In addition to the world class
venues of Tokyo and Kyoto, our visit included Takayama, nestled
up against the Japan Alps, and Kanazawa, on the Sea of Japan
and home to one of Japan's most famous gardens. The timing
of our trip in November landed us in the peak of the autumn
colors. We also managed day trips to Nara, an ancient capital
of Japan, Hiroshima and its Peace Park, and the magnificent
Miho Museum, designed by I M Pei and hidden in the mountains
Dinner with Mayor
Hida Village – Takayama
Temple in Kyoto
Geishas in park
Friday, November 7
Saturday, November 8
- Arrive Japan late afternoon.
- Transfer to Conrad Hotel, Tokyo.
- Time to unpack and relax with dinner on your own or just
get some sleep!
Sunday, November 9
- Today we will see the best of Tokyo, including the Imperial
Palace East Garden, Asakusa (Tokyo's most interesting neighborhood)
and Senso-ji, a temple complex that is the heart and soul
of Asakusa, Ueno (which, along with Asakusa, makes up the
historical enclave of Tokyo), the Tokyo Tower and its panoramic
view of the city.
- Late afternoon rest and jetlag recovery followed by our
opening dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant.
Monday, November 10
- Early morning visit via subway to Tokyo Central Wholesale
Market which supplies Tokyo with 2400 tons of fresh seafood
- We will visit the 1200 wholesale shops that supply the
sushi bars of the city and wander the backstreet shops
of Tsukiji to see how the people of Tokyo live.
- If you wish, a breakfast of the world's freshest sushi
awaits you here—or you can eat breakfast when we return
to the hotel around 8 a.m.
- Morning and afternoon business visits, with lunch included.
- Evening walk through Ginza on our way to dinner at a
Tuesday, November 11
- Free day to see Tokyo's special sites and gardens on
your own or take the train to Nikko with its 18th century
village, or Kamakura and home of Diabatsu, the Great Buddha,
or Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, location of Mt. Fuji
and its beautiful wilderness.
- Lunch and dinner on your own.
Wednesday, November 12
- Morning visit to a Japanese company with lunch at a local
Afternoon briefing by John Peters, Commercial Counselor,
- Rest of afternoon on your own for exploring museums,
gardens and parks or enjoying world class shopping at Omotesando
Hills or Roppongi Hills.
Thursday, November 13
- Toyota will be at center stage today. Morning departure
on Japan's fastest bullet train to Nagoya and an afternoon
tour of Toyota's Nagoya assembly operation with robots
mixed in with people and a vast array of activities that
are defining the future of the auto industry. When Don
was here in 2000, he test drove the Prius prior to its
introduction into the U.S.
- Transfer to Marriott Hotel, Nagoya.
- Enjoy an evening to relax and have dinner on your own.
Friday, November 14
- Today, we will begin a transition from the Japan of
the 21st century to historic Japan as we travel by chartered
coach to Takayama, near the Japanese Alps, a tranquil,
isolated place nestled in the Hida Mountains and nicknamed "Little
- We will check in at a ryokan for 2 nights at a traditional
Japanese inn, leave our shoes (and worries) at the front
door, and prepare for the next several days of history,
culture, and countryside while soaking in a Japanese bath
and enjoying regional Japanese cuisine.
- In the evening, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Takayama
will join us for a traditional Japanese dinner at the ryokan.
Saturday, November 15
- Today will be filled with sightseeing, including Government
House, where the Tokugawa Shogunate ran the region for
176 years, and the Hida Folk Village, traditional 18th
century farmhouses assembled from around the region.
- Included are folk craft workshops and demonstrations
of regional arts. Free time in the afternoon to visit the
Folk Craft Museum and wander the streets of Takayama's
- Traditional Japanese dinner at the ryokan.
Sunday, November 16
- As we travel through the mountains today heading towards
Kanazawa, on the Sea of Japan, we will stop at Shirakawa-go
Gassho-zukuri Village, an open air museum with 25 Gassho-style
farmhouses, with their steep, thatched A-frame roofs for
shedding the heavy snows, built by the entire community,
and housing families, their friends, and livestock during
the long winters.
- Late in the afternoon we arrive in Kanazawa with 300
years of history preserved in the narrow twisting streets
and canals in the Samurai district and Kenroku-en, said
to be the most beautiful garden in Japan.
- We will enjoy dinner at one of Kanazawa's charming and
Monday, November 17
- Kanazawa preserves much of the old culture since it was
not bombed in WWII. Its old town is lined with craft, textile
and tofu shops as well as sake breweries. Much of Kanazawa
can be seen on foot. We will explore the streets and shops,
visiting Castle Gate, the Traditional Art Crafts Museum,
and Kanazawa's most famous garden. Late into the afternoon,
we will stroll through Kanazawa's 300 year old central
market selling a variety of products, especially fish.
- Dinner will be on your own tonight, to choose from a
rich variety of local and international restaurants.
Tuesday, November 18
- Today we board the train for Kyoto, one of the most alluring
cities in the world, inaugurated in 794 by the Emperor
as the Capital of Peace and Tranquility. It reigns as the
artistic and cultural center of Japan, and is the home
of 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites. In November, the autumn
colors break out in earthy reds and oranges, making Kyoto
a magical place to explore.
- We will begin in the afternoon with a visit to Nijo-jo,
a castle begun in 1569 and home of the Tokugawa Shogun
- After checking in to the lovely Brighton Hotel, we will
enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Wednesday, November 19
- Our day will be consumed by visits to the famous sites
of Kyoto: Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion), the Philosopher's
Walk, Ryoan-ji (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon), with its
famous rock garden, Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Japan's
best known temple and an evening walk in Gion, the Geisha
- After a rest at the hotel, we will walk to a local restaurant
Thursday, November 20
- Today we will visit one of Kyoto's best museums in the
- The rest of the day will be at your leisure for shopping
and sightseeing and dinner on your own.
Friday, November 21
- We will travel by chartered coach to Osaka, stopping
on the way to visit Nara and some of its famous temples.
- In the late afternoon, we will check in to the Swisshotel
Nankai Osaka with time to relax and enjoy dinner on your
Saturday, November 22
- This morning we will leave early to take the bullet train
to Hiroshima and a visit to the Peace Park, museum, and
memorial to the World War II bombing. No American should
miss this experience when visiting Japan.
- We will return to Osaka in time for our closing dinner.
Sunday, November 23
- The day is free for last minute sightseeing or shopping.
We will depart mid-afternoon for Kansai International Airport
and the flight back to the U.S.