TOKYO 59ºF - 64ºF
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 59ºF - 64ºF
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 59ºF - 64ºF - MONT FUJI - KAWAGUCHIKO
We travel to the beautiful area of Monte Fuji, through pretty countryside on our way. First of all we see the ARAKURAYAMA SENGEN PARK, with its beautiful pagodas, and from here enjoy the best and most well-known views of Mount Fuji. After this we go on to KAWAGUCHIKO with its tiny houses, flowers and mountains, and its beautiful lake. On our arrival, we will visit the FUJI SENGEN SHRINE set in a magical site surrounded by tall trees, and the starting point of the traditional pilgrimage to the mountain. At the shrine, we will express our thanks for being able to visit this wonderful place. The visit also includes a delightful boat trip on Kawaguchiko Lake. After lunch, we start to ascend Mount Fuji on the road that takes us to the “fifth station”, surrounded by spectacular forests and views, to a height of 2,305 metres. Note: In winter, the route up to Mount Fuji is closed due to snow or other adverse weather conditions; during this season, we will ascend as far as the authorised point. 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.(NB: 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 63ºF - 64ºF - KYOTO 61ºF - 66ºF
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 61ºF - 66ºF
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 61ºF - 66ºF - TSUMAGO - MATSUMOTO 57ºF - 61ºF - NAGANO 66ºF - 66ºF
We set out for TSUMAGO, passing attractive country scenery on our way. This small village with its wooden houses is one of the prettiest places in Japan. Free time to explore and lunch included. Then we continue to MATSUMOTO, a tourist city, where we will visit the impressive 16th century castle, known as the “Crow Castle”. Free time to explore this bustling tourist city. We continue to NAGANO, accommodation.
NAGANO 66ºF - 66ºF - MONKEY PARK - KASATSU 61ºF - 64ºF - IKAHO
In NAGANO we will see the Zenko-ji, a place of pilgrimage with the first Buddhist image in Japan. Our travellers will be included the Gomakuyo ceremony to bring luck. After this, we will travel to the beautiful Japanese Alps and in the mountains we will go to the JIGOKUDANI Monkey Park, where we will include lunch and stroll amidst its forests with its rivers and spa waters where colonies of Japanese macaques live and bathe. After this, very beautiful high mountain scenery (we go up to 2,172 metres), passing semi-active volcanoes. KUSATSU, an attractive spa town, its main square full of life. We will include attendance at a Yumomi show, with its actresses and singing telling us about the traditional method used to cool the spa waters. We follow this with a walk in the city park which has the open air Onsen. Then on to IKAHO, a picturesque spa town where we will stroll in its ancient centre with its staircase streets. We will stay at a RYOKAN, a Japanese style hotel where we will continue to enjoy its baths. Traditional Japanese dinner included. NB: In the autumn, depending on the amount of fruit in the mountains, the movement of the monkeys is unpredictable. If the macaques do not come down to the park, it may be closed. The visit to Kusatsu and the Yumoni show are cancelled due to the weather from November to April.
IKAHO - NIKKO 54ºF - 54ºF - SENDAI 61ºF - 70ºF
We continue on our way to NIKKO. In this fantastic town, we will visit the impressive Toshogu shrine with its outstanding room where the clapper of a priest suggests the sound of a crying dragon. We will also visit Taiyuin-byo Mausoleum, a site surrounded by peaceful scenery. We will go for a stroll along the river in Kanmangafuchi, under the attentive watch of hundreds of Jizo statues! We will enjoy some free time in the city’s centre before departing for SENDAI, a modern, bustling city with more than 1 million inhabitants. You will have a chance to stroll around and have supper in its lively centre.
SENDAI 61ºF - 70ºF - MATSUSHIMA 61ºF - 61ºF - HIRAIZUMI 66ºF - 66ºF - MORIOKA 66ºF - 66ºF
We depart for the marvellous city of MATSHUSHIMA, on the “Thousand Islands” Bay in the Pacific Ocean and considered one of the most attractive cities in Japan. After arriving, we will visit a magnificent “tea house” overlooking the sea and enjoy a cup of traditional tea while our guide tells us about the city. Then we will go on a 50-minute cruise (included). Lunch included. We continue to HIRAIZUMI to visit its temples and the UNESCO World Heritage. In a first step we visit the magnificent Buddhist temples of Chusonji. We take time to relax in the gardens of Motsuiji temple, where passengers can take part in a Zen ceremony (admission included). Finally, we will know Site of Takkoku no Iwaya, carved in the rock in 801. We then carry on to MORIOKA, the pleasant capital of Iwate province, where we settle in at our hotel and have some free time to explore.
MORIOKA 66ºF - 66ºF - HIROSAKI 57ºF - 72ºF - AOMORI 57ºF - 59ºF - HAKODATE 55ºF - 55ºF
In a region of beautiful scenery, we travel to HIROSAKI, where we will visit its castle in a beautiful park where more than 2,500 cherry trees blossom in the spring. After this we go on to AOMORI, the provincial capital of the Bay of Mutsu. We will see the Nebuta Museum where we will learn about the Japanese traditional parties that remind us of carnival, with their painted and lit up floats. Lunch included in a local restaurant. Then we board the ferry to HOKKAIDO Island. The crossing takes just over three and a half hours. HAKODATE –Arrival-. Before going to our hotel, we will ascend Mount Hakodate, which has wonderful views. We make the descent by cable car. Time in the beautiful city pedestrian centre in which to admire the influence of other cultures in the city (Russian Orthodox and Christian churches).
HAKODATE 55ºF - 55ºF - ONUMA - NOBORIBETSU 45ºF - 45ºF - SAPPORO 50ºF - 52ºF
In the morning we visit the impressive and busy fish market. Then we climb the GORYOKAKU Tower with its impressive views, from where we can make out the star-shaped fortress of Hakodate. Then we will take a stroll through the castle area before continuing to ONUMA. Free time in this wonderful tourist site, with its countless small islands in which to explore the islands, go on a boat trip and have lunch included. In the afternoon our journey takes us towards the ocean and NOBORIBETSU, an impressive volcano site, where we can walk amidst geysers in Jigoku Dani (Hell’s Valley), admire the hot spring lake of Oyunuma and follow the path next to the hot spring to the site of the footbath.- Then we carry on to SAPPORO.- At the end of the day, we arrive at this beautiful city, the capital of North Japan.-
SAPPORO 50ºF - 52ºF
City tour (included) stopping at the clock tower and Odori Koen avenue-park, dominated by the telecommunications tower. We will see the beautiful Shinto shrine of Hokkaido Jingu. The visit includes a ceremonial Kito (prayer session) in which we give thanks for the journey. We will leave Sapporo, we know the HILL OF BUDDHA, new center of avant-garde architecture opened in 2015, the hill covered with lavenders keeps the giant statue of Buddha, in the complex we will also see the replica of the statues Moai (Easter Island). We then continue to OTARU, a small city with a European air and streets filled with shops, an old canal and tiny museums. Lunch included. We return to Sapporo at about 4.30 hrs. Free time in the afternoon.
SAPPORO 50ºF - 52ºF
After breakfast, end of our services.
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