HIROSHIMA TO KOBE AND THE BULLET TRAIN
Day 1 March 14, 2014
Your overland tour will start from Hiroshima pier. You will visit Peace Memorial Park and Museum, designed and built after the war as a memorial to the people who died in the atomic bomb attack. One of the more sobering sights is the Genbaku Dome, the only structure left standing near the epicenter of the 1945 atomic blast.
While a stark, powerful reminder of the destructive force of an atomic bomb, the building has also become a symbol of peace and hope for the elimination of nuclear weapons. The skeletal remains of the dome stand exactly as they did right after the bomb blast.
Later you will see the Peace Memorial Museum and the Flame of Peace, which was lit in 1964 as 10,000 observers offered their silent prayers for peace.
Following lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit Shuku-kei en Garden, located near the Hiroshima Castle. Modeled after the famous West Lake in Hangzhou China, Shuku-kei en Garden is a quiet respite from the bustle of Hiroshima's busy streets. Plum trees, azaleas, cherry trees and other plants guarantee a blooming landscape, regardless of the season, and its sculpted gardens, paths, ponds, bridges, waterfalls and bamboo groves make the garden an extremely pleasant and photogenic place for a stroll.
After this experience, transfer to Hiroshima station and step a board the super express train (Bullet train) to Kyoto. After arriving in Kyoto, transfer for your hotel and check-in. Enjoy an evening at your leisure. Feel free to ask your guide to suggest appropriate restaurants for dinner on your own.
Day 2 March 15, 2014
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel and start your full day sightseeing tour of Kyoto. You will visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amazingly, no nails were used to build it; rather it utilizes a unique mortise-and-joint construction. Weather permitting, the panoramic view of Kyoto City from the balcony is magnificent.
Also, you will visit Kyoto's most famous icon "Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion). Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) is Kyoto's world-renowned and most photographed temple and garden. Also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was built in 1394 as a retirement villa for a former Shogun. The three-story Chinese-influenced Golden Pavilion features delicately curving roofs, with the walls and eaves of the second and third stories covered in shimmering gold leaf.
Following lunch at a local restaurant, you will then delve into the fascinating traditions of Japanese culture by attending a tea ceremony. While tea is prepared during the ceremony, the meaning of this choreographed ritual goes much deeper, as the process is about aesthetics and requires years of study to master. The emphasis is on the interaction between the host, guests and tea utensils.
Following the tea ceremony you will drive to the port of Kobe and re-embark the ship.
Overland Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The timings indicated are only approximate, and are given here for general reference purposes and are subject to change.
9:30am Depart the ship and drive to Peach Memorial Park and Museum
10:00am Visit Peach Memorial Park and Museum
11:30am Drive to lunch restaurant
11:45am Lunch at the local restaurant
12:45pm Drive to Shuku-kei en Garden
1:00pm Visit Shuku-kei en Garden
2:00pm Drive to Hiroshima Station
2:15pm Arrive Hiroshima Station
2:44pm Depart Hiroshima Station (schedule subject to change)
4:32pm Arrive Kyoto Station
4:45pm Depart Kyoto Station for your hotel
Evening at your leisure and dinner on own
There will be a hospitality desk in the hotel lobby from 5pm - 7pm
Overnight at Kyoto Hotel Okura or similar
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant
8:30am Check out and depart hotel to drive to Kiyomizudera Temple
8:45am Visit Kiyomizudera Temple
10:15am Drive to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
11:00am Visit Kinkakuji Temple
12:00pm Drive to lunch restaurant
12:30pm Lunch at a local restaurant
1:30pm Drive to Japanese Culture venue
2:00pm Japanese Culture Experience (tea ceremony)
4:00pm Drive to Kobe pier
5:30pm Arrive a the pier and embark the ship
The temperature can be as low as 34° F - 41° F in the morning, rising to approximately 50° F - 59° F during the day.
What to Bring:
Warm clothing is strongly recommended. Hats, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes are also recommended.
Local currency: Japanese yen
Luggage: One overnight handbag per person. The Bullet Train cannot accommodate large suitcases.
Documents and Visa Requirements: Please consult your local Japanese embassy for regulations for your country or origin.
Kyoto Hotel Okura or similar
*If a similar hotel is required due to unforseen circumstances it will be of equal ratings and standards.
One-night hotel accommodation at a hotel in Kyoto
Shinkansen (Bullet Train) First-class from Kyoto to Hiroshima
One breakfast and two lunches with soft drinks
English-speaking tour guide throughout
Admission fee for Kinkakuji Temple, Kiyomizu tera Temple, Tea Ceremony, Shukukei-en Garden and Peace Memorial Museum
Ground arrangements as per the itinerary
Items of personal nature such as drinks, additional meals and snacks, laundry, phone calls, dinner arrangements, and gratuities for the driver and guides.
Please note: This program involves moderate to extensive walking during site visits. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs and negotiate a mixture of surfaces, which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand, gravel or natural paths. The tour is therefore not recommended for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilize a wheelchair. The Bullet train cannot accommodate electric scooters and wheelchairs. Some parts of Kiyomizu tera temple are being restored, but it won't interrupt your visit the temple. Guests must remove their shoes at the tea ceremony venue and the Japanese-style lunch restaurant.