Japan Great Discovery

Per Person / Taxes incl.



12 Nights / 14 Days

Day 1: Canada – Osaka (Japan)

Flight with a good itinerary.

Day 2: Osaka

Upon arrival in the vibrant city of Osaka, you will be warmly welcomed by our local representatives and transferred to your hotel in Osaka. After your check-in (usually in the late afternoon) take some time to relax or begin your exploration of the city. As Japan’s third largest city, Osaka has the reputation for being a city of food, with a wide variety of delicious dishes. We recommend taking a stroll through the lively district of Dotonbori, famous for its many restaurants, or indulging in some shopping.

Day 3: Osaka-Hiroshima-Miyajima-Fukuyama

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing from Osaka to the iconic city of Hiroshima with a light travel bag, via the high-speed bullet train. Hiroshima, known for being the first target of the atomic bomb in 1945, has today become a symbol of peace. It is one of the most laid-back cities in Japan with many boulevards, exceptional cuisine, and very welcoming locals. Upon your arrival, you will embark on a bus tour to visit the Peace Park, its memorial and museum which retraces the chronology of this world event, minute by minute.

Afterward, you will take the road to Miyajimaguchi to board a ferry to Miyajima, an island renowned for its legendary beauty, considered one of the three most beautiful landscapes in Japan. According to Shinto tradition, the island is home to Gods and it is forbidden to give birth or die there. You will go for a walking tour of the city and have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit the marvelous Itsukushima Shrine, known for its floating Torii gate, which appears to be sailing on the sea when the base is covered in water at high tide. Your day will continue with the visit of Senjokaku, the largest building on the island built in the 16th century, called the hall with 1000 tatami mats because of its immense surface. At the end of your tour, you will return by ferry to Miyajimaguchi, before departing for Fukuyama. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Fukuyama. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)

Day 4: Fukuyama-Himeji-Kyoto

Start your day with a delightful breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a journey to Himeji, a charming city located near Kobe, to visit the largest and oldest Japanese castle. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Himeji Castle, built on a hill, was regularly used for the filming of historical films. Once the tour is over, you will have lunch with your group at a local restaurant before departing for Kyoto.

At the end of the day, you will discover the beautiful city of Kyoto. You will pass through the lively Shijo Karasuma district, then reach Pontocho, a small alley parallel to the Kamo River. With its multitude of wooden houses, shops, geisha houses and restaurants stuck together, the street offers a real journey back in time. The district of Gion quickly became associated with the world of geishas, locally known as Geiko. Photo stop in front of the Yasaka Jinja shrine, in the heart of this same district.
Tonight, you will savor a unique culinary experience for dinner at a local restaurant, where you will eat a Japanese specialty of ‘Shabushabu’, a dish that consists of cooking thin slices of meat, usually beef, pork or chicken, in a hot broth. Return to your hotel at the end of the evening. Overnight in Kyoto. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)

Day 5: Kyoto

After your breakfast at the hotel, you will meet with your guide to discover the former capital of Japan. Your first stop will be at Ryoan-ji, a monastery of the Rinzai school, renowned for its dry garden that reflects the pure Zen tradition. You will then proceed to visit ‘Kinkaku-ji’, or commonly called ‘the Golden Pavilion’, known for its magnificent facades covered with gold leaf. Your guide will then take you to Nishiki market, where a festival of smells and flavors awaits you. This market exists since the 14th century, and the quality of the products makes this market the meeting point for all the gastronomes and chefs of the city.

Lunch in a local restaurant before going to visit the sumptuous Fushimi Inari shrine. This famous complex reveals its charms during a hike along a valley surrounded by nature, where you can discover more than a thousand ‘Torii’. You will then visit ‘Kiyomizu-dera’, a Buddhist temple, spread over the mountains to the east of Kyoto, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the city. You’ll end your day with a stroll through the traditional Japanese streets of Sannenzaka and Ninnenzaka before returning to your hotel. Free evening and dinner. (Breakfast-Lunch)

Day 6: Kyoto – Nara – Koyasan

After enjoying a breakfast at the hotel, you will depart Kyoto to explore Nara, a city that was founded in the 8th century. You will begin your visit with Todai-ji, an enormous complex of religious buildings, the most remarkable of which is the Daibutsu-den, the tallest wooden structure in the world, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While walking in Nara Park, be sure to keep an eye on the various wild deer that roam freely through the area. Around 10:30 am, you will hit the road to Kashihara. Upon arrival, you will visit a local sake brewery, (nihonshu in Japanese), where you can witness the process of how this traditional Japanese beverage is made. You will also have the opportunity to have a sake tasting at the end of the visit.

