13 days 12 nights
Arabic, Chinese, English, Francais, Indonesia
Start in Osaka and end in Tokyo! With the Discovery tour Traditional Japan and north of Japan, you have a 13 days tour package taking you through Osaka, Japan and 16 other destinations in Japan. Traditional Japan and north of Japan includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, insurance, transport.
Arrival. Welcome to China! Transfer to the hotel and free time. You will receive information about the start of the circuit during the afternoon.
At 12.30 we will depart from this city to visit, MOUNT KOYA, one of Japan’s sacred mountains and Japan’s main centre of Shingon Buddhism. There are 120 shrines and monasteries on this mountain which is a magical place of pilgrimage. We will visit Okuno Mausoleum, a spiritual place and an immense cemetery in the wilderness that has more than 200,000 graves. We will visit Kongobuji temple, built in 1593. We will spend this night at a Buddhist monastery. The monks will offer us a Zen meditation session (Ajikan). Dinner included (vegetarian food). There is religious ceremony at the temple early in the morning if you wish to attend it. Note: We consider the sojourn at the monastery as an experience of great existential value. The rooms at this place are modest, without bathrooms, in the traditional Japanese style with tatamis. Bathrooms are communal.
Japanese breakfast at the temple. Then we leave early for KYOTO, to spend the whole day in the city, which was the capital of Japan between 794 and 1868 and home to the Imperial Court. During World War II the city was the only major Japanese to escape the bombardments, and so it still preserves its wealth of artistic heritage; the famous protocol restricting greenhouse gas emissions was signed in Kyoto in 1997. The visit includes a trip to one of the most important parts of the city. We will see the marvellous Shinto Shrine of Fushimi Inari, the Imperial Palace and Kinkakuji temple, “the golden pavilion” and its wonderful gardens. Free time before visiting GION, a busy traditional quarter famous for its Geisha. Free time. Note: If you already visited Kyoto on your circuit, our guide will offer you information and advice on visiting the other parts of the city unaccompanied.
After breakfast transfer to the station to take the BULLET TRAIN to Tokyo. Arrival to Tokyo after almost 500 km in just over two hours.Late in the afternoon, we will pay a visit to this fascinating city by taking a trip on the metro (tickets included) to the Shinjuku district and see the crowds of people who use this modern and efficient collective transport system. Shinjuku is one of the most important nightlife districts. Dinner included and return to hotel.
In the morning, we take part in a 5-hour trip with our guide to see this amazing city, with its hustle and bustle and extremely modern districts that coexist with quiet, peaceful areas. Brief stop at the Zojoji Temple to make a beautiful photograph of the Tokyo Tower. Pay attention to the hundred of Jizos, stone traditional protecting deities who guide us on our travels, give power to those who are weak (such children) and those in dangerous places, and who are dressed including hats, robes and windmills. Then we head to the junction of Shibuya, a junction that is said to be the most crowded in the world. The Meiji Temple is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji, his wife, and their spirits. We continue on our bus along the elegant street of Omotesando. We will edge the most beautiful part of the Imperial Palace and the gardens. Stop to visit the famous Nijubashi Bridge. We will pass through the district of Akihabara, the “electric town” with icons from the popular Japanese Manga and Anime culture and then see Kokugikan, the Sumo stadium, home of this Japanese sport. We will also visit the Buddhist temple of Sensoji, the oldest and most important temple in Tokyo, with its 55-metre high pagoda. Then we will have some free time to visit the traditional commercial street of Nakamise in the district of Asakusa. Lunch included in a local restaurant. Return to hotel.Free time in the afternoon. NOTE: During the Japanese Olympics, accommodation may be given near Narita airport.
We leave for NIKKO and arrive at this fantastic city at 10.30am. There we visit the impressive Nikko Toshogu Shrine with the room of the crying dragon. We will also visit the Taiyuinbyo Mausoleum, set in an impressive, peaceful site, followed by a walk near the river, in Kannanga Fuchi, under the watchful eye of hundreds of Jizo statues! Free time in the city centre before leaving for SENDAI, a modern, bustling city with over 1 million inhabitants. Passengers can explore the city and have dinner in its busy, thriving centre.
