12 Day Summer Japan Tour – Gion Festival Platinum Series 2023

PLATINUM Series

12 Day Japan Summer Tour

Gion Festival

12 Days

Departs 2023

Price To Be Confirmed

From the welcome cocktails overlooking the Imperial Palace at sunset in Tokyo to your stay in a traditional hot spring in Hakone, experience JANESCO’s Platinum quality.

Gourmet experiences, regional delicacies and traditional dinners. Experience the grandeur of famous Mt. Fuji, the serenity of the Floating Shrine at Miyajima and the poignant memorial at Hiroshima. Enjoy the colourful Gion summer festival in the ancient capital Kyoto. Visit the Samurai town of Kanazawa, historic Takayama and the thatched rural village of Shirakawago. Speed through the countryside on the bullet train and then enjoy a quiet amble through inspiring Samurai era streets and gardens. A combination of famous destinations and out of the way places, at a relaxed pace.

Platinum Series Tours Include

Gourmet Food

Gourmet Food

Fine Dining

Luxurious Dining

Limo Chauffer

Chauffer Pick Up

Luxury Rooms

Luxury Accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo

Upon arriving at Tokyo airport and clearing customs you will be greeted by your driver and transferred to our luxury hotel, the Imperial Hotel Tokyo and check in for 3 nights. Take some time to settle in and perhaps go for a stroll towards nearby Ginza to shake off the cobwebs and take in the local atmosphere.

Accommodation: The Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar

Day 2: Tokyo (B, L, Welcome Drinks)

After a relaxing breakfast (your choice of traditional Japanese à la carte, Viking (Japanese and western buffet) or Western à la carte) we start our first full day in Tokyo with a morning sightseeing tour of the city on a chartered coach, through Ginza streets, by the Imperial Palace and on to Asakusa Temple, where we stroll down the colourful Nakamise shopping street, lined with tiny stalls and thronging with enchanted shoppers and temple visitors. For our first taste of the gourmet delights of Japan, we will enjoy lunch at one of the finest restaurants in Ginza. The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure and we gather again in the evening for a Welcome Cocktail and a light dinner at a private lounge in the hotel overlooking the Imperial Palace at sunset. This is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers a little more as you take in the view and chat about the day’s experiences.

Accommodation: The Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar

Day 3: Tokyo (B)

We meet at the lobby this morning after another relaxing breakfast. Japan is a land of contrasts. Having experienced the hustle and bustle of Asakusa yesterday, we begin our day with a slow-paced walking tour through the 100 year old Meiji shrine, built in honour of the Emperor who reigned for 45 years spanning the opening of Japan after the Shogunate rule. Then, by way of contrast, we will stroll along the vibrant Omotesandō promenade of Harajuku, renowned for its colourful street art, youth fashion and high-end trendy boutique stores and coffee shops. The world’s great fashion houses compete here to impress with their architecture while the younger generation enjoy street food and bubble tea. The remainder of the day is free at leisure. You may wish to visit a nearby small woodblock print art gallery or the Nezu Museum – a small private art museum with beautiful gardens. Your tour leader will be happy to assist you to organise your afternoon and evening activities.

Accommodation: The Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar

Day 4: Tokyo - Hakone Mt. Fuji region (B, L, D)

This morning we travel to Mount Fuji and Hakone National Park by bullet train.  Changing to our chartered car in Hakone, we begin our tour of the region. It is difficult to really get a feel for the massive mountain from pictures alone. Today (weather permitting) you will see Mt. Fuji from far enough away to appreciate its amazing symmetry and close enough to experience the awe its presence has instilled in the Japanese people and begin to understand its place in their culture. On our way to view the mountain from another vantage point, we will take a cruise across Lake Ashi in the Hakone National Park and then board the ropeway (gondola) across Ōwakudani (The Great Boiling Valley) with its active sulphur vents and steaming hot springs.  We head back down the mountain and, after enjoying a lakeside lunch, head to The Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa where we check in for 1 night. Enjoy some quiet time to relax (perhaps with a soak in the onsen) and freshen up before dinner.

Accommodation: The Hyatt Regency Hakone or similar

Day 5: Hakone Mt. Fuji region - Kyoto (B, D)

After checking out from the hotel, we travel to Kyoto by Bullet Train. Upon arrival at Kyoto station, we will enjoy a morning sightseeing tour.  Kyoto is the spiritual heart of Japan and is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was the main centre for the evolution of religious and secular architecture and of garden design for almost a thousand years. Today we will get to experience this first-hand visiting two of its most famous UNESCO world heritage sites, the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) and Nijo Castle. Kinkakuji is a beautiful Zen temple whose top two storeys are completely covered in gold leaf. Nijo castle, built in 1603, is one of the best surviving examples of feudal Japan’s castle palace architecture. We will be transferred to our hotel and check in for 3 nights. Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant.

After dinner, enjoy walking along the main street of Kyoto to absorb the atmosphere of the Gion Festival Yoiyama night. On the night before the festival parade, the famous floats – the “Hoko” that will pass by some distance away on festival day are on display on the streets in the neighbourhood northwest of the parade route. Join the locals in the carnival atmosphere and colourful food and trinket stalls.

