JapanDeluxeTours

Japan Deluxe Tours, Inc.
1820 W. Carson St. Suite 224 Torrance California 90501 USA
Phone: 310-327-1111 FAX: 310-329-7609
14 Nights 15 days Takayama & Villages | Grand Tour - Cherry Blossom Seasonal Tour
Day 1
Welcome to Japan! We will have transportation services to take you to your hotel. Please refer to your tour handbook for more information.

Rest at the hotel and be ready to start your exciting tour tomorrow.



**INFORMATION**

From Narita Airport to downtown hotel in Tokyo - about 90 mins(Bus)

From Haneda Airport to downtown hotel in Tokyo - about 30 mins(Bus)
Day 2
We start off our Cherry Blossom Tour with a visit to Kiyosumi Garden, a representative of a beautiful traditional Japanese garden. It contains many classic elements found in Japanese gardens, including a tea house on the water, numerous ponds, rock gardens, rock lanterns, and a stepping stone bridge. The numerous cherry blossom trees will provide the perfect opportunity to take pictures of the iconic flower. Afterwards, we head over to the Fukagawa Edo Museum to get acquainted with the history of Tokyo. This charming museum is designed to replicate what life looked like during Japan's traditional days of Edo. Travel back in time and walk through the old city of Tokyo made to recreate life during Japan's Edo period.



Our next stop is Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market, the former home of the world-famous tuna auction. Browse through the freshest flavors, mouth-watering dishes, and incredible sushi meals at this market that serves over thousands of businesses and local families daily before we explore the rest of the sights in Tokyo!



For lunch, enjoy a delicious Teppan-yaki meal. Enjoy watching the careful hands of your personally assigned chef prepare Wagyu beef before your eyes. Then we will visit the Ueno Park, the most popular park in Tokyo throughout the year, but especially during the cherry blossom season where the park is filled with bright pink and white cherry blossoms petals.



The tour will then head to the old town district of Asakusa where you can purchase traditional Japanese souvenirs at the Nakamise area and explore Senso-ji Temple, the oldest and the most popular temples in Tokyo.


Breakfast Lunch
Day 3
Our first stop of the day will be the Meiji Shrine which was dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife in 1920. Enjoy the morning stroll through a peaceful and serene shrine. It is hard to believe to find out busy Harajuku station is only a few minuets away.



Then we are off to discover Harajuku & Omotesando area. The area is filled with cute shops, delicious crepes, high end stores, and beautiful cafés and restaurants. Don't forget to check out the Cat Café and Headgehog café for those who love animals. Here you have opportunity to try local vendors for lunch.



It's time to look at Tokyo from a birds' eye view. We will take you to Shibuya Sky: a new landmark, observation deck rising 229 m or 766 feet above Shibuya. We will then make our way to the famous Shibuya Crosswalk to be part of the thousands who cross daily. This crosswalk gathers as much foot traffic as New York City, and crossing is an experience unlike any other. We will also visit the popular Hachiko Statue close to the station. The statue is based on the internationally-known story of Hachiko, the dog who would come back to the station every day to see his owner.

We end our time in Tokyo by exploring the Odaiba area, home to several iconic sites. A miniature Statue of Liberty, the Rainbow Bridge, and Mega Web are a few sites that we recommend visiting for some perfect photo ops.




Breakfast
Day 4

Our Cherry Blossom Takayama Japan tour will start the day enjoying Hakone's Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. Itchiku Kubota was a textile artist who devoted his life to recreating the forgotten 15th century Tsujigahana fabric dyeing technique. Many of his work is on display at this museum. Browse through the decadent collection of Kimono decorated in this traditional Japanese art.


We will then stop for Hoto, a Japanese noodle dish and considered a local specialty of the region.


Before heading to the hotel, your group will be visiting Matsumoto Castle, also named the Crow Castle due to the unique black color of the building. Considered one of the three premier castles in Japan, the castle has never been destroyed with its initial buildings still intact since construction. The castle tower is Japan’s oldest existing castle tower and is a designated national treasure.




Breakfast Lunch
Day 5

Today, our Takayama Cherry Blossom tour will have several stops before arriving in the city of Takayama. We’ll be following the Nakasendo Trail and enjoy a brief hike between Tsumago and Magome, the forty-second and forty-third stations of the trail respectively. The two towns are well-preserved and even go as far as making sure that electrical wires, TV antennas, and telephone poles do not show, allowing visitors to experience what it was like walking through town during the Edo Period. Enjoy some wagashi Japanese sweets and relax with a cup of tea before we make our way to Takayama.


Our Japan tour will finally reach Takayama. After checking into the hotel, we will follow the sound of drums to make it just in time to witness the festival in full swing. Takayama Festival is considered to be one of the best festivals in Japan. Their huge floats will light up the night’s sky with many arrays of color paper lanterns.




