Japan Highlights

$1,000.00

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Japan Highlights
Friday October 25th to Monday November 4
Tokyo, Takayama, and Kyoto

Join us as we take you to Japan's highlights this fall.  Experience the fast pace of Tokyo, to the quiet temples of Kyoto and the ancient mountainous region of Takayama.  With its distinct culture, futuristic cities and striking natural landscapes it makes it a rewarding destination to visit.  Our journey will take us through the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and our sleek bullet train will take us to the clean air of the Japanese Alps.  Enjoy our stay in a traditional Ryokan and relax in an onsen for a taste of real Japanese life.  We will end our tour in Kyoto full of historical and cultural charm.  Have extra time?  Add on our 3-day extension to Hiroshima and Osaka.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Included

International Airfare (or land only)
Transfer to/from airport (Note: land only does not include)
Small Group (max 10pp)
4 Nights 4* Hotel Tokyo
2 Night Ryokan (Japanese traditional guesthouse)
3 Night 4* Hotel Kyoto
English speaking guide on scheduled tours
7-day Japan railway ticket
Tokyo food tour
Takayama walking tour
Kyoto half day walking tour
Tokyo full day walking tour
Fish Market Tour

Pricing
Save $200! Pay-in-Full: Expires 7/1
$3895 (w/airfare) $2895 (land only)

Deposit Only Price: Expires 7/1
$4095 or $3095

Base Price: $4295/$3295
$1000 deposit to reserve your spot!
*See below for payment due dates and procedures*

Friday, October 25th -Departure
We will depart NYC in the early morning, arriving in Japan in early afternoon on Saturday.  If you do land only, you will need to meet the group at the hotel in Tokyo (airport transfer is not included)

Saturday, October 26th-Tokyo Arrival
Once we have arrived in mid afternoon, we'll check into our hotel and get settled before our optional group dinner.  The evening will be open for you to either rest or explore the city with the group/your own.

Sunday, October 27th- Full Day Private Walking Tour
We will start with our private guide at our hotel, then go to Asakusa. We will visit the most famous temple in Tokyo, Sensoji, then we will go walking around one of the most traditional towns in Tokyo. After enjoying the delicious lunch in Asakusa, we will move to Harajuku area, and you may get to feel the huge difference between the Meiji shrine, a religious calm place, and suddenly the Takeshita street, young pop culture. At last, we will take you to Shibuya, one and only crazy place in the whole world, and experience and enjoy the one and only famous scramble crossing!

Monday, October 28th-Open Day in Tokyo
Today is an open day for you to explore more of Tokyo, or choose an excursion outside of the city.  There is much to choose from, so you will be sure to find something to fit your fancy!  Below are some examples of what you could do.

Nikko/Onsen Day Trip-
Nikko meaning "sunlight" is absolutely one of Japan's major travel destinations and is a great day excursion from Tokyo.  There are many interesting sights, sacred to Buddhists since the 8th century.  Take the day in by visiting the sites of teh tombs and shrines of the Tokugawa shoguns.  The grandest of them all is the Toshogu shrine, as well as the famous "three monkeys" carving that expresses the Zen maxim to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."  You can also visit the nearby Yashio-no-yu onsen (outdoor naturally occurring hot springs, or spa).

Kamakura Day Trip-
Kamakura was the capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333, and considered one of the most cultural day trips from Tokyo.  Here you will find many Buddhist temples and the occasional Shinto shrine dotting the surrounding countryside.

Mt. Fuji-
Mt Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 12, 388ft and it is a symbol of Japan.  It is known for its striking beauty of its nearly perfect conic profile and wide-flowing skirts.  First travel by coach to the Fuji visitor center to see cultural art dedicated to Fujisan.  Then, continue up to Mt Fuji's fifth station at 7,607ft where you'll see the beauty of the Japanese landscape.  After lunch enjoy the crisp mountain air and Mt Fuji views while cruising Lake Ashi on a large sightseeing boat and riding the aerial cable-way up and down at Mount Komagatake overlooking Hakone National Park.

Tuesday, October 29th-Fish Market & Evening Food Tour
No visit to Tokyo is complete without going to the Tsukiji Fish Market-the world's biggest seafood market!  This day will begin very early (if you decide to join the group for this optional tour) with the arrival of the catch and its early-morning wholesale auctioning.  (Note: the auctioning restrictions change frequently for tourists, so this will be determined).  After visiting the market, we'll have our fresh sushi breakfast.

In the late afternoon we'll have our Shinjuku Izakaya evening walking food tour.  We will be taken to the crowds and tranquility in the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku. This tour features several delicious culinary destinations within the easy walking distance. Izakaya is a type of Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to accompany the drinks. Enjoy the local food and drink at venues you might not find on your own. These are the example of menus you might expect: Kushiage, Yakitori, Robata grill, Ramen, and Okonomiyaki. The final stop typically includes Macha ice cream. We visit enough places to make most people more than full and satisfied.

Wednesday, October 30th-Takayama & Half Day Tour
"Takayama is known for its old inns, shops and sake breweries.  It's a rarity: a small 21st-century city that's also retained its traditional charm.  Busy morning markets, hillside shrines and laid-back populace add to the town's attraction.  It's a perfect place to explore on foot or bicycle, and considered a high priority to visit."

