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All Japan Tours       337 N.Vineyard Ave Suite 215, Ontario, CA 91764
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Essence of Japan: Takayama Spring Festival & Cherry Blossom Tour 2021 - 4/10

Attend the beautiful Takayama Spring Festival, visit the best spots to see cherry blossoms, and indulge in cultural experiences with a maximum group size 12 guests.

Tour Code: GTT3108596

Tour Information

Land cost: from USD $6198.00

Single supplement: USD $1560.00

Tour duration: 10 days 9 nights

Destination:
Tokyo / Hakone / Mt Fuji / Matsumoto / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Osaka / Nara / Kyoto

Tour cost includes:
• 8 nights Western style and 1 night Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Tokyo Narita Airport or Haneda Airport
• Private airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
• Gratuities
Meals
• Breakfast everyday
• 5 lunches and 3 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

Dates & Price
2021
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Sat. Apr 10, 2021 Mon. Apr 19, 2021 USD $6198.00 Tokyo Osaka Deluxe View Tour
2022
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Sun. Apr 10, 2022 Tue. Apr 19, 2022 USD $6198.00 Tokyo Osaka Deluxe View Tour

Please Note:
All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Itinerary

Day 1

Tokyo Narita Airport or Haneda Airport

Welcome to Tokyo! We will pick you up from the airport and take to the hotel by private car.

Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar class

NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.

NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.

Day 2

Tokyo (Meiji Shrine - Shinto ceremony with a Shinto priest or miko - priestess / Edo Tokyo Museum / Asakusa Sensoji Temple & Nakamise District / Sumida River Cruise to Odaiba / teamLab Borderless)

Today is a sightseeing tour of Tokyo that begins with a once in a lifetime experience! We start the day at Meiji shrine, built to honor Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, where you can enjoy a Shinto ceremony officiated by a Priest or Miko priestess. During the ceremony, they will pray for good luck and prosperity for the group. Next, we'll go to the Edo Tokyo Museum which exhibits miniature models and life-size replicas of buildings that take you back to Japan during the Edo period. From there, go to the Asakusa district for a visit to Sensoji Temple. It is Tokyo's oldest temple, and features the Kaminarimon Gate hung with a massive paper lantern. Beside the temple is colorful Nakamise street, filled with rows of shops that sell all manner of traditional souvenirs. Then enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sumida River on your way to Odaiba, where we will explore the interactive digital creations of teamLab Borderless. At this one-of-a-kind art display area, visitors are immersed in a whimsical harmony of light, color, and sound that makes vivid patterns and images all around the visitors.

Breakfast / Lunch

Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar class

Note: If Edo Tokyo Museum is close, we will visit Tokyo Skytree instead.

Day 3

Hakone (Open Air Museum / Lake Ashi Cruise), Mt Fuji (Itchiku Kubota Art Museum)

Today begins with a drive to Hakone to visit the Hakone Open Air Museum. This museum aims to create a harmonic balance of nature and art by exhibiting various sculptures and interactive structures on its grounds, in combination with views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Then board a leisurely cruise around Lake Ashi, a little caldera lake near Mount Hakone, where you can take in the gorgeous local scenery. Then travel to Lake Kawaguchi, near the base of Mount Fuji, where you will visit the Itchiku Kubota Museum. Here you can view silk artwork dyed by master textile artist Itchiku Kubota using the Tsujigahana technique, considered one of Japan's lost classical arts. Among the exhibits on display are parts of the unfinished "Symphony of Light", that uses a long row of dyed silk kimono to create a unified scene of Mount Fuji.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Fujisan Onsen Hotel Kaneyamaen or similar class

Day 4

Mt Fuji (Lake Kawaguchi - Oishi Park), Matsumoto (Matsumoto Castle), Takayama (Takayama Night Festival)

Start the morning at with a drive up to Lake Kawaguchi. The lake offers a rich natural appeal in any season, and is considered the loveliest of the Fuji Five Lakes. If the weather is favorable, an amazing view of Mount Fuji can be seen from Oishi Park on Lake Kawaguchi's northern shore. In addition to breathtaking views, Oishi Park features a variety of flowers and trees that bloom through every season, including a "Flowers Road", bordered by tulips, narcissus, lavenders, summer cypress, and others. From there, the tour continues to Takayama, making a stop in the city of Matsumoto for a visit to Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan's remaining original castles, known as "Black Crow Castle" for it's dark exterior. Then we continue on to Takayama, where we will attend the Takayama Night Festival, which features 12 antique floats that are renowned for their craftsmanship and are illuminated by lanterns.

Breakfast

Hotel Associa Takayama Resort or similar class

Day 5

Takayama (Morning Market / Takayama Jinya / Old Town / Takayama Festival)

Takayama is famous for the artisans and craftsmen with traditions continuing to this day from the 9th century. After breakfast we will continue sightseeing in Takayama, including the Morning Market, Takayama Jinya and Sanmachi Suji Old Town. You can browse the market stalls for local crafts and fresh farm products. Takayama's Old Town has been beautifully preserved, with many buildings and whole streets lined with houses dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868). On some streets, like Sannomachi Street, you can find many old homes, shops, coffee houses, and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries. In the afternoon, we will continue to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Takayama Spring Festival, watching floats as they parade through Old Town.

