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Tours & Cruises

A Taste of Japan Through Its Cuisine


The many forms of Japanese cuisine will be explored on an 11-day tour to Japan in mid-July. Participants will dine on many of Japan's culinary specialties, including sushi, sukiyaki and a kaiseki dinner, which is a long succession of delicacies. The group will also experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and visit the Tsukiji Fish Market, where Tokyo's sushi chefs shop early every morning. Cooking classes and visits to famous temples and hot springs also are planned.

Guests also will visit the historic city of Kyoto, Tokyo, and Takayama in the Japan Alps. An exact date for the trip will be scheduled in about a month.

Cost: $4,190 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, most meals and sightseeing. Air fare is extra. Contact: International Dining Adventures, 106 Lynn St., Seattle, WA 98109; telephone (800) 447-6080 or (206) 281-8880.

Britain's Gardens

A garden tour of Scotland and Ireland, Aug. 4 to 18, will begin with a bagpipe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Participants will visit gardens of Brodick Castle, Mt. Stewart, Birr Castle, the Italianete gardens of Bantry House, the Japanese gardens at Tully and Emo and formal gardens of Powers-court. In Ireland, more traditional sites include the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, the Blarney Stone, Holyrood Palace, Galway, Kenmare and Killorglin.

Cost: $2,795 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, select hotels, motor-coach transportation, baggage handling, a full-time guide, entrance fees to all attractions, daily breakfasts and two dinners. Contact: Don Eslinger, Historic Tours of America, 16142 Woodstock Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92647; tel. (714) 846-9595.

Monterey by Design

Monterey Peninsula College instructors Richard Janick and Kent Seavey will lead a tour of Spanish-influenced Monterey-style architecture Jan. 24 to 26. The tour will feature a sampling of both public buildings and private residences. Highlights will include the Asilomar Conference Center by Julia Morgan, Cannery Row and Clint Eastwood's Carmel Mission Ranch, as well as the work of Charles Moore, Frank Lloyd Wright and others. A Friday night reception and lecture at the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art starts the weekend.

Cost: $350 per person, including accommodations for one night at the Hotel Pacific in Monterey and the motor-coach tour. The tour is sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians. Transportation to Monterey is not included. Contact: Sundance Travel; tel. (800) 424-3434.

Solar Eclipse

E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, will lead a UCLA Extension travel study tour to Erdenet, Mongolia, to view the total eclipse of the sun (March 9) and to discuss possible links between sovereignty and astronomy in central Asia.

Rarely visited sites in China and Mongolia, along with sightseeing in Beijing, are included on this trip, which runs March 1 to 15.

The itinerary begins with three nights in Beijing, including sightseeing at the Imperial Palace and the Ancient Beijing Observatory, where elegant bronze instruments with which 17th century astronomers measured the sky are on display. The next day, participants visit the Great Wall, stopping off at Juyong Pass to view the Cloud Terrace Gate, a ceremonial platform that once supported three Buddhist shrines symbolizing cosmic order.

Next the group flies to Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia, home of the Temple of Five Pagodas and the Dazhao Monastery, reached through narrow, winding streets. Then the group travels to Ulan Bator, the capital of the independent country of Mongolia.

From there participants take a train ride to the key destination of Erdenet in the Bulgan Province to view the eclipse from 7:47 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. After local sightseeing, the group returns to Ulan Bator, visiting the Lamaist monastery. Participants also fly to Hebei province to visit the Imperial Summer Villa and Eight Outer Temples built by the Qing Dynasty rulers.

Cost: $6,700 per person, double occupancy, including tuition, round-trip air travel from Los Angeles, land transportation, accommodations, entrance fees and most meals. Contact: UCLA Extension, The Sciences, 10995 LeConte Ave., Suite 714, Los Angeles, CA 90024; tel. (310) 825-7093.

Eclipsed Again

See a total eclipse of the sun from a ship in the Caribbean Sea (Feb. 26) on a 10-day cruise that leaves Fort Lauderdale Feb. 22. A solar eclipse expert will help guests view the eclipse safely and give a lecture on the eclipse. Ports of call include St. Martin, Barbados, Guadeloupe, St. John, St. Thomas and Nassau.

Cost: $1,398 per person, double occupancy, including a pre-cruise stay in Fort Lauderdale for West Coast passengers. Air fare and port charges are not included. Contact: Carolyn Edwards, Your Travel Center, 1005 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013; tel. (805) 684-6601.

Galapagos Birds

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