« Japan, Cherry Blossoms and Culture - SOLD OUT ex Osaka

Category:
Travel The World
Code:
ADV0344
Dates/Times:
April 2nd, 2018 – April 12th, 2018
Start Time:
2.00pm
Duration:
11 Days
From:
AU$5675.00
Location:
ex Osaka

 

Cherry Blossoms

Welcome to Hanami….cherry blossom viewing in Japan. Hanami is a long-standing Japanese tradition of welcoming spring. Also known as the “cherry blossom festival,” this annual celebration is about appreciating the temporal beauty of nature. People gather under blooming cherry blossoms for food, drink, songs, companionship and the beauty of sakura (cherry blossoms).  

 

We have carefully chosen the flow of our itinerary to provide us with the best opportunity to view the beautiful cherry blossoms in many of the locations we are visiting.



Day 1 - 2nd April, Osaka

Arrive today any time (store luggage if before check in time) and feel free to explore this city before our welcome meeting tonight, but make sure you’re back in time to meet your Adventurous Women host Sue Hile and our Local Japanese Tour Guide.  We will conduct intro’s, provide you with information about the tour and then take a walk to a nearby restaurant for our first group dinner.

 

*Guest Note:  Your Adventurous Women host Sue, is arriving in Osaka a day earlier and will be available to accompany you to some of the sights in Osaka, enjoy Hanami together, or point you in the right direction should you wish to explore more of this lively city.  An extra day here is Highly Recommended as Osaka is one of the best places for Hanami during this time.

 

Day 2 - 3rd April, Osaka / Koya San

We depart early today and travel to the centre of Buddhism in Japan, Mt Koya San. The train ride up to the mountain is possibly one of the finest rail journeys in Japan … and for the final steep ascent, we switch to a funicular and then hop on a bus to reach the monastery...quite an adventure!  

We explore the temples & moss covered Oku-no-in cemetery (the largest in Japan) in the afternoon and then check into our unique accommodation at one of the Mount Koya Temples, where we witness the routines of the monks and dine on typical fare.  In the evening, savour the shojin-ryori vegetarian cuisine and relax in a yukata, or kimono.  Breath the fresh mountain air and soak in the beautiful surroundings.



Day 3 - 4th April, Koya San / Hiroshima

Early morning at the temple we have the chance to observe the monks praying, take in the atmosphere of the surrounding mountains, enjoy our traditional vegetarian breakfast, then start the journey back down the mountain.  Later we board a bullet train to Hiroshima, we have free time on our arrival in the afternoon to explore the city at our leisure.



Day 4 - 5th April, Hiroshima

Today we take a walk through the Peace Park and Memorial Museum in the centre of Hiroshima, before boarding a ferry to Miyajima Island, famed as one of Japan’s most scenic spots, with a free afternoon to explore.  See the famous floating Torii Gate, take a stroll through the laneways full of souvenirs & tasty treats, explore the island at your own pace - the shrines & temples, deer & monkeys who populate the island ... and numerous hiking trails.  

For those who want an extra challenge, set out for the summit of Mt Misen, Miyajima’s highest peak at 500m above sea level.  Opt to hike one of three trails through the forest, keeping an eye out for wild deer, or catch a ride on the ropeway and walk the remaining distance to the top for rewarding views of the Seto Inland Sea.

 

cherryblossoms 

Day 5 - 6th April, Hiroshima / Kyoto

We travel to Kyoto today and start exploring the temples, shrines and gardens that make Kyoto, Japan’s capital of culture. Founded as the national capital more than 1,200 years ago, Kyoto originally developed as a centre of aristocratic culture and is most famous for its Zen gardens and Geisha traditions.

We start our exploration with a visit to Fushimi Inari shrine, located just outside of Kyoto.  We walk under the thousands of iconic Torii Gates (as seen in the film Memoirs of a Geisha) and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.  

In the evening we either take a stroll along the river or around Gion, enjoy a fabulous meal together and see the locals dress in traditional kimono.




Day 6 - 7th April, Kyoto

Our day begins with a visit to the Nijo Castle, the residence of the first shogun of the Edo Period, built in 1603… Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Then it’s on to explore Kinkakuji or the Golden Pavilion, named for the temple’s two top floors that are covered in gold leaf.  The temple is surrounded by trees and sits on a reflective pond, making this a must-see in Kyoto … a perfect place for photos.  

Later in the day we take a walk through the gardens around Daisen-in Temple and practice meditation in the Zen rock garden, before finishing out the day with a walk along The Philosopher's Path.  The stone path follows a canal lined by hundreds of cherry trees which come to life during this time “Hanami” -  The Cherry Blossoms... one of the most famous symbols of Japan and they’re such a beautiful sight to see.