Breakfast
Day 6

We’ll begin our day in Takayama with a visit to the morning market, one of the many areas in the city with buildings and shops more than 300 years old. Enjoy exploring the area by visiting the numerous vendors and important sightseeing spots. We recommend trying Hida Nikuman (beef buns) or Gohei-Mochi while at the market.


While at the market, we also recommend visiting the Takayama Jinya, a building which served as the local government office from 1692 up until 1969. Now a public museum, you can learn about the history of the building as well as old government documents and city plans of the area. The tour will also take a stroll through Takayama’s old town district which is filled with many well-preserved buildings from the Edo Period back when the city thrived as a wealthy merchant town.


Your group will then make its way to the small, rural farming village of Shirakawa-go, famous for its thatched-roof houses made using the gassho-zukuri method. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will get a glimpse into the traditional Japanese farming life in the early eras. A visit to the Nagase House, will provide insight on the various tools and trinkets used in the farming village back in the day.


Our last stop of the day will have you taking in the beautiful landscape of Kenrokuen Garden. Considered one of the top three most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan, Kenrokuen contains everything nature has to offer including streams, hills, and seasonal flowers which are sure to calm the soul. It is also one of the best places to view cherry blossoms in the prefecture so be sure not to miss this opportunity for some breathtaking photos.




Breakfast Dinner
Day 7

We begin our day with a visit to the Koke no Sato Wisdom Forest. The Forest of Wisdom is one of the best places to see various Japanese moss, and the Wisdom House in the forest is meant to encourage guests to share experiences with others or engage in a workshop before getting lost in nature.


We then make our way to the Miho Museum to enjoy a morning filled with contemporary and Japanese art. Designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, the Miho Museum is a modern architectural treasure located in the quiet forests of the Shiga prefecture and is meant to blend seamlessly into the surrounding nature. Take in the calm and picturesque grounds while enjoying the works of art on display ranging from classic modern-day artworks to treasures from ancient civilizations. You can also enjoy the cherry blossoms planted throughout the museum grounds as you make your way around.


The tour will then head to Kyoto for a hands-on lesson on the tea ceremony. Learn about the history and meaning behind the ceremony as you watch it being performed before your eyes. Try your hand at making a traditional cup of matcha!




Breakfast
Day 8

Our day in Kyoto will start off with a spirited rickshaw ride through the serene Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Experience what it was like to get around the city back in the day as you enjoy the relaxing scenery.


Next, the group will make its way to the Golden Pavilion, or Kinkakuji Temple, an absolute must-see attraction where the upper two floors are covered with gold leaf making for a spectacular photo-op. We continue the tour with a kaiseki lunch accompanied by a maiko performance. Maiko are apprentice to Geisha and the meal is a great chance to take photos and learn about Kyoto's traditional culture.


The tour will then head to Nara to explore Todaiji Temple and the Deer Park. Todaiji Temple is considered one of the largest wooden buildings in the world and holds the largest Buddha statue in Japan, a truly impressive sight to behold. A short walk over and you will stand among the deer of the Nara Deer Park. Considered divine, the deer are adored by people all over the world.


The rest of the day will be spent at Fushimi Inari Shrine, home of the famed thousand torii gates. Explore the area by either making your way through the torii gates to the Omokaru Stone or watch the local priests performing prayers every so often.




Breakfast Lunch
Day 9
Today, we will travel further west to visit two of the best places in Japan. The first will be the magnificent Himeji Castle. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, it is considered one of Japan’s most beautiful castle. Nicknamed the White Heron Castle due to the castle’s brilliant white walls, the castle maintains almost all of its original structures since its construction in the early 1600’s. After overcoming war, natural disasters, and going through restorative work, enjoy exploring around the stunning castle grounds. Additionally, the cherry blossoms with Himeji Castle offer stunning photo opportunities, capturing the essence of Japan’s Spring season.



After spending time in Himeji, your group will make its way to Shimane prefecture to spend time at the Adachi Museum of Art. The garden has been voted for the best garden in Japan for the past 17 years. The true gem lies in the museum’s impressive array of Japanese gardens. With 6 gardens to explore, each one provides a distinct feel and atmosphere unique from each other. The impressive gardens have been recognized not only in Japan, but also received a three-star rating by the Michelin Green Guide.


Dormy Inn Izumo or similar
Breakfast Dinner
Day 10
Today, we will make our way to Hiroshima for a visit to several iconic sites. A visit to Hiroshima is not complete without a visit to the iconic A-Bomb Dome, the only surviving building from the aftermath of World War Two's atomic bombing. Surrounding the magnificent A-Bomb Dome is the Peace Memorial Park where travelers can see and read about the history of the war. The A-Bomb Dome has been preserved as a reminder of the tragedy for future generations and to symbolize its wishes for everlasting peace. Walk along the park with your tour guide to see famous attractions like Sadako’s statue and the Freedom Bell. Then we will go into the Peace Memorial Museum.



In Hiroshima, Okonomiyaki (Japanese style savory pancakes) has been a popular dish since before the World War. We will serve you this local favorite for today's lunch.



