Japan
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Japan

9 Day Tour Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto & Hiroshima

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Package includes

  • Airport to Hotel Limousine Bus Transfer
  • 7 Day Japan Rail Pass
  • Tokyo Morning Tour
  • Kyoto 'Sunrise' Morning Tour
  • 2 nights at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel - Tokyo
  • 1 night at the Hida Hotel Plaza - Takayama
  • 3 nights at the New Miyako Hotel - Kyoto
  • 2 nights at the Hotel Granvia Hiroshima - Hiroshima

PLACES AND SIGHT SEEING COVERED


Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo! From Narita Airport using your Limousine Bus Coupon and take the Limousine Bus to the Shinagawa Prince Hotel. (90 min) Your accommodation is a two walk from Shinagawa Station - the ideal place to stay for its convenient location and access to a wide range of restaurants and shops. Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 1/2


Day 2: Tokyo

This morning you will be collected from the Shinagawa Prince Hotel at 07:50am for your Tokyo Morning Tour operarted by Japan Holiday Tours. Your tour will disband in the Ginza shopping district at approximately 1:00pm. You will be guided by an English-speaking Japanese local and transported by coach to the following sites: Tokyo Tower - Enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo from the main observation platform. Meiji Shrine - The finest example of Japanese shrine architecture nestled in a peaceful, picturesque area. Akasaka Guest House - Brief photo opportunity outside the Guest House Gate; entrance is prohibited. A magnificent Western-style palace built in the baroque architectural style. National Diet Building (Drive by) See the imposing Japanese Capitol (House of Parliament) dominated by a massive central tower. Imperial Palace East Garden - Enjoy a pleasant walk in the East Garden of the Imperial Palace, of historical interest and scenic beauty. (Mon. & Fri. Visit Imperial Palace Plaza, Double Bridge, instead of East Garden) Visit the inner moat, 15-feet thick walls and gnarled pine trees surrounding the 250-acre fortress, home of the Emperor and Empress.) Ginza Shopping District (Drive through) Stroll at Ginza area. Post tour, make your way to the closest JR Yamanote Line train station and board a local train to JR Akihabara Station. To most foreign visitors Akihabara is known as Electric Town due to its rank as the world's largest electrical equipment town. Only one JR Yamanote Line train stop north of Akihabara is the Ameyoko Ueno Market. The long market lanes run from JR Okachimachi Station to JR Ueno Station. There are over 500 shops that sell everything from basic foods to high-class imported goods at reasonable prices, and is always crowded with shoppers. In the evening return to JR Shinagawa Station on the Yamanote Line local train. Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 2/2


Day 3: Tokyo - Takayama

Activate your 7 Day Japan Rail Passes at the Japan Rail Travel Service Centre within Shinagawa Station. Board the Shinkansen Hikari bullet train to JR Nagoya Station (1.5 hrs). Within the station change trains and board the Limited Express Hida train to JR Takayama Station (2 hrs 20 min). This magnificent train journey through the Japan Alps (often compared to the Alps of Europe) will be one of the highlights of your trip to Japan. Hida Takayama is a traditional medieval town located in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture. Most of the attractions are concentrated in the old part of town, within minutes of each other. Your accommodation at the Hida Hotel Plaza is a 5 minute walk from the station. Enjoy an afternoon stroll around this museum like town with a number of attractions including a variety of small museums devoted to traditional crafts embodying the town's long-standing tradition of fine craftsmanship. Visit the old private houses that lie in the area between Miyagawa River and the famously lush and picturesque Shiroyama Park. This quiet residential area has shops selling traditional wares, antique shops Japanese-style inns, sake breweries and restaurants serving local specialities. Stay: Hida Hotel Plaza - 1/1


Day 4: Takayama - Kyoto

An excellent start to the day can be had at the Takayama Jinya Market and the Miyagawa Market. Located on the banks of the Miyagawa River these morning markets are open daily from 7am to noon. Here you will find people from nearby farms selling fresh produce and flowers. Return to Takayama Station where you can purchase a Hida-no-Sato (Hida Folk Village) discount ticket - 900 yen - (Hida-no-Sato Setto-Ken) which includes a return bus ride (10 minutes each way) and admission to the Hida Folk Village. Here you will find restorations of more than 30 typical old thatched-roofed (gassho-zukuri) houses, relocated here from various places around the Hida area. The site recreates the atmosphere and scenery of mountain villages of old in a beautiful mountain setting. Here you can try your hand at making candles and senbei (rice crackers). Open 8:30am - 5:00pm. From Takayama Station board the Limited Express Hida train to JR Nagoya Station (2 hrs). Change trains board the Shinkansen Hikari train to JR Kyoto Station (40 min). Your accommodation at the New Miyako Hotel is a 2 minute walk from Kyoto Station's Hachijo Exit. Stay: New Miyako Hotel - 1/3


