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!
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.
Your tour guide will meet you at your hotel at 8am and take you by subway 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). Following the lesson, you may take with you the utensils used in the cooking lesson.
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 full day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide, making use of Tokyo’s comprehensive and user friendly public transport system. Start the day with a stroll through nearby 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 – in many sections, the river is lined with cherry blossom trees. Disembark the cruiser 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. Today 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.
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.
Only 45min by train from Kyoto, 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. Your local guide will first take you to Horyuji Temple, a UNESCO world heritage site. Founded by Prince Shotoku, who is attributed with having introduced Buddhism to Japan, Horyuji dates back from the 7th century, and contains the world’s oldest surviving wooden structures. Todaiji Temple is the world’s largest wooden building and houses Japan’s largest bronze Buddha statue (Daibutsu). Kasuga Taisha is Nara's most celebrated shrine. It was established at the same time as the capital and is dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city. You will also have a chance to walk through Nara Park, home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. Considered in Shinto to be messengers of the gods, Nara's nearly 1200 deer have become a symbol of the city and have been designated a natural treasure. 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.
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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