Japan Jewish Heritage Tour

Japan through Jewish Eyes luxury tour

JPOST Discovering Zionism in Japan

10 nights/11 days

Osaka, Nara & Kobe, Kyoto, Yaotsu, Kiso, Matsumoto, Hakone, Tokyo.

A well-balanced tour with an emphasis on the ties between the Jewish and the Japanese, including “must” see sightseeing spots in Japan as Tokyo & Kyoto along side with the hot spring experience and famous Mt.Fuji in Hakone, the old samurai road in Kiso, and the castle town of Matsumoto.

itinerary

May 7, Thursday, Yokoso! Welcome to Japan!

At your arrival to Kansai Airport, your guide will greet you at the airport arrival gate and escort you to the private bus that will take you directly to your hotel in downtown Osaka.

Itinerary will be adjusted according to the final flights schedule

Accommodation in Osaka: Osaka Intercontinental Hotel

May 8, Friday – Nara- Kobe – From Old Japan to the opening to the west.

After meeting your guide and driver, you will explore by private bus Nara, Japan’s first capital, where you will find an impressive large wooden building housing a Great Buddha statue, and stroll around a huge park in the middle of town where deer roam freely, often interacting with the tourists.

In the afternoon you will continue to Kobe, one of the first city’s opened to the west and attracted many merchants, as well Jewish merchants who laid the base to the present Jewish community today. In Kobe, Jews rescued by Chiune Sugihara, arrived from Lithuania and stayed for few months until leaving for Shanghai, Israel and other destinations.

In the evening Friday dinner at the Jewish community center.

Meals: B, D

Accommodation in Kobe  :  ANA Crown Plaza Kobe or similar

May 9, Saturday – Shabbat in Kobe

The morning will begin with Shabbat prayer at the Kobe Synagogue, followed by a Kosher lunch.. You will spend the afternoon taking a leisurely walking tour of the lovely hillside neighborhoods which at one time, were the home of Kobe’s foreign dignitaries, and now are home to stylish cafes, artsy shops, and local performers.

Accommodation in Kobe  :  ANA Crown Plaza Kobe

Meals: B, L

May 10, Sunday - Kyoto's Classic Sights

You will dedicate these next few days to Kyoto - the hub of traditional culture, a city that for hundreds of years has been and continues to be an island of tradition in the swirling whirlpool of progress. Kyoto has 17 World Heritage Sites- the most properties in one city- each a representative masterpiece of the era in which it was constructed. Over these days you will encounter the daily tales that make up the Japanese puzzle. You will discover the past rippling through the every day life of locals.

Accompanied by your guide and private bus, you will be exposed to the fundamentals esthetics of Zen, architecture, horticulture through visits to famous Places such as the distinguished stone garden at Ryoanji temple, The spectacular Golden Pavilion, the Shogun’s castle, as well as a downtown market, as well as walking along picturesque streets trying to get a glimpse of a Geisha rushing on her way to work.

Evening. Walk to restaurant for traditional dinner with private Geisha Entertainment (time and date is subject to confirmation – can be exchanged with May 11 Beit Shalom).

Accommodation in Kyoto  :  Okura hotel  

Meals: B, D

May 11, Monday - Western & Eastern Kyoto.

Kyoto's Gems along the Eastern Mountains

One day, you and your private guide will explore by private bus the Western part of Kyoto- Arashiyama, one of Kyoto’s most loved spots. Arashiyama has a famous wooden bridge, numerous noted temples known for their gardens, nice walks around a bamboo grove and along picturesque streets with a pleasant atmosphere for walking leisurely around. 

You will also visit a water well in Uzumasa – originally made by a settlement thought to be from one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel. Afterwards, you will also visit an outdoor garden art museum designed by one of Japan’s most distinguished architects.  Then, you will pay a visit to another one of Kyoto’s most beloved temples, and complete the day’s tour at one of Kyoto’s most photogenic slopes with winding streets filled with small-specialized shops and cafés set against the backdrop of the Eastern Mountains.

Visit Beit Shalom – a center of a Japanese group who supports Israel (subject to confirmation – can be exchanged time and date with May 10 Geisha dinner)

Accommodation in Kyoto  :  Okura hotel  

Meals: B

May 12, Tuesday - Kiso - The Old Samurai Road to Matsumoto, the “Black Crow Castle” town.

After meeting your guide in the morning, you will first have a private transfer to Kyoto station from where you will take the bullet train- Shinkansen to Nagoya.

Luggage is sent to Tokyo ahead. Please pack a light bag for two nights.

After meeting your driver, you will drive to Yaotsu to visit the famous Sugihara Chiune Memorial Museum – the Japanese council in Kovno (Kaunas), LIthuania who rescued 6500 Jews during Holocaust. He is recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. 

