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Tours - Japan Alps Explorer (14 days)
Tour includes:

• Accommodation at selected hotels with meals as mentioned

• Check-in time is 3.00PM and check-out time is 11.00AM. Early or late service is subject to

availability with surcharge.

• Meals as mentioned

• Tours and transfers as mentioned by public transport in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima

• Sightseeing fees and permits during guided time

• Service charge and current government VAT tax

Tour excludes:

• VISA

• Optional tour

• Please make sure you have 6 months passport validity.

• Early/late check in/out service at hotels (surcharge if request)

• Tips and gratuities

• Services and meals if not mentioned in itinerary

• All drinks, including water, soft drink and alcohol on all included or optional excursion

• Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature

• Travel Insurance (Compulsory)

Day 1: ARRIVE TO TOKYO

Meet your assistant at Narita Airport and transfer to the city hotel on a shared coach.  Relax at the hotel and enjoy walkable Japanese-style restaurants in the area of your hotel regarding the provided brochure.
Optional excursion:
Tokyo Foodie Tour in the evening:
 

Day 2: HARAJUKU - ASAKUSA

After a breakfast, your private guide takes you on a tour using the inner-city public transit system tostroll at the peaceful Hamariyku garden, the former private garden of an Edo Period Lord. Here you will stop for a Japanese green tea. What a way to start the day. Followed by a short cruise along the sumida river to see the Tokyo from different angle.
  
Next, head over to Asakusa - home of the grand temple of Senso-ji! This bright red temple is central to an area famous for kimono, geisha, performing arts and old-fashioned souvenirs for more than 300 years. Get your fortune told, find high-class incense, spot geiko (young geisha) passing by and snack on Edo foods! After having sushi or ramen for lunch at the local restaurant.

In the afternoon, you will visit  the magnificent Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the Meiji Emperor, and the most popular place in the city for weddings and end-of-year "Hatsu-mode."  You will be shown the traditions associated with visiting such a shrine. Continue the journey to Harajuku and Omote-Sando, also known as Tokyo&;s Champs-Elysee. This broad, tree lined avenue features a multitude of fashion flagship stores designed by internationally renowned architects within a short distance. End the day at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku is one of Tokyo&;s tallest and most distinctive skyscrapers. The 243 meter tall building has two towers, and each houses an observatory at a height of 202 meters, which provide good panoramic views of Tokyo. 

Notes: 8 hour guide with public transportation.
 

Day 3: TOKYO – MATSUMOTO

 


Next we head out to the countryside in the Central Japanese Alps. This is the Nagano Prefecture, famous for great snow and great sake. We start out at the dramatic Matsumoto Castle, which is one of the "three great" castles of Japan, one of the few wooden castles still standing from the early 17th century. This castle is called the "Crow Castle" due to its dark color, intimidating to all to who should try to attack way back in the Sengoku Era..
The area is full of hiking and climbing opportunities. Try sawa-nobori (climbing a stream to find its source at the top of a mountain) or visit caves! Don't forget to try the famous sake of the area - the nightlife in town here is famous around the country.


Meal: B

Day 4: MATSUMO -  SNOW MONKEY - MATSUMO

 


On this day, we take you to the famous Jigokudani Park to visit the snow monkeys. The area is seismically active and sprinkled with natural hot springs at just the right temperature, and these adorable monkeys will come down from the forests to enjoy them. . They visit the hot springs all year 'round, but are most likely to be out in the wintertime. 

Meal: B

Day 5: MATSUMO – KISO VALLEY

This day, we send you to the Kiso Valley. You'll be following the Nakasendo Trail - a path through the beautiful mountains that had been used for hundreds of years by traders and travellers. This path takes you through the unique Japanese foliage for one and a half hours of cool beauty until you reach the town of Tsumago, tucked away into the hills! Tsumago is a perfectly preserved outpost town which feels like old Edo from the period between 1603-1867, and has fought to protect this way of life. 
You'll be able to see trading shops selling the same types of wears that they have all this time, eat the foods of the era, and even stay in a "minshuku"....an old-architectural style inn complete with tatami woven floors, sliding shoji doors, and the standard "kaiseki" full-course meal! Enjoy the smells, tastes and sounds of old Japan here

Meal: B

Day 6: KISO VALLEY - TAKAYAMA 


The next day, we send you to Takayama and Hida. Takayama is an area of Japan that has been inhabited since the Jomon Period. Let us guide you through the streets and show you glimpses of the rich history. Visit the TakayakaJinya - a building from the 17th century that has been preserved as it was from the time of its construction, and is still in use today.