 

 


Day 7 - 8th April, Kyoto

We’ve built a day of leisure into our itinerary today and have many suggestions on how you can make the most of your time in Kyoto.  Options include: Visiting “Ochaya” traditional tea house, Nishiki Food Market, hire a bike to explore the back streets of Kyoto or join a cycling tour…..great way to see this city, explore the Gion district a little more, perhaps it’s time to do a little shopping.

 

 

Day 8 - 9th April, Kyoto

Bamboo Grove Japan

Today join with your Adventurous Women host Sue and head west by train to Arashiyama, the second-most important sightseeing district in Kyoto, it’s filled with temples & shrines, but the star attraction is the famed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.  We’ll spend a good part of our day here in a relaxed manner, with no set agenda.  First stop will be a pleasant walk in the Bamboo Grove, then we’ve got a few options ….there are some beautiful gardens and parks to explore, plenty of amazing temples & shrines to visit if you’re up for more walking, if not..we can hire a couple of boats and row around the lovely lower Hozu-gawa area, one of the best ways to explore Arashiyama, particularly when the cherry blossoms are out.  

During your time here, you may wish to stick with Sue, however If you are happy to wander off on your own that’s totally fine & we’ll ensure that you’re provided with a map, lock in a meeting time/place for everyone to meet, prior to travelling back to Kyoto Station on the train.




Day 9 - 10th April, Kyoto / Hakone

We’re off to Hakone, a town in the hills famous for its onsens, or natural hot springs.  It’s here we stay in a traditional ryokan, with its own private onsen.

On our arrival, we board a passenger boat to cruise the waters of Lake Ashinoko and a walk along the Old Tokaido Highway ….if we’re lucky to have a clear day, we’ll capture a view of Mt Fuji.  Afterwards we head back to our ryokan, feast on a Japanese multi-course kaiseki meal, soak in the natural hot springs and sleep on a futon.

 

 

Day 10 - 11th April, Hakone / Tokyo

It’s time to head off to Tokyo to do some last-minute shopping!!  We arrive before noon, so you may opt to visit Ueno Park and the museums, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, visit the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just relax if you’re staying on an extra day.

We re-group in the evening to celebrate our time away together, finishing on a real high as we explore Tokyo’s vibrant food culture.  Highlights of our evening include, eating Yakitori at a Street Yakitori Bar, enjoying Monja-yaki in the neighborhood where it originated - Monja Town (Tsukishima), visiting a confectionery shop in Ginza and learning about wagashi, a traditional Japanese sweet that changes with the season.  We’ll check out a local pub and either finish our night at this point, or for those who want more … our guide can recommend other cool local bars in small alleys, or a karaoke place for more fun into the night.




Day 11 - 12th April, Tokyo

Today the tour officially ends and you may choose to depart or stay on an extra day or two to explore more of Tokyo and surrounding areas. We say goodbye to those who are heading home.  Your Adventurous Women host Sue, will be staying on in Tokyo for an extra day to assist you with sightseeing options, if you decide you want more!




PRICE PER PERSON (TWIN SHARE ONLY) - $5675.00

 

ADVENTUROUS WOMEN ‘CLUB’ MEMBER - $5475.00 (Join Now for $59.95 and Save)

 

Inclusions: 

  • Fully Escorted by Sue Hile, Owner of Adventurous Women

  • Tour leader & local guides

  • Accommodation- Hotels (8 nights), Mountain Monastery (1 nights, shared facilities), Traditional Ryokan (1 nights, shared facilities)

  • Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum visit

  • Miyajima excursion with floating torii gate visit

  • Nijo Castle and gardens visit (Kyoto)

  • Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion visit

  • Daisen-in Temple and Zen garden visit

  • Fushimi Inari shrine visit

  • Philospher’s Walk

  • Arashiyama & Bamboo Grove visit

  • Lake Ashino-ko boat ride (Hakone)

  • Traditional ryokan stay with kaiseki meal

  • Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)

  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

  • Meals as mentioned. 2 breakfasts, 3 dinners (incl final dinner). 

  • Tokyo Food Tour as final dinner

 

Excluding:

  • International airfares - We can assist with this if required

  • International airport departure tax

  • Any visas required

  • Services not mentioned in the itinerary

  • Late check out at hotels

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary  (Allow USD400-520 for meals not included.)

  • Tips for leaders, guide and driver

  • Expenditure of personal nature

  • Optional activities

  • Travel Insurance – Compulsory   

 
 
PLACES ARE LIMITED TO 12 LADIES - TO MAKE YOUR BOOKING, click on the Book Now Button below, fill out the booking form and submit online.  We will then email you a Tax Invoice for payment of a $350 Deposit, which will secure your place on the tour.
 
 
 

 


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Great trip, good mix of leisure and activity, amazing scenery and sites and good company. Well done again Sue H.


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Karen M
Although physically and mentally challenging (to me), this adventure was definitely exhilarating. Nature (and weather) are your friend and opponent. Without the (one day of) rain,…Read more

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Janice M - Mar 06 2016
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