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Discover the essence of Japan on a journey of discovery from iconic Tokyo to Takayama and Kyoto.
At Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Shrine, climb the extraordinary path lined with hundreds of orange torii gates that snake through the forest up into the mountains above the city. Indulge in a delicious kaiseki lunch at a traditional ryokan and gain insight into Japanese customs. Marvel at the majestic Mt. Fuji and its Five Lakes District. Explore the buzzing city of Tokyo and immerse yourself into the Japanese modern life.
Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
Hand-picked Insider Experiences
Optional Experiences and free time
Porterage and local charges included
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
CONNECT WITH LOCALS
A kaiseki lunch at a traditional Japanese ryokan home near Kyoto where you will learn about local customs. (Day 7)
DIVE INTO CULTURE
Sample Japanese sake during a walking tour in the Edo-style streets of Takayama Old Town. Learn how local artisans make Japanese washi paper in the UNESCO village of Gokayama. (Day 5)
Sushi making in Tokyo (Day 3) and Gold Leaf painting in Kanazawa (Day 6).
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
by supporting a local business with a visit to a washi paper workshop. You'll watch the family at work, and test your paper-making skills for yourself. (Day 5)
- CITY TOUR of Tokyo and Kyoto
- SEE the traditional Gassho-zukuri houses in Gokayama, the beautiful gardens of Kenrokuen in Kanazawa
- VIEW Mt. Fuji
- VISIT the Edo Tokyo Museum, the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Mt. Fuji 5th Station, the Kinkakuji Temple, Sanjusangen-do Hall, Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
Day 1- ARRIVE TOKYO
Your in-depth exploration of Japan begins in Tokyo. Take a shuttle bus transfer to your centrally located hotel, where you'll join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers.
Day 2 - TOKYO SIGHTSEEING
We launch our City Tour in the old-time entertainment centre of Asakusa, where you'll encounter the Sensoji Buddhist Temple Strolling down Nakamise next, you immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of shitamachi (downtown Tokyo), admiring the wooden dolls, colourful chiyogami (origami paper) and traditional Japanese sweets.
Day 3 - TOKYO - LAKE YAMANAKAKO
Your first stop today is the Imperial Palace Plaza from where the two bridges that form the entrance to the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace can be viewed. At the Edo-Tokyo Museum, you delve into the history and culture of Tokyo's Edo era, then continue to the Ginza district where you'll learn how to make sushi with a 'Local Specialist'. You venture to the Five Lakes District next, keeping a keen eye out for the UNESCO listed Mt. Fuji which dominates the landscape.
Day 4 - LAKE YAMANAKAKO - MT. FUJI - TAKAYAMA
Visit Oshino Hakkai, a small rural village in the Fuji Five Lakes district, renowned for eight natural spring water ponds that are fed by melted snow from Mt. Fuji. Ride up Mt. Tenjo on the Kachikachiyama Ropeway next, for jaw-dropping views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko.
Day 5 - TAKAYAMA - GOKAYAMA - KANAZAWA
Immerse yourself in tradition as you walk through the Edo-style streets of Takayama's Old Town. Journey back in time this afternoon during a visit to the peaceful UNESCO-listed Gokayama, a mountain village set amidst five valleys. Next, meet a local family in one of these houses, then 'Dive into Culture' observing local artisans making washi paper and trying your hand at making your own.
Day 6 -KANAZAWA SIGHTSEEING
Join a 'Local Specialist' this morning to learn the secrets of painting gold leaf, a delicate craft the Japanese have been perfecting since the 16th century. Continue to the tranquil gardens of Kenroku-en, shaped over a hundred years to emerge as one of Japan's most beautiful gardens. Visit the Nagamachi District with its beautifully preserved samurai houses that line the traditional stone streets. Here you will gain first-hand insights into samurai life during a visit to the Nomura house, an elegant samurai mansion.
Day 7 - KANAZAWA - KYOTO
Board an Express train this morning to Kyoto, where you'll 'Connect with Locals' at a traditional ryokan, built in 1932 to serve as the second residence of Emperor Akihito's uncle. Enjoy a Be My Guest lunch and learn about local Japanese customs as your hosts welcome you into their beautiful home. After lunch, visit the UNESCO-listed Kinkakuji Temple with its famous Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion), the proud symbol of Kyoto and a Zen temple.
Day 8 - KYOTO SIGHTSEEING
The blazing orange torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine guide your path through the forest, up into the mountains and to a sacred site that has heard prayers for prosperity and happiness since the 8th century. Continue to Sanjusangen-do Hall and admire the minute detail of each of its 1,001 "thousand-handed" goddesses of mercy, then enjoy a walking tour of the Gion area.
Day 9 -DEPART KYOTO/OSAKA
Take a transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight.
- New Otani Garden Tower
- Fuji Marriott Yamanakako
- Associa Takayama Resort
- Kanazawa Tokyu
- Nikko Princess Kyoto
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