This eye-opening journey introduces you to the astonishing natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of Japan.
Japan is one of the world’s most enigmatic and diverse countries, a land filled with buzzing cosmopolitan centres, extraordinary ancient ruins, magnificent art and boundless fun. Join us on an astonishing adventure through Japan’s historic, artistic and cultural centres, from Kyoto to Kobe, Kyusu to Beppu, and from Hiroshima to the coolest city in the world – Tokyo. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will stay with you forever.
Our voyage Japan will be rich in information and humour, whilst our excursions provide an unforgettable, unique portrait of a country that continues to influence the world as a cultural superpower. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of distinguished hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and our expert personal tour guide will be available at all times for any questions or requests.
Japan welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.
We depart on our overnight flight to the ancient city of Kyoto, in the central part of the island of Honshu. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey
Upon arrival in Kansai International Airportwe are welcomed to Japan by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Hyatt Regency, and offer an introduction to Japan and Kyoto. The former imperial capital of Japan until the 19th century, this city miraculously survived the horrors of the Second World War, spared for its cultural and historical value. Known as the ‘City of Ten Thousand Shrines’, the numerous heritage sites provide ample material with which to learn about Japanese architectural traditions. Few cities in Japan contain so many beautiful gardens, temples and shrines, making it one of the most popular cities to live in the country. The remainder of the day can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.
In the morning we set off on our tour of Kyoto. Our first stop is the formidable Nijo Castle, an incredible fortified citadel with highly manicured gardens and unique singing floorboards – designed to warn ancient shoguns if there were assassins prowling during the night.
We then visit the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) Zen Buddhist Temple. Here we provide an informative lesson on the various religions practiced in Japan, including Buddhism and shamanistic Shinto. We can admire Muromachi-period gardens, and the building’s setting overlooking an enormous pond that reflects the gold leaf of the top floors. The ancient Imperial Palace is our next destination, where we invite you for a tour that brings you back to the time when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. Here we can learn about the fascinating history of Japan’s warring shoguns, each vying for control over the country.
After lunch we transfer to Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital established in 710. The city contains eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is the perfect place to be introduced to the country’s history, art and cultural heritage. We visit Todaiji Temple, which soars over the skyline. This lofty building contains Nara’s Daibutsu (Great Buddha), which is almost 15m (50ft) high! We stroll through Nara Park, where we can visit the Kasuga Taisha Shinto shrine and the incredible Kofukuji complex – the family temple of the most powerful family in Nara during the 9th century: the Fujiwara clan. In the evening we return to Kyoto for our delicious dinner.
Our first target today is Ginkakuji, an elegant Zen Buddhist temple situated in the Higashiyama District. Here we explore the picturesque gardens, where we can see a sand mound sculpted into the shape of Mt. Fuji. We follow the ‘Philosophers Path’ along a canal lined with cherry trees resplendent in their spring foliage. We end up in Nanzenji Temple, a Buddhist complex containing beautiful ponds and harmonising sand gardens. Continuing along the cherry-tree lined paths we visit the Heian and Yasaka Shrines, two of the most famous shrines in Kyoto.
In the afternoon we provide a guided tour of the Southern Higashiyama District. The narrow lanes reminiscent of Venice, small artisanal shops displaying locally produced arts and crafts, and traditional architecture make this Kyoto’s favourite district to have a leisurely stroll. We wander through the landscape gardens and bamboo groves of Kodaiji Temple, before making our way to the Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple that is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site. From the famous balcony jutting thirteen meters above the maple and cherry trees below one can admire the charming landscape stretching in to the distance. After dinner you have the rest of the evening free to do as you wish, though we recommend wandering through the neighbourhood to get a taste of the city’s nightlife.
In the morning we board the Shinkansen bullet train to Himeji, a small city dwarfed by the enormous 16th century Himeji-jō Castle, easily the most magnificent castle in all of Japan. The castle is considered to be a national treasure of Japan, and has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site for being the finest surviving example of ancient Japanese castle architecture. We receive a guided tour of the castle before continuing to Kobe, a bustling and cosmopolitan port city filled with pleasant neighbourhoods to wander through. After checking in to the Crowne Plaza Hotel you have the rest of the evening free to explore the streets of Kobe.
Kobe has a strong Jewish diaspora, with a long history of Jewish immigration before the Second World War, attracted by the city’s wealth and trading opportunities. Today Kobe continues to have a small but vibrant community, with whom we get to experience our Shabbat Shacharit services. After the Shabbat services at the Ohel Shlomo Synagogue and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day freely. Those who wish are invited on a leisurely walking tour of the town, visiting some of the area’s loveliest parks and gardens, such as the Fruit and Flower Garden in northern Kobe.
