Deluxe Asia Tour
Japan Discovery - 8 Days / 7 Nights
TOUR CODE TJ 2015-16
Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Takayama, Kanazawa, and Kyoto
Day 1 Tokyo
Arrive at Narita Airport and take a shuttle bus to our hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring this captivating city on your own. You will experience traditions combined with pop culture, skyscrapers with flashing neon lights, advanced technology, and local Japanese restaurants that offer great culinary experience.
Day 2 Tokyo
Spend a morning tour sightseeing and visiting landmarks such as the Tokyo Tower Observatory.
The tower was completed in the year 1958 as a symbol for Japan's rebirth as a major economic power. It serves as a television and radio broadcast antenna and tourist attraction here, and in the tower, you can definitely sneak a bird's eye view of Tokyo and Mt. Fuji.
Imperial Palace Plaza is still the current Imperial Palace residence of Japan's Imperial Family and located on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls. Explore Asakusa Kannon Temple (also known as Sensoji), the oldest temple in Tokyo. The temple is devoted to the bodhisattva Kannon. According to legend, a statue of the Kannon was found in the Sumida River in 628 by two fishermen, the brothers Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari. The chief of their village, Hajino Nakamoto, recognized the holiness of the statue and treasured it by remodeling his own house into a small temple so the villagers could worship the Kannon. Lastly, you'll visit the Nakamise Shopping Arcade, one of the oldest shopping centers in Japan. The street is coated with colorful, lively stalls selling traditional knick-knacks, festival foods and rice crackers. Afterwards, we will drive through Ueno and eventually disembark at either Akihabara or Tokyo Station. We will stay in Tokyo overnight.
Day 3 Tokyo-Mt. Fuji-Hakone (L)
On this day, you will take a deluxe motor coach where we begin our drive to Japan's highest mountain, Mt. Fuji
, to enjoy a spectacular view. The mountain is actually a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1707. It stands at a height of over 12,388 ft. and is considered to be one of the "Three Holy Mountains" along with Tate and Haku. Then, enjoy an authentic Japanese lunch. In the afternoon, we will proceed to Hakone for a boat ride on Lake Ashi
, which is known for its views of Mt. Fuji, beautiful hot springs, and historical sites. Afterwards, we head over to Mt. Komagatake Ropeway
to enjoy a scenic view of Hakone. We will stay over in Hakone for one night.
Day 4 Hakone-Takayama
Prepare for a 5-hour train ride from Hakone to Takayama. Upon arrival, you will visit the Yatai Kaikan Hall
, an exhibition hall displaying large floats used for the Takayam Festival, ranked as one of Japan's most beautiful festivals. Then to the Kusakabe Folk Museum
, the original property was once the home of a successful merchant family. It now exhibits collection of Japanese folk art, designated as a National Important Cultural Asset. For those who are interested in shopping for souvenirs, our next destination will be Kami Sannomachi Town
, during the Edo period to the Meiji era, this place was developed as a merchant town. Shops run from end to end along the old streets where you can taste wine and sake and try some beef skewers while shopping. We will stay over in Takayama for one night.
Day 5 Takayama-Shirakawa-go-Kanazawa
In the morning, we will visit Takayama Morning Market
, which opens every morning from 7am-12pm and is one of the biggest morning markets in Japan. There are 2 locations of the market; selling vegetables, fruits, pickles and spices, while the shops on the other side sell local Japanese sweets and crafts. We then head to Shirakawa-go.
Shirakawa-go is famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. The Shirakawa-go observatory is the best place to take pictures of this beautiful village. Lastly, we visit Wada Residence, the largest remaining Gassho style farmhouses in Ogimachi village. The family of the descendants still resides in this house. We will stay over in Kanazawa for one night.
Day 6 Kanazawa-Kyoto
Today, we will visit Kenrokuen Garden, which is considered as one of the "three most beautiful gardens in Japan." The name Kenrokuen means 'Six Attributes Garden.' The following six attributes was believed to make the perfect garden; spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water courses, and panoramas. Here you will enjoy them all. Next, we will visit Kutaniyaki Pottery Kiln for Japanese style porcelain pottery. The origins of Kutaniyaki can be dated back to the Edo period. Different kilns makes different styles of painting using a variety of colors green, yellow, purple, blue and red. Then we will visit Nomura Residence, an old house of traditional Japanese tile-roofed mud walls, residence of Maeda clan's samurai warrior Nomura Denbai-Nobusada. The property is famous for its beautiful rooms fusuma screen artwork and elegant details of Japanese cypress ceilings. We will end the day with some shopping at Omicho Market, Kanazawa's largest food market. Besides fresh seafood and produce, you can also find many other local items. Afterwards, we will head to Kyoto by limited press train Thunderbird. We will stay over in Kyoto for one night.
Day 7 Kyoto (L)
Kyoto, is known as the City of Ten Thousands of Shrines. There are literally thousands of temples and shrines to see. First , we will visit Nijo Castle
. It was built by Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603 to guard the city's Imperial possessions and residences. A must see is the nightingale floor, originally laid for security to guard against intrusion into the castle by suspicious and dangerous people like ninjas. Next, we will visit Kinkakuji Temple
, a Zen temple overlooking a large pond. The inside floor of the temple is built with a Shinden style and the top two floors are covered in gold leaf, however, each floor represents a different style of architecture.
Kyoto Imperial Palace used to be the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until 1868, when the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. The palace had been reconstructed in 1855 after burning down and moved around several times over the centuries. If you want to visit one of the top shrines in Japan, Heian Shrine has been top ranked by the Association of Shinto Shrines. The shrine was built for the 1100th anniversary of the capital's foundation in Kyoto and is dedicated to the spirits of the first and last emperors.
Sanjusangendo Temple was built for retired emperor Go-Shirakawa in 1164 and dedicated to Bodhisattva Kannon. The main deity of the temple is the Thousand Armed Kannon. This statue is a National Treasure of Japan. Sanjusangendo means "a hall with 33 bays," which is believed that a Buddha disguises himself 33 ways to protect mankind. Last, but not least, we will visit Kiyomizu Temple, which is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was originally found on the site of the Otowa Waterfall therefore got its name Kiyomizu which means "Pure Water Temple." We will stay overnight in Kyoto.
Day 8 Kyoto to Osaka Airport
Depending on your flight schedule, you may have extra time to spend in Kyoto, and/or take a 75-minute train ride from Kyoto to Osaka Airport for your flight back home or on to your next destination.