Japan - Tokyo • Mount Fuji • Kyoto
April 9 to 19, 2018
Japan is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernism where excess and eccentricity meet history, customs, and respect for others. There is a huge difference between the megalopolis that is Tokyo—a hub for culture and technology and home to an avant-garde fashion scene—and Kyoto, a calm city where you can explore Japan’s rich history and traditions through its majestic temples and breathtaking scenery. Above all, Japan is a country that has moved forward gracefully without forgetting where it came from.
Japan’s world-famous cuisine is second to none. In 2010, Tokyo surpassed Paris as the city with the most Michelin stars. And although 127 million residents share the small island territory, Japan is considered one of the safest countries on the planet—Tokyo was ranked the safest city in the world by The Economist. This is where we will be holding a one-of-a-kind CME event from April 9 to 19, 2018. The trip is the result of over 12 months of preparation, research, and inspection trips, combined with an unparalleled CME program aimed at family practitioners and specialists and delivered by guest speakers from the United States, Japan and Canada.
Visiting Japan is like stepping into a different world. You will learn about its unique history and meet charming people in a place where a sense of duty and mutual respect are paramount.
Gabriel Boisjoly and Julien Martel
CME registration fee:
CME registration fee:
• Physicians and other professionals concerned: $325
• Medical residents: $145
• This fee is applicable only to those who want a certificate of attendance
• Spouses and companions can attend the sessions free of charge
Option 1: 5 nights CME package at Kyoto
• Physician rate: $3,979; companion: $919
• Five nights at the Westin Miyako Kyoto
• All breakfasts (5)
• 2 lunches at the hotel with access to the meeting functions
• English and French-speaking professional local guides at your disposition for 5 days
• All government taxes
Option 2: 10 nights in Japan, including Tokyo, the ryokan experience and 5 nights CME package at Kyoto
• Physician rate: $7,938; companion: $1,318
• Four nights at the Hilton Tokyo
• One night at a traditional ryokan at the base of Mt. Fuji, including a traditional dinner
• Five nights at the Westin Miyako Kyoto
• All breakfasts (10)
• English- and French-speaking professional local guides at your disposition for 10 days
• Coach transportation between Tokyo and Mont Fuji
• Bento box lunches on April 13 and 14
• Cultural excursions and tours planned around Mt. Fuji
• Ticket for the bullet train to Kyoto
• Wi-Fi throughout the trip
• 2 lunches at the hotel with access to the meeting functions
• All government taxes
• Does not include 0.10% in fees for the compensation fund for customers of travel agents (FICAV)
• Rates are valid until October 15, 2017, but may change after that date
Airline tickets are not included in the rates. You are free to travel with the airline of your choice whenever convenient.
Scientific program & learning objectives
Click here to download the scientific program as well as the learning objectives in PDF.
Family physicians, medical specialists, and residents
Tokyo: April 9-13, 2018
The capital of Japan is a sprawling 577 km2 city. Tokyo doesn’t have just one personality, but each district has a different feel. Named the safest city in the world by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Tokyo is also a stunningly clean city. This says a lot about the values and culture of the most populous metropolitan area in the world, home to some 38 million residents including greater Tokyo. Despite living in such a crowded city, locals are always happy to welcome tourists, even when there is a language barrier. Tokyo is a fascinating blend of tradition, history, and modernism, combined with excess and eccentricity.
For those opting for the full package, we will be spending four nights in Tokyo, one night in a traditional ryokan near Mt. Fuji, and five nights in Kyoto where the meetings will take place.
To help us keep our bearings in this busy metropolis, we will have local English and French-speaking guides. They will be on hand for all ten days of our event. For those of you who wish to tour around and experience Tokyo and Japan on your own, you might like to consult our guides for advice at the hotel, in the morning or afternoon. Take the opportunity to draw on their expertise so you can plan your sightseeing without worrying about the language barrier. Those who want more structure can take part in the optional group activities and guided excursions. They will be led by the same guides who will be with us for our entire stay, including when we travel to Mt. Fuji and Kyoto.
