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Japan Zen & Wellness

Duration
10 Days
Prices:
On request

Delve into Zen Buddhism and meditation on this journey to Japan. Venturing your way through the country, you’ll visit Buddhist temples and learn about Zen traditions in Kyoto, stay in a mountaintop monastery on Mt. Koya, soak in mountain views in Hakone, and finally delve into the food and culture of Tokyo.


A 10-day Japanese vacation that takes you on a spiritual journey through Kyoto, Mt. Koya, Hakone, and Tokyo. It features first-class accommodations including a stay at a Buddhist temple and in a ryokan, a mix of private and shared tours, and is a great wellness escape to Japan.

Your journey begins in Kyoto, Japan’s former imperial capital and most beautiful city. Kyoto is Japan’s spiritual centre and a quiet city full of temples, gardens, and startling greenery. One day in Kyoto, you’ll delve into the city’s spiritual history. Start with an introduction to Zen meditation before heading to Chion-in to learn about Pure Land Buddhism and admire the grounds around Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine. End the day in the samurai district of Gion where you’ll take part in a tea ceremony in a traditional teahouse. The next day in Kyoto is at leisure to see the sights such as the thousand vermillion gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine or the sparkling walls of Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion.

From Kyoto, head southeast and journey up Mt. Koya, the centre of Shingon Buddhism, one of Japan’s most important national traditions. Ride the cable car up the mountain and immerse yourself in the traditions of Japanese Buddhism with a stay at a shukubo, a Buddhist temple lodge. In addition to taking part in Buddhist rituals, you’ll feast on shojin ryori, which is traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, learn about the mountain’s legends in the company of a monk guide, and witness the ceremony of Shojingu, where the monks present food at the mausoleum of Shingon’s founder, Kobo Daishi.

After exploring the mountaintop of Mt. Koya, connect  Osaka and continue to Hakone by train, where you’ll stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, with views of the Hakone Mountains. Enjoy a day at leisure in Hakone enjoying the peaceful environment and soak in views.

From Hakone, ride the train to Tokyo, Japan’s capital and one of the world’s most exciting megacities. One day, you’ll delve into all things sushi with a trip to the Tsukiji Outer Fish Market,. See the fresh fish before joining a sushi workshop to learn how to create sushi for yourself. The next day, you’ll enjoy a private blessing at Shitaya Shrine, located between the traditional districts of Ueno and Asakusa. The rest of your time in Tokyo is at leisure to explore the city as you see fit. Take a break from the busy streets in the garden outside the Imperial Palace, visit Meiji Jingu in Harajuku, or ride up to the top of the Tokyo Skytree to enjoy views over the city.

At the end of your stay, head to Haneda Airport to depart.


 

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Duration
10 Days
Prices:
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map View Trip Special

Day 1

Osaka Kansai Airport to Kyoto Hotel by Airport Bus with Meet and Greet

Duration2 Hours

Cross Hotel Kyoto

Cross Hotel Kyoto is adjacent to Kawaramachi and Kiyamachi streets in the heart of shopping and gourmet district, yet guests will find a variety of must see heritage sites within walking distance.
Nearest train stations of Keihan Line, Subway Tozai Line and Hankyu Line are no more than ten-minute walk away from the hotel.
This property is a great travel hub to explore the beauty of this ancient capital of Japan.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Cross Hotel Kyoto

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Cross Hotel Kyoto



    Cross Hotel Kyoto is adjacent to Kawaramachi and Kiyamachi streets in the heart of shopping and gourmet district, yet guests will find a variety of must see heritage sites within walking distance. Nearest train stations of Keihan Line, Subway Tozai Line and Hankyu Line are …

    Cross Hotel Kyoto is adjacent to Kawaramachi and Kiyamachi streets in the heart of shopping and gourmet district, yet guests will find a variety of must see heritage sites within walking distance.
    Nearest train stations of Keihan Line, Subway Tozai Line and Hankyu Line are no more than ten-minute walk away from the hotel.
    This property is a great travel hub to explore the beauty of this ancient capital of Japan.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Concierge
    • Free WiFi
    • Laundry Service
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 2

