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Tauck Luxury Escorted Tours 2017 – Essence of Japan

Essence of Japan

Essence of Japan

2017 prices from $12,490 for 13 Days – Tauck World Discovery

Priced in Australian Dollars for 2017

OVERVIEW

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New for 2017! Inspirational, innovative and intriguing, Japan has always been a favourite Tauck destination, where gilded temples and glittering skyscrapers reign over streets steeped in history and tradition. Discover the revered customs and unique sense of beauty that infuse life here… On the main island of Honshu, from Tokyo to the hot springs resort town of Hakone and on through the “Japanese Alps” to Kanazawa and the cultural treasure trove of Kyoto, visit a private home, shoes off, for a tea ceremony and Origami… explore castles, temples, shrines, a samurai home, and world-class gardens… make sushi, taste sake, cruise Lake Ashi to see Mt. Fuji… enjoy a taiko performance, Shinto music, Kagura dancing, a sumo wrestling demonstration… and meet a geisha expert. Join us for a Japan trip to remember.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrive Tokyo

Tauck’s Japan trip begins at 6:30 PM at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. A transfer is included from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports to the five-star Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, conveniently located in the Nihonbashi district in the heart of the city. This evening join us for a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel.

Meals : D

Lodging : Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

Day 2 Tokyo – Today and Yesterday

A sightseeing tour gives you an overview of one of the world’s most dynamic capital cities, touching on both history and modern life. Your discoveries continue at a sushi-making experience followed by lunch. This afternoon explore the Edo-Tokyo Museum, focused on Tokyo’s development from its roots as a fishing village called Edo, and see an exhilarating taiko drumming performance; rhythm, melody, and movement combine to create an extraordinary musical experience. The rest of the day and evening are free for further exploring on your own. Your hotel is near many good restaurants, and your Tauck Director can make suggestions for places to try.

Meals : B, L

Lodging : Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

Day 3 Hakone, a lake cruise & Mt. Fuji

This morning board a bullet train (shinkansen) for a short ride south to Odawara and continue on to the scenic hot springs resort town of Hakone known for its open-air sculpture park surrounded by mountains; the sculptures, many by famous artists including Rodin and Picasso, are thoughtfully juxtaposed against nature’s everchanging landscape. Following your guided visit at the sculpture park, have lunch on the shore of Lake Ashi in advance of your boat cruise on the lake, an opportunity, weather permitting, for viewing Mt. Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain and a sacred Shinto site that for many is an enduring symbol of Japan. This afternoon settle into your hotel, where dinner, with your choice of Japanese or French cuisine, is served this evening at your leisure.

Meals : B, L, D

Lodging : Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa

Day 4 Exploring Traditions in Hakone

Today you have a choice of activities that will provide a glimpse into Japanese traditions. One possiblity is to visit Gora Park, designed in 1914 in the French style, and attend a ceramics workshop or try your hand at glassblowing. Another possibility is to stay at the hotel and learn ikebana – Japanese flower arranging – with a teacher who gives a class and demonstration. You also have an opportunity to tour the Fuji-Gotemba Distillery, the world’s largest whisky distillery, sitting at the foot of Mt. Fuji. After lunch, spend a free afternoon enjoying Hakone according to your own inclinations. You might indulge in some pampering at your hotel’s spa or, doing as the Japanese do, take a dip in the healing hot springs (onsen). Tonight put on your yukata and relax over a special “homey” dinner at your hotel.

Meals : B, L, D

Lodging : Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa

Day 5 The Japanese Alps and Matsumoto

As your Japan trip continues, travel north through the forested mountain landscapes of the “Japanese Alps,” through winding valleys dotted with rice farms, lakes, rushing rivers, and small villages. In Kawaguchi, visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, where a display of exquisite kimonos is housed in a building made of coral and limestone. Continue inland to the hot springs town of Matsumoto, where you’ll visit 400-hundred-year-old Matsumoto Castle, Japan’s oldest castle and a national treasure, also known as the “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior. For dinner this evening at leisure at your hotel, you have a choice of French or Japanese cuisine.

Meals : B, L, D

Lodging : Tobira Onsen Myojinkan

Day 6 Old Takayama and a Sake brewery

Early this morning, head for Takayama, a mountain city long famed for its artisans and woodworkers. Do some sightseeing along the narrow lanes of its historic center followed by a lesson in sake making and a tasting at a local brewery. After lunch at a local restaurant known for its Hida beef, depart Takayama and continue on to Kanazawa, just inland from the Sea of Japan. Arriving here marks your having crossed all the way from one side of Japan’s main island of Honshu to the other.

Meals : B, L, D

Lodging : Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Day 7 Gardens, Art & a Samurai home

A full day’s sightseeing in Kanazawa begins with a guided stroll through celebrated Kenroku-en Garden, considered among the country’s top three landscaped gardens. Then it’s off to the circular 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, featuring experimental works of art produced exclusively since 1980 and closely associated with this area on Japan’s northern coast. You’ll have lunch and free time for exploring the museum at your own pace. Then it’s on to the historic Samurai District, where samurai homes are tucked among narrow lanes and canals behind earthen walls and private entrance gates. Go inside the restored Nomura Samurai Family Residence for a look at the lifestyle of the samurai during feudal times, when they were prosperous. The rest of your day and evening are free.

Meals : B, L

Lodging : Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Day 8 A train ride to beautiful Kyoto

Depart Kanazawa by train for Kyoto, arriving midday for a four-night stay at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto. Have lunch and begin your exploration of the city considered one of Japan’s most beautiful. On your introductory sightseeing tour, discover a city center of glass and steel skyscrapers ringed by hidden temples, shrines, and gardens that exude the tranquility and charm of Japan’s ancient culture. You may choose to dine at our selected local restaurant either tonight or tomorrow.

Meals : B, L, D

Lodging : Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Day 9 A castle, a temple & a Kyoto geisha district

Sightseeing begins at Nijo Castle, surrounded by stone walls and a moat; tour this 17th-century shogun’s residence and UNESCO World Heritage Site – and discover the secret of its “nightingale” floors. Next visit the famous golden-topped Kinkaku-ji Temple, set in an ancient garden on the edge of a lake – a position symbolizing its place “between heaven and Earth.” Hear the story of how this 14th-century temple was burned to the ground by a young monk and then completely reconstructed. After lunch at a local restaurant, meet up with a geisha expert who leads an exploration of the back streets of one of Kyoto’s geisha districts, and shares insights on the “flower and willow” world of the geishas, past and present.

Meals : B, L

Lodging : Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Day 10 A private home visit in Kyoto

Begin this day of your Japan trip with a prayer at the Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) established in 778; the current buildings were rebuilt in the 17th century. Drink the water here in long-handled cups as you wish for longevity, success or love. Kyoto is known as the craft capital of Japan, and many traditional arts have been passed down through the generations. You’ll have an opportunity to visit a private home here; take your shoes off, come in, and your gracious hostess will demonstrate the rituals of a tea ceremony and the paper art of Origami.

Meals : B

Lodging : Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Day 11 Kyoto as you please

Continue exploring Kyoto as you pursue your own interests today. The city’s classic cultural gems span the centuries, and your Tauck Director will have suggestions for places to visit. Join us for a special dinner tonight at a local restaurant.

Meals : B, D

Lodging : Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Day 12 Traditions in Tokyo

Travel by rail from Kyoto back to Tokyo, arriving for lunch at the celebrated restaurant Nobu. Afterward visit Meiji Shrine and take in a live performance of traditional Shinto music and Kagura dancing. As your Japan trip draws to a close, tonight’s farewell reception and dinner take place at a local restaurant, where you’ll witness a larger-than-life demonstration by sumo wrestlers.

Meals : B, L, D

Lodging : Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
Day 13 Journey home

Your Japan trip ends at Narita International Airport. Fly home anytime. An airport transfer is included from Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo to Narita International Airport. Please allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.

Meals : B

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

Date Land Price
May 12, 2017 $14,360
May 21, 2017 $16,590
May 26, 2017 $14,360
June 9, 2017 $14,360
June 18, 2017 $16,590
June 23, 2017 $14,360
August 25, 2017 $12,490
September 8, 2017 $13,490
September 10, 2017 $16,590
September 22, 2017 $14,360
September 24, 2017 $16,590
October 6, 2017 $14,360
October 13, 2017 $14,360
October 20, 2017 $14,360
October 22, 2017 $16,590
November 3, 2017 $13,490
November 5, 2017 $15,590
November 17, 2017 $12,490

Small Group Departures – Select small group departures, averaging 24 Tauck guests, are priced from AUD $14,990 per person double; specific dates apply – select “Small Group” in the pull-down menu above for complete pricing.

Date Land Price
May 21, 2017 $16,590
June 18, 2017 $16,590
September 10, 2017 $16,590
September 24, 2017 $16,590
October 22, 2017 $16,590
November 5, 2017 $15,590

Travelling Well Includes:

  • Multiple-night stays in premier hotels in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa & at a hot springs resort & spa in Hakone
  • Tokyo’s Edo-Tokyo Museum, Shinto music, Kagura dancing, taiko drums & sumo wrestling
  • In Kyoto, a private home visit with tea ceremony & Origami demonstration, explorations with a local Geisha expert, visits to Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple & Pure Water Temple (Kiyomizu Temple)
  • A cruise on Lake Ashi beneath Mt. Fuji
  • Ceramics, glass-blowing, or flower arranging workshops or a whisky distillery tour in Hakone
  • A lesson on sake brewing & a tasting at a local brewery in Takayama
  • A guided tour of Kanazawa’s Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan’s most revered landscaped gardens
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 29 meals (12 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners); gratuities to local guides, service charges, admission fees, taxes and porterage

For further detail on this or any other packages, please contact us on 1300 968 787

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