Tokyo’s world-famous cuisine is second to none. In 2010, Tokyo surpassed Paris as the city with the most Michelin stars, featuring abundant fine dining. But you can also eat
well in Tokyo without breaking the bank. You don’t have to go far to see and taste all that the city has to offer. For starters, try some sushi, an acclaimed crowd-pleaser. Or how about unagi, a freshwater eel dish that will help you beat the heat. We also suggest you try yakitori—skewered chicken, liver, and veggies grilled over charcoal—a favorite among residents. And don’t forget bento and onigiri, popular Japanese lunches. Onigiri are balls of rice stuffed with bits of grilled salmon, dried plum, meat, or veggies and wrapped in seaweed. To get a taste of real Tokyo, you will want to try monjayaki, a popular but little-known dish that is served in no fewer than 60 specialty restaurants. And don’t forget to try some mouthwatering Kobe beef, generally considered to be the best beef in the world and known for its fine flavor, tenderness, and marbling.
Tokyo is Japan’s main manufacturing region and administrative capital. It is also the cul- tural center of Japan, and a third of all the country’s schools and universities are located here. A huge collection of Japanese and Asian art and historical artefacts is on display at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park, which also houses a science museum, zoological garden, and two other major art museums.
Although Tokyo has no city parks as large as the ones in North America, it does have a lot of them, and in true Japanese style, they are all gorgeous and refined. Rose gardens, ponds filled with lotus flowers, cherry trees in full bloom — definitely a whole other world.
A few temples, feudal gardens, and the Imperial Palace, which was rebuilt after 1945, are all that remain of Japan’s distant past. A dozen skyscrapers around 200 m tall were built starting in the 1970s. If you want to get your fill of the city’s architecture, we recom- mend visiting the Harajuku, Omotesando, Ginza, Roppongi, and Tokyo Station districts.
Tokyo also has hands-on experiences that give tourists a chance to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. Don a kimono, learn the art of bonsai, train to be a ninja, or drive a rick- shaw — there is something for everyone.
There is no shortage of attractions in Tokyo, but here are a few of the must-sees:
Tsukiji Fish Market
The Tsukiji fish market is the main fish market in Tokyo and the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. The fish auctions begin at 5:30 a.m. You will find over 450 species from all over the world at the market. It is best to go in the morning—and it shouldn’t be too hard to get up thanks to the time difference!
Tsukiji Market was expected to close and move to a new site in Toyosu in the near future. The move was originally scheduled for November 2016, but then delayed indefinitely by the governor. It is now expected to happen around May 2018 at the earliest. This is one of the last opportunity to visit the iconic Tokyo staple in it’s original setting, before it is moved to a more modern location.
Takeshita-dori is a bustling pedestrian street in the Harajuku neighborhood of the Shibuya district. The street is lined with shops popular among Japanese teens and is a major draw in the area. The street is also an incubator for the latest trends and fashions that could sweep Japan. It is a surreal experience for Westerners — you might feel like you are in an anime, surrounded by people in wild costumes. You won’t want to miss it. You will be wowed!
Senso-ji is a Buddhist temple in the Asakusa neighborhood of the Taito district. It is the oldest temple in Tokyo and one of the most significant temples dedicated to the deity Bodhisattva Kannon. It is close to Nakamisedori, a shopping street known for an abundance of traditional souvenirs.
The Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace is only open to the public on the emperor’s birthday (December 23) and for the New Year’s Greeting (January 2). However, the East Gardens and Kitanomaru Park are free and open to the public. And in April, the cherry trees are in full bloom!
The Tokyo Skytree is a broadcast tower in the Sumida district. Standing 634 m tall upon its inauguration, it is the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa skyscraper. You can see it from nearly anywhere in the city!
The Shibuya District
Tokyo’s shopping mecca. If it seems like all of Japan is out and about there at night, you are not wrong — it is the place to be.
Ryokans and Mt. Fuji April 14
It’s hard not to feel a little out of place when you enter a ryokan—a traditional Japanese inn—for the first time. Over the centuries, upper class Japanese people would stay at ryokans for rest and relaxation. Today, Japanese and foreign tourists come to ryokans for a traditional Japanese experience. On April 14, we will be staying at a ryokan at the base of Mt. Fuji to get a taste of traditional Japan. A unique experience you won’t forget.
