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J APAN TRAVEL ADVENTURES IN JAPAN | SELF-GUIDED | SMALL GROUP TOURS | JAPAN RAIL PASS

JAN 2009 - DEC 2010

Japan Ireland Travel BRIDGING IRELAND TO JAPAN THROUGH SPECIALISED TRAVEL SERVICES


DI S COV E R J A PA N WITH JAPAN TRAVEL SPECIALIS T S


CO NT E NT S Why Japan?

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About Us

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Japan Rail Pass

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Self-guided Tours

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The Golden Route (9 nights) Adventures on the Alps (13 nights) Traditional and Tropical Japan (14 nights) World Heritage Japan (17 nights) Wonders of the West (17 nights) Small Group Tours

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Sakura Spring (11 nights) Lost in Japan (12 nights) Traditional and Tropical Japan (13 nights) Japan Revealed (12 nights) Highlights of Japan (6 nights)

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Japan Hotels

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How to Book / Useful Information

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10 R EASO N S

Why japan should be on the top of your list of places to see.

INTERESTING & LONG History A L AND OF Diversit y OUTSTANDING NATURE & CULTURE 14 world heritage sites SUPERB transport system internationally adored cuisine FOUR DISTINCT & EQUALLY BEAUTIFUL SEASONS HIGHLY EFFICIENT & SHOCKINGLY CLEAN CREATIVE & SPIRITUAL People stunning architecture outdoor paradise rafting hiking skiing

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BO U T U S Japan Ireland Travel is an independent travel

company offering unique Self-Guided & Small Group Tours to Japan. Other services vary but include internal transport using the Japan Rail Pass, hotel & ticket reservations (Sumo, theatre etc), tailor-made plans to suit your travel needs such as honeymoon holidays, sporting events (martial arts, skiing, sumo etc), educational tours and the like. We have mixed years of research and travel around Japan to give you extensive knowledge on living, working and travelling in this mystique land. Our creative and talented bilingual staff promise to provide you with a holiday of lifetime, to a country that deserves it.

our team Japan Ireland Travel is made up of a team of Japan specialists. We all know and love Japan very much, have travelled the length and breadth of the country, and are able to answer just about any questions you may have. Why not meet our team in our Dublin office by arranging an appointment to discuss your options. We pride ourselves on offering dedicated one to one customer services to each and every client, no matter how big or small your demands are.

To ease your mind and erase any doubts, we offer private appointments before you choose your tour, and again before you start your journey. We talk you through your itinerary to make sure you are happy with every arrangement made. When travelling to a country like Japan, we highly recommend being prepared and having a structured, yet flexible, itinerary. You will be surprised at the difference it will make!

JAPAN RAIL PASS | CIT Y SIGHTSEEING TOURS | HOTELS

[ GEISHA: photo caption goes here ]

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We can be contacted 6 days a week to meet and discuss your options. Contact us today for GENUINE EXPERT ADVICE.

“ We rate J ap an as on e of t h e b e s t ho l i d ay s we have b e e n on .. . an d we ’ ve s e e n t he worl d! “

“ We we re ve r y i m p re s s e d wi t h t he p e o p l e an d s e r v i c e. We wo u l d n eve r have s e e n al l t h e m ag n i f i c e n t an d hi d d e n s e c ret s had i t n ot b ee n for yo u r to u r .. .. “

“ T he per fe c t ho n ey moo n – b e au t i f u l an d v ar y i n g lan d scape , f r i e n dl y p e o p l e , l it t le or n o c r i me , abi l i t y to t rave l w i t h e as e an d t he o p t i on of b r i g h t c i t y l i g ht s to a q u iet p arad i s e i s l an d .“

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APAN R AI L PASS Japan’s transport system is one of the best in the

world making it a pleasure to travel around. Knowing you can depend on comfort, reliability and punctuality means you can relax.

The train is the best way to get around the country but fares can add up. If you are intending to travel around for a week or more, the Japan Rail Pass is a good idea. Just make sure you are planning enough journeys to justify the cost. If you are unsure, speak to us by telephone or email. We are happy to give you honest opinions.

What is the Japan Rail Pass? A discount ticket offering unlimited travel around Japan for 7, 14 or 21 consecutive day periods on any Japan Rail train (some restrictions apply). It can be used on Japanese Shinkansen (Bullet Train) - excluding Nozomi trains. Some JR buses accept the pass and the ferry operating from Hiroshima to Miyajima is also included. There are two types of Japan Rail Pass: Green (for superior-class Green cars), and Ordinary. DURATION

O R D I N ARY

GRE E N

Adult

Child (6 - 11 yrs old)

Adult

Child (6 - 11 yrs old)

7 days

28,300JPY

14,150JPY

37,800JPY

18,900JPY

14 days

45,100JPY

22,550JPY

61,200JPY

30,600JPY

21 days

57,700JPY

28,850JPY

79,600JPY

39,800JPY

How much does it cost? The cost of your pass will be determined by the daily exchange rate. An additional 5% fee is added to cover administration costs by Japan Ireland Travel. (This charge is waived when you join our Selfguided or Small Group Tours).

Who is eligible? 1. Visitors entering Japan on a tourist visa, under the entry status of “Temporary Visitor” staying for short term (nonJapanese passport). 2. Japanese citizens who have permanent residency in another country.
 3. Japanese citizens who are married to a foreign national. Note: The Japan Rail Pass cannot be purchased inside Japan. It must be prepurchased before entering.

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E L F - G U I D E D TO U R S Our team of Japan experts have carefully designed a set of five Self-Guided

Tours that we hope will be of interest to you. Each tour has been tried and tested so we can assure you a holiday of a lifetime. What makes our Self-Guided Tours Special? 1. Ease of mind: You will be met on arrival to Narita Airport to give you a helping hand with your transfer. Our hands on assistant will help you make the necessary train reservations when exchanging your Japan Rail Pass Coupon 2. Flexibility: Although most days are left open for you to choose your own schedule, we offer recommendations or optional (self guided) excursions from certain areas 3. Attention to Detail: The Essential Travel Pack includes relevant maps, step by step directions to your hotels and ryokans, a detailed daily schedule, daily travel tips (that suit your schedule), train times, names, and transfer information 4. Stress-Free Travel: being prepared means you can leave the stress of making a plan, finding the right hotel, or choosing the best route to the experts. This gives you more time and energy to enjoy your time on the ground 5. Local Assistance: in some places where we feel appropriate and/or necessary, we provide local guides to meet you and take you around using public transport for the day. The knowledge you receive from our guides is greatly appreciated and found very useful by all our guests 6. Quality Hotels: we have selected are a combination of 2&3 star (standard plans) and 4 star equivalent western hotels for each tour. All tours include at least two nights in a traditional Japanese ryokan Feel free to suggest changes to either itinerary or hotels. We welcome ideas from guests and will tailor your trip to create the perfect itinerary for you.

