Japan Kansai- 7 Days

2017

Land Only from US $2099-$2299

Tokyo, Kamakura, Lake Kawaguchiko, Osaka, Nara, & Kyoto

Departs January- December

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Highlights

THE SUPER VALUE TOURS DIFFERENCE 

A BETTER WAY TO TOUR: To us, 'value' means making a better way to tour. We love to surprise our guests with unique experiences, top-notch service, hidden local delights, & memories of a lifetime. Our tours are designed to balance sightseeing & free time while avoiding crowds and tourist traps.

HIGHLIGHTS OF KANSAI (KYOTO, NARA, OSAKA):

  • Ride the high speed Shinkansen (Bullet Train). See the beautiful countryside from the comfort of your seat as we travel from Tokyo to Kyoto in just 2.5 hours.

  • 3 nights in Kyoto (2 city - 1 ryokan): Enjoy its timeless antiquity and the beautiful distinction of each of the four seasons with our carefully-designed itinerary.

    • Kyoto is an intimate city best explored on foot! We've created the perfect walking tour to share the hidden alleyways and local neighborhoods with you.

    • Avoid the crowds of Kiyomizudera with our specially-arranged itinerary.

  • Take a historic tour of Japan’s first capital in Nara. 

  • Feast in Osaka's Dotonbori restaurant district, known as the “Kitchen of Japan"

LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Tokyo: Imperial Hotel Tokyo- Iconic, luxurious, and walking distance to the famous Ginza district and Imperial Palace. 
  • Osaka: Imperial Osaka or Westin Osaka- Exquisite luxury located in the heart of Osaka. 
  • Biwako Hot Spring: RYOKAN style hotel. Soak in an outdoor onsen and dine on a Kyoto-style Kaiseki banquet dinner.
  • Kyoto: Kyoto Hotel Okura- Local favorite and walking distance to Gion district and shopping.

 *Please note hotels in Kansai are seeing unprecedented demand. For some departures during busier seasons, we may use alternate hotels, and we will let you know in advance.

CULINARY EXPERIENCES

  • Arranging great culinary experiences is a specialty we are very proud of. Before a restaurant is selected for our itinerary, our development team spends countless hours sampling dozens of restaurants for comparison. On this trip, you will have a chance to taste Japanese delicacies, including hand-made tofu, Wagyu Beef, Sashimi, and traditional Kaiseki banquet dinner.  

SUPER VALUE STANDARD

  • Charismatic and knowledgeable Super Value trained guides.
  • A comprehensive travel insurance plan. Details  
  • High quality headsets to hear our tour guide's presentation clearly.
  • Porterage service is provided at most hotels (where available).
Tour Map
Itinerary
Day 1

 Depart North America for Tokyo, Japan

  • Depart from your home airport, have a great flight!
Day 2

Arrive in Narita, Tokyo 【Dinner】

  • "Yokoso" or "Welcome" to Japan! A Super Value Tours Representative will meet you at the arrival gate and bring you to the hotel via hotel shuttle. Airport transfer is available for flights arriving between 12:30-6:00pm. 
    • We're sorry - airport pickup is not included for guests arriving in Terminal 3. Please take the Airport Limousine Bus service directly to our hotel where our guide will refund the cost of Airport Limousine. Alternatively, you may also take the free terminal shuttle to Terminal 2 to meet our guide (no refund). Terminal 3 details available on the Narita Airport website. Our group will meet in the hotel for dinner.
    • Terminal 3 details available on the Narita Airport website.
  • For guests arriving after 6pm, we will refund 2,000 JPY per person for dinner.
  • Due to limited luggage space on the Shinkansen (bullet train) tomorrow, please prepare a carry-on bag with belongings for 2 days & 1 night use. Your tour guide will arrange the transfer of your large suitcases to our hotel in Kyoto.
Arrive in Narita P1030240_20150821184446_20160606163728.jpg

