Go to this link to see photos of some of the museum parties that Anne has traveled with: http://www.annealene.com
As an art history and Japan expert, Art Travel's Anne Alene has researched and published several academic papers on topics relevant to these areas:
Art Travel in the Media
Here's one example of an interest in Art Travel's fascinating travel programs for the art world:
"Sightseeing goes upmarket: Specialist tour guides take tourism to another level--for a price"
2007.05.13 The Daily Yomiuri
An artistic eye on Asia:
"I started out as a JET," says Alene, an art specialist who has been organizing trips to Japan from the United States for 10 years. "After the JET [Japan Exchange and Teaching] Program I went to San Francisco; I worked for the Japanese Consulate for a few years in cultural affairs."
After that she began "working with a small tours company leading trips to Japan...This primarily consisted of gardens and meeting a lot of artisans and looking at traditional crafts, and then within a couple of years a lot of museum requests started coming in," she tells The Daily Yomiuri by phone from China, with cars honking outside her hotel window throughout the conversation.
Nowadays, Alene's niche is organizing trips for the directors, trustees and patrons of major U.S. art museums, she says.
Her tours are "very intense on the educational side...they're very customized. If there's a certain type of work in the collection of the museum, I may parallel the program with that collection. For example, if a museum's focus is primarily on contemporary art, the [tour's] focus will be on contemporary art in Japan. I've worked with groups that collect crafts...the focus [with them] will be on glass and ceramics and paper works."
Alene says that depending on clients' needs, her tour prices "can range between 4,000 dollars to 15,000 dollars for 10-12 or more days of traveling."
Asked to share a Tokyo travel tip, Alene says: "Some of the museums are just invaluable; they're treasure troves...Because the center of Tokyo is moving away from Ueno more and more to be Roppongi, I think that the Tokyo National Museum and some of that area above Ueno Park, Yanaka, the older part of Tokyo, gets overlooked, and there are a lot of little gems of galleries and small shops there."
She also recommends more conventional activities such as sumo, kabuki or traditional baths.
"I know living in Japan it's easy to overlook a lot of those activities over time...I think keeping your finger on the pulse of those kinds of activities can keep life very interesting." ===