Heart of Japan 14 Nights

14 day private fully escorted tour, visiting the heart of Japan, perfect for first time visitors

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Steeped in centuries of culinary tradition, Japan is nothing less than a treasure trove of exotic cuisine, potent sake and sweet delights. From Tokyo to Kyoto, our adventure takes us into the heart of Japan, enjoying a smorgasbord of treats in a variety of settings. To complete the recipe, we mix in plenty of culture and top it off with some of Japan’s best attractions. Be tempted by tempura, savour your sushi and tickle your tastebuds, as we discover the endless variety of Japan and its cuisine with enjoying some walks and activities along the way.

 

Tour Highlights

  • Your very own certified English speaking guide throughout
  • Luxurious handpicked accommodation
  • Traditional “yakatabune” dinner cruise
  • Sushi breakfast at the Tsukiji Fishmarkets
  • Museums celebrating Japanese collection and masterpieces
  • Traditional onsen hot spring accommodation

 

For latest prices, please contact Experience Japan


Day 1: Tokyo

Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide that will assist you to go to your accommodation.

The rest of the day is free at leisure

Tonight you will be taken to a traditional Japanese welcome dinner cruise.

Accommodation in Tokyo:  Keio Plaza Hotel including breakfast

About the accommodation:

The Keio Plaza Hotel is the ideal location to explore the delights of the city of Tokyo. Only minutes away from the most popular shopping and entertainment spots, this luxury hotel provides stunning views over central Tokyo. After hours, you can continue to work at a fully equipped business center or from the warmth of your room, which conveniently offers 24-hour complimentary high-speed Internet access. Located in Shinjuku, in the very heart of the Tokyo metropolis, the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo extends top rated services and facilities, features that guests come to expect of a world class hotel.

 

Day 2: Tokyo

Morning tour visiting:

Asakusa 

The Asakusa district once thrived as a temple town for the nearby Senso-ji Temple. The history of Senso-ji Temple goes back far into the past. Legend has it that fishermen brothers discovered an image of Kannon (the goddess of mercy) in the Sumida-gawa River around the year 628 and were inspired to enshrine it. The temple’s symbol is the Furai jin-mon (Gate of Wind God and Thunder God) adorned with a large red paper lantern that bears the inscription “Kaminari-mon” (Thunder Gate). There is a constant flow of visitors and worshippers to the temple throughout the year. Numerous shops along Nakamise-dori Street, which runs along the approach way to Senso-ji Temple, carry a variety of small articles made of Japanese-style paper and other traditional goods such as folding fans.

Meiji Jingu Shrine 

Meiji-jingu was founded in 1921 to enshrine the Emperor and Empress Meiji, Japans first sovereign following the demise of rule by the samurai class. Most of the major buildings of the shrine were burned down in 1945 due to air raids during World War II, but thanks to donations from Japan and abroad, all were reconstructed in 1958. With many large trees still growing in its grounds, Meiji-jingu is a precious wooded area in the heart of the city. The area is also home to many birds and insects, and together with the extensive Yoyogi Koen (the park beside the shrine), it is a soothing oasis in the middle of Tokyo.’

Harajuku

Harajuku is also a fashion capital of the world, renowned for its unique street fashion. Harajuku street style is promoted in Japanese and international publications such as Kera, Tune, Gothic & Lolita Bible and Fruits. Many prominent designers and fashion ideas have sprung from Harajuku and incorporated themselves into other fashions throughout the world. Harajuku is also a large shopping district that includes international brands, its own brands, and shops selling clothes young people can afford.

Afternoon is free at leisure

 

Day 3: Tokyo 

Today, visit the famous Tsukiji Fishmarkets, the biggest wholesale and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market handles more than 400 different types of seafood from cheap seaweed to the most expensive caviar, and from tiny sardines to 300kg tuna. Overall, more than 700,000 tons of seafood are handled every year at the three seafood markets in Tokyo, with a total value in excess of approx. 5.5 billion US dollars. From there, you will be dropped off at the Sumida River Cruise area for a leisurely walk around the gardens.

 

Day 4: Tokyo

Free at leisure in Tokyo

 

Day 5: Kawaguchiko 

Today, catch a bus to Kawaguchiko for Mt Fuji day trip. The bus will take you half way up the Mt Fuji. Spend about an hour to enjoy the view 2,300 metres from sea level, then come down the mountain.

In the afternoon, visit Kubota Icchiku Museum.

