During this tour, you will have the opportunity to visit many iconic places as well as the most beautiful monuments of the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Takayama, Shirakawa-go and Kanazawa. You will thus be able to admire the different kinds of Japanese art: temples and shrines in Kyoto, modern buildings designed by renowned architects in Tokyo, historical houses in Takayama, Kanazawa’s wonderful landscape garden, Shirakawa-go’s Gassho-zukuri , the traditional old houses of Tsumago and Magome, as well as the impressive feudal castle of Matsumoto!
On this tour, you will have the opportunity to visit many iconic places and some of the most beautiful monuments of the towns of the north of Kyûshu. This will give you the opportunity to discover the unique culture that developed on the island, including its long Christian past since it was in Nagasaki that the Christian missionaries arrived in the 16th century. You will also admire the island’s many volcanoes and enjoy onsen, outdoor hot springs heated by the volcano, that can be found in the towns of Beppu and Unzen.
Designed by the architect I.M Pei, who also built the famous Louvre Pyramid, the Miho museum is 80% underground, in the mountain, which already makes the visit an impressive one. Miho museum displays collections from all over the world: Japanese, Chinese, Western and Middle-Eastern works, which will be decrypted for you by an English-speaking guide.
Spend two magical nights in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese guesthouse that provides all the charm and tranquillity of the Japanese architectural style, from sliding doors to rice paper windows! You will sleep on a very comfortable futon on traditional tatami mats! You can also wear yukata— indoor kimonos – to relax or to go to the hot baths! Finally, you will have the opportunity to taste exquisite homemade Japanese cuisine prepared by the owner with fresh, seasonal ingredients. A real treat!
The first cinema theme park to open outside of the US, Universal Studios in Osaka offers many attractions, rides and shows that will make you relive some of cinema’s greatest box-office hits, from Jurassic Park and E.T. to Spiderman and Shrek! A great day out for the whole family!
Maiko are apprentice Geishas in the Gion district. They wear beautiful coloured kimonos and have elaborate hairstyles with Kanzashi – lovely ornaments usually shaped like flowers – in the image of traditional Japanese dolls with porcelain complexions. You will have the opportunity to share a meal with one of these generally inaccessible artists. An English-speaking guide will come to pick you up at the hotel around noon and will take you to see the Gion district. You will be served a traditional Japanese meal in a charming restaurant overlooking the Shirakawa river. At the end of the meal, a young Maiko will come and join you. You will have the opportunity to take pictures with her and then she will dance for you.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Nikko is a must-see. This small mountain town houses incredible baroque temples. Visit the renowned Toshogu temple that shines brightly in the heart of a forest of giant Japanese cedars. After lunch, you will go to the shores of Lake Chuzenji, in the shade of Mount Nantai. You will admire Kegon Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in Japan!
Visit the little-known historical towns of Chugoku where you will discover the wonders of the past! From the beautiful feudal castle of Matsue, a former samurai stronghold, to the lovely historical houses of Hagi and Izumo and Tsuwano shrines, this itinerary will take you to the heart of a region filled with history that is well worth exploring! Fall in love with the leisurely charm of the amazing landscapes of the Sea of Japan where gardens are rice-fields.
Enjoy a guided walking tour of the narrow streets of Gion – Kyoto’s historical district. Dine in a Japanese restaurant where you will have the opportunity to taste tempura. Visit Gion Corner, the Geisha school, where you will attend a show presenting different traditional Japanese arts : a dance performed by Maiko dancers (apprentice Geisha), a piece of music played on the Koto (Japanese harp), Kado (a style of flower arrangement), Kyogen (traditional theatre) and Bunkaru (puppet theatre). There will also be a tea ceremony where you will learn to prepare matcha, Japanese green tea. A shorter version of this activity is also offered from 5:20 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from March to December – 115 Euros (about 100 GBP).
Visit the ultramodern Osaka Bay, where quite a few artificial islands have been built. During this excursion with an English-speaking guide, you will visit Osaka’s huge Kaiyukan Aquarium. You will then take a cruise around Osaka Bay to admire the amazing view of the city. You will end the trip with a visit to the Imax Theatre and the Tempozan market
Watch a Kabuki performance, a theatrical art typical to Japan. In beautiful sets representing traditional Japanese landscapes, the actors – all men – wear extremely elaborate costumes and make-up and act, sing, dance and play musical instruments to the delight of the crowd. This show is rich in colour and full of poetry – let it transport you to another world!
Visit the sets of the Toei company’s period films and TV series. In this theme park, you can walk around replica sets of feudal Japan and meet Geishas, Shoguns and Samurai ! Many attractions, activities and shows are on offer so you can fully immerse yourself in Japanese feudal culture. A trip back in time!
Visit many of the iconic places and some of the most beautiful monuments of the towns of Hokkaido. This will give you the opportunity to discover the unique culture that developed on the island, including its Ainu history. Indeed, Hokkaido was only colonised by the Japanese in the 19th century when the Ainu people – indigenous to this cold region – were forced to assimilate against their will. In Sapporo, you will also have the opportunity to admire Western-style monuments dating back to the Meiji period. In Abashiri, you will sample delicious fish and seafood from Okhotsk sea and admire the town’s beautiful natural surroundings with fields of wild flowers in summer and a sea of ice in winter.
Discover the third largest city in Japan – Osaka! Fall in love with this lively, pleasant city, which is a wonderful place to wander around. You will start by visiting Osaka Castle, a beautiful white building with lovely gardens. You will then enjoy the incredible panoramic view from the floating observatory on the top floor of the Umeda Sky Building, the most futuristic building in the city. You will end the visit with a small cruise on the river that flows through the city!
Walk around Nara Park, where thousands of deer wander around freely. With an English-speaking guide, you will visit Todaiji temple, which houses the largest Bronze Buddha in Japan. The other main site of the town is the great Kasuga shrine, which was built in 768. Its bright red buildings offer a striking contrast with the greenery surrounding it. Surrounded by light, the shrine shines brightly thanks to the 1,800 stone lanterns laid out around the enclosure and the thousands of metal lanterns hung on the corridors’ eaves.
Japan is the country with the largest number of planetariums in the world. Make the most of your time in Tokyo to observe the movement of the planets and the stars at Ikebukuro Planetarium! A fun, educational visit that will fascinate children!
Spend three magical nights in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese guesthouse, where you will find all the charm and tranquillity of Japanese architecture: from sliding doors to rice-paper windows! You will sleep on a very comfortable futon on traditional tatami mats! You can also wear yukata— indoor kimonos – to relax or to go to the hot baths! Finally, you will enjoy delicious homemade traditional Japanese cuisine prepared by your hosts using fresh, seasonal ingredients! A real treat!
Enter into the wonderful world of the greatest manga artist in Japan: Hayao Miyazaki, father of the adorable Totoro and mischievous Chihiro. Take a look behind the scenes of a manga production and walk into the master’s office where you can view beautiful original drawings. In a giant Cat Bus, the children will enjoy viewing an original, unaired twenty-minute animated film. A must-see! This activity is also offered with an English-speaking guide on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:40 p.m. to 6 p.m. – 62 Euros (about 53 GBP)
Discover one side of feudal Japan in Edo Wonderland Mura theme park where you can watch samurai and ninja shows and observe the daily life of the Edo period – a fun, exciting way for children to understand Medieval times in Japan and meet Japanese warriors!