• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Japan

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with high-rise-filled cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Tokyo is known for its neon skyscrapers and pop culture. In contrast, Kyoto offers Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, gardens and cherry blossoms. Sushi, the national dish, is served everywhere from casual pubs to gourmet restaurants.

Summary

Summary

Day 1: Tokyo

Day 4: Mount Fuji & Hakone

Day 5: Kyoto

Day 8: Nara

Day 9: Hiroshima

Day 11: Nagasaki

Day 13: Kumamoto

Day 14: Osaka

Description

Description

Day 1: Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s bustling capital mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and anime shops to cherry trees and temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding forests. The Imperial Palace sits amid sprawling public gardens. The city is famed for its vibrant food scene, and its Shibuya and Harajuku districts are the heart of its trendy teen fashion scene. Tokyo 3 nights

Day 2: Tokyo Tour

You will visit TokyoTower, the Imperial Palace Plaza, Sensoji Temple and Nakamise shopping arcade. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a half day tour of Sumo with a visit to the Sumo Museum and watching a tournament.

Day 4: Mount Fuji & Hakone

Travel by coach to the foot of Mount Fuji via expressway. Then drive halfway up Japan’s highest mountain to enjoy a spectacular view from a height of 2,300 meters. Enjoy a Japanese style lunch, which is included. In the afternoon, proceed to Hakone for a cruise on Lake Ashi and Mount Komagatake Ropeway. This is a great place to stay at a traditional Ryokan and relax in a Japanese Hot Spring & Spa. Hakone 1 night

Day 5: Kyoto

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a refined city on the island of Honsh with thousands of classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district. Travel from Hakone to Kyoto on the iconic Bullet Train. Kyoto 3 nights

Day 6: Kyoto Tour

Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Kyoto. In the morning you will visit Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Nijo Castle, which is noted for its gorgeous interiors and Kyoto Imperial Palace. There will be a stop for lunch at the Kyoto Handicraft Centre which is included. After lunch you will visit the Kiyomizu Temple, Sanjusangen-do Temple and Heian Shrine.

Day 8: Nara

Nara is the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture, in south-central Honshu. The city has significant temples and artwork dating to the 8th century, when it was Japan’s capital. Deer freely roam in Nara Park, site of Todai-ji Temple. At Todai-ji, Daibutsu, a 15m-high bronze Buddha, is displayed in a grand, wooden hall. The Shinto shrine Kasuga-taisha, founded in 768 C.E., has 3,000-plus lanterns. Nara 1 night

Day 9: Hiroshima

Hiroshima, a modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Today, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the 1945 event; on-site is Genbaku Dome, the surviving portion of a structure that crumbled in the explosion. Other prominent sites include Shukkei-en, a formal Chinese-style garden, and Hiroshima castle, a fortress surrounded by a moat and a park. Hiroshima 2 nights

Day 10: Hiroshima and Miyajima

Today you have a full day sightseeing tour of Hiroshima and Miyajima. This will be by coach and involves a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island to see the picturesque Itsukushima Jinja Shrine. Return to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Memorial Park, Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome.

Day 11: Nagasaki

Nagasaki is a Japanese city on the northwest coast of the island of Kyushu. It’s set on a large natural harbor, with buildings on the terraces of surrounding hills. It is synonymous with a key moment during WWII, after suffering an Allied nuclear attack in August 1945. The event is memorialised at the city’s Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park. Nagasaki 2 nights

Day 13: Kumamoto

The capital of Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamoto is a major city on Kyushu’s west coast with a population of 650,000. The city is most famous for its castle, which is one of Japan’s largest and most complete. Kumamoto 1 night

Day 14: Osaka

Osaka, a large port city and commercial centre on the Japanese island of Honshu, is known for its modern architecture, boisterous night life and hearty street food. The 16th-century shogunate Osaka Castle is its main historical landmark, surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry trees. The Shinto Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine is among Japan’s oldest. You’ll have a final overnight stay before you return home. Osaka 1 night

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

 

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

If you plan your trip during the months of March, April and May you will be able to see the beautiful cherry blossoms through out the country but a favourite place to see them is in the city of Kyoto.

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