Cultural Japan tour, 14 days
Cultural Japan tour
Tokyo – Matsumoto – Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa – Kyoto
On this tour you will explore the many contrasts of the land of the Rising Sun: From the bright lights of Tokyo to the tranquil temples of Kyoto and the pristine mountain village of the Japanese Alps. Nature-lovers on this Cultural Japan Tour will be more than satisfied.
- Tokyo, world’s biggest shopping paradise
- Spend the night at a traditional Japanese farm house
- The Golden Temple in Kyoto
This tailor made individual tour can be booked from € 1.545-, including transportation, hotels and breakfast.
Our tours can be adapted to suit your requirements or the entire journey can be tailor made.
Cultureel Japan reis dag tot dag
Day 1 Departure from Amsterdam or Brussels
Day 2 Arrival in Tokyo
Tokyo has it all!!! Delicious cuisine, ultra-modern architecture and many charming old neighbourhoods. The Meiji-shrine in the beautiful Harajuku park is an oasis of peace and calm. This Shinto shrine was built in 1920 in honour of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, who made significant contribution in the modernisation of Japan. A massive wooden torii gate made of 1700-year-old cypress greets you at the start of the wide passage. Both gates (torii) towards the shrine are 12 meters high and amongst the highest in Japan. The Harajuku area with its many trendsetting fashion shops is definitely a must-see spot if you want to immerse in Japanese pop-culture! Sundays are the best time to admire Tokyo youth in their eccentric and stylish Cosplay outfits.
Day 3 Tokyo
Early birds can head to the world’s biggest fish auction at the Tsukiji market. This is really an experience in itself. A sashimi breakfast can’t get any fresher than this. A visit to the Edo Tokyo Museum illustrates the past of Tokyo from the Edo Period to recent modern times. For a picture-perfect view of the city, take an elevator to the highest floors of the Shinjuku Metropolitan Building. On a clear day you can even see Mount Fiji.
The Red Light district of Tokyo is in the Kabukikcho area near the Shinjuku train station. This area is bustling with shops, love hotels, clubs, pachinko halls and restaurants. At night, all the fun starts. The colourful blazing neon-lights and signs make a visit more than memorable.
Day 4 Tokyo
The Ryogoku area, North of Tokyo, is the centre of the sumo world. Here you find the Sumo Stadium surrounded by many Sumo stables, Chanko restaurants and other Sumo related stuff. From 6am onwards till 9.30pm, you can watch Sumo workouts going on. In the ancient Asakusa area, you visit of course the famous SensoJi temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. When you head in the direction of the Ueno Station, you’ll find many typical Sushi eateries located “under the railway tracks”. (optional)
Tokyo – Nikko – Tokyo
Today you can opt for a day trip to Nikko. Either you join an international group or travel on your own. It takes about 2 hours by train from Tokyo to Nikko. The town is famous for its many temples. The Toshogu shrine lies in a magnificent nature reserve and is a symbol for Shinto worships that focuses on living in harmony with nature. Here lies the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the shogun that unified Japan. He was the founder of the stable Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868. Return to Tokyo by train.
Day 5 Tokyo – Matsumoto
It takes around 3 hours to travel to the provincial town of Matsumoto, surrounded by the Japanese Alps. Here you visit the “Black Crow Castle” from the Edo time period, one of the most magnificent, authentic and well preserved castles in Japan. This area is also famous for the cultivation of Wasabi. Wasabi is a pungent green Japanese condiment made from Japanese horseradish. It tastes delicious when eaten with sushi and other fish dishes. The Ukiyo-e Museum is home to the Sakai collection of over one hundred thousand ukiyoe wood block prints, the largest collection the world. It all started with Sakai Yoshiaki’s, one of the wealthiest merchants in town, collection of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and other art objects. It’s a living collection that continues to expand as his descendants continue to to purchase art and woodblock prints. Some of them are currently exhibited at the Ukiyo-e museum. Not far from the castle, the Nakamachi is a lively street lined by several nicely preserved old buildings. Some of them house small shops, restaurants and traditional Japanese cafes.
Day 6 Matsumoto – Takayama
The local bus takes you in two hours to the mountain city of Takayama. The old town is renowned for its sweets and sake. Here time stands still. The Sannomachi street with its many old shops and merchant homes is very pretty. Don’t forget to visit the Kusakabe Heritage House, an old merchant home that now functions as a museum.