DinnerLocal Specialty HotelImperial Tokyo or Keio Plaza

Day 3

Tokyo  Shinkansen (Bullet Train) - Kyoto  Biwako 【3 meals】

  • Before boarding the bullet train, enjoy a memorable experience by shopping for your own bento box in a depachika (department store basement market). Use our suggestions as a guideline or choose any exciting culinary delights which might catch your attention.
  • Shinkansen: Experience a true modern marvel by riding the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto Station (2.5 hours).
  • Miho Museum: See an incredible collection of antiques from Asia and Europe at the Miho Museum, designed by I.M. Pei. (When museum is closed, we will visit Sanjusangendo Hall "Hall of the Lotus King." Closed Jun 19 - Jul 31 and some holidays.)
  • Unwind in a magnificent outdoor onsen (hot spring) at a Ryokan style hotel.
  • Roll up your Yukata sleeves and indulge in a traditional Kyoto-style Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Shinkansen dsc_1116_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg Miho Museum P1080019_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg Kaiseki Banquet Dinner P1080066_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg

BreakfastWestern & Japanese Buffet LunchChoose Your Own Bento Box! DinnerKaiseki Banquet HotelHanakaido Ryokan or Equivalent

Day 4

Kyoto  Gion 【3 meals】

  • Arashiyama: Walk through the flourishing bamboo forest and discover the alluring beauty of the surroundings.
  • Kinkakuji Temple: Visit the icon of Kyoto, the "Golden Pavilion," covered with gold foil.
  • Gion: With only a few Geishas remaining, Gion is one of the few places you might catch a glimpse of these elusive figures. 
  • For dinner, enjoy a delightful meal of authentic Wagyu beef. Wagyu is the most desirable breed of cattle raised in Japan, known worldwide for being more tender and flavorful.
Arashiyama Bamboo Path bamboo-path_20150819165426_20160606163728.jpg Kinkakuji kinkakuji_20150819165426_20160606163728.jpg Geisha in Gion 2010-03-29_175555_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg

BreakfastJapanese Breakfast Set LunchKyoto specialties DinnerWagyu Beef Steak Dinner HotelKyoto Hotel Okura or Equivalent

Day 5

Kyoto【3 meals】

  • Kiyomizu Temple: Avoid crowds and enjoy an early morning visit to Kiyomizu Temple for a birds eye view of Kyoto.
  • One of the most enjoyable ways to experience Kyoto's elegance is on foot. Join our guide to explore the quaint alleyways of Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka and appreciate historical neighborhoods and sites (In case of extreme hot or cold weather, seasonal adjustments will be made to our walking tour in order for you to have the best experience)
    • The first part of the walking tour covers a distance of about 1.5 miles on fairly flat ground over approximately 1 hour of time. We will take a break in a local cafe near Maruyama park for about 1 hour.
    • The second leg of our walking tour will end at the foot of the pilgrimage path to Kiyomizu Shrine. This distance here is 0.8 miles over fairly flat ground in about 45 minutes. The footpath up to Kiyomizudera is uphill.
    • After lunch, guests will have free time to further enjoy the area. We encourage guests to see the area with the below suggestions:
      • Appreciate unique architecture and tour the Nishiki Market with your tour guide.
      • Take in more of Gion's unique character.
      • Visit Fushimi Inari independently either by train or taxi. Transportation and entrance fee will be at your own expense.
Fushimi Inari Toris_inari_7_20160218175041_20160606163728.jpg Sannenzaka sannenzaka_20150820154023_20160606163728.jpg Kiyomizu-dera kiyomizu-dera_20150820154023_20160606163728.jpg

BreakfastWestern & Japanese Buffet LunchJapanese-Italian Cuisine DinnerKyoto Style Pork Cutlet HotelKyoto Hotel Okura or Equivalent

Day 6

Nara  Osaka【2 meals】

  • Todaiji Temple: Stand in awe in the presence of one of Japan's largest bronze Buddha statues- Daibutsu and interact with temple deer.
  • Osaka Castle Park: Explore the largest castle in Japan filled with historical and cultural significance.  
  • Shinsaibashi: We built in free time so you may freely roam through Osaka's largest shopping district and get to know the city at your own pace.
  • For dinner, "eat till you drop" in the Dotonbori restaurant district, known as the "Kitchen of Japan." Be sure to try local specialties such as Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Hakozushi, and Kitsune Udon. Suggestions and maps will be provided to help you navigate the bustling district.
Deer in Nara Park P1050593_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg Todai-ji Temple todai-ji_20150820155428_20160606163728.jpg Osaka Castle osaka-castle_20150820160444_20160606163728.jpg

