A Taste of Japan incl. Airfare
Start your Taste of Japan itinerary in Tokyo, Japan’s sprawling, busy capital, which offers a mix of the ultramodern and the traditional. It has been the capital of Japan since 1868 when it moved from Kyoto. The city is made up of a number of districts, each one with its own character and attractions. In order to become familiar with Tokyo during your 2 nights here, a tour will include the Tokyo Tower with its observation deck offering excellent views of the city, the Imperial Palace Plaza outside the Emperor’s Palace to visit the beautiful gardens and the traditional Asakusa Kannon Temple and Nakamise Shopping Arcade. Later, drive through the old Ueno area which offers a glimpse of what old Tokyo would have looked like without the high rises and the neon of the shopping arcades.
Leave Tokyo and travel by bus to the Hakone National Park On arrival, drive half way up Mount Fuji to the 5th Station for a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. Later, enjoy a cruise on the beautiful Lake Ashi followed by a scenic ride on the Hakone Ropeway, one of the world's longest aerial lifts. You will be dropped off at the Odawara station where you board the bullet train to Kyoto for a 3 night stay.
Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1000 years before Tokyo became its capital. It is Japan’s most beautiful city with a rich cultural heritage, and remains a highlight of many Japan tours. Arriving initially in Kyoto, one’s first impression is that of a modern metropolis which it is in parts. However, it doesn’t take long to unearth the infinite number of cultural treasures which are spread out all over the city.
A morning tour will introduce you to some of Kyoto's most famous attractions. These include the Kinkakuji Temple which is famous for both its Golden Pavillion and its exquisite Japanese garden and the impressive Nijo Castle which is noted for its interiors. This is the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogun and its main keep dates all the way back to 1603.
In the afternoon, head to Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan. Visit the ancient Todaiji Temple and its massive Great Buddha which is the largest bronze Buddha in Japan. You will also visit the colourful Kasuga Taisha Shrine with its 3000 lanterns. This Shinto shrine is considered one of Japan's "Three Great Shrines". Finally finish with a visit to Nara Park known as "Deer Park" because of the friendly, free-roaming deer that inhabit it. Return later to Kyoto.
A further day is at leisure to explore the fascinating treasures of this fabulous city.