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JAPAN BEST DEAL (SMALL GROUP TOUR)

  
Code JPB10D

Price : £1,795 per person

This tour has been thoughtfully designed to make a trip to Japan as affordable as possible without leaving behind any major cities and attractions. Public transport ( bullet trains, buses ) is conveniently used, modern 3 & 4* hotels carefully selected including a comfortable ryokan stay with Onsen experience, sightseeing conducted by English speaking local guides.

OSAKA - NARA - HIROSHIMA - KYOTO - HAKONE - TOKYO

Departure dates : 16/10/18 - 13/11/18 - 05/03/19 - 19/03/19 - 26/03/19 - 02/04/19 - 09/04/19 - 16/04/19 - 07/05/19 - 21/05/19 - 04/06/19 - 18/06/19 - 02/07/19 - 23/07/19 - 30/07/19 - 20/08/19 -03/09/19 - 24/09/19 - 15/10/19 - 22/10/19 - 05/11/19 - 12/11/19 - 19/11/19.

Notes :
For cherry blossoms, travel in March - April
For autumn colours, travel in Sep - Oct

Price includes: Airport/hotel transfers by Limousine bus, modern city hotels and Japanese style accommodation (ryokan) in Hakone, daily breakfast, dinner in Hakone, shinkensen bullet trains (ordinary class) and local trains, local buses, guided sightseeing, excursions, boat trip, admission fees.

Price excludes: International flights, meals other than stated, optional trips and entertainment, tipping and any service not specified.
Single Supplement = £450

Day 1 : Fly to Osaka Kansai airport.

Day 2 : OSAKA (-/-/-)
Upon arriving in Osaka meeting with an airport assistant and board a Limousine bus for the transfer to FP Hotels South - Namba.

Day 3 : OSAKA – NARA – OSAKA (B/-/-)
After breakfast at hotel meeting with local guide in the lobby and travel a short distance ( 18 km ) by local train to Nara, Japan first permanent capital. Nara, established as the Imperial capital in 710 CE, is a city famous for its Buddhist temples and the friendly wild deer who call the city their home. First on the itinerary is a visit to Todaiji Temple which houses the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) of Nara; this gargantuan Buddha, is the largest bronze Buddha in the world at nearly 15 m tall. The temple and Buddha statue have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and draw devotees as well as visitors all year round.
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After Todaiji proceed to Kasuga Grand Shrine, a religious site important in Japan native religion of Shinto. Established originally in 768 CE, this shrine is a beautiful example of Shinto aesthetics and is especially famous for its brilliant vermillion gates and its innumerable stone and bronze lanterns. Next take a walk through Nara Deer Park where we can feed, pet and take pictures with the herds of the eponymous deer. Last stop before heading back to Osaka is Kofukuji Temple. Built in the 7th century, 5-floor Kofukuji was once one of Nara most powerful temples and is currently a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Day 4 : OSAKA - HIROSHIMA (B/-/-)
Early start after breakfast and board a train to Hiroshima ( 1.5 hours ). While the city was destroyed during the Second World War, it has been entirely rebuilt and has grown to be one of Japan larger cities with just over 1 million residents. Upon arrival our first stop will be the Peace Park at the heart of the city. There we will see the Hiroshima Atom Bomb Dome, one of the few structures which survived the blast that wiped away the rest of the city. After the dome continue with Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, dedicated to documenting the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
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Afternoon we head to Miyajima Ferry Port and board a ferry for a short ride ( 15 min ) to Miyajima Island. One of Japan most photographed places in Japan, Miyajima is best known for the Itsukushima Shrine. As we approach the island we may get a view of the well known floating Torii gate which stands in the water. Itsukushima Shrine, the current structure of which was built in the 16th century, has even been designated as a Japanese national treasure. After visiting the shrine and walking along the streets of this picturesque little island we continue to Hiroshima Tokyu Rei hotel in Hiroshima for a leisurely evening and overnight.