Accommodation: Kyoto Hotel Okura/Corner Deluxe Room arrangement or similar

Day 6: Kyoto (Gion Festival Parade) (B, D)

Enjoy the colourful parade this morning. Special reserved seats have been requested to observe the festival procession. The Gion Festival procession of floats, some of them over 16m in height from the ground to the roof, has its roots in the plagues and illnesses of a thousand years ago. After the parade has passed, we hop into a bus and head off to the mountains of the Sagano Arashiyama region, located southwest of Kyoto. Once the exclusive domain of the feudal aristocracy and famous for its seasonal beauty and bamboo groves the area provides a tranquil respite from the city. We will stroll through the picturesque bamboo groves and visit the local temple and riverside. We travel then across Kyoto, to explore the Higashiyama district at the foot and lower slopes of the mountains marking the eastern limit of the city. We visit UNESCO World Heritage listed Kiyomizu temple, an impressive wooden structure built into the mountainside and overlooking the city. Part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizu temple is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama district as we join pilgrims and locals as they climb towards the temple. There are lots of things to explore in this area and you will get to see how the locals enjoy their history and local environs. For dinner tonight we have a special treat. We will enjoy a traditional kaiseki dinner and will be accompanied by a Geisha/Maiko, who will perform a special traditional dance for us and with whom we can chat. Quite a unique experience.

Accommodation: Kyoto Hotel Okura/Corner Deluxe Room arrangement or similar

Gion Matsuri Float
Gion Festival
Maiko In Gion
Day 7: Kyoto - Miyajima Island - Hiroshima - Kyoto

We depart the hotel a little earlier than usual this morning for Kyoto station. We catch a Bullet train bound for Hiroshima and travel on to Miyajima Island in The Inland Sea, to enjoy sightseeing around the Sacred Goddess Miyajima Floating Shrine and the world-famous Torii gate. The shrine itself is built over the water on pylons, to give the impression of floating on the water. As with many other structures in Japan it has been rebuilt after storm or fire damage many times and indeed this constant renewal is characteristic of the Japanese psyche. The large bright vermillion Torii gate is in fact currently being replaced and may be still clad in scaffolding when we visit. After strolling through the serene corridors and verandas of the floating temple and perhaps having made the acquaintance of the local deer, we travel to the famous Hiroshima Peace Museum. The museum is dedicated to those who lost their lives or loved ones to the atomic bomb and has poignant displays depicting life before and after the bomb. We travel back to Kyoto this afternoon by Bullet Train. This evening is free at leisure and your tour escort will be happy to assist you with dinner arrangements.

Accommodation Kyoto Hotel Okura/Corner Deluxe Room arrangement or similar

Day 8: Kyoto - Takayama - Kanazawa (B, D)

Mid-morning, we travel by express train from Kyoto to Takayama and on the way you will have the opportunity to see everything from cityscapes to rural rice paddies and mountainous landscapes. You might choose to buy a bento box or sandwich to enjoy as you whistle past Lake Biwa and on to Takayama. Takayama’s isolation has allowed Edo period streets, lined with tiny shops, museums and eating places, to survive to this day. After walking through the streets and soaking up the atmosphere, we continue our journey on to the Samurai town of Kanazawa. Upon arrival we check in at our hotel for 2 nights. Dinner this evening is at our hotel

Accommodation: The Hyatt Centric Kanazawa or similar

Day 9: Kanazawa - Shirakawago - Kanazawa (B, D)

This morning we begin our exploration of Kanazawa including Nagamachi Samurai District located at the foot of the former Kanazawa Castle. Well preserved streets and buildings evoke the ambiance of the Edo Period. We will visit Nomura -ke, a restored samurai residence displaying the lifestyle and artefacts of the era when samurai were prosperous. Visit also Kenrokuen garden, one of Japan’s 3 most famous, drawing its name from its embodiment of all 6 of the attributes of the ideal Japanese garden. Not too far from Kanazawa is the ancient village of Shirakawago, a small world heritage listed village, nestled in the mountains beside a pristine mountain river. As you stroll around this fascinating village with its famous thatched roofs, you may get a feel for village life hundreds of years ago. We head back to Kanazawa and dinner this evening will be at a Michelin Bib Gourmand listed restaurant.

Accommodation: The Hyatt Centric Kanazawa or similar

Day 10: Kanazawa - Tokyo (B, D)

Today, we travel back to Tokyo by Hokuriku Bullet Train. Upon arrival we transfer to the Imperial Hotel Tokyo around midday and check in for 1 night. The remainder of the day is free to either relax or explore a bit of Ginza.  Your tour coordinator will be happy to help you organise your activities. Relax this evening with farewell drinks and light meal at the Imperial lounge.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar

Day 11: Tokyo (B)

Today is our last day in Japan, so you might wish to do some last-minute souvenir hunting or an optional half day activity. Late afternoon, we check out from the hotel and leave for Haneda or Narita airport by private transfer service.

JANESCO 12 Day Japan Platinum Tour 2023                                 

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • Fully Escorted Tour by Experienced, Licensed staff
  • Luxury Accommodation
  • Michelin Star, Iron Chef, and exquisite local cuisine experiences
  • Luggage delivery service
  • Green Car (First Class) train travel.
  • Private airport transfers for all Tokyo arrival and departure flights
  • Total Meals: 19 meals, Daily Breakfast (10), Lunch (2), Dinner (7)
  • Sightseeing with local tour guides
  • All tipping – coach drivers, hotels (and service fees) and restaurants

 Exclusions: Airfares, your travel insurance, beverages during meals (except where specified).  Passengers are responsible for securing any necessary visas, health and vaccination certificates and any medical tests required by Governments or airlines. 

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