Japan: Secrets of Japan
Japan is a land of many contrasts and perhaps it is the most extraordinary country in our collection. Old traditions are in harmony with the modern world of technical innovations. Tokyo is a bustling metropolis and the greater area of Tokyo is home to more than 35 million people. The busiest pedestrian intersection in the world, the Shibuya crossing, lies in the city centre.
The city of Tokyo is divided into 23 districts, each with a mix of old and new, trendy and funky and gourmet restaurants, designer shops, galleries and museums. In the district of Harajuku the younger generation, dressed in Hello Kitty clothing, walk through the crowded streets or gather in Yoyogi Park which is always fun to watch.
Outside the capital you will find another Japan, with beautiful nature and traditional cities. These are connected by train. The Shinkhansen, a super-fast train, offers modern comfort and a traveling time of only two hours from Tokyo to Kyoto (500 km). The beautiful gardens of Kyoto offer a zen-like beauty, simplicity and tranquillity and it is in Kyoto that you will experience serene temples, geishas and traditional hotels.
15-day itinerary for Japan
Day 1: Arrive Tokyo
Arrival in Tokyo and transfer to the Park Hyatt Tokyo in Shinjuku, well known for scenes out of the movie “Lost in Translation”.
Day 2: Tokyo
The modern city of Tokyo has many different neighbourhoods each with their own character. Together with a local guide you will receive an introduction to public transport then a visit to the oldest temple and a take cruise on the Sumida river.
Day 3: Tokyo: Sumo training Experience
Ryogoku district lies in north of Tokyo and is the centre of the Sumo wrestling. Here you will find the Sumo stadium and the “Sumo Stables”.
Day 4: By train from Tokyo to Hakone, Mount Fuji
Hakone is one of Japan’s most famous areas for a visit to the hot springs (onsen). Between the untouched nature of the volcanic mountains are numerous lakes to be explored. Overnight stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese-style inn and wonderful experience. Overnight Ryokan Gora Kadan.
Day 5: By train from Hakone to Takayama
Takayama is located in the “Japanese Alps” and has managed to preserve its authentic character with narrow streets and traditional merchants’ houses. In the early days, it was the city of craftsmen and merchants but now it gives us a good insight to 19th century Japan. Dinner and overnight ryokan Oyado Koto No Yume.
Day 6: Takayama
Exploration of Takayama by foot or by bike. The Higashiyama Walk is a lovely walk of about 3.5 kilometre to Shiroyama Park. Dinner and overnight Ryokan.
Day 7: Takayama visit Shirakawgo
The farming village of Shirakawa-go is located in a beautiful valley in the Japanese Alps and for a long time it was cut off from the outside world. Because of this, it developed a unique culture and architecture, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dinner and overnight stay in a Ryokan.
Day 8: Takayama – Kanazawa
Today you will travel by bus or train to Kanazawa, famous for it’s Geisha district with quaint streets and Kenrokuen, one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens which was originally a park in Kanazawa castle.
Day 9: by train from Kanazawa to Kyoto
Journey by train to Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan (about two hours). This nearly 1000 year old city was the imperial capital of Japan and to this day Kyoto still has the most beautiful temples, palaces, villas and gardens in the country. Enjoy beautiful walks to temples which lie in the surrounding hills. In Kyoto it is possible to choose between a ryokan, a hotel in a temple or a traditional Japanese rental house for your overnight stay.
Day 10: Kyoto: Japanese cooking workshop
After visiting the famous market and a sake brewery, this walking tour continues to a traditional Japanese wooden house where you will participate in a cooking class. Learn how to make sushi, miso soup, a Japanese salad and dessert.
Day 11 t / m 13: Kyoto
Kyoto is the perfect city to discover by bicycle, by foot or public transport. There are plenty of opportunities, both in the city and outside. The next few days are free to enjoy this beautiful city with all it’s different facets.
Day 14: Osaka – Amsterdam
Early departure for the transfer to the airport of Osaka
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