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Japan. History and super technologies during the "momiji" red leaves season

14 +2 to transfer

Tour description

Skyscrapers, robots and wild nature, meticulously preserved by the Japanese. The oldest traditions of the once most closed country and vibrant areas of dynamic Tokyo. We are in Japan - the most modern, and one of the most ancient countries in the world!

  • Watch the glitter of the gold plates covering the main shrine - the Golden Temple 
  • Admire the geisha dances which they learn for years
  • Explore the 14th century samurai castle of Himeji and feel like a hero of James Bond films, one of which was shot here
  • Enjoy a complete peace of mind, riding a boat on the lake overlooking the sacred mountain of Fuji 
  • Learn all details of the traditional tea ceremony in the hometown of matcha tea, Uji

Tour departures

09 November 2024 - 22 November 2024

The price of the tour includes

All transportation, including trains, metro, buses, ferries, boats and cable cars; Accommodation throughout the trip; Breakfast and dinner during our stay in traditional Japanese hotel - ryokan; Professional guiding services.

What is NOT included

Flight to Osaka and from Tokyo back home; Insurance (mandatory); Entrance tickets to parks, museums and other attractions along the route (approximately $250); Food (approximately $20-50 per person per day).

Tour map

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Tour itinerary

Day 1

Osaka castle, Dotonbori street, Umeda Sky skyscraper

We arrive in Osaka ad begin our group trip to Japan with checking into a capsule hotel - a unique Japanese place to stay. Everyone will have their own “room” - a capsule with a comfortable large mattress. Very unusual! We take off to samurai Osaka Castle. It was first built of wood in the 16th century and surrounded by huge moats that made it inaccessible to enemies during the times of the samurai wars. 

We enjoy the park near the castle, and then we go to Dotonbori - the famous gourmet street. It is located along the canal, which a local entrepreneur dug in 1612, hoping to attract merchants to the region. Within a few years, during the planning of Osaka, Dotonbori was set to become an entertainment area. Now it boasts some of the best restaurants and cafes of traditional Japanese cuisine. We plunge into the bright neon life of Dotonbori and try several traditional dishes. For example, okonomiyaki - delicious "stirring" octopus balls. 

Next, we explore the observation deck of the Umeda Sky skyscraper and from the height of 173 meters admire the lights of the evening city. From here it looks like a giant luminous anthill!

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Day 2

Kyoto, Fushimi Inari temple, Golden Temple of Kinkakuji

We go to Kyoto (about 1 hour on the way) and check into a hotel. This city was the capital of Japan for more than a thousand years, until 1869. Fortunately, during the bombing of Japan during the Second World War, Kyoto was spared, so all 2,000 Buddhist and Shinto temples remained intact. 

We will visit the main Shinto temple - Fushimi Inari, known from the photographs of thousands of sacral gates - torii. Let's walk under this bright gate to the top of the mountain, where the temple, known since the 8th century, is located. Next, we head to the main temple of the country, the Golden Temple of Kinkakuji. Yes, it is covered with plates of real gold! One could admire this luminous picture and its reflection in the lake forever. 

It was built in the 14th century as the Fujiwara family estate, but the place fell into disrepair when the head of the family was arrested after the assasionation plot of the emperor was revealed. The temple became a Buddhist monastery. On July 2, 1950, a scandal occurred, described by Yukio Mishima in the famous novel “The Temple of the Golden Pavillion” - a 21-year-old novice monk set the shrine on fire. His mother committed suicide out of shame. The temple was rebuilt according to drawings and photographs only in 2003. 

We explore the Ryoan-ji garden of stones and try to see all 15 stones at once. This is the classic idea of the creators of such gardens - from whatever side you look at the stones, you can see no more than 14 of them. Only the people who have attained enlightenment can see the fifteenth stone hidden from their eyes. But we still try!

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Day 3

Arashiyama bamboo grove, Otagi Nenbutsu-ji temple, Geisha dances

In the morning we go to the suburb of Arashiyama and discover the Iwatayama wild monkeys park. There is a special place where you can feed the animals and watch cubs play. We reach the famous bamboo grove, familiar from so many photos. Smooth and thin trunks, like spears, tend to the sky, covering the sun with the leaves of their tops and spilling bright green soft light around. Not a single photo will convey these colors! It seems that you are on another planet or in the mythical world of John Tolkien. 

We go out onto the road with traditional shops and restaurants and reach the remote Otagi Nenbutsu-ji temple. Years ago, the abbot of the temple-sculptor by profession had an original idea. He began to give lessons to visitors teaching them to carve figures of Buddha's disciple out of stone. The figures remained in the temple as an offering. In just a few years of simple lessons of sculpture, thousands of figures gathered around the temple! Each has his own facial expressions, some have guitars in their hands and even tennis rackets. Few visitors come here, and it’s a real pleasure to wander in silence, looking at the figurine's faces covered with moss. 

We return to the city center and attend a geisha show. We will see dances, which these white-faced, stern beauties study for years!

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Is this trip for you?

This trip is of easy level of physical grade. It includes walks in cities and parks and short (up to 4.5 hours) trips by trains, buses and ferries. We will also travel by cable car and take short boat trips. Accommodation in twin/double rooms of tourist class hotels. All will have wi fi internet. One night will be spent in the capsule hotel and one night - in the traditional Japanese hotel ryokan.

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