The country of contrasts – Japan

Day 1 | Tokyo
Konnichiwa! Arrival in Narita airport Tokyo. Transfer to Tokyo Hostel in Shinjuku area. Shinjuku (literally “New Lodge”) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative centre, housing the busiest train station in the world (Shinjuku Station). (D)

Day 2 | Tokyo
After breakfast you start exploring this modern city of Tokyo by metro and local buses. This gives you a peek of the normal day of a Japanese
person. Start from Tokyo National Museum which is the oldest Japanese national museum. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The students will get a good idea of the Japanese culture before continuing to Sumida River Boat Cruise and Tokyo Tower. Both of these will give you an idea of the city, other one from water level and other one from the air (820ft). You will finish the city tour in Asakusa Temple area in Sensō-ji temple which is an ancient Buddhist temple and the oldest and one of its most significant temples of Japan. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Tokyo
Today you will experience more of the Japanese culture by starting the day from the world famous Tsukiji fish market. This market is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. You will also learn how to make sushi here. After a fishy morning you will head to Kamakura temple area to learn about the Zen Buddism. After seeing the monks meditate, you get to try it yourself too!  Zen Buddhism, Zazen, is a meditative discipline. Practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind, and be able to concentrate enough to experience
insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment.
After this liberating experience you will head back to the hostel for dinner.
(B, L, D)

Day 4 | Tokyo – Kyoto
You’ll leave this modern city behind and depart for more cultural city of Kyoto. You’ll experience the Shinkansen Bullet train which is the fastest train in the word. 228 mile trip only takes a little bit over 2 hours! In Kyoto you’ll check-in your hostel where you get a chance to stay in a Japanese tatami mat room. The hostel is a ride away from the city but we will be using a transportation for all our excursions during these few days. Afternoon you will visit two of the Kyoto’s 1 600 temples. First Kiyomizu, which is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site and second Sanjusangendo (Sanjūsangendō), a temple in eastern Kyoto which is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Kyoto
City tour including Golden Pavilion, Ryoanji temple and Nijo Castle. After the morning cultural tour you will visit a Japanese house where the
locals will teach you traditional culture origami (Japanese paper and fabric
crafts).  After this you will participate a tradicional tea ceremony before dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Kyoto – Rural Area Farm Experience (Fukui or Shiga)
After a fulfilling visit in Kyoto you will leave for a farm experience in a rural area either in Fukui or Shiga. On arrival you will have a brief introduction by the locals for farm and nature activities. You ‘ll experience and enjoy following farm work and participating in it. (B, L, D)

Possible program
- Harvesting fresh vegetables(will be your dinner or lunch)
- Rice harvesting spring
- Making buckwheat noodles (will be your meal)
- Fishing at the mountain stream (will be your meal)
- Pottery making.
- Cooking local dishes with locals.
*Above programs will be changeable depending on the seasons.

DAY 7 | Farm experience – Kyoto
In the morning you will still participate on some of the farm activities. Afternoon you will pack up your things and head back to Kyoto. (B, L, D)

DAY 8 | Kyoto – Hiroshima / Miyajima
Today you have a historic day ahead. The Shinkansen bullet train takes you to Hiroshima where you will learn about the history of the bombing in 1945. You will visit the Peace Park and museum. Peace Memorial Park is to not only memorialize the victims, but also to establish the memory of nuclear horrors and advocate world peace. You will move to Miyajima, a Shrine Island. The island is one of Hayashi Razan’s Three Views of Japan and the shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will return to Hiroshima for the night. (B, L, D)

DAY 9 | Hiroshima – Osaka airport
Bullet train to the airport, own arrangements for the return flight. Hope you enjoyed Japan and safe travel back home! (B)

Starting price
15 – 19 students + 1 chaperone: $ 2 470 / student
20 – 24 students + 1 chaperone: $ 2 320 / student
25 students + 1 chaperone:        $ 2 240 / student
(Price depends on the time travelling e.g. Christmas / New Years and Cherry Blossom time in March are peak season)

Price includes:
Transportation in country by a private van, metro, local buses and train, all activities mentioned in the program, entrances to mentioned temples and museums, all hostel nights with meals as specified in the program (B, L, D),  local english speaking guide and a Student Journeys guide

Price does not include:
International flights, beverages and meals not specified, phone calls and personal expenses, travel insurance, visa fees (at this time no needed), all other services stated as optional or not explicitly stated as included.

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