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An unforgettable tour which marks the coming of spring and with it, new life, epitomised by Japan’s beautiful cherry blossom season. All across the Japanese archipelago, people expectantly wait for the blossoms to bloom and celebrate their beauty at day and night viewings. Our itinerary follows the cherry blossom path from the warmer south of the country as we head northwards to maximise our chances of viewing the blossoms in several spots.
On this Classic Japan Tour, you’ll experience the ancient temples and shrines of Kyoto each with their own associated gardens. Your knowledgeable Guide will help you understand the background of the sites you visit and will help interpret the strange and foreign experiences you’ll undoubtedly come across.
In Kyoto where your tour commences, you’ll get beneath the surface and will explore the back streets of this lovely city where the traditional rhythm of life remains remarkably unchanged despite this nation’s apparent modernity. It’s not just the grand gardens that will impress you but the minute ones spied up an alleyway and beautifully tendered with exquisite attention to detail. Kyoto is also a place of wonderful cuisine and your Guide will take you to a variety of delicious places to eat in the evenings (or you of course can do your own thing). In terms of food, your senses will be pleasantly bombarded by delicious sights, smells and tastes and every meal will contribute more happy experiences that make this a wonderful tour.
This fabulous itinerary includes a visit to the former capital of Nara where you cannot fail to be impressed by the magnificent Todaiji Temple built by faith and now the largest wooden building in the world containing the Great Buddha.
A visit to the moving city of Hiroshima will stay with you always. As will the short ferry journey over the bay to the lovely island of Miyajima where the locals live a more gentle pace of life.
You’ll speed on the superb Bullet train to the resort of Hakone where you will stay at a glorious 5* hotel with views of beautiful Mt Fuji. Your hotel has its own private indoor and outdoor hot springs where you can luxuriate in the invigorating waters. Afterwards, you’ll feel revived and refreshed. You can then enjoy a lovely day of sightseeing in and around Mt Fuji and the Hakone region before heading off to the buzzing city of Tokyo.
Whilst in Tokyo, you’ll visit the old downtown district, museums and other cherry-blossom viewing spots which make this the greatest megalopolis in the world. Tokyo boasts a plethora of fine eateries and there are more Michelin-starred restaurants here than in Paris. Culture-wise there is always some sort of festival or event taking place, not to mention flea markets and a vibrant theatre and sports scene. If all that is not enough, you can always go shopping in Tokyo’s stunning department stores.
By the end of the trip, we are sure you’ll agree with one previous customer who proclaimed that she “loved every minute of it!”
27-28 March: UK/Japan
Depart from London Heathrow in the evening on a scheduled flight on 27 March and arrive at Kansai International Airport (Osaka) the next day (with a change of plane en route). You will be met on arrival and transferred to your comfortable, centrally-located 4* Kyoto hotel for 5 nights.
29 March: Guided sightseeing in Kyoto
Enjoy a full day visiting the sights of Kyoto by private air-conditioned coach, beginning with the beautiful temples and blossoming gardens of Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion. Next, we will visit Heian Shrine, built to commemorate the capital’s foundation in Kyoto. We will visit the garden which is famous for its many beautiful weeping cherry blossom trees. Following a bento box lunch at Kyoto Handicraft Centre, we will visit Kiyomizu-dera, a hillside temple offering fabulous views over the city. Your knowledgeable guide will accompany you throughout. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner tonight.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
30 March: Nara
Today we will take a coach to the sleepy town of Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital and home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The highlight of the day is a visit to Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world and home to the Great Buddha. Nara Park is a lovely place to stroll, relax and feed the deer. On the way back to Kyoto we will make a brief stop in Uji which is famous for the most delicious green tea. We will visit a lovely tea shop that has provided tea to the Shoguns and Imperial family and you will have the opportunity to learn how to prepare green tea.
31 March: Day excursion to Hiroshima, Miyajima
Today we will make an early start and board the world-famous Bullet Train and pay a visit to the moving city of Hiroshima. We first visit the Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park and Peace Memorial Museum. We will then stop for a delicious lunch before taking a short ferry ride to the beautiful island of Miyajima, once considered so sacred that commoners were forbidden. We return to Kyoto this evening.
