Tokyo – Mt. Fuji – Magome Samurai Village
Nagoya – ISE – Nara – Kyoto (bullet train)
Kobe – Himeji Castle – Osaka – Seoul
March 27 – April 09, 2022 Price:
$4,595 $4,495 + Tax
Inclusive of international airfares from LAX
MEMORIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME
Tokyo: Visit Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, the most beautiful place for sakura-viewing. Visit Sensō-ji Temple, Akihabara District. Visit Ushiku Daibutsu, recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest standing statue of Buddha.
Mt. Fuji: Standing at a height of 3.776m, Mt. Fuji is the symbol of Japan. Visit at Camp 5 on Mt. Fuji (depending on weather conditions). We’ll be staying at a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) and bathing in the onsens (thermal hot springs) that Mt. Fuji has to offer.
Magome Samurai Village is a small village that served travelers from Nakasendo, was an important route between Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo Period.
ISE: Visit Ise Grand Shrine, the most sacred Shinto shrine in Japan, worshiping 8 million Shinto gods and 124 Japanese emperors. Visit Mikimoto Pearl Island, where you’ll be watching a pearl-diving demonstration.
Nara: Japan’s first capital city. Pay a visit to Todaiji Temple, the biggest wooden temple in the world. Visit the Ninja Museum of Igaryu and watch a Ninja performance.
Kyoto: Japan’s second capital city before the title was given to Tokyo. At the heart of Kyoto lies Gion, the center of the city’s art.
Osaka. Visit Himeji Castle, also known as White Heron Castle (Shirasagijo) due to its elegant, white appearance, is widely considered as Japan’s most spectacular castle for its imposing size and beauty and its well preserved, complex castle grounds. Visit the Osaka Castle, Dotomburi – Namba shopping mall, and the well-known Shinsaibashi street.
Kobe: Lunch at a restaurant specialized in Kobe beef – a delicious treat! Join a sake-tasting tour at a Sake brewery in Kobe.
Korea: Cherry blossoms have the meaning of purity and beauty. You can see the beautiful cherry blossoms, the same as in Japan.
Check in at LAX airport for the flight to Tokyo. AV Travel Tour Leader will fly with the group.
Fly across the Pacific.
Arrive Tokyo in the morning, 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. Visit Ushiku Daibutsu, recognised in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s largest standing statue of Buddha. The Ushiku Daibutsu is surrounded by a spacious park with over 100 cherry trees. (L/D)
Start our cherry blossom (Sakura)-viewing trip by visiting Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, the most beautiful place for sakura-viewing. The Garden is divided into 3 areas, each of which is influenced by the English, French or traditional Japanese style. The Shinjuku Garden features more than 2000 sakura trees of over 60 varieties with numerous colors, including green. Cherry blossoms are fragile and only last for 2-3 weeks. During this time, not only the Japanese but people from all over the world also come to Japan to enjoy the delicate flower. Visit Senso-ji, the oldest and most popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. 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)
Visit 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. Enjoy Kawaguchi cruise, where is one of the best places to see the iconic Mount Fuji with a perfectly shaped volcano and looks especially stunning when snow-capped in winter and spring. You will enjoy walking along the pathway that leads to the Peace Garden, with sakura trees lining up on both sides. Continue to visit Oshino Hakkai – Eight Magnificent Ponds, is a peaceful nature area around Mount Fuji. These natural ponds are crystal clear and each one is a little unique. The water in the lakes directly come from Mount Fuji, the natural pools are deep, the large fish swimming around make it feel like an aquarium. This is a very popular spot for nature lovers and it is beautiful every season. We’ll be staying at a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn). After dinner, you can enjoy bathing in the onsens (thermal hotsprings) that Mount Fuji has to offer, and have all of your tiredness after a long day rinsed out. (B/L/D)
Depart to Nagoya, an important industrial hub, the home city of many big companies such as Honda Motor Company, Roland Corporation, Kawai Pianos, Yamaha, Sony, Suzuki Motor… On the way, stop to visit Magome Samurai Village. A walk though Magome-juku will transport you back to the Edo period, some 300 years ago. The area is known internationally as a place that retains the particular atmosphere of old Japanese posting stations. Visitors can hike a portion of the Nakasendo from Magome to Tsumago. This scenic trail is especially popular among overseas visitors who seek an authentic experience of traditional life. Visit the Toyota Kaikan Museum, where Toyota displays its new models and technologies to the public and periodically holds robot shows. (B/L/D)
Depart to the home of the Ise Grand Shrine, the most sacred Shinto Shrine in Japan with the nickname “The Holy City”. Ise Grand Shrine worships 8 million Shinto gods and 124 emperors of Japan. Visit the Mikimoto Pearl Island with the “Woman diver show” This area is the Shima Peninsula, birthplace of Kokichi Mikimoto, who rose to become one of the pioneers of pearl culture with the production of the first D-shaped pearl in 1893. His achievements are commemorated at the Pearl Museum in his hometown of Toba, in Mie Prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshu. In the early days, Mikimoto employed the Ama divers to raise adult oysters from the sea bed and replace them after the implantation of a nucleus. But with the development of new breeding and growing techniques in the 1950s, the Ama were no longer required.” Make a stop at the Wedded Rocks (known as Meoto Iwa in Japanese). The two rocks represent a married couple who, according to Shinto mythology, created Japan and the spirits that exist in people, places, and objects. The rocks were featured in the movie Sayonara co-produced by Japan and the U.S. (B/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 visit to Todaiji Temple, once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples and still houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. We will also stop by Nara Deer Park before moving on to Kyoto. Kyoto was Japan’s capital city from 794 to 1868 before the title was given to Tokyo city. For 12 centuries in history, Kyoto witnessed all the rise and fall of Japan. At the heart of Kyoto lies Gion, the center of the city’s art. Gion is the most charming in the early evening, when the lanterns are lit and Geishas and Maikos flit about the back streets on their way to their appointments. (B/L/D)
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. Places such as the Kiyomizu Temple will dazzle your eyes. Your guide will also introduce you to Kyoto’s most popular temple, Kinkakuji, home of the world’s most authentic and exquisite Japanese garden as well as the celebrated Golden Pavilion. Visit the Nishijin company which produces Kimonos. Watch a Kimono demonstration. (B/D)
Enjoy the Shinkansen Bullet train between Osaka-Kobe with speed 320km/h. 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.
Visit Himeji castle, which is Japan’s foremost historic castle, was built in the 17th century, and became the first site in Japan to be registered in the World Cultural Heritage listings in 1993. The stunning appearance, and high level of detail of this wooden architectural masterpiece have made Himeji Castle known all over the world. Furthermore, the castle is surrounded by Sakura trees. Each spring, the trees flower simultaneously, covering Himeji castle in a sea of beautiful pink blossoms. Early April is the one chance each year to see Himeji Castle with its cherry blossoms in full bloom, one of Japan’s truly beautiful and iconic sights. The sight of this amazing scenery will live long in the memory as a memento of your visit to Japan. Perhaps spend the rest of your afternoon in Dotonbori – Namba – Shinsaibashi – the largest shopping area in Osaka where many boutiques and specialty shops are gathered, attracting local people and visitors. (B/L/D)
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. Dining and shopping on Shinsaibashi street will be a memorable experience while you’re in Osaka. Fly to Seoul, the capital city of Korea, is a tourist destination to a host of activities to enjoy, ranging from traditional royal palaces to trendy shopping districts. (B/L)
