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Autumn Leaves in Western Japan


cKyoto Convention Bureau
kumamoto
kumamoto castle
hiroshima
atomic bomb dome

 

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welcome to Japan !!

Focus on the western Japan, which is the origin of this country and gain insight into the unique culture of Japan exploring rural landscapes, old towns, historical architectures, and ethnic traditions.

Visit exotic Nagasaki, samurai-spirited Kumamoto, miraculous Hiroshima, iconic Kyoto. Appreciate beautiful colored autumn leaves which exist always in Japanese mind as well as cherry blossoms in spring, experience Ryokan(Japanese inn) and Onsen(hot spring).

Take the opportunity to get to know the local people and learn about their views of Japanese society which might be different from those you have imagined until now.

Main program
Start Dates:From November 15 `to November 26 2011
Duration:11 nights
Location:Fukuoka~Nagasaki~Unzen~Kumamoto~Hiroshima~Kyoto
Meals: 25; 11 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners

Extension
Start Dates:From November 26 `to November 29
Duration:3 nights
Location:Kyoto~Hakone~Tokyo
Meals: 7; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 0 Dinner

Places of interest

Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1: Tuesday November 15
Arrival in Japan / Program Orientation
Arrive To:arrival to the Fukuoka airport by SQ656 at 08:00am.
After entry formalities, transfer by coach to Kyushu National Museum, of which the concept is gUnderstand Japanese culture from the point of Asian viewh.
Orientation and guided tour at Kyushu National Museum.
Lunch: in a local restaurant and welcome orientation.
Afternoon:Transfer by coach to Nagasaki.
Dinner: Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 2: Wednesday, November 16
Explore Nagasaki, Japanfs oldest port city
Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Transfer by coach to Nagasaki Museum of history and culture.
Attend a lecture, gJapanfs oldest open city, Nagasaki".
Lunch: Nagasaki noodle gChang Pongh in a local restaurant.
Afternoon: Visit Dejima.
Also, visit,
@-Glover Garden
@-Oura Catholic Church
@-China town
Glover Garden is an open air museum, exhibiting mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. It is located on the hill where Western merchants settled down after the end of Japan's era of seclusion in the second half of the 19th century. The exhibited buildings include
the mansions of British merchants Frederick Ringer and William Alt and the former residence of Thomas Glover, a Scottish merchant, whose wife was the inspiration for Puccini's opera "Madam Butterfly".

Dinner: On your own.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.
Day 3: Thursday, 17 November
Transfer to Unzen, famous hot spring resort
Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Transfer by coach to Unzen.
Stroll Unzen hell district in the hot spring resort, where whitish smoke rises from between the rocks and the smell of sulfur is particular.
Lunch: on your own.
Afternoon:Check in the Ryokan in Unzen.
Enjoy autumn leaves around Ryokan and hot spring resort area.
Among trees that turn red or yellow are a group of maple trees including "Kohauchiwa-kaede" (Acer sieboldianum Miq), "Urihada-kaede" (Acer rufinerve), "Itaya-kaede" (Acer pictum), and "Iroha-momiji" (Acer palmatum), all of which make a stunning contrast with evergreen leaves of "Yama-guruma" (Trochodendron aralioides).
Dinner: in the Ryokan.
Lodging:gRyokanh to experience the elements of Japanese culture and customs: living in a room with Tatami(straw mat) flooring, changing into a typical Yukata(robe) after taking an Onsen hot-spring bath, sleeping on a Futon(bedding) put down directly on the Tatami floor.

Day 4: Friday, 18 November
Transfer for Kumamoto, by coach and by ferry
Breakfast:in the Ryokan.
Morning:Transfer by coach for Shimabara Port.
At Shimabara port, take a ferry to Kumamoto.
Lunch: gHonmaru Gozenh, traditional cuisine for Kumamotofs Samurai at the restaurant of Kumamoto Castle.

Afternoon:Visit Kumamoto Castle@@@
Kumamoto Castle is one of the most impressive castles in Japan.
With large castle grounds and a variety of buildings, Kumamoto Castle offers its visitors one of the most complete castle experiences in Japan. Only a few structures have survived the centuries since the castle's construction in 1607 intact. The castle keep and most other buildings are modern reconstructions, but the reconstructions are mostly of a high quality and new buildings are continually being added.

Dinner: in a local restaurant.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 5: Saturday, 19 November
Shinkansen to Hiroshima, a city reborn after the dreadful experience of bomb atomic.

Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Visit Suizenji Park, formally known as Suizenji Jojuen (Garden of Elegance). The origins of the garden were in 1632, when Tadatoshi Hosokawa, the administrator of Kumamoto, built the Buddhist temple Suizenji. By 1670 the garden had attained its current scale and was named Jojuen. The lake is fed by pristine spring water from Mt. Aso, an enormous volcano in central Kyushu. At the east of the park,
there is Horaitsukiyama which looks like Mt. Fuji is made. Three islands float in the lake and beautifully trimmed pine trees enhance the exquisite scene. Carps live in the lake and birds come to visit: the spot is one of the favorite places for local people to come and relax.
After Suizenji Park, board Shinkansen at JR Kuamoto station for Hiroshima.

Lunch: Lunch box in the train.
Afternoon:On arrival at JR Hiroshima station, transfer to the hotel on foot.
Sightseeing in Hiroshima city , visiting
@-Atomic Bomb Dome
@-Peace Memorial Museum
Dinner: Okonomiyaki in a local restaurant. Okonomiyaki looks something between pizza and pancake. There are two way of cooking for okonomiyaki, Osaka style and Hiroshima style, and of course, it is a good opportunity to try Hiroshima style in Hirosima.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 6: Sunday, 20 November
Excursion to countryside of Hiroshima
Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Transfer by coach togIni-no-tanadah, selected as one of the 100 best rice terrace in Japan. Enjoy local peoplefs talk about rice terrace.
Transfer by coach togKagura Monzen Tochimurah, reproduction of 1950fs rural shopping street.
Lunch: In a local restaurant.
Afternoon:Enjoy the performance of gKagura Danceh, ancient Japanese dance that offers thanks to the gods for a bountiful harvest and serves as a purification ritual.
Dinner: in a local restaurant.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 7: Monday, 21 November
Miyajima, Holly island of Tale of gHeikeh
Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Transfer to Miyajima Island known as one of the three most celebrated scenic spots of Japan by coach and ferry, visiting Itsukushima shrine, famous spot to enjoy beautiful autumn leaves. Visit Itsukushima shrine and take a stroll along one of the island's many charming walking paths. Surrounding the seaside town area, the paths cut through the island's forest and afford nice views onto the town.
Lunch: on your own.
Afternoon:You will be split into several groups of 3-5 people to visit local Japanese families at their home, which is a unique opportunity to learn about modern Japanese lifestyle and their way of thinking.
Dinner: in a local restaurant.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 8: Tuesday, 22 November
Transfer for Kyoto, ancient capital of Japan for over 1000 years.
Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Transfer on foot to JR Hiroshima Station.
Leave for Kyoto by Shinkansen.
On arrival at JR Kyoto Station, transfer to the Kyoto Culture Museum by
subway. Attend a lecture, gHistory of Japanh.
Lunch: on your own.
Afternoon:Enjoy to stroll Gion, Kyotofs most famous Geisha district.
If you are lucky, you might see Geisha walking on a street.
Dinner: on your own.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.
Day 9: Wednesday, 23 November
One day excursion to the capital in the 8th century, gNarah
Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Transfer for Nara by coach, visiting
@-Horyuji temple, founded by Prince Shotoku, who is attributed with having introduced Buddhism to Japan in the 7th century.
Lunch:in a local restaurant.
Afternoon:Visit one of local sake company to see the process of Sake production.
Visit Todaiji, constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan.
Dinner: in a local restaurant.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 10: Thursday, 24 November
Learn about aristocratic culture in Kyoto
Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Lecture, gJapanese Historyh to learn about historical trade of Japan.
Visit Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho), which used to be the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until 1868, when the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo.
Lunch: in a local restaurant.
Afternoon:Visit Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. The temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and after this death in1408, it became a Zen temple.
Enjoy walking from The Philosopher's Path to Nanzenji Temple to admire Autumn leaves, one of the essentials of Japanese beauty.
Dinner: in a local restaurant.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 11: Friday, 25 November
Experience Japanese traditional culture
Breakfast: in the hotel.
Morning:Kimono wearing class to experience Japanese traditional Kimono with a kind help of English Speaking instructor. You can wear your preferable Kimono, which is a wonderful cross-cultural experience.

Lunch: in a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Stroll along Nishiki Market, narrow shopping street, lined by more than one hundred shops. Various kinds of fresh and processed foods including many Kyoto specialties, such as pickles, Japanese sweets, dried food, sushi, and fresh seafood and vegetables are sold. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", Nishiki Market has a history of several centuries, and many stores have been operated by the same families for generations.
Dinner:Farewell Party in a local restaurant.
Lodging:Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 12: Saturday, 26 November
Departure to the Australia/ New Zealand

Breakfast:in the hotel
Morning:People who do not extend their stay in Tokyo transfer by coach to leave for Kansai International Airport.
Departure to the Australia/ New Zealand by SQ619 at 11:00am.

Extension Program
Day 1 : Sunday, 26 November
Excursion in Hakone
Breakfast:in the hotel
Morning: People who extend their stay in Tokyo transfer to JR Kyoto Station.
Board Shinkansen for Odawara via Nagoya.
On arrival at Odawara, transfer by coach to Owakudani.
Visit Owakudani, volcanic valley.
The best views of the lake in combination with Mount Fuji can be enjoyed from Moto-Hakone, from the sightseeing boats cruising the lake Cruise Ashi.
Lunch: in a local restaurant.

Afternoon:Visit Hakone Checkpoint.
Hakone used to be an important checkpoint to control traffic along the Tokaido, the highway which linked Tokyo with Kyoto during the feudal Edo Period.
Today, a short, cedar lined passage of the old Tokaido and a reconstruction of the Hakone Checkpoint (Hakone Sekisho) are located between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi along the shore of Lake Ashi.
Transfer by coach to Tokyo. Check in the hotel at Ginza district.
Dinner: on your own.
Lodging: Western-style, comfortable hotel.

Day 2: Saturday, 27 November
Encounter Edo culture at Edo-Tokyo museum
Breakfast:in the hotel
Morning: Transfer on foot to Edo-Tokyo museum.
Attend a lecture, gJapan Todayh.
Lunch: in the museum restaurant.
Afternoon: Guided tour at Edo-Tokyo museum.
Meet with GCJ volunteers and enjoy your visit with them,
@-Want to visit Akihabara, the electric town?
@-How about shopping in Ginza?
@-Want to go back to Asakusa for a longer visit?
Your GCJ volunteers will take you to those places of your interest.
Dinner: on your own.
Lodging: Western-style, comfortable hotel.
Day 3: Saturday, 28 November
Enjoy Tokyo now!
Breakfast:in the hotel.
Morning:Full-day excursion by coach, visiting,
@-Imperial Palace.
@-Imperial Palace East Gardens.
@-Meiji Shrine
Lunch: in a local restaurant.
Afternoon:Visti Hama Rikyu garden located alongside Tokyo Bay.
Sumida River Cruise, during 40-minute trip from Hinode pier to Asakusa.
Visit Asakusa, old downtown of Tokyo, Nakamise arcade, selling all sorts of Buddhist paraphernalia as well as assorted tourist kitsch.
Dinner: on your own.
Day 4: Saturday, 29 November
Departure
Breakfast:in the hotel
Morning:Transfer to Shuttle bus stop to Narita Airport.
Departure to the Australia/ New Zealand by SQ637 at 11:30am.

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