We will depart our Tokyo hotel early to transfer on train to Takayama.  Upon arrival and checking into our ryokan, we'll meet for our guided half day walking tour of Takayama.  The tour will cover approximately 4km, going through areas such as: Takayama Jinya Government House, Sanmachi Traditional Buildings Preservation District, and Kusaka.

 

After our tour, you will have an open afternoon to explore this enchanting city the way you'd like.  Walking the city is easy, or if you prefer you may rent a bicycle for the day.  Below are some example of how you could spend your time.
-Old Private Houses: Enjoy the nostalgic streetscape featuring old, conventional houses built between the end of the Edo era and the Meiji area.  Along with old houses, the streets are full of shops selling a variety of products that are only unique to the Hida-Takayama area.
-Miyagawa Morning Market: A public market that started as a small market selling rice, mulberry, and flowers during the Edo period.  By the middle of the Meiji period, it was called Asaichi, or morning market, with a variety of home grown vegetables sold by the wives of farmers.
Hida-no-Sato (Hida Folk Village): A folk village exhibiting 30+ buildings, including 4 that are designed as national important cultural assets.  Dozens of old, thatched roof gassho-zukuri houses have been collected here from all around the region.|

Okuhida Onsen-go Hirayu Onsen: the oldest remote hot spring village in the famous Oku-Hida Onsen Villages.
Kamikochi: one of the most spectacular mountain resorts in Japan.  Deeply impressed, British missionary Walter Weston introduced the beauty of the Japanese Alps to the world during the Meiji period.
Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan (Festival Floats Exhibition Hall): Takayama Autumn Festival floats are showcased throughout the year.  A guided tour by a priestess is available.  Built by Hida's best master craftsmen, along with methods and technology, all eleven festival floats exhibited here are designated as national tangible folklore cultural assets.
Overnight Takayama Ryokan

Thursday, October 31-Open Day & Optional Shirakawa Half Day Tour
In the morning you will have the option to attend the half day tour or enjoy the day on your own.  The historic village of Shirakawa-go was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Shirakawa-go is famous for preserving the traditional gassho-zukuri style houses with the iconic thatched roofs, some of which are more than 300 years old.

The tour will leave in early morning, and return by early afternoon.  Spend 2 hours in Shirakawa-go. This is plenty of time to enjoy the small village, with its 114 gassho style houses. Take photos from the famous observation point overlooking the village, then stroll leisurely around the village, and go inside a few of the houses, too.

Enjoy the remainder of the day with optional activities from the previous day.

Friday, November 1-Depart Kyoto & Half Day Afternoon Kyoto Tour
We will depart in the morning to the train station and transfer to Kyoto.  After checking into our hotel in the early afternoon, we will meet our guide for our half day tour.  This afternoon tour will include the chance to visit most of Kyoto's most beautiful sights!  Kyoto was Japan's capital from 794 to 1868 and has the history to prove it.  With 17 World Heritage Sites, more than 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines, Kyoto is also one of the world's most culturally rich cities.  This is where you will find the Japan of your imagination.  Most of the sites that make up the popular image of Japan probably originated in Kyoto.

On this tour, we'll visit Nijo Castle, the residence of the Tokugawa era shoguns, and marvel at the gold-leaf covered Golden Pavillion, which houses sacred relics of Buddha and is surrounded by an exquisitely beautiful garden.  We'll also take in the Imperial Palace, and watch craftsmen plying their trade at the Kyoto Handicraft Center, where you can purchase locally-made items.  Our tour will end in the Gion district, which is one of the two Geisha districts.  Here we'll visit a local shop that has been selling geisha accessories for over 125yrs.  We will stay here at a local restaurant for our optional group dinner.
Overnight Kyoto Hotel

Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3-Open Days in Kyoto/Optional Excursions
The following two days will be open for you to spend the way you'd like.  Below are some suggestions on how to spend your time.  Each night there will be a optional group dinner.

-Day Trip to Nara:  Nara is a short train ride away and houses the popular attraction Daibutsu (Hall of the Great Buddha).  This Buddha is one of the largest bronze figures in the world and was originally cast in 746.
-Traditional Tea Ceremony
-Cooking Class & Market
-Kyoto Landmarks & Sake Tasting
-Life of a Geisha
-Hiking in Nature in Kyoto
-Calligraphy Class
-More Sightseeing in Kyoto:
There is so much to see and do in Kyoto-temples, gardens, castles, cafes, etc!
Overnight Kyoto Hotel

Monday, November 4-Depart to Tokyo Airport & NYC
This morning we will depart to the train station for our transfer back to Tokyo Airport for our late afternoon flight.
We will arrive in NYC on Monday May 30th in the early-late evening.

Payment Due Dates and Procedures
All payments must be made on time to secure your spot.  You may pay the balance in full anytime on/before the first due date.

You can pay the balance in either 3 ways:
-Venmo
-Zelle
-Pay online through website (3% service fee will be added to total)
Due Dates
$1600
$1595/$1695 (final payment)
(if you signed up after sale price, your final balance is $1695

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