Begin your day with a walking tour takes you around the area of Bukchon Hanok Village, the only place in Seoul where hundreds of traditional Korean houses, or hanoks, are clustered together. It is an important area for culture and the arts, with its number of museums, craft workshops and historic landmarks. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, is a royal palace, first constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. Visit Blue House, is the executive office and official residence of the President of the Republic Of Korea. The Blue House is in fact a complex of buildings, built largely in the traditional Korean architectural style with some modern elements. Continue to enjoy shopping on Insadong Antique Street, you’ll find interesting antique shops, calligraphy shops, quaint tea houses and lots and lots of art galleries. Enjoy the Jeongdong Theater Korea Traditional Performance show, is a special treat as it is one of the best traditional Korean art performance centers that have been highly praised. The dynamic modern recreations of the highlights of Korea’s traditional art in dancing, instruments, folk music and songs. (B/L/D)
Depart to Nami island or Namiseom Island, is a half-moon-shaped isle near Seoul. If you have heard or seen the famous Korean drama “Winter Sonata”, you’ll already be familiar with this romantic island. One of the most special characteristics about this beautiful island is that it showcases a different, yet equally amazing, scenic experience each season, making it the perfect day trip from Seoul, any time of the year. When the cherry blossoms flourish in South Korea, Nami island becomes a heaven for cherry blossom fanatics. In front of the Water Stages Swimming Pool, the Cherry Tree Lane transforms into ravishing pink. Each year, the flowers bloom typically sometime around March and April and last just a few weeks. Proceed to Myeongdong shopping street, the fashion trends start here in Korea. Don’t think the fun ends here. (B/L/D)
The most well-known cherry blossom festival in Seoul is the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival (also known as Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival). Visit Samsung Innovation Museum. We will take you the Namdaemun Market where you can apply your bargain skills over prices for the souvenirs for your friends and relatives. Spend your great time at Insadong, a buzzy neighbourhood in Seoul. Insadong Street, is best-known for its traditional tea houses and street food scene. Transfer to the airport. (B/L)
Itinerary is subject to change depending on local weather or destinations’ operation hours.
I just want to thank you for the beautiful photo book from the Japan/Korea trip this past April, A very nice touch. Love it!
Album đẹp lắm!
Cám ơn anh Hùng, chị Nga.
Chúng tôi đã nhận được album Sakura 2019 của AV Travel gửi tặng. Xem lại những hình ảnh của nhóm thật vui.
Quyển album được in rất đẹp và nhiều công phu.
Chúc anh chị luôn được an vui, hạnh phúc và tràn đầy Ơn Lành.
The photo book is so beautiful thank you so much I appreciate it is sitting on my piano right now the pictures are great. thanks again..i had an awesome time. i would rate it a 5…
the only thing i wish that i understood Vietnamese..i didnt understand the tour guide and missed alot of good information and jokes..but other than that it was great.
Hung, this is Susan Iseri. Went to japan and Korea with you during Sakura time. Received the album you mailed a few days ago. It was beautiful. You included a lot of photos of the tall Susan and I in it. I really appreciate the extra effort and time you took to take such beautiful photos of us two. You are a great photographer. You and Simone have made this trip a very special one. I will definitely recommend your agency to people I know. Hope to go on one of your trips again.
We had a great time with AV Travel so would recommend if you plan to visit Japan (and Korea), then you should go with the tour. Japanese are not responsive to English language much so the tour guide who speaks the Japanese is a must. It is much simpler and more effective to go with the tour group. They organised everything like clockwork and sorted out any problem popped up effectively… On top of that they gave you the knowledge of culture, of areas, lifestyle, etc. Although you might think it costs a lot prior to your actually going on the tour, it is really worth your money. Thank you anh chi for letting us tagged along. We have a great time. Anh Hung and AVTravel as they have done exceedingly well and we are very much appreciated their handling in every situations, mostly an effective and efficient tour plan, no waiting to get lunch dinner, everything works like clockwork. We are amazed of the excellency of the tour. Now we need to exercise to lose the excessive weight put on due to three excellent three meals per day of those 12-13 days of the tours.