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The Plaza Grande in Quito is absolutely fabulous, the Royal Palm in the Galapagos is the best hotel we ever stayed in; the chef is outstanding, his meals are some of the best we ever had. Did you know that Prince Charles stayed there when he visited the islands? We are sure that the service we received was just as good as his. We had a marvelous time in the Galapagos and it was living a dream.
Steve and Mary. Read More

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Japan - Explore the land of the rising sun

A fascinating tour along the golden route of Japan allowing for an in-depth immersion into the Japanese culture. The tour starts in the dynamic capital Tokyo where you will visit the highlights along with a fine selection of authentic tour options. You will also visit Mt Fuji and relax in its hot springs; visit beautiful Osaka castle, the Itsukushima Shrine and the haunting reality of ground zero at Hiroshima.
With fabulous hotels and authentic Japanese ryokans (traditional inns) you will also experience the exhilaration of riding on the Shinkansen Bullet train.
11 days/ 10 nightsTokyo - Hakone - Kyoto - Osaka - Hiroshima - Kansai

ITINERARY
Day 1. Tokyo
Arrival at Tokyo - Narita Airport, reception and transfer to your hotel in Tokyo for check-in.
Overnight at selected hotel.

Day 2. Tokyo (B)
After breakfast, you will start on a leisurely tour through Tokyo's modern area. Visit to the Meiji Shrine constructed in 1920 and which is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken.
A visit to the Harajuku & Omotesando High Fashion Street, Oriental Bazaar and Roppongi Hills opened in 2003 with its elegant shops and 360 degree observation lounge. Return to your hotel. Overnight at selected hotel. Dinner at the Ginza Kyubey, a luxury sushi restaurant with a single Michelin star rating.

Day 3. Tokyo (B)
Today you will visit the old parts of Tokyo in downtown including a visit to Edo Tokyo Museum showing chronicles of the tumultuous history of Tokyo, Asakusa, a traditional Tokyo downtown area. You will also visit the Akihabara-Electronics town and Imperial Palace Plaza. Return to your hotel. Overnight at selected hotel.

Day 4. Tokyo (B)
A free day at leisure with a choice of options.. We can recommend:

1. A special performance by a Kabuki actor - Kabuki is one of the most famous traditional performing arts but it can be difficult to experience the true excitement of the genre just by going to a performance. We can arrange for guests to meet an actual actor and learn first-hand about the intricacies of the art form.
2. Private golf with a view of Mt Fuji. Opportunity to paly a round of golf on a private golf course, usually reserved for members only, this has been selected for this program.
3. Japanese Calligraphy - Imagine using thick, black ink and the unique softness of Japanese writing to form your name and other characters of interest. The result is certain to be the perfect memento of your time in Japan. That's just part of this interactive program, which starts with a dynamic writing performance by a skilled calligrapher as they create characters on a paper screen.
4. Japanese Cuisine - True, high quality Japanese traditional style will be shown at the cooking program and is a joyful occasion to learn Japanese culture and seasonal dishes. Chef's explanations are highly creative.
5. Visit to a Sumo stable - Watch huge sumo wrestlers as they start their day with early morning practice in a program that offers an up-close and personal look at Japan's national sport unavailable to those who merely attend daily matches at a tournament.

Day 5. Tokyo - Hakone (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Hakone for a full day tour. You shall cruise on Lake Ashi, and visit the Mt. Komagatake aerial ropeway ride to Owakudani. After the tour, you will be transferred to the former relaxing retreat of the Kanin no-miya imperial family at national park of Hanone, Gora Kadan, a traditional-style inn (ryokan) that boasts a reputation of excellence. It is also a member of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux group. Relax in your room that provides beautiful mountains view and its very own private hot spring bath. Overnight at Gora Kadan.

Day 6. Tokyo - Odawara - Kyoto (B)
Check-out of"Gora Kadan", and transfer to Odawara train Station to take the Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. Upon arrival to Kyoto Station, commence a half day tour of Kyoto starting from Nijo Castle, built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun of the Edo era. You shall also visit the Kinkaku-ji Temple, the Golden Pavilion, originally built in 1394, and the villa of a court noble, later changed to a temple. Overnight at a selected Kyoto ryokan.

