Day-by-Day Program (6 – 22 April 2017)

THU

Arrive Tokyo

6

MORNING

Arrive into Tokyo. Upon arrival you will be greeted by Amaco Small Group Tours staff and assisted with luggage before transferring from airport to hotel.

AFTERNOON

Today is at leisure to allow you to recover from your flight or begin exploring Tokyo on your own.

NIGHT

Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the Hilton Tokyo. You will meet other tour participants and their partners as well as your Cherry Blossom Tour hosts.

Overnight at the Hilton Hotel Tokyo
Meal: Welcome Dinner

 

FRI

TOKYO

7

MORNING

Fishmarket and Sushi Making Tour. Enjoy a guided tour through the enormous market, exploring the vegetable and fruit areas plus the impressive seafood section where if you’re lucky you may be able to witness a whole tuna being cut and filleted. Following the market tour, head to a local kitchen to learn the secrets of preparing Japan’s national dish. Here you will learn how to prepare several different types of sushi and then get to enjoy what you have made.

AFTERNOON

Lunch is included at the end of the tour after which we explore Hamarikyu Gardens — one of the many beautiful public parks in Tokyo. Return to the hotel midafternoon with the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

NIGHT

Dinner at a local restaurant is included this evening.

Overnight at the Hilton Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

SAT

TOKYO

8

MORNING

Tokyo Highlights Tour. Our tour today begins in the Tokyo Old Town which is home to Sensoji — the city’s oldest temple. You will wander down Nakamise, one of the city’s famous shopping streets and then cross town to the Meiji Shrine before ending your tour at Harajuku, the focal point for teenage culture filled with trendy shops and food outlets.

AFTERNOON

Lunch at a local restaurant is included after which we continue to the Imperial Palace before visiting the upmarket Ginza shopping district on the way back to the hotel.

NIGHT

Dinner at a local teppanyaki restaurant is included this evening.

Overnight at the Hilton Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

SUN

TOKYO

9

MORNING

Conference Business Session #1 & #2 take place this morning.

AFTERNOON

A light lunch is included for all participants after the session and prior to our afternoon Tokyo Backstreets Walking Tour. Explore Tokyo’s Shitamachi or downtown district this afternoon. The suburb of Yanaka was spared the carnage of the Allied bombings in World War II and is one of the most charming spots in Tokyo. You will visit old temples and shrines, one of Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist cemeteries as well as traditional shops. Visit Ueno Park, one of the most popular parks for hanami (cherry blossom parties). Last stop is Ameyoko-cho market where you will find everything from fresh food to dried spices.

NIGHT

Enjoy dinner at one of Tokyo’s top “Member-Only” clubs this evening.

Overnight at the Hilton Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

MON

Tokyo to Hakone

10

MORNING

Travel by luxury coach from Tokyo to Hakone this morning. Enjoy some time at the 5th Station — the highest point on Mt Fuji accessible by vehicles. Also known as “the boundary between heaven and earth”, you will have views of Fuji Five Lakes, the Northern & Southern Alps and of course the summit of My Fuji. We then travel to Lake Ashinoko where a buffet lunch is served.

AFTERNOON

Following lunch board a replica pirate ship and enjoy a leisurely cruise across Lake Ashinoko during which you will have amazing views of Mt. Fuji and the surrounding mountains (weather permitting). At the conclusion of the cruise, you have a short transfer to your hotel where the remainder of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy the thermal pools and beautiful gardens.

NIGHT

Dinner at the hotel is included.

Overnight at the Prince Hakone Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

TUE

Hakone

11

MORNING

Hakone Ropeway Tour. At over 4km, this ropeway is the longest in Japan and the second longest in the world with the highest point being 130 meters above the ground. The gondolas make two stops along the route, at Owakudani and Ubako. At Owakudani Station a revolving observation platform provides panoramic view of the Hakone district and Mt Fuji.

 

AFTERNOON

Lunch at a local restaurant is included before returning to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

NIGHT

Dinner is included at the hotel.

Overnight at the Prince Hakone Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

WED

Hakone to Takayama

12

MORNING

Travel by coach to Odawara Station before boarding the train to Nagoya and then connecting with the train to Takayama. Perched high in the Japanese Alps, this forested mountain area was almost impossible to reach in ancient times. Today, the city retains a traditional touch, especially in its beautifully preserved old town.

AFTERNOON

A traditional Japanese bento box lunch is included on the train. Free afternoon to enjoy the onsen at the hotel.

NIGHT

Come together for dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Takayama Associa Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

THU

Takayama

13

MORNING

Full Day Takayama Tour. The morning begins with a visit to the Miyagawa morning market with stalls selling local crafts and produce. You’ll also have the opportunity to try some of the regions’ locally grown fruit and vegetables. Other highlights of the tour include the Old Town and Takayama Jinya which served as the local government offices between 1600 and 1868.

 

AFTERNOON

Lunch at a local restaurant is included with the tour before visiting a number of beautiful gardens and shrines in the afternoon. Return to the hotel midafternoon with time set aside for you to enjoy the onsen.

NIGHT

Dinner at the hotel is included.

Overnight at the Takayama Associa Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

FRI

Takayama to Kanazawa

14

MORNING

We transfer by coach to Kanazawa this morning — a journey of around 2 hours not including the stop at the Shirakawago Historical Village. Here you will see traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses (meaning “constructed like hands in prayer”). The steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer and some of the houses are more than 250 years old.

