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Splendors of Japan

Small group tour
13 days - From US$0*PP

From Tokyo to Osaka, discover the wonderful temples and beautiful gardens of Japan. Just outside Tokyo, visit Omiya Bonsai Village to learn the art of bonsai, stroll through Kanazawa’s most famous garden, Kenrokuen and explore Kyoto’s endless number of temples including Daitokuji Temple Complex with over 20 temples. Venture to Okayama to visit Korakuen – a beautiful landscaped garden before continuing to Osaka to marvel at the enormity of Osaka Castle.

Inclusions

  • 12 nights hotel accommodation
  • 7 day rail pass
  • High-speed trains
  • Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees
  • Luggage transport
  • English-speaking Tour Leader
  • All tips on tour
  • One way group transfer from Tokyo Airport to Tokyo accommodation
  • One way group transfer from Osaka accommodation to Osaka Train Station
  • Meals as indicated (B = breakfast
  • L = lunch
  • D = dinner)

Prices and Departures

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Small Group Tour Itinerary

Day 1    Tokyo
On arrival in Tokyo, transfer to your hotel and enjoy free time until your tour briefing. Stay the next three nights at Villa Fontaine Shiosome (or similar).

Day 2    Tokyo
Using Tokyo’s public transport network, spend the day discovering the city’s highlights. Visit Meiji Jingu before wandering along the tree-lined avenue of Omotesando. Take the train to Asakusa and discover Sensoji Temple. Board a boat and cruise Tokyo’s Sumida River. Stroll through Hamarikyu Garden and sample matcha (green tea) accompanied by a Japanese sweet. (B)

Day 3    Tokyo – Omiya Bonsai Village
Dating back to 1925, Omiya Bonsai Village is a short train ride from Tokyo. Spend time exploring the village which is home to multiple bonsai nurseries and gardens. Learn about the art of bonsai and view 1,000 year old bonsai trees at the Bonsai Art Museum. Visit Hikawa Shrine before returning to Tokyo for an afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 4    Tokyo to Kanazawa
Travel by train from Tokyo to Kanazawa. On the way, enjoy a bento box lunch. In the afternoon, see Tersahima Kurando House which was the home of a middle-rank samurai. Stroll through Kenrokuen Garden, the most famous landscaped garden in the city and visit DT Suzuki Museum. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure. Stay the next two nights at Kanazawa Manten Hotel (or similar). (BL)

Day 5    Kanazawa
Enjoy a day at leisure to further explore Kanazawa. Alternatively, choose to join a day tour to Shirakawago with its unique ‘gassho’ style buildings, and Takayama’s quiet streets and old-world ambience. (B)

Day 6    Kanazawa to Kyoto
Board the train to Kyoto, transfer to your hotel and enjoy free time. In the afternoon, visit the mountain complex of Fushimi Inari Shrine and walk through the thousands of vermilion colored torii. Stay the next three nights at Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo (or similar). (B)

Day 7    Kyoto
Discover Kyoto’s highlights on a walking tour. Begin at Kyoto’s oldest Zen temple, Kenninji Temple then continue on to Yasaka Shrine. Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, and learn about the philosophy and art of serving tea. Wander along Ninenzaka to see the traditionally restored shophouses before visiting Kodaiji Temple. (B)

Day 8    Kyoto
Spend the morning visiting Daitokuji Temple complex. Visit atmospheric Koto-in known for its maple trees, Ryogen-in with the world’s smallest Zen garden and Zuiho-in’s dry landscapes. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 9    Kyoto to Okayama
Take the train from Kyoto to Okayama. Visit Okayama’s main attraction, Korakuen – ranked as one of Japan’s three best landscaped gardens. The garden features typical Japanese elements including a large pond, streams, paths and a hill as well as spacious lawns which are a unique feature. Continue to the six storey Okayama Castle or ‘Crow Castle’ for its black exterior. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Stay the next two nights at Mitsui Garden Hotel Okayama (or similar). (B)

Day 10    Kurashiki
Visit Kurashiki, a preserved canal town. Stroll along the tree-lined streets or spend some time in the many art museums. Choose to take an optional boat ride along the canals (extra charge). Return to Okayama for an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 11    Okayama to Osaka
From Okayama, travel by train to Osaka and enjoy free time on arrival. In the afternoon, visit Osaka Castle. Board the Aqualiner and cruise along Okawa River. Enjoy an evening at leisure. Stay the next two nights at Osaka Daiichi Hotel (or similar). (B)

Day 12    Osaka
With a free day in Osaka, choose what you would like to do. This evening, enjoy a farewell group dinner. (BD)

Day 13    Osaka
Enjoy breakfast before transferring to Osaka Station for your onward journey. (B)

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* From prices subject to availability and subject to change. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Airfares not included unless otherwise specified. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for credit card payments which vary. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. If you book with Insider Journeys an additional 2% fee applies to credit card or charge card payments (except in North America, where no fee is charged). Insider Journeys general booking conditions apply click here.