Splendours of Japan - 2015

5 out of 5 stars

9 days

from €3050 pp

Trip available from May 2015 to Oct 2015.
"Trafalgar made our travel worry-free"
Francis , Jul 2014

Eclectic cities, traditional villages, snow-capped mountains and coastal beauty combine – discover the splendours of Japan on a journey of discovery, from iconic Tokyo to Kanazawa and Kyoto.

It's Insider moments like… feeling awestruck by the majestic beauty of Mt. Fuji. Alighting at 2,300m, and breathing in the clear, cool air as you gaze at the lush landscape stretched out below. It's learning Japanese skills that have become art forms, from wasabi cultivation to sushi making and gold-leaf painting. And venturing on to Owakudani, the ‘Great Boiling Valley', for an in-depth insight into the volcanic activity behind the hot springs and steam vents you see, before discovering the potent power of ‘black eggs' – a legendary delicacy.

Trip type:
Regional
Trip code:
JPNL

Large Map

Trip Itinerary

  • 1.

    ARRIVE TOKYO (3 NIGHTS)

    Welcome to Tokyo! Upon arrival at Narita International Tokyo Airport, transfer to your centrally located hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers.

    Meal(s)

    Welcome Reception

    Hotel

    New Otani

  • 2.

    TOKYO SIGHTSEEING

    Embark on a city tour of Tokyo. Visit the grounds of the Imperial Palace, formally known as Edo Castle, surrounded by its original inner moat. The star attraction, Meiji Shrine, is located in a forest that covers an area of 700,000 square metres and consists of 365 different species of tree. It is a picturesque Shinto shrine where cherry blossoms bloom in springtime. During lunch, enjoy a cooking class and learn how to make sushi, a Local Speciality, in the famous Ginza district. Continue to Asakusa and visit the Sensoji Buddhist temple. It is one of Tokyo's most colourful and popular temples. It has been rebuilt countless times since it was founded in 628 making it Tokyo's oldest temple site. Visit Nakamise, a shopping street over 200 metres long that stretches from the outer gate to the temple's second interior gate. Alongside typical Japanese souvenirs such as yukata and folding fans, various traditional local snacks from the area are sold. This evening, enjoy a Japanese-style dinner at a local restaurant with your Travel Director and fellow travellers.

    Meal(s)

    Buffet Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

  • 3.

    MT. FUJI AND HAKONE SIGHTSEEING

    After breakfast depart on a full day of sightseeing, beginning at the Five Lakes District dominated by majestic Mt. Fuji. At 3776m, it is Japan's highest mountain and most recognisable icon. Ascend to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji to enjoy some spectacular views at 2,300m (weather permitting). After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant continue to Owakudani via the Hakone Ropeway,ride over the crystal clear waters of Lake Ashi and look down on the volcanic activity. Enjoy black eggs boiled in geysers of Owakudani before continuing to the beautiful town of Hakone, where the cherry blossoms are noted sights in this area in Spring (known as sakura) and in Autumn (susuki). After an enjoyable day of sightseeing return to your hotel for a restful evening.

    Meal(s)

    Buffet Breakfast,Lunch

  • 4.

    TOKYO – MATSUMOTO – TAKAYAMA (2 NIGHTS)

    Drive north this morning to visit Mastumoto Castle, one of the most beautiful and complete original Japanese castles. Marvel at its unique timber and stone structure. Later, head to the Matsumoto Folkcraft Museum to see wooden crafts, bamboo wares, glassware, china and porcelain. Matsumoto is also famous for its wasabi cultivation, cherished for decades in the East for its unique flavour and health benefits. Wasabi is best known as an age-old food pairing with sashimi or sushi dishes with raw fish. Wasabi is also served as a garnish with soba noodles and made into pickles, jams, wine and other foods. Today learn all about the production of wasabi, a Unique Insight, before enjoying a lunch of soba noodles with wasabi. Continue your journey through the breath-taking Japanese Alps to the beautiful hillside town of Takayama. Located in the Hida Region, the town has retained a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town. Takayama gained importance as a source of high quality timber and highly skilled carpenters during the feudal ages.

