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Japan’s Four Capitals

Japan’s Four Capitals
$ 2,920 per person at 4-star hotel DBL
2920$
$ 2,670 per person at 3-star hotel DBL
2670$
Length:
8 days / 7 nights
Destinations:
Number of persons:
at least 2
Trip type:
custom trip
Services
included
Hotel accommodation
Breakfasts
English-speaking guide
4 excursions/tours
Car & driver
Bullet train ticket
Entrance fees
not included
International air tickets
Personal expenses
Lunches & dinners
Extra excursions/tours
Book a tour
Четыре столицы Японии
Четыре столицы Японии
Четыре столицы Японии
Четыре столицы Японии
1
day
ARRIVAL AT TOKYO
00:00 - 24:00
Arrival at Narita airport, meeting your guide, transfer to your Tokyo hotel by car.
2
day
TOKYO CITY TOUR
7 am – 9 am
breakfast at hotel
9:50 am
meet the guide and start your day
10 m – 6 pm
Tokyo city tour
Full description
Your first day in Japan would blast off with a trip to the Tokyo Imperial palace. At the palace park you will enjoy watching gorgeous Japanese pine trees ‘Matsu’. Just a step away, over the moat filled with sacred Japanese carps, there is a local landmark, Nijubashi bridge, one of Tokyo’s symbols.

The next step would be moving to elegant Ginza, Tokyo’s fanciest district. It has been Tokyo’s heart ever since Japan opened up itself to the world in the 19th century. The luxurious Wako department store, Ginza’s most famous landmark, is a fascinating Art Nuovo masterpiece. It is located at Ginza’s Fourth Intersection, which is Tokyo’s Times Square. The name Ginza comes after the establishment of a silver-coin mint that started there back in 1612, during the Edo period. Today’s Ginza is a popular upscale shopping area with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques and restaurants located in its vicinity. It is considered one of the most expensive, elegant and luxurious districts in the world. One can enjoy watching fascinating Cartier, Christian Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton or Mikimoto flagship stores concentrated in this area. By the way, those who prefer not fashion but high-tech gadgets or most modern cars might want to visit Nissan Expo or Sony Building, also located in Ginza.

Your next tour’s leg would be relocating to Shinjuku, Tokyo’s renowned downtown with its skyscrapers towering in the area. You might recall famous 2004 Sophia Coppola’s movie, ‘Lost in Translation’, mostly staged at the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel located right here in Shinjuku. We will then get up to the observation deck of the breathtaking Tokyo Metropolitan Building, designed by world’s famous architect Kenzo Tange. You will enjoy the stunning view of the metropolis down below. You can even spot Mount Fuji on a clear sunny day.
Sure, wherever you are in Tokyo, you just can’t miss out the majestic Tokyo Sky Tree, recently built world’s tallest, 634-meter high TV tower. The number of 634 has its magic because it is deeply symbolic: its digits stand for ‘mu’, ‘sa’, ‘shi’, making it sound like ‘Musashi’, which is the name of the historical area right where this super tower is built today.

When this long and intense day is over, you will enjoy a ride back to your hotel.
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3
day
KAMAKURA TRIP
7 am – 9 am
breakfast at hotel
9:50 am
meet the guide and start your day
10 m – 6 pm
Kamakura tour
Full description
The Kamakura shogunate, Japan’s medieval capital, was founded by Minamoto no Yoritomo, Japan’s first shogun.
Kamakura stands like a true fortress, surrounded by the mountains from three sides and looking at the sea from the forth side. Kamakura is a home for over 200 Buddhist and Shinto temples and shrines. Hase-dera, commonly called the Hase-kannon is one of the Buddhist temples in the city of Kamakura, famous for housing a massive 9-meter high wooden statue of Kannon, making it the tallest wooden structure of such kind in Japan. As the legend says, the statue was built in 8th century AD.

You should also take a look at the Kotoku-in temple, renowned for its ‘Great Buddha’, a monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which is one of the most famous icons of Japan.

Kamakura's defining feature is Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu, a Shinto shrine in the center of the city. A 1.1-mile road runs from Sagami Bay directly to the shrine. This road is known as Wakamiya Oji, the city's main street. Built by Minamoto no Yoritomo as an imitation of Kyoto's Suzaku Oji, Wakamiya Oji used to be much wider, delimited on both sides by a 3-meter deep canal and flanked by pine trees.
Walking from the beach toward the shrine, you will pass through three torii, or Shinto gates, called respectively Ichi-no Torii (first gate), Ni-no Torii (second gate) and San-no Torii (third gate). Between the first and the second lies Geba Yotsukado which, as the name indicates, was the place where riders had to get off their horses in deference to Hachiman and his shrine.

Of course, we will not miss the Zeniarai Benten temple, a Shinto sacred site. In spite of its small size, it is the second most popular spot in Kamakura after Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu. This shrine is popular among tourists because the waters of a spring in its cave are said to be able to multiply the money washed in it.

