Classical Japan Tour
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Himeji - Himeji Castle is one of the best original castles in Japan
Takayama - Beautifully preserved classic town
Shirakawa-go (day trip) - 300 year old thatched roof farmhouses
Kyoto - Imperial Japan in a city founded in 794 AD with 17 World Heritage Sites
The Classical Japan Independent Tour will take you from the feudal castle of Himeji to the quiet old streets of Takayama and the rural village of Shirakawa-go before giving you plenty of time to wander the streets and alleyways of ancient capital of Kyoto.
Day 1 – Himeji- Western Hotel
After arriving in Japan you will be met by a member of Japan Roads staff and brought to Himeji. In Himeji you will have a chance to visit Himeji Castle which was founded in 1333 by Akamatsu Sadonori. The structure you can see today was finished in 1581 though it has been restored from time to time over the years. It is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan and considered by many to be the most beautiful.
Day 2 – Takayama - Ryokan - Japanese Inn
After breakfast at your hotel in Himeji you will head out to the old Takayama. During the Edo Period (1603-1867) Takayama thrived thanks to timber resources which attracted artisans and craftsmen. Many of the merchants homes survived and are now open to the public as museums and galleries. After a long day of touring you will be treated to a wonderful dinner at your ryokan (Japanese inn). Once you are full it is recommended that you go for a walk while the town is quite and peaceful.
Day 3 – Day Trip to Shirakawa-go - Stay in Takayama at the same ryokan
Shirakawa-go was cut off from the rest of Japan due to its remote location in the mountains. The steep thatched roofs distinctive of this area were designed to protect the homes from heavy snow. In the center of the home is a sunken hearth, called an irori, which was used to cook food and heat the house. Instead of a chimney the villagers would put a large plank over the fire which would catch any rogue sparks and distributed smoke throughout the house. The smoke is necessary for the roof as it would act as a bug repellent and waterproofing. Without the smoke from the hearth the roof would leak and be filled with bugs. Besides keeping snow off the home the steep roof also provided a second floor where the owner could raise silkworms as a cash crop for the artisan of Takayama.
Day 4, 5 and 6 – Kyoto - Western Hotel
The remaining days of your tour will be at the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto. Here you will have a chance to visit hundreds of temples, shrines, gardens, shops and neighborhoods. The beauty and history of Kyoto is so vast that it is impossible to see it all in one visit.
Day 7 – Tour Ends
Today is the last day of the tour. You can either return to Tokyo and continue on to Narita International Airport to catch your homeward flight, or else continue on to other destinations you plan to visit.
Throughout the tour, you will have the
chance to stay at Japanese style inns, or ryokans, as well as modern, Western style hotels. By choosing the best accommodations possible and offering both traditional and modern lodging experiences, Japan Roads aims to give you a
deeper insight into life in Japan and make you as comfortable as possible. In particular, the traditional accommodations
will allow you to have close personal contact with the Japanese owners
and staff of these places, thus deepening your cultural experiences.
Sample Accommodations (may vary but will be of similar quality)
Himeji: Hotel Nikko Himeji (Western Hotel)
Takayama: Kotonoyume Ryokan (Japanese Ryokan)
Kyoto: Hotel Monterey Kyoto (Western Hotel)
Food is an important part of any vacation and helps the traveler get a better understanding of the area they are visiting. This is definitely true of Japan so we have included a dinner at your ryokan in Takayama. This will give you a wonderful chance to try something that you might not have a chance to if you only stayed at Western style hotels.
About Independent Tours:
The tour gives offers you the materials necessary to get to your destinations and see the most interesting sights available, while giving you the flexibility and freedom to enjoy things at your own pace. We provide you with the train tickets, lodging reservations made in advance, rail and walking maps, general cultural and etiquette tips, a suggested itinerary, explanations and history of the places you will visit, as well as other information you may need. Furthermore, cell phones
provided for the duration of the tour will enable you to
contact us if you need assistance.
This 7 day tour begins and ends in Japan.
If you have any questions or if you are ready
to make a reservation please Contact
Us or call at +1-248-747-4048
Tour schedules are subject to change.
If any changes should be made it will be done in the best interest of the travelers.
Japan Roads will at all times aim to offer you the most interesting tour possible.