Charinko

Do you like walking, cycling and do you have a great love for nature? Do you like being active during vacation? Do you wish to experience as much local culture and history as possible? Then this Japan trip is the one for you! In about 25 days you will visit temples, waterfalls and lovely relaxing onsen, with highlights such as cycling over the small islands of the Shimanami Kaido, traversing the old pilgrimage route of the Kumano Kodo and staying overnight at local minshuku. You will also get the chance to experience art and culture in places such as Kyoto and Kanazawa. This travel is an excellent starting point for creating your own itinerary. Of course we can arrange extras to your travel, such as tours, tickets and activities, to make it even more authentic or exciting. Every aspect can be adjusted to your preferences.

Itinerary Overview:

  • Day 1 : Arrival in Tokyo
  • Day 2: Tokyo
  • Day 3: Tokyo
  • Day 4: Tokyo
  • Day 5: Takayama
  • Day 6: Takayama
  • Day 7: Kanazawa
  • Day 8: Kanazawa
  • Day 9: Kyoto
  • Day 10: Kyoto
  • Day 11: Kyoto
  • Day 12: Onomichi
  • Day 13: Shimanami Kaido
  • Day 14: Imabari
  • Day 15: Okayama
  • Day 16: Hiroshima
  • Day 17: Osaka
  • Day 18: Kumano Kodo
  • Day 19: Kumano Kodo
  • Day 20: Kumano Kodo
  • Day 21: Kumano Kodo
  • Day 22: Kumano Kodo
  • Day 23: Kumano Kodo
  • Day 24: Osaka
  • Day 25: Departure Osaka

 

DEPARTURE/RETURN:

Departure: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Narita Airport (Tokyo).
Please note that the flight to Japan usually arrives on the day after the day of departure.

Return: Kansai International Airport (Osaka) to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

BASED ON:

2 Travelers
Prices vary depending on season, availability of accommodations and exchange rates.

INCLUDED:

Accommodation
Meals (for remote areas only)
Japan Rail Pass 21-days
Ise-Kumano Pass 5-days
Fuji & Hakone day tour
Attend Sumo training
Kyoto cycling tour
Hida cycling tour
Free Pocket-WiFi Router (1x)

OPTIONAL:

Flights
Meals
Travel insurance
Activities
Extra transport
Extensions

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival Tokyo

You arrive in the sprawling capital of Japan: Tokyo! On your first day in the country you can explore the older areas of Tokyo:

  • Asakusa: charming district with the oldest temple in Tokyo: Senso-ji.
  • Ueno: home to Ueno Park, Ueno Zoo, and various museums.

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Day 2: Tokyo

Today you will visit the modern part of Tokyo by train and/or subway. For example:

  • Shibuya: with the famous Shibuya Crossing and the statue of the loyal dog Hachiko.
  • Shinjuku: a bustling district with plenty of shopping and eating opportunities.
  • Harajuku: thé area to experience Japan’s youth culture. You can find many colorful shops in Takeshitadori street, or take a break in the huge Yoyogi Park close by. Don’t miss out on visiting the beautiful Meiji Jingu Shrine, an peaceful oasis in the middle of busy Harajuku.
  • Akihabara: also known as ‘electric town’, and thé place to find anything and everything related to electronics, manga and anime.

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Day 3: Tokyo

Today you can take your time and visit the places you have not been able to visit yet, or take a day trip to one of the nearby places of interest:

  • Kamakura: a coastal town south of Tokyo, famous for the large Buddha statue, and several temples worth visiting (such as the Hokokuji Temple and its bamboo garden).
  • Mount Fuji: the iconic Mt. Fuji and its surrounding areas can be visited on a day trip. Of special interest are the lake at the foot of the mountain (Fujigoko Lake), Kawaguchiko and Hakone. In July and August, it is also possible to climb the mountain.

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Day 4: Tokyo

Today as well you have the opportunity to explore Tokyo at your leisure or you can make a day tour to the following beautiful location:

  • Nikko: in the nearby Nikko National Park you can not only find beautiful nature landscapes including the Kegon Waterfall, it is also the location of UNESCO listed Toshogu Shrine and the mausoleum of the famous Tokugawa Shogun (warlord) Tokugawa Ieyasu.

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Day 5: Takayama

In Takayama you can admire the well-preserved areas of the city, as well as the surrounding mountainous landscapes. Here you will get a good idea of what the more remote areas of Japan look and feel like. When travelling in spring or autumn, there is also the chance of witnessing the Takayama Matsuri, known as one of the best festivals in the country. During the festival, intricate old-fashioned floats will be pulled through the streets, and you will be able to see Karakuri doll performances.

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Day 6: Takayama

On your second day in Takayama you will make a bicycle excursion through the Hida area. You will go on an adventure through picturesque streets and explore the surroundings using a transportation device you are all too familiar with. Beautiful sights you could dream of will be part of this excursion.

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Day 7: Kanazawa

After arriving in Kanazawa you will go visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago. The reason it is a world heritage site is because there are traditional gassho-zukuri ‘farms’, some of which are over 250 years old! The houses are build to withstand heavy snowfall during the winter. This, in turn, leads to beautiful views.

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Day 8: Kanazawa

On your second day in Kanazawa you will visit the Kenrokuen gardens. These gardens are classified as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, with a unique look every season. The gardens are also divided into different sections. The garden is divided into six part which explains the name “kenrokuen”, literaly translated as garden of the six sublimities. Besides the garden it is also possible to explore the city center of Kanazawa. You can shop at the Omicho market and visit all kinds of old districts. One of the districts is Nagamachi, the old samurai district.