Day 5: Kyoto

Commence your exploration of the ancient city of Kyoto. At 08:45am, you will be collected from your hotel's lobby to join the Kyoto Morning Tour. Your English-speaking local guide will take you by bus to Nijo Castle, the Golden Pavilion, and the Kyoto Imperial Palace (on Sat., Sun. & national holidays, visit Higashi Honganji Temple instead). The tour will disband at Kyoto Station with a likely return at 1:30pm. In the afternoon, board a local bus to the base of Kiyomizu Dera (Temple) (300 yen / open 6:00am-6:00pm) Walk up this attractive winding road lined with colourful souvenir and craft shops. Kiyomizu Dera is famous for its giant wooden stage overlooking panoramic views of Kyoto. Its main hall constructed entirely of wood and supported by huge columns and beams without the use of a single nail, screw or bolt. In the evening board a subway two stops to Shijo Station and walk to Gion, Kyoto's famous traditional entertainment district. Gion is the one place in Japan where you may see Maiko or Geisha walking between appointments. As darkness falls watch the traditional lanterns gradually come to life as you wander down tiny alleys housing restaurants offering a variety of tempting cuisine. Stay: New Miyako Hotel - 2/3


Day 6: Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto

A full day of sightseeing awaits you in Nara. Here, you can find peace of mind and natural beauty as you uncover the many treasures of Japan's former capital (710-784AD). From JR Kyoto Station board a JR Nara Line limited express train for Nara (45 min). All sightseeing is within comfortable walking distance of Nara Station. From the station make your way along Sanjo-Dori and head towards Nara Park. The picturesque Nara Park is famous for the many tame deer that roam the area. At the end of the park is the impressive World Heritage listed cultural asset Todaiji Temple. This is the world's largest wooden building and houses the Giant Buddha that soars 16 metres in height. JPY 500 / open. 8:00am-4:30pm. Return to Nara Station via Nara-machi, an old precinct full of traditional houses, shops and tearooms in calm and pleasant surroundings, giving a good contrast to the great temples and old burial mounds. Return to Kyoto in the late afternoon. Be sure to take the many escalators to the top of Kyoto Station to the Sky Plaza Observation Deck for a free panoramic view of the surrounding area of Kyoto. This modern station also contains a large shopping mall, specialty shops, department store and restaurants. Stay: New Miyako Hotel - 3/3


Day 7: Kyoto - Hiroshima

Check out of the New Miyako Hotel and from JR Kyoto Station board the Shinkansen Hikari bullet train to Hiroshima. You may need to swap trains at Shin Osaka on the way. (2.5 hrs) Your accommodation at the Hotel Granvia Hiroshima is a two minute walk from JR Hiroshima Station. Hiroshima was a city left in ashes after the Atomic bomb was dropped. Hiroshima has made a remarkable recovery and has been rebuilt as a modern thriving city. The area which felt the full force of the bomb has been transformed into a Peace Memorial Park with gardens of great beauty and nearly forty memorials to the victims of the atomic explosion. Hiroshima is now known as the "International City of Peace" dedicated to a total ban on the use of Atomic weapons. A visit to the Peace Memorial Park should be included in every Hiroshima itinerary. To visit the Park, board a tram in front of Hiroshima Station and get off at Genbaku Domu-Mae (Atomic Bomb Dome) stop (cost 150 yen - 15 min.) Using your tour map, visit a number of exhibits including the Atomic Bomb Dome: Positioned below the epicentre, this skeleton of melted steel and concrete has been left as it was after the bomb was dropped. It stands as a stark reminder of the city's August 6, 1945 bombing The highlight of the Park is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This state of the art museum focuses on Hiroshima both before and after the explosion. It also tells the story of Hiroshima's rapid rebuild into the beautiful city it is today. On the way back to station, make sure you visit Hiroshima Castle. This castle was first built in 1589 until its destruction in 1945. Having been rebuilt in all its glory, it is now used to exhibit historic artefacts from Japan's feudal past. Stay: Hotel Granvia Hiroshima - 1/2


Day 8: Hiroshima - Miyajima Island - Hiroshima

Enjoy a day of exploration upon the sacred earth of Miyajima Island. From Hiroshima Station board the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (26 min). Walk down the hill to Miyajim Pier and board the JR Ferry using your JR Pass to Miyajima Island. The entire 30 sq. km. island is designated by the Japanese government as a Special Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty. The must see Itsukushima Shrine, built in the sixth century, is dedicated to the maritime guardian goddesses. The shrine buildings are connected by corridors which stretch out over the water giving it the appearance of floating on the sea at high tide. The giant red wooden O-Torii (Grand Gate) is the most noted symbol of Miyajima. Be sure to take the 1.7km ropeway (JPY 1,800 round trip) to Mount Misen's summit to enjoy one of the three most spectacular panoramic views in Japan. Keep your eye on the summit's mischievous monkeys before descending on a peaceful walk through the ancient forest. Return to Hiroshima in the early evening and try one of the many okonomiyaki restaurtans which surround the station. Okonomiyaki is a savoury, layered noodle pancake which is cooked on the hotplate infront of you. Okonomiyak is always a very affordable and entertaining evening dinner. Stay: Hotel Granvia Hiroshima - 2/2


Day 9: Depart Japan / Hiroshima - Airport

Spend your last day in Japan completing any final sightseeing or shopping. For those departing from Tokyo, board the bullet train from JR Hiroshima Station to JR Tokyo Station (approx. 5.5 hrs). Within the station board the Narita Express to Tokyo International Airport. (80 min) For those departing from Osaka, board a bullet train from Hiroshima Station to Shin Osaka Station. Within the station change trains and board the Haruka train to Kansai International Airport (60 min).


Please note all airport trains must be reserved in advance. Be sure to check in for your scheduled flight at least 2 hours prior to its departure.


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