[ GEISHA: photo caption goes here ]

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HE G O LD E N RO UTE 9 nights from *€1,495 PP

A route most typical to first time visitors to Japan is The Golden Route: Tokyo, Hakone/Mt Fuji and Kyoto. Tokyo was once known as Edo. Until 1868 the capital city, or the city where the emporer took residence, was in Kyoto. Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Emporer was moved to Edo, which then became known as Tokyo. To imagine the sheer size of Tokyo, it is best to think of one giant city named Tokyo, which has many smaller cities such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, Ueno and so on, spread across over 240 square miles. Each city, and suberb of the city, is accessed by a highly advanced and reliabe rail network. The fact that Tokyo is home to 30 million people (between central and greater Tokyo), the most significant observation from most people is how efficient, clean and successfully automatic the society on a whole works!! From the blue collar construction workers neatly dressed in their matching uniforms, to the exquisitely dressed white collar salary men walking in orderly one way lanes through Shinagawa or Shinjuku station, Tokyoites proudly possess a culture of their own, somewhat alien to the rest of Japan, and the world. Spend your first day adjusting to the 8 or 9 hour time difference, and enjoy the random spectacles seen by just stepping outside your hotel door. On Day 2 you will be met by a local Tokyo guide who will help you get acquainted to the (“easy when you know how”!) comprehensive transport system. Understanding the transport system at the beginning of your trip will be the kick start you need to make this a successful one. As well as showing you how to get around, your guide will take you to any particular sights you wish to visit. Alternatively, if you have no idea where to go, he/she will recommend places to visit such as Takeshita Street in Harajuku, Meiji Jingu in Yoyogi Park, or, if feeling up to it, the smelly Tsukuji Fish Market, considered the largest in the world. Entrance fees and lunch will be paid for on the spot.

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After two days in Tokyo, you will move west to Hakone. Here you will spend 2 nights at a traditional style Japanese hotel known as a Ryokan. Don’t be surprised if your room has no bed – traditionally, Japanese people sleep on futons, laid nicely on tatami mats (rice mats). Surprisingly, you will get used to this way of sleeping and for some, prefer it! Hakone is a tourist town located near the foot of Mt Fuji. Hopefully you will get at least one clear day where you can take the famous shot of the magestic mountain. If you arrive during the climbing season (July 1 – August 31), we can arrange for you to climb the 3,776m summit. In Hakone, you will be provided with a 2 day Pass that allows free entrance into most of the sights nearby. The popular Hakone day trip involves riding the switchback train, funicular, ropeway (gondala), and pirate cruise on Lake Ashi. All can be done within the space of a few hours so the rest of your time you can spend relaxing in the hot spring, or going for leisurely walks. Enjoy traditional Japanese Dinner on both nights at your ryokan. When you feel ready to leave Hakone on Day 5, take the famous shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. Kyoto, the ancient capital, is home to many magnificent temples and shrines, the most famous being Kinkakuji (The Golden Pavilion), Kiyomizu Temple, Ryoanji Temple & Garden, Sanjusangendo (thousand Buddha’s), Heian Shrine. On Day 6, a local guide will meet you to show you around the sites you have in mind, or again, if unsure about which to visit, he/she will make some suggestions for you. If you have more time to spend in Japan, we recommend extending your travel to Hiroshima and Miyajima Island to see the historic city and World Heritage Itsukushima Shrine (floating shrine) on the picturesque island. Eitherway this Golden Route Tour promises to give you an excellent insight into Japan’s urban and rural life added with many interesting events along the way.


ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SELF-GUIDED TOURS

tHE GO LDEN RO U T E

9 nights from *€1,495 PP

*PRICES ARE PER PERSON AND EXCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

1 TOKYO 2 HAKONE 3 KYOTO 1 TOKYO

*Prices 3

Y Standard Twin from €1,495 Y Standard Single from €1,826 Y Superior Twin from €1,783 Y Superior Single from €2,532

Hotels Standard Tokyo (2)

The B Akasaka

Superior Shinagawa Prince (Superior Room)

Hakone (2) Hakone Ichinoyu Ryokan

Okuyumoto Ryokan

Kyoto (3)

Hotel Sunroute

Hotel Granvia

Tokyo (2)

Shinawaga Prince

Keio Plaza (Superior Room)

Price Inclusions Y Narita Airport Meet & Greet on arrival

Tour Highlights Tokyo ~ Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Odaiba, Rainbow Bridge, Meiji Jingu, Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tsukuji Fish Market, museums, contemporary art and infrastructure. Mt Fuji/ Hakone ~ Spectacular views of Mt Fuji, Owakudani, Sounzan, Hakone Yuumoto Town, Hot Springs at your ryokan. Kyoto ~ hundreds of temples,Geisha Walking Tour, Zen gardens, quaint streets, tea houses and traditinal atmosphere.

Y Airport Transfer Tickets (arr/dep dates) Y 9 nights accommodation at selected hotels Y Meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 dinners Y Suica Subway Card Y 7 day Japan Rail Pass Y Tokyo Full Day Guide Service Y Kyoto Morning Tour including English speaking guide &

entrance fees

Optional Hiroshima & Miyajima Island (2 nights)

Y Kyoto Private Gion (Geisha) walking tour including

Shabu-Shabu Dinner at local restaurant

Y Hakone Free Pass (no charge into most sights in Hakone

National Park Area)

Y Japan Ireland Travel Essential Travel Pack

Available all year round. Prices may vary depending on season. Hotels are subject to availability at time of booking. See inside back page to view special seasons.

RECOMMENDED ADD-ON *** MIYAJIMA ISLAND & HIROSHIMA *** *** 2 NIGHTS *** Why not add one of Japan’s three most scenic spots, Miyajima Island, to your itinerary. Visit the World Heritage Itsukushima Shrine (standing in the sea) along with magnificent walks up and around Mt Misen. Find the perfect Japanese gift on Machiya-Dori, an old street lined with neat rows of stores, eateries, and houses. Spend two peaceful nights in a traditional Japanese ryokan with dinner and hot spring baths included. On your way back to Tokyo, you can stop off in Hiroshima for a half day visit to the A-bomb Peace Dome, Park & Museum, a worthwhile visit! STANDARD:

Miyajima Ryokan: from €275 including breakfast & dinner (Japanese style) per day plus transfers

SUPERIOR:

IWASO Ryokan: from €470 including breakfast & dinner (Japanese style) per day plus transfers

Note: Option to stay in Hiroshima City instead of Miyajima. You can access Miyajima easily from Hiroshima as a Day Trip. Price will differ so ask your travel advisor for accurate quotation.

