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Japan

The land of the rising sun - Trip for singles

Book From   € 1,799,-
GROUP SIZE: 8-20 | 13 DAYS

Japan

Here you can find the day-to-day description for Japan

Highlights

There's plenty to do in this beautiful region. Select below or on the map opposite, the highlight you want to read more information about. Read through carefully and then go directly to the tour description.
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Fukuoka

Fukuoka

Start your trip in the biggest city of the Japanese four main islands, Fukuoka! |Japan

Sandankyo

Kurashiki

Kyoto

Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the most visited cities on earth. Over 5 million people visit the temples and gardens annually.

Tokyo

Tokyo

One of the most densely populated areas in the world, but there is no chaos. Quite contrary, everything is perfectly organised in Tokyo.

Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Fukuoka Fukuoka
2 Fukuoka Fukuoka
3 Bus Fukuoka - Miyajima - Sandankyo Sandankyo
4 Bus Sandankyo - Hiroshima - Kurashiki Kurashiki
5 Kurashiki Kurashiki
6 Kurashiki Kurashiki
7 Bus Kurashiki - Himeji - Kyoto Kyoto
8 Kyoto Kyoto
9 Kyoto Kyoto
10 Kyoto Kyoto
11 Public transport Kyoto - Mount Fuji - Tokyo Tokyo
12 Tokyo Tokyo
13 Tokyo End of tour

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Day 1: Fukuoka

Welcome to Japan!

Your tour starts in Fukuoka, where you can use your hotel room from check in time (12.00 hrs at noon) on day 1. Your travel companions will also arrive this first day, the exact time will be depending on their flight schedule. You will meet your English speaking tour leader at 6pm in the lobby of your hotel in Fukuoka.

Airport transfers are not included but we recommend taking the subway from Fukuoka airport to the city centre anyway. This is easily done and costs a fee of just 2/3 Euros per person.

Day 2: Fukuoka

Today you have a free day in Fukuoka, a city that suffered badly during the second World War. You will find very few historical monuments, but during the years of the so-called ‘bubble’-economy, young architects were given free rein to build some superb architectural gems like the IMS-building, ACROS Fukuoka and Canal City. The latter is a futuristic shopping complex with shops, restaurants and hotels under the one same roof.

Fukuoka is a good place if you are looking for souvenirs: the city is known for its Hakata-ningyo, handmade geisha- and samurai-dolls.
At night you can eat in on of the many yatai, food stalls that are set up in the early evening along the banks of the river, and where delicious noodle dishes are served. A very nice introduction to the real Japan!

Day 3: Fukuoka - Miyajima - Sandankyo

After breakfast you drive to the island Miyajima in the Inland Sea, where you arrive around noon. You can spend the rest of the afternoon on this holy island, symbolized by a massive torii, a shrine gate that seems to be 'floating' in the sea during high tide. The 16 meter high gate indicates that Miyajima is a holy island. There are no maternities nor cemeteries, because nobody can give birth nor die on the island. Cutting of trees is also prohibited, so the island is covered with unspoiled forest where many deer and birds live. You can go up Mount Misen on foot or by cable-car for great views over the Inland Sea.

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Day 4: Sandankyo - Hiroshima - Kurashiki

This morning you can enjoy the nature of Sandankyo gorge. The area is breathtakingly beautiful and the impressive rock formations form the perfect background for a hike.

Usually at around noon you drive to Hiroshima, the city devastated by the first atomic bomb in 1945. Centrally located is the Peace Park, with its various peace monuments. There is a very touching story of Sadako, a little girl who got leukemia and who started to fold a thousand cranes, the symbol of eternal life. She never finished the job, but her classmates folded the rest. Hiroshima is a classic school trip in Japan, and even today school kids lay down their colourful paper cranes at Sadako's statue. You can also visit the Peace Museum.

Before you continue to Kurashiki, you should taste the local specialty okonomiyaki, a delicacy made of soba noodles and egg.

Day 5: Kurashiki

Free day in Kurashiki. You can take a local train to Soja, where you can rent a bicycle to explore the Kibi plain (optional). Once you’ve left the village, it’s easy to follow the bicycle path. The route leads through rice fields, along small rivers and around burial mounds. You are now in the real countryside! Along the route there are also two temples: the Kokubun-ji temple and the Kibitsu-jinja shrine where you can take a break with the local monks.

Back in Kurashiki you can go straight to the canal area Bikan where you can spend the rest of the afternoon in the museums. The Ohara Museum of Art has a collection of both Japanese and Western art, but also the Museum of Folkcrafts and the Japan Rural Toy Museum are well worth a visit.

Day 6: Kurashiki

Free day in Kurashiki. You can join an optional excursion to the Korakuen garden in Okayama followed by the ‘art island’ of Naoshima.

Korakuen is one of Japans most famous gardens. It is divided in three sections where you’ll find bamboo, pine, cherry and plum trees, several creeks and an elegant red bridge.

Naoshima is a small island in the inland sea in front of the coast of Okayama. It has a relaxed atmosphere and is best explored by bike. There are several beaches, so don’t forget to bring your swimming gear!

The island is also known for its Art House Project and the Benesse museum. This was designed by the famous architect Ando Tadao. In the Chichu Art Museum, also designed by Ando Tadao, you can see works by Claude Monet, Walter de Maria and James Turrell.

Day 7: Kurashiki - Himeji - Kyoto

Today you drive to the ancient capital Kyoto. Between Okayama and Bizen you drive for the most part along the coast of the Inland Sea. In Bizen you take the highway to Himeji where you can visit the world famous ‘White Egret’ castle. This elegant building is special because it is one of the few castles that is still in its original state. At the end of the 19th century a lot of castles were destroyed by imperial troops, and after the collapse of the shogunate a lot of castles started to decay because they weren’t used anymore.

After a visit to the castle you continue to Kyoto, a beautiful city where there is so much to do that we stay for three days.

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Day 8: Kyoto

Free day. On this first day you can join an optional bus tour through the city. In a city with over 3000 temples and shrines, the danger of ‘over-templing’ lies around every corner. We have tried to offer a balanced itinerary, not only with ‘classic’ temples like Kinkaku-ji (Golden temple) and Ryoan-ji (with the famous Zen-garden), but also time for moments of relaxation and reflection in less visited temples like the Toji-in temple.
The optional city tour is included in the excursion package.

Day 9: Kyoto

Free day. You can join an optional tour to the old capital Nara, which is a lot smaller than Kyoto. The temples and shrines of Nara are considered to be the cradle of Japanese culture. The city was capital of Japan, even before Kyoto, more specifically, between 710 and 794. It was a period when a lot of Chinese influences arrived in Japan via Korea. You will notice this not only by the street plan which is based on that of the old Chinese capital Xi’an, but also by the many buddhist temples in and around the city.

In the Nara-koen park you’ll find a few of Japan’s most important historical buildings like the Kasuga-taisha shrine, the Todai-ji temple (the largest wooden building in the world with a 16 meter tall bronze statue of Buddha inside) and the Kofuku-ji temple with two elegant pagodas on its temple grounds.

Day 10: Kyoto

Another free day in Kyoto, there is a lot to do and see in this city. Some suggestions would include the Sanjusangendo temple with its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, placed next to each other in a hall more than 100 m in length. The Kiyomizu-dera, the temple of the holy water, would be another good place to visit. Here you have the chance to meet giggling geisha’s who are taking their time to appear with you in your photo. They may not be authentic though and for the real thing you have to go to Gion, a bit further down the road.

In the evening you can dine in one of the many restaurants along the Kamo river. Here you find all kinds of restaurants: from simple and cheap yakitori joints to exquisite but very expensive kaiseki restaurants.

Day 11: Kyoto - Mount Fuji - Tokyo

To Tokyo! To make this transfer you take a highway bus. There is a bus service shuttling between the old and the new capital and it will take about eight hours (of course depending on traffic). The bus takes the Tomei expressway, making three short breaks along the way, with the last stop at the foot of the impressive Mount Fuji.

If you prefer to reach Tokyo sooner, you can book our offer to go to Tokyo by shinkansen (bullet train) for a reduced price, including the sending of your luggage (1 piece per person) to the hotel in Tokyo by express-mail. Please add this to the booking form at time of reservation.

After check-in you can go for a walk exploring the Nezu and Ueno parks. Here you won’t find any high rise buildings, nor flashing neon signs. This neighborhood still retains a lot of the old downtown atmosphere of the old Edo (former Tokyo).

Day 12: Tokyo

Free day in Tokyo. If you like, you can join the tourleader to explore the city, partly on foot, partly by public transport.

Tokyo is a city of remarkable contrasts. You leave the old neighbourhood of Nezu, and just twenty minutes later you exit the subway and find yourself amongst the skyscrapers of Shinjuku.
It is in this business area, the so-called salarymen in their grey suits are trying to get the Japanese economy back on track. But two stops down the Yamanote-line, you arrive at the freakshow that is Harajuku, where rebellious youths in weird outfits contend for your attentions.

Walk by the fashion houses of the famous shopping street Omotesando towards Shibuya. Shibuya Crossing with its diagonal crosswalks and flashing neon signs is one of the busiest crossings in the world. Only a few moments later you can enjoy the peace and quietness of the imperial gardens.

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Day 13: Tokyo

The last day of your tour! Your room will be available until around noon and most of your fellow travellers will be flying home today.

There is still plenty to see and do! Watch the trading at the central wholesale market Tsukiji, where around 2000 tons of fish is traded on a daily base. Its an impressive display! For breakfast, pick a few sushi plates from the conveyor belt, before going to Ryogoku where you can visit with a bit of luck (it depends on the tournament calendar) a so-called sumo-beya, a practice room for sumo wrestlers.

We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of Japan.

Your personal ‘my.shoestring’ page on our website is the perfect way to make contact with other travellers before and after your trip. You can read and create journals from trips and upload your photos onto the photo gallery. Visit my shoestring today.

When booking your tour, please check to see whether you need any post-tour nights, bearing in mind that accommodation for the night of the final day of the tour (day 13) is not included.

FESTIVAL TRIPS.

 On the trip departing 15 October 2018, experience Jidai Matsuri in Kyoto.

On the trip departing 6 May 2019, experience Aoi Matsuri in Kyoto.
On the trip departing 8 and 15 July 2019, experience Gion Matsuri in Kyoto.
On the trip departing 14 October 2019, experience Jidai Matsuri in Kyoto.




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