Kubota Itchiku was the artist who revived the lost art of Tsujigahana silk dying, used to decorate elaborate kimono during the Muromachi Period who devoted the rest of his life to recreating and mastering the labor intensive silk dying technique. An intriguing museum devoted to Kubota Itchiku exhibits several of the artist’s kimono creations, depicting themes of nature, the cosmos and the seasons. Also on display are parts of his unfinished masterpiece “Symphony of Light”, a huge work comprised of 80 kimono that together form of a picture of Mount Fuji. 

Accommodation: Kawaguchiko Toki Yuyu Rakuyuu in a Japanese style room including breakfast and dinner 

About the accommodation:

Located on the hill beside Lake Kawaguchi. All rooms command the beautiful view of the lake. The restful time at the lakeside will teach you the luxury of spending time doing nothing.

 

Day 6: Nikko

In the morning, you will travel to Nikko, a town with elaborate and beautiful architecture of temples and shrines by catching the local train and bullet train. 

In Nikko, you will visit World Heritage listed Toshogu Shrine.

Toshogu Shrine is where the famous Shogun of the Edo Period in the 17th century, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was worshiped after his death. It became as luxurious and elaborate as it looks today when the grandson of Ieyasu, the third Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, reconstructed it. The engravings on the Yomei-mon Gate are especially overwhelming, provided with every luxury imaginable and redolent in gorgeous colors. The engravings of the three monkeys in Shinkyu-sha and Nemuri-neko, the sleeping cat, are also well known.

Accommodation in Nikko: Nikko Station Hotel Classic including breakfast

About the accommodation

Featuring indoor and outdoor hot springs, 4 dining options and a terrace, Hotel Classic is located in front of JR Nikko Station. It offers cosy rooms with free wired internet. Modern rooms are decorated in warm colours, with soft lighting, a seating area and fluffy bedding. They are fitted with a 40-inch flat-screen TV, a fridge and a safe. Guests at Station Classic Hotel Nikko can relax in a public bath or hire a private hot spring. They can shop for local products in the hotel’s souvenir corner.

 

Day 7: Nikko

Whole day free at leisure in Nikko

 

Day 8: Takayama

Travel from Tokyo to Takayama, s traditional city named the little Kyoto, by catching the bullet train and local train. You will arrive in the afternoon. 

Accommodation in Takayama: Hida Hotel Plaza in a Western room including breakfast and dinner

About the accommodation

The hotel is located just 5-minute walking distance from Takayama station. You can enjoy graceful hospitality of a hotel, and experience Japanese relaxing atmosphere of a Ryokan at the same time. They have two large public baths. One is the Japanese style bath with Tatami (straw mats), and the other is the bath where you can enjoy viewing magnificent changing seasons of Hida Takayama. Each of the three restaurants in the hotel serves Japanese, western and Chinese cuisine, in which seasonal ingredients is cooked in Hida style.

 

Day 9: Takayama 

Takayama morning tour visiting the morning market. Every morning a farmer’s market is held along the Miya River and in front of Takayama Jinya. Local farmers and craftsmen sell everything from vegetables and pickles to carvings and clothes.

Afternoon, visit Hida Folk Village (to see the traditional thatched roof houses).

 

Day 10: Osaka

Travel to Osaka, the second largest city by catching high speed train.

In the afternoon, city orientation tour visiting:

Dotonbori

Osaka is known as the gastronomists’ town, and thus the entire area of Dotonbori is thronged with an unbelievable number of restaurants and amusement facilities, and is dearly loved by the Osakaites. There are theatres that play traditional puppet shows Bunraku, storytellers’ halls and other popular entertainment as well as a number of movie theatres.

Kuromon Market

A 580 meter-long market for fish, fruit, vegetables and other foods opened since the mid-Taisho Period (1912-1926) called “Osaka’s Kitchen”. Some of stalls are closed on Sun.

Sennichibashi Dogu Suji Kitchen Arcade

Dogusuji-ya Arcade in Osaka offers kitchen accessory and food model. There are also household goods and cameras offered.

Accommodation in Osaka: Rihga Royal Hotel in a double room including breakfast

About the accommodation

The Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka is found right in the heart of the legendary city of Osaka, located just two kilometers from the JR Osaka Station. The Fukushima subway station is a five minute walk from the hotel, while Kyoto Station is about 10 minutes away. The Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka is high on culture as well as modern convenience. This has been the premier hotel of Osaka for most of the 20th century. The hotel stands 30 stories high and is divided into three sections. Architectural style is Italian mixed with traditional Japanese. There are seven on-site restaurants and four bars. Guests can enjoy a karaoke room and indoor swimming pool.