Private Full Day Spiritual Kyoto Tour

This morning experience the quintessential Japanese enlightenment experience - Zazen (Zen meditation). Your guide will meet you at your hotel this morning and take you to a Zen temple, where you can learn the basics of the same-seated meditation style that led the Buddha to Enlightenment! After Zazen, head to Chion-in Temple, the head temple of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect of Japanese Buddhism, which has millions of followers and is one the most popular Buddhist sects in Japan. The Sanmon Gate, Chion-in's main entrance gate is the largest wooden gate in Japan and dates back to the early 1600s. From Chion-in walk through Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine, one of Kyoto's most popular Shinto Shrines. Your spiritual day finishes with a Tea Ceremony in a Gion teahouse. Your Tea Master will give you a full explanation of Japanese tea as well as the tea ceremony itself, its long history and relationship with Zen Buddhism. The Master will also tell you the meaning behind each movement involved in the making and serving of the tea, as well as the equipment involved.

Duration9 Hours
Day 3

Day at Leisure

Today is totally free and at leisure. You can take advantage of any optional activities available or simply relax.

Day 4

Kyoto to Mt. Koya

Mt. Koya (Koyasan) and its surroundings are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to over 100 temples, Mt. Koya has been the center of Buddhism Shingon, an important Buddhist sect, for over 1200 years. The 2.5 hour journey to the mountaintop religious center of Mt. Koya will be one of the highlights of the visit. You will take several local trains winding your way up through the mountains. The final ascent to the top of Mt. Koya is made by cable car.

Make your own way to Mt. Koya and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure to explore the mountain.

Tonight you will be staying at a shukubo - a Buddhist temple lodging. These rooms are comfortable, but simple and not luxurious. However, this is the best way to immerse yourself in the authentic, spiritual atmosphere of Mt. Koya.

Dinner tonight is shojin ryori, a traditional Buddhist cuisine. This vegetarian meal is not only healthy but delicious!

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Shukubo Buddhist Temple Lodging

More Info

Location View map
  • starstar

    Shukubo Buddhist Temple Lodging



    Temple lodging is simple and comfortable, but not luxurious. A temple stay is the ideal way to immerse yourself in the monastic life and mystical traditions of Koyasan. Please note that washroom/bath facilities are usually shared.

    Temple lodging is simple and comfortable, but not luxurious. A temple stay is the ideal way to immerse yourself in the monastic life and mystical traditions of Koyasan. Please note that washroom/bath facilities are usually shared.

    More Details

Day 5

Mt. Koya to Osaka

It will be an early start today to watch the monks chant their morning prayers, followed by a shojin ryori breakfast.

After breakfast, store your luggage at your hotel and then make your way to the meeting point to meet your guide (who is also a monk) for an exciting half day private tour. During the tour, the monk will show you some of the interesting and significant historical sites in Okunoin cemetery and talk about the legends of Mt. Koya, daily life in the temple and the history of the mountain.

After exploring the historical sites in the cemetery, you will have the opportunity to see a ritual ceremony called the Shojingu, in which monks bringing food to their master, the great monk Kobo Daishi. Kobo Daishi founded the temples of Koyasan in the 12th century and is believed to be alive, and praying for people's salvation deep within his mausoleum. You can also visit his mausoleum and its underground prayer room as well as the Torodo Hall, filled with hundreds of lanterns offered by the emperor and royal family.

Your guide will then show you through a hidden forest area called the ''Women Pilgrims Route'' which is said to be the most beautiful trail on Mt. Koya. The forest is just behind Okunoin, but hidden in such a way that only those in the know can find the path. The walk is very easy, just 20 - 30 minutes and very little incline. You'll also be treated to some panoramic views from a private terrace at the end of the walk.

Lunch will be a ''Sasazushi bento'' which is the local cuisine of Koyasan. ''Sasazushi'' is beautifully wrapped sushi in a bamboo leaf. Hot drinks like green tea and coffee will be provided. After the tour, your guide will leave you anywhere you wish to explore within the Koyasan area. Your train back to the Nankai line station in central Osaka is included in the pass provided (please let us know if your next destination is not Osaka) and you can make the journey at any time you wish after the tour this morning.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Kyoto to Hakone - 2nd class Nozomi

Duration2 Hours

Hakone Ginyu Ryokan

All the guest rooms have an open-air bath on the terrace and dinner is served in the dining room of each guest room so that guests can leisurely enjoy the stay with the breathtaking view of Hayakawa ravine. The guests can also enjoy three other types of open-air baths in communal baths with the view of Hakone Mountains.

