Delve into the captivating history of Japan on this 7-day tour that traverses the country’s present and former capitals. Beginning in the dynamic capital of Tokyo, you will have the opportunity to explore the city’s numerous attractions. Visit Kamakura, a sleepy seaside town home to numerous temples and Japan’s largest outdoor Buddha. In Kyoto, take time to explore Japan’s longest reigning capital home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sights, before taking an experiential cooking course. This Japan tour culminates in Nara, the capital prior to Kyoto. Explore at your leisure with some helpful recommendations before retiring to your ryokan for traditional hospitality and amazing dining experience.
Arrive in Tokyo, the capital of Japan since 1868. You will be welcomed by our airport representative who will assist you in transferring by either train or shuttle bus to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Today explore Tokyo with your guide. Have a stroll through the former private garden Hame-Riyu Teien, have a stop in a tea house in order to try matcha (Japanese powdered green tea), then have a boat cruise along the Sumida River. Then, head to Asakusa (Tokyo old town) and visit the Buddhist Sensoji Temple, that is also the city’s oldest Geisha district.
In the afternoon, head to Omotesando, commonly referred to as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysee. At the end of the day, explore Meiji Shrine, Tokyo’s most famous, dedicated to the spirit of the late Emperor Meiji.
Overnight in Tokyo.
Tokyo – Kamakura Day Trip (B)
Today have a day trip to Kamakura, the former capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate during the Kamakura Period (1185 – 1333).
Rest of the afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Tokyo.
Tokyo – Kyoto (B,D)
Undertake the 2-hour journey with the world famous Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto, which can speed up to 330km/h.
In the afternoon, have a cooking experience with a local guide. Walk the mile-long Nishiki covered food markets, choose the ingredients, visit a former sake brewery (sake tasting included) and head to a traditional wooden townhouse for your Japanese cooking class. Learn how to make sushi, miso soup and cooked salad with seasonal fruit for dessert.
Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Kyoto.
Explore the former Imperial capital with a knowledgeable local guide, using Kyoto’s comprehensive bus system to visit some of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. Start your day with a visit to Nijo Castle, continue to the Golden Pavilion Kinkakuji, and have a final morning stop at the Daitoku-ji Zen complex.
After lunch, visit Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13m high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall you can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto. Finish the day with a stroll through the atmospheric Higashiyama district, whose busy lanes lead up to Kiyomizu and are filled with quaint shops selling souvenirs including Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles.
Overnight in Kyoto.
Nara Daytrip (B)
Today is a self-guided day.
This morning, make the 45min train ride to Nara. Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 -784. It is a small town and most of its main sights are gathered around Nara Park. We would recommend visiting Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha, and Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine. Nara’s National Museum has a huge collection of Japanese Buddhist Art.
In the afternoon, head back to Kyoto for additional sightseeing in the ancient capital. Overnight in Kyoto.
Depart Nara (B)
Free time until your departure by airport bus to Kansai Airport (1.5hr)
We can also arrange for a return train to Tokyo Narita Airport (4.5hr), as well as an additional night in Tokyo if required.
4* and 5* accommodation options available
please ask your travel consultant today
Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)
Vaccinations: No compulsory.
Visa: A visa is NOT required for Irish passport holders who wish to enter Japan for a period of six months or less, if leisure traveler.
Best time to Travel: The best times to visit Japan are definitely during Spring (March to May) when the famous cherry’s trees (sakuras) bloom all over Japan, and Autumn(September to November) where the temperatures are still pleasan
t and you can admire this time the autumn red color leaves.
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