9 Days 8 Nights
Welcome to Japan! Transfer by coach (SHUTTLE BUS) to the hotel.
6:30 p.m. - Meet the guide at the end of the afternoon to visit this fascinating country by taking the metro (tickets included) to the Shinjuku district and we will see the crowds of people who use this modern and efficient public transport system . Shinjuku is one of the most important districts when it comes to nightlife. Dinner included and return to the hotel by metro with our guide.
In the morning, we take part in a 5-hour walk with our guide to discover this astonishing city, with its hustle and bustle and its extremely modern neighborhoods which coexist with calm and peaceful areas. Brief stop at Zojoji temple to take a beautiful photograph of Tokyo Tower. Watch out for the hundreds of Jizos, traditional protective stone deities who guide us on our journey, giving power to those who are weak (like children) and those in dangerous places. We then head towards the Shibuya intersection, an intersection renowned for being the busiest in the world. Meiji Temple is dedicated to Emperor Meiji, his wife and their spirits. We continue our bus along the elegant Omotesando Street. We will walk along the most beautiful part of the Imperial Palace and the gardens. Stop to visit the famous Nijubashi Bridge. We will pass through the Akihabara district, the “electric city” with icons of Japanese popular culture from manga and anime, then visit Kokugikan, the sumo stadium, home of this Japanese sport. We will also visit Sensoji Buddhist Temple, the oldest and most important temple in Tokyo, with its 55 meter high pagoda. Afterwards, we will have free time to visit the traditional shopping street of Nakamise in the Asakusa district. Lunch included at a local restaurant.
Return to the hotel. Free time in the afternoon.
We travel to the beautiful Mount Fuji region, through pretty countryside on our way. First, we will see the ARAKURAYAMA SENGEN PARK, with its magnificent pagodas, and from there we will enjoy the best and most famous views of Mount Fuji. After that, we continue to KAWAGUCHIKO with its small houses, flowers and mountains, and its beautiful lake. On our arrival, we will visit the FUJI SENGEN sanctuary located in a magical site surrounded by tall trees, and starting point for the traditional pilgrimage to the mountain. At the sanctuary, we will express our thanks for being able to visit this wonderful place. The tour also includes a charming boat trip on Lake Kawaguchiko. After lunch, we begin the ascent of Mount Fuji via the road that takes us to the “fifth station”, surrounded by forests and spectacular views, at a height of 2,305 meters. Note: In winter, the road to Mount Fuji is closed due to snow or other adverse weather conditions; during this season we will go up to the authorized point. Return to Kawaguchiko, with time to stroll near the lake. We will stay in a Ryokan (a traditional Japanese hotel) and will have the chance to enjoy its ONSEN (public baths).
(NB: In the planned Ryokan, some rooms are Japanese style, with accommodation on tatami mats, and others are Western style. Accommodation can sometimes be in a Western type hotel).
We are only 130 km (81 miles) from KYOTO. In the morning, we continue along the pretty lake-lined road to IYASHI NO SATO NENBA, a small village destroyed by a typhoon in 1966 and then restored as a traditional open-air mountain village and museum. Its traditional houses have been transformed into arts and crafts shops, restaurants and traditional museums. We then have the opportunity to admire the SHIRAITO FALLS, considered one of the most attractive sites in Japan, with a waterfall height of 150 meters. We will then continue to NAGOYA, the third largest city in Japan, on the Pacific coast. Here we will visit the TOYOTA MUSEUM (entrance included), a must-see for automobile enthusiasts. We continue towards KYOTO, overnight.
We spend the whole day in the city which was the capital of Japan from 794 to 1868 and which housed the imperial court. During the Second World War, the city was the only major Japanese city to escape bombing and thus preserves the richness of its artistic heritage today; the famous protocol limiting greenhouse gas emissions was signed in Kyoto in 1997. We head towards the outskirts of Kyoto to Arashiyama, where we cross the Togetsukyo Bridge ("bridge over the moon") which offers fantastic views. We will visit Tenryuji Temple, one of the “five major Zen temples of Kyoto” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, followed by a walk through its mystical bamboo forest. The tour includes a trip to one of the most important parts of the city. We will see the wonderful Shinto shrine of Fushimi Inari, the imperial palace and Kinkakuji temple, “the golden pavilion” and its magnificent gardens. Free time before visiting GION, a lively traditional district famous for its Geisha. Free time.
We leave for TSUMAGO, passing pretty countryside landscapes on our way. This small village with its wooden houses is one of the prettiest places in Japan. Free time to explore and lunch included. Then we continue to MATSUMOTO, a tourist town, where we will visit the impressive 16th century castle, known as “Crow Castle”. Free time to explore this bustling tourist town. We continue towards NAGANO, overnight.
In NAGANO we will see Zenko-ji, a place of pilgrimage with the first Buddhist image in Japan. Our travelers will participate in the Gomakuyo ceremony for good luck. After that we will travel to the beautiful Japanese Alps and in the mountains we will go to the JIGOKUDANI Monkey Park, where we will include lunch and a walk among its forests with its rivers and thermal waters where colonies live and bathe Japanese macaques. Then, very beautiful high mountain landscape (we go up to 2,172 meters), passage of semi-active volcanoes. KUSATSU, a pretty spa town, its main square full of life. We will include participation in a Yumomi show, with her actresses and her songs telling us about the traditional method used to refresh the spa waters. We follow this with a walk in the city park which has an open-air Onsen. Continue to IKAHO, a picturesque spa town where we will stroll through its old center with its stepped streets. We will stay in a RYOKAN, a Japanese-style hotel where we will continue to enjoy its baths. Traditional Japanese dinner included. NB: In autumn, depending on the quantity of fruit in the mountains, the movements of the monkeys are unpredictable. If the macaques do not come down to the park, it may be closed. Kusatsu Tour and Yumoni Show are canceled due to weather from November to April.
We continue our drive to NIKKO, and in this fantastic city we will visit the impressive Nikko-Toshogu temple with its hall with the sound of a dragon. We will also see the Taiyuinbyo Mausoleum, an impressive place full of peace. After this walk along the river in Kanmangafuchi, hundreds of Jizos are watching us! We will have free time at the center before leaving for TOKYO. - Arrival in Tokyo around 6:30 p.m.
Breakfast at the hotel and end of our services.