Day 5 : HIROSHIMA - KYOTO - OSAKA (B/-/-)
After breakfast at your hotel board a bullet train bound for Kyoto ( 1h 40 min ). The bullet train, or Shinkensen in Japanese, is a marvel of Japanese engineering and efficiency as it glides along the tracks at top speeds of 320 km/hour between major cities all over the country. We will reach in Kyoto in the blink of an eye. On arrival board a local train bound for Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine. Dedicated to the God of Rice, Inari the shrine has been an object of Imperial patronage since the Heian Period (c.800-1100). Along with the thousands of Torii gates that snake up approximately 4 km along the mountain side, the shrine is well known for its many fox statues (foxes were believed to be messengers of Inari and often carry in their mouths keys to the granary).

Next visit is the Yasaka Shrine, the most prominent shrine in the Gion District (sometimes just called Gion-san by the locals) which hosts the world famous Gion Festival in July each year. The shrine itself is well located with a beautiful ceremonial stage in the central courtyard lit by hundreds of donated paper lanterns. After leaving the main shrine take a walk through the Gion, Kyoto famous ancient red light district. While walking along the paved streets we may catch a glimpse of one of Kyoto famed Maiko (Geisha) on her way to a performance. After Gion district take a short walk to Ponto-Cho Riverside street where you can walk down a traditional Japanese street and weather permitting enjoy a meal in one of the city famous terrace restaurants overlooking the Kamogawa river. Finally, return to Osaka for overnight at Shinosaka Esaka Tokyu Rei Hotel.
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Day 6 : OSAKA (B/-/-)
Day at leisure in Osaka. Optional train trips ( 15 minute train journey each way ) for another visit to Kyoto or to explore Kobe in the surrounding areas. Overnight in Osaka at the same hotel.

Day 7 : OSAKA - HAKONE (B/-/D)
Prepare a day bag, because after checking out from hotel, our suitcases will be transferred to our hotel in Tokyo. Today board another Shinkensen, this time bound for one of Japan premier hot spring towns: Hakone. On arrival, enjoy a ride on the Owakudani Ropeway from which we can see the volcanic valley that heats the spring water Hakone is famous for and maybe, if the weather is clear, Mt. Fuji in the distance.

After arriving at the shores of Ashi Lake we will board a cruise ship for a short ride on the picturesque bay where again Mt. Fuji is visible in the distance on a clear day. After the end of the lake cruise transfer to Sengokuhara Prince hotel, a comfortable ryokan in Hakone ( proper bed not mat on the floor ) . Relax in comfort in the large public bath which gets its water from Ubako Onsen, one of the 17 renowned Onsen of Hakone. From this open-air Onsen bath, enjoy the stunning view of Hakone along with outer rim of Hakone crater. Enjoy dinner of traditional Japanese cuisine. Overnight in Hakone.
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Day 8 : HAKONE - TOKYO (B/-/-)
After breakfast board a train for Tokyo, Japan capital and by far its most populous metropolitan area. Tokyo, formerly called Edo, became the de facto capital in 1603 when the feudal warlord Tokugawa Leyasu became shogun. After hotel check- in, our Tokyo city tour starts with the Meiji Grand Shrine, which enshrines the spirits of the Meiji emperor who officially transferred the capital to Tokyo in 1868 when practical rule of Japan was restored to the imperial household. Set in a deep green forest in the centre of Tokyo, the solemnity of the Meiji Grand Shrine provides a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city beyond the trees. After the shrine short walk to Harajuku, Tokyo youth mecca ascendant. On weekends the streets of Harajuku Takeshita Street throng with teenagers out shopping in what was until very recently the epicentre of all Japanese fashion trends.

After seeing Tokyo most famous youth area we will continue to Shibuya, famous across the world for its hectic scramble crossing. After experiencing the scramble crossing and spending some time in Shibuya we continue to Asakusa and enjoy a walk down the shop lined Nakamise street which leads to Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of the country most visited Buddhist temples. Try some traditional Japanese snacks or purchase some Japanese handicrafts on Nakamise street before returning to the hotel for overnight at Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo.

Day 9 : TOKYO (B/-/-)
Spend a day in Tokyo at your leisure or take an optional day trip to Nikko (Daily departure. This can be booked in advance or at your hotel the day before ). Overnight in Tokyo at the same hotel.

Day 10 : DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
After breakfast, check out from hotel, board a limousine bus for Narita airport and fly home.

Notes:
-Programme extendible at the start and/or the end of the trip.
-We may have to use different hotels of same standard in case of lack of availability at the ones specified in the tour programme.