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About the trip

MAY 12 – 24, 2019

12-day customized tour of Japan, starting in Tokyo. Explore some of Japan’s top destinations, epic sites and off-the-beaten-track hidden gems.

 

This trip is currently sold out, and available by waitlist only.

We are excited to offer an immersive experience in Japanese culture and lifestyle along with the romantic sites. Japan is a country of modern amenities, renowned cuisine, and a deep sense of history. Being one of the first countries to witness sunrise, Japan has the nickname, “The Land of the Rising Sun.”

 

 

Palace Hotel – Tokyo

With an incomparable perspective on the city and a singular, moat-side setting just opposite the Imperial Palace gardens, Palace Hotel Tokyo is a haven of hospitality – serene and refined, and imbued with understated luxury throughout. The floor-to-ceiling windows of our Deluxe Rooms reveal the Imperial Palace’s ancient Otemon Gate and Uchibori Dori avenue.The ample living space comes with a separate seating area which can be used as either a dining table or a work space, and its bathroom is open-style – with separate soaking tub and shower and complete with dual rain and handheld shower heads.

 

Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan – Takayama

Located in Hida Takayama Onsen, this spa ryokan is steps from Takayama Jinya and Takayama-jinya. Hida Folk Archaeological Museum is within 5 minute walk.

 

Kagaya – Kanazawa

Kagaya is a traditional Japanese style inn (Ryokan). It’s a long-established ryokan that has been ranked #1 for the past 30 years. The ryokan is decorated with a balance of traditional and modern Japanese aesthetics, is fully outfitted with hot spring facilities, offers plenty of colorful meals using the best local ingredients, and is employed by staff offering the highest quality hospitality. At Kagaya, you can enjoy the famous water of the Wakura Onsen (hot spring) that has a 1200-year long history. The water is said to be good for ailments like rheumatism, neuralgia, gout, and allergies.

Celestine Gion – Kyoto

Located in the heart of Kyoto, the Celestine Gion features a large public bath, and Japanese garden. Designed to shift the traditions and history of Kyoto into the modern day, guest rooms use the beauty of spatial design. From the interior design to the amenities, each and every item in the guest rooms has been carefully chosen to provide a truly relaxing private room.

 

Bella Vista – Onomichi

Bella Vista provides superb elements that can only be enjoyed at this location, rooted in the region’s food, industries and culture, such as local ingredients from the sea and the mountains of Hiroshima and the Inland Sea, as well as local denim, Kasuri fabric and furniture.

 

Sheraton – Hiroshima

Sheraton Hiroshima Hotel features a restaurant, bar and free Wi-Fi.Closest Landmarks:Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art – 0.9 miles

Hiroshima Castle -1.1 milesAtomic Bomb Dome – 1.4 milesHiroshima Peace Memorial Museum – 1.5 milesSheraton Hiroshima Hotel received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award for 2017.

 

InterContinental – Osaka

InterContinental Osaka offers contemporary glamour and magnificent panoramas in an enviable location close to the city’s main sights. Immediate proximity to Osaka Station and a connection with the high-end shopping mall, Grand Front Osaka, makes InterContinental Osaka an ideal base to explore the city of Osaka.

Our tour includes three nights in Tokyo, one of the world’s most cutting-edge capitals. Witness the contrast of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples next to towering skyscrapers. Experience two nights at a traditional Japanese ryokan, three nights in Kyoto, the historic former capital, famous for its abundance of temples, gardens, and UNESCO World Heritage status. Enjoy an overnight and farewell dinner in Osaka,Japan’s third largest city, before returning home.

 

Package Includes

  • 12-day fully escorted tour, with the services of local and Brand g hosts throughout the trip.
  • 12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches and 10 Dinners
  • Two beverages per included lunch and dinner (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
  • Meet and greet airport transfer at Tokyo Haneda or Narita Airport
  • Welcome dinner cruise in Tokyo Bay
  • Visits to Sensoji Temple & Nakamise Street in Asakusa
  • Sushi making experience with lunch
  • Sumo wrestling practice visit
  • Private bus to Nikko, the world heritage town and national park
  • Race to Takayama on a high speed bullet train and local train and stroll the old town and streets including Takayama Jinya.
  • Explore the Miyagawa morning market
  • Visit the world heritage site ofGokayama
  • In Kanazawa, visit the old Higashi-chaya district and Kenrokuen garden
  • Full day excursion in Kyoto toNijo castle,Kinkakuji and Ryoanji temple andArashimaya bamboo forest
  • Kaiseki dinner with Maiko
  • Full day on your own in Kyoto. Take and optional excursion, such as tea ceremony or cooking class
  • VisitHimeji castle, andEnkyo-ji temple where the movie Last Samurai was filmed
  • Enjoy a Kobe Beef lunch
  • Take in theBenesse museum, Chichu art museum, Ando museum on the unique Naoshima Island
  • Visit Itsukushima shrine on Miyajima island
  • Visit Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima
  • Explore the bustling old capital of Osaka, exciting night life and street food
  • Airport transfer back to KIX airport in Osaka

