2023 Spring Tour
|Depart from home to Haneda Airport near Tokyo Japan, losing one day by crossing the International Date Line.|
March 28th- Arrive at Haneda Airport where you will be met by your guides and escorted to the Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel. location in the Ginza area of Tokyo
March 29th– This morning, we’ll visit Hamarikyu, a fascinating historical garden. Afterwards, we will head back to the Ginza where our hotel is located. It is filled with shops of all kinds, museums, and many architecturally renowned buildings where you will have free time to explore on your own with use of a walking map that will be provided. If you prefer to be guided to some of the notable buildings for part of the time, we can accommodate you.
March 30th – Please bring your luggage to the lobby this morning. It will be forwarded to our Kyoto hotel. Have a backpack with your essentials for one night. After breakfast which begins at 7:00 am we will visit three of my favorite sites in Tokyo, the Tomo Museum of Art with exquisitely displayed ceramics, the Stone Garden at the Canadian Embassy, and the Nezu Museum, a private collection of beautiful Japanese art along with a wonderful tea garden. Dinner this eveningis included.
March 31st– We’ll travel by train to Shizuoka, an area of Japan rich in culture but often overlooked by tourists. A private bus will drive around the countryside to scenes of cherry blossoms, tea and wasabi farms. We will experience a shojin ryori lunch at Zenfukuji temple (included). Next, we’ll visit Hisaiji, a temple founded generations ago by the family of friends of our second guide, to discover how small temples today are often at the center of community activities. When the original temple needed a major repair or complete rebuild, the head priest, who is also an architect, designed the modern temple we will visit, which was featured on television for its striking blend of meeting traditional temple needs and contemporary and environmentally ‘green’ features. Tonight, we’ll lodge at Hotel Associa conveniently connected to Shizuoka station. Dinner is on your own tonight.
April 1st – Today – After breakfast, we’ll visit Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum, a rare museum of Serizawa’s work and the textile dying arts. Afterwards, we’ll travel by train to Kyoto, lodging at the Daiwa Roynet Kyoto Hotel Grande. After we settle into our rooms we will explore nearby Kyoto station together. Dinner is on your own tonight..
April 2nd – After breakfast we’ll begin a walking tour to visit Shingon Buddhist temple, Chishakuin to admire its beautiful fusuma paintings and gardens. Next, the country style home of mingei potter Kawaii Kanjiro, then to the Kyoto Ceramic Center where some of the best of Kyoyaki can be seen and purchased. Lunch at Sodoh Italian Restaurant is included. After lunch we may visit Kodai-ji, Entoku-in or Kennin-ji some of my favorite temples with gardens and art in Kyoto.
|April 3rd - We’ll spend the day in Arashiyama located in the foothills of the mountains west of Kyoto. We’ll visit Otagi Nembutsu then wander south along the paths visiting Gioji, a moss temple, an indigo shop, and Rakushisha reaching the famous bamboo forest. Finally, we’ll visit Tenryu-ji (Heavenly Dragon temple). Commissioned by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji in 1339, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and important Zen temple. The garden was designed by head priest Muso Soseki, one of Japan’s greatest landscape designers.|
April 4th – Free day
April 5th - A day trip to Nara, ancient capital of Japan is planned for today. We’ll spend the day visiting Isuien garden, the great bronze statue of the Daibutsu at Todaiji and Kasuga Taisha, known for its thousands of lanterns lining the paths to the main shrine.
|April 6th– We will travel by train from Kyoto to Fukui lodging at the Dormy Inn Hotel for two nights. After dropping off our small bags we will take a short train ride to Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins, the historic ruins of a 400 year old castle town. Some of the walled homes and gardens of the samurai, merchants and craftsmen have been reconstructed. Dinner is included tonight.
April 7th – At 9 am a private coach will take us to Eiheiji, The Temple of Eternal Peace, founded in 1244 by Zen Master Dogen. It is an active monastery where practitioners eat, clean up, chant, sleep and sit zazen sincerely. In the afternoon we will explore the 1500 year old history of Echizen Washi Village. At the Udatsu Paper and Craft Museum you can the entire paper making process. Next, to Echizen Pottery Village, a style that appeared in the late Heian era. In modern times the spark of making Echizen pottery has been revived with a pottery school, Ceramic Center and Sculpture Park. Dinner is on your own tonight.
April 8th – We’ll return to Tokyo by way of Kanazawa, stopping there to visit Kenrokuen one of the most beautiful stroll gardens in all of Japan. The train from Kanazawa to Tokyo takes two hours. Unless you have a very late departure schedule you will need to book a room in Tokyo for the night. If you want to extend your time in Japan rather than return to Tokyo, please let us know and we can purchase a train ticket to your next destination instead.
Cost of Tour
(There may be an adjustment to the price of the tour if the dollar falls below 100 yen per dollar)
$4450 per person for a queen bed or twin room (double occupancy)
$4710 per person for a single room
Included in Tour:
Lodging for 11 nights in western style hotels
All breakfasts with western and Japanese foods plus 5 lunches and 4 dinners.
All transportation within the country including taxis, trains, private coaches.
All entry fees per itinerary
Two knowledgeable guides throughout the tour, at least one who is fluent in Japanese
A detailed daily itinerary and other information to prepare you for your travel to Japan
Not Included in Tour:
International airfare and trip insurance
Personal expenses such as telephone calls and laundry
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