Meal Plan Half Board (Breakfast + Dinner)
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hakone Ginyu Ryokan

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hakone Ginyu Ryokan



    All the guest rooms have an open-air bath on the terrace and dinner is served in the dining room of each guest room so that guests can leisurely enjoy the stay with the breathtaking view of Hayakawa ravine. The guests can also enjoy three other …

    All the guest rooms have an open-air bath on the terrace and dinner is served in the dining room of each guest room so that guests can leisurely enjoy the stay with the breathtaking view of Hayakawa ravine. The guests can also enjoy three other types of open-air baths in communal baths with the view of Hakone Mountains.

    Facilities

    • Internet Access
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 6

Day at Leisure

Today is totally free and at leisure. You can take advantage of any optional activities available or simply relax.

Day 7

Hakone to Tokyo - 2nd class Nozomi

Duration1 Hour

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

The Keio Plaza Hotel is the ideal location to explore the delights of the city of Tokyo. Only minutes away from the most popular shopping and entertainment spots, the luxury hotel provides stunning views over central Tokyo. The Keio Plaza Hotel offers a wide variety of home-away-from-home hospitality, with 1,435 guest rooms to choose from to accommodate your every need. Located in Shinjuku, in the very heart of the Tokyo metropolis, the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo extends top rated services and facilities, features that guests come to expect of a world class hotel.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo



    The Keio Plaza Hotel is the ideal location to explore the delights of the city of Tokyo. Only minutes away from the most popular shopping and entertainment spots, the luxury hotel provides stunning views over central Tokyo. The Keio Plaza Hotel offers a wide variety …

    The Keio Plaza Hotel is the ideal location to explore the delights of the city of Tokyo. Only minutes away from the most popular shopping and entertainment spots, the luxury hotel provides stunning views over central Tokyo. The Keio Plaza Hotel offers a wide variety of home-away-from-home hospitality, with 1,435 guest rooms to choose from to accommodate your every need. Located in Shinjuku, in the very heart of the Tokyo metropolis, the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo extends top rated services and facilities, features that guests come to expect of a world class hotel.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Bellman/Porters
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Massage Treatments
    • Medical Services
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Secretarial Service
    • Spa

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 8

Tsukiji Outer Fish Market and Sushi Workshop Half Day Tour with Lunch

This morning, transfer to Tsukiji Shijo Station and proceed on foot to the bustling Tsukiji Outer Fish Market, where some 450 kinds of fish are received, haggled over and sold 24 hours a day. After exploring the market, join a professional sushi chef to make your own sushi, and enjoy your creations for lunch!

Duration4 Hours
Day 9

Private Shrine Blessing in Tokyo

On this exclusive experience you will meet a priest from a real practicing Shinto shrine and receive their blessing! At Shitaya Shrine, which lies halfway between the popular sightseeing districts of Ueno and Asakusa, you can enjoy a short blessing for safe travels, good fortune or any matter where you feel you may need a nudge from a higher power. A guide will join you for interpretation, so this gives you the chance to ask the priest any burning questions you may have about Shintoism.

Duration2 Hours
Day 10

Tokyo Hotel to Tokyo Haneda Airport by Airport Bus

Duration2 Hours

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Round trip airport transfers
  • 9 nights’ accommodation including:

    • 1 night in a Buddhist temple lodge
  • 2nd class Nozomi Osaka - Hakone-Tokyo
  • Private Full Day Spiritual Kyoto Tour
  • Half Day Tsukiji Outer Fish Market and Sushi Workshop Tour
  • Half Day Private tour in Mt. Koya
  • Half Day Private Shrine Blessing in Tokyo
  • Daily breakfast, except on day 1, 1 lunch and 3 dinners

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Items of a personal nature

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

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6 Dec 2020
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