Japan is one of the ultimate bucket list destinations. Its culture is highly distinctive and at times baffling: you can buy live crabs from vending machines as well as green kit kats.
On this gay group trip you’ll discover the ultra-modern capital of Tokyo, take a bullet train to Kyoto and explore the temples of Mount Koya. Deeply traditionalist yet at the cutting edge of technology, Japan contains many fascinating contradictions.
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- 1st June 2019 Saturday
Group Trip Breakdown
Day 1: Tokyo
You’ll be transferred from Narita Airport to your hotel in central Tokyo. In the evening we’ll have cocktails and a welcome meal.
Day 2: Tokyo
Our city tour begins at the Imperial Palace and moves to the Old Town, Asakusa. We’ll also visit Tokyo’s oldest temple, Sensoji. At the Meiji Shrine we’ll commune with the deified spirit of the Meiji – he spearheaded Japan’s rapid industrial revolution.
Day 3: Tokyo
We’ll visit the suburb of Yanaka and see a glimpse of old-world Japan. Yanaka was spared the fierce Allied bombings and it retains its nostalgic aura.
At the Shitamachi Museum we’ll get another glimpse of Japan’s distant past. Our guide will also show us around Ueno Park where a major temple once stood in the Edo period. We’ll then explore the Ueno’s Ameyoko-cho market street.
Day 4: Kyoto
We’ll take the famous bullet train to Kyoto, Japan’s former capital. In the afternoon you can try some of Japan’s fine arts, Calligraphy, Flower Arrangement or Origami.
In the evening we’ll explore the nightlife in the Geisha District.
Day 5: Kyoto
We’ll explore the Golden Pavilion, the former retirement home of the Shogun, now a Buddhist temple.
At Nijo Castle we’ll see the Kyoto residence of the founder of the Edo Shogunate. In the evening we’ll explore the food district, Nishiki Market.
Day 6: Kyoto
In the Arashiyama district, we’ll explore an area that’s been popular since the Heian Period (794-1185). We’ll visit the former home of film star Okochi Denjiro and drink matcha green. We’ll also visit the Tenryuji temple, founded in 1339 – it’s the largest in Arashiyama.
In the afternoon we’ll visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a setting in Memoirs of a Geisha.
Day 8: Koya-san
Today we’ll visit the holy site of Koya-san in Wakayama Prefecture. This is the main hub of Shingon Buddhism, a form of the religion that was introduced to the area in 805 by Kobo Daishi.
We’ll spend the night at shukubo, a temple lodging. In the evening we’ll eat shojin ryori, a classic Buddhist meal.
Day 9: Osaka
In the morning we’ll hear the monks chanting. After a shojin ryori breakfast, we’ll walk around Koya-san and then take a coach to Osaka, Japan’s third biggest city.
Known as Japan’s kitchen, we’ll explore food district of Dotonbori. If you’re feeling adventurous you could dine on poisonous puffer fish: fugu.
Sounds good? Call our travel experts:+44 (0)20 7157 1570