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Destinations:  Kyoto & Osaka, Japan
Travel Style: Classic Expedition
Activity Level:  • • 3 • •
Group Size: Min 4, Max 16
Age Range: 18 to 65+

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Itinerary Overview

Journey Overview & Trip Highlights
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Embark on a cultural adventure to Kyoto and Osaka Japan, and come away having experienced a balance of traditions and modern culture.

Highlights include, exploring and tasting street food in the Kuromon Market, walking with tame deer in Nara Park, and viewing Kiyomizu Temple's views all with a Native Guide to highlight history and cultural points of interests on your tour.

Day 1: Arrive in Osaka, Japan
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Arrival Airport: Osaka International Airport (ITM)

Welcome to Osaka! Here you will spend the first couple days of your trip. Osaka has nearly 3 million inhabitants, yet manages to blend cosmopolitan hipness with country charm. During a short stay in Osaka, you’ll fall in love with the city through its charm and food! This city takes its food seriously. Living up to its reputation, there is an abundance of snack food at places like Dotonbori Street and on Oto-Road. Be sure to fill your pockets for the day by stopping by vending machines or street stalls. Hit the slick Umenda neighborhood for lively nightlife when the sun goes down or shop for a bargain in Namba department store. Dine at ethnic restaurants in the entertainment districts or visit old-school joints tucked away from main streets.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Osaka

Day 2 Osaka Castle and Kuromon Market
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After a delicious breakfast, you will meet your guide for the day in the hotel lobby. Together, you will take public transport to the Osaka Castle where you will tour the impressive grounds surrounded by stone walls and moats. The Nishinomaru Garden, is a lawn garden with 600 cherry trees, a tea house, the former Osaka Guest House and nice views of the castle tower from below. After viewing the castle and grounds, you will be lead to Kuromon Market, famous for its fresh seafood. Stroll through the market tasting street food and shopping for a bargain. End your day on Dotonbori Street which runs parallel to the canal’s southern bank. It is one of the most colorful areas in Osaka and an absolute must-visit location when traveling through Kansai region.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Osaka

Day 3 Osaka Leisure Day
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After enjoying a traditional Japanese breakfast at your hotel, you will have the day to spend at your leisure. As an option, you will have directions and a paper guide for a self guided tour of Nara, Japan's first permanent capital and just outside Osaka. In Nara you will visit one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples, Todaiji Temple. Walk the through the temple with your guide hearing our the temples significance to Japan. You will then visit Nara Park to walk through and see a few of the hundreds of freely roaming deer. Nara's deer are surprisingly tame, and will allow you to get close if you feed them with some deer crackers sold at the park. After laughter and photographs, end your day visiting Kasuga Taisha, Nara's most celebrated shinto shrine. It was established at the same time as the capital and is dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city. Return to Osaka for dinner and leisure time.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Osaka

Day 4 Arrive in Kyoto
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Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in Osaka and then check out as we make our way to Kyoto. Once you check into your hotel for the rest of the trip, enjoy an afternoon free time. Witness one of Japan’s most incredible sights, the stunning Cherry Blossom. This rare occurrence only occurs during the Cherry Blossom Season (March–April), and today you will have some free time to see and photograph the beautiful blossoms.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Day 5 Kyoto Historic District
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After a delicious Japanese breakfast at your hotel, you will be met by your guide and set out to visit the Kiyomizu Temple. After visiting the temple and taking in the architecture, you'll be taken to a token cultural spot of Kyoto. There’s no better place to soak up Kyoto’s atmosphere than Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka streets.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Day 6 Kyoto's Kitchen
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Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and set out for another cultural experience in Kyoto. Your guide will take you to Nishiki Market. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. With stomachs full of delicious food, you will visit Nijo Castle, the former Kyoto residence of the shogun. Nijo Castle was used as an imperial palace for a while before being donated to the city and opened up to the public as a historic site and being named a UNESCO World Heritage site. After touring the grounds and learning about its history, enjoy and afternoon of free time.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Day 7 Departure Day
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After a delicious breakfast and leisurely morning, we will say goodbye to Kyoto as we depart through the Japanese countryside to catch our international flights back home - or extend your stay another 3-days in Mt. Fuji & Tokyo (see Tokyo extension directly below).

Optional 4-Day Mt. Fuji & Tokyo Extension
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View Full Itinerary for more details

Optional 2-Day Hiroshima Extension
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This extension is offered at the beginning of your trip. Spend two days visiting the historical city of Hiroshima. This amazing city, rebuilt after the war, holds rich history of Japan and its people. Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden which were monuments before the war have been reconstructed to continue their homage to ancestors and ancient history. Enjoy time in the city at your own leisure and then tranfer to Osaka to start your Cultural Japan Expedition.

Accommodations

Expedition Route

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This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.

Dates & Prices

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From $3900 / person | Comprehensive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country by train, instructional materials and tools, all activities as listed on the itinerary. *International airfare is not included

+ Single Supplement + $600

+ 4 Day Extension to Mt. Fuji & Tokyo: $1600

+ 2 Day Extension to Hiroshima : $800

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What are the accommodations like?

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+ Do I have to have a basic understanding of Japanese to go on this trip?

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+ What types of foods should I try in Japan?

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