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DVE N T U R E S O N TH E AL PS 13 nights from *€1,952 PP

Hakuba, the gateway to Japan’s Northern Alps, is Japan’s all year round adventure destination. Whether its skiing in the winter (Dec – Mar) or hiking, rafting, caoeing the remainder of the year (Apr – Nov), Hakuba is a vast playground for all ages and interests. You do not need to be an outdoor manic to enjoy your stay in Hakuba. Using Hakuba as a base, it is possible to visit some of the many cultural and natural sites in the surrounding areas around Nagano Prefecture. Among some of these places of interest include: Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route (mid April – mid November) is a 90km route that connects Toyama with Shinano-omachi in Nagano prefecture. It is divided into nine sections running along incredible scenic paths using a variety of different transport. This is one of the few places in the world where you will see 18 metre high snow walls, known as the Snow Corridors of Toyama. During this season, you will journey out for one day using cable cars, local trains, and other public transport. You will be provided with a return ticket as far as Muroda, which for most people is far enough. Along this journey you can see Japan’s higest dam, the Kurobe Dam standing at 186m, also one of the highest in the world. Matsumoto Matsumoto (all year round), is a castle town one hour south of Hakuba village. The six story castle, built at the end of the 16th century, is the oldest of the major castles of the Samurai era still standing and is a designated National Treasure. A short distance from Matsumoto are wineries and local Wasabi (Japanese hot green mustard) farms. Local farmers use pure mountain waters to grow the best wasabi in Japan. Nagano City Nagano City (all year round) welcomes visitors from all over the world, including the Japanese themselves, to visit Zenkoji Temple. Built in 642, Zenkoji is one of the largest buddhist temple complexes still active in Japan today. Within the walls of the temple resides one of

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the first images of the Buddha brought to Japan. If you descend to the inner chamber beneath the alter, you can touch the ‘Key to Salvation’, allowing you entrance to heaven! Togakushi Village Togakushi Village (all year round) located 30 minutes by bus from Nagano city is almost like taking a step back in time. This quaint mountain village is known for its traditional woven crafts, delicious soba noodles, Ninja history and ancient mountain shrines. Season permitting you can visit a real Ninja training ground and museum. Jigokudani Jigokudani (Hell Valley or Snow Monkeys) (all year round) invites you to get up close and personal with the wild monkeys who live around a natural hot spring. Bring your camera as the monkeys pay no heed to visitors while they soak and play in and around the steaming water. World Class Skiing and Snowboarding As one of the host areas for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Hakuba has world class skiing and snowboarding on 12 resorts spread across gigantic mountain ranges. The incredible variety of runs provide skiiers of any ability room to improve. Powder lovers are also in for a treat. The 3000m peaks and the prevailing winter weather pattern ensure that fresh snow is frequent and plentiful. For the more adventurous type you have the option to explore the valley using cross country skis with local English speaking tour leaders. Lessons, ski/snowboard rental including wear are easily available to rent. English language instructors are readily available (advance booking recommended) to get you started for the season. An All Mountain 3 Day Pass will be included in your pack but if you wish to extend your stay in Nagano, ask your travel advisor. Depending on your interests, we will put together a suitable plan for you. For the remaining schedule of this tour, see The Golden Route page 8 & 9 that covers Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone/Mt Fuji.


ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SELF-GUIDED TOURS

ADVE NTUR ES O N T HE A LP S *PRICES ARE PER PERSON AND EXCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

13 nights from *€1,952 PP 1 TOKYO 2 HAKUBA (NAGANO) 3 KYOTO 4 HAKONE/MT FUJI 1 TOKYO

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*Prices 3

Y Standard Twin from €1,952 Y Standard Single from €2,473 Y Superior Twin from €2,588 Y Superior Single from €3,726

Hotels Standard

Superior

Tokyo (2)

The B Akasaka

Keio Plaza Hotel

Hakuba (4)

Terry’s Sport Hotel Hakuba Mominoki

Kyoto (3)

Hotel Sunroute

Hotel Granvia

Hakone (2)

Hakone Ichinoyu Ryokan

Okuyumoto Ryokan

Shinagawa Prince

Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa (Club Floor)

Tokyo (2)

Price Inclusions Y Narita Airport Meet & Greet on arrival Y Airport Transfer Tickets (arr/dep dates) Y 13 nights accommodation at selected hotels Y Meals: 13 breakfasts & 4 dinners

Highlights Dec-Mar ~ Nagano Winter Olympics Ski Resort. Apr-Nov ~ Kurobe Alpine Route in the Sangaku National Park. Matsumoto Castle, Snow Monkeys in Yudanaka, Magnificent Moutain Scenary, Ancient Temples of Kyoto, Natural Hot Springs throughout, the magestic Mt. Fuji, and the ultra Cool Tokyo.

Y Suica Subway Card Y Most transfers between destinations (7 day Japan Rail Pass) Y Kyoto Full Day Local English Speaking Guide Services Y 2 day Hakone Free Pass (no charge into most sights in

Optional

Hakone National Park Area)

Kanazawa & World Heritage Gokayama (3 nights).

Y WINTER: Hakuba 3 Day All Mountain (200+ different trails)

Ski Lift Pass

Y REST OF YEAR: Kurobe Alpine Route Pass Y Japan Ireland Travel Essential Travel Pack Available all year round. Prices may vary depending on season. Hotels are subject to availability at time of booking. See inside back page to view special seasons. *NON SKIERS arriving in Winter, we will arrange a day trip to Jigokudani & Zenkoji Temple with local English speaking guide. The other 3 days can be spent in hot springs, relaxing, self-guided trip to Matsumoto or Takayama. Full details will be provided in your travel pack.

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RECOMMENDED ADD-ON

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KANAZAWA & GOKAYAMA / 3 nights Kanazawa with 1 night at a Gassho Style Inn – an unforgettable experience. Kanazawa is home to a number of important cultural and aesthetic assets in Japan. Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan is designated as a National Special Place of Scenic Beauty. Open all year round, you can enjoy the unique landscape of the graden with each changing season. Kanazawa Castle, the 21st Century Musem of Contemporary Art, Nagamachi Bukeyashiki Samurai Residence, are among other attractions you can enjoy. Spread across the city lie Three unchanged Teahouse Districts, preserving a traditional atmosphere typical of Kanazawa. Gokayama remains unchanged in appearance from the way it was in 1732. Every day life today is no different. The Gassho Zukuri (thatched houses) of the Ainokura Area in Gokayama form a landscape that presents itself a different face in each of the four seasons. English is not widely spoken in this area, so your guide will accompany you on local buses, help you to communicate with the locals, and ensure you experience the true magic of this timeless region. STANDARD A. Standard Kanazawa Ryokan & Gassho Zukuri Inn: from €462 per person A. Kashimaya Ryokan & Gassho Zukuri Inn: from €410 per person OR B. Kanazawa Sky Hotel & 1 night at Gassho Zukuri Inn: from €394 per person B. Chaya Ryokan & Gassho Zukuri Inn: from €600 per person SUPERIOR A. Superior Kanazawa Ryokan & 1 night at Gassho Zukuri Inn: from €600 per person OR B. Kanazawa Nikko Hotel & 1 night at Gassho Zukuri Inn: from €510 per person

PACKAGE INCLUDES Y 2 nights stay in Kanazawa including breakfast daily (dinner included with plan A only) Y 1 night stay at Gassho Zukuri (thatched house – same standard for both plans) including breakfast and dinner Y 1 full day with local guide assisting you around Gokayama area Y Available as an ADD ON for all tours, all year round.

