April 2021 / October 2021
Detailed day by day description
This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.
Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.
The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.
Note: In winter, as it gets dark earlier, we will not have time to enter Kongobuji temple.
We will spend this night at a Buddhist monastery. The monks will offer us a Zen meditation session (Ajikan). Supper 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.
07.30hrs- We leave early for Kyoto.
10.00hrs- KYOTO, we 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.
19.00hrs - At night, a transfer to GION will be included, a busy traditional quarter famous for its Geisha. Free time. The return to the hotel will be free, we suggest you take a taxi. The guide will explain how.
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.
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.
Free time in the afternoon.
Note: We recommend to bring comfortable shoes since in Nikko we will have to walk.
08.00hrs- We leave Tokyo for Nikko.
10.30hrs- NIKKO. Arrival to this fantastic where we will 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 for lunch and a stroll.
15.30hrs- Nikko, departure.
19.45hrs- SENDAI, arrival to this modern, bustling city with over 1 million inhabitants. Passengers can explore the city and have dinner in its busy, thriving centre.
Landscapes of forests and mountains, wonderful in the area of the thousand islands.
08.00hrs-We depart for the marvellous city of Matsushima.
08.30hrs-MATSHUSHIMA , a city 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).
11.00hrs- Departure. Lunch included.
14.00hrs.- HIRAIZUMI to visit its temples and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Takkoku no Iwaya, carved in the rock in 801, followed by a visit to the magnificent Buddhist temples of Chusonji. We take time to relax in the gardens of Motsuji temple, where passengers can take part in a Zen ceremony (admission included) .
17.15hrs- We tren carry on to Morioka.
18.45hrs- MORIOKA, the pleasant capital of Iwate province, where we settle in at our hotel and have some free time to explore.
Note : We recommend you to wear warm clothing to enjoy the deck of the boat.
07.30hrs- Departure. In a region of beautiful scenery we travel to Hirosaki.
09.30hrs- HIROSAKI. Ancient capital cultural during the Edo period with its castle of the seventeenth century. We will visit its castle in a beautiful park where more than 2,500 cherry trees blossom in the spring.
11.40hrs- AOMORI , the provincial capital, located on Mutsu Bay. Time for visit to Nebuta Museum where we will learn about the Japanese festival tradition, which reminds us of the Carnival, with its vivid, painted floats. Lunch included.
Then we board the ferry to HOKKAIDO Island , the departure of the ferry is scheduled at 14.20hrs. The crossing takes just over three and a half hours.
18.00hrs- 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).
Landscapes: Beautiful landscapes. Impressive volcanic areas.
Note: We recommend wearing comfortable shoes for walking through the Hell’s Valley.
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 our journey.
11.45hrs- 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 .
13.45hrs- Departure. Our journey takes us towards the ocean.
16.15hrs- 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.-
20.15hrs- SAPPORO. - At the end of the day, we arrive at this beautiful city, the capital of North Japan.-
08.30hrs- City tour (included) stopping at the clock tower and Odori Koen avenue-park, dominated by the telecommunications tower. We will enjoy for an hour the beautiful Shinto shrine of Hokkaido Jingu. The visit includes a ceremonial Kito (prayer session) in which we give thanks for the journey.
11.00hrs- At the surronding of Sapporo, we visit the Ainu Cultural Museum , with information about the Ainu culture, a people of Eskimo origin that lived in the North of Japan.
12.15hrs- We continue to Otaru.
13.00hrs- OTARU , arrival to this small city with a European air and streets filled with shops, an old canal and tiny museums. Lunch included.
15.30hrs-Departure. We return to Sapporo at about 16.30hrs. Free time in the afternoon in Sapporo.