BreakfastWestern & Japanese Buffet LunchJapanese Lunch Set DinnerDinner is Not Included: Explore Dotonbori Restaurant District with our Recommendations HotelImperial Osaka or Westin Osaka or equivalent

Day 7

Osaka (KIX) or (ITM)  Next Destination  【Breakfast】

  • "Sayonara!" or "Goodbye!" After breakfast, guests with morning flights will be directed to take the shuttle bus bound for Itami or Kansai airport.
  • For guests with afternoon flights, your morning is free and our tour guide will provide directions for you to explore Osaka city for last-minute shopping or sightseeing. Based on your departure time, the tour guide will direct you to take the airport shuttle bus.

 *Airport send off available from 9:00am-7:00pm (KIX) or 7:55am-2:45pm (ITM).

BreakfastWestern and Japanese Buffet

Health & Safety 

  • This tour involves standing and walking for up to 1 hour at a time over inclined or uneven streets.
  • Guests in wheelchairs may be accommodated, but please understand some historic sites in Japan are not wheelchair accessible.
  • In traditional ryokan hotels, we will overnight in tatami rooms and sleep on futons on the floor.

Upgrades

  • In the spirit of "Travel Happy" we do not believe in hidden fees - no options are sold on tour.

Dietary Restrictions

  • It's important everyone has a great dining experience while traveling with us! If you have a special meal restriction (i.e. no sashimi, no lamb, etc), please let us know. We will do our best to oblige, but we regret some dietary preferences may not be available due to cultural differences.

Luggage Handling

  • Due to limited space aboard Shinkansen (bullet train), please prepare an overnight bag (carry-on size) for 2 day/1 night use on Day 5. We will arrange the transfer of your large suitcases to our next hotel.
  • Porterage service included in all hotels where available (most ryokan hotels do not offer porterage).
Ginza

In Ginza, set your soles on some of the most expensive real estate on our planet. This part of Tokyo is the quintessential, high-end shopping mecca for people to see and be seen. In Ginza not everything (or anything) is affordable, but for the same reason people visit Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles or Fifth Avenue in New York, the intrigue is the essence of the surroundings. So whether you’re browsing the extravagant department stores and towering, glossy retail shops or simply lounging with a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy as you watch Tokyo’s high society pass by.

Osaka

Enclosed by mountainous terrain on three sides and the crescent-shaped Osaka Bay to its west, the Osaka region is located in the outskirts of Japan’s Midwest. The area was fueled by a network of transportation channels by land and sea and also its close proximity to two ancient capitals, Kyoto and Nara. Consequently, by the 9th century, Osaka had grown into the largest commercial center in Japan and is still well-known for its savvy merchants today.

Osaka Castle

Built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1583, the current Osaka castle, five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, is the result of a privately-financed renovation completed in 1931. The first seven stories are devoted to museum display while the eighth floor serves as the observation deck. The Osaka Castle is not only the largest castle in Japan, but also the trademark of Osaka tourism.

Todaiji

Inside the Todai-ji is Nara Daibutsu, one of Japan's largest bronze Buddha statues. Visitors come from around the world to visit this humbling and immaculate figure in hopes of attaining a little extra luck.

Nara Park

The park not only showcases many important historical monuments of Nara (such as the Todaiji, the Kofukuji, the Nara Public Museum, and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine), but also keeps a number of spotted deer for the enjoyment of visitors. If you're feeling adventurous, you may purchase some crackers and treat the deer to some snacks!

Nara Daibutsu

Standing 14.98 meters tall, weighing 380 tons, with a face that stretches 5.33 meters and a 2.56 meter long hand, the Nara Daibutsu is one of the largest bronze statue Buddhas in Japan. Rumor has it that you will get astounding results from your fortune telling drawings in the presence of this kind-faced Buddha. Try it and see for yourself! 

Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts

Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts is dedicated to preserving a variety of handicraft industries which has been passed down for over 1,000 years.  The museum displays about 500 artifacts, all created by traditional craftsmen, including luxurious kimono, obi sashes, lacquerware and ceramics, allowing visitors to discover the traditional beauty and culture of ancient Kyoto.

