The flowers of Japan
Discover Japan’s unique culture and experience ﬁrst-hand the values and traditions practiced across the country. Over a sushi-making and calligraphy class, learn how Tokyo changed from a small ﬁshing village into the largest metropolis in the world, and how the inﬂuence of Japanese culture has spread across the globe. By going behind the scenes and meeting those who call Japan home, you’ll get an up-close look into modern day Japan.
Over the course of an eight day trip, you’ll take in the sensory overload of the capital, Tokyo, marvel at the beauty of Hakone National Park, and soak up the history of one-time imperial capital, Kyoto. You’ll also visit the buzzing cultural hub of Osaka, monkey around in Arashiyama, and enjoy unforgettable views of Mt. Fuji.
Day 1: Arrive and Take In the View of the Tokyo Skyline
Arrive at the Tokyo airport and join your Discover Corps guide and fellow travelers. Jet off to your hotel, Apa Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower to drop off your luggage before your next stop. Atop the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, marvel at the sweeping views of Tokyo. Enjoy traditional gyundon, steamed rice topped with beef and onions simmered in sake and soy sauce, for dinner before a free night to relax and prepare for the rest of the journey ahead. (D)
Day 2: Visit the Famous Shibuya Crossing and Harajuku
Stroll around the Sumo District, Ryogoku, before visiting the Sumo Museum. If you’re lucky, you may even see Sumo wrestlers training! Explore the district’s charming streets and visit the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa to learn about Buddhism and its role in Japanese culture and history. Travelers will then have the opportunity to call in at the battling cages to experience ﬁrst-hand one of the most popular sports in Japan. If baseball isn’t your thing, enjoy free-time before meeting up with your guide to observe the action that Toyko is known for at Shibuya Crossing. When the lights turn red at this busy intersection, pedestrians surge into the junction from all sides like a ﬂoodgate just opened. Don’t worry – you’ll observe from a second story window of the Tsutaya building on
the crossing’s north side.
After free time to explore and eat lunch (we recommend a famous cat café!), enjoy an afternoon of traditional- modern contrast in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. Wander through the forest until you reach the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife. Harajuku will quickly immerse you into Japanese culture with its eclectic people roaming the streets. Anything goes in Harajuku!
Day 3: Tsukiji Fish Market and Shinjuku Gyoen
Enjoy a sushi-making class led by a master sushi chef for lunch and learn how sushi evolved from a Southeast Asian technique of preserving ﬁsh in fermented rice. After lunch, visit the Edo Tokyo Museum and learn about how ﬁshing became so vital to Japanese culture and the economy. After lunch, uncover the spacious lawns, meandering paths and tranquil scenery of Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo’s largest parks (left), in the early evening. Those traveling in early April will marvel at Tokyo’s famous cherry blossoms. When night falls, attend an optional Robot Restaurant where you will see robots, ninjas, and dinosaurs all choreographed
Day 4: Marvel at Mt. Fuji and Relax in Hot Springs
Today we visit the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and enjoy views of Mt. Fuji, an iconic volcano that has come to symbolize Japan. Take a series of cars and mountain railways through the park before descending for
a boat ride on scenic Ashi Lake. In the afternoon, enjoy an optional visit to an onsen, or Japanese hot spring*. Tonight we stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. (B) (Unguided)
Days 5: Board a Bullet Train from Hakone to Kyoto and Visit the Golden Pavillion
Zooming across the country on a bullet train, we arrive at the ancient city of Kyoto. A meditationi class with a Zen Buddhist monk will guide you towards inner peace, beofre a traditional tea cremoney. We then visit the iconic Golden Pavillion, a spectacular gilded temple which reﬂects off the surface of a surrounding lake before traying your hand at calligraphy, an ancient Japanese art, in a personal workshop. (BLD) (Guided)
Days 6: Explore outside the city in the town of Wazuka
In Wazuka, known for it's association with Japanese tea culture, travelers will get to hike through tea plantations learning about how tea grows and its importance in Japanese culture, have a tea ceremony, do tea tastings and learn how to do latte art.
Day 7: Samurai & Ninja Experience
Travelers will learn about the history of Samurai and Ninjas in Japanese culture and then learn to throw stars and try a blowgun (children do rubber versions of both).
Day 8: Return Home or Choose the Hiroshima and Miyajima Extension
Join your group for an early morning trip to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market and taste the fresh ﬁsh from the morning catch!
If you're leaving us here, you'll board an airport limousine bus to Osaka or Kansai airport to ﬂy home. For those who want to continue the adventure, take a bullet train to Hiroshima for our post- trip extension outlined below. (B) (Unguided)
- One Meal per day
- Additionla Services
- Additional Services