan.com

Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

**Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the promo content above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, our partners will receive an affiliate commission without any effect on the price you pay. Regardless, Our product reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Think others should know about this? Please share