JULIE AT PAULL TRAVEL

The Past and Present Japan

INSPIRATIONAL ITINERARY

October 2023

JAPAN: PAST & PRESENT

Duration : 14 DAYS

Embark on a mesmerizing journey from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the cultural heart of Osaka. Dive deep into Japan’s rich history, from ancient temples and shrines to modern skyscrapers and neon lights. Witness the harmonious blend of tradition and innovation as you navigate iconic landmarks, serene landscapes, and culinary delights. From the futuristic bullet trains to the time-honoured tea ceremonies, this 14-day experience encapsulates the essence of Japan’s past and present.

KEY FEATURES

Carefully curated for an unforgettable experience

Historical Exploration

Delve into the rich tapestry of Japan's history, from ancient shrines to modern museums.

Cultural Immersion

Participate in traditional tea ceremonies, meet local artisans, and interact with the iconic Ama pearl divers.

Culinary Delights

Experience traditional Japanese cuisine, from multi-course Kaiseki dinners to hands-on cooking classes.

SNAPSHOT

Spark your imagination in Japan

Itinerary

  • Warm Welcome to Tokyo:
    • Emerge into the bustling vibrancy of Tokyo with a cheerful “Konnichiwa!”
    • Step into a realm where contrasts define daily life, with neon-lit avenues pulsating with life juxtaposed against serene ancient shrines.
    • As you delve into Tokyo’s rich tapestry, be ready to encounter a mélange of history, art, avant-garde tech, and timeless traditions.
    • Embrace the realization that Japan’s depths are infinite, offering myriad experiences waiting to be unearthed.
  • Tokyo’s Efficient Commute:
    • Begin your exploration the local way by navigating Tokyo’s immaculate subway system, a testament to the city’s modern efficiency.
  • Ginza’s Glamour:
    • Stroll through the upscale streets of Ginza, Tokyo’s luxurious shopping district. Indulge in retail therapy at its opulent department stores, each a world on its own.
  • Zojoji Temple – A Glimpse into Eternity:
    • Venture to the iconic Zojoji Temple, a beacon of Tokyo’s spiritual heritage, nestled beside the modern Tokyo Tower. Reflect upon the temple’s historical significance, especially its connection to the royal Tokugawa lineage.
    • Conclude the day’s journey with a tranquil walk through Shiba Park, Tokyo’s verdant heart, amidst its urban sprawl.
  • Flavors of Tokyo:
    • Gather with fellow travellers for a delightful welcome dinner, sharing stories and anticipations for the adventures ahead.
  • Imperial Insights and Asakusa Exploration:
    • Navigate towards Asakusa, passing the regal grounds of the Imperial Palace and pausing to admire the picturesque Nijubashi Bridge.
  • Green Tea Ritual:
    • Immerse yourself in the delicate art of traditional green tea preparation. Brew your own cup, savouring its flavours and understanding the intricacies of this cherished ritual.
  • Nakamise Shopping and Sensoji Temple:
    • Relish free time meandering through Nakamise shopping street. Shop for unique souvenirs and local delicacies while making your way to the revered Sensoji Temple.
  • Tokyo National Museum – A Cultural Odyssey:
    • Dive deep into Tokyo’s illustrious past at the Tokyo National Museum. Discover a treasure trove of artworks, antiques, and artifacts that narrate tales of the city’s evolution and cultural legacy.

 

