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April 16 - 23, 2015  (8 days and 6 nights)

** Guaranteed Departure **

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 09/30/2014)

Kansai, Kyoto (4 nights), Kodaiji Temple, Kiyomizu-dera, Maruyama Park, Gion Corner, Miyako Odori, Philosopher's Path, Nanzenji Temple, Heian-jingu, Arashiyama, Sagano Bamboo Forest, Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle, Ninnaji Temple, Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, Arima Onsen (1 night), Osaka, Aqua-Liner, Dotonbori, Hozenji Yokocho, Sennichimae Doguyasuji, Kansai

TWIN RATE:
$ 3,575 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 525 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 2,675 per person
 
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
Thursday, April 16 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO OSAKA/KANSAI
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the airport for check-in procedures for our flight to Kansai International Airport in Osaka. A meal and a light snack will be served on board the flight.

Friday, April 17 (Day 02)
KANSAI - KYOTO
We'll arrive Kansai Airport in the early evening, then transfer by chartered motorcoach to the traditional city of Kyoto, capital of Kyoto prefecture. On arrival, we'll check-in at our hotel for four exciting nights.

Accommodations at KYOTO NEW MIYAKO HOTEL or similar

Saturday, April 18 (Day 03)
Kiyomizu Temple SpringKYOTO (B)(D)
Today, enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Kyoto, visiting Kodaiji Temple, an outstanding Zen temple established in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of Japan's greatest historical figures by his wife, Nene. The buildings of Kodaiji feature richly decorated interiors and are surrounded by beautiful Zen gardens. We'll visit Kiyomizu–dera, an independent Buddhist temple that is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed in 1633, Kiyomizu means clear or pure water and takes its name from the waterfall within the complex which runs off the nearby hills. Weather permitting, we'll visit Maruyama-koen, a public park noted as one of Kyoto's most popular cherry blossom viewing sites featuring its star attraction - a tall weeping cherry tree (shidarezakura). Gion and Pontocho are Kyoto's traditional nightlife districts where geiko (geisha) or maiko (apprentice geisha) still carry out their traditional dance performances at teahouses during the peak of the cherry blossom season in April. Enjoy a stroll through the narrow streets of this historic district to enjoy an atmosphere of old Kyoto featuring many old buildings, restaurants, and traditional teahouses. Enjoy a performance of Miyako Odori (Cherry Blossom Dance) at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater located next to Gion Corner. After the performance, we'll enjoy a special shabu shabu dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodations at KYOTO NEW MIYAKO HOTEL or similar

Sunday, April 19 (Day 04)
Heian Jingu Shrine - KyotoKYOTO (B)(L)(D)
Enjoy a stroll through Philosopher's Path (Tetsugaku no Michi), a pleasant stone path following a canal lined by hundreds of cherry blossom trees The path is named after Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan's most famous philosophers who was said to practice meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University. Weather permitting, the cherry trees along this path explode with blossoms, making this one of the city's most popular ohanami (cherry blossom viewing) sites. We'll visit Nanzenji Temple, one of the most important Zen temples in Japan located at the base of the Higashiyama mountains. The history of the temple dates back to the mid 13th-century when Emperor Kameyama built his retirement villa at this location and later converted it to a Zen temple. Nanzenji's massive Sanmon entrance gate was erected in 1628 and is famous for its connection with a legend about the chivalrous robber Ishikawa Goemon, noted as a kabuki character. Experience one of the famous local specialties in Kyoto for our lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, we'll stroll through the gardens of Heian-Jingu, an imperial Shinto shrine listed as an important cultural property of Japan. The scenic garden features a stepping-stone path crossing a large pond, a Chinese–inspired bridge, and is best known for its shidarezakura (weeping cherry blossoms). Enjoy shopping at the Kyoto Handicraft Center, a center offering the best of Kyoto's traditional handicrafts. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at KYOTO NEW MIYAKO HOTEL or similar