 

Day 11: Osaka

Free at leisure

 

Day 12: Kyoto

This morning, you will travel to Kyoto to do some full day sightseeing.

Tour will visit:

Kinkakuji

Kinkaku-ji is one of Kyotos leading temples.  It was built at the end of the 14th century originally as a villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the shogun at the time. After Yoshimitsu’s death, as indicated in his will, the building was converted into a temple of the Zen sect of Buddhism, which is famous for the practice of zazen, or religious meditation. The temple has been burnt down many times in the flames of war and other conflagrations, and more recently by arson,. However, it was restored in 1955, with major improvement work being done on it in 1987, so that all of the gold leaf has been replaced. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage, Kinkaku-ji is one of the historical buildings most representative of Japan.’

Ryoanji

Ryoan-ji has its origins in the middle of the 15th century, when the villa of a court noble was converted into a Zen temple. Having once been destroyed by fire, the present building was rebuilt at the end of the 15th century. The Hojo Garden (hojo = the residence of the chief priest) is known for its Karesansui-style garden, which expresses the ocean and mountains through an arrangement of white sand and stone. The simple arrangement of just 15 stones and white sand expresses the world of Zen.

Nishiki Food Market 

Shopkeepers at the Nishiki Food Market rise early to sell fish, meat, dried foods, side dishes, yuba (tofu skin), and Kyoto vegetables on the 400 meter path from Teramachi to Takakura. The market is sometimes known as the “Kitchen of Kyoto.”

Tea ceremony included in the itinerary. 

Accommodation in Kyoto: Kyoto Granvia in a double room including breakfast

About the accommodation:

Located within Kyoto Station, Hotel Granvia Kyoto boasts an indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and 13 dining options. The hotel offers spacious rooms with free wired internet. Rooms have large windows with city views. They are fitted with an LCD TV, extra long beds and an elegant bathroom. A minibar and an electric kettle are provided. Guests at the Kyoto Granvia can relax in the steam room or the jacuzzi. The hotel features over 1000 art works. It is close to Kyoto Station’s shopping mall and museum. Le Temps serves French cuisine, La Fleur caters European dishes and a range of restaurants offer Japanese specialities. Granvia Hotel features 3 bars, and it provides in-room dining until midnight. Hotel Granvia Kyoto is just a 3-minute walk from Kyoto Tower. Sanjusangen-do Temple and Nishihongan-ji Temple are less than a 10-minute drive away.

 

Day 13: Kyoto

Today, you will visit the Miho Museum .

The Miho Museum is located southeast of Kyoto, Japan, near the town of Shigaraki, in Shiga Prefecture. The museum was the dream of Mihoko Koyama (after whom it is named), the heiress to the Toyobo textile business, and one of the wealthiest women in Japan. The Miho Museum houses Mihoko Koyama’s private collection of Asian and Western antiques, as well as other pieces with an estimated value of between US$300 million to US$1 billion. There are over two thousand pieces in total, of which approximately 250 are displayed at any one time.

At night, walking tour of Gion area, one of the main districts of Kyoto, where you can see the elegant “maiko” (apprentice geisha)

 

Day 14:  Kyoto

Free at leisure

 

Day 15: To Kansai (Osaka) Airport

Today, guide will assist you with transport back to Kansai International Airport.

 
Inclusion
  • Private tour leader throughout except for day 4
  • Daily breakfasts, 4 dinners (day 1, 5, 8, 9)
  • Transport and entrance fees required during the tour
  • 13 nights in a 4 star Western style accommodation
  • 1 night in a high end Ryokan style accommodation (Lake Kawaguchiko)
  • 14 day JR Pass Green Class

 

Terms and Conditions
  • We require a copy of your passport, travel insurance and your emergency contact upon booking
  • You must hold comprehensive travel insurance in order to participate in this package. We offer 30% discount if you book online
  • Deposit is required within 7 days of booking confirmation
  • Full payment is required 90 days prior to tour departure
  • Credit card fees apply
  • Amendment fees apply
  • Cancellation fees apply
  • The itinerary can be changed to your preference (price may change)
  • New World Travel Pty Ltd. ABN 84 003 148 196 ATAS: ATASA10506