We depart for the marvellous city of MATSHUSHIMA, on the “Thousand Islands” Bay in the Pacific Ocean and considered one of the most attractive cities in Japan. After arriving, we will visit a magnificent “tea house” overlooking the sea and enjoy a cup of traditional tea while our guide tells us about the city. Then we will go on a 50-minute cruise (included). Lunch included. We continue to HIRAIZUMI to visit its temples and the UNESCO World Heritage. In a first step we visit the magnificent Buddhist temples of Chusonji. We take time to relax in the gardens of Motsuiji temple, where passengers can take part in a Zen ceremony (admission included). Finally, we will know Site of Takkoku no Iwaya, carved in the rock in 801. We then carry on to MORIOKA, the pleasant capital of Iwate province, where we settle in at our hotel and have some free time to explore.
In a region of beautiful scenery, we travel to HIROSAKI, where we will visit its castle in a beautiful park where more than 2,500 cherry trees blossom in the spring. After this we go on to AOMORI, the provincial capital of the Bay of Mutsu. We will see the Nebuta Museum where we will learn about the Japanese traditional parties that remind us of carnival, with their painted and lit up floats. Lunch included in a local restaurant. Then we board the ferry to HOKKAIDO Island. The crossing takes just over three and a half hours. HAKODATE –Arrival-. Before going to our hotel, we will ascend Mount Hakodate, which has wonderful views. We make the descent by cable car. Time in the beautiful city pedestrian centre in which to admire the influence of other cultures in the city (Russian Orthodox and Christian churches).
In the morning we visit the impressive and busy fish market. Then we climb the GORYOKAKU Tower with its impressive views, from where we can make out the star-shaped fortress of Hakodate. Then we will take a stroll through the castle area before continuing to ONUMA. Free time in this wonderful tourist site, with its countless small islands in which to explore the islands, go on a boat trip and have lunch included. In the afternoon our journey takes us towards the ocean and NOBORIBETSU, an impressive volcano site, where we can walk amidst geysers in Jigoku Dani (Hell’s Valley), admire the hot spring lake of Oyunuma and follow the path next to the hot spring to the site of the footbath.- Then we carry on to SAPPORO.- At the end of the day, we arrive at this beautiful city, the capital of North Japan.-
City tour (included) stopping at the clock tower and Odori Koen avenue-park, dominated by the telecommunications tower. We will see the beautiful Shinto shrine of Hokkaido Jingu. The visit includes a ceremonial Kito (prayer session) in which we give thanks for the journey. We will leave Sapporo, we know the HILL OF BUDDHA, new center of avant-garde architecture opened in 2015, the hill covered with lavenders keeps the giant statue of Buddha, in the complex we will also see the replica of the statues Moai (Easter Island). We then continue to OTARU, a small city with a European air and streets filled with shops, an old canal and tiny museums. Lunch included. We return to Sapporo at about 4.30 hrs. Free time in the afternoon.
Amidst beautiful scenery in the interior of Hokkaido Island, we pass lakes and mountains and eventually come to the spa city of TOYAKO, at the foot of an impressive volcano, on the banks of a pretty lake that occupies a former crater. Free time to wander along the bank. We will visit the volcanology museum to learn about the eruptions suffered by this region. Then we will take the cable car to the summit of the USU Volcano with time to walk around the volcano and its awesome landscape. Lunch included. We continue to Shiraoi where we visit the POROTOKOTAN, the Ainu village museum; here we will see the culture of the Eskimo people who inhabited this island before the Japanese. We then carry on to TOMAKOMAI where we take a modern ferry for a night crossing. Accommodation in double cabins with private bathrooms. Dinner included. We spend the night on board crossing the Pacific Ocean.
We arrive in Sendai port at around 10 in the morning and go on to YAMADERA, a very beautiful complex of temples founded more than 1,000 years ago in the mountain’s, amidst forests of immense trees. Time to see this magical place. Lunch included. We then go on to YONEZAWA. We are in one of the main producer regions of Shake, we will visit the Sake Museum with its small distillery before carrying on through pretty scenery to AIZUWAKAMATSU. Accommodation.
In AIZUWAKAMATSU we visit the SAMURAI MANSION, a historical mansion where we will learn about the Samurai Warriors. After this we stroll in the Castle Garden and maybe we will see children doing martial arts on the Dojo. We will go up to Iimoriyama, where we will see the sculptures donated by Mussolini and they will tell us about the child martyrs of this city. We continue our route to OUCHI-JUKU, a very picturesque village of traditional houses with thatched roofs, where there will be time for lunch. After lunch we travel to the impressive former stone quarries of the OYA-MUSEUM. Return to TOKYO – Arrival at the end of the day-.End of our services. Please, check the time of your flight in case you might need an additional night.