Summer in Japan
04 Aug 2018
17 Aug 2018
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To book, please contact Colin McKenna at Flight Centre Fairview Mall by:
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Welcome to Japan. Hope you’re as excited to be here as we are to have you here. You’ll meet your guide at the welcome meeting which will be held at 6pm in the lobby of your hotel, followed by a short orientation walk of the neighbourhood walk.
On your first official day, we’ll visit Nakanoshima Park in Osaka. Nakanoshima Park has been named one of the 100 most scenic greenery spots in Osaka. It is a waterfront park that runs approximately 1.5 km in length and is considered to be an urban oasis popular among the locals. As Osaka's first public park, established in 1891, it became the site for the city's first beer garden as well as Hotel Jiyutei, the only hotel at that time that would accommodate overseas guests. In the spring and fall, you can catch rose blossoms at their peak, and around the holiday time, the park is adorned in lights and attracts visitors from all across the country.
After our day in the park, we’ll transfer to Hiroshima by bullet train.
Your day in Hiroshima will begin with the peace ceremony that is held each year on August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, at the Peace Memorial Park. Every year, approximately 50,000+ locals and visitors, as well as dignitaries from nearly 70 countries, attend to remember the lives we lost from the atomic bomb.
The ceremony features speeches from the Prime Minister of Japan and the mayor of Hiroshima. It always begins at 8:15 in the morning to mark the exact moment when the atomic bomb was dropped. Bells ring out from the temples, sirens wail throughout the city and everyone shares a moment of silence in remembrance.
After the ceremony, we’ll take an afternoon trip down to a small island in Hiroshima Bay called Miyajima, known as “shrine island” in Japanese. Miyajima is most noted for Itsukushima Shrine which appears to float on water at high tide, and the lone torii gate further out on the bank is ranked as one of Japan’s top three best views. Options for exploring Miyajima include a walk through the shrine, photographing the deer leisurely strolling about the island, or taking the cable car up Mt. Misen, the highest peak on the island, for a nice view over the water.
Back in Hiroshima City, end the day with an Okonomiyaki dinner - a Hiroshima style savory pancake containing egg, chopped vegetables, your choice of meat or seafood, and soba noodles layered one on top of the other. Chow down on this local specialty and then cross it off your foodie bucket list.
From Hiroshima, we’ll transfer to Kyoto with a stop in a town called Himeji on the way. We’ll stop to see Himeji castle, named a national treasure and UNESCO World Heritage Site. As it stands, it’s the most well preserved six-story structure in Japan, and when you go inside to explore, each story gets smaller and smaller as you ascend the staircases.
Afterwards, we’ll make our way to Kyoto, and once we arrive and settle into the hotel, we’ll go for an evening walk in the Gion district. Gion is Kyoto’s famous geisha district full of restaurants and teahouses where geisha entertain. We’ll learn all about the history of the area, the training women go through to become a geisha, and how it is unfortunately a dying trade.
On your second morning in Kyoto, we will walk the Philosopher’s Path, a 2-kilometer stone path that starts near Kyoto’s Silver Pavillion and parallels Lake Biwa Canal. Along the way you’ll find restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops The path was named after Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan's most famous philosophers, who used to practice meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University.
Afterwards, the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore at your leisure.
From Kyoto, we will make our way to Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the five lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji. On a clear day, Mt. Fuji is best viewed from the lake’s northern side, but visibility is never guaranteed. We’ll take the Kachi Kachi Ropeway up to the summit of Mt. Tenjo where, even if you can’t see Mt. Fuji, you’ll still get a great view overlooking Yamanashi city. We’ll also stop at a local sake brewery to learn more about this beloved Japanese drink and toast to a safe, successful climb to Mt. Fuji’s summit.
When you wake up, don’t forget to do your stretches. Today’s the day when we climb to the top of Mt. Fuji. We’ll transfer to Mt Fuji’s 5th station by bus and your guide will give you a safety briefing before we start the climb. We’ll be staying overnight at a mountain hut near the summit and climbing to the top the following morning for sunrise and victory photos.
