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
Day 1
Welcome to Japan! Japan Deluxe Tours has arranged transportation services to meet you at your airport's arrival lobby and will take you to your hotel. Keep an eye out for a sign with your name on it to find your driver.

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 the tour off with a visit 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!


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, one of Tokyo’s most popular temples.


For lunch, enjoy a delicious Teppan-yaki meal before we dive into the center of Japanese street fashion in Harajuku. Shop through the trendy district while snacking on famous Harajuku crepes and other kawaii treats for dessert from Takeshita Dori.


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. While here, our Tokyo tour 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. This Tokyo spot is a popular meet-up area for couples and friends when visiting Shibuya Station.


If you wish to continue your day, you have the option to visit the Tokyo Skytree where visitors can find shops for all their needs whether it be anime related, souvenirs, clothing, food, etc.




Breakfast Lunch
Day 3

Our 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 4

Today, our Takayama 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 5

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 will have time to see the Takayama floats in the daytime 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.


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.


This 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 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.


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!


We will end the evening with a colorful lightshow displayed at the Kyoto Station. Displaying various elements of Kyoto, the show provides a sense of futurism in the capital of Japanese traditional culture.



Breakfast
Day 7

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 8

Today, we will travel further west to the Himeji prefecture to visit the magnificent Himeji Castle. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, it is considered one of Japan’s three premier 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.


After spending time in Himeji, your group will make its way to Shimane prefecture to spend time at the Adachi Museum of Art. Art collections include works from illustrious Japanese artists including Yokoyama Taikan, Takeuchi Seiho, Hashimoto Kansetsu, and Sakakibara Shiho. The true gem, however, 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 (Best Garden in Japan since 2003), but also received a three-star rating by the Michelin Green Guide.



Dormy Inn Izumo or similar
Breakfast Dinner
Day 9

We will spend today exploring the city of Hiroshima. Our tour begins with a visit to the A-Bomb Dome, the only surviving building from the aftermath of the Atomic Bombing in Hiroshima. The A-Bomb Dome is located on the Peace Park Memorial park grounds, the site where the atomic bomb struck Hiroshima. Stroll along the park to see famous attractions like that of Sadako’s statue and the freedom bell. The A-Bomb Dome has been preserved to be a reminder of the tragedy for future generations and to symbolize its wishes for everlasting peace. While at the Peace Park, enjoy the exhibits at the world-famous Hiroshima Peace Park Museum. This museum collects the history and artifacts from the bombing and is a reminder of the city of Hiroshima's wish for world peace.



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 momiji manju (maple leaf shaped cake with red beans) and oysters which you can enjoy during your time on the island.




Breakfast Lunch
Day 10

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.


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. We will then take a bullet train to Kumamoto and proceed to the hotel.




Breakfast
Day 11

Our day begins in Kumamoto to see Kumamoto Castle. Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the three premier castles in Japan, along with Himeji Castle and Matsumoto Castle. Thirteen structures in the castle complex are designated Important Cultural Property. Several ancillary wooden buildings remain of the original castle. Note, during our vacation we won't be able enter the castle grounds due to renovations, but 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 & the famous Japanese Castle.


We will then travel to the fabled lands of Takachiho.


Our first stop will be a breathtaking and thrilling ride along the Takachiho Amaterasu Railway. Passing over the Takachiho Gorge, the railway sits 105 meters above the ground, providing riders a panoramic view of not only the gorge itself but the surrounding scenery in all its glory. The modified train cars also have reinforced glass floors for a unique perspective as you make your way across the gorge.


The group will explore the Awano Iwato Shrine as we make our way through Takachiho Gorge.The gorge is said to be the hiding spot of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, when Susano-o, the God of Storms, was terrorizing her. The natural greenery in contrast with the volcanic rock that forms the gorge makes for a magnificent scenery. Our last stop of the day will be the Tunnel Station which houses the Kagura Shuzo Brewery. Sample the local sake and shop for potential gifts at this unique destination.



Breakfast Dinner
Day 12

Today, we will spend part of day experiencing the rural life with a hands-on Japanese farm experience. See firsthand what Japanese agriculture entails and the work behind it by picking the vegetables yourself. Afterwards, you may even get the chance to learn how to prep the freshly picked produce and enjoy the labors of your hard work.


Continuing 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.



Tsubaki-kan or similar
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 13

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.


Shiun, 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.


The tour will end the day by making its way to Osaka.




Breakfast Lunch
Day 14
Your pleasant and memorable Japan tour ends today. The Takayama Festival tour will disband after breakfast.

Japan Deluxe Tours has arranged transportation services to take you to your designated airport. 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