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Splendours of Japan with Hiroshima and Takayama Festival

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Fully Guided Coach Group Festivals & Events Scenic Bullet Train (Shinkansen)
Our Price From 9,628 Per Person
Exclusive Savings 211 Per Person
 Trip Length
13 Days
 Trip Starts
 Trip Finishes
13 Day Splendours of Japan with Hiroshima and Takayama Festival Itinerary (Trafalgar)
Countries Explored: Japan
4 Star
Max. Group Size
Trip Style
Country Explorer
Guide Level:
Fully Guided
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Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Trafalgar's 13 Day Splendours of Japan with Hiroshima and Takayama Festival. Celebrate the changing seasons as the jangle of bells and boom-boom-bang of drums accompany a captivating parade of festival floats on the streets of hillside Takayama.


Your in-depth exploration of Japan begins in Tokyo. On arrival at Narita or Haneda Airport, take a shuttle bus transfer to your centrally located hotel, where you'll join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers. (WR) Stay: New Otani Garden Tower

We launch our City Tour in the old-time entertainment centre of Asakusa, where we'll encounter the Sensoji Buddhist Temple. One of Tokyo's most colourful and popular temples, Sensoji has been rebuilt countless times since it was founded in 628, making it Tokyo's oldest temple site. Strolling down Nakamise next, we immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of shitamachi (downtown Tokyo), admiring the wooden dolls, colourful chiyogami (origami paper) and traditional Japanese sweets.

We'll ascend Tokyo Skytree, the world's highest free-standing broadcasting tower for panoramic views of the city, then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or on an Optional Experience where a professional stylist will dress you in a traditional Japanese kimono. (B)

Our first stop today is the Imperial Palace Plaza from where the two bridges that form the entrance to the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace can be viewed. We'll have the opportunity to explore the leafy Imperial Palace East Gardens before continuing our City Tour. At the Tokyo National Museum browse collections of Japanese art, then continue to the Ginza district where we'll learn how to make sushi with a Local Specialist. We venture to the Five Lakes District next, keeping a keen eye out for the UNESCO listed Mt. Fuji which dominates the landscape. (B/L/D) Stay: Fuji Marriott Yamanakako

Visit Oshino Hakkai, a small rural village in the Fuji Five Lakes district, renowned for eight natural spring water ponds that are fed by melted snow from Mt. Fuji. Admire the reflections of the sky and landscapes in its clear waters, then ascend Mt. Fuji by road to 2,300 metres at the 5th station. Ride up Mt. Tenjo on the Kachikachiyama Ropeway next, for jaw-dropping views (weather permitting) of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko. Then, journey through the Japanese Alps to the beautiful hillside town of Takayama, before enjoying dinner at the hotel. (B/D) Stay: Associa Takayama Resort

Immerse yourself in tradition as you walk through the Edo-style streets of Takayama's Old Town. Indulge in a lunch of Japanese Hida-gyu – beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, renowned as one of the finest quality varieties of beef. After lunch, immerse yourself in the town's festive atmosphere. Admire the intricately carved yatai (floats) that date back to the 17th century and feature karakuri ningyo (marionettes) which move and dance as their strings are managed by the tsunakata (puppeteers). Later, return to the hotel by coach. (B/L)

Journey back in time this morning during a visit to the peaceful UNESCO-listed Gokayama, a mountain village set amidst five valleys. Admire the unique construction of the local Gassho-zukuri wooden houses that have been built without the use of nails with steeply sloped thatched roofs to prevent snow from building up on them. Later observe local artisans making washi paper and trying your hand at making your own. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience contributes to the sustainability of this small business.

Then, continue to Kanazawa and take a short walk through the Omicho market and enjoy an insider's view of everyday life in a busy coastal town. Next, visit the gardens of Kenroku-en, shaped over a hundred years before continuing with a visit to a Local Specialist to learn the secrets of painting gold leaf. Stay overnight in Kanazawa. (B) Stay: Kanazawa Tokyu

We board an Express train this morning to Kyoto, where we'll Connect With Locals at a traditional ryokan, built in 1932 to serve as the second residence of Emperor Akihito's uncle. We'll enjoy a Be My Guest lunch and learn about local Japanese customs as our hosts welcome us into their beautiful home. After lunch, we visit the UNESCO-listed Kinkakuji Temple with its famous Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion), the proud symbol of Kyoto and a Zen temple, which has its origins as a 14th-century villa. (B/BMG) Stay: Nikko Princess

The blazing orange torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine guide our path through the forest, up into the mountains and to a sacred site that has heard prayers for prosperity and happiness since the 8th century. We continue to Sanjusangen-do Hall and admire the minute detail of each of its 1,001 “thousand-handed” goddesses of mercy statues, then enjoy a walking tour of the Gion area. This evening, we indulge in a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and fellow guests. (B/FD)

This morning we leave Japan's main island Honshu behind, crossing the world's largest suspension bridge over the Seto Inland Sea to Awaji Island. Enjoy free time for lunch, then take a walk around Yumebutai, a complex of buildings built on the side of the mountain. One of the most striking features is the ‘100 Stepped Garden' — a group of 100 flowerbeds in small square gardens on an incline and arranged in grids spread over several levels.

