Japan’s fascinating blend of old and new is legendary. As we explore the southern and western stretches of Honshu, Japan's largest island, we discover the country's unique culture amongst the serene shrines and gardens of Nara and Kyoto and the rarely visited mountainous heartland of castles and spas.
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Most countries in Asia can be visited throughout the year. Taking all factors into account, such as weather, traffic, cost..., there are always good places worthy visiting whenever you travel Asia. According to your personal schedule, we will arrange the proper and suitable itinerary of your targeted countries.
Kyoto - Nara - Hiroshima - Takayama - Yudanaka - Tokyo - Nikko - Hakone
In and around KyotoThe trip starts in Kyoto, an atmospheric city set amidst beautiful hills.Meet your tour guide holding Bravo Asia Tours greeting board at the Kansai Airport and transferred to your hotel in Kyoto.
Today we have an introductory half day tour of the city, visiting the impressive Nijo castle, and the famous Golden Temple of Kinkakuji, The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure.
Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto
In and around NaraToday we make a day trip to the ancient capital of Nara, visiting among other things the Todaiji Great Buddha temple.We also spend time in the Nara Koen Park, famous for its large numbers of overfed and slightly unruly deer, and visit the attractive Kasuga Shinto shrine, before returning to Kyoto in the late afternoon.
Today is a free day for further exploration of Kyoto - the city lends itself very well to walking and there are several well established and easy-to-follow walking tours that take in many of the more interesting sights.
Kyoto - Hiroshima - Kyoto
In and around Hiroshima, Miyajima IslandOur first experience of Japan's 'bullet trains' as we speed our way to Hiroshima for the day. In the morning we make a short excursion by ferry to the beautiful island of Miyajima famous for the 'floating' torii (Shinto gate) of the Itsukushima-jinja Shrine. In the afternoon we spend time at the A-Bomb museum and the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. We return to Kyoto arriving in the evening.
Kyoto - Takayama
In and around TakayamaTravelling by train through forested valleys we make our way this morning to the peaceful and attractive old town of Takayama nestling sleepily in the centre of the majestic Hida Mountains. In the afternoon we have the option of a visit to the Hida Folk Village, an interesting outdoor museum of traditional rural architecture set in pleasant landscaped gardens a short bus journey from the town centre.
With over a dozen museums and galleries to suit all interests and several well-kept temples and parks, there are plenty of ways to spend a relaxing day in Takayama. A good way to start is to visit the morning market held daily along the banks of the Miyagawa River in the centre of town. Not so far away and of particular interest is the well-preserved collection of streets known as Sannomachi, where the many wooden built shops, restaurants and sake breweries give the area a medieval feel. With those in their charge, a visit to the old Government House of Takayama-jinya is recommended.
In and around Matsumoto, TsumagoToday we travel by express and local trains to the historic castle town of Matsumoto. Enroute, we visit the medieval village of Tsumago that has changed little from its heyday as a post town in the Edo period. Those who wish can visit the impressive Matsumoto castle (optional).Spend the rest of the evening discovering the city on your own.
Takayama - Yudanaka
This morning, we return to Matsumoto train station for our afternoon journey to Nagano, stopping off on our way at the nearby town of Obuse where there is a small museum (optional) devoted to perhaps Japan's best-known artist, Hokusai Katsushika. We continue by minibus to the relaxing spa town of Yudanaka, where we spend a night in a ryokan.Explore the mountainous countryside and soak in a hot spring.
Yudanaka - Tokyo
See the famous Snow Monkeys.In and around TokyoAs well as being home to some of Japan's best hot springs, Yudanaka is a great place from which to do some hiking in the hills. Of particular interest is the Jigokudani Onsen or 'Snow Monkey Park' (optional). Also worth a visit are the Shigu Heights, and the Heavy Snow Mansion. No visit to Japan would be complete without a trip to Tokyo, and this afternoon we travel to the capital by mini-bus and bullet train, arriving in the early evening. On arrival in we transfer to our hotel, where we can start exploring the bright lights of the big city.
Tokyo - Nikko - Hakone - Tokyo
Today is the last day we can use the Japanese Rail Pass, which entitles us to free train journeys to many destinations, and so it has been left free for independent exploration. Nikko National Park and Mt Fuji are both easily accessible from Tokyo. Nikko, approximately an hour and a half away, has a wonderful natural setting, and for centuries has been a sacred site known for its incredible temples and shrines, including the magnificent Toshogu Shrin-Mt Fuji. By train it is approximately two and a half hours from Tokyo.
Today we have a full day tour of Tokyo. Making use of the city's highly efficient tube system we can visit Tokyo's high-rise area of Shinjuku and the mammoth Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, as well as the lively Senso-ji Temple in the old entertainment district of Asakusa.
Today has been left free for further individual exploration of Tokyo. You may like to do some additional sightseeing, shopping, or simply relax.
After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye. We hope to see you again in your next trip to Asia. Your beautiful memory of this trip and our best wishes will company you back home safely.