5 days 4 nights
Start in Hiroshima and end in Osaka! With the In-depth Cultural tour Sushi and Anime, you have a 5 days tour package taking you through Hiroshima, Japan and 2 other destinations in Japan. Sushi and Anime includes accommodation, meals, transport and more.
Ancient capitals, modern cityscapes and feudal castles take centre stage on this in-depth exploration of Japan, including a visit to the City of Water that has inspired countless legends.
Depart Hiroshima this morning bound for Matsue, the "City of Water" and home to one of Japan's few remaining original castles, which you'll have an opportunity to explore after lunch at your hotel. Located on the shores of Shinji Lake, the "black castle" remains in its original wooden form and features an extensive collection of Japanese samurai armour and swords. The heritage of the samurai is further explored during a visit to a local residence which once belonged to a middle-ranking samurai family who worked for the Matsue clan. Here you will gain insights into how the samurais lived surrounded by the charm and character of old Japan, before strolling down scenic Shiomi Nawate which lines the castle moat. This evening is at leisure.
Celebrate Japanese art and garden design during this morning's visit to the Adachi Museum of Art in Yasugi. Famous for its award-winning Japanese garden, ranked first for 15 consecutive years by the US magazine 'Journal of Japanese Gardening', the museum houses a large collection of 20th century paintings and artworks which are rotated seasonally. Return to Matsue and enjoy some free time for lunch before joining a 'Local Specialist' who will teach you how to make waga-shi, traditional Japanese sweets made in a variety of shapes and consistencies. Today, Matsue is one of the three most famous producers of waga-shi. This evening, enjoy a relaxing cruise on Lake Shinjiko, admiring the sun's reflection on the lake's still waters, signalling the end of a busy day of sightseeing.
Take a step back in time during this morning's visit to Tsuyama, a former castle town which enjoyed its heyday as a merchant city between the 17th and 19th centuries. Today, all that remains of this time are the 45-metre-tall stone walls and beautiful cherry blossoms that dot the city's Kakuzan-koen park in the springtime. Join your 'Local Specialist' for a walk around the Joto district, with its many machiya (traditional townhouses) revealing the city's former trading heritage. Afterwards, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to the pulsating cityscape that is Osaka. On arrival, embark on an orientation drive through the city before checking in to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Gain a different perspective of Osaka's landmark city sights, starting your day with a cruise on the 'aqua-bus' along Okawa River. Sail past the Japan Mint, City Hall, Nakanoshima and Osaka Castle, one of Japan's most famous landmarks. Visit the downtown district of Shinsekai to see the Tsutenkaku Tower, then continue to the Dotonbori Street area for some time at leisure. Delve into the star-crossed love story of Ohatsu and Tokubei during your visit to the Tusyunoten Shrine in Umeda, associated with the Edo-period play 'The Love Suicides of Sonezaki, which tells of the tragic double suicide that took place at the shrine in 1703. To this day, visitors write their prayers for success in love on special wooden plaques called ema, many of which bear the image of Ohatsu and Tokubei. Admire the panoramic views of Osaka from the Floating Garden Observatory - an open-air viewing platform that straddles the two towers of the Umeda Sky Building. Then, return to your hotel or consider joining an Optional Experience for dinner in Japan's tallest building, Abeno Jarukasu with its stunning city views from the observatory.
Say a fond sayonara to Japan and take a transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight.