Special: This tour stays 3 nights Dec 30, 31 & Jan 01 at Osaka Swissotel,
walking distance to the world-famous Shinsaibashi
Tokyo – Mt. Fuji – Nara – Ninja Museum of Igaryu –
Kyoto (Kiyomizu Temple & Golden Pavilion) Kobe – Osaka
Tour: Dec 25, 2022 – Jan 02, 2024 From: $4,295 + Tax
Inclusive of roundtrip airfares from LAX
The Japanese New Year is an annual festival with its own customs.
Since 1873, the official Japanese New Year has been celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year, New Year’s Day
Check in at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Tokyo. An AV Travel tour leader will assist and escort travelers throughout the trip.
Welcome to Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. It is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with a population of over 13 million residents. Tokyo is not only the center of politics and economy of Japan, but also a center of the global economy and culture. (D)
Journey beginning with a visit to Ushiku Daibutsu, recognised in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s largest standing statue of Buddha. Continue to visit Akihabara is a buzzing shopping hub famed for its electronics retailers, ranging from tiny stalls to vast department stores like Yodobashi Multimedia Akiba. Venues specializing in manga, anime and video games include Tokyo Anime Center, for exhibits & souvenirs. Visit Ginza is to Tokyo what Regent Street is to London or Fifth Avenue is to New York. Ginza was Tokyo’s first Western-style shopping district and it’s still where the old money shops. The wide boulevards and narrow lanes of Ginza are lined with high-end boutiques, department stores and exclusive restaurants.Enjoy your time at Mori Building Digital Art Museum: is the first permanent digital museum in the world without a map or set route, and a lack of signage, visitors are encouraged to explore the museum at their own leisure, wandering in and out of exhibits to discover new and exciting things, which test each and every sense. The museum is highly interactive and ever evolving, as your presence imprints on the digital space around you. Come night time, its bright lights and maze of streets beckon crowds to enjoy its company. You will experience the craziest part of Tokyo nightlife at Shinjuku. (B/L/D)
Morning visit Asakusa, you will have fun browsing through many colorful stores lining along the Nakamise walkway that leads up to the Kannon Temple (also known as Senso-ji), which is the oldest and most popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Depart to Mount Fuji, is a symbol of Japan with 3776 meters Japan’s highest mountain, is listed as a UNESCO heritage and known as the symbol of Japan. It is not surprising that the nearly perfectly shaped volcano has been worshiped as a sacred mountain and experienced big popularity among artists and common people throughout the centuries. Note: If the weather permits, the bus will drive us to the 5th station. Visit the old village Oshino Hakkai which bears Japanese traditional architecture and sits at the foot of Mt. Fuji. There are plenty of local food vendors that will definitely satisfy your taste buds. We’ll be staying at a ryokan (a traditional Japanese hotel). After dinner, you can enjoy bathing in the onsens (thermal hot springs) that Mount Fuji has to offer, and have all of your tiredness after a long day rinsed out. (B/L/D)
We’ll move on to Nara, Japan’s first capital city. Visit the Ninja Museum of Igaryu located in Iga, Mie Prefecture, Japan, is a museum dedicated to the history of the ninja and ninjutsu. It was established in 1964. Ninja were a type of warriors during Japan’s feudal ages, specialized in gathering information about the enemy and conducting various acts of espionage and sabotage. The Iga Ninja Museum delivers a comprehensive ninja experience: it consists of a ninja residence, two exhibition halls and a stage which hosts ninja shows. The Ninja residence looks ordinary from the outside, but within it is devised with revolving walls, trap doors and hidden compartments. The Ninja show features authentic ninja skills and real weapons, including a splendid demonstration of using throwing stars. Although the shows are held in Japanese only, they are still highly entertaining for non-Japanese speakers as most of the action speaks for itself. Continue to Kyoto. Known as the cradle of Japan’s cultural heritage, Kyoto was Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868. You’ll see the main highlights of the wonderfully rich culture of Kyoto. Enjoy your time at Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital’s move to Kyoto in 794. (B/L/D)
Kyoto’s most popular temple, Kinkakuji, home of the world’s most authentic and exquisite Japanese garden as well as the celebrated Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) is one of Kyoto’s leading temples. It was built at the end of the 14th century originally as a villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the shogun at the time. The shining Golden Pavilion is a symbol of Kyoto. This temple has been burnt down many times in the flames of war and other conflagrations, and more recently by arson, which incident has been made famous by Yukio Mishima’s novel, Kinkakuji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion). However, it was restored in 1955, with major improvement work being done on it in 1987, so that all of the gold leaf has been replaced. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage, Golden Pavilion is one of the historical buildings most representative of Japan.
Kiyomizudera is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, and derives its name from the fall’s pure waters. The temple was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism, but formed its own Kita Hosso sect in 1965. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall, which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple’s primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon.
Enjoy a kimono fashion show – in which a series are superb kimono are modeled by some extremely lovely models (perhaps this explains the male visitors’ deep seemingly overwhelming interest in kimono design. (B/D)
Enjoy your free day. Your hotel is Osaka Swissotel, has a walking distance to the world famous Shinsaibashi, the largest shopping area in Osaka where many boutiques and specialty shops are gathered, attracting local people and visitors.
Have a special dinner before the New Year’ Eve coming. (B/D)
Depart to Kobe, scene of the worst earthquake in the living memory of most Japanese, has rebuilt and revitalized to form one of the most delightful and peaceful cities you can wish to visit. Historically, due to its port, Kobe has a long history of foreign contact, which has imbued its people with a very global outlook and attitude. It is also home to the famous Kobe Beef, which is known for its tenderness, sweet flavor and fine texture. Lunch at a restaurant specialized in Kobe beef – a delicious treat! Tasting some Sake at a Sake brewery is also a must-do while you’re visiting Kyoto. Continue to visit the Osaka Castle, one of the main attractions in Osaka. It was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the most powerful feudal lords in Japan, known as the second person who united Japan. (B/L/D)
Enjoy Shinkansen Bullet train between Osaka-Tokyo with speed 320kn/h in 3 hours. No trip to Japan would be complete without taking the Shinkasen Bullet train, provides the fastest, most convenient and most comfortable transport service in Japan. Fly Non-Stop to Los Angeles. (B)