After breakfast we fly to Japan’s third-largest island, Kyushu, where we arrive at Kumamoto. after checking in to the Hotel Nikko we visit the famous 15th-century castle that was largely damaged during the 19th-century Satsuma Rebellion. With large grounds and a staggering variety if buildings, we can happily explore the citadel and reconstructed Honmaru Goten Palace. We then visit the Kumamoto Prefectural Art Museum, which contains a fine collection devoted to the arts and crafts of local Kyushu artists, as well as an exhibition of decorated Kofun (Japanese megalithic tombstones). After lunch you have plenty of free time to explore the city at your leisure, or join us for a relaxing walk through the beautiful Suizenji Park before dinner.
We set off early for our bus ride to Beppu , one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts. The steam rising from vents in the earth has enabled numerous traditional onsen (hot springs) and ryokan (inns) to operate a thriving therapeutic business. We invite you on a tour of the “Hells of Beppu”, a chain of eight spectacular hot springs each with their own individual theme, such as the blood-red Chinoike Jigok pool. You may spend the rest of the day visiting the onsen for some rest and recuperation. In the evening we stay at the Hotel Umine.
Today we depart early to transfer to Hiroshima, a city infamous for its tragic wartime history. Hiroshima has recovered enormously from its terrible past, when in 1945 it became the world’s first target of an atomic bomb. Today the city is lively and attractive, its citizens are welcoming and friendly, and one can view reconstructed monuments of Hiroshima's historical heritage, such as Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden. We bring you on a guided tour of the city, where we learn about its strategic military importance in the early-20th century, and what exactly took place on the 6th August 1945. We visit the Peace Memorial Museum, containing moving and sobering exhibitions set within a stunning building that survived the atomic blast – testament to the strength of Hirsohima. In the evening we can relax in the Sheraton Hotel
We transfer by ferry southeast of Hiroshima to the island of Miyajima (“Island of the Gods”), passing floating oyster farms as our guide explains the astonishing oyster culture that dates back to the 16th century. Miyajima Island is a famously harmonious area, where mountainous slopes and the shores of Hiroshima Bay meet at the astounding Itsukushima tori shrine emerging from the waters. The entire island is considered to be of outstanding cultural significance, and is one of the three most beautiful locations in all of Japan. Here our expert guide explains the romantic history of the island as we wander through some of its most famous shrines, and then take a ropeway up to the summit of Mount Misen, the tallest peak on Miyajima. Here we can delight in the gorgeous views of Hiroshima Bay, and you might even see some mischievous wild monkeys playing on the slopes as we walk back down the mountain through ancient forests. We then return to Hiroshima for our evening meal.
In the morning we depart from Hiroshima and take the Shinkansen bullet train ride – capable of reaching top speeds of 240–320 km/h (150–200 m/h) – to Tokyo. The world’s most populous metropolis, this cosmopolitan city is as steeped in its cultural heritage as it is anticipating its future as host of the 2020 Olympic Games. Today, Tokyo offers a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and green spaces to enjoy.
After checking in to the Sheraton Miyako Hotel we invite you for an afternoon tour of the city, beginning with a stunnig panoramic view of the capital from the World Trade Center Building’s observation deck. We then go to the harbour at Tokyo Bay, where we embark on a boat cruise up the Sumida River to Asakusa. We can browse through the artisanal stores along the Nakamise walkway, and visit the Senso-ji Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple where you can still see people worshiping today amongst the tourists. We also stop in at the nearby Asakusa Kannon Temple complex, an active Buddhist temple containing the largest paper lantern in Japan.
Later we proceed to the Imperial Palace, which is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan (currently His Imperial Majesty Akihito). This was the former site of Edo Castle, the seat of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867. After admiring the towering stone walls and deep moats we enjoy a delicious meal. In the evening we recommend you explore the local neighbourhood, to get a taste of Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife.
After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day freely. We recommend visiting the artificial islands of Odaiba. This popular shopping and entertainment district displays some of the most revolutionary architecture in the city, including the Fuji TV Building.
After breakfast we transfer to Narita International Airport for our flights home.
Cost Per Person : Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)
- Round-trip airfare from New York - call for airfare from other cities
- All airfares within Japan
- An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
- Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
- 3 Kosher meals daily
- All admissions as per itinerary
- Visa fees as required
- Health and Travel Insurance
- International airport fees
- Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
- Any other services not specified