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Group Size: Max 18
Trip code: JAAV
Duration: 15 days
Combine vibrant city living with serene mountain exploration on this unforgettable 15-day tour! Get to know the beautiful and bizarre streets of Tokyo, wander the colourful forests and bamboo groves of Kyoto, brush past Geishas in the lantern-lit alleys of Gion, and discover the spiritual sites and Zen hotspots of ancient Buddhism. This trip is packed with authentic experiences, and is the perfect way to meet new people while travelling across one of Asia’s finest countries!
Day 1: Tokyo. Arrive into Tokyo at any time and make your own way to your accommodation. No activities are planned so there is time for you to settle in and explore some of the city.
Day 2: Tokyo. Welcome meeting with your guide. See the vast urban skyline from the top of a skyscraper. Then explore vibrant Shinjuku, before choosing to enjoy a round of baseball at a batting cage.
Day 3: Tokyo. Prepare authentic sashimi for breakfast under the direction of cooking instructors. Visit Akihabara, the home of Manga and Anime. ‘Made in Tokyo’ experience (extra cost).
Day 4: Tokyo. Explore the city’s sumo training districts. Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Sword demonstration at the Samurai Museum.
Day 5: Tokyo. Visit the Imperial Palace, home of the Japanese Emperor. Explore a Shinto shrine, before visiting the funky fashion district in Harajuku. Get swallowed by crowds of commuters at Shibuya.
Day 6: Kamakura. Travel to Kamakura to see the iconic Great Buddha, a gigantic bronze statue of a seated Buddha. Spend the evening drinking by the beach.
Day 7: Hakone. Begin the day by taking a cable car on the Hakone Ropeway, and watch the mountainside roll beneath you as you approach Oowakudani. Cross Lake Ashi on board a three-tiered pirate ship!
Day 8: Kyoto. Travel to the beautiful city of Kyoto. Explore the eastern hills and stroll up the mountainside trails discovering hidden temples and spiritual shrines. Spend your first evening in this incredible city by enjoying jazz and beer in Kawaramuchi or wandering down the lamp-lit Pontocho alley. Live Geisha experience.
Day 9: Kyoto. Take a boat ride down the Hozagawa River in a traditional raft. Wander through the magical bamboo forest of Arashiyama before hiking up to Monkey Park. Then explore the city’s most important zen temple, Tenryu-ji. Spend the evening singing karaoke.
Day 10: Arashiyam/Kyoto. Free morning to explore. Visit Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine and walk through the chain of thousands of red torii gates. Sake Brewery tour and tasting.
Day 11: Kyoto. See the iconic Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji temple. Walk down to Ryoanji and unwind in a relaxing Buddhist rock garden. Take a tour of a city temple with a Buddhist monk. Bike ride around the Imperial Palace.
Day 12: Hiroshima. Visit the site of the world’s first nuclear attack. Check out the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Take a ferry to Miyajima Island to see Mt Misen.
Day 13: Osaka. Enjoy lunch in Osaka and then hop on a train to Osaka Castle. Head to Shinsaibashi, Osaka’s entertainment district, and enjoy the delights of this city’s fantastic nightlife.
Day 14: Osaka/Tokyo. Take a train back to the capital for a final night in the city.
Day 15. Tokyo. Tour ends. Depart at any time.
Please note: Between 20th September and 2nd November 2019, the Rugby World Cup will be taking place in Japan. This will be an exciting time to travel in the country as rugby fever grips the nation! This high profile sporting event may affect your trip in certain ways. Popular tourist sites may be busier, and public transport will be more crowded than usual as rugby fans travel around the country. Seat reservations on bullet trains may not be possible, and your group may be required to stand for some or all of the journey. Your group may also not be able to sit together in some restaurants and bars due to crowds. The local team may make adjustments to your itinerary in response to these unusual local conditions. Please contact a travel advisor for more information.
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