TOKYO 37ºF - 46ºF
Welcome to Japan! Transfer by coach (SHUTTLE BUS) to hotel. 18H30.- Meeting with guide. Late in the afternoon, we will pay a visit to this fascinating country by taking a trip on the metro (tickets included) to the Shinjuku district and see the crowds of people who use this modern and efficient collective transport system. Shinjuku is one of the most important nightlife districts. Dinner included and return to hotel by metro with our guide.
TOKYO 37ºF - 46ºF
In the morning, we take part in a 5-hour trip with our guide to see this amazing city, with its hustle and bustle and extremely modern districts that coexist with quiet, peaceful areas. Brief stop at the Zojoji Temple to make a beautiful photograph of the Tokyo Tower. Pay attention to the hundred of Jizos, stone traditional protecting deities who guide us on our travels, give power to those who are weak (such children) and those in dangerous places, and who are dressed including hats, robes and windmills. Then we head to the junction of Shibuya, a junction that is said to be the most crowded in the world. The Meiji Temple is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji, his wife, and their spirits. We continue on our bus along the elegant street of Omotesando. We will edge the most beautiful part of the Imperial Palace and the gardens. Stop to visit the famous Nijubashi Bridge. We will pass through the district of Akihabara, the “electric town” with icons from the popular Japanese Manga and Anime culture and then see Kokugikan, the Sumo stadium, home of this Japanese sport. We will also visit the Buddhist temple of Sensoji, the oldest and most important temple in Tokyo, with its 55-metre high pagoda. Then we will have some free time to visit the traditional commercial street of Nakamise in the district of Asakusa. Lunch included in a local restaurant. Return to hotel.Free time in the afternoon. NOTE: During the Japanese Olympics, accommodation may be given near Narita airport.
TOKYO 37ºF - 46ºF - KAMAKURA 39ºF - 46ºF - ODAWARA 43ºF - 46ºF - GORA 41ºF - 43ºF
We will leave Tokyo for KAMAKURA. This “oasis of peace” for two centuries was the capital of Japan, and treasures numerous sanctuaries, temples and gardens. In the Zen temple of Hokoku-ji we will stroll through its bamboo forest (admission included) and we can have a green tea. We also see Sugimoto-dera, the oldest temple in the city, founded in 734. Time in the pleasant city centre before seeing the Great Buddha (Daibutsu - admission included). Our route is subsequently one of scenic beauty following the Pacific Ocean. Free time for lunch and a stroll in ENOSHIMA, a small island in the ocean connected by a bridge. We continue to ODAWARA; here we include admission to the castle, an imposing medieval fortress (restored in the twentieth century) from the Edo era, one of Japan´s main castles. Accommodation.
GORA 41ºF - 43ºF - MONT FUJI - KAWAGUCHIKO
Today´s stage is spectacular traveling to the beautiful area of Hakone, a region of lakes and mountains near Mount Fuji. We start the day going up OWAKUDANI, the “hell valley”, steam boiler, bubbling mud and sulphurous gases (Note: Access is sometimes closed due to high volcanic activity or toxic gases, in which case we would include the arakurayama sengen park). After that we go on to OSHINO HAKKAI, a small, picturesque village with 8 ponds and views of Mount Fuji. We continue to KAWAGUCHIKO, an idyllic city of small houses, flowers and mountains next to its beautiful lake, where we include a beautiful boat trip. Later we start to climb Mount Fuji where, on the road that takes us to the “fifth station” amidst spectacular forests and views, we reach a height of 2305 metres. Note: In winter, the climb to Mount Fuji is often closed by snow or other weather conditions; if this is so, we will go as far as we are authorised.Return to Kawaguchiko, with time to stroll near the lake. We will stay at a Ryokan (a traditional Japanese hotel), and have the chance to enjoy its ONSEN (public baths). Dinner included.Note: In the planned Ryokan, some rooms are in Japanese style, with accommodation on tatamis, and others are in western-style. Accommodation may sometimes be in a western type hotel.
