Women's Travel Club

Women's Travel Club

1-844-749-0725

Japan

Cherry Blossom Festival

Journey to the land of the rising sun, a country rich in history. Experience a taste of Japanese culture while staying in a traditional ryokan. Wander through fantastic gardens and be in awe of the abundance of serene temples and shrines. This lovely tour is planned during the famous Cherry Blossom Festival.

Japan

HIGHLIGHTS AND INCLUSIONS

    9 Nights superior accommodations
  • Visit the Imperial Palace
  • View Mt Fuji
  • Ride the Hakone Ropeway
  • Boat ride on Lake Ashi
  • Ride the Bullet Train
  • Stay in a Traditional Ryokan
  • Tour ancient city of Kyoto
  • Tour beautiful Gardens
  • Cherry Blossom festival
  • Green Tea Ceremony
  • Oboke Gorge Boat Ride
  • Wagyu Beef Dinner
  • Geisha and Maiko makeover experience
  • Sushi making workshop
  • Women's Travel Club leader

Tour of Japan

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo! A Women's Travel Club representative will meet you at the arrival gate and direct you to the hotel by hotel shuttle bus. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure to explore or relax.

Day 2 - Narita - Tokyo

In the morning you will be taken to Asakusa Kannon Temple, an active place of worship where you can see the largest paper lantern in Japan. Here, discover the difference between a Shinto Shrine and a Buddhist Temple, then explore Nakamise Market, which resembles a traditional style shopping street of a bygone era. Continue to Ueno Park, famous for its more than 1,000 cherry trees. Next is a visit to Edo Tokyo Museum, where you can learn the history of Tokyo from the time when it was a small village called Edo. The museum also offers many good picture taking opportunities, for example with vehicles and items which were used in the past. Then we will proceed to the Imperial Palace, the former site of Edo Castle. You can explore the park, surrounded by moats and stone fortifications, in the heart of the city. In the afternoon, we will visit the the world's tallest self supporting steel tower. At 333 meters high, Tokyo Tower is 13 meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. We will go up 150 meters to the main observatory deck and get a bird's eye view of Tokyo. From there we will cross the Rainbow Bridge, and be treated to stunning views of Tokyo Bay. We will travel to the man made islands of Odaiba and see cutting-edge architecture, as well as the night view of Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge. Take part in a sushi making workshop. (B, L)

Asakusa Kannon Temple

Day 3 - Tokyo- Mt. Fuji - Hakone - Atami

We will depart from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands to rolling clouds. Stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world famous peak. Next, we will travel to Hakone, which is among Japan's most popular hot-spring resorts, and view the forested slopes of Hakone National Park. We will take a 20 minute ropeway ride from Togendai to Owakundani. Most of the area around Owakundani is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Now, you can experience hot springs and hot rivers there, where sulphurous fumes still linger. Owakundani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji in good weather. Tonight, we will stay at the Onsen hotel at Atami Onsen, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner. (B, D)

Mt. Fuji

Day 4 - Atami - Hikone - Koka - Kyoto

After breakfast at the hotel, our group will experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Atami to Nagoya, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. Visit the Hikone Castle, an attractive hanami spot during the cherry blossom season. Hikone Castle is an original castle, i.e. it survived the post feudal era without undergoing destruction and reconstruction, considered one of the four most beautiful castles in Japan with its three-layered chalk tower. Hikone Castle has a backdrop of Lake Biwa and Konki-zan Hill, and is regarded as one of four national heritage castles, along with Inuyama Castle in Aichi, Himeji Castle in Hyogo, and Matsumoto Castle in Nagano. Then visit Miho Museum, a stunning architecture that accentuates the surrounding nature while exhibiting a variety of items from different ancient civilizations. There is a tunnel that leads from the museum to a road lined with hundreds of cherry blossom trees. It was designed by the renowned architect, I. M. Pei, and is named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the founder of the museum. Moreover, the museum has been listed as one of the "1000 Places To See Before You Die". Afterwards, we will proceed to Kyoto for two nights. (B)

Miho Museum

Day 5 - Kyoto

Today we will start our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. First is a visit to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered with 18 carat gold leaves. This three-story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. Next is the Ryoan-ji Rock Garden, famed for its exceptional rock and sand garden (seki-taki). At the Nishijin Textile Center, you can view displays of kimonos and even watch an elegant kimono fashion show. Then, we will visit the famous Kiyomizu Temple, which is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as a beautiful scene of Kyoto City in the distance. From Kiyomizu Temple we will head to Maruyama Park, which is one of the most popular places for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) in Kyoto. Lastly, we will tour Gion, the old Geisha Quarters, and Pontocho, whose cobblestone alleys vibrate with night life.