    Meal(s)

    Buffet Breakfast,Lunch

    Hotel

    Hida Plaza

  • 5.

    TAKAYAMA SIGHTSEEING

    Begin your walking tour of Takayama, known as 'little Kyoto', discover its Edo style streets filled with amazing attractions. Explore the Old Town, stopping at some of the traditional houses and delightful local museums, then wander through a vibrant open-air flower and fruit market (Asaichi). Later enjoy a Regional Meal of Japanese Hida beef at a local restaurant. Hida beef (Hida-gyu) is the specific name given to beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, it is known as one of the finest quality varieties of beef. After lunch, continue to Takayama Jinya. Takayama Jinya was a former government outpost that was established in order to bring the Hida Province under the direct control of the Edo Bakufu (Shogunate) in 1629. The Takayama Jinya served as the local government office, headed by the officials dispatched from Edo. The present building complex includes various rooms for administrative purposes: kitchens, residential space, a court room and storehouses. It was in official use until 1969, and is now open to the public as a museum. Continue to the Kami-Sannomachisu District, home to skillfully renowned local artisans. Take time to sample the delicious rice wine, Sake, a Local Speciality. Walk through the narrow streets and admire the ancient Japanese wooden architecture. This evening is free to explore the many restaurants in this picturesque town.

    Meal(s)

    Buffet Breakfast,Regional Meal

  • 6.

    TAKAYAMA – SHIRAKAWAGO – KANAZAWA

    Take a step back in time with a Local Expert during a visit to the peaceful mountain village and UNESCO designated site of Shirakawago. The unique Gassho-zukuri wooden houses in this area are the only example of their kind in Japan. The steeply sloped thatched roofs resemble two hands together in prayer. Walk around this wonderful outdoor exhibition of farmhouses and traditional buildings typical of the region. Later continue towards the coast to Kanazawa, a historic castle town which boasts beautifully preserved samurai districts. On arrival, take time to see the Nagamachi District with old samurai houses. Stop to visit the Normura house, an elegant samurai mansion with beautiful small gardens belonging to a high-ranked samurai family. Later check in to your centrally located hotel and enjoy a relaxing evening.

    Meal(s)

    Buffet Breakfast,Lunch

    Hotel

    Kanazawa Excel

  • 7.

    KANAZAWA - KYOTO (2 NIGHTS)

    Begin the day at the gardens of Kenroku-en, rated as one of the top 3 most beautiful gardens in Japan. Explore the ornate landscapes, temples and ponds or enjoy an optional visit to a Japanese tea house within the gardens. Later in Kanazawa, discover the secrets of gold leaf painting, a Local Speciality, during a visit with a local artist. The production of gold leaf started in Kanazawa at the end of the 16th century and now 99% of Japan's high quality gold leaf is produced in the area. Before taking the train to Kyoto take a short walk through the Omicho market to see the local fish catch and enjoy an insiders view of everyday life in a busy coastal town. Kyoto is home to some of Japan's most important works of art, most refined cuisine and richest culture. On arrival at your centrally located hotel, explore this historic town or relax for the afternoon. Later enjoy a traditional Japanese Kaiseki Regional Meal and dance performance featuring Maiko and Geisha.

    Meal(s)

    Buffet Breakfast,Regional Meal

    Hotel

    Nikko Princess Kyoto

  • 8.

    KYOTO SIGHTSEEING

    This delightful city has an abundance of fine architecture in its shrines, temples and gardens as well as a variety of art and craft shops. See Nijo Castle, the old Shogun residence and then visit Kinkakuji Temple famous for its Golden Pavilion. The Kinkakuji history dates back to 1397, when the villa was purchased by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son. This afternoon, enjoy a special Be My Guest Farewell Lunch at a traditional Ryokan nestled in the peace and quiet of Mt. Yoshida. The Ryokan was built in 1932 by master craftsmen to serve as the second residence of the uncle of the current Japanese emperor, Akihito. Learn more about local Japanese customs as your hosts welcome you into their beautiful home. Enjoy the pleasures of a truly flavourful and unique dining experience of Kaiseki cuisine, crafted from the very freshest of seasonal delicacies. Later continue on to the Heian Shinto Shrine and discover its beautiful inner Garden. Then head to Nishiki-koji market to explore the hundreds of local shops and purchase last minute souvenirs. The evening is free to enjoy Kyoto. Relax at the hotel, explore the town or join an optional trip to the Gion Corner for a cultural performance.