Breakfast & Lunch included
1 April: Kyoto
Today is yours to enjoy at leisure. Breakfast included
N.B. In order to make your journey to Tokyo more comfortable, we recommend that you pack a small overnight bag for your night’s stay in Hakone as the remainder of your luggage will be sent ahead separately to your Tokyo hotel. The cost of sending one standard-sized suitcase is included in our tour price. Additional baggage will cost extra.
2 April: Kyoto to Hakone
Today we say goodbye to Kyoto and board the Bullet Train bound for Hakone, a peaceful mountain resort in the foothills of Mt Fuji. We check into our wonderful 4* Deluxe hotel for the night. You are free to spend the afternoon strolling through the mountain paths and relaxing in your hotel’s soothing hot spring bath. Enjoy a delicious dinner tonight.
Breakfast & Dinner included
3 April: Hakone to Tokyo
Following breakfast, we will explore the landscape of Hakone by private coach, ride in a cable car for a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountains and volcanic valleys of Owakudani, and enjoy a wonderful cruise across Lake Ashi. Before departing for Tokyo we will briefly visit Odawara Castle to see the beautiful cherry blossoms in the castle grounds. Later this afternoon the Bullet Train will speed you to Tokyo, a city which must be seen to be believed. Your 4* hotel is located in central Tokyo, an ideal place to experience modern, urban Japan.
4 April: Guided sightseeing in Tokyo
Enjoy a full-day city tour by private coach beginning with a visit to the lovely Koishikawa Korakuen garden. We will then visit bustling Senso-ji Temple in the downtown area of Asakusa, before cruising down the Sumida river to Hamarikyu, a lovely garden where we can sample traditional Japanese tea and enjoy the cherry blossoms.
5 April: Tokyo
Today you are free to explore more of Tokyo’s attractions. We recommend serene Meiji Shrine and the trendy nearby district of Harajuku and the electronics district of Akihabara. There are also some lovely parks for cherry blossom viewing.
Alternatively, you might like to join an optional tour to Nikko, a superb temple town in the mountains north of Tokyo.
6 April: Tokyo
This morning we head to the National Museum in Ueno where you can browse the fantastic exhibits on show. The afternoon is free for you to wander Ueno Park, one of the most famous places for cherry blossom viewing in Japan. We will have a fantastic Farewell Dinner in the evening.
Breakfast, Dinner included
7 April: Japan to UK
Depart from Narita International Airport (Tokyo) to London Heathrow.
Located on Kawaramachi Street, one of Kyoto’s main restaurant and shopping streets and a stone’s throw from the covered markets.
The modern and brightly furnished rooms include complimentary wi-fi and LCD TVs with BBC as well as refrigerator and tea making facilities.
A breakfast buffet serving both Western and Japanese dishes available in the hotel restaurant.
Other facilities include an English bar and Spa facilities to help you relax and unwind.
A luxurious resort hotel set on the shores of the spectacular Lake Ashi. On clear days you can enjoy views of Mt Fuji.
Rooms at the Prince Hakone are spacious and well stocked with robes, slippers, TV, refrigerator, CD player and free high speed LAN internet.
You can relax and unwind in the hotel’s natural hot spring baths. You have a choice of outdoor and indoor baths and also a sauna and cold plunge pool.
The hotel has a high end Japanese and French restaurant where breakfast is also served.
The vast grounds include tennis courts, a selection of shops and restaurants and even a petting zoo and aquarium. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful woodland perfect for a gentle walk.
Located a short walk from JR Ikebukuro station which is serviced by the Narita Express and also Sunshine Road, the main entertainment area of Ikebukuro, the b is the ideal place to explore Tokyo from.
Rooms are compact and come equipped with refrigerator, TV and free wifi. Although the rooms have no bath they have rain shower heads and body jets and are stocked with Shiseido products.
A buffet breakfast is served in the second floor Italian restaurant.
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
All prices estimates are based on a minimum of 20 persons travelling in March/April 2017.
All price estimates are based on current rates of exchange.
Land Only Price: TBC
Single room Supplement: TBC
To make a booking, a deposit of 10% per person is required.
TO BOOK NOW CALL 020 7766 5267 OR EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
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