 

AFTERNOON

We have lunch in Kanazawa before starting our Kenrokuen Gardens and Kanazawa Castle Tour. Regarded as one of the finest gardens in Japan, Kenroku-en is a brilliant example of a Feudal Lords’ garden having been built and maintained by the Madea
family between the 1620s and 1840s. A short walk from the gardens is the well restored Kanazawa Castle — dating from the late 1500s.

NIGHT

Dinner at a local restaurant is included.

Overnight at Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

SAT

Kanazawa

15

MORNING

Conference Session #3 & #4 take place this morning. A light lunch is included for all participants after the session and prior to our afternoon tour.

 

AFTERNOON

Our Kanazawa Afternoon Tour begins by exploring the Nagamachi District where samurai and their families used
to reside. The area preserves a historic atmosphere with its remaining samurai residences, earthen walls, private entrance gates, narrow lanes and water canals. We also visit Kagayuzen Sangko Kaikan Silk Centre to see how the distinctive and vivid patterned silks are created.

NIGHT

A dinner is included tonight.

Overnight at Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

SUN

Kanazawa to Kyoto

16

MORNING

Travel by train from Kanazawa to Kyoto this morning before setting out for the Arashiyama District, located on the western
outskirts of Kyoto. Here we can enjoy a lunch at a restaurant specialising in tofu.

AFTERNOON

Following lunch, our Arashiyama District Tour includes a visit to the Okochi Mountain Villa best known for its beautiful garden, tea houses and zen hall. Also included is the Nonomiya Shrine where in ancient times unmarried princesses would come to purify themselves. The amazing Bamboo Groves are a sight to behold as is Tenryuji Temple which is ranked among the top five zen temples in Kyoto and dates back to 1339.

NIGHT

Enjoy a Japanese variant on hot pot tonight.

Overnight at Westin Miyako Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

MON

Kyoto

17

MORNING

Our Kyoto Full Day Tour includes the Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple, followed by a guided walk through the beautiful cobbled streets of the Higashiyama District to Kodaiji Temple where you will participate in a Japanese Tea Ceremony.

 

AFTERNOON

The final part of today’s tour involves a traditional rickshaw ride through the streets of Kyoto finishing at Chion-in Temple, the main temple of the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism. Lunch is served during the tour.

NIGHT

Own arrangements for dinner.

Overnight at Westin Miyako Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

TUE

Kyoto

18

MORNING

We visit the Fushimi Inari District and Sake Brewery Tour this morning. The Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most iconic sights in Kyoto, with thousands of stunning red torii gates straddling a network of trails behind the main buildings. From here we head off to learn about sake production and sample several distinctive sakes at the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum and Brewery.

AFTERNOON

Lunch is included as part of the tour after which you have the option to return to the hotel or explore on your own as the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

NIGHT

We come together again for dinner.

Overnight at Westin Miyako Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

WED

Kyoto

19

MORNING

Built in 1603, Nijo Castle is a World Heritage Site and considered a Japanese National Treasure. Built in “shoin-zukuri” style, its four building groups are staggered so that as many rooms as possible could front a garden or court. The interior is decorated with  all paintings by the Kano school. The floorboards of corridors creak underfoot. Called “bush warbler boards,” they warned of the approach of an assassin. We then continue to the Suntory Whisky Distillery for a behind the scenes tour of the production facility and museum. An exclusive tasting of unblended whiskies is included.

 

AFTERNOON

Lunch at a local restaurant follows after which you can return to the hotel or spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

NIGHT

Own arrangements for dinner.

Overnight at Westin Miyako Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

THU

Kyoto to Hiroshima

20

MORNING

Board the bullet train this morning for the journey from Kyoto to Hiroshima. The journey of around 400km is travelled in just  under 2 hours. A traditional bento box lunch is served on board during this journey.

 

AFTERNOON

Departing from the train station, your  Hiroshima City Tour this afternoon focuses on the Peace Memorial Park, which was the political and commercial heart of the city prior to the bombing. The main attraction within the park is the Peace Memorial Museum which looks at the history of Hiroshima, the advent of the nuclear bomb and the events of 6th August 1945.

NIGHT

A relaxed dinner at Okonomiyaki Village is included this evening.

Overnight at Sheraton Hiroshima
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Box, Dinner

FRI

Hiroshima

21

MORNING

Following a short bus and ferry ride you will arrive on Miyajima Island and see the most photographed site in Japan — The Floating Torii Gate. The tour allows ample time to explore the island and its many shrines and temples with the guides and also
includes a trip on the cable car to the summit of Mt. Misen. While spiritually significant, most visitors to the summit do so to enjoy the amazing views back towards the mainland and also the Seto Inland Sea.

 

AFTERNOON

Lunch in a local restaurant on Miyajima Island is included before returning to Hiroshima. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to allow you to do some last minute shopping or sightseeing.

NIGHT

A special Farewell Dinner is included this evening.

Overnight at Sheraton Hiroshima
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner

SAT

Hiroshima to Tokyo

22

MORNING

The first part of the morning is at leisure.

 

AFTERNOON

We head to the Hiroshima Station for the bullet train to Tokyo. This is then followed by a coach transfer to the airport.

NIGHT

Meals: Breakfast