After your lunch in a local restaurant, you will head to Mount Koya, a UNESCO heritage site. Mount Koya (Koya-san) is a major Buddhist pilgrimage site, famous for its magnificent temples and mystical atmosphere, constituting the starting and ending point of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Route. You will stop in front of the Danjo Garan, the most sacred site of Mount Koya. The place has around twenty temples and buildings, including the Kondo, the pavilion which hosts the main religious ceremonies, and Konpon Daito, “the great pagoda”, which majestically reveals its bright vermilion red color.You will take a peaceful walk through the Okuno-in cemetery. Surrounded by a forest of century-old cypresses that stretch as far as the eye can see, the place is also home to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, a majestic pavilion that is the entry point to the famous pilgrimage to the 88 temples of Shikoku.

Upon arriving at the monastery, you will have the opportunity to participate in a meditation session led by the resident monks. Later in the evening, you will enjoy a vegan dinner and spend the night in a traditional Japanese room at the monastery. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)

Day 7: Koyasan – Kumano Kodo – Nachi – Kii Katsuura

At sunrise, the sound of the monastery gong will invite you to attend the morning prayer (optional) before having your vegan breakfast. You will then set off towards Kumano Kodo, the famous pilgrimage route in the heart of the Kii Mountains. A long stone staircase will lead you to the sacred compound of Kumano Hongu Taisha. At the end of your visit, you will travel to Meguri no Sato for a lunch at a local restaurant that specializes in regional cuisine served by the river.

After your meal, you will return to the Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine and stop at Daimon Zaka, where you will have the opportunity to walk one of the paths taken by pilgrims in the Kumano Kodo region. This route is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you will contemplate the most imposing waterfall in Japan, Ichinotaki or Nachinotaki. Visit of Kumano Nachi Taisha, an incredible site that will allow you to retrace the history of the peaceful coexistence of the two main religions of Japan.

At the end of the day, you will take the road one last time to Kii-Katsuura where you will spend the night. In the early evening, you will indulge a Kaiseki dinner, which consists of a succession of culinary art dishes such as soups, sashimi, fish, meat and, more. Overnight stay at Kii Katsuura in a Japanese room (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)

Day 8: Kii Katsuura – Ise – Gifu

Early in the morning, you will meet your guide to embark on a unique experience at Kii-Katsuura market*, which is Japan’s largest supplier of tuna. You will witness the exciting auction, where tuna fish are traded at high speed. You will then return to your hotel for breakfast before continuing your journey towards Toba, along the picturesque Pacific Ocean. You’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant before arriving at the Pearl Island Museum, where you’ll learn about the process of oyster farming and pearl making. You will attend a harvesting session by the underwater fisherwomen of the region, known as Ama.

In the middle of the afternoon, you will go to Ise town, for a visit to the Naiku shrine, founded more than 2,000 years ago, before the introduction of Buddhism, which therefore presents a purely Japanese ancient style. Once your visit is complete, you will drive to Gifu where you will spend the night. Free evening and dinner at leisure. (Breakfast-Lunch)

*In case of bad fishing, there is no auction. The market also has irregular closing days.

Day 9: Gifu – Shirakawago – Takayama – Hirayu Onsen

Breakfast at the hotel. Meeting with the guide around 8:00 a.m. and departure for Shirakawago, a village crossed by a river and surrounded by rice fields, listed as a UNESCO heritage site. Ascent to the Shiroyama lookout, from where you can admire a magnificent landscape. You will walk through the village of Shirakawago where the main “Gassho Zukuri” are grouped, wooden houses with a thatched roof in the shape of a sloping triangle, before taking the road to Takayama.
You will enjoy a lunch consisting of Hida beef, in Takayama, an ancient feudal city isolated in the middle of the Japanese Alps.

Visit of Takayama Jinya, the old quarter of the city and its emblematic Sannomachi street. The area immerses visitors in the traditional atmosphere of the Edo period and offers many shops, sake breweries, restaurants and more. At the end of the day, you will be transferred to Hirayu Onsen, a small town surrounded by mountains. You will sleep in a traditional Ryokan, well known for its ‘Onsen’: Japanese thermal baths that are fed by natural hot springs. You will have the opportunity to try this unique experience, that relaxes the mind and body. Enjoy a delicious Sukiyaki dinner (a tasty Japanese fondue) and overnight stay at the Ryokan in a Japanese room. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)

Important: If you are tattooed, you will not be able to bathe in an Onsen. Please also note that access to these public baths is naked, and bathing suits are prohibited. Men and women have separate access.

Day 10: Hirayu Onsen – Azumino – Matsumoto – Kawaguchiko

After your breakfast at the Ryokan, you will start your day with a visit to a wasabi Daio farm in the city of Azumino. This farm, which has been cultivating wasabi for centuries, is the largest in all of Japan. Once your visit is complete, you will leave for Matsumoto, a city located in the heart of the Japanese Alps.
You will go for a visit to a miso factory, a staple of Japanese cuisine, where you will learn more about this ingredient. You will have a miso-based lunch in the factory, before continuing to the Matsumoto Castle, classified as a national treasure, which offers beautiful views around the pond that surrounds it on the Japanese Alps.*
You will visit the city’s art museum which brings together calligraphy, paintings, and sculptures in a unique setting. At the end of the day, you will take the road to Kawaguchiko. Dinner and overnight in Kawaguchiko. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)

*Please note that the climb to the castle keep is very physical because of its steep and narrow stairs. Additionally, visitors will need to remove their shoes and carry them in a provided plastic bag. This might not be suitable for clients with mobility difficulties.

Day 11: Kawaguchiko (Mount Fuji) – Tokyo

Breakfast at the hotel. Meet with the guide and departure for a picturesque walk by the lake to admire the splendid Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest peak and is a sacred symbol for its people. You will go on a cruise on Lake Kawaguchi, one of the five lakes in the Mount Fuji region; this lake offers a magnificent panorama of this illustrious mountain.Around 10:30 am, you will depart for the vibrant city of Tokyo, the economic capital of Japan, its agglomeration is the largest megalopolis in the world with more than 40 million inhabitants.

At 1:00 p.m., your guide will take you to a local restaurant for an authentic sushi lunch.In the afternoon, you will explore Tokyo with a visit to the Tsukiji outdoor market and the Art Aquarium, created by the artist Hidemoto KIMURA.You will then go for a guided walk in the very famous Ginza district, a mecca for luxury shopping with art galleries and many great restaurants or upscale cafes, which earned it the nickname of “Japanese Champs-Élysées”. At the end of the day, you will be transferred to your hotel. Free dinner and overnight stay in Tokyo. (Breakfast-Lunch)

Day 12: Tokyo

Breakfast at the hotel before meeting with your guide for a day of exploring Tokyo by public transportation. Your first stop will be at the Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor. Although it is not possible to visit the inside, the majestic gates in front of the Nijubashi Bridge are worth a visit. Around noon, you will enjoy a Japanese stew called “Chankonabe”, which is commonly eaten by sumo wrestlers. Passage in front of the Kokugikan, a place that houses the main Sumo competitions where you will have the opportunity to see a ‘dohyo’ up close, the famous ring used for sumo wrestling in Japan.

Afterward, you will go to the Asakusa district, also called the old town, which is home to the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo: Senso-ji. From there, you will head to the bustling Shibuya district, reputed to be the most crowded area in the world. You will also pass by the Tokyo City Hall (Tokyo Metropolitan Building) before returning to your hotel around 7:00 PM. For your last group dinner, the guide will take you to an Izakaya, a traditional Japanese pub. Overnight in Tokyo. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)

Day 13: Tokyo

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, you will have the whole day free to continue your exploration of the vast metropolis of Tokyo, which is made up of various unique neighborhoods. You can begin your day by visiting Ueno Park, followed by a stroll in Akihabara, and then head to Omotesando. You can stop for lunch in a ramen restaurant, a very popular dish for the Japanese before continuing your visit to the ‘Rainbow Bridge’, the most famous bridge in Tokyo, crossing its bay to reach the artificial island of Odaiba. Odaiba Island offers various interesting activities, and you can even see a replica of the Statue of Liberty there. A nice way to go back to the heart of Tokyo is to take a ferry from Odaiba. Free dinner and overnight in Tokyo. (Breakfast)

Day 14: Tokyo – Canada

After breakfast, meet at your hotel reception with one of our local representatives, then transfer to the airport for your return flight. (Breakfast)

-End of services-

*** Please note that traditional Japanese rooms have a futon on a tatami floor. During your night at the monastery, the bathroom will be shared.

*** If you wish to take this package in single occupancy, please note that during nights in Japanese rooms, you will be paired with a person of the same gender.

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