Day 7.Kyoto (B)
After breakfast, a full day tour of Kyoto Sightseeing starting from Sanju-san-gendo, containing 1001 Buddhist statues, Kiyomizu Temple, a huge grand structure at the top of cliff overlooking the neatly lined streets of Kyoto. Visit to the Heian Shrine, commemorating 1100th year of construction, the Ryoanji Temple with a most beautiful stone garden and finally to the Gion District to look for antiques and crafts. Overnight at a selected Kyoto ryokan.

Day 8. Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto (B)
Today, transfer to Nara, and commence a half day tour of Nara, visiting the Todaiji Temple completed in 752, with one of the largest bronze statues in the world. You shall also see the Kasuga Shrine founded in 710, with 3000 lanterns in line, and the Nara Park before returning back to Kyoto.
Exclusive tea ceremony at a temple- Over the centuries that Kyoto was the ancient capital of Japan, great care went into the design of Buddhist temples to find the perfect balance between structures and the accompanying garden. Sample this delightful ritual in peace and tranquillity. The rest of the day will be free to enjoy at your leisure. Your last night at a selected Kyoto ryokan.
Dinner at the Gion Manyoken, a famous French restaurant which has hosted VIPs from around the world and has a special relationship with the Imperial household. Its menu features nutritious vegetables raised on a contract farm as well as ingredients flown in directly French, all mixed expertly to create dishes one would expect from the leading French restaurant in the city

Day 9. Kyoto - Osaka - Hiroshima (B)
Today you shall transfer to Osaka, from where a tour of the town will being visiting the Osaka Castle originally constructed 1583, but completely destroyed by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The castle was rebuilt in 1931. A visit to the Shitenno-ji Temple built in 593 A.D by Shotokutaishi preserving traditional Buddhism of the ancient style. Transfer to the station for the boarding of the Shinkansen bullet train from Shin-Osaka Station, to Hiroshima(about 1.5hours) . Upon arrival at Hiroshima Station, transfer and check in at your hotel Free day at leisure.

Day 10. Hiroshima (B)
Today, you will have a full day tour of Hiroshima starting at the Atomic Bomb Dome, the site of the first atomic bomb drop site. A visit to the Peace Memorial Park and the Peace Memorial Museum. Transfer to the western part of Hiroshima, where you shall board a ferry to Miyajima, home of the Itsukushima Shrine which is famous for its floating Torii Gate that was designated as a World Heritage site in 1996.
The first shrine buildings were probably erected in the 6th century, but the present shrine dates from the 12th century. The current shrine has been in its present state since 1168 when funds were provided by the warlord Taira no Kiyomori. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 11. Hiroshima - Kansai (B)
The remainder of the morning will be free to enjoy at your leisure before transferring to the airport by Shinkansen Bullet train located between Hiroshima and Shin-Osaka.

End of services.

ITINERARY OVERVIEW
11 days/ 10 nights
Day 1. Tokyo
Day 2. Tokyo (B)
Day 3. Tokyo (B)
Day 4. Tokyo (B)
Day 5. Tokyo - Hakone (B)
Day 6. Tokyo - Odawara - Kyoto (B)
Day 7.Kyoto (B)
Day 8. Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto (B)
Day 9. Kyoto - Osaka - Hiroshima (B)
Day 10. Hiroshima (B)
Day 11. Hiroshima - Kansai (B)
PRICE
WHAT IS INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED
Our price Includes:
The price includes international return flights from London in economy class, accommodation in 5 star deluxe hotels and Japanese rooms at traditional Ryokans (Japanese Inns), all tours in private with an English speaking guide, private tea ceremony at the Kodaiji Temple, first class tickets on the Bullet train and all taxes.
Please enquire for prices if there are only 2 people in your party.
Our price does not include:
Meals not specified and travel insurance are not included. Optional tours on day 4 are not included. Please ask for details and prices. Business class and First class air ticket quotes provided upon request.
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