Team Travel Kuramoto


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7 Days
Kansai Big Three

Itinerary Summary

    Day 1 – Arrival in Osaka and transfer to Kyoto

    After being welcomed  by your private guide/driver, you will travel to your accommodation in Kyoto by private vehicle. Settle in, adjust to your new environment and get ready for your upcoming adventures. We can also organize a welcome dinner to celebrate the beginning of your adventure.

    Night in Kyoto
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 2 – Kyoto Highlights

    Today is your first full day visiting Kyoto. You’ll start your day at Arashiyama bamboo grove. Walk the peaceful path and pay a visit to the Nonomiya shrine dedicated to finding love or if you already have found your love, a visit to the shrine will reinforce your bond.

    Next, let’s visit Kyoto’s most famous stone garden, Ryoanji. There are 15 Stones in this Zen Garden, but no matter what angle you look at this garden, you can only see a total of 14 stones at one time. Take time to relax and meditate.

    Next visit the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf for an unforgettable picture!

    For lunch, let’s stop by Nishiki Food Market, also known as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’ where you will find hundreds of shops and vendors to try Kyoto’s delicious food.

    After lunch, let’s leave the busy market for the quiet and peacefulness of the Imperial Palace Garden.

    We will finish the day with another must-see temple: The Kiyomizu temple. Best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The main hall, which together with the stage, was built without the use of nails. The Otowa Waterfall is located at the base of Kiyomizudera’s main hall. Its waters are divided into three separate streams, and visitors use cups attached to long poles to drink from them. Each stream’s water is said to have a different benefit, namely to cause longevity, success at school and a fortunate love life.

    The tour will end in Central Kyoto and we suggest you continue to Pontocho for dinner. Pontocho is Kyoto’s most atmospheric dining area. It is a narrow alley packed with restaurants on both sides offering a wide range of dining options from inexpensive yakitori to traditional and modern Kyoto cuisine, foreign cuisine and highly exclusive establishments.

    Night in Kyoto
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 3 – Experience Kyoto Deep Culture.

    Today, let’s go off the beaten tracks and start a little bit outside Kyoto to the small town of Uji.

    Situated between Kyoto and Nara, two of Japan’s most famous historical and cultural centers, the proximity to these two former capitals resulted in Uji’s early development as a cultural center in its own right. Uji is also Japan’s Green tea Capital. There is no better place to enjoy and learn everything about the tea ceremony.

    Uji is also home of 2 World Heritage Sites:

    Byodo-in Temple: If you look at the back of the 10-yen coin, you might recognize this temple. Byodo-in’s buildings were repeatedly lost to fires and other calamities over the centuries, however, the Phoenix Hall was never destroyed making it one of the few original wooden structures to survive from the Heian Period.

    Ujigami shrine is believed to be the oldest standing shrine in Japan. Although there is no official record of when it was first constructed, experts estimate that Ujigami Shrine was well established by 1060.

    In the afternoon, head to Fushimi district. Fushimi District is world-famous for the purity of its water and therefore its Sake production. The district is home to the highest concentration of Sake breweries in Japan and a few of them are open to the public. Let’s visit, and taste Kyoto’s most famous sake!

    Not far from the breweries, you will find the very famous and photogenic Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine known for its thousand vermilion Torii gates.

    Let’s finish the day with the Shimogamo Shrines. The Kamo Shrines, Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine, are both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are two of the most important and oldest shrines in Kyoto, but somehow still off the radar of tourists. Shimogamo Shrine is located at the junction of the Takano and Kamo rivers. It is surrounded by the Tadasu no Mori, a forest which was preserved during the modernization of the city and contains trees that are up to 600 years old.

    Night in Kyoto
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 4 – Kyoto free day

    With more than 2,000 shrines and Temples, there is still a lot to see and do in Kyoto. Enjoy this day and visit or revisit Kyoto at your leisure.

    Night in Kyoto
    Inclusions: Accommodation and Breakfast.

    Day 5 – Day trip to Nara

    Due to its past as the first permanent capital from 710 to 784, Nara remains full of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. Most of them are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Todaiji’s main hall  is the world’s largest wooden building, despite the fact that the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two-thirds of the original temple hall’s size. The massive building houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha.

    Kasuga Shrine is also a beautiful World Heritage Shrine famous for its lanterns, which have been donated by worshipers. Hundreds of bronze lanterns hang from the buildings, while as many stone lanterns line its approaches. The lanterns are only lit twice a year.

    Nara park is home to thousands of wild deer. Supposedly, messengers of gods, the deer are quite friendly with visitors and if you can spare a few yens for Deer crackers, you will surely make some new friends!

    A couple of minutes from the park , you will find Naramachi district, a former merchant district of Nara, where several traditional residential buildings and warehouses are preserved and open to the public. Boutiques, shops, cafes, restaurants and a few museums now line the district’s narrow lanes.

    End of the afternoon, return to Kyoto, and finish the tour at your accommodation.

    Night in Kyoto
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 6 – Transfer to Osaka and visit at your leisure

    Osaka was formerly known as Naniwa when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor. Naniwa was the first ever recorded capital city of Japan. Today, the city is best known for its dynamic food and drinking culture, and famously outgoing people.

    After check-in at your new accommodation let’s start sightseeing:

    Osaka Castle was the largest castle at the time. The castle has been destroyed and reconstructed many times since then and its former appearance dates from 1931.

    For lunch head to Osaka’s food market, Kuromon Market. The market has about 150 shops that predominantly sell fish, meat and produce, with other shops also offering traditional sweets and low-priced clothes and homeware. The market dates back to the Edo Period, and today makes for an atmospheric place to stroll around, shop and eat a variety of different street foods.

    Whether you’re a restaurant chef or a home cook, Doguyasuji Arcade is a must-visit for anyone with even the tiniest interest in kitchen tasks. The mind-boggling array of reasonably priced kitchen tools and crockery is a paradise for anyone looking to fill their pantry and just a few minutes from Kuromon Market. 

    Best seen at night, Dotonbori never truly closes with some restaurants open 24 hours. One of Osaka’s most popular tourist destinations, this street runs parallel to the Dotonbori canal. It is a popular shopping and entertainment district and is also known as a food destination. At night it is lit by hundreds of neon lights and mechanized signs, including the famous Glico Running Man sign and Kani Doraku crab sign.

    Hozenji Temple is a small but quaint temple in the warren of streets that lie between the bright neon signs of Dotonbori and the shopping malls of Namba. Stepping through the temple gate is very much like stepping out of the modern world and into the past. Particularly in the evening when the lanterns are lit Hozenji has a very special, peaceful, and magical atmosphere.

    Night in Osaka
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 7 – Departure

    You’ll be free until departure. Depending on your flight, you may have time for some last-minute explorations, shopping or eating. You’ll be picked up at your accommodation for a comfortable private transfer to your departure airport.

    Inclusions: Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

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