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Luxury Tour

Best of Japan

FROM $13,995

Visit the country’s most beautiful gardens, memorials, temples and sites as you see the best that Japan has to offer.

  • DURATION 11 DAYS
  • TYPE LUXURY LAND JOURNEY
  • OPERATES 7 NOV 2017
  • DEPARTS Tokyo

ITINERARY

DAY 1 Arrive Tokyo

Be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure. Tonight, meet your APT Tour Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception at the hotel.
Stay: Shangri La Hotel or similar

DAY 2 Tokyo

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Meet with Grandma Hiroko and try your hand at cooking traditional authentic cuisine.

After breakfast, set out for a morning tour of Tokyo. Due to its destruction during the 20th Century, admire Tokyo’s overwhelmingly modern architecture. This current urban landscape is one of the most modern and contemporary of its kind, where older buildings are scarce if any. Afterwards, be further captivated by the Imperial Palace East Gardens. The former site of the residence of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867, take a tour within Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defence and wander around the moats, walls, entrance gates and several guardhouses that still exist today. Later, enjoy the atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades in the Asakusa centre of the shitamachi district. Walk around Asakusa’s historic surroundings including the main attraction of Sensoji, a popular Buddhist temple built in the 7th century which is approached via the oldest shopping street in Japan – Nakamise-dori Street. This evening, head out for a Welcome Dinner. (BLD)
Stay: Shangri La Hotel or similar

DAY 3 Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Tokyo

FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ – Dining

Be transferred back to Tokyo this evening for your choice of dining.

Today you will enjoy a full day tour of Mount Fuji and Hakone. At 3,776 meters, Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain. Worshipped as a sacred mountain throughout the centuries, this perfectly shaped active volcano stands on the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures and can be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama on a clear day. The tour begins at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, which lies approximately at the halfway point of the Yoshida Trail, which leads from Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine at the mountain’s base to the summit of Mount Fiji. It is the most popular of the four 5th stations and also offers a commanding view of the Fuji Five Lakes area. Later, embark on a sightseeing cruise around Lake Ashinoko, formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano’s last eruption some 3,000 years ago, before climbing Mount Komagatake aboard the Komagatake Ropeway aerial lift line. (BLD)

Stay: Shangri La Hotel or similar

DAY 4 Tokyo, Kanazawa

FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ – Dining

Upon arrival at ‘Little Kyoto’, enjoy time at leisure to explore the old castle town before your choice of dinner at your hotel.(BD)
Stay: Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel or similar

DAY 5 Kanazawa

This morning after breakfast, you will begin a full day tour through the city of Kanazawa. During the Edo Period, Kanazawa served as the home of the second most powerful feudal clan in terms of rice production and fief size, rivalling Kyoto and Tokyo. Explore the 11.4 hectare Japanese Kenrokuen Gardens, located on the central heights and next to the Kanazawa Castle. Known for its scale and beauty, it is regarded as one of the most beautiful feudal lords’ gardens in Japan. Within the gardens, a large artificial pond can be found, as hills and houses dot across the grounds. Whilst here, take a tour of the Seisonkaku Villa which was built within the gardens in 1863. Here, take time to understand and appreciate the fine techniques used when building. For example, the inner pillars and walls often included a wooden panel with openwork carvings of flowers and birds, as did the coffered ceiling for the guest chamber. Then be captivated by the new-style art found within the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Offering a differing take on conventional museums, the other-worldly UFO-shaped building exhibits experiment-type contemporary arts that visitors can openly interact with. Later, drive past the former residence of the samurai and their families in the Nagamachi district before finishing the day at Kazue-machi, an old geisha district. Delight in the picturesque atmosphere of the wooden lattice fronts of old Geisha houses and restaurants, before taking a brief stroll around the area. Here, savour the view of the area from Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge. Look out upon the rows of historic chaya houses, which have been designated as a national cultural assets since 2008. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.(BLD)
Stay: Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel or similar

DAY 6 Kanazawa, Kyoto

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Enjoy a Tea Ceremony and meet with a local Maiko or Geiko.

