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Japan

Asia

Starting at $3,212pp for 7 Days

  • Purposeful Itinerary

Japan is fascinating and multifaceted culture; steeped in the deepest of traditions dating back thousands of years at the same time, pushing the boundaries of fads and fashions and technology. Explore the living art of the Geisha, Samurai and Sumo wrestler. Wander from Day-Glo cafés, video game arcades and kawaii street fashions to ancient temples and meticulously styled gardens. Return home with a deeper respect and awareness of this culture of honor and elegant mystery.

Each of our itineraries has unique offerings allowing for cultural engagement and community give-back. Here are some of the things that will make your trip to Japan special.

Age Related Activities

Children Under 12

Ghibli Museum Half Day Tour

Tokyo Rickshaw Ride Experience

Tokyo Make Your Own Anime Tour

Kyoto Manga & Railways Museums Tour

Osaka Food Sample Making

 

Teen Itineraries

Tokyo Pop Culture Tour

Tea Ceremony & Tea Shop Experience

Tokyo Samurai Sword Dance Experience

Geisha Makeover Experience

Adult Itineraries

Japanese Meal with Traditional Entertainment

Sumo Training Experience

Kimono and Tea Ceremony Experience with Lunch

Private Tea Ceremony in Kyoto Exclusive Temple Experience

Key Itinerary Content

Travelers will complete a trip planning questionnaire that will allow Global CommUnity, working with their travel advisor, to fully customize their trip according to their family interests.

Suggested Itinerary for a 7-Night Stay

Itinerary pricing includes all in-country transfers, hotel accomodations based on 4 travelers; 2 adults and 2 children, and private guided tours for 8 days/7 nights.

Tokyo - Nagano - Kyoto - Nara

Tokyo City Highlights
The day begins with a visit to the outside Imperial Palace, home of Japan’s Imperial Family. Next is Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple and wander through the back streets nearby to experience some of the quirky and interesting shops hidden just out of sight, including a shop where you can try a popular goldfish-scooping game! Travel across town to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings.

Taiko Drumming
Taiko, a big Japanese drum, is used in a number of traditional and modern ceremonies, festivals, sports events and parades. It brings an exciting rhythm which evokes the sound of thunder, battles and ancestral religious ceremonies.

Japanese Macaques, Travel Nagano to Kyoto
Journey by local train to Yudanaka Onsen and on to Jigokudanien Monkey Park — famous for its hot spring-bathing “snow” monkeys (though note that snow is only on the ground in winter months, November – March).

Half-Day Kyoto Highlights Tour
Visit 2 of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and a local market. Starting at Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. Next is Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle that was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors. Finish the day with a visit to Nishiki Market. Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, Nishiki is a narrow shopping street lined more than 100 shops, selling fresh seafood and vegetables, pickles, Japanese sweets and sushi.

Nara
For 74 years during the 8th century Nara was Japan’s capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. Visit Todaiji temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers. End the day with a wander through Nara Park, called Deer park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there.

 

Miyajima Ryokan 3-Day Add-On

Travel Kyoto to Hiroshima
Travel west to Hiroshima by bullet train. Upon arrival in Hiroshima, the rest of the day is at your leisure. Travel by train to Miyajima island, where you will be staying this evening. A delicious Japanese meal is included in tonight’s arrangements.

Travel Tokyo to Nagano
Today you will make your way to Nagano in the Japanese Alps. Take the bullet train to Nagano. Visit Zenkoji temple, one of the most famous and important Buddhist temples in Japan. Stop by one of the delicious snack shops to sample delicious rice crackers, spicy grilled mochi (rice cakes) and more as you make your way to the temple.

Kayaking in the Seto Inland Sea
The Miyajima “floating” Torii gate is iconic and millions of people per year flock to the shores of Miyajima Island to admire its beauty. Grab your paddle and kayak on the Seto Inland Sea, getting up close and personal with the Floating Torii.

Travel Miyajima to Osaka
You will travel to Osaka today, a fantastic modern cousin to Kyoto. Pick up the bullet train to Shin-Osaka station.

CommUnity Impact Opportunities

GEAR Theatre

Visit the GEAR Theatre, a modern, non-verbal entertainment performance in the heart of Kyoto. This is run by local Kyoto actors and is the first of its kind in Japan, featuring
physical theatre performances that are usually set sometime in the future. This modern theatre actually uses a variety of traditional Japanese performance techniques. Supporting GEAR is a great way to endorse traditional and modern Japanese performing arts in a country where young folk
are increasingly moving away from creative and traditional activites in favour of high-paying office jobs in the city.

Hiroshima Atomic Bombing Peace Park & Museum

A visit to the Hiroshima Atomic Bombing Peace Park and Museum is important for all generations. It stands as a testimony to Japan’s darkest hour as well as a reminder as to why such weaponry should never be used again. A visit will give visitors a renewed perspective and is a wonderful way to honor the memories of those who lost their lives in Hiroshima and in civilian warfare the world over. Finish the day with a visit to the “A-Bomb Dome”, which was once the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Close to ground zero, it miraculously remained standing despite the force of the bomb. It now lies close to one of the busiest districts in the city, looking ahead to the future as a sign of Hiroshima’s resilience and commitment to a peaceful world.

Preparing for Japan

For visitors holding passports issued by the following 68 countries, no visa is required—just a passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining. Visitors simply receive a stamp in their passport valid for up to 90 days. A visa is only needed if the client intends to stay longer than this period.
List of 68 countries can be found here.

The cherry blossom (late March – early April) and autumn leaf seasons (October through to mid November), while extremely beautiful and with the best of Japan’s weather, are to be avoided if you want to escape the crowds as they draw millions of visitors yearly, all of whom congregate around the same top sightseeing spots. Late May into early June is much quieter and cheaper and still has the benefit of beautiful weather. However, it does start to get very hot around this time.

It is well worth getting off the beaten track while in Japan, as it elevates the client experience and makes the whole trip more enjoyable. In Nagano, the clients have a chance to go really rural and catch a glimpse of everyday life in Japan, something that is hard to see in the big cities of Kyoto and Tokyo.
Miyajima is also a unique chance to experience a Japanese-style stay and get a taste of “omotenashi”, the Japanese concept of hospitality.

The biggest consumer of Japanese tourism is, surprisingly, the Japanese. This means that Japanese holiday seasons contribute to an enormous rise in crowds. There are three key holidays to avoid. The first is the New Year season, which is the Japanese equivalent of Christmas. Many people choose to travel or go home for these dates (usually Dec 28th or 29th through to roughly Jan 3 rd or 4 th ) which contributes to overcrowding on trains and at airports and a lack of hotel availability. Those that are available tend to charge double or triple the usual rate. Golden Week, which is usually around April 29th – May 5th , is also to be avoided. With consecutive back-to-back national holidays, again, many Japanese will choose to travel. The crowds are comparable to those seen around the New Year. August on the whole is not the best time of year to visit due to Japanese school, company
and university summer holidays and extremely hot and humid weather.

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