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Day 9: Kyoto

After travelling for about 3 hours by train, you will arrive in the historical city of Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. At noon you will go on a cycling tour through the picturesque streets of Kyoto. You will cycle through the streets of Kyoto with the guidance of an English guide and experience the nice authentic atmosphere of Kyoto. After this trip you can visit the following places:

  • Kinkakuji (the Gold Pavilion): the famously beautiful temple entirely inlaid with gold, and surrounded by a peaceful garden.
  • Ryoanji Temple: famous for its Zen style garden. The temple itself was built in the Heian period, originally as the residence of a wealthy aristocrat.
  • Philosopher’s Path: the path is named for the philosopher Nishida Kitaro, who was said to meditate on the path while on his way to school. The path is particularly beautiful in spring, when the cherry blossom trees lining it are in full bloom. At the start of the path the Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji) can also be found. Though it was never finished in silver as planned, the temple features a charming garden.
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine: this shrine has become more popular recently, and with good reason! It features over 100 so-called Torii gates winding their way up the mountain, interspersed with several small shrines.
  • Nijo Castle: a small castle and grounds in the southern part of Kyoto

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Day 10: Kyoto

On this day you will have the chance to visit the traditional areas such as the famous Gion will take you back to this time, and if you’re lucky you will see a Maiko, or Geisha, hurrying off to an appointment in the early evening. Visit the awe-inspiring Kiyomizudera Temple and wander around the surrounding little streets leading up to it to experience more of Kyoto’s traditional atmosphere. In the evening, the Kawaramachi and Sanjo areas are the best place to find a multitude of local bars and restaurants, as well as plenty of Karaoke opportunities and Gamecenters.

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Day 11: Kyoto

Today you will make a trip to Nara: another former capital city of Japan, and home to many beautiful temples (including the Todaiji temple, one of the oldest temples in Japan, naturally on the UNESCO World Heritage list). Be sure to buy some deer crackers to feed to one of the many deer freely wandering around Nara Park.

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Day 12: Onomichi

Today you will travel to Onomichi for an unforgettable experience along the Shimanami Kaido! Travelling along this coastal road will provide you with a spectacular sea view and lovely small villages spread across the islands. You will get the opportunity to explore the surroundings and experience the local culture.

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Day 13: Shimanami Kaido

It’s a day for cycling! Today you will rent a bicycle (available at 3 locations) to travel over the Shimanami Kaido and enjoy the beautiful view. You are able to ride along the 60-kilometres long Shimanami Kaido to visit different small islands and take a look at the wonderful nature. There are also all kinds of temples and shrines you can visit to enrich your experience.

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Day 14: Imabari

Imabari is a shipbuilding village located on the Shimanami Kaido. Near the harbor there stands a gigantic propeller on which the words ‘Shipbuilding village, Imabari’ are written. In Imabari you will spend the night in a temple, so you can experience the local culture from upclose. In addition you can also visit Imabari Castle, where you can see traditinal weapons and clothes and of course enjoy the view from the castle tower.

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Day 15: Okayama

Just outside Okayama there is a beautiful landscape to explore by bicycle. This landscape is called the Kibi Plain. Along the cycle route you will encounter countless of temples, farms and other historical sights. For example, you will experience the legend of Prince Kibitsuhiko in a light-hearted way, who went to the Kibi Plain to kill a terrorizing monster. The very well-known folklore of ‘Momotaro’ (Peach Boy) also originates from this region.

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Day 16: Hiroshima

In Hiroshima you can visit the Peace Memorial Museum and Park. This special park is a reminder of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Previously, this area used to be the commercial and political centre of Hiroshima, but was changed to become a memorial park after the bomb. You can also visit the A-Bomb Dome that lies near the park. This is one of the few buildings that survived the explosion. At the same time it also functions as a ‘tomb’ to the people who died of the explosion or of the consequences hereof.

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Day 17: Osaka

Start your stay in Osaka right by visiting the lively Shinsaibashi district. In and around Shinsaibashi there is a lot to explore. You can visit numerous shopping streets where there are a lot of different products and dishes for purchase. It is also possible to visit Dotonbori, which is located a little bit south of Shinsaibashi. There are huge screens there that projects a variety of things and of course you can take a picture with the famous Glico man.

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Day 18-22: Kumano Kodo

For the next few days you will explore the area of Kumano Kodo, which is a network of pilgrimage routes. The area is a UNESCO world heritage area and contains multiple hiking trails, each with a different view. You are free to decide which routes you want to follow within the area. In the old days, these paths were used by Buddhist monks and pilgrims who wanted to travel between the ‘holy’ areas. Even today they are still being used, which means that they have been in use for over 1000 years!

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Day 23: Kumano Kodo

On your last day in Kumano Kodo you will visit the gorgeous Nachi waterfall. With its 133 metres it is the highest waterfall in Japan! This waterfall is close to the Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine and is part of a larger area with all kinds of shrines and temples, showing clearly the fusion between Buddhism and Shinto.

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Day 24: Osaka

On your last day in Japan you are free to decide what you wish to do in Osaka. You might want to visit the lively Shinsaibashi district once more, or maybe visit the unique Osaka Castle. Though it has been rebuilt, the exterior has been faithfully reconstructed, and is that of a classic Japanese castle. The interior has been made into a museum, and you can go all the way to the top of the castle for an incredible view of the surroundings. Today you will stay in a hotel near Kansai Airport.

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Day 25: Osaka departure

On this final day of your journey, you will fly back home from Osaka’s nearby Kansai International Airport.

Map

Seasonality and Prices

Prices depend on the season in which you would like to travel. Prices in the low season (December, January, February) will be different from prices in the high season (March, April, August, Holidays).

Low season from €3999,- p.p.
Mid-high season from €4249,- p.p.
High season from €4499,- p.p.
3,999.00