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Splendors of Japan with Hiroshima - Celebrate the Takayama Festival 2023

Operator
Trafalgar
Days
13
From
USD $8,095
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Apr 11, 2023
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Apr 23, 2023
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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Celebrate the changing seasons as the jangle of bells and boom-boom-bang of drums accompany a captivating parade of festival floats on the streets of hillside Takayama.

Countries Visited

Japan

Cities Visited

Hiroshima , Kanazawa , Kyoto , Osaka , Takayama , Tokyo

  1. Day 1
    Konnichiwa Tokyo
    Your in-depth exploration of Japan begins in Tokyo. On arrival at Narita or Haneda Airport, take a shuttle bus transfer to your centrally located hotel, where you'll join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers.Accommodation: New Otani Garden Tower
  2. Day 2
    Explore Vibrant Tokyo
    We launch our City Tour in the old-time entertainment centre of Asakusa, where we'll encounter the Sensoji Buddhist Temple. One of Tokyo's most colourful and popular temples, Sensoji has been rebuilt countless times since it was founded in 628, making it Tokyo's oldest temple site. Strolling down Nakamise next, we immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of shitamachi (downtown Tokyo), admiring the wooden dolls, colourful chiyogami (origami paper) and traditional Japanese sweets. We'll ascend Tokyo Skytree, the world's highest free-standing broadcasting tower for panoramic views of the city, then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or on an Optional Experience where a professional stylist will dress you in a traditional Japanese kimono.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Off to the Five Lakes District
    Our first stop today is the Imperial Palace Plaza from where the two bridges that form the entrance to the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace can be viewed. We'll have the opportunity to explore the leafy Imperial Palace East Gardens before continuing our City Tour. At the Edo-Tokyo Museum, we delve into the history and culture of Tokyo's Edo era, then continue to the Ginza district where we'll learn how to make sushi with a 'Local Specialist'. We venture to the Five Lakes District next, keeping a keen eye out for the UNESCO listed Mt. Fuji which dominates the landscape.Accommodation: Fuji Marriott Yamanakako
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Majestic Mt. Fuji and Timeless Takayama
    This morning ascend Mt. Fuji by road to 2,300 metres at the 5th station before taking a ride up Mt. Tenjo on the Kachikachiyama Ropeway (both weather permitting), for jaw dropping views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko. Continue your journey through the Japanese Alps to the hillside town of Takayama, before enjoying an early dinner at the hotel. Later 'Dive Into Culture' as the warm glow of lanterns beckon and with them, an opportunity to delve into centuries of tradition at the Yomatsuri Night-time Festival. Watch in wonder as ornate floats lit up by hundreds of lanterns parade through the streets to sounds of cheery bystanders, drums and jangling bells.Accommodation: Associa Takayama Resort
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Join the Locals at the Takayama Festival
    Immerse yourself in tradition as you walk through the Edo-style streets of Takayama's Old Town. Indulge in a lunch of Japanese Hida-gyu - beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, renowned as one of the finest quality varieties of beef. After lunch, immerse yourself in the town's festive atmosphere. Admire the intricately carved yatai (floats) that date back to the 17th century and feature karakuri ningyo (marionettes) which move and dance as their strings are managed by the tsunakata (puppeteers). Later, return to the hotel by coach.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  6. Day 6
    Experience Gokayama and On To Kanazawa
    Journey back in time this morning during a visit to the peaceful UNESCO-listed Gokayama, a mountain village set amidst five valleys. Admire the unique construction of the local Gassho-zukuri wooden houses that have been built without the use of nails with steeply sloped thatched roofs to prevent snow from building up on them. Later Dive Into Culture observing local artisans making washi paper and trying your hand at making your own. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience contributes to the sustainability of this small business. Then, continue to Kanazawa and take a short walk through the Omicho market and enjoy an insider’s view of everyday life in a busy coastal town. Next, visit the gardens of Kenroku-en, shaped over a hundred years before continuing with a visit to a Local Specialist to learn the secrets of painting gold leaf. Stay overnight in Kanazawa.Accommodation: Kanazawa Tokyu
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Onwards to Kyoto
    We board an Express train this morning to Kyoto, where we'll 'Connect With Locals' at a traditional ryokan, built in 1932 to serve as the second residence of Emperor Akihito's uncle. We'll enjoy a 'Be My Guest' lunch and learn about local Japanese customs as our hosts welcome us into their beautiful home. After lunch, we visit the UNESCO-listed Kinkakuji Temple with its famous Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion), the proud symbol of Kyoto and a Zen temple, which has its origins as a 14th century villa.Accommodation: Nikko Princess Kyoto
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Discover Enchanting Kyoto
    The blazing orange torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine guide our path through the forest, up into the mountains and to a sacred site that has heard prayers for prosperity and happiness since the 8th century. We continue to Sanjusangen-do Hall and admire the minute detail of each of its 1,001 "thousand-handed" goddesses of mercy statues, then enjoy a walking tour of the Gion area. This evening, we indulge in a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and fellow guests.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Cross the Seto Inland Sea to Awaji Island
    This morning we leave Japan's main island Honshu behind, crossing the world's largest suspension bridge over the Seto Inland Sea to Awaji Island. Enjoy free time for lunch, then take a walk around Yumebutai, a complex of buildings built on the side of the mountain. One of the most striking features is the '100 Stepped Garden' - a group of 100 flowerbeds in small square gardens on an incline and arranged in grids spread over several levels. Visit the Water Temple and admire the reflection of the surrounding mountains, rice paddies and bamboo groves as you descend the steps to the Buddhist temple beneath its still waters. Journey to the small mountain hot springs village of Kotohira where our accommodation tonight is one of Trafalgar's 'Stays With Stories' - a traditional Japanese ryokan. We'll have some time this evening to climb the steps adjacent to the hotel to visit Kotohira-gu Shrine and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Later perhaps take a relaxing soak in the onsen (hot spring) bath at our hotel.Accommodation: Kotohira Grand Sakuranosho (ryokan)
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Spiritual Kotohira and Onwards to Hiroshima
    This morning visit the Zentsuji Temple, birthplace of one of the most revered figures of Japanese Buddhism, the high priest Kobo Daishi. It is the 75th temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage, which covers approximately 1,200 kilometres and was traditionally done on foot taking up to 60 days to complete. It is still done by many people today although modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles or motorcycles. Continue to Omishima Island and make a stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Drive to Hiroshima via the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Expressway, a 60-kilometre highway that links the islands of the Seto Inland Sea with nine individual bridges. Check into your hotel for a relaxing evening.Accommodation: Rihga Royal
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  11. Day 11
    Set Sail for Miyajima Island
    We travel by ferry to the sacred Miyajima Island, where we'll see the famous UNESCO-listed Itsukushima Shrine and elaborate torii gate that stands majestically in the sea. After some free time for lunch and to explore the island's spiritual sanctuaries, we return to Hiroshima for a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Imagine the devastation and horror that followed the world's first atomic explosion in 1945 as you see the UNESCO-listed Peace Memorial, the only structure left standing in the area and an expression of hope for world peace. This evening, we'll indulge in Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake made with egg, cabbage, soba noodles, and meat, seafood or cheese, grilled in layers on a hot plate.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  12. Day 12
    High Speed Bullet Train to Osaka
    Board the high-speed bullet train to Osaka this morning and enjoy some free time for lunch and shopping in the Dotonbori Street area. Visit Osaka Castle, which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.Accommodation: Sheraton Miyako Osaka
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  13. Day 13
    Sayonara Osaka
    Our encounter with Japan's centuries-old traditions and modern cityscapes at its end, take a transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport, or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Sightseeing Highlights

