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Heart Of Ancient Japan

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Fares
  • Accommodation

A journey overview

  • Tokyo
  • Kanazawa
  • Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Nara
  • Hiroshima
  • Miyajima
  • Kumamoto

16 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 21 Mar 2019

As the cherry blossoms blanket Japan’s natural wonders, discover delicate traditions and beauty not found anywhere else.

Heart of Ancient Japan 2019 Map

We set our sights on Shinto shrines and blushing blossoms. Fascinating religion and the fickle nature of fleeting beauty dance together in anticipation. City lights blink to life and check in to the Palace Hotel Tokyo. With two days immersed in the city, we enjoy a sushi brunch amid the stalls of the famed Tsukiji fish market, stroll through Hamarikyu Gardens and experience a Shinto blessing at Meiji Shrine. Your World experiences also offer the chance to admire the gardens at the Imperial Palace and the Edo Muesum.

On a day trip to Hakone, a boat takes us from Hakone-machi to Togendai for a cable car ride. If it’s a clear day, Mt Fuji will make its appearance. The following day, we leave Tokyo aboard a bullet train and shoot towards Kanazawa. Here, we admire Kenroku-en, a traditional Japanese garden, then explore the Nagamachi Samurai Houses. In Takayama, we make our home at Hotel Associa Takayama Resort, where the waters of the open-air onsen beckon.

From the bustling Miyagawa morning markets, we walk past the wooden houses along Sanmachi Street. Later, we journey to a village preserved in time – World Heritage-listed Shirakawa-go. Aboard the bullet train, we head for Kyoto and check in to the Hyatt Regency Kyoto. Experience Nijo Castle and the Nishiki market, then join your World Hosts at one of their favourite local eateries.

After admiring Todai-ji Temple in Nara, explore Kasuga Shrine and visit a sake brewery before a trip to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Our discovery of Kyoto continues with an exclusive Cherry Blossom dance performance, as well as visits to Kinkaku-ji Temple and the bamboo grove of Arashiyama. Your World experiences include a sushi making class, a tea ceremony, a Kimono wrapping demonstration and a calligraphy class.

We pay our respects at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and also at the remains of the former Industrial Promotion Hall, the A-Bomb Dome, before trying the regional dish, okonomiyaki. At nearby Miyajima Island, we admire the famous vermilion torii gates floating off the shore on our way to Itsukushima Shrine. With some free time here, perhaps sample the local specialty, (sweet maple leaf-shaped cakes), or meet the resident deer.

From Hiroshima, the Shinkansen delivers us to Kumamoto. We take the afternoon at leisure before retiring to our Hotel Nikko Kumamoto, where Kumamoto Castle and clear mountain ranges can be spied from our windows. In the shadow of the Sakurajima Volcano, we explore the town of Kagoshima, including its traditional garden of Iso-Teien and Shoko Shuseikan. Return to Kumamoto by bullet train.

Explore the grounds of Kumamoto Castle, renowned for its fine hanami, flower viewing, and afterward, touch on Suizenji Park and its elaborate garden. Later, we are able to view the ranges surrounding Mt Aso, Japan’s largest active volcano. On out last evening together, we celebrate with a Farewell Dinner. From Kumamoto, we fly back to Tokyo, our journey now at an end.