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R AD I T I O N AL & TRO PIC AL J APAN 14 nights from *€2,378 PP

As the name suggests, we have designed this plan in a way that you experience many elements of Traditional Japanese culture, with the ultimate highlight on a Tropical island in the south western part of Japan, Amami Ooshima. The tour begins and ends in Tokyo, the exciting and none stop capital city. As with most of our tours, you will be met on Day 2 by a local guide who will show you the sites you have in mind, along with orientation on getting around. On Day 3 you will move to Hakone, near the foot of Mt Fuji - Japans iconic and perfectly volcanic cone shaped mountain. Overnight at a traditional Ryokan (Japanese style hotel) with dinner and hot springs included on both nights. Hakone offers plenty of sightseeing opportunities for English speaking tourists from riding the cablecar (gondola) across a mountain to cruising on Lake Ashi on the pirate ship. Instructions will be provided on where and what to do. You will also be given a Two-Day Hakone Free Pass which allows free entrance and rides on most transport. After two peaceful nights near the giant Fuji-san, you will start making your way West to Kurashiki, a pretty town located in Okayama Prefecture. The journey takes approximately 4 hours using the Shinkansen (bullet trains) so we recommend you leave early morning to arrive at a reasonable hour for some city sightseeing. Kurashiki is favoured by most because of its quaint and traditional canalside buildings; its delightful bridges that arch over the winding canals; its black-tiled warehouses that are quite typical in traditional Japan for storing rice brought by the rich farmers and its interesting collection of museums. The atmosphere is calm and refreshing adding a nice touch of culture to your trip thus far. The next day hop on the shinkansen once again bound for Hiroshima. We recommend skipping the Peace Park in Hiroshima until tomorrow to get a full day out

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on Miyajima Island, or more widely known in Japan as Itsuku-shima. The main attraction on this island are the dramatic floating “torii” gates visible soon after you board the ferry from Hiroshima mainland. Considered to be one of the countries “best three views”, Itsukushima Shrine is a 1,400 year Shinto holy place constructed in water. You will spend one night on this island at a traditional Ryokan, with dinner and hot springs at your leisure. The next day move back to Hiroshima taking a trip on the tram to the overwhelming A-Bomb Dome and Peace Park Museum. Your next three nights will be in the ancient capital Kyoto. To give you a chance to meet other tourists, we have included a morning or afternoon seated tour. By this stage you may be eager to meet foreigners and speak English to natives. The ultimate highlight in Kyoto will be meeting a Maiko (young geisha), an opportunity that only a special few can take part in along with an authentic tea ceremony. See Wonders of the West Tour for more details on this day out (page 17). After three days of total tradition in Kyoto, it’s time to wind down on the tropical Amami Ooshima. Amami has a mild sub tropical climate all year round and is home to some unusual flora and fauna, crystal clear waters, and rare Amami black rabbits. You can choose to go trekking in the rain forest with a local naturalist or go canoeing on the forested mangrove lake, both equally enjoyable, even if not the outdoor type. Your local guide will drive you through scenic mountain and coastal courses, with breath taking views, sure to make you want to stay!! Your final 2 nights are back in Tokyo to enjoy some last minute shopping and crazy nightlife in the Roppongi area. If you have time for two more days, we recommend adding the quaint town of Takayama to your trip, either before going to Kyoto or Kurashiki.


ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SELF-GUIDED TOURS

14 nights from *€2,378 PP

*PRICES ARE PER PERSON AND EXCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

1 TOKYO 2 HAKONE 3 KURASHIKI 4 MIYAJIMA ISLAND 5 KYOTO 6 AMAMI OOSHIMA 1 TOKYO

traditional & tropical japan

*Prices Y Standard Twin from €2,378

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3 4

Y Standard Single from €2,920 Y Superior Twin from €2,890 Y Superior Single from €3,959

Upgrade to The Peninsula Hotel (5 star) on your final 2 nights in Tokyo for an extra €295 pp (especially recommended for Honeymoon Couples)

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Hotels Standard

Superior

Tokyo (2)

The B Akasaka

Hakone (2)

Hakone Okuyumoto Ichinoyu Ryokan Ryokan

Kurashiki (1)

Kurashiki Kokusai

Hotel Nikko Kurashiki

Miyajima Island (1)

Kinsuikan Ryokan

Iwaso Ryokan

Kyoto (3)

Hotel Sunroute

Hotel Granvia

Amami Ooshima (3)

Bashayama Beach Resort

Bashayama Beach Resort (Ocean View)

Tokyo (2)

Shinawaga Prince

Keio Plaza (Superior Room)

Highlights

Shinagawa Prince (Superior Room)

Meet-a-Maiko (young geisha) ~ Kyoto Tea Ceremony ~ Tropical Amami Ooshima ~ World Heritage Kyoto ~ Hiroshima & Miyajima Island ~ Cool Kurashiki, Mt Fuji, & Tokyo

Optional Nostalgic Takayama (2 nights)

Price Inclusions Y Narita Airport Meet & Greet on arrival Y Airport Transfer Tickets (arr/dep dates) Y 14 nights accommodation at selected hotels Y Meals: 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 6 dinners Y Suica Subway Card Y 7 day Japan Rail Pass Y Tokyo Full Day Guide Service on Day 2 Y Hakone Free Pass (no charge into most sights in Hakone

National Park Area)

Y Kyoto Morning Tour including English speaking guide &

entrance fees

Y The Ultimate Kyoto Experience: Traditional Tea Ceremony,

Gion District Walking Tour, Meet-a-Maiko (young geisha), Shabu Shabu Dinner at local restaurant

Y Adventure Day Trip on Amami Ooshima including entrance

fees and transport

Y Japan Ireland Travel Essential Travel Pack

Available all year round. Prices may vary depending on season. Hotels are subject to availability at time of booking. See inside back page to view special seasons.

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RECOMMENDED ADD-ON

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NOSTALGIC TAKAYAMA & SHIRAKAWAGO / 2 nights If time allows, we recommend you to take a trip to central Honshu, to the Hida mountaineous region of Takayama. This quaint town is a great combination of the old and the new. Enjoy the morning markets, the Folk museum, the old merchant streets, and if you feel up to it, take a day trip out to the World Heritage Shirakawago by highway bus (paid for separately). STANDARD:

Takayama Washington Hotel - from €160

SUPERIOR:

Takayama Hotel Associa - from €295

Price includes: 2 nights accommodation (B&B) with 1 dinner, plus transfers and are based on 2 people sharing

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O R L D H E R ITAGE J APAN 17 nights from *€2,545 PP

Japan has been designated 14 World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. To receive World Heritage status shows that the sites chosen display outstanding value of either a cultural or natural nature. A temple or a forest can be a World Heritage Site, so long as it is demonstrated to have “outstanding universal value”.

4. Nara: Japan’s first real capital from 710 to 785 is home to over half a dozen shrines, temples and other sites including Todaiji, Kofukiji, Kasuga Taisha and Yakushiji, each of significant historical value. You will spend one night in Nara before making your way to Hiroshima the next day.

During this tour you will have a chance to see 8 of them.

5. Hiroshima Genbaku Dome: The A-Bomb Dome is the only remaining structure in central Hiroshima to have survived the horrific 1945 blast. The Peace Park’s Museum is an overwhelming experience that should not be missed.

1. Nikko: Toushogu Shrine is the star centerpiece at Nikko. Dating back to the 8th century it was originally built as a training centre for monks, until it then became the Mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Nikko displays a remarkable collection of wooden structures that to this day have maintained their powerful presence in a modern Japan. 2. Kyoto: Over 12 shrines, temples and castles in Kyoto and the neighbouring cities of Uji and Otsu are listed as Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. We know how easy it is to over-do-it on temples when in Kyoto so we don’t recommend seeing all 12 sites in one visit. Instead, your guide will bring you to a handful of them including Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu, Ryoanji and if you have time, The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji). You have 3 nights in Kyoto with plenty of free time for exploring the city on your own. 3. Koyasan: Remote and isolated on the top of Mt Koya lies a Buddhist village scattered with 117 temples, most of who offer lodging facilities for visitors to the mountain. One night spent at a shokubo, or temple lodging, is one of those quintessentially Japanese experiences not to be had with more conventional sites. A local guide will meet you on arrival and walk/talk you through the background behind this spiritual haven.

6. Itsukushima Shrine: One of Japan’s most beautiful shrines located less than one hour from Hiroshima on Miyajima Island. You can visit here as a day trip from Hiroshima. It is particularly famous for its “floating” torii gate. 7. Himeji Castle: En route back towards Kyoto spend one night in the castle town of Himeji. The castle itself is considered the most beautiful and complete surviving example of a Japanese feudal castle. Note: from October 2009, construction work will begin at the castle due to last five years. You may still enter the grounds but the castle itself will be covered. 8. Shirakawago & Gokayama: Remote and unique to the Gifu & Toyama region are the quaint Gassho Zukuri (thatched roof) houses and villages. A local English guide will show you the Ainokura village in Gokayama. No matter which season you arrive, you will be blown away by the natural beauty that surrounds these agricultural villages. Your guide will take you on an exciting cultural journey that involves making your own Washi rice paper, watching a local Toyama Dance, and making (and eating) your own soba noodles. Your last two nights in Tokyo will be greatly appreciated after finishing this spectacular journey of tradition and culture.

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ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SELF-GUIDED TOURS

17 nights from *€2,545 PP

*PRICES ARE PER PERSON AND EXCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

1 Tokyo (Nikko) 2 Kyoto 3 Koyasan 4 Nara 5 Hiroshima 6 Himeiji 7 Kanazawa 8 Shirakawago/Gokayama 1 Tokyo

WO R LD H ER ITAGE J APA N

*Prices

6

Y Standard Twin from €2,545

5

Y Standard Single from €3,085

7

8

1

2

4 3

Y Superior Twin from €3,142 Y Superior Single from €4,050

Upgrade to The Peninsula Hotel (5 star) on your final 2 nights in Tokyo for an extra €295 pp (especially recommended for Honeymoon Couples)

6

Hotels Standard Tokyo (3)

The B Akasaka

Superior Shinagawa Prince (Superior Room)

Kyoto (3)

Hotel Sunroute

Hotel Granvia

Koyasan (1)

Rengejoin Temple

Fukuchiin Temple

Nara (1)

Hotel Sunroute Nara

Fujita Nara Hotel

Optional Yakushima Island Trekking Tour (3 days).

Price Inclusions Y Narita Airport Meet & Greet on arrival Y Airport Transfer Tickets (arr/dep dates)

Hiroshima (2) JAL City Hotel

Righa Royal Hotel

Himeji (1)

Washington Hotel

Hotel Nikko

Y 17 nights accommodation at selected hotels

Kanazawa (2)

Kanazawa Sky Hotel

Hotel Nikko

Y Meals: 17 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3dinners

Gokayama (2) Akaokan Minshiku

Akaokan Minshiku

Tokyo (2)

Keio Plaza (Superior Room)

Shinawaga Prince

Highlights Visits and overnight stays to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 1. Nikko Toshougu Shrine 2. Ancient Temples in Kyoto 3. Mt Koya (incl. overnight stay at temple lodge) 4. Nara Toudaiji Temple 5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & A-Bomb Dome 6. Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island 7. Himeji Castle 8. Shirakawago & Gokayama Gassho Zukuri Style Villages

Y Suica Subway Card Y 14 day Japan Rail Pass Y Organised Day Trip to World Heritage Nikko Toshougu

Shrine & Kegon Waterfall

Y 1. Kyoto, 2. Koyasan, & 3. Shirakawago/Gokayama Local

English speaking guides (Full Days)

Y Japan Ireland Travel Essential Travel Pack

Available all year round. Prices may vary depending on season. Hotels are subject to availability at time of booking. See inside back page to view special seasons.

YYY

RECOMMENDED ADD-ON

YYY

WORLD HERITAGE YAKUSHIMA ISLAND TREKKING TOUR (3 days Also known as “The Alps on the Ocean”, Yakushima was listed as a World Heritage Site in December of 1993, because of its abundance of natural beauty. The mountainous island boasts more than 30 peaks of over 1,000m with distinctive vegetation. Located south off Kyushu Island it is just 25km in diametre, yet one of Japan’s most magnificent travel destinations. Spend 3 days on this densely forested island, one day with an English speaking naturalist and trek through this incredible environment. PRICE: from €555 depending on departure dates. INCLUSIONS: Flight to and from Tokyo to Kagoshima, return ferry tickets (Kagoshima/Yakushima), 1 full day guide, 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts, and 2 nights stay at a local Minshiku (Guest house).


ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SELF-GUIDED TOURS

W

O N D E R S OF TH E W ES T i n c lu d i n g Kyus h u 17 nights from *€2,495 PP

Begin your adventure in Osaka, Japan’s second largest city, famous for its quirky personalities and delicious cuisine. Ideally it’s best to fly into Kansai International Airport however, if your flight lands in Tokyo, you can hop on the bullet train (using your JR Pass), travel for 3 hours from Narita Airport and check into your city centre hotel. Spend 2 nights here recovering from your flight and getting accustomed to the new time difference before starting the Kyushu experience; undoubtedly this tours main highlight. Located far southwest of Tokyo, Kyushu is an island almost forgotten by the rest of Japan, yet historically, it is a very symbolic region. Being the most westerly island, its close proximity to mainland China and the rest of the world, made access to ports easier than the larger Honshu. From the cosmopolitan city of Fukuoka, to the miles of open paddy fields and clear coastlines, Kyushu is a breath of fresh air that deserves to be discovered and explored. The Kyushu Experience begins in Fukuoka, Kyushu’s largest city. Enjoy one night tasting local cuisine at the busy riverside yatai (food stalls) or sampling a night out in the Tenjin district before making your way across to Nagasaki, Japan’s first gateway to the West, the next day. Sadly, Nagasaki is associated with the atomic bomb that brought World War II to an horrific end. It is ironic that although it was the victim of tragedy caused by Western technology, Nagasaki was one of the first regions in Japan to open up to the outside world. It started with the ‘Christian Century’ (1549-1650), and the arrival of a Chinese ship in 1543, with it on board a group of Portuguese adventurers, weapons and guns. The first visitors were soon followed by the missionary St Francis Xavier in 1560. From this time onwards, Japan’s interest in the outside world grew stronger and stronger. Today Nagasaki is a vibrant city and home to over half a million people, steep hills and deep waterways that run throughout the city, similar to that of San Francisco.

