Japan:
 
 

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DAY 1: Arrive in Tokyo, Japan:

Welcome to Japan’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

 

 

DAY 2 : Tokyo:

Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions prior to morning sightseeing in Tokyo, home to more than 8 million people. Your tour takes you to the MEIJI SHRINE, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest, followed by a drive to see the Imperial Palace Plaza. Next, visit an ARTIST’S STUDIO and enjoy demonstrations by a master calligrapher before trying it yourself. You will also have an opportunity to try on a traditional KIMONO and enjoy a TEA CEREMONY. Last stop is the ASAKUSA KANNON TEMPLE and the NAKAMISE SHOPPING ARCADE. The balance of the day is at leisure. Perhaps stroll through the famous Ginza area. Tonight, join your traveling companions at a welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director. After dinner, join your Tour Director for a WALKING TOUR among the dazzling neon lights of Tokyo. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 

Day 3 : Tokyo:

A free day for independent activities. You may wish to join a full-day optional excursion to Kamakura, home of the 750-year-old Great Buddha, followed by a scenic drive to Hakone, a cruise on Lake Ashi, and a cable-car ride for panoramic views of Mount Fuji (weather permitting). Your optional tour concludes with a thrilling bullet train ride back to Tokyo. During your evening at leisure you may want to experience a local Japanese restaurant. (B)


Day 4: Tokyo–Matsumoto–Takayama:



SCHEDULE:
Journey to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps. Visit famous MATSUMOTO CASTLE, dating back to 1593, and discover the history at the JAPAN FOLKLORE MUSEUM. After lunch, continue by motorcoach through the ruggedly beautiful Japanese Alps to the quiet, isolated town of Takayama, where old traditions are untouched by the passage of time. The balance of the day is at leisure, providing you time to explore the narrow streets where artisans sell traditional crafts. (Breakfast, Lunch)


Day 5 : Takayama

Today begins with a visit to the MORNING MARKET, where farmers display locally grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Then, on to the San-Machi Suji historic district, famous for sake distilleries and tiny lacquerware shops where merchants buy and sell as they have for 300 years. Visit the KUSAKABE HERITAGE HOUSE for a glimpse of traditional Japanese architecture of the late-19th century. In the afternoon, a short ride brings you to the HIDA MINZOKU-MURA FOLK VILLAGE, a collection of traditional buildings and farmhouses, as well as numerous artifacts relating to the life and work of the local villagers. Tonight, enjoy a wonderful Japanese-style dinner. (B,D)http://www.globusjourneys.in/images/spacer.gif


Day 6: Takayama–Shirakawa–Kanazawa:

This morning, enjoy a drive through the mountainous Shokawa Valley to Shirakawa. This remote region of Japan is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the unique GASSHO-ZUKURI (joined hands)-style thatched houses that can be found only here. Continue to the scenic town of Kanazawa, situated between the mountains and the Sea of Japan and once the country’s richest region. Your Tour Director leads you on a tour of one of Japan’s greatest gardens, KENROKU-EN, the “Garden of Six Qualities,” dating from the 1670s. Adjacent to the garden is the ISHIKAWA PREFECTURE CRAFTS MUSEUM, displaying more than 30 traditional crafts, including the locally famous Kanazawa Haku gold leaf produced since 1593. Then, partake in a GOLD LEAF CLASS, where you make your own souvenir and learn more about this ancient traditional craft. Your included dinner tonight is at your choice of one of three restaurants within your hotel. (B,D)

 

Day 7: Kanazawa–Kyoto:

This afternoon, travel along the Sea of Japan to Kyoto. Upon arrival, visit the FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE, renowned for the thousands of brightly colored Torii Gates. Here you will witness an exclusive performance of MIKO (Shinto girls). Afterward, visit YUZEN HANDMADE CORNER to learn about the Yuzen dyeing technique used to decorate kimonos by painting dye directly on the cloth. You will be invited to participate in making your own souvenir using this traditional technique. Lastly, visit Kinkakuji, the TEMPLE OF THE GOLD PAVILION. (B)

Day 8: Kyoto:

This morning’s city tour features HEIAN SHRINE & GARDEN and the extraordinary NIJO CASTLE, built in 1603 as the official residence of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. For lunch, participate in a special JAPANESE COOKING CLASS. Under the instruction of a local chef you will learn how to make miso soup, teriyaki chicken, and makizushi, more commonly known as a sushi roll. Perhaps join the afternoon optional excursion to Nara, the oldest capital of Japan, where you will visit Todaiji Temple with its Great Buddha; Kasuga Shrine, famous for stone and bronze lanterns; and Nara Park. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 9: Kyoto:

A full day at leisure to explore more of Kyoto’s temples, shrines, palaces, and pagodas. Or, for an authentic taste of Japan, consider a visit to a traditional sake brewery for a tasting and to learn about the brewing tradition that has been passed down through the generations. Tonight your Tour Director hosts a farewell dinner to celebrate your discovery of Japan. (B,D)

 

Day 10: Kyoto–Hiroshima:

Board one of Japan’s famous BULLET TRAINS bound for Hiroshima. Afternoon excursion to MIYAJIMA ISLAND to see the Itsukushima Shrine, noted for its floating Torii Gate. (B)

Day 11: Hiroshima–Kurashiki:

Today’s sightseeing tour starts with a visit to the SHUKKEIEN LANDSCAPE GARDEN. Then, stop at PEACE PARK to visit the MEMORIAL MUSEUM and MEMORIAL HALL, which memorialize the lives lost in the atomic bombing. Then, travel by motorcoach to Kurashiki, where you will visit the OHARA MUSEUM OF ART. (B)

 

 

Day 12: Kurashiki–Osaka:

Today, visit the KILN OF BIZEN YAKI POTTERY, then drive to Okayama to see KORAKUEN, one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. Later, arrive in Osaka. (B)

 

 

Day 13: Osaka:

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

 
 
 
 
 
     
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