Kamakura is also famous for its seasonal festivals – matsuri – celebrating the city and its history, mainly in April and September. The September festival is a very well-known event with many attractions, the most famous of which is the yabusame or Japanese horseback archery. Being there in mid-September, it would be a good idea to attend it.
You will return to Tokyo by car after the tour is wrapped-up.
4
day
KYOTO TRIP
6:45 am – 7:45 am
breakfast at hotel
8:00 am
meet the guide and start your day
8:20 am
transfer to Tokyo station
9:00 am
ride the bullet train to Kyoto
11:20 am
arrival at Kyoto, meeting the local guide
11:40 am – 6 pm
Kyoto tour
Full description
‘Kyo-To’ literally means ‘capital city’, it is also known as a ‘thousand-year capital’. Indeed, for over 1,000 years, an unbelievable time span by itself, it has been Japan’s capital city with the Emperor’s residence located here.

Basically, the whole area of historical Kyoto is declared as UNESCO World Heritage site. In fact, Kyoto is now a giant open-air museum that is never closed, bringing its glorious, more than a thousand-year old legacy to its visitors from all over the world. It is worth-mentioning that at the end of the Second World War Kyoto was removed from the atomic bomb target list by the personal intervention of U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, as he wanted to save this cultural center, which he knew from his honeymoon and later diplomatic visits.
You might also be impressed the stark contrast made by the Kyoto tower, situated not far from the ultramodern Kyoto station, compared to the ancient architecture of the historical part of the city. Though built not too long time ago, the Kyoto tower has also become one of the city’s major symbols.

With its 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, as well as palaces, gardens and architecture intact, Kyoto is one of the best preserved cities in Japan. Because of its countless temples and shrines of any size and age it is also known as the ‘city of thousand temples’…
The first of the must-see temples in Kyoto on our way would be Kiyomizu-dera, a magnificent wooden temple supported by pillars off the slope of a mountain. It is also Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion and Ginkaku-ji, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, both well-known symbols of the city. No doubt, we will also visit Ryoan-ji, famous for its rock garden, truly a place for meditation. Another landmark to see would be the Heian Jingu. It is a Shinto shrine, built in 1895, celebrating the Imperial family and commemorating the first and last emperors to reside in Kyoto.
We will then relocate to the Gion quarter where you can meet by chance a guest from the past – a geisha walking down the road! You will also have an opportunity to walk the Philosopher's Walk, just like shoguns have been doing centuries ago…

Kyoto is renowned for its abundance of delicious Japanese foods and cuisine. The special circumstances of Kyoto as a city away from the sea and home to many Buddhist temples resulted in the development of a variety of vegetables peculiar to the Kyoto area.
So after the city tour is finally done you will head to a ryokan, traditional Japanese hotel, to experience the best of local hospitality and enjoy a kaiseki-ryori meal there, which is a true manifestation of the Japanese haute cuisine.
5
day
NARA TRIP
7:00 am – 9:00 am
breakfast at ryokan and check-out
9:50 am
meet the guide and start your day
10:00 am
Nara trip
4:10 pm
transfer to Kyoto station
4:30 pm
ride the bullet train to Tokyo
6:50 pm
arrival to Tokyo and transfer to your hotel
Full description
Nara is just around half an hour away of drive from Kyoto. During 710 – 784 CE Nara was the capital of Japan, and the Emperor lived there before moving the capital to Kyoto. Its  temples and shrines, specifically Todai-ji, Saidai-ji, Kofuku-ji, Kasuga Shrine, Gango-ji, Yakushi-ji, Toshodai-ji, and the Heijo Palace, together with Kasugayama Primeval Forest, make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site called ‘Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara’. The historical part of the city is pretty compact thus making it easy to walk and enjoy its attractions. The Todai-ji temple of the Kagon Buddhist school, built in 725 CE, is the world’s biggest wooden structure. Inside it there is a Buddha bronze stature, the biggest in Japan.

During this excursion you will experience Nara not just like Japan’s first capital, but also as a place of culture, religion and technology transfer from China of Tan dynasty and Korea that started in the 5th century and dramatically changed Japan. Just like cities on the continent, this city was built according to the Feng Shui principles.

Near-by there is another gorgeous Buddhist temple, Kofuku-ji, built in the 7th century. Its pagoda, 55-meter high Goju-no-to, is one of the biggest in the country. This ‘skyscraper of the past’ is the most famous symbol of this ancient city.

You will no doubt enjoy visiting the Shinto Kasuga Shrine looking at the beautiful 800-year old long-cluster Japanese wisteria proudly growing at its entrance. If you step into the temple area, you will find there another local landmark, a more than thousand-year old Japanese cedar!
Nara is also famous for its round-the-year festivals or matsuri, both Buddhist and Shinto worth visiting if timing is right.

Sure, visiting Nara it is basically impossible to miss its charming residents, Tame sika deer, also known as spotted deer or Japanese deer. According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, the god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard this newly built capital known at the time as Heijo-kyo. Since then, the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country. They roam freely through the town, especially in Nara Park. You my feed them with sika senbei or special deer crackers made of rice.
Soon after the tour is done you will get onto the bullet train bound for Tokyo.
8
day
Breakfast at hotel, check-out and transfer to Narita airport
00:00 - 24:00
Завтрак в отеле, выписка и трансфер на автомобиле в аэропорт “Нарита”.

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