Afterwards, you will continue by private bus to the Kiso Valley, an area that has retained the atmosphere of the Samurai era. In Kiso you will find well-preserved post towns with beautifully typical wooden houses, which served as inns along an old road called the Nakasendo Road. This road was a mountain road, which connected Kyoto and Tokyo between the 17th and 19th centuries. Apart from the pleasant post towns, you can also try walking along one of the trails where the Samurai once walked, absorbing the same scenes of nature that they would have seen. From Kiso you will continue to Matsumoto, famous for its black “crow castle”, where if time permits you can visit the castle, one of the very few original castles, which have remained complete from the feudal era. Alternatively, as time permits you can visit Nakamachi- an atmospheric preserved district with a small market, interesting galleries and other hidden treasures.

This night, enjoy dinner at Ryokan.

Accommodation in Matsumoto  :  Ryokan Myojinkan

Meals: B, D

May 13, Wednesday – The story of Isaac

Today, you and your private guide will travel by private bus to the very famous Suwa Grand Shrine. Through folklore and ancient legends from this shine and Mt. Moriya (behind the shrine), there are stories of the test that Abraham was faced with his faith. To this day, the festivals held at the Shrine are very similar to ones that are held in Israel for the story of Isaac.

Afterwards, you and your guide will continue by private bus to your hotel in Hakone. In the evening, you can enjoy one of the highlights of any visit to Japan- the hot springs .

Accommodation in Hakone:  Hyatt Regency Hakone

Meals: B

May 14, Thursday – Tokyo's Backyard featuring Art, Mt. Fuji Views and Hot Springs

On this day you will travel with your guide by your private bus to the "backyard" of Tokyo, Hakone- -A nature reserve and hot springs area with great museums. Another highlight in this area is the open-air museum, a renowned museum for contemporary art which uses the beauty of the surrounding nature as a backdrop display of the exhibits. In Hakone you can witness remains of volcanic activity of a volcano, which erupted some 3000 years ago and enjoy a boat cruise on a caldera lake. If weather permits, you might even get a glimpse of one of the iconic symbols of Japan- Mt. Fuji. In the evening, you and your guide will continue by private bus to your hotel in the mega metropolis of Tokyo.

Accommodation in Tokyo:  Ritz Carlton Tokyo

Meals: B  

May 15, Friday – The Many Facets of Tokyo

In the next couple of days, you will explore Tokyo with your private guide - the center of modern Japan. You will spend each day exploring the main sights of the city, by private bus. Tokyo is a huge metropolis, which has surprises in store for us at every street corner. This is an exciting vibrant and bustling city, where everything and everyone moves on high speed. At night, Tokyo reveals yet another side to it with its neon signs brightening the sky, thousands of lively restaurants and bars, and colorful entertainment districts, which you can explore independently.

At night you will have a Friday dinner in the Jewish Community Center of Tokyo.

Meals: B , D

Accommodation in Tokyo:  Ritz Carlton  

May 16, Saturday – Shabbat in Tokyo.

The day will start with Shabbat prayers at the Jewish Community Canter of Tokyo and a kosher lunch. The afternoon will be spent exploring the government and Imperial district of Tokyo, where you can get a sense of both the ancient royal tradition and the modern parliamentary system, which coexist in Japan today.

Meals: B, L 

Accommodation in Tokyo:  Ritz Carlton Tokyo 

May.17, Sunday – Sayonara, Mata Ne! See You Again!                                                                                    

Itinerary will be adjusted according to your flight schedule

Today, you will start your way back home- Your guide will accompany you transfer by private bus to Narita airport.

Meals: B

This is the tour we've created for a 10 people group. 

             Price per person, double occupancy,

based on minimum number of 10 passenger group: from $7,595  - 2015 prices. 

Other prices on request.

Price includes:

·        Accommodations in 5* hotels and Japanese Ryokan , tax and breakfast included, in standard room category

o   Osaka Intercontinental Hotel in Osaka

o   ANA Crown Plaza in Kobe

o   Ritz Carlton in Kyoto

o   Japanese style ryokan Matsumoto

o   Hyatt Regency Hakone

o   Ritz Carlton in Tokyo

·        Transportation by private bus for touring and transfers per itinerary

·        First class reserved seats on JR Shinkansen with reserved seats

·        Entrance fees per itinerary

·        English speaking guide, Jewish specialist will attend the whole tour,

·        4 dinners (2 dinners with Jewish community, 1 with Geisha and 1 in Ryokan)

·        2 lunches on Shabbat with Jewish community

·        Baggage shipment – baggage will be separately transported by truck as specified in itinerary. 1 piece per person included

·        Hotel Porters fees where applicable. Some hotels in Japan do not have porter services

·        24 hour assistance in Japan

Extra:

·        Airfare to Japan

·        Other sightseeing, meals and activities not specified in itinerary

·        Evening entertainment, please inquire

Note: this tour is not kosher. Vegetarian meals are provided upon request. The only kosher meals are available at Chabad Tokyo. Please inquire.

Please Note: