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Highlights of Japan

Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,362

Experience the many different faces of Japan from contemporary Tokyo to traditional Kyoto and Nara, from majestic Mount Fuji to historic Takayama and find out how Hiroshima has developed.


Japan is a land of contrasts and undertaking this itinerary will show that to its fullest combining exciting and innovative contemporary Japan with its traditional and historical legacies. From Imperial castles to snow-capped mountains and from Shinto shrines to modern boulevards, this is Japan.

Start in Tokyo, the capital since the late 1800’s. Visit the Meiji Shrine dedicated to a Japanese Emperor who died in 1912. It was destroyed during World War 2 but has been totally reconstructed. Set in a large garden-like park, it is revered by the locals.  Close by is Harajuku, the unique colourful youth fashion quarter with many bargains to be had.  Enjoy a cruise on the Sumida River which flows through the heart of Tokyo to the old quarter of Asakusa with its functioning Kannon Temple and colourful street markets. Next is the TokyoTower with wonderful views of the city from the observation platform.

The next morning enjoy the sights and sounds of the Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest fish and seafood market in the world. Travelling south by road, drive the Hakone National Park where you will have a cruise on Lake Ashi and then have a traditional Japanese meal with the option afterwards to have a dip in a hot spring.

Next travel to Takayama, a charming old town with much history and culture. Visit the Yatai Kaikan Hall, home to the exhibits from the Takayama Festival, one of the most important in Japan, The exhibits are mainly the floats used. Afterwards, stroll through the atmospheric old town, known as Kamisannomachi District.

Continue to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan until 1869. Historic Kyoto has over 1600 temples and 400 shrines and is one of the best preserved cities in Japan which is somewhat mind-boggling especially as it is also a functioning contemporary city as well. However, there are many neighbourhoods consisting of labyrinths of narrow streets. In Kyoto, time seems to stand still. Some of the most important sites to be visited are the Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavillion, breathtaking in its beauty. It is superbly reflected in a mirror pond; the Kiyomizu Temple complex, Kyoto’s most visited temple situated on a hillside with amazing views of the surrounding area and totally made of wood; Nijo Castle built in the 17th Century surrounded by attractive gardens; the Pontocho, a narrow lane evoking the past with its bars and teahouses and the Gion Quarter where you may well see Geishas as they hurry to their next assignment.

Hiroshima is known as the city destroyed by an atomic bomb in 1945. After the bombing, Hiroshima was reconstructed as a large, modern city. A visit to the Peace Memorial Park, A-Bomb Museum and Museum is a must for anybody wanting to understand the effects of nuclear weapons. The A-Bomb Dome is what most visitors see first and it has become a legendary building that all associate with Hiroshima. It is supposedly the sight of where the bomb directly exploded above the earth. It is the only surviving building from the blast and exists only in ruin, although one can still see the structure of the original dome upon the roof. Also visit the extremely impressive UNESCO protected Itsukushina Shrine on Miyajima Island with its dramatic Tori (gate) situated in the lake.

The next day, travel by train to Nara, your final stop, once the capital of Japan in the 6th Century AD. Here, visit the remarkable Todai-ji Temple, a national treasure which houses the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha and the impressive Kasuga Shrine Both also date back to the 6th Century AD. Enjoy the many free roaming deer in the scenically beautiful Nara Deer Park.  


 

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Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,362

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Tokyo

Upon arrival at Narita Airport, a join-in transfer takes you to your hotel. Tonight, meet your fellow travellers and tour leader for a tour briefing (if locally led, this briefing will take place the next day).

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu

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Location View map
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    Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu



    Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu is right across from Akasaka-Mitsuke Subway Station. It offers 2 dining options, a variety of shops and comfortable rooms. Comfort and style define each of the 487 air-conditioned rooms at Hotel Akasaka Excel. A tour desk and currency exchange help with ...

    Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu is right across from Akasaka-Mitsuke Subway Station. It offers 2 dining options, a variety of shops and comfortable rooms. Comfort and style define each of the 487 air-conditioned rooms at Hotel Akasaka Excel. A tour desk and currency exchange help with sightseeing. The 24-hour front desk offers luggage storage, laundry and fax/photocopying services. Guests can work in the business centre or unwind with a massage.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Gift Shop
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Internet Access
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 2

Tokyo

Explore some of the vibrant capital's most intriguing sights, by foot, boat and rail. Start by visiting the fascinating bustle of Tsukiji Fish Market, then walk to Hamarikyu Garden and take a river boat cruise to Asakusa. Visit Asakuasakannon, the oldest and most beloved temple in the city, then continue exploring this afternoon at leisure. If you wish, attend a kabuki theatre show this evening in Ginza (additional cost).

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Tokyo to Hakone

Today, take in mesmerising city views from the Tokyo Tower, designed by Tachu Naito and inspired by the Eiffel Tower. Continue on to the excellent Edo-Tokyo Museum. This afternoon, journey by train to Hakone, a town near Mt. Fuji famous for its hot springs and natural beauty. After checking in to your traditional Japanese hotel, change into your yukata and slippers and savour a sumptuous Japanese dinner. Tonight, enjoy the onsite Japanese onsen and sleep in an atmospheric tatami-floored room, on a futon mattress. **Please note that your main luggage will be transferred to Takayama this morning. Please prepare a light overnight bag for your one-night stay in Hakone.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hakone Yumoto Hotel

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Hakone Yumoto Hotel



    This hotel is surrounded by trees in Hakone Yumoto. At the hotel site are remains of the stone-paved Old Tokai Highway, providing guests with a reminder of journeys in the olden days. Let the friendly staff welcome you to this comfortable hotel

    This hotel is surrounded by trees in Hakone Yumoto. At the hotel site are remains of the stone-paved Old Tokai Highway, providing guests with a reminder of journeys in the olden days. Let the friendly staff welcome you to this comfortable hotel

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Beach
    • Golf Course
    • Hot Spring
    • Karaoke Lounge
    • Massage Facilities
    • Parking
    • Restaurant

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Day 4

Hakone to Takayama

Today, take a cable-car ride and boat trip on peaceful Lake Ashi, which on clear days offers views of Japan's most loved landmark, Mount Fuji. Afterwards, travel by bullet train and limited express train to Takayama. Situated more than 2000 feet above sea lea level and surrounded by the peaks of the Northern Japan Alps, Takayama is a bustling market town, once the home of Japan's most skilled carpenters and artisans. Upon arrival in Takayama, check in to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hida Hotel Plaza

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    Hida Hotel Plaza


    Hida Hotel Plaza is located just 5 minutes on foot from JR Takayama Station, the Miyagawa Asaichi morning market, and a selection of tourist spots. All the guestrooms are well- furnished and equipped with basic amenities to cater to the needs of every traveller.

    Hida Hotel Plaza is located just 5 minutes on foot from JR Takayama Station, the Miyagawa Asaichi morning market, and a selection of tourist spots. All the guestrooms are well- furnished and equipped with basic amenities to cater to the needs of every traveller.

    Facilities

    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Sauna

    More Details

Day 5

Takayama

This morning, set out on a walking tour of some of Takayama's main attractions, including the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, Takayama Jinya and the Takayama History and Art Museum. Stroll past beautifully preserved wooden houses on Kami Sannomachi Street, as well as enticing sake rice wine breweries. The afternoon is at leisure for you to continue exploring the narrow streets, shrines and sake stalls on your own. You may wish to wander the pine-tree lined paths of the Teramachi district, southeast of the town centre. **Please note that your main luggage will be transferred to Kyoto this morning. Please prepare a light overnight bag for your second night stay in Takayama.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Takayama to Kyoto

Enjoy free time this morning in Takayama to shop and further explore, then board the train for Kyoto. Known as the "Thousand Year Capital", this enigmatic city is the birthplace of some of Japan's most beautiful sites and alluring traditions: tea ceremonies, "shodo" calligraphy, zen rock gardens, and an array of artistic and intellectual pursuits. Upon arrival at Kyoto Station, travel the short distance to your hotel for check-in.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration4 Nights
Accommodation

Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

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Location View map
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    Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo



    Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo is a 1-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Subway Station. The hotel offers modern accommodation with a restaurant, free internet and a public bath with views of the garden. Guestrooms offer both air-conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with ...

    Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo is a 1-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Subway Station. The hotel offers modern accommodation with a restaurant, free internet and a public bath with views of the garden. Guestrooms offer both air-conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with a work desk and a flat-screen TV.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 7

Kyoto

Today you will take in a sampling of the city's treasures, beginning with visits to Nijo Castle and the glittering Golden Temple, Kinkaku-ji. Nijo Castle was built in 1603 as a residence for the first Tokugawa shogun, and is famous for its squeaky nightingale wooden floors, designed to betray the approach of unwelcome visitors. The Golden Temple, Kinkakuji, is one of Japan's most cherished sites. This elegant, gilded structure was built in the 14th century as a retirement villa. Later on, visit Kiyomizudera (Temple of Clear Water), nestled into the forest-clad side of Higashiyama Hill. Walk the quaint streets of Sannen Zaka and Ninnen Zaka, and explore the famous Gion geisha district. Return to your hotel at the end of the afternoon.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Hiroshima

Today, take a daytrip by bullet train to Hiroshima. Although widely known as the city destroyed by the atomic bomb, Hiroshima is now a modern, cosmopolitan city. Visit Miyajima Island, home to the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine and its "floating" red torii gate. Take some free time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this island, mingle with the wild deer and sample some Japanese snack food. Return to central Hiroshima and visit the Peace Memorial Museum, an excellent museum dedicated to the events of World War II. Continue to the Peace Memorial Park and the eerie A-Bomb Dome, left standing in a ruinous state after more than 70 years. At the end of the day, return by train to Kyoto.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Kyoto at leisure

Today is free to enjoy Kyoto at leisure. Whether you're a fan of Japanese gardens, traditional architecture, temples, shrines, hiking, old shops, cycling or a combination of all of these things, your tour leader and local guide can help you put together a satisfying plan to explore according to your interests. This evening, enjoy a special kaiseki dinner. Kaiseki is the art of balancing the taste, texture, appearance, and colours of food. To this end, only fresh seasonal ingredients are used, and prepared in ways to enhance their flavour, and carefully presented on plates chosen to enhance both the appearance and the seasonal theme of the meal. During your meal, a maiko or geisha will come to your private room to perform traditional arts and to talk with you.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 10

Depart Kyoto

This morning it's time to say goodbye and depart for your onward journey. A taxi transfer will take you to Kyoto Station, from where you will use your rail pass for onward travel.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Dec 26

2018: Jan 22; Mar 19, 26; Apr 2, 9; May 7; Jun 4; Sep 10; Oct 1, 15; Nov 12; Dec 31

 

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 9 nights' accommodation
  • Meals as specified
  • Small group touring and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Train travel as per itinerary (a JR Pass will be provided)
  • Shared coach arrival transfer from Narita Airport to Tokyo hotel
  • Departure taxi from Kyoto hotel to Kyoto Station
  • Luggage transfer as per itinerary

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and doemstic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Departure transfer (you will use your JR Pass)
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Optional excursions
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire. The above departures are guaranteed to operate with at least 1 traveller booked Single travellers are welcome to join this tour. You can choose the option of "willing to share" and share a room with another same-sex traveller or pay the single supplement for a private room.

Note: It is compulsory to have comprehensive travel insurance on this itinerary (additional charge).

TB TRAVELITOK17SG: HOJC
22 Jan 2018
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