Breakfast / Dinner

Hotel Associa Takayama Resort or similar class

Day 6

Shirakawa-go (Shiroyama Viewpoint - Gassho-zukuri Minkaen - Wada-ke House), Kanazawa (Kenrokuen Garden / Nagamachi Samurai District - Nomura House)

Then we take a drive up to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go, famed for its distinctive farmhouses with broad thatched roofs. Ogimachi Village is the main attraction, where we can see rustic Edo period wooden buildings beside cultivated farmland. We will first stop by the Shiroyama Viewpoint for an idyllic glimpse of the town tableau, then go down to the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen – an open-air museum of farmhouses and structures relocated to this area. Wada-ke House is the largest farmhouse in the area, which belongs to the village leader and is now open for visitors to have a look inside. A quick drive over to Kanazawa brings us to gorgeous Kenrokuen Garden. One of Japan's Three Great Gardens, Kenrokuen features a landscape arrangement patterned after the six Chinese sublimities of garden design theory. This includes a good variety of flowering trees, ponds and streams, wooden bridges, stone lanterns, and charming teahouses to offer equally fantastic scenes in every season. At mid-morning, we head over to the Nagamachi, a former samurai district near Kanazawa Castle. Many of the restaurants, shops, and houses in the area are well preserved from the Edo era. The Nomura House is one such residence, exquisitely restored, which maintains a number of features common to the homes of feudal Japan's noble warrior class.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hotel Nikko Kanazawa or similar class

Day 7

Express Train to Osaka (Taiko Lesson), Nara (Sushi Making Experience / Todaiji Temple / Deer Park)

Take an express train into Osaka for a local class in playing the Taiko Drums. Taiko are made from tanned hide leather dried and stretched over a base of polished wood. A master drummer will lead your group through a series of easy traditional Japanese songs and coach you in the basic techniques of taiko. After the lesson, the tour proceeds to Nara for further immersion into Japanese culture with a Sushi-Making Experience. A professional sushi chef will guide you in preparing your very own sushi dish, and then you can enjoy the lunch you made! Vegetarian options are available for those with dietary restrictions. Then we will visit Nara's most famous landmark - Todaiji Temple. This temple was, until the late 1990s, the world's largest wooden building, and contains a massive seated Buddha statue nearly 50 meters tall, as well as a few other statues. Nearby the temple is Nara Deer Park, home to a thousand friendly and adorable Sika deer walking under the trees, who can be fed with small crackers available for purchase around the park. In the evening, we take a short drive into Kyoto to check into the hotel for a restful evening.
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.

Breakfast / Lunch

The Okura Kyoto or similar class

Day 8

Kyoto (Golden Pavilion / Arashiyama - Bamboo Grove / Visit to a Traditional Wooden Townhouse to learn about Calligraphy and the art of Ikebana / Fushimi Inari Shrine / GEAR Theatre)

After breakfast, begin your morning in Japan's old imperial capital with a visit to the Golden Pavilion, and icon of the city and one of its most popular sites. Built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the upper tiers are covered in 18- carat gold leaf and the top is crowned with a delicate phoenix. Next, tour the Arashiyama district, home to the Sagano Bamboo Grove. Standing between the towering bamboo stalks and listening to the wind rustling through them feels for a moment like you have stepped out of the city and into a landscape painting. Next, visit a traditional wooden townhouse to learn the Japanese arts of Calligraphy and Ikebana. Take some time to admire the thousands of vermillion torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine before going to the GEAR Theatre for a live performance unlike anything you've ever seen. Five human performers play "robots" who come to life and learn through creative playfulness and skill how they might approach humanity. GEAR uses only silent motion – dance, performance art, and stage magic – to delight audiences of any age and language.

Breakfast / Lunch

The Okura Kyoto or similar class

Day 9

Kyoto (Kiyomizu Temple / Kimono Experience / Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka / Kodaiji Temple - Zen Meditation & Tea Ceremony / Gion Geisha District - Kyoto Cuisine with Maiko Dinner)

Begin today with a morning visit to Kiyomizu Temple. This temple is known for its dramatic wooden veranda that provides breathtaking views of Kyoto as well as its sacred waterfall. While in the area, enjoy a Kimono Experience where you can try on and take pictures in an elegant Japanese kimono. This traditional attire is still worn for many formal occasions. Leading up to the temple are Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka, these streets are filled with preserved buildings from Japan’s past. Many of the buildings are now shops that sell souvenirs and Kyoto- specific wares. Then, we will travel to Kodaiji Temple, a lavish temple built in memory of samurai warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Here, we can experience Zen meditation and Green Tea Ceremony. We will end our day in the Gion Geisha District, where its streets are lined with ochaya (teahouses), exclusive establishments where guests are entertained by Geisha and Maiko. Here, we will enjoy traditional Kyoto Cuisine in the company of a beautiful Maiko – a geisha in training.

Breakfast / Dinner

The Okura Kyoto or similar class

Day 10

Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends.
Checkout time is 11 am.
Transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport or Itami Airport by private car.

Breakfast

NOTE 3: The departure airport transfer is ONLY available on the last day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights after the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.

NOTE 4: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.