The nearby Hida area is famous for a unique style of architecture that resembles hands folded in prayer. This has a practical use, but step inside to discover how roomy and comfortable it is, and why this remains unchanged. 

Meal: B, D

Day 7: TAKAYAMA - SHIRAKAWAGO - TAKAYAMA 

Then go to Shirakawago nearby. This area is famous for a unique style of architecture that resembles hands folded in prayer. This has a practical use, but step inside to discover how roomy and comfortable it is, and why this remains unchanged. 

In the afternoon, we take you to a sake brewery. The freshest sake is the best - find out for yourself how it&;s made, and what it tastes like! You'll have plenty of this sake to accompany your traditional dinner.

Meal: B, D

Day 8: KANAZAWA

Today we bring you back into more samurai culture. Visit Nagamachi, where the samurai lived. Many of the homes are still standing, and we will take you to the Nomura-ke, one of the homes restored to golden era of samurai precedence. See how they lived and worked, what they ate and wore. Nearby, stop into one of the local shrines or temples - a staple of everyday life both in modern times and at the time of the samurai. 

Also in Kamakura, the Contemporary Art museum is now open to the public with the cutting edge of design right around the corner from the old. There is also the DT Suzuki Museum, showcasing the history of Zen being brought to the western world. 

Meal: B
 

Day 9: KANAZAWA - HIROSHIMA

Next we head over to Hiroshima, a city not only made world-famous in the aftermath of the Second World but also the stunning vibrancy and culture which has regrown itself from the ashes. 
With the tranquil Peace Park and Museum in the center of the city reminding us of humanity's recent past, you'll find shopping centers, confectionary hubs, teahouses, museums and sports fields branching out all around. 
Visit the Hiroshima Caste, Prefectural Museum of Art, Shukkei-En Gardens, baseball stadium, and eat a style of okonomi-yaki unique to the city!

Meal: B
 

Day 10: HIROSHIMA - MIYAJIMA

The next day, return to Miyajima, one of the "Three Great Views of Japan" popularized in the Edo Period. Surely you will feel a sense of nostalgia from seeing the famous "floating" red gate - the torii- a famous symbol of Japanese shrine entrance.
Miyajima is also populated by the friendliest of deer - sweet creatures that will eat from your hand and stroll with you as you enjoy this 8th century treasure. Visit the temples and hike (or take a cable car) to the top of Misen Mountain for a taste of monk life. 

 

Meal: B

Day 11: HIROSHIMA - KYOTO (B)

Today, after breakfast, take a taxi to the train station and then transfer on a  bullet train to Kyoto.
Free evening to enjoy at your leisure to  walk through Gion, where you may get a glimpse of Geisha, walking through the narrow alley.


Meal: B, D
 

Day 12: KYOTO

Finally, visit the famous Kiyomizu Temple, a location considered so powerful that people from all over the country to visit when they have worries they need to resolve.. Revel in  incredible views of Kyoto from the top of the city, all in a building containing no nails or fasteners that has been standing since long before the city was ever capital.

On your way back to town, walk through the Higashiyama District, full of old-style crafts and artisans. These quaint alleyways are lined with real homes and adorable gardens into which you can peer, and do drop into a peaceful teahouse on your way down the path!

 

Meal:B
 

Day 13: KYOTO - NARA (OPTIONAL)

On this day, we&;ll see a "machiya," a restored traditional wooden house that is typical to Kyoto and many parts of Japan. Experience to live in a traditional Japanese home on a daily basis. Then try on Japanese traditional dress, kimono! There are many styles and colors, and see how the outfit works on you. and join in a tea ceremony.

In the afternoon, it may be worth your while to visit the very nearby Nara, which is a capital of Japan even older than Kyoto. This 8th century town is filled with wabi-sabi and quiet streets that lead from shrine to shrine. Visit the outstanding Todaiji - a "power spot" claiming responsibility for inciting many of historical figures to action. It's the largest wooden building in the world, and is quite an impressive site. Also visit KasugaTaisha, Nara's most celebrated shinto shrine, which is populated by pretty, friendly deer whose presence only improves the tranquility of the area. 

Meal: B
 

Day 14: DEPARTURE FROM KYOTO (B)

The final day, see those last few sights which you hadn't had a chance to peek into during your tour, do a little souvenir shopping, perhaps find yourself a kimono. Enjoy a few local snacks before you head off to Kansai Airport. We will be happy to accompany you on this last leg of your journey, and answer any questions you may still have.

Meal: B


 

 

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