JapanDeluxeTours

Japan Deluxe Tours, Inc.
1820 W. Carson St. Suite 224 Torrance California 90501 USA
Phone: 310-327-1111 FAX: 310-329-7609
12 Nights 13 days Essence Of Spring | 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. 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.


Breakfast
Day 4
Our first stop is the Hakone Open-Air Museum. Enjoy seeing statures, strolling through beautiful nature in the stunning landscape of Hakone. After spending our morning in fresh air, we will have Hoto, a hot udon noodle dish served in an iron cast pot that is the perfect comfort food.



Next, we have a relaxing ride on the Hakone Ropeway down to Owakudani Valley. The ropeway provides a scenic view of the Hakone area and, if weather permits, Mt. Fuji. We will explore Owakudani for a short amount of time when you arrive, giving you enough time to marvel at the active natural volcanic vents as well as try the black egg. Boiled in one of the vents, it is said that eating one of these eggs will add 7 years to your life! We will also visit the Hakone Shrine.



Before heading to our hotel, we will make a stop to participate in a local wood craft workshop called Yosegizaiku where you can let your creativity loose.



Your Japan tour would not be complete without a long relaxing soak in the onsen (Japanese hot springs), to rejuvenate you for tomorrow’s adventure. An informal, cotton Kimono or Yukata will be provided for you to wear at the ryokan. Your vacation's ryokan includes a hot-spring onsite to enjoy at your leisure during your night's accommodation.


Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 5
Our day begins with a bullet train ride to Kyoto. The bullet train is the fastest way to travel on land and is considered an essential Japanese experience. Enjoy riding to Kyoto in comfort and speed, and be sure to take some photos of the scenery during your ride.



Upon arrival in Kyoto, we will stop for a kaiten sushi lunch and at a sake museum for some sampling and to learn the history of Japan's national drink.
Afterwards, it's off to Nara to 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.


Breakfast Lunch
Day 6
Today, our Kyoto tour begins with a visit to Arashiyama. The morning's sunlight passing through the bamboo makes for a perfect morning sight. We will also enjoy a spirited rickshaw ride through the bamboo grove. You will be welcomed by the friendly smiles of the Rickshaw drivers who are both entertaining and very knowledgeable. They will also take amazing pictures for you in the Bamboo forest that you will want to show all your friends back home.



Following our time in Arashiyama, we will head 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.



Next, enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a Maiko lunch. Maiko are apprentice to Geisha. During the lunch, you will able to see her perform Japanese traditional dances, chances to take photos, and ask questions about her life as a Maiko. It is a great opportunity to learn about Kyoto's traditional culture.



We will then head to Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of Kyoto's many can't miss destinations that features hundreds of red torii gates. The path is perfect for photos or to just calm your mind.



Our next stop will be the ancient street of Ninenzaka. The street is filled with shops and souvenir stands as well as a great place for photos and to see what Japan looked like many years ago. We will also partake in 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 then proceed to the hotel.



Breakfast Lunch
Day 7
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.



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 8
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 9
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 10
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. 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 make our way to Takachiho with our first stop being 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 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 11
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.



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.


Tsubaki-kan or similar
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 12

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 13
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