JapanDeluxeTours

Japan Deluxe Tours, Inc.
1820 W. Carson St. Suite 224 Torrance California 90501 USA
Phone: 310-327-1111 FAX: 310-329-7609
13 Nights 14 days Takayama Festival | 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
Today, your Takayama Festival tour will be devoted to exploring the multi-cultural spots of Tokyo. Our cherry blossom tour begins in Tokyo's Koto-ward to explore visit the inconspicuous Fukagawa Fudo Temple. Unlike other temples in Tokyo, Fukagawa Fudo hosts daily fire-burning rituals which your tour group plans to join. Refresh your mind and spirit while the thunderous sounds of taiko drums and the burning of the goma-taki revitalizes your soul. The temple grounds is also home to a few can't miss attractions, including a massive collection of crystal figures and a mystifying tribute to Shikoku's 88 Temple Pilgrimage. From there, it's off to the Tsukiji Fish Market, 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 as your cherry blossom Japan tour explores the wonderful sights and attractions of Tokyo!



From there, your tour group will delve into the old town district of Asakusa for some traditional Japanese souvenir and gift shopping at the Nakamise area. Your Japan tour will also travel through the majestic Sensoji Temple, one of Tokyo's most popular temples. This is the perfect place to appreciate Japanese culture and take some spectacular shots of the famous shopping district. Enjoy Japanese arts and traditional snacks with your tour group through this can't miss Tokyo temple. For lunch, we will enjoy a delicious, authentic Teppan-Yaki meal before we head to Harajuku to do some shopping and to admire the unique Japanese scenery. Enjoy shopping in the trendy district home to the world-renowned Harajuku Fashion and Japanese street fashion style. Be sure to visit one of Harajuku's local restaurants and sample Harajuku Crepes or other extra kawaii Tokyo treats in the lively Takeshita Dori. The decadent Omotesando is also nearby, home to incredible Japanese cafes and luxury shopping!



Returning to our hotel, the tour bus will be passing by 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. While here, our Tokyo cherry blossom tour will also visit pay the Hachiko Statue a visit. 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. This Tokyo spot is a popular meet-up area for couples and friends when visiting Shibuya Station. Anime fans have probably seen this famous statue and crosswalk in some of their favorite anime & manga works like Persona5 or Tokyo Ghoul. After making our way through the crossing with your tour guide, we will then return to the hotel.

(note: Cherry Blossoms may not be in bloom during your tour)
Breakfast Lunch
Day 3
After our time in Tokyo, our Takayama Festival tour will stop by Lake Kawaguchi for some sight-seeing before making our way to our hotel. We will first head off to enjoy the fine works of art at the 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. Before making our way to the next destination, we will stop for Hoto, a Japanese noodle dish native to the Yamanashi area. A hybrid of miso soup and flat udon noodles, this dish is truly a local Japanese specialty.



After lunch, your Takayama Festival tour is off to the imposing Matsumoto Castle nestled in the Northern Alps of Japan. As one of the few remaining original Japanese castles intact since construction, the castle's 5-story, 6-layer tower built int he Bunroku Period (1593-1594) is Japan's oldest existing castle tower and is designated as a national treasure. Remaining unscathed over centuries, Matsumoto Castle, or Karasu-jo (Crow Castle), is one of the best spots for viewing cherry blossoms and enjoying traditional Japaneses arts and architecture. Our Takayama Festival tour will spend some time enjoying the scenery and relaxing with the stunning view of the city from Matsumoto Castle. We then proceed to the hotel.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 4
Our cherry blossom tour begins with a trip to the rustic Narai Juku port town. This preserved district is the thirty-fourth of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō and the second of eleven stops in Kisoji. Recognized as a Cultural Property of Japan in 1978, this district maintains the same facade as it kept during the Edo Period thanks to preservation efforts by the Japanese government. Explore the area with your tour guide through the numerous attractions, including the immaculately preserved Nakamura Residence or the stunning Kisho Ohashi Japanese-style bridge!



From there, our Takayama tour will enjoy a brief hike between Tsumago and Magome, forty-second to forty-third of the sixty-nine post towns on the Nakasendō. Similar to Narai Juku, these two port towns are well-preserved and avoid having electrical wires, TV antennas, and telephone poles from showing to recreate the traditional Japanese atmosphere from the Edo Period. Stop for a cup of tea or relax with wagashi Japanese sweets like dango or mochi. After we enjoy the beautiful Japanese architecture from another era, our Takayama tour will enjoy a brisk hike before making it to the beautiful mountain city of Takayama.
Breakfast
Day 5
Takayama, or as some people call it “little Kyoto,” has many areas where homes and shops are more than 300 years old and well preserved. During your Takayama Festival Tour, enjoy browsing with your tour guide all the best sights the city has to offer. Among the list, Takayama's Morning Market is considered a must for any traveler making their way through Takayama. Enjoy some time to to roam around to buy souvenirs, take pictures, or visit other important sight see spots through this market filled with vendors and activities. During your Takayama festival Japan tour, we will have time to see the Takayama floats during the day time to see a puppet performance from the floats. The portable shrines are also stages to mechanical puppets that people control inside the floats called karakuri.



While exploring Takayama, Japan Deluxe Tours highly recommends the Takayama Jinya, which served as the local government office of the old town. Open to the public as a museum, visitors can enjoy browsing through the various rooms for administrative purposes, offices, kitchens, toilets, bath rooms, residential space, a court room and storehouses. We will also visit Takayama's old town. This district is filled with many well-preserved buildings and houses from the Edo Period (1600-1868), back when the city thrived as a wealthy town of merchants.



After our time in Takayama, your vacation will continue to the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden in the scenic Kanazawa Prefecture. Considered one of the top three most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan, Kenrokuen is a beautiful zen garden best enjoyed during spring or with a relaxing cup of tea. A stroll along this beautiful garden featuring streams, hills, and everything nature has to offer is sure to calm your soul.



Your Japan tour would not be complete without a long relaxing soak in the onsen, hot spring, to rejuvenate you for tomorrow’s adventure. Yukata, a Japanese robe, will be provided for you. The onsen is located in our own ryokan, a Japanese style hotel, which includes a traditional Japanese food.
Breakfast Dinner
Day 6
We begin our Takayama Tour with a visit to the MIHO Museum to enjoy a morning of 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 Japan. Designed with the intention for the building to blend seamlessly into the surrounding nature, the museum invokes a feeling of serenity, unity, and sustainability. The museum is filled with classic artworks from ancient civilizations to modern day treasures. Enjoy the calming grounds and picturesque atmosphere during your vacation at this wonderful architectural masterpiece.



After our time at the museum, our Takayama tour will head to Nara to see Todaiji Temple. Todaiji Temple holds the World Guinness Record as the largest wooden building. Inside the temple, you will behold the largest Buddha statue in Japan. Just outside the temple is the Nara Deer Park, where you will be greeted by numerous deer that roam around freely. The deer here at the park are known to be friendly and may even bow at you for a little treat. After playing with the deer, it's off to the hotel to rest.
Breakfast
Day 7
Our cherry blossom Takayama Tour begins with a visit to Arashiyama to walk through the Bamboo Groove Forest. The morning's sunlight passing through the bamboo makes for a perfect morning sight. We will also enjoy a spirited rickshaw ride through Arashiyama. Guests can enjoy seeing many of the traditional-style shops and temples during the ride. Following our time in Arashiyama, it's off to the Golden Pavilion, or Kinkakuji Temple, a Japan’s must see attraction where the two upper floors are covered in gold leaf. The reflection of the golden temple on the lake adds to the stunning sight.



After our time at the pavilion, your vacation will venture to Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of Kyoto's many can't miss destinations that features hundreds of red tori gates. The path is perfect for photos or just to calm your mind. After we take our photos of the shrine, we head out to the ancient shopping street Ninenzaka. This rustic street is filled with shops and souvenir stands, and is a great place for photos and to see what Japan looked like many years ago.



Keeping with the traditional feel, we included a tea-ceremony to help you relax and enjoy Japanese culture. After our tea ceremony, we will head to Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of Kyoto's many can't miss destinations that features hundreds of red tori gates. The path is perfect for photos or just to calm your mind. After we take our photos, enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a Maiko Dinner. Maiko are apprentice to Geisha and the dinner is a great chance to take photos and learn about Kyoto's traditional culture. We then proceed to the hotel.
Breakfast Dinner
Day 8
Our cherry blossom tour begins the day by heading to the Himeji prefecture to invade the remarkable Himeji-jo, or Himeji Castle. Himeji-jo was registered as a UNESCO distinguished site in 1993, representing Japanese castle architecture at its peak. Nicknamed White Heron Castle due to the Japanese castle's graceful white walls, Himeji Castle maintains almost all of it's original structures from its initial construction in the early 1600’s. Unlike some of the country's other castles, this classic Japanese castle has overcome wars, earthquakes, and natural disasters over the last four centuries. While the castle's architecture and classic structures are stunning, Himeji Castle is often considered to be one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in all Japan!



After our time in Himeji, our cherry blossom tour will travel west to the Shimane Prefecture to explore the famed Adachi Art Museum. The Adachi Museum of Art in Shimane is known for its great collection of artwork and amazing Japanese gardens. The museum's art collection includes fine works from illustrious talented Japanese artists including Yokoyama Taikan, Takeuchi Seiho, Hashimoto Kansetsu, and Sakakibara Shiho. While the art is impressive, the true gem is the museum's impressive array of Japanese gardens. Split into six smaller gardens, each garden provides a distinct feel and atmosphere. Enjoy the relaxing scenery with your tour guide and gaze upon the stunning Japanese flowers. The art museum's impressive Japanese gardens have been named the Best Garden in Japan annually since 2003 by the Journal of Japanese Gardening and received the top rating of three stars by the Michelin Green Guide Japan. Enjoy this scenic area before we make our way to our hotel.
TBA or similar
Breakfast
Day 9
Today our cherry blossom Japan tour begins with a visit to the iconic Itsukushima Shrine. Located off the main shore on the island of Miyajima, Japan's iconic gate that floats off the shores of Hiroshima is a must during your vacation in Japan. During high tide, the torii gate looks as though it is floating in water, creating a unique sight considered one of Japan’s top 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 our cherry blossom tour explores scenic island.



