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Beijing, Shanghai and Essential Japan

13 Days

Countries Included: CHINA, JAPAN

Cities including: Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Tongli, Shanghai, Tokyo, Mont Fuji, Kawaguchiko, Iyasi No Sato Nenba, Toyota, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka

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Itinerary:

Day 1

(CHINA) Beijing :

Welcome to China. Transfer to the hotel. Early in the evening, to familiarise ourselves with the city, we provide a transfer to Wangfujing street, a pedestrian and commercial street full of life with many shops and restaurants. Dinner included and return to hotel.
Day 2

(CHINA) Beijing :

Today's programme includes an excursion to visit the GREAT WALL OF CHINA (section Mutianyu). spectacular architectural work. Its history covers more than 2000 years. The day will include a cable car ride up and down to one of the most scenic areas. Returning to Beijing, we will stop in the 798 th district, with its contemporary art located in an old military factory. We will also visit the TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, one of the country's largest sacred complexes and a World Heritage Site. Before returning to the hotel, and as a way to rest from this intense day, we will enjoy a foot massage and we will take a Tai Chi class. We will bid farewell to Beijing with a lacquered duck dinner included.
Day 3

(CHINA) Beijing :

An exciting day awaits us. We will discover the main points of interest in the Chinese capital. We will have a full day visit in which we will visit some of the main avenues in the city. The Great Chinese Imperial Palace, better known as "The Forbidden City", the most majestic architectural complex in China from where 24 emperors ruled for almost 500 years. We will also have the opportunity to visit Jingshan Park where the Coal Hill is located, one of the best preserved imperial gardens in Beijing. We ascend to the top of the hill to have the best views (if the day is clear) on the Forbidden City. We will walk through the immense Tiananmen Square one of the largest squares in the world, and from them, we will appreciate the Great National Theater, Beijing Opera House. Lunch is included. Today, we will also visit the SUMMER PALACE, the Imperial House of the Qing Dynasty with its beautiful gardens and lakes. In the afternoon we include a tricycle ride through the traditional neigbourhood of Beijing, known as Hutong. In this area we can see the typical life style in these popular neighborhood, visit typical shops and even a traditional house, a Siheyuan, with all its lounges around a courtyard. Return to the hotel and overnight.
Day 4

(CHINA) Beijing /Nanjing :

After breakfast, we go to the train station, where we take one of the extremely modern high speed trains in China. At 300 km/hour, in less than 4 hours we cover almost 1.000 km and will arrive in NANJING, a city of eight million people and considered by many to be the most pleasant in China. We will be amazed by the activity and commercial life of this modern metropolis. We will visit the Purple Mountain, where we will look round the SUN YATSEN mausoleum and the picturesque Lingu Temple. Free time later on. Overnight.
Day 5

(CHINA) Nanjing /Suzhou /Tongli /Shanghai :

We leave for SUZHOU, which has wonderful gardens that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city was the main silk producer in the world, and was always associated with beauty and elegance. We include entrance tickets to the garden of the humble administrator. We will have free time to stroll along the very picturesque Pingjian road. Lunch is included. After that we go to TONGLI, a charming lake town with its small houses next to the canals and their gondolas. We included a nice boat ride. Continue on to SHANGHAI. Accommodation.
Day 6

(CHINA) Shanghai :

In the morning, our trip includes a visit round this impressive city. We will know the area of Pudong, located across the Huangpu River, is now the financial district, with its skyscrapers as the Pearl Tower. We include a ferry crossing of the Shanghai River which will give us great views of the two parts of the city. We will stroll the Old City and the Yuyuan Garden, a private garden that was built during the Ming Dynasty. We will enjoy a demonstration of the Tea ceremony,traditional drink that plays an important cultural role in China. We will pass by one of the most fashionable neighborhoods of the capital, Xintiandi. Lunch included. Then, visit Tianzifang, a former residential area known for its narrow, labyrinthine traditional streets with its small craft shops and art galleries. We finish the visit along the Bund with its old buildings that remind us of the influence of European trade. Free afternoon. If you wish, you can enjoy a boat trip to see Shanghai at night, it will be an unforgettable experience.
Day 7

(CHINA, JAPAN) Shanghai /Tokyo :

After breakfast a transfer takes you to the airport to take your flight to Tokyo.Welcome to Japan! Transfer by coach (shuttle bus) to hotel. 18H30.- Meeting with guide. Late in the afternoon, we will pay a visit to this fascinating country by taking a trip on the metro (tickets included) to the Shinjuku district and see the crowds of people who use this modern and efficient collective transport system. Shinjuku is one of the most important nightlife districts. Dinner included and return to hotel by metro with our guide. NOTE: This visit may take place on the day of arrival or after the panoramic city tour next day, depending on the passenger flight arrival times.
Day 8

(JAPAN) Tokyo :

