Hosted Seat-in-Coach Itinerary arriving in Tokyo and departing Osaka
7 Nights/8 Days – Departures (arrival in Tokyo) – March 23, 25, 28, 30; April 01, 04, 06, 08
Arrive Tokyo – Day 1 and 2
Upon your arrival at Narita Airport you will be met and assisted to your transportation to the city and your accommodations at SHIBA PARK HOTEL or similar. Get ready for the exciting days ahead discovering the cherry blossoms in the “Land of the Rising Sun.” On your second day board your bus tour and explore the bustling capital of Japan with your expert guide. See the Imperial Palace, National Diet Building, and Kabuzika Theatre. Discover the Tsukiji Outer Fish Market and Tokyo Skytree Town surrounding the landmark of the city by the same name. Visit Sensoji Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Kannon, and walk the famous Nakamise shopping street. You’ll have free time after your tour to explore more of the city on your own.
Tokyo – Mt. Fuji & Hakone – Day 3
Depart Tokyo by bus and head to Mt. Fuji 5th Station, situated at 7546 feet above sea level. Admire breathtaking views and look for the cherry blossoms from this vantage point before enjoying your Japanese-style lunch. Cruise Lake Ashi, formed nearly 3000 years ago along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mt. Hakone. The views of Mt. Fuji from the lake can be superb. Take a ropeway ride to the peak of Mt. Komagatake where you will have time to walk around and take a cable car to the spiritual Hakone Shrine that nestles at the mountaintop. Spend the night at YUMOTO FUJIYA HOTEL or similar.
Hakone – Takayama – Day 4
Transfer to the Odawara train station this morning for your rail journey to tranquil Takayama via Nagoya. Lose yourself in Old Japan in this beautifully preserved town in the Hida Mountains. Your first stop is at the Yatai Kaikan where you will view some of the colorful and intricately made floats that are used in the famous Takayama Festival. Visit the Kusakabe Heritage House, the unforgettable Edo-style merchants’ house that is home to a range of exquisite folk art and handicrafts. Catch a glimpse into the past as you wander down Kami-Sannomachi, a street lined with Edo period buildings in Takayama’s old quarter. Arrive at your overnight accommodations at HIDA HOTEL PLAZA or similar.
Takayama – Kanazawa – Day 5
Peruse the colorful marketplace before winding up your Takayama exploration in Shirakawa-go. With its 25 authentic village houses, the restored “learning village” and UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a window into the rural lives of farmers. Visit Wada Residence, the oldest and largest remaining traditional house in the village. After a delicious Japanese lunch, travel on to Kanazawa where you’ll settle into your overnight accommodations at HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar.
Kanazawa – Kyoto – Day 6
This morning, begin your sightseeing of Kanazawa with a visit to the Nagamachi Samurai District, where the earthen walls, waterways, and stone paths remain as they were when samurai of the Kaga domain resided here. Then be amazed by the “garden perfection” achieved at Kenrokuen Garden, one of the top three beautiful Japanese gardens. Spend time in the Higashi Chaya district, where wooden-latticed exteriors of tea houses line both sides of the stone-paved street, before departing by train for Kyoto and your accommodations at KYOTO TOKYU HOTEL or similar.
Kyoto – Day 7
Explore the former imperial capital city of Kyoto, the center of Japanese culture for over 1,000 years. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it rivals Kanazawa as one of the best preserved cities in Japan with more than 200 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Visit the striking golden Kinkaku-Ji Temple, Nijo Castle, and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Delight in a Japanese or Western Buffet lunch and then continue with your exploration of the city. Admire the stunning Heian Jingu Shrine, with its characteristic red architecture, built to celebrate the 1100 year anniversary of the founding of Kyoto. See Sanjusangen-do Temple, the world’s longest wooden structure, housing 1,001 life-sized statues of Buddhist Kannon deities dating back to the 13th century. And enjoy a superb view of cherry blossoms from the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Kiyomizu-dera Temple. This evening you will be free to sample typical Japanese cuisine from a wide range of restaurants before you prepare for your departure.
Departure – Day 8
Bid farewell to Kyoto as you are assisted in your transport to Kansai International Airport for your return flight home or to your next destination.
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