KAWAGUCHIKO - IYASHI NO SATO NENBA - TOYOTA 41ºF - 45ºF - KYOTO 36ºF - 43ºF
We are only 130km (81 miles) from KYOTO. In the morning, we continue along the pretty road bordered by lakes to IYASHI NO SATO NENBA, a tiny village destroyed by a typhoon in 1966 and later restored as a traditional open-air mountain village and museum. Its traditional houses have been transformed into arts and crafts shops, restaurants and traditional museums. We then have the opportunity to admire the SHIRAITO FALLS, considered done of the most attractive sites in Japan, with a waterfall height of 150 metres. We will then continue to NAGOYA, the third most important city of Japan, on the shores of the Pacific. Here we will visit the TOYOTA MUSEUM (admission included), a must-see for motor lovers. We continue to KYOTO, accomodation.
KYOTO 36ºF - 43ºF
We spend all day in the city that was the capital of Japan from the year 794 to 1868 and home to the Imperial Court. During World War II the city was the only major Japanese to escape the bombardments, and so it still preserves its wealth of artistic heritage; the famous protocol restricting greenhouse gas emissions was signed in Kyoto in 1997. We head for the outskirts of Kyoto to Arashiyama, where we cross the Togetsukyo Bridge ("bridge over the moon"), which has fantastic views. We will visit the Tenryuji temple, one of the "five major Zen temples of Kyoto" and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, followed by a walk through its mystic bamboo forest. The visit includes a trip to one of the most important parts of the city. We will see the marvellous Shinto Shrine of Fushimi Inari, the Imperial Palace and Kinkakuji temple, “the golden pavilion” and its wonderful gardens. Free time before visiting GION, a busy traditional quarter famous for its Geisha. Free time.
KYOTO 36ºF - 43ºF - NARA 36ºF - 41ºF - OSAKA 36ºF - 45ºF
We leave for NARA and visit Todaiji, a magnificent Buddhist temple built in 752, which has a giant Buddha and where passengers can take photos and touch and feed the deer that wander through the park. Lunch included. After the visit, we will see HORYUJI Buddhist temple, a World Heritage Site that includes a seminary, monasteries and temples. Its main pagoda temple is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world and is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan and an important place of worship. We continue to OSAKA, where we arrive in the evening. Accommodation in this modern city (Japan’s second city). We will visit Dotonbori, a colourful district filled with nightlife.
OSAKA 36ºF - 45ºF - HIMEJI 43ºF - 43ºF - KORAKUEN GARDENS - OKAYAMA 39ºF - 46ºF
We leave for HIMEJI, where we will include entry to its immense complex that shows us the architecture of Japanese castles. Lunch included in a local restaurant. We go on to OKAYAMA, where we will visit Korakuen, one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, with its lakes, waterfalls and traditional teahouses. Next, we head towards the Shinto shrine of Kibitsu-Jinja where the God Kibitsuhiko-no-Mikoto is venerated, which is the origin of the legend of Momotaro, symbol of Okayama Prefecture. We find a unique architecture with a corridor of 360 meters long. After the visit, free time in the city, active provincial capital of just over 700,000 inhabitants.
OKAYAMA 39ºF - 46ºF - KURASHIKI 39ºF - 46ºF - ITSUKUSHIMA - HIROSHIMA 43ºF - 45ºF
We leave for KURASHIKI, a city with a very well preserved historical centre. Time for a stroll in this charming place with its atmosphere from the past. We continue on our way to HIROSHIMA, a city sadly known for the atomic bomb that fell on it in 1945 and which levelled the city. We will stroll around the Peace Memorial, the Dome of the bomb and we will visit the impressive Museum of Peace. After the war we will seek peace by embarking on a ferry to the island “where men and gods live together”, with the sanctuary of ITSUKUSHIMA dedicated to the guardian of the seas, built partially over the sea. Time to visit the temple, to stroll around its pretty centre and have lunch. Return to our hotel in Hiroshima. Dinner included.Note: The order of the visits in Hiroshima may vary without affecting their content.
HIROSHIMA 43ºF - 45ºF
After breakfast, end of our services.
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