Historical and Diverse Japan
16 nights 17 days
For people that are interested in not only the sights of Japan, but also interesting in seeing and learning about the culture of Japan. Through this 16 night tailoerd tour, you are able to see many of the larger cities, but also visit different corners of the Honshu island. You will be able to see Tradtional and modern Japan and learn how it merges together perfectly. Add in some the contemporary art island of Naoshima, the large focus on Japanese and overseas architecture, and then the natural areas of Shinhotaka Hot Springs, and you have an all-around immersion of Japan.
Welcome to Japan! As most flights arrive in the early evening into Tokyo, you will be met by your English Speaking Guide at the Airport Arrival lobby, and then taken to your Deluxe Tokyo accommodation by a Chartered Vehicle. The rest of the evening is free to get used to the time difference. (The Imperial Hotel Tokyo)
Meet with your English Speaking Guide and Chartered car and enjoy an introduction to Tokyo. See the major sights of Tokyo such as Asakusa Temple, Tokyo Sky Tree, but also visit the Hokusai Museum for its architecture on the outside and the wooden block prints on the inside. You will also visit the House of Tomorrow, which was designed by most likely the most famous American Architect ever, Frank Llyod Wright. (The Imperial Hotel Tokyo)
Today is a free day at leisure to explore Toky on your own. We will over suggestions on locations that should be visited, but also can point you in any direction to locations that suit your hobbies and interests or even taste buds. (The Imperial Hotel Tokyo)
Meet with your English Speaking Guide and take the Bullet Train from Tokyo to Mishima Station. From Mishima, you will take the Express bus to Lake Kawaguchi (A great alternative from the sometimes overcrowded Hakone. Your accommodation tonight is on the shores the lake itself, and you room will over you views of Mt Fuji which seems to be just on th eother side of the lake (Kaze no Terrace Kukuna)
Wake up to see Mt Fuji change its look every 15 minutes due to the rising sun. You will check out of your accommodation and take the Express Bus once more to Mishima Station. Here you will change to a Bullet Train which is bound for Kyoto. Arrive into Kyoto and together with your English Speaking Assistant, transfer to your accommodation for the next few days (Celestine Hotel Gion Kyoto)
Together with your English Speaking Guide and Private car you will be taken to the Arashiyama area of Kyoto, and see the Bamboo Forest, the Togetsukyo Bridge, as well as the headquarters of Zen Buddhism, the Tenryuji Temple. Today also see the World Heirtage Ryoanji Stone Garden Temple, and the icon of Kyoto and Japan, the Golden Pavilion. Dinner will be arranged in a Traditional area of Kyoto very close to the Kamogawa River. (Celestine Hotel Gion Kyoto)
Meet your English Speaking Guide and private car and transfer to the most visited Shrine in Japan, the Fushimi Inari Taisha. See many Red Torii gates that line the hillside and also hear why especially businessmen come to this shrine to pray. Close by is the 2nd largest Sake Producing area of Japan. See a small museum to learn how the Sake is made, and then have some tastings. Next stop, UJI city where Japanese Tea was first produced. Have an authentic Tea Ceremony. (Celestine Hotel Gion Kyoto).
Today will be one of your highlights without a doubt. An exclusive arrangement for only Experience Japan Travel. You will visit a World Heritage Temple, and be taking behind the scenes to see sights that are not open to the public, while learning how the monks spend their day. You will be guided by a Monk, and also experience some ceremonies that usually Overseas Visitors can not participate in. Accomodaton tonight will be at one of the most highly acclaimed Ryokans in all of Japan (Hiiragiya).
Check out of your Japanese Style Accommodation and move to Kyoto Station, to board your Bullet Train bound for Hiroshima. Meet with an English Speaking Guide and spend the day visiting the Peace Park, Archive Museum as well as the A Bomd Dome itself. Learn what damage was caused by the A Bomb and also how Hiroshima has rebuilt itself. Travel to Miyajima Island to see the World Heirtage Site of Itsukushima Shrine. The large Torii Gate in the water is impressive (Righa Royal Hotel Hiroshima).