In the morning, we take part in a 5-hour trip with our guide to see this amazing city, with its hustle and bustle and extremely modern districts that coexist with quiet, peaceful areas. Brief stop at the Zojoji Temple to make a beautiful photograph of the Tokyo Tower. Pay attention to the hundred of Jizos, stone traditional protecting deities who guide us on our travels, give power to those who are weak (such children) and those in dangerous places, and who are dressed including hats, robes and windmills. Then we head to the junction of Shibuya, a junction that is said to be the most crowded in the world. The Meiji Temple is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji, his wife, and their spirits. We continue on our bus along the elegant street of Omotesando. We will edge the most beautiful part of the Imperial Palace and the gardens. Stop to visit the famous Nijubashi Bridge. We will pass through the district of Akihabara, the 'electric town' with icons from the popular Japanese Manga and Anime culture and then see Kokugikan, the Sumo stadium, home of this Japanese sport. We will also visit the Buddhist temple of Sensoji, the oldest and most important temple in Tokyo, with its 55-metre high pagoda. Then we will have some free time to visit the traditional commercial street of Nakamise in the district of Asakusa. Lunch included in a local restaurant. Return to hotel.Free time in the afternoon. NOTE: During the Japanese Olympics, accommodation may be given near Narita airport.
Day 9

(JAPAN) Tokyo /Mont Fuji /Kawaguchiko :

We travel to the beautiful area of Monte Fuji, through pretty countryside on our way. First of all we see the ARAKURAYAMA SENGEN PARK, with its beautiful pagodas, and from here enjoy the best and most well-known views of Mount Fuji. After this we go on to KAWAGUCHIKO with its tiny houses, flowers and mountains, and its beautiful lake. On our arrival, we will visit the FUJI SENGEN SHRINE set in a magical site surrounded by tall trees, and the starting point of the traditional pilgrimage to the mountain. At the shrine, we will express our thanks for being able to visit this wonderful place. The visit also includes a delightful boat trip on Kawaguchiko Lake. After lunch, we start to ascend Mount Fuji on the road that takes us to the 'fifth station', surrounded by spectacular forests and views, to a height of 2,305 metres. Note: In winter, the route up to Mount Fuji is closed due to snow or other adverse weather conditions; during this season, we will ascend as far as the authorised point. Return to Kawaguchiko, with time to stroll near the lake. We will stay at a Ryokan (a traditional Japanese hotel), and have the chance to enjoy its ONSEN (public baths). Dinner included.(NB: In the planned Ryokan, some rooms are in Japanese style, with accommodation on tatamis, and others are in western-style. Accommodation may sometimes be in a western type hotel).
Day 10

(JAPAN) Kawaguchiko /Iyasi No Sato Nenba /Toyota /Kyoto :

We are only 130km (81 miles) from KYOTO. In the morning, we continue along the pretty road bordered by lakes to IYASHI NO SATO NENBA, a tiny village destroyed by a typhoon in 1966 and later restored as a traditional open-air mountain village and museum. Its traditional houses have been transformed into arts and crafts shops, restaurants and traditional museums. We then have the opportunity to admire the SHIRAITO FALLS, considered done of the most attractive sites in Japan, with a waterfall height of 150 metres. We will then continue to NAGOYA, the third most important city of Japan, on the shores of the Pacific. Here we will visit the TOYOTA MUSEUM (admission included), a must-see for motor lovers. We continue to KYOTO, accomodation.
Day 11

(JAPAN) Kyoto :

We spend all day in the city that was the capital of Japan from the year 794 to 1868 and home to the Imperial Court. During World War II the city was the only major Japanese to escape the bombardments, and so it still preserves its wealth of artistic heritage; the famous protocol restricting greenhouse gas emissions was signed in Kyoto in 1997. We head for the outskirts of Kyoto to Arashiyama, where we cross the Togetsukyo Bridge ("bridge over the moon"), which has fantastic views. We will visit the Tenryuji temple, one of the "five major Zen temples of Kyoto" and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, followed by a walk through its mystic bamboo forest. The visit includes a trip to one of the most important parts of the city. We will see the marvellous Shinto Shrine of Fushimi Inari, the Imperial Palace and Kinkakuji temple, 'the golden pavilion' and its wonderful gardens. Free time before visiting GION, a busy traditional quarter famous for its Geisha. Free time.
Day 12

(JAPAN) Kyoto /Nara /Osaka :

We leave for NARA and visit Todaiji, a magnificent Buddhist temple built in 752, which has a giant Buddha and where passengers can take photos and touch and feed the deer that wander through the park. Lunch included. After the visit, we will see HORYUJI Buddhist temple, a World Heritage Site that includes a seminary, monasteries and temples. Its main pagoda temple is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world and is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan and an important place of worship. We continue to OSAKA, where we arrive in the evening. Accommodation in this modern city (Japan's second city). We will visit Dotonbori, a colourful district filled with nightlife.
Day 13

(JAPAN) Osaka :

After breakfast, end of our services.

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