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Japan  -  Discover Japan
10 Days
9 Nights
Welcome to Japan's capital city. Hotel rooms are available for immediate check-in.
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions prior to a morning sightseeing of Tokyo, home to more than eight million people. Your tour takes you to the MEIJI SHRINE, a magnificent 20th century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest, followed by a drive to see the Imperial Palace Plaza. Next, visit an ARTIST'S STUDIO and enjoy demonstrations by a master calligrapher before trying it yourself. You will also visit a KIMONO FACTORY where you can try on this traditional dress and have your picture taken. Last stop is the ASAKUSA KANNON TEMPLE with the NAKAMISE SHOPPING ARCADE. The balance of the day is at leisure. Perhaps stroll through the famous Ginza area. Tonight, join your traveling companions at a WELCOME DINNER hosted by your Tour Director. After dinner, join your Tour Director for a WALKING TOUR among the dazzling neon lights of Tokyo. (B,D)
A free day for independent activities. You may wish to join a full-day optional excursion to Kamakura, home of the 750-year-old Great Buddha, followed by a scenic drive to Hakone and cable car ride for panoramic views of Mount Fuji (weather permitting). Your optional tour concludes with a thrilling bullet train ride back to Tokyo. During your evening at leisure, you may want to experience a local Japanese restaurant. (B)
Journey to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps, "the roof of Japan." Visit famous MATSUMOTO CASTLE dating back to 1593, as well as discover the history at the JAPAN FOLKLORE MUSEUM. After lunch, continue by motorcoach through the ruggedly beautiful Alps to the quiet, isolated town of Takayama, where old traditions are untouched by the passage of time. The balance of the day is at leisure, providing you time to explore the narrow streets where artisans sell traditional crafts. (B,L)
Today begins with a visit to the morning market where farmers display locally grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Then on to the San-Machi Suji historic district, famous for sake distilleries and tiny lacquerware shops where merchants buy and sell as they have for 300 years. Visit the KUSAKABE HERITAGE HOUSE for a glimpse of traditional Japanese architecture of the late 19th century. In the afternoon, a short ride brings you to the HIDA MINZOKU-MURA FOLK VILLAGE, a collection of traditional buildings and farmhouses, as well as numerous artifacts relating to the life and work of the local villagers. Enjoy demonstrations of crafts such as lacquer work, silk dying, basket making, and wood carving. Tonight, enjoy a wonderful Japanese-style dinner. (B,D)
This morning, enjoy a drive through the mountainous Shokawa Valley to Shirakawa. This remote region of Japan is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the unique GASSHO-ZUKURI (joined hands)-style thatched houses that can be found only here. Continue to the scenic town of Kanazawa, situated between the mountains and the Sea of Japan and once the country's richest region. The balance of the day is for independent exploration. Your included dinner tonight is at your choice of one of three restaurants within your hotel. (B,D)
Today your Tour Director leads you on a tour of one of Japan's greatest gardens, KENROKU-EN, the "Garden of Six Qualities," dating from the 1670s. Adjacent to the garden is the ISHIKAWA PREFECTURE CRAFTS MUSEUM, displaying more than 30 traditional crafts, including the locally famous Kanazawa Haku gold leaf produced since 1593. This afternoon, travel along the Sea of Japan to Kyoto. Upon arrival, visit the FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE, renowned for the thousands of brightly coloured Torii Gates. Here you will witness an exclusive performance of MIKO (Shinto girls) before continuing on to your hotel. (B)
This morning's city tour features the extraordinary NIJO CASTLE, built in 1603 as the official residence of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Next, visit Kinkakuji, the TEMPLE OF THE GOLD PAVILION, and the HEIAN SHRINE and GARDEN. Then, for lunch, participate in a special JAPANESE COOKING CLASS. Under the instruction of a local chef you will learn how to make a popular Japanese dish. Perhaps join the afternoon optional excursion to Nara, the oldest capital of Japan, where you will visit Todaiji Temple with Great Buddha; Kasuga Shrine, famous for stone and bronze lanterns; and Kofuji Temple with its 5-story pagoda. (B,L)
A full day at leisure for you to enjoy the many temples, shrines, palaces and pagodas at your own pace. Tonight your Tour Director hosts a FAREWELL DINNER to celebrate your discovery of Japan. (B,D)
Your tour ends with a transfer to Kansai Airport, en route enjoying a short orientation tour of Osaka. International flights should be booked for departures after 4.00 p.m. (B)

Arrive in Tokyo to see the Meiji Shrine, the Asakusa Kannon Temple and more before your journey to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps. Visit the famous Matsumoto Castle as well as the Japan Folklore Museum. See the unique Gassho-Zukuri style thatched houses in Shirakawa. Travel along the Sea of Japan to Fushimi to visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for the thousands of Torii Gates. Then in Kyoto visit the extraordinary Nijo Castle and the Temple of the Gold Pavilion. Visited Cities Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka. Meals Breakfast - 9 Lunch - 2 Dinner - 4


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