HIGHLIGHTS OF JAPAN
HOST: ANNI DELIMA
Discover the hidden treasures of Japan, a place where ancient traditions are fused with modern life, with its hyper-modern cities of millions, high-speed rail, pristine villages, beautiful mountains and spectacular historical castles.
Highlights of this tour include visiting Kyoto and the UNESCO listed Kinkakuji Temple, staying in a ryokan, bathing in natural hot springs and of course, exploring Tokyo!
You will be immersed into the rich cultural legacy, impressive World Heritage Sites and incredible natural beauty and a unique cultural experience unlike any other.
Osaka - Nara - Kyoto - Nagoya - Hakone - Mount Fuji – Tokyo
* Roundtrip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Osaka: three nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Nagoya: one night 4-star hotel accommodation
• Mt. Fuji: one night 4-star hotel accommodation
• Tokyo: two nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Seven breakfasts, and one dinner
• Private motor coach transportation
• Local English-speaking tour guide
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes, fees and gratuities
Level of support:
Merit Travel Hosted
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DAY 1 | Apr. 17, 2020 | Toronto/Vancouver - Osaka
Board your overnight flight to Osaka, Japan.
DAY 2 | Apr. 18, 2020 | Osaka
Upon arrival, you will meet your local representative and transfer to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Accommodation at Kansai Airport Washington Hotel (1 night)
DAY 3 | Apr. 19, 2020 | Osaka - Nara (B)
This morning you will visit Nara and tour the Todai-ji Temple, one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temples constructed in the 8th century. Step foot in the Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall), housing the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue of the Buddha Vairocana. After, wander through Nara Park where over 1200 wild sika deer roam free, before travelling to Osaka. In Osaka, visit the Osaka Castle which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the sixteenth century, before being dropped off at Dotonbori, which exemplifies Osaka’s vibrant food culture.
Accommodation at Osaka Plaza Hotel (2 nights)
DAY 4 | Apr. 20, 2020 | Osaka (B)
Today your entire day is at leisure to explore on your own or take an optional excursion.
Optional Kansai Culture Excursion ($300 p.p.)
Visit Kiyomizu Temple also known as Pure Water Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous temples in Japan. One of the things that stands out is the wooden stage in the main hall that is 13 meters above the hill. During the spring time, it will give you an amazing view of the cherry blossoms. Following this visit Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine and walk through the famous vermilion Torii Gates.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, visit the Gion District and see the beauty of Maikos in kimono. With only a few Geishas remaining, Gion is one of the few places you might catch a glimpse of these elusive figures. You may choose to rent a kimono (USD$50 p.p.) for great photo opportunities.
DAY 5 | Apr. 21, 2020 | Osaka - Kyoto - Nagoya (B)
After breakfast you will depart by the Shinkansen (bullet train) for Kyoto.
Kyoto was Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today. Enjoy a moment of quiet reflection at the vibrant Heian Shrine then head to absorb the sacred ambience of Kinkaju-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring a shining golden pavilion and a pond-centred garden. Kinkaku Temple has two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold and detailed architecture incorporating three distinct styles of Shinden, Samurai, and Zen. Enjoy a sweeping view of the entire city of Kyoto from its lofty terrace a meander through the Higashiwama mountain’s foothills. Then, experience the Japanese special tea ceremony. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha.
Continue to Nagoya and visit the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology and learn about the history of Toyota as a textile machinery manufacturer and how it became a successful mass exporter and manufacturer of automotive technology, including robots.
Accommodation at Nagoya Tokyu Rei Hotel or similar (1 night)
DAY 6 | Apr. 22, 2020 | Nagoya - Hakone - Mt. Fuji (B, D)
Today you will visit Oshino Hakkai. Known as the springs of Mount Fuji, the eight ponds are fed by melting snow filtering down from the slopes of nearby Mount Fuji, though porous layers of lava, resulting in very clear spring water that is revered by locals. Enjoy the picturesque views of Mount Fuji in close distance while on board a cruise on lake Ashi, a crater lake famous for its views of the famous peak. Afterwards, visit Gotemba Peace Park to capture a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji, and the Hakone Shrine. Lunch will be on your own along one of the many stops or service areas on the highways where you can enjoy an abundance of unique eats and snacks that will surprise you. Finish the day with a true cultural experience in your Hot Spring hotel. Dress in Yukata robes and enjoy a traditional dinner.
Accommodation at Kimiyoshi Hot Springs Hotel (1 night)
DAY 7 | Apr. 23, 2020 | Tokyo (B)
Visit the Meiji Shrine in the morning, dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Later, stroll through the Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples. Then walk along the famous 820-ft long Nakamise shopping street where you can explore the lines of stalls selling different Japanese-styled goods and souvenirs. Your last stop today is Tokyo Metro to enjoy a panoramic view of enormous Tokyo city.
In the evening, experience Japanese tradition & cuisine by enjoying an optional Japanese Kaiseki dinner excursion.
Optional Japanese Kaiseki dinner excursion ($160 p.p.)
Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner which balances the taste, texture, appearance, and colours of food. Only fresh seasonal ingredients are used and are prepared in ways that aim to enhance their flavor. Dishes are also beautifully arranged and garnished.
Accommodation at Tokyo Bay APA Resort or similar (2 nights)
DAY 8 | Apr. 24, 2020 | Tokyo (B)
Today your entire day is at leisure.
Optional Kamakura and Yokohama excursion ($275 p.p.)
Explore two of Japan’s most captivating cities on a full-day tour. After pick-up from your hotel, travel southwest by coach to Kamakura, a picturesque seaside city nestled in forested hills on Sagami Bay renowned for its Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and rich history. Next, continue to Yokohama, Japan’s second largest city. See the Red Brick Warehouse, where an early 20th century custom building now houses stylish shops, and stroll in waterside Yamashita Park.
DAY 9 | Apr. 25, 2020 | Tokyo - Toronto/Vancouver (B)
Today you will transfer to the airport to board your flight home.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $1,200. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 16 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host.
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