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Welcome to Japan. On arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda International Airport transfer to your hotel by airport shuttle service. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow guests for an enjoyable dinner.
Following breakfast, your sightseeing starts with a visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan Observatory to enjoy great panoramic views of the city. Explore the Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine which is surrounded by greenery and gives the shrine a rural feel in the middle of the bustling city. Later, travel to Asakusa and absorb the Edo period's rich traditional atmosphere of an ancient town. Walk through the Nakamise Shopping Street and then visit the Sensoji Temple, one of Tokyo's most colourful temples. This afternoon enjoy some time at leisure or choose to take part in an optional trip to explore Tokyo further.
This morning drive up to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji and admire the magnificent views from this majestic mountain (weather permitting) at 2300 metres. After some free time for lunch take the Komagatake Ropeway for views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi and later return to your hotel.
Depart Tokyo and travel to Kyoto by bullet train. This afternoon visit Kinkakuji; a Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World heritage site which is famous for its golden pavilion. Built between the 14th and 15th centuries, this temple was previously the residence of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu before being converted into a Zen temple when he died. Later, visit the Heian-jingu shrine and admire the torii gate and the architecture. Afterwards, visit a handicraft centre to explore Japanese crafts and later check-in to your hotel. This evening dine in a local restaurant.
The day is yours to explore Kyoto at your own pace or perhaps choose to take an optional experience.
Travel to Kurashiki and on arrival meet a Local Specialist for a walking tour of the Bikan Historical Quarter. See the many classic black and white walled warehouses which have now been converted to museums and the moats which were used for transportation. Continue on to Hiroshima and this evening enjoy okonomiyaki in a local restaurant. This is a kind of pancake made with egg, cabbage, soba noodles and meat or seafood and cooked in front of you.
This morning set off for Miyajima Island by ferry which is regarded as one of the most scenic areas in Japan. Upon arrival visit the Itsukushima Shrine and view the floating torii gate rising from the sea. Enjoy some free time at leisure and immerse yourself in the sights of this tranquil island. Later return to Hiroshima and visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. See the UNESCO listed Peace Memorial, the only structure which survived the first Atomic bomb in 1945. This afternoon, consider joining an optional experience to explore further.
Travel to Himeji and have some free time for lunch before visiting Himeji Castle with a Local Specialist. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an iconic and historic building which has survived for around 400 years. Later check in to your hotel.
On the way to Osaka, stop and make a visit to a sake brewery with a Local Specialist. Learn about the history of sake and the process of brewing it. Continue to Osaka and spend the afternoon at leisure or consider taking an optional experience to explore further.
Take a transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Join your Travel Director for a different kind of Japanese dining experience at an ‘izakaya.’ It is a type of informal Japanese pub where the food is shared by everyone at the table (similar to Spanish tapas). These are popular with the local office workers who tend to frequent them at the end of their working day. The menu changes according to the season but generally includes small Japanese appetizers, seasonal sashimi, tempura, grilled chicken, yakisoba, yakitori, boiled rice and dessert. Three drinks are also included with a choice of wine, beer or soft drinks. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.
Adult Price: ¥5500
Visit The Tokyo National Museum which displays the world's largest collection of Japanese art, including ancient pottery, Buddhist sculptures, samurai swords, colorful ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), gorgeous kimonos and much, much more. Continue with a visit to Ameyoko shopping street, once a black market built just after World War II and selling American goods. Now it comprises of about 400 shops attracting thousands of shoppers every day. Then take a stroll around Ginza, Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping district featuring numerous department stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Afterward, choose to either remain in Ginza for some free time to explore further or return to the hotel by coach. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.
Adult Price: ¥3500
Leave the hotel by coach to visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its tunnel of thousands of bright orange torii gates guiding the path through the sacred site and up into the mountains. Continue to the Gekkeikan Okura Museum to learn about the history of sake and the process of making it followed by a sake tasting. The family-run sake brewery, which is next door to the museum, was founded in 1637 by Jiemen Okura and has been passed down through 14 generations to the current President of Gekkeikan, Haruhiko Okura. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.
Adult Price: ¥4500
Visit the Ninja-themed restaurant for a truly unique dining experience. You will be welcomed by a Ninja guide who will guide you through the labyrinth-like caves into the underground restaurant and to your table. The Ninja theme is carried on in incredible detail; the menus are ninja scrolls and while you are waiting for your meal there are crackers shaped like throwing stars to keep you going. Even the food itself is themed with dishes having names like ‘Ninja Teleportation Chicken Steak’ for example. If you’re lucky you might even meet one of the Ninja masters who’ll show you some of their magic tricks at your table. Also included are 60 minutes of unlimited drinks with a choice of wine, beer or soft drinks. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.
Adult Price: ¥7000
Nara was the first permanent capital of Japan and specializes in ‘bokusho’ the art of ink-making. The ink sticks are delicately crafted by artisans and the meticulous process involves kneading soot with glue, adding fragrances and carefully molding the mixture into the desired shape before slowly drying it into its finished form. Handcrafted ink sticks are more than just everyday utensils used by calligraphers and artists—their inspired quality and shapes also make them works of art. Observe the artisans at work and have a go at making your own ink stick which you are welcome to keep as a souvenir. Later visit Todaji Temple which is one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara. It houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha at 49 feet tall. Afterward, visit Nara Park, home to hundreds of freely roaming deer before returning to Osaka by coach. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.
Adult Price: ¥5500
Start with a delicious lunch of oysters, sashimi, miso soup and rice in a local restaurant followed by a visit to Shukkeien Japanese Garden. The name ‘Shukkeien’ can be translated into English as ‘shrunken-scenery garden’ which is also a good description of the garden itself which features miniature valleys, mountains and forests. The entire garden is connected by a path which winds around the pond and passes through all the miniaturized sceneries. Later, visit Hiroshima Castle, built on a plain in the center of the city, its main keep is five stories high and its grounds are surrounded by a moat. It was built in 1589 and, like the rest of the city, it was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945 and then rebuilt 13 years later. Vegetarian lunch options are available. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.
Adult Price: ¥5500
Visit the Umeda Sky Building which is about 170m tall and one of the most famous landmarks of Osaka. Admire the panoramic views of the city from the Floating Garden Observatory—an open-air viewing platform that straddles the two towers of the Umeda Sky Building. Enjoy some free time in Umeda before continuing to Osaka Castle, a striking historical landmark in the middle of the modern cityscapes which was built around 1585 by the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Admire the historical artifacts, samurai costumes, colorful paintings and a model village of a 16th-century castle town before returning to the hotel. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.
Adult Price: ¥4000
Travel by coach to Namba; the dining and entertainment district of Osaka. At a local restaurant enjoy a dinner of traditional Osaka cuisine such as okomomiyaki, takoyaki, kushikatsu and fried meats followed by dessert. Also included are unlimited drinks for 90 minutes with a choice of beer, sake or soft drinks. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.
Adult Price: ¥7000
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