After our time in Miyajima, it's off for our Hiroshima tour through the city. One of the main highlights here in Hiroshima is the 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 Park Memorial 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. We then return to the hotel.
Breakfast
Day 10
Our Southern Japan tour begins the day in Kumamoto to explore Kumamoto Castle. Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the three premier castles in Japan, along with Himeji Castle and Matsumoto Castle. Among the impressive collection of treasures in this Japanese castle, thirteen structures in the complex are designated as Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. Several ancillary wooden buildings remain of the original castle. While we won't be going inside the castle due to reconstruction, enjoy the many views and picturesque scenery of this famous Japanese castle. While by the castle grounds, our Japan tour will visit the Johsaien. Johsaien is a shopping arcade by Kumamoto Caslte filled with over 20 shops and the Wakuwaku-za museum featuring the history and culture of Kumamoto.



After our time in Kumamoto, our cherry blossom tour will proceed to the fabled lands of Takachiho. According the legends, when Susano-o, the God of Storms, terrorized Amaterasu, his sister and the Sun Goddess, she hid into the heavenly rock cave Ama-No-Iwato. In doing so, the world was plunged into darkness. Legend states Amaterasu was drawn out of the cave, returning the light to Japan. Your Southern Japan tour will explore the mythical area before a brief stop at Tunnel Station to pick up local specialties and mementos during your vacation. After our time at the station, your Southern Japan tour will proceed to the hotel.
Breakfast Dinner
Day 11
Our Southern Japan tour begins with a visit to the the hot spring town of Beppu in Oita Prefecture. Famous for the abundant Japanese hot-springs waters, our tour will take on the highlight attraction, Beppu's exciting Tour of Hell. During our Tour of Hell, we will explore three of the famous Hell Spots, including: the Sea Hell made up of bright cobalt blue hot water, the Blood Pond Hell where hot water containing red melted clay gushes out, and the Tornado Hell, a fiery geyser that erupts every 20 minutes.



After lunch,
our cherry blossom tour will take a ferry to the castle city of Matsuyama in Shikoku. While in Matsuyama, your Southern Japan tour will invade Matsuyama Caslte, one of twelve original Japanese castles still standing since Japan's post-feudal era from 1868. Modified into a museum, this charming Japanese castle has a breathtaking view over the city of Matsuyama. After our castle invasion, your vacation will spend the rest of the day relaxing with a visit to one of the oldest hot springs in the world: Dogo Onsen. Said to have a history of over 3,000 years, this onsen is widely known for welcoming the imperial family as geusts in the exclusive Yushinden room. Bath like royalty in this ancient hot-springs, often said to be the inspiration to the hit anime film Spirited Away. Enjoy an optional Rickshaw ride through the city grounds or just relax with some light shopping in Dogo Onsen's shopping arcade. (additional fee's may apply).
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 12
Spending the day enjoying fine Japanese cuisine and nature, your cherry blossom tour will spend the day exploring the scenic sights of Tokushima's scenic Iya Valley. We start with an Udon noodle making course to learn how to hand-make the popular thick-noodle Japanese food. While Ramen is loved in all Japan and the rest of the world, Udon noodles are a beloved specialty in Japan's Southern region. Enjoy a hearty bowl of noodles and learn the art to delicately craft your own Japanese dish.



After we finish up at our Udon Japanese food making workshop, your tour has a relaxing sightseeing boat along the Oboke Gorge. Enjoy the scenic leasurable boat ride along Oboke Gorge to enjoy the untouched beauties of Japan's southern region.



After our short boat ride, your Japan tour holiday will venture off to cross the ancient vine bridge of Iya Valley. Rebuilt every three years and made of vines suspended over the Yoshino River. Be sure to take a selfie or photos to share on Facebook and Insta of this epic bridge. We then proceed to the hotel.
TBA or similar
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 13
Our Southern Japan tour is off to Osaka with a couple of unique stops along the way. Traveling East, our vacation tour group will visit Risturin Garden, one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens overlooking Shikoku's gorgeous Mt. Shiun. The Michelin Green Guide rated the garden three stars and is a great place to take photos, especially from the highest point that overlooks the entire garden. Often included in any list for what to do in Shikoku, Ritsurin Garden is a must when traveling through Japan's southern island.



After our time at the Japanese garden, your tour will make it's way through Tokushima. During our travels, we will stop at the Awa-odori Museum, a museum dedicated to the prefecture dance of Tokushima. During the annual Awa-Odori festival, thousands of spectators flock to Japan to watch the traditional dance performed during Obon. Enjoy learning some steps and history of Awa-odori at this great museum and maybe pick up a few moves for the next time you hit a dance floor. Although a relatively new style of dancing, Japan Deluxe Tours has confidence the Awa Odori yosakoi dancing is bound to show up in future few dance videos and competitions. After our time at the Yosakoi museum, we are off to Osaka for a Kushiage dinner. We then head to our hotel in Osaka.
Breakfast Dinner
Day 14
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