(Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto)
Geishas in kimonos & business men in western suits, ancient temples & futuristic skyscrapers, Japan is an enticing country awash with contrasts guaranteed to delight & amaze. Led by expert private guide see how age-old traditions mix seamlessly into modern life as you voyage through the glittering whirlwind of Tokyo, historical Kanazawa, hauntingly beautiful Hiroshima & culturally rich Kyoto. Experience imperial palaces, temples, pagodas & shrines, bustling markets, sake breweries & more. Featuring private guide, airport transfers & a collection of stylish 4* & 5* hotels.
Welcome to Japan!
You will be met and greeted at the airport by your driver and driven to your Tokyo hotel by private vehicle.
Park Hotel Tokyo is ideally situated in Shiodome, a flourishing new center of business and culture. The hotel offers an extraordinary level of service and coordinated interior designs. The Park Hotel Tokyo also shows respect for local traditions of nature, translated in the hotel's glass-roofed atrium. A soothing haven of trees and greenery, it stretches between the building's 25th and 34th floors, creating a well of warming sunlight that augments the sensation of balance and vitality fostered by the architecture.
Take a full day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide, making use of Tokyo’s comprehensive and user friendly public transport system.The day begins with a visit to Hamarikyu garden, an Edo Period Japanese garden surrounded by the Shiodome district’s futuristic skyscrapers: a great example of how Japan is the land of contrasts. After stopping for a cup of steaming macha in a tea house on a small island in the park’s lake, take a boat cruise on the Sumida River passing under 12 bridges. Disembark in Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. In the afternoon take the subway across town to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. If time permits, you can take a walk down Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the world’s top fashion brands. Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than travelling by private vehicle, you will make use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.
Today you will make a day trip to Kamakura (1hr), the former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate during the Kamakura Period (1185–1333). At that time Kamakura was the largest city in the world. The Kamkura of today however, is a small, sleepy seaside town with numerous temples, shrines and other attractions. With your local guide, you will visit Kotokuin Temple, home to the Daibutsu, a giant bronze Buddha that stands (or rather, sits) 13.35m high. Dating from the 12th century, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is the spiritual heart of Kamakura and one of its most popular attractions. The shrine was originally founded by Minamoto Yoriyoshi in 1063, then enlarged and moved to its present site by Minamoto Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura government, in 1180. The shrine was dedicated to Hachiman, the Shinto god of war and patron of the Minamoto family. Hasedera Temple is a temple of the Jodo sect, which is most famous for its statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The statue shows Kannon with eleven heads, each representing a characteristic of the goddess. The 9.18 meter tall, gilded wooden statue is regarded as one of the largest wooden sculptures in Japan. You will also visit Kosokuji Temple and have time for shopping on Komachi Street. Today's tour includes a private guide and makes use of Japan's efficient public transit system.
You will be transferred between the train station and your hotel, using a local taxi with the assistance of an English speaking guide.
Train transfer from Tokyo to Hiroshima.
Sheraton Hiroshima Hotel is conveniently located in the city next to JR Hiroshima Station, with direct access to the bullet train and bus terminals. The 238 guests rooms of the hotel are decorated with contemporary western furnishings, they include the celebrated Sheraton Sweet Sleepe Bed, a 37” Flat Screen Television, DVD player, and High Speed Internet Access. The hotel's Miyabi Tei restaurant offers the finest and freshest cuisine such as teppanyaki, sushi, and other Japanese meals. At the same time, The Bridge Restaurant offers International cuisine. Shine Spa for Sheraton is designed to address guests' needs. A pool and fitness center are also located in the hotel.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you by street car to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima. The area where the park now lies was ground zero for the Atomic Bomb on 6th August 1945. After the bombing the Memorial Park was created and dedicated to those who lost their lives in the attack. Stroll through the park and find out the meaning behind the many memorials, monuments and statues in the park. Walk through the Peace museum at your own pace. If the weather is nice, you can eat a Japanese bento box for lunch in the park. From Hiroshima, a short ferry ride will take you to Miyajima Island. A small sacred island located in the Inland Sea, it has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. Here you will find perhaps the most photographed site in Japan - The Floating Torii Gate. Designated as one of Japan's '3 Most Beautiful Views', the shrine it belongs to dates back to the 6th century with the present structure dating back to the 12th century. Mere 'commoners' were not allowed to set foot on this holy place, and even now it is forbidden to give birth or die on the island! You will have time to explore the island and its many shrines and temples, sample local goodies like maple leaf shaped cakes before heading back to your hotel.
Train transfer from Hiroshima to Kyoto. Approximately 2 hours.
A private vehicle will transfer you between your hotel and the train station. An assistant will be available to pick up/drop off at the appropriate train platform.
A refreshing solitude and peacefulness surrounds the Westin Miyako, in Kyoto. Beautifully laid out, the 516 rooms overlook traditional gardens and scenic trails. Each room includes luxurious linen and bedding, along with all the amenities of home. Special features available include rainforest showers, tea rooms, and wooden bathtubs, to accentuate traditional Japanese living. Meals are tasteful, with the option of buffet or sit down meals. Steak, seafood, and baked goods are just a few eatables offered. A short trip into the center of the city may provide more varied pricing and choices, as well. There is plenty to do at the hotel and in its surroundings. Get some fresh air at the trails, outdoor tennis courts, and the jogging track.
Today you explore the former imperial capital with a knowledgeable local guide, utilizing Kyoto’s comprehensive bus system to visit some of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. You will start your day with a visit to Nijo Castle. This ornamental castle was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors. Kinkakuji, (Golden Pavilion) was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun, after his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. Heian Shrine was built on the occasion of the 1100th anniversary of the capital's foundation in Kyoto and is dedicated to the spirits of the first and last emperors who reigned from the city, Emperor Kammu (737-806) and Emperor Komei (1831-1867). Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) is a Zen temple along Kyoto's eastern mountains (Higashiyama). In 1482, shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement villa on the grounds of today's temple. Ginkakuji became a center of contemporary culture, and arts developed and refined during the time include the tea ceremony, flower arrangement, noh theater, poetry, garden design and architecture.Final stop today is Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13m high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall you can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, whilst pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners.
Transfer from your hotel to Nara by train (45min) with a local guide. For 74 years during the 8th century Nara was Japan’s capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. Visit Todaiji temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers. Take a wander through Nara Park, called Deer park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there.
You will be met at your Kyoto hotel and driven to Kansai airport in Osaka by private vehicle with driver.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Japan for the most up to date visa information.
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