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Two nights are recommended here to explore the many interesting sights, including the Atomic Bomb Peace Park & Museum, Oura Tenshudo, a Catholic Church dedicated to the 26 Christians crucified in 1597, Chinatown, and the Dutch Slopes in the Glover Garden area. On Day 6 you will start making your way to Kumamoto by local bus, stopping in Unzen, on the Shimabara Peninsula, for one night. Unzen is famous for its volcanic activity, bubbling jigoku (boiling mineral hot springs) and is home to Japans first National Park (1934). Enjoy forest walks, a visit to the jigoku, and an overnight stay at an onsen (hot spring) hotel. Dinner and onsen will be at your hotel. The next day catch a ferry to Kumamoto, a city famous for its castle and garden. Spend one night here before taking your adventure one step higher, to the gigantic volcano caldera at Mt. Aso. Mt Aso remains the largest active caldera in the world. The last major blast was in 1993 but the summit is frequently declared off limits due to toxic gas emmissions, particularly on windy days. In this case you can visit the state of the art museum which displays real time footage of the interior active crater wall. Following your volcano experience, you will head to Beppu, well known for its abundance of hot spring baths, sand baths, and 8 jigoku. It is recommended only to see one or two of these; you can relax and enjoy the beautiful views from your seafront hotel, or soak in the hot springs or sand baths nearby, before finishing the Kyushu Experience on Day 10. The final leg of your journey will be one of urban madness in Tokyo, traditional temples and quaint streets in Kyoto, and a pleasant day trip out to the World Heritage Miyajima island during your two nights stay in the lively Hiroshima City. For more reading on this part of your trip, see The Golden Route on pages 8 & 9. Wonders of the West is, without a doubt, one of our most adventurous independent tours. We highly recommend it and hope your experience here will be an unforgettable one.


ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SELF-GUIDED TOURS

17 nights from *€2,495 PP

WO ND ERS O F T HE W E S T *PRICES ARE PER PERSON AND EXCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

1 Osaka 2 Fukuoka 3 Nagasaki 4 Unzen Onsen 5 Kumamoto 6 Beppu 7 Hiroshima 8 Kyoto 1 Tokyo

*Prices Y Standard Twin from €2,495

7

Y Standard Single from €3,001

2

Y Superior Twin from €3,369

3 4

Y Superior Single from €4,048

Hotels

8 1

6

5

6 Standard

Superior

Osaka (2)

New Hankyu

Righa Royal (Tower Wing)

Fukuoka (1)

Sunroute Hotel Hakata

Hyatt Regency Fukuoka

Nagasaki (2)

Holiday Inn Nagasaki

ANA Nagasaki Gloverhill

Unzen (1)

Unzen Fukiya Onsen

Kyushu Hotel & Hot Springs

Kumamoto (1)

Hotel New Otani

Hotel New Otani

Beppu (2)

Hotel Seifu (Standard Room)

Hotel Seifu (Superior Room)

Hiroshima (2)

JAL City

Righa Royal Hotel

Kyoto (3)

Sunroute Hotel

Hotel Granvia

Tokyo (3)

Shinagawa Prince

Keio Plaza Hotel (Superior Room)

Highlights The Kyushu Experience: Fukuoka ~ Dazaifu Tenmangu. Nagasaki ~ Atomic Bomb Museum, Oura Tenshudo (Catholic Church), and Glover House. Unzen Onsen ~ Hot Springs Jigoku and overnight at traditional hot spring ryokans; Kumamoto ~ Castle & Park. Beppu ~ Mt Aso Volcano, Mud/Hell Baths, Sand Baths & Onsen (Hot Spring Baths).

Optional The Ultimate Kyoto Experience.

Price Inclusions Y Kansai Airport Meet & Greet on arrival Y Airport Transfer Tickets (arr/dep dates) Y 17 nights accommodation at selected hotels (3 nights

Japanese style ryokans)

Y Meals: 17 breakfasts and 2 dinners Y Suica Subway Card Y 14 day Japan Rail Pass allowing free transport between

most destinations (ferry to Kumamoto paid for separately) Y Full day guide services in Kyoto and Tokyo Y Japan Ireland Travel Essential Travel Pack

YYY

RECOMMENDED ADD-ON

YYY

THE ULTIMATE KYOTO EXPERIENCE Authentic Kyoto Tea Ceremony Walk & Talk Private tour through Gion district (Geisha area) Shabu-Shabu Dinner Course (all you can eat!). Drinks paid for separately. English speaking local guide Meeting with “Maiko” - enjoy a private session with Maiko-san. She will perform traditional dance, music and games helping you understand what “Geisha” really are. Y Bookings required one month in advance. Y Once confirmed, cancellation is not possible. Y Y Y Y Y

PRICE: €220pp (minimum 2 persons)

Available all year round. Prices may vary depending on season. Hotels are subject to availability at time of booking. See inside back page to view special seasons.


S

M AL L G RO U P TO U R S Our tours promise to deliver you with a greater understanding and clearer

vision of the culture, the history, and everyday life in rural and urban Japan, than you could achieve on your own. Throughout the year we plan various exciting small group tours covering parts of Japan you simply would not dare try on your own, without the language or knowledge. What makes our Small Group Tours special? 1. High Standards “Quality, not quantity” - Average group size is 12. 2. Flexibility Begin and end in Japan giving you flexibility for onward journeys. 3. All-inclusive Tour including entrance fees, internal transport, accommodation, day trips, full time English Speaking Tour Buddy, and many meals. Little spending money required! 4. Accommodation varies from 3 & 4 star city centre hotels to temple lodges in the mountains and to traditional Japanese style ryokan’s (not to be missed) in the old picturesque cities! 5. Hands On Assistance Full time English speaking tour buddy who will assist you in getting from A to B, co-ordinate the overall tour, and answer any questions you have. 6. Luxury Transport varies from private coaches to public trains including bullet trains. We do not offer coach only tours. 7. Free Time we try not to over do it on sightseeing so we offer options for free time to those who prefer it quite regularly!

