Itinerary: 12 Day Escorted Tour - Taste of Japan

Wednesday 25 Oct - Arrival Osaka

Welcome to Japan! 

This evening we will head out together for an evening meal and a few drinks to get to know one another ready for an exciting 12 days touring through the magnificent Japan.

Overnight: Hotel Nikko, Osaka

Thursday 26 Oct - Osaka city sightseeing tour

Following breakfast, we depart for our sightseeing tour of the city of Osaka including Osaka castle and lunch. Highlights include Osaka Castle and the neighbouring Sakai city. Savor Osaka's soul food, Okonomiyaki (savory pancake with a variety of ingredients) for lunch. Perhaps this afternoon, ride the tramcar that runs through Osaka's downtown areas to the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. It will be a great day out, so don't forget your camera!

Overnight: Hotel Nikko, Osaka

Friday 27 Oct -  Depart Osaka to Hiroshima

Today we say farewell to Osaka and make our way to Hiroshima by high speed train. On arrival into Hiroshima,wewill be met and transferred by coach to lunch. Following lunch, our sightseeing begins including the Atomic Bomb dome and Peace Park.

When the first atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city became known worldwide for this unenviable distinction. The destructive power of the bomb was tremendous and obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometer radius.

After the war, great efforts were taken to rebuild the city. Predictions that the city would be uninhabitable proved false. Destroyed monuments of Hiroshima's historical heritage, like Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden, were reconstructed. In the center of the city a large park was built and given a name that would reflect the aspirations of the re-born city: Peace Memorial Park.

Overnight - Grand Prince Hotel, Hiroshima

Saturday 28 Oct -  Visit scenic Miyajima Island near Hiroshima Island

This morning we board the train from Hiroshima station to Miyajima island station and cross to the island by ferry. Visit the famous Itsukushima Shrine and see the Torii Gate that appears to float on the water. Take a cable car to the top of Mt. Misen for some spectacular scenery. 

Overnight - Grand Prince Hotel, Hiroshima

Sunday 29 Oct - Depart Hiroshima to Kyoto

Following breakfast, we depart Hiroshima to Kyoto by bullet train where the afternoon and evening is at leisure to explore your new surroundings. 

Overnight - New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto

Monday 30 Oct - Kyoto sightseeing tour

Today we explore Kyoto on our sightseeing tour and take in such sights as Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera and more. This tour takes in all the major world heritage sights in Kyoto including Nijo Castle completed in 1626, Kinkakuji Temple whose wooden architecture is covered in thin layers of pure gold and is surrounded by a beautiful pond plus Heian Jingu which was built to celebrate the 1100 year anniversary of the founding of the city of Kyoto. 

Overnight - New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto

Tuesday 31 Oct -  Free day to explore Kyoto

Today is yours to explore Kyoto and spend as much or as little time at various sightseeing attractions around the city. For those people a little more adventurous, make your way to Nara for the day. Japan's first permanent capital was established in the year 710 at Heijo, the city now known as Nara. As the influence and political ambitions of the city's powerful Buddhist monasteries grew to become a serious threat to the government, the capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784. Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto. Due to its past as the first permanent capital, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples.

Easily the best way to get from Kyoto to Nara is train and there are two rail lines that connect the two cities: JR and the private Kintetsu Line. The Kintetsu is the fastest and most comfortable way to get there by the direct express (tokkyu). 

Overnight - New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto

Wednesday 01 Nov - Depart Kyoto for Hakone (Mt Fuji)

This morning, we depart early by train to Odawara or Mishima station and meet the coach to be transferred to Hakone. On arrival into Hakone, we enjoy lunch and then depart for our sightseeing of Mt Fuji.

The tour includes a visit to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji (subject to weather) for some great views of the Mt. Fuji National Park. A short cruise on Lake Ashi plus a ride on the the Mt. Komagatake ropeway for some spectacular views of the Hakone area included. Tonight, we overnight in a traditional hot spring Japanese resort to relax and enjoy dinner.

Overnight - Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa, Hakone, Mt Fuji

Thursday 02 Nov - Depart Hakone to Tokyo

Today we make our way by train to Japan's capital city, Tokyo. 

Tokyo offers a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and dining to its visitors. The city's history can be appreciated in districts such as Asakusa, and in many excellent museums, historic temples and gardens. Contrary to common perception, Tokyo also offers a number of attractive green spaces in the city center and within relatively short train rides at its outskirts.

Overnight - Shinjuku Prince Hotel, Tokyo

Friday 03 Nov - Tokyo sightseeing tour

Today we spend the day seeing Tokyo's best attractions including highlights of this bustling city such as Imperial Palace, Sensoji Temple and the popular Nakamise shopping area as well as a visit to Tokyo Skytree, one of the tallest structures in the world. 

Spend the remainder of the afternoon shopping through Ginza with all the world-class designer brands such as Chanel, Dior, Gucci and Prada, or spend the afternoon feasting at a local Japanese restaurant reminicsing over the past 10 days. 

Overnight -  Shinjuku Prince Hotel, Tokyo

Saturday 04 Nov -  Qantas Wallabies v Japan & We Love Rugby Post Match Function

Today we swing into game mode and warm up the vocal chords as we get ready for this afternoon's big match. We depart on our coach transfer to Nissan Stadium, Yokohama for the match between Japan and Australia.

Australia v Japan
Venue: Nissan Stadium, Yokohama 
Kick off time: 2:20pm 

Upon completion of the match, we will board the coach back to the hotel where we we will meet later in the evening for the exclusive We Love Rugby Post Match function to gather for a few drinks following today's excitement.

Overnight -  Shinjuku Prince Hotel, Tokyo

Sunday 05 Nov - Departure day

All good things must come to end. We thank you for travelling with We Love Rugby and look forward to seeing you on tour again soon.  

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