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Hosted Seat-in-Coach Itinerary arriving in Tokyo and departing Osaka in the usual season of Cherry Blossoms
8 Nights/9 Days – 2022 Departures (arrival in Tokyo) – March 15, 19, 20, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29 30, 31, April 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Arrive Tokyo – Days 1, 2 and 3
Upon your arrival at Narita Airport you will be met and assisted to your transportation to the city and your hotel. Get ready for the exciting days ahead and admire the cherry blossoms in the “Land of the Rising Sun.”
On your second day board your SMALL GROUP tour and explore the bustling capital of Japan with your expert guide. See the Imperial Palace Garden, formerly the private garden of the Royal Family. Visit Tokyo Tower and admire the 360-degree panoramic view from the main floor. Discover Sensoji Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Kannon and walk the famous Nakamise shopping street.
On day three, you’ll have a free day to explore more of the city on your own or with optional arrangements. Ask us for suggestions.
Accommodations at KEIO PLAZA HOTEL or similar.
Tokyo – Mt. Fuji & Hakone – Day 4
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, and take in the mountain views. Ascend by ropeway to the peak of Mt. Komagatake and then take a cable car to the spiritual Hakone Shrine that nestles at the mountaintop. Spend the night at YUMOTO FUJIYA HOTEL or similar.
Hakone – Kyoto – Nara – Day 5
Transfer to the Odawara train station this morning for your rail journey to Kyoto, arriving in time for lunch.
In the afternoon, take a group tour to beautiful Nara Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Todai-ji Temple, the symbol of the Nara Period and one of the world’s largest wooden structures. Its huge main hall and bronze Great Buddha are truly impressive. Then make your way to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine. The free-roaming deer of Nara Park are thought to be the shrine messengers. Spend some free time in the park and then return to Kyoto and your overnight accommodations at MIYAKO HOTEL or similar.
Kyoto – Day 6
Explore the former imperial capital and the center of Japanese culture for over 1,000 years. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kyoto is one of the best preserved cities in Japan with more than 200 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Visit the golden Kinkaku-Ji Temple, Nijo Castle, and Kyoto Imperial Palace.
After a Japanese or Western Buffet lunch, continue your tour of the city. Admire the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine with its stunning rows of torii gates. See Sanjusangen-do Temple, the world’s longest wooden structure with 1,001 13th-century, life-sized statues of Buddhist Kannon deities. And enjoy a superb view of cherry blossoms from UNESCO World Heritage Site – Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Overnight accommodations at MIYAKO KYOTO HOTEL or similar.
Kyoto – Hiroshima – Kyoto – Day 7
This morning, depart from Kyoto Station to Hiroshima Station in your reserved seats on the Nozomi Shinkansen. Upon arrival, walk to the Hotel Granvia and join a tour of Hiroshima. Head to the Miyajima Port for the ferry to Miyajima Island and the Isukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in the 6th century, the shrine is one of Japan’s finest, and is famous for its Shinden-zukuri style structure. The contrast of the green of Mount Misen behind the lacquered shrine pavilion and the blue of the Seto Sea is beautiful and suggestive of the underwater palace of Ryugujo in Japanese folklore.
Return to Hiroshima by ferry and continue with your tour of the city, including the Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Established in 1949 after the ending of the Pacific War, you will soon see why this park is visited by so many travelers. Step inside the museum within the park which was built as a reminder to future generations of the devastation wrought by atomic bombs. See the Atomic Bomb Dome with its light to promote peace and elimination of atomic weapons around the world. After the visit, take the train back to Kyoto where you will be met and taken to your accommodations at MIYAKO KYOTO HOTEL or similar.
Kyoto – Day 8
Spend today at leisure to explore Kyoto as you wish. Perhaps you would like to visit the handicrafts, or participate in a Tea Ceremony, or take an excursion to the Bamboo Forest on the outskirts of the city. Ask us for suggestions and we can arrange as you wish. This evening you may wish to sample typical Japanese cuisine from a wide range of restaurants before you prepare for your departure. Accommodations at MIYAKO KYOTO HOTEL or similar.
Departure – Day 9
Bid farewell to Kyoto and transfer to Kansai International Airport for your return flight home or to your next destination.
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