Climbing Mt. Fuji is only half the journey. Today we descend the mountain and transfer to our hotel in Yamanaka-ko by bus. The afternoon will be yours to rest your legs, soak your feet in some hot water, and take a well-deserved nap. If you’ve still got some energy left, you may also opt to explore the nearby village of Oshino Hakkai
Oshino Hakkai is a small village of eight ponds fed by snow melt from the slopes of Fuji resulting in very clear spring water. In fact, next to one of the ponds, you can even try a drink of the cool water straight from the source. In the village, you’ll find several restaurants, souvenir shops and vendors selling vegetables, sweets, crafts and other local products.
After a good night’s rest, we’ll travel by bus to Shimoda, a hot spring resort town on the Izu Peninsula with easy access to beaches and the ocean. One night here will be the perfect way to relax coming off a rewarding Mt. Fuji climb. But before we get to Shimoda, things are going to get a little spicy. We’ll visit a wasabi farm to learn about this horseradish root that serves as both the glue and kick of flavor on sushi nigiri rolls. Dare we even suggest you try the wasabi flavored ice cream while you’re there as well?
For our final stop, we’ll travel to Japan’s bustling capital city where each neighborhood has its own personality and it remains one of the safest and quietest cities in the world despite having a greater population of 35 million people. We’ll settle into the hotel then head out for an evening orientation walk to get a first taste of the city.
The day ahead promises an array of delights. It begins with a morning tour of Tsukiji fish market, the largest wholesale seafood market in the world. Tsukiji is Tokyo’s kitchen, and you won’t find a fresher, more delicious sushi breakfast than at the market. As you peruse the market, you can warm up your taste buds with many seafood street food snacks.
The afternoon will see us at the Imperial Palace where Japan’s imperial family still resides today. We’ll touch on Japan’s political history, the Imperial family’s primary duties, and wander through the East Gardens. We’ll also stop at Yasukuni Shrine, a Shinto Shrine founded by Emperor Meiji in 1869 to honor those who died in service of the Empire of Japan which existed from the Meiji Restoration of 1869.
The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own in Akihabara, Tokyo’s electric town. Akihabara is the center of all the electronics stores, manga comic books, and anime goods. Even if you’re not into Japan’s geeky culture, it’s worth seeing in the evening when the area is awash in neon lights.
Today, we’ll kick it up a notch and head to the bustling west side of the city. Stops will include Harajuku (Tokyo’s crazy, colorful, and youthful fashion mecca), Meiji Shrine, and Shibuya where you can cross the famous intersection scramble and get a sense for the business and density of Tokyo’s population.
We’ll end in Shinjuku, Tokyo’s entertainment town packed to the brim with restaurants, bars, and entertainment. Here, you can stop for grilled yakitori meat skewers in Omoide Yokocho (a compact neighborhood or tiny eateries that only seat 8-10 people at a time), walk through the red-light district, and drink in Golden Gai (neighborhood with 200 tiny bars where it’s easy to rub elbows with the locals). An optional bar evening at the Park Hyatt New York Bar is also up for grabs.
Today is yours to explore as you like, and of course, if need be, your guide can offer some suggestions for things to do. You also have an optional karaoke night (cost not included) where you can sing the night away like the locals often do with their friends on the weekend.
On your last day, you’ll have breakfast at the hotel before parting ways with your guide. If you’re planning onward travels in Japan, your guide can give you suggestions of things to see and do. If it’s your last day in Japan, you guide can provide assistance on how to navigate back to the airport.
More about your trip
Where applicable with included activities
3 luggage transfers: Osaka-Kyoto, Kyoto-Kawaguchiko; Kawaguchiko – Tokyo. Passengers will need to bring a small bag to carry essentials for 2 nights max
In order to book, a non-refundable deposit of CAD 750/person is required and the remaining balance is due 75 days prior to departure. Single supplements must be requested at the time of booking. All transfers, pre-trip and post-trip accommodations must be requested 90 days prior to departure.
Pricing per person (twin share basis): $6,500 CAD
Intrepid Travel's booking conditions will apply to your reservation. By making payment you are agreeing to our booking conditions http://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-intrepid/booking-conditions
This trip is a private departure and is exempt from any promotions, sales and discounts advertised.