The Japanese built their cultural and national identity on a volcanic Island chain, surrounded by an ocean,. The transition from being open to the world to being closed to it has shaped Japan‘s unique character. And even today, modern and technological Japan remains rigid and reserved, and it zealously preserves its unique tradition. A visit to Japan is a constant encounter with many contrasts; ancient temples alongside modern skyscrapers, fancy gardens and hi-tech gadgets, old samurai castles located in vibrant, modern cities. Japan is a western society that stands firmly in the east. Our tour includes Tokyo with its skyscrapers, wooden houses and traditional gardens, and the natural reserve Nikko with its abundance of temples – both Shinto and Buddhist. At Hakone, located on the edge of a volcanic lake, we can soak in a typical Japanese Onsen. Kyoto – Japan‘s imperial capital for over 1,000 years, and Takayama – ancient cultural center of the Japanese Alps. The Land of the Rising Sun brings us calm at dawn, hustle and bustle at midday, and placidity at night. Yokoso!

Cherry blossom 2018

Cherry blossom expected to start on March 28th and will last for 2 weeks, at the same time with Passover. Breathtaking scenery, colored with pink & white.

Food and Kashrut
The kosher food provided is representative of the local cuisine and includes specialties of the region (Glatt Kosher – no kitniyot).
We will eat all our holiday meals at Chabad Kyoto & Tokyo (walking distance from our hotel).

Day 1: Wednesday, 28/March/2018 : Arrival Hiroshima
Arrive Hiroshima airport (HIJ).
At 2:00PM, We will meet the tour guide at the hotel in Hiroshima.
At 3:00PM we will visit Hiroshima, located on the Oceanside. We will learn the history of the city that was A-Bombed at the end of World War II. Hiroshima, which in 1945 was the 6th largest city in Japan, was of strategic military importance. The headquarters of the Second Army, which was charged with protecting all of southern Japan, was located here. However, Allied bombing during World War II was not focused there. The city was built mainly of wood, which made it very vulnerable to fire. We will visit the A-Bomb Dome, the Peace Park, Museum and memorial.

Day 2: Thursday, 29/March/2018: Hiroshima – Kyoto
Today We’ll make our way across the water by ferry to Miyajima Island, a sacred island that houses what is arguably Japan’s most beautiful shrine – Itsukushima. The whole island is an historical site and is considered one of the three most beautiful sites in Japan. The birth of the city dates back to 593 AC when empress Seiko was crowned and a shrine was built in honor of this event. We’ll continue to Japan’s leading car manufacturer, Mazda Museum(The visit needs Mazda factory confirmation). At the end of this visit we head to Kurashiki, where we visit the Ohara art museum. We will transfer to Okayama station via a visit of the Korakuen Gardens and take the bullet train to Kyoto for overnight.

Day 3: Friday, 30/March/2018: Kyoto
Kyoto, considered the “Jerusalem of Japan” is home to over 2,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, some of the most important in Japan, as well as the traditional site of the coronation of Japan’s emperors. Due to its sanctity, the city was not bombed by the allies during World War II. We‘ll visit Nijo Castle and the Nishijin Kimono show. Later we will proceed to Ryoanji Temple – a Zen Buddhist temple and UNESCO World Heritage Site that is famous for its simplistic and stark dry-landscape garden. After the tour will go back to our hotel and start the preparations for Passover Seder.

Day 4: Saturday, 31/March/2018: Kyoto. Yom Tov
After prayers and breakfast, we shall go for a walking tour.

Day 5: Sunday, 01/April/2018: Kyoto, Yom Tov Sheni
After prayers and breakfast, we shall go for a walking tour. Today we will celebrate our second feast.

Day 6: Monday, 02/April/2018: Kyoto
Today we will visit the Kiyomizu Dera complex and the Ninenzaka and Sanenzaka lanes as we stroll through the fascinating side alleyways of this inspiring sacred city.. From there we’ll proceed to the Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji Shrine, an opulent gilded building in a magnificent garden, along with a tea house. Our next stop will be at Kyoto’s famous Nishiki Market and Gion Geisha district.
In the evening we’ll go out and enjoy a moving experience at Beit Shalom, a center of supporters of Israel.

Day 7: Tuesday, 03/April/2018: Kyoto – Sugihara museum – Tokyo
From Kyoto we’ll make our way further into the Alps to the village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where ancient “Praying Hands” homes still stand. After our visit we’ll head for yet another highlight of this tour, a visit to the museum dedicated to Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul in Kovno during World War II, who was responsible for the rescue of over 6500 Jews, for which he was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of Righteous among the Nations. After the visit we’ll take the Shinkansen, Japan’s famous bullet train to Tokyo, capital of Japan since 1868. The world’s largest megalopolis, this conglomerate of 34 million residents boasts of tradition and modernity in one: skyscrapers and temples; highways and shrines; the bustle and hubbub of the city and the quiet solitude of the gardens.

Day 8: Wednesday, 04/April/2018: Tokyo, Hakone
After breakfast we will head for the vacation village of Hakone, a resort town on the banks of Lake Ashi, on the lower slopes on Mount Fuji. We will continue to the Open Air Museum which houses works of some of the world’s finest sculptors and artists, as well as the world’s largest private collection of the works of Pablo Picasso.

Day 9: Thursday, 05/April/2018: Tokyo
Today we will visit Tsukiji Market which is best known as one of the world’s largest fish markets, handling over 2,000 tons of marine products per day. We will visit Meiji shrine, Harajuku & Omoteando. Meiji Shrine, a Shinto complex dedicated to the memory of Emperor Meiji who brought the corrupt Shogunate to an end in 1867. Emperor Meiji, who is buried at the shrine, is credited with modernizing Japan and initiating Japan’s economic and industrial infrastructure. We will continue to Edo Tokyo Museum, Asakusa Kannon Temple with Nakamise shopping arcade, Ueno Market, Akihabara Electronics District and the glitzy Ginza avenue stores. After the tour we will go back to our hotel and start preparations for Yom Tov.

Day 10: Friday, 06/April/2018: Tokyo, Yom Tov
After prayers and breakfast, we shall go for a walking tour. Today we will celebrate our second feast.

Day 11: Saturday, 07/April/2018: Tokyo, Yom Tov Sheni
After prayers and breakfast, we shall go for a walking tour.

Day 12: Sunday, 08/April/2018: Tokyo, Nikko
Today we will visit Nikko national park that is located on the mountains of Tochigi district in the Kantō region of Japan. We will see Kegon falls, and visit the Nikko temples that were declared by UNESCO Organization World Heritage site worthy of preservation in 1999. We will learn about the Japanese culture and unique style of wooden carvings on the walls of temples as well as traditional Japanese wooden roofs. The temples are built as a large complex containing several shrines.

Day 13: Monday, 09/April/2018: Tokyo – Back home
End of services. Please book your flight back home from the morning.