Who joins our small group tours? The word “Tour” to many can imply a large group of people battling to get the front seat. Our profile of customers have been positively varied with ages ranging from 18 years old to 65 years old. Our members are well travelled, adventurers who have seen the rest of the world but are seeking something completely different from their holiday. Our small group tours are the perfect travel solution to those looking for comfort, excitement, companionship, and an authentic traditional Japan! To view all our small group tours online, including complete tour dossiers, visit our website: www.japanirelandtravel.ie/small-group-tours

[ GEISHA: photo caption goes here ]

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J A PA N I R E L A N D T R AV E L


ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SMALL GROUP TOURS

1 TOKYO 2 MT FUJI 3 OSAKA 4 MT KOYA 5 KYOTO 6 HIROSHIMA/MIYAJIMA ISLAND 7 KANAZAWA 8 GOKAYAMA/SHIRAKAWAGO 1 TOKYO

11 nights / 12 DAYS | DEPARTURES DATES, 2009: APRIL 7TH-18TH (CHERRY BLOSSOM SEASON) 2010: tba | START/FINISH: TOKYO | LOCAL PAYMENT: NO

€2,540

PP,

STANDARD

€2,850

PP,

UPGRADE

sak ura SP R ING

What’s included? Y Airport Meet & Greet with transfer assistance on Day 1 Y Meals: 11 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners Y All activities including entrance fees as per itinerary Y 7 Day Trips as per itinerary including visits to 5 UNESCO

World Heritage Sites

Y “The Ultimate Kyoto Experience” (Tea Ceremony,

Meet-a-Maiko, Geisha Tour)

Y Fully Escorted Tour with English Speaking Tour Buddy

throughout and/or local guides

Y All transfers between destinations as per itinerary

including rail, ferry, & chartered coach

Y 11 nights Accommodation: mixture of 3 & 4 star

western hotels (8 nights), traditional Japanese ryokan (2 nights), & temple lodge (1 night) – see pages 24 – 27 for list of our frequently used hotels

Y Japan Travel Pack including maps, detailed itinerary,

local information & a few special surprises!!

Group Size: Minimum 10 - Maximum 16 Sightseeing Highlights Tokyo ~ Meiji Jingu Shrine, Roppongi Hills, Midtown, Harajuku, Rainbow bridge, Odaiba. Mt Fuji/Hakone ~ Lake Ashi, Owakudani, Souzan. Osaka ~ Osaka Castle & Dotombori Shopping Street. Koyasan ~ Kongobuji Temple, Okunoin. Kyoto ~ Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu Temple, World Heritage Golden Pavillion, World Heritage Sites at Hiroshima A-bomb Dome & Peace Park Museum and Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island. Kanazawa ~ 21st Century Modern Art Museum, Kenrokuen Garden (ranked no. 3 in Japan), Shirakawago/Gokayama ~ World Heritage Gassho Zukkuri Houses & Folkpark.

Cultural Highlights World Heritage Mt. Koya ~ overnight at Buddhist Temple. Kyoto ~ Meet-a-Maiko (young geisha), Maiko Performance, Authentic Tea Ceremony, Geisha Walking Tour. Kanazawa ~ 2 over night stays in traditional Japanese style inn (ryokan). Shirakawago/Gokayama ~ Washi (Rice Paper) Making, Soba Noodle Making & Traditional local dance performance.

+ €425 FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY (€2,965)

7

+ €530 FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY (€3,380)

Introduction

5 6

3 4

Sakura Spring tour takes you on a cultural journey mixing city life with scenic mountain drives and spiritual temples. Some of the cultural 6 tour will give you a unique experiences included in this chance to meet with a real Maiko (young Geisha), perform an authentic tea ceremony in a Kyoto tea house, visit some of Japan’s best known World Heritage Sites including the Golden Pavillion in Kyoto, Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Gassho Style Houses in Gokayama. Get inspired at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, while being overwhelmed at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. The tour covers the best of what Japan has to offer for the first time traveler. English is not widely spoken in Japan so having a full time tour buddy present at all times will give you a better insight into Japanese way of life by meeting locals and eating local food.

Itinerary Day 1 Arrive Tokyo / Meet Tour Buddy at 6pm Day 2 Tokyo City Sightseeing including Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park, Odaiba, Rainbow bridge, Roppongi Hills Modern Art Museum & Observatory, Midtown Day 3 Mt Fuji/Hakone Day trip Day 4 Transfer to Osaka / Free time or option to join tour buddy at Osaka Castle & Dotombori Shopping/ Dining Area Day 5 Overnight at temple lodge at World Heritage Mt Koya (Koyasan) Day 6 Transfer to Kyoto. Evening activities; Meet-a-Maiko, Tea Ceremony, & Geisha walking tour Day 7 Kyoto City Sightseeing – Golden Pavillion, Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu Temple Day 8 Hiroshima / Miyajima Island Day Trip (World Heritage Itsukushima Shrine & Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum Day 9 Transfer to Kanazawa – visit Kenrokuen Garden & 21st Century Modern Art Museum Day 10 Day trip to Shirakawago & Gokayama – Cultural & World Heritage Day Day 11 Transfer back to Tokyo. Free Time. Farewell dinner! Day 12 Tour ends after breakfast

8 2

1


ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SMALL GROUP TOURS

lost in japan

including shikoku island

12 nights / 13 DAYS | departures DATES, 2009: july 5th-17th - 2010: TBA | START: osaka | finish: tokyo | local payment: no

1 Osaka 2 Mt Koya 3 Tokushima, Takamatsu & Naoshima (Shikoku Island) 4 Dogo Onsen 5 Hiroshima/Miyajima Island 6 Kyoto 1 Tokyo

€2,685

PP,

STANDARD

€3,095

PP,

UPGRADE

+ €480 FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY + €580 FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY

Introduction

5 4

Lost in Japan is a unique and diverse tour covering many of the famous sites in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Mt Koya and the unknown Shikoku Island. Shikoku Island is the least visited island of the four main islands in Japan. For this reason, it can be said that it is the least spoilt in terms of industrial development and pollution making it one of our favourite hidden gems in Japan. Its natural beauty and authentic people make this part of the tour worthwhile and unforgettable. You will spend a total of 4 nights on this island taking in one of Japan’s oldest hot spring towns, a magnificently manicured Japanese garden, and lots of other cultural treats. The tour begins in Osaka, Japan’s second largest city and ends in Tokyo.

3

6 1 2

Cultural Highlights World Heritage Mt. Koya ~ overnight at Buddhist Temple. Shikoku ~ Awa Odori Dance Performance, Tea Ceremony at Japanese Garden, Hot Springs, Kyoto ~ Geisha Walking Tour.