Together with your English Guide you will travel from Hiroshima to Okayama Station and then move to the Contemporary Art Island of Naoshima. Spend 2 nights here to really experience the beauty of the art displayed in the galleries as well as outside. The famous Pumpkins of Kusama Yayoi are not the only objects that will turn on your Artstic internal button. Enjoy the Chichu Art musuem, the Bennese House museum, as well as the Art House Project just to start you off (Bennese House Naoshima)
A full free day at Naoshima to explore the island on your own. Use the Benesse House Free bus to reach some of the art orientated areas, and also the public Bus which will get you to the other side of the island where you can enjoy and see how the residents of this island spend the days. Cafes for lunch, and then return to Benesse house for a French or Japanese dinner at one of the hotel restaurants. (Bennese House Naoshima)
From a Contemporary art Island, to Japans second largest City, Osaka. Osaka is different from Tokyo and other large cities, and also is very proud of its vibrant culture and its local food. You will arrive into Shin-Osaka Station and then will move to your accommodation for tonight. Have the afternoon to walk the Jr Osaka and Umeda Station areas which will offer you many shops, restaurant and options to see how developed the station area is. (Harmonie Hotel Osaka - Boutique Style).
Even though Osaka is the 2nd largest City, it is accessible by Public Transportation. Use the Subways, Jr Trains and buses to see the major sights of Osaka. This will include the Osaka Castle grounds, the Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori Canal areas, as well as taking you to a very deep area of Osaka called Shin-sekai. The Tsutenkaku Tower is the symbol of this area which really hasnt changed since the end of World War 2. You also can taste some of Osaka's local street food.(Harmonie Hotel Osaka)
Leave the modern part of Japan behind you, and transfer from Osaka to Shinhotaka Hot Springs which is based in the Japanese Alps. Take the bullet train from Osaka to Naogya, then change to the Wideview Rapid train bound for Takayama. Dont stay in Takayama, but rather take th elocal bus to Shinhotaka Hot Springs. A Japanese Style accommodation is waitng you with a private hot springs in your Room (Yukimurasaki Ryokan)
Today you are free at leisure to explore the Shinhotaka area. Even though the hot baths and hospitality of the hotel is very appealing, I suggest you take the Shinhotaka ropeway up to the summit which is 2159 meters above sea level. Here you have a panorama view of the Japanese alps which usually have snow on for the majority of the months in the year. Be ready to have your breath taken away and a beautiful way to conclude your last few days in Japan(Yukimurasaki Ryokan)
Returning to Tokyo will be a different way than you came, so you can see a little more of Japan from the Express Bus that is bound for Toyama Station. Fomr Toyama Station you will then take your final bullet train to Tokyo. You will meet with an English Speaking Assistant at the Tokyo Station and transfer to your Hotel. You hotel is linked to the Shinagawa Station which will provide easy access to Narita International Airport tomorrow. (The Strings by Intercontinental Hotel)
A so comes the end of a very comprehensive tour of Japan. It has been tailor made to your needs and covers Culture, Tradtional, Modern parts of Japan. It also has given you an exclusive insight to how monks operate, as well as showing you great examples of Architecture, Art, and nature. Transfer to Narita International Airport with your English Speaking Assistant, and then check in for your home bound flight. Sayonara
Thank you so much for this detailed feedback. Never before have we received such useful notes after a trip. This will be great to use for the debrief with Anthoy. Obviously, I want to get as many stories out of this trip as possible so the follow up is critical on my side. It has been a delight working with you and I welcome the opportunity to work together again. Anthony is just back from 2 weeks in Canada, I've just had another call with him. He was yet again highly complementary about you and really appreciated all you did. (Updated with first instllment of an article created from this trip) http://www.traveller.com.au/kyoto-20-reasons-to-love-it-gz6wju... READ MORE