Welcome to Tokyo! You will be met and transferred to your hotel. Welcome dinner cruise of Tokyo Bay this evening. Overnight in a Deluxe Room at the Palace Hotel.

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a full-day tour of Tokyo including a sumo practice session in the morning, and visits to Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Street in Asakusa. For lunch, we will take part in a sushi making experience. This evening, we take a foodie tour in Ueno to enjoy local foods. Overnight at the Palace Hotel.

Today we venture outside of Tokyo to the world heritage town and national park at Nikko. We stop by a local sake brewery, and visit Toshogu shrine and Kanmangafuchi Abyss. At the end of the day we return to our comfortable rooms at the Palace Hotel. Tonight you are on your own to explore the Tokyo food scene.

After breakfast at the hotel and check-out, we will take the bullet train to Takayama. Takayama is renowned for its beautiful old town, where the traditional touch is preserved. Take a short walk to Takayama Jinya, the only surviving government office building headed by the officials dispatched from Edo. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner, with an overnight stay at a traditional Ryokan.

Wake up to a tasty breakfast before beginning your journey to Miyagawa market. Immerse yourself in the daily life of the market, where vegetables and fruits unique to Japan are on display. In the afternoon, we will visit the local folk village, then travel to UNESCO World Heritage Shirakawago. Afterwards, discover the imposing Matsumoto castle at your own pace.

If the time permits, we will visit regional renowned wasabi farm and learn about the growth of this spicy paste.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast before visiting the largest one of three regional well preserved chaya districts – Higashi Chaya district. Chaya is an exclusive restaurant, where geishas perform song and dance to entertain patrons. Another signature of Kanazawa is gold leaf handicrafts – from accessories to clothing, housewares and even food.

Following touring we will take the express train to Kyoto, were you will have time to relax until a special Kaiseki dinner with Maiko at traditional restaurant.

We start with the sprawling, breathtaking Nijo Castle, followed by Ryoanji – the UNESCO World Heritage zen temple with its famous rock garden. This unique garden has no plants, apart from little patches of moss around the stones.

Afterward, visit Kinkakuji, the shining pavilion completely covered by gold leaf that was originally built as a shogun’s summer house. Enjoy an afternoon walk through the bamboo groves. Dinner tonight at a local restaurant.

Today feel free to sleep in with your morning schedule free. After lunch, take a bus to Kinosaki, known throughout Japan and the world as one of the best hot spring resort towns. After check-in at a local ryokan, stroll around the town and enjoy the local food, drink, and onsen (hot spring).

We start with the stunning Himeji Castle, followed by a Kobe beef lunch. Afterward, we’ll visit Enkyo-ji temple, where Last Samurai was filmed.Dinner tonight is included in Kyoto.

Following breakfast and check out, transfer to Kyoto station and take the bullet train to Okayama station (in green – aka [first class]). From here, we take a private bus to Uno port to ride on the ferry to Naoshima island. Enjoy visits to the Benesse museum, Chichu art museum and Ando museum.Following our tour of the island, we will bus to Onomichi for check-in at hotel, with dinner tonight at the hotel restaurant.

Fuel up with a good breakfast before heading to Hiroshima, a city recovered from the Atomic Bombing aftermath. Admire the stunning vibrancy and splendid culture which has regrown from the ashes. Embark on a ferry ride to Miyajima – home to the giant torii-gate. The bright, red gate seems to float on the water during high tide.

Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant.

After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Peace Memorial Park, a major attraction of the Hiroshima bombing. Afterwards, continue your journey to Japan’s second largest metropolitan area – Osaka! Upon arrival, stroll along the city’s bustling streets and sample Osaka cuisine. Farewell dinner tonight.

Private transfer to KIX airport.

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Enhance the Experience We have been booking with Concierge Travel for many years. They provide access to all of the Gay Travel products available and are able to provide advice on which type of travel or specific trips will meet our needs. Concierge team members often join us on the trip and provide a few little extras to enhance the experience. We would never consider using anyone else.

Joe and Keith Houston, TX

Joe and Keith