Enduring marvels in a place unlike any other
Located in the Pacific Ocean, off the eastern coast of Asia’s mainland, this volcanic archipelago is the setting for an enthralling adventure that transports us across ancient cultures and modern cities. Explore the many sides of Japan, from Tokyo’s urban buzz, to countryside temples and samurai fortresses.
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Tokyo
Konichiwa! Meet your Local Leader and fellow travelers this afternoon at a welcome meeting. A walking tour of Tokyo leads to the Shinjuku’s Memory Lane, a historic alley of restaurants and the best spot in Tokyo to sample local “fast food”. (d)
Day 2: Tokyo
At Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, trolleys are piled high with crates of local catch. Explore the narrow aisles filled with spectacular creatures before learning the art of making sushi. After lunch, we visit the Asakusa area, a traditional temple district dating back to A.D. 648. (b, l)
Day 3: Tokyo > Takayama
Ride the rails of the bullet train to the Edo-period town of Takayama, located in the Japanese Alps. A stop at a prized sake brewery provides a tasting of this time-honored rice wine. Enjoy two nights here in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn). (b)
Day 4: Takayama
Explore the morning markets in the Gifu Prefecture, where villages are nestled among the mountains. Sample local bites before a visit to the Hida Folk Village. The rest of the day is unscripted. (b)
Day 5: Takayama > Hiroshima
We travel by train to Hiroshima for a poignant visit to the Genbaku Dome and the Peace Memorial Park and Museum - symbols of peace and remembrance (b)
Day 6: Hiroshima
This morning, we ferry to the serene and enchanting island of Miyajima, home to the Shinto shrine of Itsukushima. Explore Momaji Park on foot or take a cable car to the top of Mount Misen. Tonight, we dine like locals on okonomiyaki, a type of savory pancake.(b, d)
Day 7: Hiroshima > Kyoto
Departing Hiroshima, we venture to Japan’s impressive samurai castle at Himeji, once home to over 10,000 families. We continue to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. (b)
Day 8: Kyoto
Today we travel like locals by bus and subway. Our Local Leader showcases Kinkaku-ji Temple’s Golden Pavilion and the famous Ryōan-ji Zen Garden. The opulent Nijo Castle awaits us this afternoon as we explore Ninomaru Palace. (b)
Day 9: Kyoto
A short train journey brings us to Kyoto’s famed Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, one of the most photographed sights in the city. Venture further than most, and appreciate the quiet corners and stunning city views. Try the delicious treats from the locally owned Shrine Café before a walk around the Nishiki Market, also known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen.” Tonight, we savor a delicious Japanese feast. (b, d)
Day 10: Kyoto
Our adventure ends today. (b)
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