Board the Thunderbird train service this morning, from Kanazawa to Kyoto. The fastest transfer possible between both cities, this high-speed train is a very popular option for both business and leisure travellers across Japan. Upon arrival in the afternoon, take time to leisurely explore Kyoto. Vibrant and colourful, Kyoto served as Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868. Nowadays it is the country’s seventh largest city with a growing population of 1.4 million people. Due to its great historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and spared from air raids during World War II. Enjoy time to walk amongst the countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures scattered throughout the city. (BD)
Stay: Tokyu Hotel or similar

DAY 7 Kyoto, Osaka

After breakfast, set out on a guided tour of Osaka Castle and its surroundings. The largest castle of its time, Osaka Castle was built to become the centre of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s rule. Housing an informative museum of the castle’s and Toyotomi’s history, your tour concludes after a cruise along Osaka Bay in the Tempozan Area. A shopper’s paradise to meet any taste, discover the latest of trends in Shinsaibashi before walking amongst the iconic neon lights and mechanized signs of Dotonbori. (BLD)
Stay: Tokyu Hotel or similar

DAY 8 Kyoto, Kurashiki, Hiroshima, Kyoto

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Interact with local volunteers at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and construct paper cranes at the Sadako Memorial.

After a delicious breakfast, be transferred to Kurashiki this morning via train. An important point along the distribution route of Japan’s most vital commodity, rice, Kurashiki was put under direct control of the shogunate. Built to allow boats and barges to navigate between the city’s storehouses and nearby port, take time to explore the city’s intricate canal system in the Bikan Historical Quarter. Look out for weeping willow trees here that line the stone bridges that cross over the water. Later, be guided through to Hiroshima. Widely considered at the time as the political and commercial heart of Japan, Hiroshima was chosen as an ideal target for an atomic attack. When the first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, the destructive power obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometer radius. Destroyed monuments of historical heritage were eventually reconstructed and in the center of the city a large park was built and given a name that would reflect the aspirations of the re-born city: Peace Memorial Park. Spend the afternoon at the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Dome. Here at the museum, observe displays left by victims, photos and other materials that convey the horror before and after the event.(BL)
Stay: Tokyu Hotel or similar

DAY 9 Kyoto, Nara

FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ – Dining

This evening, enjoy the local flavours with a choice in where to dine.

Enjoy a morning at leisure before being transferred to Nara, the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture. Stop to admire Japan’s most famous and historically significant temple, Todaiji, before making way to the Kasuga Taisha shrine. Known as the ‘Great Eastern Temple’, Todaiji was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan. It grew so powerful that the capital was once moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower the temple’s influence on government affairs. Located in Nara Park, which also features several World Heritage Sites, temples, shrines, gardens and museums, you may even meet one of the 1,200 wild deer that freely roam the grounds.(BD)
Stay: Tokyu Hotel or similar

DAY 10 Kyoto

Today, discover the attractions of the cultural capital of Japan on a full day tour. An ancient city with 1,200-years of history, Kyoto has always adopted the most advanced standards of the times and often greatly contributed to the nation’s industrial, economic and cultural development as well as strength. Built in 1603 and the residence of the first shogun of the Edo Period – Tokugawa leyasu, the tour starts at Nijo Castle. This five-story Tenshukaku (Castle Keep) is still arguably the best surviving example of castle palace architecture of Japan’s feudal era. Afterwards, visit the Zen temple of Kinkakuji, whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Built to echo the extravagant Kitayama culture that developed in the wealthy aristocratic circles, each floor represents a different style of architecture. Stop by the one of the most celebrated temples of Japan on the site of the Otawa Waterfall. Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside, offering fantastic views of numerous cherry and maple trees that erupt in a sea of colour. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a memorable Farewell Dinner. (BLD)
Stay: Tokyu Hotel or similar

DAY 11 Depart Osaka

After breakfast this morning, your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Kansai Airport in Osaka for your flight home. Alternatively, you may choose to extend your APT holiday with a trip to China. (B)

tour ENQUIRY

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