Tokyo – Mt. Fuji – Nagoya – ISE – Nara – Kyoto (bullet train)
Kobe – Himeji Castle – Osaka – Seoul
Tour: April 01 – April 14, 2020 Price: $4,395 + Tax
Your local guide: Journalist Do Thong Minh, or Philosopher Tran Duc Giang,
with over 50 years' living experience in Japan
Korean Girls dressed Hanbok in traditional dress walking in Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea
Check-in at Los Angeles Airport
Arrive in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is the largest metropolitan area in the world with a population of over 13 million residence. Tokyo is not only the center of politics and economy of Japan, but also the center of the global economy and culture. (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 (normally from late March until mid-April). During this time, not only the Japanese but people from all over the world also come to Japan to enjoy the delicate flower.
Continue to visit Ushiku Daibutsu, recognised in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s largest standing statue of Buddha. Visit Senso-ji, the oldest and most popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. Enjoy sightseeing in Tokyo night time. (B/L/D)
Depart to visit Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. On a clear day, the Fujisan’s perfectly shaped volcano slopes can be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama. If you’re inspired by the beauty of the Japanese landscape, you’ll enjoy the crisp mountain air and Mt Fuji views. Most people in Japan think that Mt. Fuji is a symbol of Japan. Throughout the history of Japan, people worshipped Mt. Fuji as a mountain where the god lives. In Autumn, the red an orange leaves makes the mountain’s blue more beautiful. Visit Oshino Hakkai, a touristy set of eight ponds in Oshino, a small village located between Lake Kawaguchiko & Lake Yamanakako on the site of a former sixth lake that dried out several hundred years ago. The eight ponds are fed by snow melt from the slopes of nearby Mount Fuji that filters down the mountain through porous layers of lava for over 80 years, resulting in very clear springwater that is revered by the locals. Enjoy a cruise on lake Kawaguchiko. (B/L/D)
Ise is home to the Ise Grand Shrine, the most sacred Shinto Shrine in Japan; thus, it’s a very popular destination for tourists. Ise’s history is directly linked to the Ise Grand Shrin and has a long-standing nickname Shinto, which means “The Holy City”. Ise Grand Shrine is separated into two main parts: The Inner Shrine and the Outer Shrine. Despite the names, these are actually two physically separate shrines approximately six kilometers apart. Located at Futami Okitama Shrine in northeastern Ise is the Wedded Rocks, a couple of small rocky stacks in the sea off Futami, Mie, Japan. They are joined by a shimenawa and are considered sacred by worshippers at the neighbouring Futami Okitama Shrine. According to Shinto, the rocks represent the union of the creator of kami, Izanagi and Izanami. The rocks, therefore, celebrate the union in marriage of man and woman. (B/L/D)
Nara of Japan’s Kansai region is your next stop. Nara was the country’s first permanent capital city, and a Unesco World Heritage site. You’ll visit the Todaiji Temple with great image of Buddha, colorful Kasuga Shrine with 3,000 lanterns, and the Deer Park. On your way to Kyoto, look out for splendid views of Mt Fuji if weather permits.(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, including the residence of the Tokugawa Shogun, Nijo Castle. The castle was built in 1603 and is noted for the contrast of its solemn appearance and gorgeous interior. 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. As part of the Kyoto sightseeing tour, you will also get a chance to view the ancient Kyoto Imperial Palace, the former residence of the Imperial family, which reflects the Japanese taste for purity, simplicity and calmness. Once you’re at the Imperial Palace, you should also visit the Shishinden Imperial state chamber where the enthronement ceremonies took place. Kyoto, the old Imperial capital, has an imperial heritage of the amazing Emperor’s palace, ancient temples, old Gion Geisha town, and a cultural background said to include the most refined manners and language in Japan. (B/L/D)
Enjoy bullet train from Kyoto to Osaka, is widely decried as Japan’s uncouth relative. Down to earth, direct and in turns hilarious and offensive to Japanese sensibilities, Osakans spawn Japan’s comedians, maintain its economic engine, and feed you some of the best cooking. With a population of 2.5 million, Osaka is Japan’s third largest and second most important city. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries. Osaka was formerly known as Naniwa. Before the Nara period, Naniwa was the first capital city of Japan under Emperor Kotoky in 645. (B/L/D)
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. (B/L/D)
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 the world over, and it is also a designated national treasure of Japan. In March 2015, as the 5 year renovation of the main keep was completed, and the white plaster walls, which are one of Himeji Castle’s main features, were repainted, its brilliant white walls make this rejuvenated Himeji Castle one of the must-see sights in Japan. Furthermore, the castle is surrounded by Japan’s famous cherry blossom trees. Each spring, the trees flower simultaneously, enveloping 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. 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. Proceed to Myeongdong shopping street, the fashion trends start here in Korea. Don’t think the fun ends here; we will take you the Namdaemun Market where you can apply your bargain skills over prices for the souvenirs for your friends and relatives. 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.
Visit Samsung Innovation Museum. (B/L/D)
Flight non-stop to Los Angeles. (B)
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.