Our guests can enjoy a traditional Yuzen dyeing experience.


Miho Museum

This hidden treasure is off the beaten path and seldom included in most tour itineraries, but the beauty and serenity makes the trip worthwhile. Designed by famed Chinese architect I.M Pei (Louvre Reception Hall in France, JFK Library in Mass., and Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong), the building houses the private collection of patron Mihoko Koyama which includes over two thousand pieces of painstakingly curated Asian and Western antiques.

Nijo Castle

Built in 1603, the Nijo Castle in Kyoto was the personal residence of the great Shogun Tokugawa. Apart from its splendid architecture, the castle has witnessed two major historical events within the last 400 years. The first when Toyotomi Hideyori formally surrendered to Tokugawa Ieyasu inside the castle, officially ending the civil war and the second when Tokugawa Yoshinobu announced inside this castle the return of sovereignty to the Meiji Emperor, officially ending Shogunate governance in Japan.

Kyoto

Kyoto was the nation’s capitol for a period of 1075 years (from 794 to 1869 A.D.) and is now considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city draws its beauty from its sophisticated, unique art culture and its rich, glorious history. It is no surprise that Kyoto lays claim to 17 of the world’s landmarks which have been inducted into UNESCO’s World Heritage list (Kiyomizu Temple, Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle, Tenryuji Temple, etc.).

Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizudera is a historic Buddhist temple established in 778. As a part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, an UNESCO World Heritage site, the temple is one of the most celebrated and iconic temples in Japan. The wooden stage affords visitors a spectacular view of the Kyoto city center. Twelve meters above the ground, the stage is supported by high keyaki (Japanese Zelkova) pillars assembled without a single nail. The temple is also the home of Otowa Waterfall. Spring water has been flowing here since the temple was built. The water flows down into three separate streams and visitors may drink the water for longevity, prosperity, and love.

Sannenzaka/Ninenzaka

Designated by Japan as an important historical architectural preservation district. The age of the district is evident where well-preserved streets emanate an air of the distant past. The shops that fill these streets sell local specialty goods of Kyoto such as Kiyomizu (pottery ware), Yusen-Zome (colorful and artisan tapestry), shichimiya (seven aromatic spices), otabe (sweet snack made of dough), tsukemono (pickled products), Kyogashi (assortment of sweets), traditional hand-held fans, incense, green tea, and more.

Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)

Built in 1397, the Golden Pavilion was originally a country chateau for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, later named Rokuonji and converted into a Buddhist temple. Because it is covered with gold foil, the temple is also known as Kinkakuji. Mishima Yukio, the Japanese novelist and political radical, used this place as a setting for his widely celebrated novel, “Kinkakuji”, making this scenic spot internationally known.

Gion

Gion was a red light district during the Edo period. Today, apart from the presence of many traditional shops, still hidden within the streets and alleys are many of the classic up-scale tea houses and restaurants. The art of Geishas entertaining guests with their dances still exists in this area. If you are lucky, you may run into a genuine, fully-costumed Geisha of Kyoto while roaming these streets.

Togetsukyo Bridge

Serving as the center of the Arashiyama scenic area, the bridge of a timber surface stretches over the Oi-gawa River with its frame resting on steel pillars. Its antiquated beauty complements the pristine natural surroundings of Arashiyama.

Bamboo Walking Path

A flourishing bamboo forest lies near the Arashiyama train station. The walking path runs between bamboo trees of cloud-reaching heights which sway with alluring beauty at the passing of a breeze. Take a stroll on a forest trail to discover hidden poetry within the engulfing serenity.

Tenryuji Temple

Figuratively regarded as the first of five magnificent “mountains” in Kyoto (“mountain” in Japanese also means Buddhist sect). The temple's garden, designed by Musō Soseki, features a circular promenade around the Sōgen Pond, creating a perfect blend of the elegance of nobility and profound tranquility of Zen Buddhism. Tenryuji's garden is one of the most famous gardens in Kyoto and is also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Landmark.

Shinsaibashi

Here in the largest and most significant shopping district in Osaka, you will find a gathering of giant shopping malls, more traditional stores, and an endless array of tiny shops owned and run by the locals. There are also numerous eateries, among which you will not only find a wide variety of Japanese food, but also cuisines from all over the world.

Dotonbori

Assembled within an area no more than 200 meters wide and 700 meters long, are the most popular restaurants of Osaka. The area also has the highest concentration of eateries serving Japanese delicacies. Osaka is reputed as “the kitchen of Japan” with Dotonbori as its culinary center.

Imperial Hotel Tokyo

The choice of world leaders, diplomats, and foreign dignitaries, this iconic and prestigious five-star hotel features an impressive setting overlooking the lush Imperial Palace Gardens and walking distance to Tokyo’s most affluent Ginza and Marunouchi neighborhoods. This hotel has been awarded the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for luxury and service several years in a row. 


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Keio Plaza

A sleek upscale hotel enveloped by skyscrapers and the vibrant Shinjuku district. Find yourself just a short walk from the world’s busiest rail hub, densely dotted with depachikas, underground shopping arcades, and the most popular restaurants, shops, and attractions in the heart of Tokyo.  


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Yumoto Kan

Surrounded by tranquil mountains, the Yumoto Kan is a ryokan (Japanese-style hotel) featuring hot spring baths and stunning views of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan.  Ogoto Onsen, the local hot spring for the hotel, has been supplying natural mineral-rich water for 1200 years.


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Hanakaido Hotel

The Hanakaido Ryokan embodies the elegance Kyoto is so famous for. Featuring hot spring baths and lakeside views of Lake Biwa. Enjoy their indoor bath, outdoor onsen and a beautiful Kaiseki dinner in traditional Kyoto style.


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Biwako Hotel

This hot spring hotel is known for its comfortable fusion-style rooms, each offering a private lakeside balcony view of Lake Biwa. Enjoy an expertly-prepared Kyoto-style banquet dinner and fabulous service.


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Princess Kyoto

Near Shijo-karasuma, in the heart of Kyoto, this luxury hotel is conveniently situated for sightseeing and shopping activities. In addition, all hotel rooms and banquet rooms feature Free Broadband Internet Access.


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Kyoto Hotel Okura

Centrally-located in Kyoto city, the Okura is within walking distance from Gion, popular restaurants, and exciting shopping areas. The Kyoto Okura is a Kyoto icon and has long been regarded by locals as one of the best places to stay in the city.


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Nikko Hotel Osaka

Hotel Nikko Osaka is a high-end hotel located in a prime area of central Osaka. The hotel faces the famous tree-lined Mido-suji Avenue, the city's main boulevard which is home to the headquarters of major corporations and the city’s main shopping and leisure district. Our inclusion of the Nikko Osaka ensures we always have easy access to fun shopping districts and the delicious restaurants Osaka is so famous for.


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Imperial Hotel Osaka

Known as one of Osaka's best luxury hotels, the Imperial is located near Osaka Castle on the cherry tree-lined Okawa River in a relaxing, resort-like setting. Free shuttle service to Osaka Station is available as well as complimentary bikes to explore the area (10-min. ride to Osaka Castle).


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Westin Osaka

This luxury hotel is located in the heart of Osaka and is within walking distance to the Floating Garden Observatory. The hotel is also a recipient of the TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence.


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  • Shabu Shabu

    Shabu Shabu is thinly sliced beef cooked quickly in pot of boiling water along with vegetables, served with a variety of dipping sauces. The onomatopoeic name comes from the sizzling sound of dipping beef twice into the hot water: "shabu shabu~"


  • Kaiseki Banquet

    Traditionally only served to royalty, a Kaiseki banquet is a multi course dinner of many small plates. The banquet is considered an art form that balances the taste, texture, appearance, and colors of food.


  • Yakiniku (Japanese Grilled Beef)

    Yakiniku literally means ‘grilled meat. This style of preparation allows the eater to cook small pieces of meat individually on a small grill in the center of their table, in order to ensure that every single bite is as fresh as possible, and cooked to perfection.


  • Japanese-Italian Cuisine


  • Udon & Tempura Set


  • Tonkatsu

    Since its introduction into Japan by Portuguese traders in the 19th century, Tonkatsu has been transformed into a uniquely Japanese dish. Good Tonkatsu must be prepared with a perfectly crispy crust while keeping the meat juicy and moist on the inside.


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