Day 7 Takayama
In spring and autumn Takayama is renowned for its many festivals. The Yatai Kaikan hall exhibits some of the beautiful Autumn’s festival floats. Somewhat North of the centre, there is a street and walking trail along the 12 temples. Take in the historic buildings of the Takayama Jinya. This ancient City Hall now serves as a museum.
Day 8 Takayama – Shirakawago
The village of Shirakawago is home to well preserved traditional “Ghasso–zukuri” houses. These houses are designed with unusual steep thatched roofs, made of reed often more than a meter thick. In winter these roofs have to carry snow and shed rainwater. On the ground floors live huge families, sometimes up to 20-30 people. It is possible to spend the night at such a “Ghasso-zukuri” farmhouse and enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner.
Day 9 Shirakawago – Kanazawa
Kanazawa lies on the coast of the Sea of Japan, but has good views of the Japan Alps. The town’s main attraction is the Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s “three best landscaped gardens’ and by many considered as the most beautiful one. The gardens are open to the public. The former geisha district is well preserved and now houses many restaurants. The Nomura house is a restored samurai residence of the Nomura family and is open to the public as well.
Day 10 Kanazawa
A guided tour around the Ninja temple illustrates how invaders got tricked by deceptive defences such as secret doors and traps. The modern “21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art” is different and unique as the museum is comprised of a circular building with no facade or entrance.
Day 11 Kanazawa – Kyoto
A two hour train journey brings you to Kyoto. This ancient capital of Japan is unique as it was virtually untouched during Wold War II and is therefore one of the cultural highlights of this tour. The Nijo Castle has an old-fashioned defence system with cracking floors, that were meant to betray invaders. It is also famous for its corridors full of refined Chinese-style wall paintings. The Kinkakuji or ‘Golden Pavilion’ is one of Japan’s main treasures. Instead of staying at a hotel, you can (when there is availability) stay in an authentic Japanese house.
Day 12 Kyoto
The spectacular rock garden at the Ryoanji Zen Temple might not win every foreigner’s appreciation, yet these rock gardens require more maintenance then any other green garden. The Nishiki Market is a long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants, nicknamed “Kyoto’s Kitchen”: an excellent place for a culinary splurge. In the spring month of April, when the cherry blossoms are flowering, you may see many Japanese women strolling through the streets and parks of Kyoto in a traditional kimono or yukata.
Day 13 Kyoto
After breakfast, visit the Heian Temple. The gardens around this Shinto temple are very popular with honeymooners on their wedding day. The vermilion lacquered entrance gate is quite impressive. Then proceed to the Kiyomizu-dera temple, a wooden buddhist temple dating from the 8th century. A stroll around the Gion-district at night is a must.Kyoto is a good base for a day trip to Nara. This old capital of Japan has some of the most beautiful temples and shrines in the country and is declared a Unesco world heritage site. The city boasts six universities and houses the Todaji temple, the world’s largest wooden structure housing a 15 meter high bronzed Buddha.
Day 14 Kyoto – Amsterdam/Brussels
Cultural Japan tour – day by day
|Day 1||Departure Amsterdam|
|Day 2||Arrival Tokyo|
|Day 5||Tokyo – Matsumoto|
|Day 6||Matsumoto – Takayama|
|Day 8||Takayama – Shirakawago|
|Day 9||Shirakawago – Kanazawa|
|Day 11||Kanazawa – Kyoto|
|Day 14||Kyoto – Amsterdam|
Price of 14 days Cultural Japan Tour:
This very complete tour package can be booked from € 1.545,- per person onwards, based on double occupancy and based on chosen travel dates.
Different ways of traveling
Many different people, many desires, so many different ways of traveling. Some prefer it simple but good, others want it good, yet with a bit more luxury. Our tours are offered in different price categories.
|€ 1.545,–||*** hotels||B||Budget accommodations|
|€ 1.790,–||**** hotels||Comfortable 4 star hotels|
|€ 2.765,–||***** hotels||Deluxe 5 star hotels|
– All accommodation, including breakfast.
– Traditional dinner at Shirakawago.
– All journeys by train and bus as per itinerary.
– Detailed information sheets with maps and translations.
– International flight to and from Japan.
– Transfers to and from the airports.
– Ferries, local buses and metro.
– Entrance fees and services of local guides.
– Travel and Cancellation Insurance.
– Administration cost € 25,– p.p. (Max € 50,– per file)
– Calamity Funds € 2,50 per file.
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