Kyoto, Kobe, Kyusu, Beppu, Hiroshima, Tokyo

July 29th - August 12th, 2018

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.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, July 29th

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, or read some of our suggested books about Japan (see above).

day 2 of tour

Monday, July 30th Kyoto

Meet and greet, Orientation,

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.

 

Kyoto

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day 3 of tour

Tuesday, July 31st Kyoto

Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Nara Tour, Todaiji Temple, Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara Nagomikan

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.

 

Nijo Castle

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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.

 

Kinkakuji

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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.

 

Kofukuji Complex

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day 4 of tour

Wednesday, August 1st Kyoto

Ginkakuji Temple, Philosopher's Path, Nanzenji Temple, Keage Incline, Heian Shrine, Yasaka Shrine, Higashiyama Streets

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.

 

Ginkakuji

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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.

 

Kiyomizu-dera

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day 5 of tour

Thursday, August 2nd Kyoto-Kobe

Himeji Castle

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.

 

Himeji Castle

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day 6 of tour

Friday, August 3rd Kobe

Nada town, Sake Brewery, Kitano area, Nankinmachi

After breakfast we transfer to the city of Kobe, the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū. Kobe opened its port to Western trade in 1868, and today many foreign residences from the period remain in the city’s Kitano area. In 2008, Kobe was chosen as "UNESCO City of Design" for its buildings influenced by the city’s unique creative and open-minded culture. After checking in to the Crowne Plaza hotel we bring you on a guided exploration of the city, visiting a traditional sake brewery in Nada town, where you can learn all about the sake-making process. We explore the Kitano area of the city centre, where you can view buildings that show a combination of Eastern and Western architectural styles dating from the 1800s.  We then wander through Nankinmachi – Kobe’s own Chinatown developed by Chinese merchants who settled near Kobe Port after the port was opened to foreign trade. We visit the Hanshin Awaji Great Earthquake Memorial Park where we can learn about the enormours earthquake that shook the region in 1995. You have the evening free to explore the city, and can take the opportunity to buy gifts for home at the Sannomiya Shopping Arcade. In the evening we reunite for our Shabbat services with the Ohel Shlomo congregation.

 

Kobe city

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day 7 of tour

Saturday, August 4th Kobe

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

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.

day-8

Sunday, August 5th Kobe-Kumamoto

Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto Prefectural Art Museum, Suizenji Park

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.

 

Suizenji Park

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day-9

Monday, August 6th Kumamoto-Beppu

Beppu Hot Springs, The Hells of Beppu

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.

 

Hells of Beppu

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day 10 of tour

Tuesday, August 7th Beppu-Hiroshima

Hiroshima, Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Museum

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

 

Peace Memorial Museum

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day-11

Wednesday, August 8th Hiroshima

Miyajima Island, Itsukushima Shrine, Mt. Misen Gondola

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.

 

Miyajima Island

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day-12

Thursday, August 9th Hiroshima-Tokyo

Shinkansen, Tokyo City Tour, World Trade Center Building, Tokyo Bay, Sumida River Cruise, Senso-ji Temple, Ginza, Imperial Palace Plaza

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.

 

Tokyo at night

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from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

day-13

Friday, August 10th Tokyo

Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine, Ginza shopping district

After breakfast we make our way to the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower, Tokyo Tower, which is 13 meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower of Paris. The observation deck at the top offers astounding panoramic views of the city and the iconic Rainbow Bridge.

 

Tokyo Tower

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We then visit the Meiji Shrine, a shrine built in the early 20th century in memory of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken. This is the largest Shinto shrine in Tokyo, and contains some of the largest tori gates in the country.

 

Meiji Shrine

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You may spend the afternoon freely, relaxing in one of the many peaceful gardens of the city or exploring more temples and shrines. We invite those who wish can join us at Ginza district, Tokyo’s most famous shopping, dining, and entertainment neighbourhood. In the evening we reunite to prepare for Shabbat.

 

Ginza District

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day-14

Saturday, August 11th Tokyo

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

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.

 

Odaiba

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day-15

Sunday, August 12th

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

Additional Costs

  • 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

$8,595

LAND ONLY - $7,495 (no airfares included)

$2,595 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Kyoto

Hyatt Regency

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Kobe

Crowne Plaza

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Kumamoto

Hotel Nikko

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Beppu

Hotel Umine

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Hiroshima

Sheraton Hotel

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Tokyo

Sheraton Miyako

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  • After Dark – Haruki Murakami
  • 50 Years of Writing on Japan – Donald Richie
  • Geisha in Rivalry – Kafu Nagai
  • Some Prefer Nettles – Junichiro Tanizaki
  • The Roads to Sata – Alan Booth
  • Four Pairs of Boots – Craig McLachlan
  • Grave of the Fireflies (Film)
  • Stray Dog (Film)
  • Lost in Translation (Film)
Emil Dela Cruz