We will take a 90-minute bus ride to Mt. Fuji, where we will reach Lake Kawaguchiko. It is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes in terms of surface area, and is located at the lowest elevation. Seeing Mt. Fuji reflected in the still waters of the lake is breathtaking. We will then head to the ryokans.
Guests can expect top notch service when they stay in a ryokan — the staff are known for their politeness and attention to detail. Be respectful of Japanese customs — take your shoes off before entering your room! The floors of the rooms are covered in tatamis, a kind of traditional Japanese mat. Guests sleep on mattresses or futons placed on the tatamis at night.
What is there to do at a ryokan? You can try an onsen (a public hot spring with strict customs and rules about bathing), drink some tea, or meditate. In short, relax! A traditional and wonderful dinner is served to guests seated on the ground together. We will go to dinner wearing yukatas, light summer kimono.
You can find ryokans in urban centers, but the most popular are located out in nature near lakes or mountains. For our stay, we will be split into small groups and go with the guides to different ryokans in the Mt. Fuji area.
Since we will be staying in the shadow of the tallest mountain in Japan, we will be offering a small hike along the trails at the base of Mt. Fuji the next morning. This mountain is one of the most iconic, internationally recognized symbols of Japan. The picture-perfect peak of this ancient volcano has been the subject of countless paintings and has inspired great literary minds. This activity is optional and for everyone taking part in this trip.
To get to Kyoto, we will take the bullet train. These high-speed Japanese trains can reach speeds of 240 to 320 km/hr. It is a great way to experience Japanese culture in all its glory and we are including a bento box lunch, a meal of traditional food served in a compart- mentalized container.
The view of the main train station upon arriving in Kyoto is at odds with what the city is actually like. In fact, the futuristic look of the station has been criticized for its stark contrast with the rest of the city.
Kyoto: April 14-19, 2018
The city of Kyoto is itself a kind of living museum. Japanese people consider it the cultural capital of the country, as it was the imperial capital of Japan until the mid-19th century. The most beautiful temples in the country are in Kyoto. The city is also home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. All CME activities for this event will be held in Kyoto.
Kyoto was built in 794 in a grid pattern, modelled after Chinese cities. The original name of the city, Heian-kyo, means “capital of peace and tranquility,” a name which still rings true today. Kyoto has a completely different feel than Tokyo. It has all the advantages of the capital, like good food and friendly people, but in a more rural setting. Here, tradition and modernism blend seamlessly.
We will have five days here to discover some of Japan’s most beautiful cultural spaces. Our hotel is just a 20 minute walk from the most popular districts in Kyoto: Gion, the famous geisha district, and Higashiyama.
Here again, we will have local English and French-speaking guides. They will be on hand for all ten days of our event. For those of you who wish to tour around and experience Kyoto and Japan on your own, you might like to consult our guides for advice at the hotel in the morning or afternoon. Take the opportunity to draw on their expertise so you can plan your sightseeing without worrying about the language barrier. Those who want more structure can take part in the optional group activities and guided excursions. They will be led by the same guides who will be with us for our entire stay.
You could easily spend a full day getting lost here in the beating heart of the city. And you won’t want to miss Nishikikoji Street with its maze of charming shops and Japanese vendors. You could spend hours wandering along it. Architecture buffs won’t be disappointed either. Japanese culture in Kyoto has been growing and evolving for over a thousand years. The city is known for its temples, the most famous being Kinkaku-ji—the Golden Pavilion located northwest of the city. South of the train station, just a stone’s throw from downtown, is the Toji temple, the tallest pagoda in Japan. The structure is 55 m tall, its height a testament to its importance in Japanese culture.
You can also hike in the surrounding mountains, rent a bike to see the city, or tour the shopping districts of Shinkyogoku and Shijo Kawaramachi, areas popular with Japanese teens.
You can also wander through the grounds of Kyoto’s Imperial Palace Park. The 85 hectares of green space, complete with cherry trees, open meadows, evergreens, ponds, and trails, are perfect for a picnic or a stroll.
We will be staying at the Westin Miyako Kyoto, a four-star hotel just steps away from all the main districts in Kyoto. The rooms are simple but spacious and comfortable. The hotel also has a world-class conference center.