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Japan in 14 Days

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Posted by:

Kirsty Saunders

 

Japan in 14 days. This trip will introduce you to all the highlights Japan has to offer starting from Tokyo and finishing in Osaka. Travel by rail using the Japan Rail Pass, and experience Japan’s famous Bullet train. Stay in Japan’s major cities and experience a traditional Ryokan stay along the way.

A country with fascinating history, an intriguing culture, stunning scenery and delicious cuisine, Japan is a country that offers a diverse mix of attractions. There truly is something for everyone here! The following itinerary will certainly give you a taste of what Japan has to offer.

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Japan in 14 Days 

This 14-day trip will introduce you to all the highlights Japan has to offer starting from Tokyo and finishing in Osaka. Travel by rail using the Japan Rail Pass, and experience Japan’s famous Bullet train. Stay in Japan’s major cities and experience a traditional Ryokan stay along the way.

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo

Day 4: Hakone

Day 5: Takayama

Day 6: Kanazawa

Day 8: Kyoto

Day 11: Hyroshima

Day 13: Osaka

Day 14: Depart Osaka

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Description

 

Day 1: Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo. Japan’s bustling capital mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and anime shops to cherry trees and temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding forests and The Imperial Palace sits amid sprawling public gardens. The city is famed for its vibrant food scene, and its Shibuya and Harajuku districts are the heart of its trendy teen fashion scene.

Tokyo 3 nights

 

Days 2&3: Tokyo

For the next two days explore Tokyo at your leisure. At over 12 million people in the official metropolitan area alone, Tokyo is the core of the most populated urban areas in the world, (Greater Tokyo has a population of 35 million people). This huge, wealthy and fascinating metropolis brings high-tech visions of the future along side with glimpses of old Japan. There is something here for everyone.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

 

Day 4: Hakone

Check out of your accommodation and make your way to Odawara Station, using your JR Pass. From here, use your Hakone Free Pass to explore the area at your leisure before making your way to your accommodation. Stay for a night in a traditional ryokan with hot spring baths. Here Futon mattresses will be prepared on the tatami mat floor and a Japanese ‘kaiseki’ cuisine will be served.

Hakone is located in the mountainous far west of Kanagawa Prefecture, on the eastern side of Hakone Pass about 1hr 15 mins from Tokyo. Most of the town is within the borders of the volcanically active Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, and centred around Lake Ashi.  Hakone is famous for hot springs, outdoor activities, and natural beauty with the view of nearby Mt. Fuji.  Besides being the home of Japan’s oldest and most famous spa, the town has an interesting history, beautiful surroundings and a cool climate all year round. This makes it one of the most popular destinations among Japanese and international tourists looking for a break from Tokyo.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

Hakone 1 night

 

Day 5: Takayama

This morning make your way to Takayama using your JR Pass (approx. 5 hours in total). On arrival you will be free to explore for the rest of the day.

Hida-Takayama known locally as just Takayama – is a city near the Northern Japan Alps of Gifu prefecture in the Chubu region. Takayama has retained a traditional atmosphere like few other Japanese towns, especially in its beautifully preserved old town. The city is famous for its well-preserved quarter with Edo-style streets, only rivalled by those of Kanazawa. It gained importance as a source of high-quality timber and highly skilled carpenters in feudal times. The Takayama Festival, held in spring and autumn, is considered one of Japan’s best festivals.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Takayama 1 night

 

 

 

Day 6: Kanazawa

Today you will make your way to Kanazawa on the Japanese rail system. Another option would be to take the bus from Takayama to Kanazawa, stopping at Shirawago village on the way*. The area is a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for its distinctive thatched farmhouses.

Kanazawa 2 nights

 

Day 7: Kanazawa

Today you will be free to explore Kanazawa.

Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan’s coast, bordered by the Northern Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. During the Edo Period, Kanazawa served as the seat of the Maeda Clan, the second most powerful feudal clan after the Tokugawa. Kanazawa then grew to become a town of great cultural achievements, rivalling Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo). Kanazawa is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Crafts and Folk Art.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Kyoto

This morning you will make your way to Kyoto using your JR Pass. You could opt to take the Thunderbird Limited Express directly to Kyoto (approx. 2 hours). Upon arrival, please make your way to your accommodation where you can check in at your earliest convenience. The rest of the day is then free at your leisure.

Kyoto 3 nights

 

Days 9&10: Kyoto

Explore Kyoto for the next 2 days. This city is in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.

