8 nights in Japan
From the Buddhist monks of Koyasan to the high rollers of Tokyo, see the many faces of Japan on this condensed tour beginning in Osaka. Savour the region’s culinary delicacies and the beautiful views at Mt Fuji. You'll stay in a traditional ryokan and really soak up local culture in onsen hot springs. A great combination of the traditional and the contemporary, this adventure provides a taste of the rich culture of Japan.
|Hotels (6 nts), mountain monastery (1 nt, shared facilities), traditional inn (1 nt, shared facilities).|
|3 breakfasts, 2 dinners|
|Flights not included|
|Travel insurance is mandatory and not included|
|For assistance with travel insurance, contact our partner World Nomads.|
Miyajima - Mt. Misen Visit (Free-1800JPY per person) Kyoto - Zen Gardens of Ryōan-ji (500JPY per person) - Philosopher's Walk (Free) Tokyo - Akihabara Visit (Free) - Ginza Shopping (Free) - Ueno Park Visit (Free-500JPY per person) - Imperial Palace East Gardens Walk (Free) - Harajuku Visit (Free)
Japan's reliable public transportation is the best option for both the environment and for experiencing Japan like a local! We will ride several forms of transportation throughout the country, from Shinkansen bullet trains, to subways, funiculars, local trains, and buses. Note that often times we will have to carry our luggage from one mode of transport to another, so please consider this whilst packing.
We highly recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully experience this lively city. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Journey to Mt Koya, a religious centre founded in 816 by the Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi. The train ride up the mountain is possibly one of the finest rail journeys in Japan. For the final steep ascent, switch to funicular and then hop on a bus to reach the monastery. In the evening, dine on shojin-ryori, typical vegetarian cuisine, and relax in a yukata, or kimono. Included Activities: Overnight in Mount Koya Temple Oku-no-in Cemetery Visit Transport: Train (3.00 hour(s))
Early morning offers the chance to observe the monks praying. Breathe in some fresh mountain air before a vegetarian breakfast, then start the journey back down the mountain via bus, train and funicular. Later, board a train to Hiroshima, a historically significant city, marked by the explosion of the first atomic bomb in 1945. Included Activities: Hiroshima Park and Peace Memorial Transport: Bullet train (5.00 hour(s))
Take a ferry ride over to the sacred island of Miyajima to see the famous floating Torii Gate. Opt to hike around Mt Misen. Additional Notes: Please note the floating Torii Gate will be under construction from June 2019 to August 2020. Included Activities: Miyajima Island Visit Transport: Hop a ferry to reach the island and journey back in the evening. Ferry
Travel to Kyoto and start exploring. Visit the impressive Nijo Castle and gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening, explore the geisha district of Gion on a CEO-led walking tour. Additional Notes: Please note the Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle will be closed from Dec 26-Jan 3. Groups travelling during this time will visit the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Included Activities: Gion Walk Nijo Castle and Gardens Visit Transport: Bullet train (1.50-2.00 hours)
Enjoy a visit to the beautiful Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine and walk under the bright torii gates. Opt to shop, stroll along the riverbank, or explore another of Kyoto's many temples with free time. Included Activities: Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Visit
Travel to Hakone, a town in the hills famous for its onsens, or natural hot springs. Stay in a traditional ryokan, with its own private onsen. In the evening, enjoy the ryokan, savouring a complex meal of traditional Japanese foods, followed by a recommended soak in the onsen. Included Activities: Lake Ashino-ko Boat Ride Traditional Ryokan Stay with Kaiseki Meal Transport: Bullet train (3.00 hour(s)) Local bus (0.50 hour(s))
Arrive before noon to Tokyo, with time to explore this energetic metropolis. Opt to visit Ueno park and the museums, Akihabara for cutting edge electronics, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, walk the grounds of the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just stroll the streets, looking for the traditional life that still lies just under the modern surface. Transport: Bullet train (2.00 hour(s))
Depart at any time. Additional Notes: We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this vibrant city.
Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, most Japanese hotels do not have designated non-smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deoderize rooms before check in.
Ryokan are traditional inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around or to head to the bath), and elaborate meals (often served in the comfort of your own room), a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and hospitality. As ryokan are usually top tier accommodations, most guests stay only one night, often to celebrate a special occasion or holiday. Don’t be intimidated by the formalities inherent to a stay at a ryokan, your hosts will welcome you the same way they do all their guests. Have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan’s unique customs.
Minshuku are Japan’s answer to the Western bed and breakfast. Similar to ryokan, they have traditional features like tatami floors, futon beds, and Japanese-style baths. Minshuku are often family-run, and as such they offer a great opportunity to interact with local people and learn more about the nation’s customs. More affordable and simpler than ryokan, minshuku tend to have smaller guestrooms, shared bathroom facilities, and any included meals (traditional, local, and delicious) are served in a communal dining room.
Please note that some of the traditional Japanese inns used on this tour only offer shared bathing facilities. This means that individual shower stalls will not be available, instead several shower stations are available in an open, same-sex bathing area. Shared bathhouses and onsen (hot springs) are an essential part of Japan’s culture, traditionally serving as a place for men or women to gather, relax, and discuss the days happenings.
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