    Meal(s)

    Buffet Breakfast,Be My Guest Dining

  • 9.

    DEPART KYOTO - OSAKA

    Transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight home.

    Meal(s)

    Buffet Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Be My Guest

    Enjoy Farewell Lunch at a traditional Japanese Ryokan.
  • Hidden Treasure

    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Expert

    Discover the history of the traditional Gasshozukuri thatched houses in the peaceful mountain village of Shirakawago.
  • Local Speciality

    Enjoy a sushi making demonstration and cooking class.
  • Local Speciality

    Sample Japanese Sake in Takayama.
  • Local Speciality

    Discover the secrets of gold leaf painting with a local artist in Kanazawa.
  • Unique Insight

    Learn about the cultivation of wasabi at a local Japanese farm in Matsumoto.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

What's Always Included

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour of Tokyo and Kyoto, walking tour of Takayama and Hiroshima.
  • See the traditional Gassho-zukuri houses at Shirakawago and the beautiful gardens of Kenrokuen in Kanazawa.
  • View Mt. Fuji at 3376m and a Shingon buddhist service in Mt Koya.
  • Visit the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Matsumoto Castle. The Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and Heian Shrine in Kyoto and the the Atomic Bomb Museum, Peace park and Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima.

Dining

  • 8 buffet breakfasts.
  • 3 dinners:(including Welcome Reception, Regional Meal and dinner).
  • 6 lunches:(including Regional Meal, 4 lunches and Be My Guest Farewell Lunch).

Travel Highlights

  • Expertly sourced accommodations - always with private facilities.
  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing.
  • The industry's best-trained Travel Directors.
  • All your hotel tips, charges and local taxes - including porter service.
  • All your transportation and airport transfers.
  • A travel wallet with your travel documentation.

Airport Transfers

Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Optional Experiences

Notes

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Kanazawa

  • JAPANESE GARDEN AND TEA HOUSE

    Adult Price: ¥720.00 Experience the ambience of a traditional Japanese Tea House, located in the beautiful tranquil Kenroku-en Garden. A professional ‘tea maker’ can spend many years learning their craft, which is often presented in a ceremony influenced by Zen Buddhism. Powdered green tea (matcha) is prepared by adding hot water and mixing it with a bamboo whisk. Enjoy sampling the tea in the Shigure-tei Tea House and also take the opportunity to try some Japanese sweets. Afterwards enjoy a stroll in the garden, which is regarded as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens. NB. The above price is in Japanese Yen.

Kyoto

  • GION CORNER, KYOTO

    Adult Price: ¥3500.00 The Gion corner is a unique experience where you can observe seven of Kyoto’s traditional performing arts, all on one stage! See a Bunraku puppet play; A UNESCO listed Traditional Japanese Puppet performance. Listen to the wonderful harmonies of Koto Music, as a master plays an ancient six stringed zither using ivory plectrums worn on their fingers. Watch Kyo-Mai, an elegant and dazzling dance performed by Maiko dancers in beautiful and ornate dress. Enjoy a performance of Kyogen Theatre, a comical play portraying humorous stories of daily life. Experience Gagaku (court music), the indigenous Japanese music performed at imperial court shrines and temples. During the evening observe the art of creating flower arrangements and a traditional ‘Ryurei style’ tea ceremony. There is also a Maiko Gallery, displaying costumes, hair decorations and videos of Maiko Dancers. NB. The above price is in Japanese Yen.
Prices & Availability
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