Monday, April 20 (Day 05)
KYOTO (B)(L)(D)
We'll travel to Arashiyama, a nationally-
Kinkakuji Temple webdesignated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty located on the western outskirts of Kyoto, particularly beautiful during the cherry blossom season. The scenic Togetsukyo Bridge, spanning the Hozu River with Mount Arashiyama as a backdrop, is Arashiyama's well-known landmark. The area north of the bridge is known as Sagano and one of the attractions there include the famous Sagano Bamboo Forest, noted as one of the most beautiful bamboo forests in Japan. The groves are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth. The sound of the wind in the forest has been voted as one of "one-hundred-must-be-preserved-sounds-of-Japan" by the Japanese government. We'll return to the city and visit Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), an impressive Zen Buddhist temple - designated as a National Special Historic Site. Officially named Rokuon-ji, this magnificent golden structure was built overlooking a large pond, providing a beautiful reflection in the calm waters. Enjoy a visit to Nijo-jo, a flatland castle built as the official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa Shogun Ieyasu, and designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. One of the features of the main building at Ninomaru Palace are the 'nightingale' floors. The corridors squeak like birds - designed as a safeguard against intruders. Ninnaji Temple is one of the great temples in Kyoto and listed as a World Heritage Site, famous for its grove of locally cultivated late blooming cherry trees called Omuro Cherries. The scene of this temple with its cherry blossoms and pagoda in the background will be featured in the new and soon to be released Taiga drama television program 'Onihei Hankacho'. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at a local restaurant.

Accommodations at KYOTO NEW MIYAKO HOTEL or similar

Tuesday, April 21 (Day 06)
KYOTO - KOBE - ARIMA ONSEN (B)(D)
Our journey continues on to the port city of Kobe, Japan's top sake producing region due to its high quality rice, suitable water, and favorable weather conditions. We'll visit the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum featuring displays of life-sized replicas of tools, containers, and machinery used in the past. Interesting video clips throughout the building explain the step-by-step traditional sake brewing process. At the end of the tour, samples of some of their delicious products will be available for you to enjoy. Kobe is also famous for Nankin-machi, one of only three designated Chinatowns in Japan with over a hundred Chinese restaurants and shops. Enjoy a stroll through this bustling and colorful Chinatown to experience a taste of some of their international cuisine. We'll continue on to spend the night at a hot spring resort in Arima, the oldest spa area in Japan. Arima hot springs are natural ones, containing lots of minerals and natural ingredients. Enjoy a delicious dinner and relax in the soothing onsen waters at our elegant hotel this evening.

Accommodations at ARIMA GRAND HOTEL or similar

Wednesday, April 22 (Day 07)
ARIMA ONSEN - OSAKA (B)(L)(D)
Dotombori - OsakaWe'll travel on to the commercial city of Osaka, rich with wonderful waterfronts. On arrival, enjoy a tour of this 'Water Metropolis' on the Aqua-Liner, a one-hour relaxing river cruise covering most of Osaka's major sightseeing spots. Weather permitting, enjoy the view of beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom along the river banks. Dotonbori is an exciting and busy street running alongside the Dotonbori Canal between the Dotonboribashi Bridge and Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba ward of Osaka. Best known for its many shops and restaurants, the area is lit up in the evenings with bright neon lights. Located next to Dotonbori Street is Hozenji Yokocho, a beautiful stone-paved lane famous for its moss-covered Buddhist Fudo-Myo statue, known as Mizukake Fudo Myo-o. Visitors splash water on the statue as they pray for good fortune. Enjoy a stroll through the interesting Sennichimae Doguyasuji, a street lined with specialty shops selling a wide selection of cooking utensils and kitchen items. As Osaka is known as the 'Kitchen of the World', these shops stock special kitchen tools to accommodate professional chefs. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL NIKKO OSAKA or similar

Thursday, April 23 (Day 08)
OSAKA - KANSAI AIRPORT - HONOLULU (B)
We'll transfer to the Kansai International Airport to check-in for our evening flight home to Honolulu. We'll arrive in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line. A late meal will be served on board the flight.

 

The tour price is based on double occupancy and a minimum group size of 20 passengers. Fare adjustment may apply for groups of 20 or under. The rate is based on tariffs and exchange rates effective 8/1/14. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, fuel surcharge increase and fluctuation of the rate of exchange between U.S. and foreign currency. In the event of revaluation, the land portion of the tour price may be adjusted prior to your final statement.

Land portion based on 101 Yen = $1.00 U.S.