|Start:||Thu, Mar 06 2014|
|End:||Thu, Mar 20 2014|
All meals & activities included
Summary: This is a two-week journey exploring Japan’s dynamic city life and the natural and cultural beauty of the rural countryside. Accompanied by Keiko, a Japanese that lives in Montreal, we will try our hand at making sushi as well as origami, and on some nights we’ll experience the unique traditional tatami rooms. We will explore, amongst others, the Golden Temple in Kyoto, Tokyo’s electronics market, and we’ll even kayak in the beautiful national parks of Kyushu.
Creative Organizer Keiko Hisamatsu
Keiko will take you on a unique journey in her native country of Japan... Read BIO ►
|Outdoor / Nature|
Tokyo & Hakone’s Volcano
- Electronics market of Akihabara
- Shibuya’s 5-street intersection crossing
- Hakone’s volcano, hot springs & view of Mount Fuji
- Tokyo’s old entertainment districts & Buddhist temples
Day 1 - Tokyo & Hakone’s Volcano (Description)
Visiting the district of Asakusa, one of the older entertainment districts in Tokyo and the site of the Sensō-ji temple, an ancient Buddhist temple. Within the area surrounding the temple are traditional style shops and nearby eating places featuring traditional dishes.
We will also explore Akihabara, where stores are selling every possible technological device in Asia, a true labyrinth of electronics shops. Finally we’ll see the 5-street intersection of Shibuya, considered Japan's fashion and entertainment trends-setting district. On a daily basis, at every traffic light change, literally thousands cross the street at one the city’s main’s main hubs.
Day 2 - Tokyo & Hakone’s Volcano (Description)
A trip outside Tokyo will take us to Hakone, an active volcanic area where we’ll take short treks to visit the hot springs. Once on the volcano, weather permitting, we might have a beautiful view of Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan.
Kagoshima and Yakushima
- Relaxing in the sand baths of Kagoshima
- Kayaking in Kyushu’s national parks
- Hiking among the cedars of Yakushima
- Trekking to waterfalls while observing Japan’s wildlife
- Shochu: Kagoshima’s sweet potato liqueur
Days 3 - 4 - Kagoshima and Yakushima (Description)
Today we’ll be arriving in Kagoshima which is on the southern mainland of Japan. The local hot spring-warmed sand baths are a unique and relaxing way to unwind. This city, one of the largest in the province of Kyushu, is also known for its sweet-potatoe liqueur (Shochu).
Days 5 - 8 - Kagoshima and Yakushima (Description)
From the port of Kagoshima we then sail southward to Yakushima Island. This heavily forested subtropical island is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site famous for its many ancient cedars. It is the ideal place in Japan to enjoy the country’s nature, wildlife (deer, monkeys & birds). Our trek in the Shiratani Ravine will take us to an area filled with ancient giant cedar trees that date back to up to 7000 years.
Kyoto & the Golden Temple
- The Golden Pavilion Temple of Kinkakuji
- Sushi cooking workshop
- Visiting a Zen meditation garden
- Gion district and the Philosopher’s Walk
- Tasting Kyoto’s own yatsuhashi pastries
Days 9 - 10 - Kyoto & the Golden Temple (Description)
We will visit a Zen meditation centre for a peaceful and relaxing break and even take a cooking workshop with a sushi chef for our lunch. The Gion district, with its Kiyomizu Temple, features Geishas and we’ll get to taste typical Kyoto pastries, or yatsuhashi. We’ll also get to walk through typical local markets and see a variety of shops selling everything from Japanese knives to fish and fruits and vegetables.
Days 11 - 12 - Kyoto & the Golden Temple (Description)
Going back to Honshu, the main island of Japan, we will visit Kyoto, the former capital of Japan and residence of the Emperor for more than 1,000 years. Kyoto has an unparalleled collection of palaces, temples and shrines, built for emperors, shoguns, and monks. Our temple visits, such as the one of the Golden Temple, will allow us to walk around Zen gardens and appreciate the ancient Japanese architecture.
Tokyo: Karaoke & Shopping
- Shopping in the funky area of Harajuku
- Karaoke night in downtown Tokyo
- Taking the modern subway/train to get around
Days 13 - 14 - Tokyo: Karaoke & Shopping (Description)
We will start the day by visiting Tokyo’s artisan-filled area of Harajuku that boasts some of the city’s most interesting shops. The walk through this district will feature a unique mix of shops and shoppers that are sure to peak your curiosity. With some shops selling eccentric/funky items and some Japanese dressed up in anime/fantasy costumes there is no risk of getting bored here! Harajuku is also host to painting galleries, Japanese fashion stores and restaurants. Our stay in Tokyo will allow us to use extensive and modern subway system that connects all districts and even cities in the country. Apart from being really practical, this train system is impressive and operates like clockwork. And how could we visit Japan without trying a typical Karaoke experience? We’ll rent a room and party it up like the locals.
A valid passport that expires at least 6 months after the date of your return flight back home.
The least amount of luggage possible. We recommend bags that are practical and easy to carry. One large bag and a small day back-pack is ideal.
We recommend you consult your local medical travel clinic (or doctor) a few months before leaving in order to ensure you have the necessary vaccines. Your medical insurance card might not cover costs incurred due to injuries or health costs when you are abroad. If you need to travel with medication of some kind, please bring a doctor's prescription.
We recommend you bring a concealed belt that can hold your important documents, credit cards and currencies. It is illegal to take any objects found in archeological sites or any natural resources from any of the national parks, ecological reserves, protectorates or any other sites visited.
It is necessary that you buy medical travel insurance. You can also opt for cancellation, trip interruption and baggage insurance. Kepri can provide you price quotes with RBC Insurance, our travel insurance partner.
Here are the brochures for the various packages: Medical Package, Student Package and the Deluxe Package.
- Food: 3 meals a day with choices for both carnivores and vegetarians.
- Non-alcoholic drinks and potable water.
- Activities specified in the itinerary.
- Local transportation.
- Entrance tickets for museums, parks, visits and archeological sites mentioned in the itinerary.
- Lodging for the entire trip (double occupancy). Extra costs applicable for single rooms.
- Tips to guides, drivers, restaurants, etc...
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Transport/lodging/food or any other costs for days spent in the country of destination either before or after the itinerary.
- International flight.
- Contribution of 0.2% to the compensation fund of the OPC of the Province of Quebec (Office for the Protection of the Consumers). Example: $2.00 on a $1,000.00 price tag.
- Laundry and any other personal expenses.
- Regional flight(s).
- Personal medical insurance.
- Arrival or departure visas or fees (if applicable) at the airport.