Join our small group as we visit the bustling cities and small towns on this autumn tour of Japan. Highlights include Mt Fuji, Hiroshima, Osaka Castle, Gion Corner in Kyoto, Tea Ceremony, Kimono dressing, Cooking class, Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Matsumoto Castle, the UNESCO Heritage listed Village Shirakawa-go, Jigokudani Monkey Park to see the Snow Monkeys and much more.
Meet & greet at airport and transfer to Tokyo Hotel.
Sightseeing today of some of the major tourism parts of Tokyo including Metropolitan building for aerial view of the city, Asukusa Kannon and Nakamise Street, Imperial Palace and Meiji Shrine and the Oriental Bazaar of Omotasendo. Tonight a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Departing this morning on The Romance Train for a full day excursion to the Hakone Region. Enjoy views of Mt Fuji (weather permitting), enjoy a cruise on Lake Ashi and explore the Hokone Ropeway including a ride on the cable car. (B)
A free day today to explore the capital of Japan at your leisure. (B)
Today we travel to Nagano by Bullet Train where we will visit the Zenkoji Temple and food markets before enjoying the afternoon to explore. (B)
An exciting day as we travel to Yamanouchi to visit Jigokudani Monkey Park where the wild monkeys bathe in the park’s natural hot springs. (B)
Today we journey to the picturesque castle town of Matsumoto with its 400 year old castle nestled between the Japanese Alps and Utsukushigahara Heights. The region is famous for delicious apples and soba (buckwheat noodles) and the birthplace of the contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama as well as Suzuki music.
After breakfast we take our bus to the mountainous area of Takayama where we explore the Old Town, Takayama Shrine and the enchanting Higashiyama Walk. (B)
During the next 2 days we will explore the 18th century ambiance of this delightful area of Japan. Known for its handicraft techniques including lacquerware, carving and dyeing we will explore workshops and morning markets of this intriguing area. The historic streets preserve the atmosphere of the old Edo era town dating back to the early 17th century and the old buildings now house stores, restaurants, snack shops and galleries but maintain the ‘old town’ feel. (B)
More exploring and wandering through the ancient streets of Takayama today visiting Kokubungi Temple which was rebuilt in 1615 after the original was burnt down during civil wars. The huge 1200 year old gingko tree in the precincts has been designated a National Monument. (B)
Today we travel by bus to Kanazawa via the UNESCO Heritage listed village of Shirakawa-go in the Japanese Alps. The traditional farmhouses here are famous for their steep thatched roofs and the colours here in autumn are breathtaking. (B)
During our stay in Kanazawa we will visit the Kenrokuen Gardens including the castle, Seisonkaku built by the 13th Lord of the Maeda family, the Samurai Houses, Kutani pottery shops and the Omicho Markets which consist of 200 small shops selling mostly food in the narrow covered alleys. (B)
Today is a day of craft and culture. We will try our hand at Indigo dyeing and then at gold leaf imprinting followed by making sweets in the 400 year old sweets store finished off by a traditional tea ceremony. (B)
We travel by bullet train to Kyoto today where we will enjoy a wonderful cooking class before a relaxing night. (B)
A private guided tour today of Kyoto visiting the ‘must see’ places including the Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji, the Philosophers path and Silver Pavilion and Gardens and in the evening the famous Gion District. (B)
Travelling by rail this morning to the historic town of Nara we will enjoy a walking tour which includes a visit to the Nara Deer Park, the Todaji Temple and Kasuga Shrine. A chance today to dress in traditional Yakata style Kimono and enjoy a Tea Ceremony. (B)
Today you have a free day to explore Kyoto further or relax and enjoy your surrounds before our excursion to Hiroshima tomorrow. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
We travel by rail today to Hiroshima for a full day tour including the Peace Memorial Park with visits to Ground Zero, Miyajima Island, Itsukushima Shrine and Daishoin Temple before returning to Kyoto. (B)
Our first visit today is the imposing Osaka Castle which played a major role in the unification of Japan in the 16th century. Next a Tonbori river cruise followed by some retail therapy in the Tenjinbashisuji shopping street, the longest shopping street in Japan. A chance here to try the famous udon noodles. (B)
Today is yours to explore Osaka further or do some last minute shopping. In the evening we will gather for a farewell dinner together to share stories and remember our Japan adventures. (B,D)
This morning is at leisure to get any last minute souvenirs or last minute photos before our transfer to the airport for our homeward flight. (B)