  • VIEW Mt. Fuji
  • SEE the traditional Gassho-zukuri houses in Gokayama, the beautiful gardens of Kenrokuen in Kanazawa
  • VISIT the Sensoji Temple, the Skytree Observation Tower, the Edo Tokyo Museumin Tokyo, Mt. Fuji 5th Station, the Kinkakuji Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Sanjusangen-do Hall in Kyoto, the Water Temple on Awaji Island, Zentsuji Temple, the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island, the Peace Memorial Park and Museum in Hiroshima and Osaka Castle
  • EXPLORE Tokyo. Kyoto. Hiroshima
  • CONNECT WITH LOCALS A kaiseki lunch at a traditional Japanese ryokan home near Kyoto where you will learn about local customs. (Day 7)
  • DIVE INTO CULTURE Join the locals at the Takayama Festival. (Days 4 & 5) Sample Japanese sake during a walking tour in the Edo-style streets of Takayama Old Town. (Day 5) Learn how local artisans make Japanese washi paper in the UNESCO village of Gokayama. (Day 5) Sample the famous Hiroshima style okonomiyaki. (Day 11)
  • LOCAL SPECIALIST Sushi making in Tokyo. (Day 3) Gold Leaf painting in Kanazawa. (Day 6)
  • MAKE A DIFFERENCE Help support a local business with a visit to a washi paper workshop. You'll watch the family at work, and test your paper-making skills for yourself. (Day 5)
  • STAYS WITH STORIES Enjoy genuine Japanese hospitality at a traditional ryokan in the mountain hot springs village of Kotohira. (Day 9)

Dining Highlights

  • 12 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches (including Connect with Locals)
  • 7 dinners

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
  • Handcrafted Highlights

Health and Safety Protocols for Trafalgar Tours

Trafalgar has introduced these enhanced hygiene protocols – for you and team members.