Kyoto is considered to be the centre of Japan’s cultural life. Here cherished traditional art forms are maintained, making it a rich experience for the visitor. With more than 1,600 Buddhist temples and 270 Shinto shrines, the city is one of the world’s greatest cultural treasures and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite functioning as a modern city today, in many ways it stands in contrast to the metropolis of Tokyo.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

 

Day 11: Hiroshima

This morning the bulk of your luggage will be transported to your accommodation in Osaka. You will make your way to Hiroshima by rail, with an overnight bag. This journey will take approx. 2 hours by bullet train. The rest of the day is then free at your leisure.

Hiroshima 2 nights

 

 Day 12: Hiroshima

Today you are free to explore Hiroshima and the island of Miyajima (or shrine island). Hear you can visit one of the crown jewels of the country: Itsukushima floating shrine. (Please note that the floating shrine is undergoing renovation until June 2021.)

The principal city of the Chugoku Region and home to over a million inhabitants, Hiroshima is an industrial city of wide boulevards and criss-crossing rivers, located along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. Although many only know it for that horrific split-second on August 6, 1945 when it became the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, it is now a modern, cosmopolitan city with great restaurants and nightlife.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

 

Day 13: Osaka

Today travel to Osaka, by rail where you will be free to explore for the rest of the day. With a population of 2.5 million, Osaka is Japan’s third largest and second most important city. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries. It is the central metropolis of the Kansai region and the largest of the Osaka-Kobe–Kyoto trio. The historic cities of Kyoto, Kobe, Himeji and Nara are nearby and easily accessible by train.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

Osaka 1 night

 

Day 14: Osaka 

Depart Osaka for the onward journey.

 

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Little Gems

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Country: Japan

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Japan is a true mix of the ancient timeless past alongside the very modern. With a history that goes back beyond our own, this island nation has much to offer in the way of temples, castles, amazing scenery and a unique way of life. With direct flights, a visit to a different culture and customs is very much on the agenda.

Once there you have a choice of activities that should suit most people. It has excellent skiing, trekking (popular are pilgrimage routes), amazing wildlife and diving (particularly around Okinawa). Climbing Mount Fuji is a popular pastime for foreigners and Japanese alike. Because of this, aim to make your climb before the start of the school holidays in the early summer or the first week in September.

Being here to witness the fabulous cherry blossom is also a popular time to visit. The Japanese publish a calendar showing where and when the blossom should be out so its easy to check that you will be in the right place at the right time.

It is also a self drive destination with the best places to do this being Okinawa (deep south) and Hokkaido Island (high north). Ensure you have a car with English sat nav as all signs are in Japanese BUT the good news is that they drive on the left. The other popular form of travel is on the bullet trains – an experience not to be missed.

 

 

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Top Tips for Japan

Posted on:
Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

Picture courtesy of JNTO

Picture courtesy of JNTO

If you are planning a visit to the land of the rising sun, whether it is independent travel, private tour or as part of an escorted group, here are some top tips to note before you travel:

 

–          The best times to take a trip to Japan are either late March/April when the cherry                        blossoms are out or the end of September/October for the autumn colours.

–          A visit to Japan would not be complete without a trip on the bullet train, either as a one               off journey or multiple journeys using a Japan Rail Pass.

–          Stay in a traditional Ryokan (Japanese Inn) and enjoy a Japanese Spa

–          Visit the Snow Monkeys and see them bathing in the hot springs.

–          Japan is a great destination for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

–          Hiroshima – take a trip to see the AtomicBombMuseum and the MemorialGardens

–          There are two Imperial Palaces for you to visit, one in Tokyo and the other in Kyoto.

–          Japan is largely a cash based society, so most places do not accept credit cards.                             Change your money to Yen before you travel as not all ATMs accept international cards.

 

If you’d like us to help plan your bespoke, tailor made holiday to Japan then please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk and we would be happy to discuss your personalised itinerary.

Picture courtesy of JNTO

Picture courtesy of JNTO

 

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Visit Japan

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Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

One destination that seems to be popular for next year is Japan. I have done several quotes recently so we have decided to add a new itinerary for Japan to our website.

Japan is a great place and has a mix of ultramodern and traditional attractions that will please everyone. From the neon lights, skyscrapers and shopping centres in Tokyo to the Temples, shrines, gardens and cherry blossoms in Kyoto.

Most people tend to visit late March to late April as this is when you will see the cherry blossoms at their best, and although you can see them through out Japan some of the best displays are in the parks in the city of Kyoto.

Other places of interest include Mount Fuji and Hakone where you can enjoy a relaxing Hot Spring & Spa treatment at a traditional Ryokan. Hiroshima –  where you can visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which commemorates the atomic bombing during WWII, other prominent sites include Shukkei-en, a formal Chinese-style garden, and Hiroshima castle.

A trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a journey on the iconic Bullet Train, the easiest way to travel from city to city. The train covers the length of the main island and can reach speeds of up to 200 mph.

So, whether you want to visit the vibrant cities or take in the history and culture of this amazing country we can create the perfect itinerary for you. All you need to do is contact us ion 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk for more information about your bespoke, tailor made holiday to Japan.

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO


Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

 

 

Japan Itinerary

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Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with high-rise-filled cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Tokyo is known for its neon skyscrapers and pop culture. In contrast, Kyoto offers Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, gardens and cherry blossoms. Sushi, the national dish, is served everywhere from casual pubs to gourmet restaurants.

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Summary

Day 1: Tokyo

Day 4: Mount Fuji & Hakone

Day 5: Kyoto

Day 8: Nara

Day 9: Hiroshima

Day 11: Nagasaki

Day 13: Kumamoto

Day 14: Osaka

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Description

Day 1: Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s bustling capital mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and anime shops to cherry trees and temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding forests. The Imperial Palace sits amid sprawling public gardens. The city is famed for its vibrant food scene, and its Shibuya and Harajuku districts are the heart of its trendy teen fashion scene. Tokyo 3 nights

Day 2: Tokyo Tour

You will visit TokyoTower, the Imperial Palace Plaza, Sensoji Temple and Nakamise shopping arcade. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a half day tour of Sumo with a visit to the Sumo Museum and watching a tournament.

Day 4: Mount Fuji & Hakone

Travel by coach to the foot of Mount Fuji via expressway. Then drive halfway up Japan’s highest mountain to enjoy a spectacular view from a height of 2,300 meters. Enjoy a Japanese style lunch, which is included. In the afternoon, proceed to Hakone for a cruise on Lake Ashi and Mount Komagatake Ropeway. This is a great place to stay at a traditional Ryokan and relax in a Japanese Hot Spring & Spa. Hakone 1 night

Day 5: Kyoto

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a refined city on the island of Honsh with thousands of classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district. Travel from Hakone to Kyoto on the iconic Bullet Train. Kyoto 3 nights

Day 6: Kyoto Tour

Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Kyoto. In the morning you will visit Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Nijo Castle, which is noted for its gorgeous interiors and Kyoto Imperial Palace. There will be a stop for lunch at the Kyoto Handicraft Centre which is included. After lunch you will visit the Kiyomizu Temple, Sanjusangen-do Temple and Heian Shrine.

Day 8: Nara

Nara is the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture, in south-central Honshu. The city has significant temples and artwork dating to the 8th century, when it was Japan’s capital. Deer freely roam in Nara Park, site of Todai-ji Temple. At Todai-ji, Daibutsu, a 15m-high bronze Buddha, is displayed in a grand, wooden hall. The Shinto shrine Kasuga-taisha, founded in 768 C.E., has 3,000-plus lanterns. Nara 1 night

Day 9: Hiroshima

Hiroshima, a modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Today, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the 1945 event; on-site is Genbaku Dome, the surviving portion of a structure that crumbled in the explosion. Other prominent sites include Shukkei-en, a formal Chinese-style garden, and Hiroshima castle, a fortress surrounded by a moat and a park. Hiroshima 2 nights

Day 10: Hiroshima and Miyajima

Today you have a full day sightseeing tour of Hiroshima and Miyajima. This will be by coach and involves a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island to see the picturesque Itsukushima Jinja Shrine. Return to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Memorial Park, Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome.

Day 11: Nagasaki

Nagasaki is a Japanese city on the northwest coast of the island of Kyushu. It’s set on a large natural harbor, with buildings on the terraces of surrounding hills. It is synonymous with a key moment during WWII, after suffering an Allied nuclear attack in August 1945. The event is memorialised at the city’s Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park. Nagasaki 2 nights

Day 13: Kumamoto

The capital of Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamoto is a major city on Kyushu’s west coast with a population of 650,000. The city is most famous for its castle, which is one of Japan’s largest and most complete. Kumamoto 1 night

Day 14: Osaka

Osaka, a large port city and commercial centre on the Japanese island of Honshu, is known for its modern architecture, boisterous night life and hearty street food. The 16th-century shogunate Osaka Castle is its main historical landmark, surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry trees. The Shinto Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine is among Japan’s oldest. You’ll have a final overnight stay before you return home. Osaka 1 night

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

 

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

 

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Little Gems

If you plan your trip during the months of March, April and May you will be able to see the beautiful cherry blossoms through out the country but a favourite place to see them is in the city of Kyoto.

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