May 2019 – Custom Japan Tour

May 7-22, 2019

Hosted by: Aynne & Teri Engelhart

View trip on the Meetup Website here

View or Join the My Travel Meetup Group here

PRIVATE CUSTOM TOUR: Snow Monkeys! Bullet Train! Kyoto! Ryokan! Tokyo! Nagano! Gardens! Geisha! Mt Fuji! Hiroshima & more! This is an amazing once only trip so jump on it now!!!

Tues., May 7-Depart USA late night (be at airport by 9pm)

Wed., May 9- ARRIVE TOKYO, 1 pre night hotel (Cross Intl Date Line)Chill time, our hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in. Transfers included for those on Aynne’s flight.


May 11 – TOKYO…Morning sightseeing in Tokyo: MEIJI SHRINE, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest. Next, visit SHINJUKU GYOEN GARDEN and then the ASAKUSA KANNON TEMPLE & the bustling NAKAMISE SHOPPING ARCADE. Afternoon is at leisure. (B)

May 12 – TOKYO. EXCURSION TO KAMAKURA…We head south along the coast to Kamakura to see the 750-year-old GREAT BUDDHA, then on to the Mount Fuji area for a CRUISE on Lake Ashi, followed by a CABLE-CAR RIDE (weather permitting) for panoramic views of spectacular Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. (B, L)

May 13 – TOKYO – MOUNT FUJI AREA – NAGANO…After breakfast take in the spectacular view of Mount Fuji from FUJISAN HONGU SENGEN TAISHA SHRINE, a Shintō shrine and the head shrine of the 1300 Asama or Sengen shrines in the country. This afternoon journey to Hell’s Valley (Jigokudani) to our RYOKAN! (B, D)

May 14 – NAGANO – JIGOKUDANI SNOW MONKEY PARK – TAKAYAMA …Yay we visit THE JIGOKUDANI SNOW MONKEY PARK where hundreds of Japanese Macaques enjoy a dip in warm waters of the hot springs (I want one!) Next off to scenic town of Takayam, situated between the mountains and the Sea of Japan & once the country’s richest region. (B, D)

May 15 – TAKAYAMA…Today we visit the MORNING MARKET, where farmers display locally grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Then, visit TAKAYAMA JINYA, a former government office during the Edo Period from 1692-1868. This well-preserved building is a national historic site & the only remaining building of its kind in Japan. Next to the San-Machi Suji historic district—famous for lacquer ware shops & sake breweries, and identified by the sugidama, balls made of cedar branches that hang over the entrances. Yes a SAKE TASTING! The rest of the day is at leisure, time to explore the ancient narrow streets of merchantss. (B)

May 16 – TAKAYAMA – SHIRAKAWA – KANAZAWA…Take a drive through the mountainous Shokawa Valley to Shirakawa. This remote region of Japan is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the unique GASSHO-ZUKURI-style thatched houses that can be found only here. Continue to the scenic town of Kanazawa, situated between the mountains and the Sea of Japan and once the country’s richest region. We tour one of Japan’s greatest gardens, KENROKU-EN, the “Garden of Six Qualities,” dating from the 1670s. (Breakfast)

May 17 – KANAZAWA – KYOTO…Today we board the THUNDERBIRD EXPRESS TRAIN for our journey to Kyoto. Upon arrival, visit the FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE, renowned for the thousands of brightly colored Torii Gates. Tonight an elegant evening of culture, entertainment, and delectable food awaits. First visit CHION-IN TEMPLE. Then transfer to a restaurant where we’ll dine on delectable tempura dishes while trained maiko (apprentice geisha) perform traditional Japanese music, dances, & games, and demonstrate the fine art of hospitality and conversation. After the show, we’ll meet the lovely maiko, so we can ask questions & take a souvenir photo. (B,D)

May 18 – KYOTO…Your day begins with a visit to NIJO CASTLE, built in 1603 as the official residence of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Then, visit stunning Kinkakuji, the TEMPLE OF THE GOLD PAVILION, covered in shimmering gold leaf. Lastly, visit KIYOMIZU TEMPLE, the “Pure Water Temple,” with stunning views over Kyoto. Along the way, walk through the busy streets where shops and restaurants have been catering to pilgrims for centuries. (B)

May 19 – KYOTO – HIROSHIMA…Board a famous BULLET TRAINS bound for Hiroshima. Later, join the afternoon excursion to MIYAJIMA ISLAND to visit ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its floating Torii Gate. (B)

May 20 – HIROSHIMA…Today starts at the SHUKKEI-EN GARDEN, where natural landscapes are represented in miniature form. Then, stop at PEACE MEMORIAL PARK to see the PEACE MEMORIAL, commonly referred to as the Atomic Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been preserved just as it was on August 6, 1945, immediately after the bombing. Also visit the MEMORIAL MUSEUM and MEMORIAL HALL, which commemorate the lives lost that day. (B)

May 21 – HIROSHIMA – OKAYAMA – OSAKA…Drive to Okayama & visit KORAKU-EN, one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan.” Covering some 30 acres, the garden features ponds, plum groves, & tea fields. A unique feature not typically found in Japanese gardens are the wide lawns which are said to help uplift the spirit and promote open mindedness. Continue on to Osaka and enjoy an evening together on the town! (B)

May 22) – OSAKA…Fly home. Transfer included for those on group flight. (B)

Tour Cost: $5,599 double/$6399 single EXCLUDES AIRFARE

PRE NIGHT TOKYO: $229 double/$279 single

NONREFUNDABLE Deposit: $350Insurance: $289

Air: $1000 approx. on Asiana

Final Payment Due 3/01/19

Here are the flights Aynne is on which include free transfers:

May 7th Asiana #235 Depart O’hare 11:55 PM/Arrive Seoul 4:00 AM (arrive 5/09)

May 9th Asiana #102 Depart Seoul 9:00 AM/Arrive Tokyo (NRT) 11:10 AM

May 22nd Asiana #111 Depart Osaka (KIX) 10:50 AM/Arrive Seoul 12:40 PM

May 22nd Asiana #236 Depart Seoul 7:00 PM/Arrive O’Hare 6:20 PM on same day

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