Next up: The lost tribe of Ephraim in Japan

A fascinating trip to the Land of the Rising Sun to meet people who believe they belong to the lost tribe of Ephraim is next up for Shai Bar Tours and Eretz Ahavati, organizers of the Ten Lost Tribes Challenge. The tribe of Ephraim arrived in Japan in ancient times from central Asia via the Silk Road and constituted an essential influence on the development of Japanese culture, including the Shinto faith. The expedition will cost $6,000 and visit the smallest of the four large Japanese islands, to Mount Zomri, the mountain on which, according to legend, the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple was concealed after making its way there with the descendants of the lost tribes. Also planned are visits to the Jewish community of Kobe and Shinto temples, to learn about parallels to Jewish culture. There will be a stop in a Christian community that supports Israel, and a meeting with the members of the community who consider themselves offspring of the tribe of Ephraim. And finally, tourists will see Sawa, the site of the sacrifice of Isaac in the Japanese reading, as well as mainstream Japanese attractions. In the footsteps of the 12 sons of Ephraim is May 9 to 21. For more information: 1-700-700-625 or 03-9224410;