In the afternoon, our Japan Tour will head to Miyajima, an island south of Hiroshima known for its Itsukushima Shrine, or floating torii gate. During high tide, the torii gate looks as though it is floating in water, creating a unique sight, considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful sights. Miyajima is also known for its mouthwatering momiji manju (maple leaf shaped cake with red beans) and delicious oysters which you can enjoy while your tour group explores scenic island.


Breakfast Lunch
Day 11
Our day begins in Nagasaki where we will be visiting several historically significant locations. The first stop will be the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park, a symbol of peace and a testament to the horrors of war. The Peace Statue sits at the epicenter of the blast from the atomic bomb dropped on the city. The right hand points up to symbolize the atomic bomb while the left hand points towards future peace. The statue's bent right leg symbolizes meditation, while the bent left leg represents the need to stand up against war. The closed eyes are to offer prayers and respect for the victims' souls lost in the devastation blast.



We will serve a local favorite champon and sara udon for today's lunch. Both champon and sara udon are noodle dishes that originated in Nagasaki.



From there, our vacation will head to Glover Garden which exhibits Western style mansions. After viewing these gorgeous mansions, we will continue with our foreign influences to the Oura Catholic Church. The Oura Catholic Church is Japan’s oldest standing Catholic church. This was added to UNESCO World Herrtage Site as Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region in 2018.


Breakfast Lunch
Day 12
Your Japan tour will make its way to Kumamoto to see Kumamoto Castle. Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the three premier castles in Japan, along with Himeji Castle and Matsumoto Castle. Since it suffered tremendous damage from 2016 earthquake, we won't be able enter the castle grounds due to renovations. However, we will be able to see the castle and explore Johsaien, a shopping arcade by Kumamoto Caslte filled with over 20 shops and the Wakuwaku-za museum featuring the history and culture of Kumamoto and the famous Japanese Castle.



We then make our way to Takachiho where we will explore the Awano Iwato Shrine and Amanoyasukawara. The area is said to be the hiding spot of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, when Susano-o, the God of Storms, was terrorizing her. Amanoyasukawara is one of the famous power spot where you will see millions of small rocks on top of each other in a cave by a river side. Then we will make our way through Takachiho Gorge. The natural greenery in contrast with the volcanic rock that forms the gorge makes for a magnificent scenery. You will be able to see an amazing water fall at the end of hike.



Our last stop of the day will be the Tunnel Station which houses the Kagura Shuzo Brewery. Sample the local shochu, a traditional Japanese drink made from barley or yam, and shop for potential gifts at this unique destination.


Breakfast Dinner
Day 13

We begin today with a leisurely stroll around the small town of Yufuin. Stop by the many traditional shops along the Yunotsubo Street and sample the many local specialties of the quaint town. We will also make our way to Kinrin Lake for some time in nature as you enjoy the scenery and peaceful koi fish in the lake.


Once we finish our time in Yufuin, we head to Beppu for a visit to one of the famous Tour of Hell hot springs. Each hot spring has a unique feature typically the color due to the different types of minerals present and is truly a one of a kind destination.



Moving on, we’ll take a ferry over to neighboring Shikoku for a visit to Dogo Onsen, which is said to have over 3,000 years of history. The onsen is also widely known for welcoming the imperial family as guests and has a room called Yushinden on reserve exclusively for their use. Dogo Onsen's impressive wooden structure served as a model for the famous film Spirited Away.



Upon arrival to Dogo Onsen, we will walk around the old fashion hot spring shopping arcade that will bring you a somewhat retro experience. You can find a mechanical clock tower that performs every half an hour, a foot bath, and many orange related items as this area is known as the biggest producer of oranges in Japan.




Breakfast
Day 14

Our day will begin heading towards Osaka. Traveling East, our vacation brings us to an interesting Udon Making workshop to learn how to carefully prepare Udon noodles. While ramen is enjoyed around Japan, Udon is a popular thick noodled dish famous in the Southern regions of Japan. Learn first-hand the ways to prepare this delicious Japanese cuisine during your Takayama tour.


Next, we will visit the famous Ritsurin Garden. Michelin Green Guide graded the garden three stars and is a great place to take photos, especially from the highest point that overlooks the entire garden.


After soaking in some natural beauty, the tour will make its way through Tokushima. We will stop at the Awa-odori Museum, a museum dedicated to the prefecture dance of Tokushima. An annual festival where thousands of spectators will flock to the area to watch the dance being performed during Obon season. Here, we’ll learn about the history as well as learn some parts of the dance.




Breakfast Lunch
Day 15
Your pleasant and memorable Japan tour ends today. The tour will disband after breakfast. Fly home with cherished memories or enjoy your extended stay in Japan.



**INFORMATION**

From downtown hotel in Osaka to KIX Airport - about 70 mins (Bus)

From downtown hotel in Osaka to ITM Airport - about 30 mins (Bus)
Breakfast