Maiko, or apprentice geisha, have become a symbol of Kyoto (as the apprentices dress more colorfully and elaborately than their seniors), such that getting a maiko makeover is a must-do when in Kyoto. We will be transformed into these Japanese beauties for an afternoon. (B)

Maiko makeover

Day 6 - Kyoto

The day begins with a visit in the scenic and historic Fushimi district, which is also one of the brewing capitals of Japan. We continue to the stunning vermilion colored Fushimi Inari Shrine, whose 4km long tunnel of scarlet torii gates was featured in the film Memoirs of a Geisha. This complex wraps around a bamboo wilderness that includes mountains, streams, and ponds, the perfect backdrop for a scenic hike. At the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum, you will learn the facinating history of sake brewing with its nostalgic buildings, tasting experience, and valuable collection of traditional brewing tools. We will continue our tour to Uji where you can experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. From there we continue to Nara, the oldest capital city of Japan. We will visit Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses the largest bronze statue of Buddha at 16.3 meters high, and the surrounding park is filled with over 1,000 Sika Deer. In the afternoon we will travel to Osaka by private coach. Our last visit for the day is Dotonbori, which runs parallel to the Dotonbori canal. A popular shopping, entertainment, and food district, Dotonbori is known for the hundreds of neon and mechanized signs that line the street, including the famous Glico Running Man and Kani Doraku Crab signs. (B)

Green Tea Ceremony

Day 7 - Kyoto - Himeji - Kurashiki - Hiroshima

Today we take a 2 hour ride on a luxury coach to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle. It is known as "White Egret Castle" and "White Heron Castle" because of its brilliant white exterior, resembling a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan, and is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. This splendid example of traditional architecture was declared one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. Next is a visit to Kurashiki. In merchant days, this scenic town thrived as a port for rice shipments. Several old rice granaries and examples of historic architecture still remain, in addition to the stone lined canal. Taste sake as you stroll along the streets of Kurashiki. In the afternoon, we will continue our journey to Hiroshima. (B)

Day 8 - Hiroshima - Shimanaka Kaido - Imabari

Today we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum. Next, we will try making a popular Japanese dish called Okonomiyaki. This dish is a mixture of batter, cabbage, and any of your favorite ingredients. The mixture is then cooked on a hot plate and flipped using a metal spatula. The dish can be made easily at home, so you can show off your new skills to your family. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima; the cherry blossoms on the island are spectacular to behold. At high tide, the famed vermilion torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine looks like it's floating in the middle of the sea. The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Miyajima has been selected as one of Japan's three most scenic places (nihon sankei). In the afternoon, we will drive through the Shimanamikaido to Shikoku Island. The Shimanamikaido is a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is also known as the Nishiseto Expressway. (B,L)

Itsukushirma Shrine

Day 9 - Imabari - Oboke - Kotohira - Takamatsu - Kobe - Kansai

After a Japanese style breakfast, we continue our journey to Oboke Gorge, one of three hidden mountain regions of Japan. Oboke is the valley located upstream of the Yoshino-gawa River. "Boke" means "dangerous to walk along," and Oboke (big boke) was named for its jagged V-shaped rocks and narrow path which, no matter how carefully or slowly you walk, makes walking dangerous. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride and take in the panoramic view of the valley. Then, climb the 1,368 stone steps to the Kotohira-gu Shrine, a Shinto shrine. In Takamatsu we will visit Ritsurin Park, a masterpiece of Japanese landscape 100 years in the making. This sprawling park features beautiful ponds and pavilions, with Mt. Shiun as the perfect backdrop. From there, our private coach takes us across Awaji Island through a series of spectacular bridges. In the evening we continue to Kobe, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef. (B,D)

Day 10 - Departure

After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached in a three minute walk. (B)

Not Included

  • • International Airfare
  • • Travel Insurance
  • • Expenses of a Personal Nature
  • • Any Item Not Mentioned Above

Important Notes:

Prices are subject to change and availability. Space is limited and activities are subject to change. Travel insurance is always strongly recommended.

Tour Full

Women's Travel Club Activity level

Superior Accommodation

March 25 - April 3, 2017

Only 2 Spots Available!

Rates:
    Double - $4999 USD per person (sharing a room)
    Single - $5899 USD per person (your own room)
  • If you would like the double occupancy rate but don't have a roommate we will match you with a suitable roommate. The single occupancy rate will give you your own room.
  • Deposit of $500 USD due at time of booking.
  • Final Payment due - January 15, 2017

  • All payments are non-refundable Please see full terms and conditions.
  • Travel Insurance -
    Cancellation, interruption and out of country medical insurance is strongly recommended. For a quote based on your needs either call 1-844-749-0725
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