Visit the Water Temple and admire the reflection of the surrounding mountains, rice paddies and bamboo groves as you descend the steps to the Buddhist temple beneath its still waters. Journey to the small mountain hot springs village of Kotohira where our accommodation tonight is one of Trafalgar's Stays With Stories - a traditional Japanese ryokan.

We'll have some time this evening to climb the steps adjacent to the hotel to visit Kotohira-gu Shrine and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Later perhaps take a relaxing soak in the onsen (hot spring) bath at our hotel. (B/D) Stay: Kotohira Grand Sakuranosho Ryokan

This morning visit the Zentsuji Temple, birthplace of one of the most revered figures of Japanese Buddhism, the high priest Kobo Daishi. It is the 75th temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage, which covers approximately 1,200 kilometres and was traditionally done on foot taking up to 60 days to complete. It is still done by many people today although modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles or motorcycles.

Continue to Omishima Island and make a stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Drive to Hiroshima via the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Expressway, a 60-kilometre highway that links the islands of the Seto Inland Sea with nine individual bridges. Check into your hotel for a relaxing evening. (B/L) Stay: Rihga Royal

We travel by ferry to the sacred Miyajima Island, where we'll see the famous UNESCO-listed Itsukushima Shrine and elaborate torii gate that stands majestically in the sea. After some free time for lunch and to explore the island's spiritual sanctuaries, we return to Hiroshima for a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Imagine the devastation and horror that followed the world's first atomic explosion in 1945 as you see the UNESCO-listed Peace Memorial, the only structure left standing in the area and an expression of hope for world peace.

This evening, we'll indulge in Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake made with egg, cabbage, soba noodles, and meat, seafood or cheese, grilled in layers on a hot plate. (B/RD)

Board the high-speed bullet train to Osaka this morning and enjoy some free time for lunch and shopping in the Dotonbori Street area. Visit Osaka Castle, which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century.

This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (B/FD) Stay: Sheraton Miyako

Our encounter with Japan's centuries-old traditions and modern cityscapes at its end, take a transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport, or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight. (B)

Trip Inclusions

  • Kyoto: Enjoy a kaiseki lunch at a traditional Japanese ryokan home near Kyoto where you will learn about local customs.
  • Takayama: Join the locals at the Takayama Festival.
  • Hiroshima: Sample the famous Hiroshima style okonomiyaki.
  • Tokyo: Visit Tokyo's renowned landmarks and gain insight into how this modern city preserves its ancient roots.
  • Mt Fuji: Start your day by visiting the small rural village of Oshino Hakkai which is home to eight natural spring water ponds. Next on your travels is a 2,300-meter winding road to Mt. Fuji 5th Station. To end your day, you will ride up to Mt. Tenjo by ropeway and bask in the breath-taking views.
  • Kanazawa: Learn about the delicacy of the 16th-century craft gold leaf painting with your Local Specialist.
  • Gokayama: Take some time to admire the peaceful mountain village of Gokayama. Discover their unique homes that have been built without the use of nails and their sloped thatched roofs.
  • Kanazawa: Enjoy a stroll through Omicho market before making your way to the beautiful Gardens of Kenrokuen which have been shaped over the past one hundred years.
  • Tokyo: Jump aboard the high-speed Bullet Train towards the cultural hub of Kyoto.
  • Kyoto: Admire the beautiful golden pavilion of Kinkakuji Temple.
  • Kyoto: Your city tour takes you to the orange gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Admire this sacred site before visiting Sanjeusangen-do-Hall, where you can view the 1,001 "thousand-handed" goddesses of mercy statues. Continue your exploration of Kyoto with a walking tour through the Gion district.
  • Kotohira: Bask in the breath-taking views as we visit Kotohiragu Shrine.
  • Hiroshima: Admire the islands of the Seto Inland Sea as you travel across the Shimanami Kaido Expressway.
  • Hiroshima: Spend some time admiring the majestic Itsukushima Shrine.
  • Osaka: Hop aboard the bullet train to Osaka before visiting the sixteenth century Osaka Castle.
  • Gokayama: Help support a local business with a visit to a washi paper workshop. You'll watch the family at work, and test your paper-making skills for yourself.
  • Explore Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima
  • Visit the Sensoji Temple, the Skytree Observation Tower, the Edo Tokyo Museum in Tokyo, Mt. Fuji 5th Station, the Kinkakuji Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Sanjusangen-do Hall in Kyoto, the Water Temple on Awaji Island, Zentsuji Temple, the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island, the Peace Memorial Park and Museum in Hiroshima and Osaka Castle
  • View Mt. Fuji
  • See the traditional Gassho-zukuri houses in Gokayama, the beautiful gardens of Kenrokuen in Kanazawa
  • Kyoto: Enjoy genuine Japanese hospitality at a traditional ryokan in the mountain hot springs village of Kotohira.

  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Optional Experiences (Additional Cost) and free time

  • 1 Welcome Reception (WR)
  • 12 Breakfast (B)
  • 3 Lunch (L)
  • 3 Dinner (D)
  • 1 Be My Guest (BMG)
  • 2 Farewell Dinner (FD)
  • 1 Regional Dinner (RD)

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
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