NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOURNEYS: ICONIC JAPAN
Japan delights in contrasts, revering the past while embracing the future. Begin your 12-day adventure in glittering, massive Tokyo, then head by rail into the countryside to visit traditional villages and tranquil shrines. On strolls through geisha districts and restorative visits to ancient temples and gardens, feel the power of the here and now.
Tokyo | Tsumago | Kanazawa-Shi | Hiroshima | Kyoto
• National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Tsukiji Sushi Experience, Tokyo
• National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Zen Buddhist Meditation, Nara-shi
• National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Kembu Masters, Kyoto
• Hands-On: Chopstick and Gold Leaf Painting Experience, Kanazawa-shi
• Hands-On: Zen Tea Ceremony, Kyoto
• Tour of Tokyo including Meiji Jingu Shrine and Asakusa and Harajuka districts
• Walking tour of Tsumago Village and countryside
• Kaiseki dinner
• Visit Kanazawa samurai and geisha districts
• Visit Nomura Family Samurai Residence and Myoryuji Ninja Temple
• Visit Himeji Castle
• Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial
• Excursion to Miyajima Island
• Tour Kyoto and Nara including Fushimi Inari, Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine
• Visit Gion Geisha district
• Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
• All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
• 10 nights of shared hotel acc
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Day 1: Tokyo
Arrive at any time.
Day 2: Tokyo
Spend the day exploring vibrant Tokyo by public transportation. As a city of extreme contrasts, we experience the ancient and traditional with visits to Meiji Jingu Shrine and the old town of Asakusa. We then experience the quirky and modern with a walk through the pop culture obsessed Harajuka district a great place to sit back and people watch.
Day 3: Tokyo
This morning visit the famed market with insiders of Tsukiji Fish Market, learn about the fishing industry in Japan and enjoy a class with Sushi Masters. Learn how to identify the freshest fish, to prepare and fillet and the fine art of sushi making and presentation. After, try your hand at making your own sushi and enjoy a taste of your creation. This afternoon is free to explore Tokyo on your own.
Day 4: Tokyo/Tsumago
Depart Tokyo by train. Disembark at Nagiso and enjoy a walk through the countryside, passing farms and hamlets and into Tsumago, a traditional Village. After, continue to our local ryokan accommodation, feast on a Japanese kaiseki meal, learn about Japanese customs, and sleep on a futon.
Day 5: Tsumago/Kanazawa-shi
Continue by train to the historic city of Kanazawa. Explore the ancient Samurai culture with a walk through the well-preserved Nagamachi Samurai district and visit to the Nomura Samurai family residence.
Day 6: Kanazawa-shi
Continue exploring Kanazawa, visiting the Myoryuji Ninja Temple and walking through the Higashi Geisha district. The city is also renowned as a centre of traditional arts and crafts and we delve into these traditions with a chopstick and Gold Leaf Painting Experience. Opt to visit the stunning gardens or original castles.
Day 7: Kanazawa-shi/Hiroshima
Continue by bullet train train to Hiroshima and visit the park and Memorial Museum to learn more about the tragic history of this city.
Day 8: Hiroshima
Catch a ferry over to the sacred island of Miyajima to see the famous floating Torii Gate, considered one of Japans most beautiful and sacred shrines. This afternoon is free, opt to catch the ferry to other Islands to explore on your own.
Day 9: Hiroshima/Kyoto
This morning we visit Himeji Castle, considered the best preserved and most stunning castle in all of Japan. After, continue by train to Kyoto, the former Imperial Capital and home of the country's most treasured remnants of Japanese imperial life. This afternoon, take a stroll around the Gion Geisha district and visit a tea house to participate in a traditional tea ceremony.
Day 10: Kyoto
Spend the day exploring sites around Nara, visiting the stunning Todaiji Buddhist Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Also visit a local temple to learn about the history and practice of Zen Buddhism in Japan. Here we meet with a local Monk who will talk about Buddhism and instruct us in Zen meditation and calligraphy.
Day 11: Kyoto
Continue to explore Kyoto including a visit to the famous Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion and the stunning Fushimi Inari ancient shrine at the base of the mountain of the same name. After, we learn about the etiquette of the samurai as well as the practice of basic kembu, and take a lesson on how to use the Japanese sword. Then, enjoy a performance by Kembu masters which includes short poems, which were traditionally written by Samurai about major events in their life. Later, take some time to explore on your own, opt to visit museums, temples and zen gardens, or stroll to the Inari Gates.
Day 12: Kyoto
Depart at any time.
Operated by G Adventures.
Price will be quoted in CAD. Departure dates available year round, prices may vary, please contact us for details. Other conditions may apply. Trip Style: National Geographic Journeys
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