You can travel with Trafalgar and be assured that their team has put numerous new measures in place to elevate their hygiene standards and protocols. The well-being of guests and team has always been, and always will be, their primary concern.

In this new, fast changing Covid-19 era, Trafalgar is doing all they can to adapt to new requirements and expectations. Here are some important new steps and procedures that they have implemented to enhance hygiene protocols, to comply with physical distancing requirements by relevant government authorities and to give you the peace of mind when you are traveling during these new times.

Expertly Trained Travel Directors

Travel Director training equips them with enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures. During your trip, they will operate with a duty of care and monitor the hygiene etiquette of the guests, reacting and advising as needed, to ensure high standards are maintained. Before you travel, Trafalgar will also keep you well informed about new protocols required in these areas, and ask that you cooperate with and heed the advice and direction of Travel Directors while on your trip. The Travel Directors have preventative measures in place to try and ensure your well-being and in the event that any unexpected issues arise on trip, they will activate additional protocols.

Stringent On-the-Road Protocols

The customized luxury coaches are sanitised before the start of your trip and have always been kept to very high standards. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Trafalgar have taken additional measures to elevate hygiene and sanitary practices in accordance with guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and as required, applicable government regulations. The Driver training provides them with the latest hygiene protocols. They will clean and disinfect all surfaces including handrails, door handles, tables, seats, air-conditioning filters and overhead lockers on a daily basis. All the guests are asked to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organisation including the thorough and regular washing of hands and sanitising when required. Hand sanitiser is freely available on board for your use throughout the day. Please bring your own washable face mask and gloves with you, and additional hand sanitiser to make you feel comfortable, as these will be required to be worn in public in some countries. Should an unexpected situation arise, additional face masks, rubber gloves, antiviral sprays and wipes will be available for guest distribution on all trips.

A Full Team of Support 24/7

It’s not just your Travel Director and Driver who will be taking care of you. Behind the scenes, the operations and guest support teams are in contact with them and on call 24/7, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Physical Distancing

Adapting to the right size groups, based on government distancing requirements, you can rest assured that you will travel with the comfort of your own personal space. Have peace of mind that all of the experiences, hotels and restaurants you’ll enjoy on your trip have been vetted to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Trusted Partners, Exceptional Standards

Trafalgar is very selective in who they work with and choose to only use hotels, restaurants, ground handlers and venues that take the well-being of the guests as seriously as Trafalgar does and agrees to meet expected guidelines and specifications. Trafalgar only works with establishments that they are confident will consistently adhere to their high standards.

Always in the Know

As part of The Travel Corporation (TTC) , Trafalgar is kept up to date with all government advisories and travel alerts on a daily basis and is continually in touch with all of the partners on the ground in each destination. Also, rest assured that during your trip, the teams work to ensure the supplier partners (hotels, restaurants, museums and other venues) are also applying the same standard to these new hygiene and distancing protocols, to the extent possible.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Trafalgar Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.1
Accommodations
3.8
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 4183 reviews about Trafalgar Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

Spring is the best time to go! Breathtakingly beautiful!

Trafalgar makes the parks come to life. Be my guest dinner is always a truly memorable experience.

Fine job by all, enjoyed the trip

Excellent experience all the way around!

Excellent service provided by Trafalgar! It exceeded my expectations!

This is our third trip with Trafagler, will definitely travel with them again.

Traveled with Trafalgar six times before this trip. Love their Be My Guest & Stays with Stories. Plus the local treats, connects you to the region, culture & history.

Wonderful trip. Tour director, driver and wellness director were excellent!

Great, very professional team assembled by Trafalgar

The trip went beautifully, as we expected. All arrangements were thoughtfully made for this senior couple. Special thanks to Steve, great job. Flawless planning paid off!

Was very excited seeing all the ancient temples.

The combination of the 3-day Sydney stay ahead of the 15-day New Zealand Splendor was perfect. Those first days in Sydney were filled with activities that got us rapidly on the new time zone. New Zealand is so scenic! Our tour guide there was Maori and shared a wealth of insight into the native culture. You should be aware that both tours are operated by the local company AAT Kings, not Trafalgar. However, the service and quality matched or exceeded what we have come to expect from Trafalgar.

Trafalgar is just the most wonderful travel operator - they staff are so kind and generous with their time, they truly make very effort to make you feel as if you are the most important person and your good time is their primary objective - they surprise you throughout the trip with little unexpected treats and stay always close on hand to monitor activities to make sure everyone is smiling and happy - I would not travel with any other service

The value derived from the trip far outweighs the price paid. The hotel accommodations, the food, the optional experience, the hidden gem, the transportation were more than satisfactory. The operator is professional, friendly, safety conscious and enthusiastic.

Trafalgar tours is an excellent company. The tours and people are great and they handle everything. You can never see so much or learn so much on your own.

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