Set out on a private guided adventure through two of Japan's most coveted cities, during one of the most dramatically beautiful and desirable times of the year, Cherry Blossom Season. Explore the fascinating Japanese capital city of Tokyo, from the futuristic skyscrapers and modernized architecture of the Shiodome district to the atmospheric gardens and mesmerising temples of Tokyo's "old-town." Stroll along the picturesque paths of Ueno Park as the skyline of Tokyo disappears amongst the Cherry Blossomed trees boasting hues of pinks, red, and white. Travel to the former imperial capital of Kyoto for a healthy dosage of refreshing solitude and peacefulness. Immerse yourself in the moment as you visit the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle and the famous Kinkakuji Temple. Follow in the footsteps of one of Japans most famous philosophers, Nishida Kitaro, as you trek the riverside, Cherry Blossom lined "Philosopher's Walk." Enjoy traditional teas and snacks during your day touring are some truly serene environments. Experience the best of the March to April Cherry Blossom Season during this extraordinary annually Japanese event. *Please note that the best time to visit would be the second 2 weeks of March, and the first 2 weeks of April.
Welcome to Japan!
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a 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.
Today your guide will take you to the Tsukiji Fish Market. Take a few hours to wander through this enormous market, exploring both the vegetable and fruit areas plus the impressive seafood section. On offer in the seafood section are more than 480 different kinds of seafood ranging from fresh fish to shellfish and prawns. There may also be an opportunity to see a complete tuna being cut and filleted. After buying various ingredients you will have the opportunity to visit a typical Japanese home. Your guide will answer any and all questions about Japanese culture and everyday life in Tokyo during the transfer by public transportation. Learn to prepare “maki sushi” (rolled sushi), "gunkan maki" (sushi rice wrapped with a strip of seaweed and topped with soft ingredients), and "nigiri sushi" (sushi rice topped with a slice of raw fish). You will then get to enjoy your home made sushi for lunch. 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.
Take a day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide. Start the day with a stroll through the nearby Hamarikyu garden, an Edo Period Japanese garden surrounded by the Shiodome district’s futuristic skyscrapers. 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 – in many sections, the river is lined with cherry blossom trees. Disembark in Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of old Tokyo. 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. For lunch, you will have a hanami – a picnic under the cherry blossom trees in Ueno Park, Tokyo’s most famous cherry blossoming viewing spot, home to over 1,000 cherry blossom trees. In the afternoon head across town to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Finish the day with a walk though nearby Yoyogi Park, where over 600 cherry trees are planted.
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 Kyoto. Approximately 2.5 hours.
The Granvia Kyoto is located directly above the Japan Rail train station. After exiting your train, please follow the below instructions to reach your hotel. This is a very short walk, and done easily on your own, so no guide service has been included.
When using the Shinkansen bullet train: Exit via the Shinkansen Main Exit, turn right and walk straight through Nanboku-Jiyu-Tsuro (North-to-South main corridor) until you reach the escalator to the hotel entrance on your right.
When using the Haruka Express from Kansai International Airport: Exit via the JR Chuo Main Exit and take the escalator on your right to the Lobby on the 2nd floor of the hotel.
Hotel Granvia Kyoto is an integral part of the architecturally striking masterpiece, the JR Kyoto Station Building, which also includes a department store, museum, musical theater, and a vast underground shopping mall. From here, hotel guests have direct and easy access to/from Kansai International Airport and major destinations across Japan. With its elegant accommodations, including 535 beautifully decorated rooms, there is simply no better place to stay in Kyoto than the Hotel Granvia Kyoto. Moreover, with 13 meeting and banquet rooms including a ballroom that accommodates up to 1400 for seated events, as well as 13 restaurants & bars and fitness facilities, the hotel is perfect for both leisure and business visitors to Kyoto.
Take a 45 minute train ride from Kyoto to Nara 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 is famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers. Shin-Yakushiji Temple was founded during the Nara Period (710-794) by an empress for the sake of the ailing emperor. It is devoted to Yakushi Buddha, the patron of medicine in Japanese Buddhism. Inside the main hall there are life size statues of 12 guardian deities surrounding a two metre tall statue of a seated Yakushi Buddha, which are the temple's main objects of worship. 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. Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than travelling by private vehicle, you will make use of Kyoto’s efficient local transit system.
Enjoy this full day tour of Kyoto accompanied by an expert local guide, making use of efficient Japanese Taxi services. Begin you day tour at the Philosopher's Path, a pleasant stone path that winds through the northern part of Kyoto's Higashiyama district. The path follows a canal which is lined by hundreds of cherry trees. Approximately two kilometers long, the path begins around Ginkakuji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, and ends in the neighborhood of Nanzenji. The path gets its name due to Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan's most famous philosophers, who was said to practice meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University. There are many small temples and shrines to stop off along the walk. You will then visit Arashiyama, a pleasant district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Marvel at the Okochi Mountain Villa, a villa once occupied by the popular samurai film star Okochi Denjiro (1896-1962), and consists of several beautiful gardens and buildings, including living quarters, tea houses and a zen meditation hall. Here you will enjoy some Matcha Green Tea with a snack. Next, take a walk through Arashiyama’s famous bamboo groves, which are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks, sway gently back and forth. The bamboo has been used to manufacture various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries. Nonomiya shrine is a Shinto shrine where in ancient times, unmarried imperial princesses stayed for a year or more to purify themselves. Ranked among Kyoto's five great Zen temples, Tenryuji is the largest and most impressive temple in Arashiyama. Founded in 1339 at the beginning of the Muromachi Period (1338-1573), the temple is one of Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition to its temple buildings, there are attractive gardens with walking paths.
A transfer from your hotel in Kyoto to the Kansai International Airport in Osaka with a private vehicle and driver is provided.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
Denise Abadi ,
June 21, 2013
"We have just returned from our trip to Malaysia and wanted you to know how much we enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. Our guides were personable and very knowledgeable about the various places we visited. We were amazed by the sights, sounds and friendliness of the people we encountered. Needless to say, it was a most memorable trip and one of the
highlights of our traveling careers!
July 11, 2013
"Sunita, my wife and I had a wonderful time in China. The hotels were superb. Our guides were excellent. They spoke good English, were knowledgeable, and flexible. It was a wonderful trip. We particularly enjoyed the Yangtze River cruise. We will certainly consider your firm for international travel in the future."
Debbie Selden ,
June 14, 2013
"We had a great time and our guide in Bejing was fantastic! Thanks much for all your help."
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