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Japanese Culture, Art & Gardens in Autumn

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See the Cherry Blossom in bloom.

Enjoy the Japanese Cherry Blossoms and Castles with Botanica.

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12 Days with a Botanical Guide in a small group. Travel by bullet train to see Japanese gardens in the beautiful autumn season. Learn about the fascinating history from your local guide and enjoy cultural & art experiences. This itinerary suits both returning and first time travellers who want to see Japan at this magical time. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTJPA12
Duration: 12 days
Accommodation: Hotels offering superior comfort
Journey: Tokyo to Osaka
Meals included: 23

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Tokyo

Be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner to meet your fellow travellers and Botanical Guide.
Stay: Three Nights: Tokyo, Shibuya Excel Tokyu Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Tokyo Art, Gardens & Sights

Visit Meiji Shrine, an oasis of serenity in the heart of the city surrounded by over 100,000 trees which will be displaying beautiful autumn leaves. Afterwards visit Rikugien, considered one of Tokyo’s most beautiful landscaped gardens. Visit Nezu Meseum with an excellent collection of Japanese and East Asian Art, hidden in a forest like garden.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 3. Nikko Autumn Leaves

Travel to the town of Nikko, the historical centre of Shinto and Buddhism, and renowned for its spectacular autumn colours. Visit the Toshugu Shrine complex and old Imperial Villa then Kirifuri Falls which translates to ‘falling mist’.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 4. Tokyo to Kanazawa

Visit Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can enjoy some time to shop. Afterwards visit Sensoji Temple and Kiyosumi Garden, before boarding a bullet train to Kanazawa.
Stay: Two Nights: Kanazawa, Tokyu Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 5. Kanazawa

This morning visit Omicho Market, home to more than 200 stalls. We then visit Kenroku-en garden, classified as one of Japan’s most beautiful, which will be delightful in the autumn. Afterwards see a demonstration of Yuzen silk painting followed by a visit to the Nomura Samurai House.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 6. Kanazawa to Kyoto


Travel via express train to Kyoto, with many incredible gardens and home to the famous Geisha. Upon arrival visit the World Heritage-listed Tenryuji temple, then travel through the bamboo groves to Nonomiya shrine.
Stay: Three Nights: Kyoto, Tokyu Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Kyoto Sights

Visit ornamental Nijo Castle and its stunning gardens again in autumn colour. Wander along the Philosopher’s Walk, visit Kinkakuji the famous Golden Pavilion, with its top two floors covered in gold leaf. Also visit Ryoanji Temple, a World Heritage-listed site, known for its rock garden, considered one of the finest surviving in the world.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 8. Nara

Travel to the former capital Nara and visit the Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden structure. Visit Nara Park, home to a large population of tame deer. Later visit Kasuga Taisha shrine, the Shinen Manyo Botanical Garden and the Heinan Shrine and garden.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 9. Kyoto to Tottori


Travel by bullet train to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle, one of Japan’s biggest and most beautiful. After lunch visit Kokoen garden, which consists of nine separate walled gardens all in different styles. The garden is particularly attractive in the autumn as the maple trees turn a vibrant yellow and red. Travel to Tottori, located on the Sea of Japan.
Stay: Tottori, Kaike Tsuruya Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 10. Tottori to Okayama

Visit the Adachi Museum of Art, which has perhaps one of the most magnificent gardens in Japan. Visit the museum and garden. Afterwards travel up to Mt Daisen to see the autumn leaves and landscape before travelling to the city of Okayama.
Stay: Okayama, Granvia Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Okayama to Osaka

Travel to Koraku-en garden, one of Japan’s most significant gardens – the name meaning ‘garden of pleasure after’. Travel to Kurashiki and visit the canal area where you will find many old rice storehouses. Visit Ohashi House, once the home of a wealthy merchant family, then travel by bullet train to Osaka for a Farewell Dinner this evening.
Stay: Osaka, Granvia Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 12. Depart Osaka

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • Learn about the history of Japan
  • See stunning gardens in autumn colour
  • Visit Kenroku-en & Koraku-en gardens
  • Explore Tokyo, Kyoto & Kanazawa
  • Visit Meiji Shrine in the heart of Tokyo
  • Visit a Samurai’s home & a silk painting display
  • Travel through bamboo groves
  • See the historic sights of Nara
  • Explore the castles of Himeji & Kinkaju
  • Visit the Japanese zen garden, Ryoanji

Map

Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned
  • Services of a Tour Manager & Botanical Guide
  • Airport transfers on first & last day, tipping & porterage
  • 23 Meals – 11 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches & 5 Dinners
  • Travel by bullet train or private coach

Additional Information

Botanical Guide/Celebrity Gardener – Simon Rickard

  • On this trip Simon will share his love of Japanese culture, food and gardens, to bring this amazing destination alive for you

 

Fitness Level

  • This tour requires a high level of fitness – Pace moves quickly with long days, multiple one and two-night stays as well as unexpected cultural challenges. A very good degree of mobility is required. 

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Shuttle transfers are provided in Osaka and Tokyo
  • Prices are for land/rail only. Flights not included

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