  • High-Speed Shinkansen Experience:
    • Step into the future aboard the cutting-edge shinkansen, Japan’s iconic bullet train. Revel in the smoothness and silence as you race through picturesque landscapes at speeds up to 200 mph.
    • Keep your cameras ready for a possible distant sighting of the majestic Mt. Fuji, an iconic symbol of Japan.
  • Ise Shrine – A Spiritual Retreat:
    • Arrive at the revered Ise Shrine, dedicated to the Shinto sun goddess, Amaterasu.
    • Stroll amidst the shrine’s rustic architecture, with its thatched roofs and unadorned wood, absorbing this sacred place’s tranquillity and spiritual energy.
  • Japanese Kaiseki Culinary Experience:
    • Savour a traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner in the evening, a culinary masterpiece comprising artfully curated, multi-course dishes showcasing ingredients in their prime.
  • Mikimoto Pearl Museum Exploration:
    • Dive into the world of pearls at the Mikimoto Pearl Museum. Delve into the pioneering ama pearl divers’ history, craftsmanship, and legacy.
    • Experience a live demonstration as divers showcase traditional pearl diving techniques, unearthing treasures from the depths.
  • Authentic Ama Hut Dining Experience:
    • Visit a traditional ama hut, immersing yourself in an unparalleled culinary journey.
    • Listen to captivating stories from the ama women as freshly caught seafood grills on a charcoal fire. Gain insights into their unique profession, their challenges, and the sacred rituals they uphold.
    • Relish a feast that is as much about the stories and traditions as it is about the flavours on your plate.
  • A visit to Nara Park, home to the famous “bowing” deer, revered and protected as national treasures.
  • Venture inside the grand Todaiji Temple and marvel at the massive bronze Buddha statue, reflecting on the temple’s historical significance.
  • Transition to Kyoto, Japan’s former capital, and immerse yourself in the blend of tradition and modernity that the city offers.
  • Visit the Kinkakuji (The Golden Pavilion), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the Zen temple’s top two floors, entirely covered in gold leaf, and delve into its rich history.
  • Wander through the serene Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, experiencing the calming effect of the towering bamboo stalks.
  • Engage with the Women’s Association of Kyoto in a traditional townhouse. Dive deep into enlightening Japanese activities:
    • Sample diverse sakes and understand their nuances.
    • Learn the art of sushi-making with hands-on experience.
    • Try your hand at origami, creating intricate shapes.
    • Engage in enlightening conversations about Japan, its diverse culture, and the evolving roles of women in society.
  • Embark on a journey through Gion, Kyoto’s renowned geisha district. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets, and if fortune favors, spot a geisha in full traditional attire.
  • Enjoy free time to shape your Kyoto experience:
    • Continue exploring Gion’s hidden gems, including temples, shrines, and quaint shops.
    • Venture to the Nishiki Market. Revel in the vibrant atmosphere, and explore stalls filled with fresh produce, local delicacies, and traditional foods.
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha Exploration:
    • Delve deep into the spiritual ambiance of Fushimi Inari Taisha, the most revered shrine of Inari.
    • Traverse the iconic rows of orange torii gates that meander through the forest, culminating at the inner shrine.
  • Mt. Koya’s Spiritual Sanctum:
    • Ascend to the sacred Mount Koya, a veritable treasure trove of shrines, temples, and monasteries.
    • Experience traditional Japanese living in a monastery with sliding paper doors and tatami mats.
  • Monastic Insights:
    • Engage with a monk to gain insights into monastic life and the observed spiritual practices.
    • Relish a vegetarian dinner, savouring tempura-fried delicacies typical of the region.
  • Okunoin Cemetery Pilgrimage:
    • Embark on an evocative journey with a monk through the mystic Okunoin Cemetery, leading to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism. Reflect on the belief that he remains in eternal meditation, providing solace to those who seek him.
  • Mt. Koya Morning Prayer (Optional):
    • Embrace the opportunity to join the monastery’s Buddhist monks in their morning prayer ritual. Experience the resonating gong sounds, chanting, and incense-infused atmosphere, setting a meditative tone for the day.
  • Shinkansen to Hiroshima:
    • Board the futuristic Shinkansen bullet train, speeding your way toward the historical city of Hiroshima.
  • Hiroshima Culinary Experience:
    • Participate in a hands-on cooking session at a local studio. Learn the art of crafting the famous Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake cherished by the locals.
  • Hiroshima’s Poignant Past:
    • Reflect on Hiroshima’s history as you visit the Peace Memorial Park and witness the haunting Atomic Dome (UNESCO), a stark reminder of the atomic bomb’s devastation during World War II.
    • Delve deeper into the events of that fateful day at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, paying respects and understanding the city’s journey towards peace and resilience.

 

  • Impactful Encounter at Peace Park:
    • Return to the Peace Park and Memorial Museum for a profoundly moving experience.
    • Engage in a heartfelt conversation with an individual who personally experienced the atomic bomb’s aftermath. Gain insights into life in Japan during that period, the harrowing aftermath, and the poignant efforts to honour the memories of the lost.
  • Mystical Miyajima Island (UNESCO):
    • Embark on a short ferry ride to the enchanting Miyajima Island, fondly known as the “Shrine Island.”
    • Marvel at the iconic Itsukushima Shrine and its legendary O-torii Gate, which stands majestically in the water, creating a picture-perfect moment.
  • Osaka Odyssey:
    • Transition to the bustling city of Osaka, your final destination on this unforgettable journey.
    • Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Dotonbori district on a guided walking tour. Revel in the electric ambiance, amplified by neon signs, bustling shops, and vibrant eateries.
  • Flavours of Osaka:
    • Discover why Osaka has earned the title of “Kitchen of Japan.” Relish the city’s renowned street food, tasting iconic delicacies that delight the senses.
    • Gather for a memorable farewell dinner. Raise a cup of sake in a heartfelt toast, celebrating the indomitable spirit of Japan and the shared adventures.
  • Reflection and Departure:
    • As the journey concludes, take a tranquil moment to reminisce about the unforgettable experiences and cherished memories crafted over the past two weeks.
    • Depart with a heart full of gratitude, carrying the essence of Japan with you as you embark on your onward journey.

A Timeless Journey into Japan

From Tokyo's neon-lit wonders to Kyoto's serene bamboo groves, experience Japan like never before. Dive deep into a culture where ancient traditions and modern marvels intertwine effortlessly. Don't just visit—live, breathe, and become a part of Japan's enchanting story.

julie@paulltravel.com
+1 780 229 3020‬