Japan Garden Discovery
- Visit 10 Traditional and Historic Gardens
- Stay at a Traditional Ryokan
Japan - an ancient culture of emperors, fierce shoguns, samurais and brutal martial arts. Yet it’s also a place of gentle geishas, colourful kimonos, exquisite garden design and Zen Buddhism. How did a country so deeply rooted in such diverse heritage become one of the most modern and advanced economies on the planet? Pondering such questions is what makes a trip to Japan so incredibly rewarding. Having travelled there once, you’ll feel almost hypnotically drawn back to this truly enigmatic country.
Japan’s roots lie in an ancient feudal culture, with many customs from these times still pervading modern society. The Portuguese and Jesuit missionaries arrived in the 16th century and by all accounts, they were initially treated well, mainly because the Japanese were impressed with their new technology – firearms. Despite trading together successfully for nearly a century, Christianity and western ideas were deemed to be undermining the social order and the Portuguese were expelled. All contact with outsiders was banned for over 200 years. The only country on earth to have been so completely isolated from all external influences, Japanese art and culture developed in its own unique way, until pressure from the US finally broke down the barriers in the 1850’s.
- Visit 10 traditional and historic gardens in Tokyo, Hakone, Hiroshima, Okayama and Kyoto
- Specialist Japanese gardener at four gardens
- See the famous sights of Tokyo including the Meiji shrine
- Enjoy astonishing views of Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi
- Explore Kyoto on a guided tour, experiencing the former imperial capital and the essence of traditional Japan
- Relax in the hot-spring spa mountain resort of Hakone
- Travel at 189 mph on the incomparable high-speed bullet trains
- Reflect on the horrors of war at Hiroshima's Peace Park and museum
- Discover Nara, Japan's first capital with its huge bronze Buddha, on a guided tour
- Return direct scheduled flights with upgrades available at a supplement
- Stay in four-star accommodation, with breakfast daily and three included meals