Itinerary Day 1 Arrive Osaka. Meet on arrival, assisted to Osaka hotel. Meet Tour Buddy & Group at 6pm for orientation Note: If you fly into Tokyo Narita Airport, you can take the train to Osaka (approx. 3 hours) – please inquire with your travel consultant Day 2 Transfer to Mt Koya (World Heritage Site Koyasan). Sightseeing on arrival with local guide. Over night including dinner & hot springs at Buddhist temple lodge Day 3 Depart Koyasan. Ferry to Tokushima Port in Shikoku Island. Sightseeing on arrival by chartered coach. Awa Odori (local dance performance) in the evening

What’s included? Y Airport Meet & Greet with transfer assistance on Day 1 Y Meals: 12 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners Y All activities including entrance fees as per itinerary Y 7 Day Trips as per itinerary including visits to 4 UNESCO World

Heritage Sites

Day 4 Full day sightseeing by chartered coach from Takushima to Takamatsu. Isamu Noguchi Stone Museum, brief shopping at 100Yen Store, & Garden visit including tea ceremony Day 5 Free Day or Optional Naoshima Day Trip with Tour Buddy Day 6 Hot Spring Town Matsuyama (Dogo Onsen) including Matsuyama Castle visit

Y Fully Escorted Tour with English Speaking Tour Buddy throughout

Day 7 Ferry to Hiroshima / Miyajima Island (World Heritage Itsukushima Shrine & Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & A-bomb Dome Museum)

Y All transfers between destinations as per itinerary including rail,

Day 8 Bullet train to Kyoto. Free Time Kyoto

Y 12 nights Accommodation: mixture of 3-4 star western hotels (10

Day 9 Kyoto City Sightseeing – Golden Pavillion, Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu Temple

and/or local guides

ferry, & chartered coach

nights), traditional Japanese ryokan (1 night), & temple lodge (1 night) – see pages 24 – 27 for list of our frequently used hotels

Y Japan Travel Pack including maps, detailed itinerary, local

information & a few special surprises!

Group Size: Minimum 10 - Maximum 16 Sightseeing Highlights Osaka ~ Dotombori Shopping & Dining Street with orientation on arrival, Koyasan ~ Kongobuji Temple, Okunoin, Shikoku Island ~ Naruto (Sea) Whirlpool, Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, Ritsurin Japanese Garden, Naoshima Island (optional), Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama Castle, World Heritage Sites at Hiroshima A-bomb Dome & Peace Park Museum and Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island. Kyoto ~ Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu Temple, World Heritage Golden Pavillion, Tokyo ~ Meiji Jingu Shrine, Roppongi Hills, Midtown, Harajuku, Rainbow bridge, Odaiba.

Day 10 Kyoto Free Time until the evening - Walk & Talk Tour of the Gion district with local Geisha expert followed by dinner at local restaurant Day 11 Transfer back to Tokyo. Free Time Day 12 Tokyo City Sightseeing including Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park, Odaiba, Rainbow bridge, Roppongi Hills Modern Art Museum & Observatory, Midtown Day 13 Tour Ends after breakfast. Transfer to Narita Airport or extend your stay for one or two more nights to enjoy the capital city to the full (recommended)!

7


ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SMALL GROUP TOURS

1 TOKYO 2 HAKONE 3 KURASHIKI (HIMEJI) 4 HIROSHIMA & MIYAJIMA ISLAND 5 KYOTO 6 AMAMI OOSHIMA 1 TOKYO

13 nights / 14 DAYS | departure DATES, 2009: oct 2ND-15TH, 2010: tba | START/FINISH: TOKYO | LOCAL PAYMENT: NO

€2,877

PP,

STANDARD

€3,327

PP,

UPGRADE

traditional & tropical japan

+ €460 FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY (€3,337) + €530 FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY (€3,912)

Introduction

What’s included? Y Airport Meet & Greet with transfer assistance on Day 1 Y Meals: 13 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners Y All activities including entrance fees as per itinerary Y 7 Day Trips as per itinerary including visits to 4 UNESCO

World Heritage Sites

Y “The Ultimate Kyoto Experience” (Tea Ceremony, Meet-a-

Maiko, Geisha Tour, Shabu-Shabu Dinner)

Y Fully Escorted Tour with English Speaking Tour Buddy

throughout and/or local guides

Y All transfers between destinations as per itinerary including

rail, ferry, & chartered coach

Y 13 nights Accommodation: mixture of 3 & 4 star western

hotels (9 nights), traditional Japanese ryokan (2 nights), & Tropical beach resort (3 nights) – see pages 24 – 27 for list of our frequently used hotels

Y Japan Travel Pack including maps, detailed itinerary, local

information & a few special surprises!!

Group Size: Minimum 10 - Maximum 16 Sightseeing Highlights Tokyo ~ Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, Omotesando, Roppongi Hills, Midtown, Odaiba Hakone ~ Day Trip around Mt Fuji including cruise on Lake Ashi, Owakudani, Sounzan, Hakone Yumoto Kyoto ~ Monuments of Ancient Kyoto including World Heritage Sites Hiroshima/Miyajima Island ~ Peace Memorial Park & A-Bomb Museum & Itsukushima Shrine (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kurashiki & Himeiji ~ Old merchant streets, Kourakuen Garden & Himeji Castle Amami Ooshima ~ beautiful sunshine, beach, local food, amazing scenic drives, canoe on mangrove lake, view tropical fish from glass boat.

Cultural Highlights Kyoto ~ Meet-a-Maiko, Authentic Tea Ceremony at local Tea-House (machiya), Geisha Walking Tour with local expert Hakone & Miyajima Island ~ overnight at traditional ryokan sleeping on futon, bathing in natural hot springs, and eating local cuisine.

4

3

5

2

From the bright lights and busy streets of Tokyo to the ancient paths and hidden tea houses in Kyoto, Traditional & Tropical Japan is one tour that should 6 not be missed. The tour starts and ends in Tokyo. In between you will experience the magnificent temples in Kyoto, the old streets and craft shops of Kurashiki, the World Heritage Hiroshima & Miyajima Island and Japan’s most famous garden in Okayama. Among these many highlights is the last few nights at the end on the tropical Amami Ooshima. This island is one of the Ryukyu islands, located about 170 miles south of mainland Japan. It is here you will see the traditional culture where locals live harmoniously with nature. Amami hills are covered in subtropical forests with rare and distinct plants and flowers; its coral reefs are listed on the World Wildlife Global 200 Eco-Regions list; and is most famous in Japan for its Kimono making made from pongee silk known as Ooshimatsumugi.

Itinerary Day 1 Arrive Tokyo / Assisted with hotel transfer / Meet Tour Buddy at 6pm Day 2 Full Day Sightseeing Tokyo with Tour Buddy Day 3 Mt Fuji/Hakone overnight stay (Ryokan) including day trip around the area Day 4 Transfer to Kyoto / Free time or option to join tour buddy for city walk Day 5 Full day trip Kyoto with Tour Buddy Day 6 Free Day Kyoto. Evening: Ultimate Kyoto Experience (Authentic Tea Ceremony, Meet-a-Maiko, Geisha Walk & Talk Tour, Shabu Shabu Dinner) Day 7 Transfer to Hiroshima by bullet train. Visit Peace Park, A-Bomb Dome & Museum. Miyajima Island in the evening for dinner, stay & hot springs Day 8 Half Day Miyajima Island. Transfer to Kurashiki. Free Time or option to go with Tour Buddy for city walk along canal & old merchant houses Day 9 Free Day or join Tour Buddy on excursion to Kourakuen Garden using public transport Day 10 Board flight to Amami Ooshima. Arrive Amami. Free Time to relax Day 11 Full Day sightseeing on the island including Canoe on Mangrove Lake, Swimming in crystal clear waters, Underwater Glass Boat, Tropical Fish excursion, scenic mountain and coastal drives Day 12 Free Day Day 13 Free Day. Evening return to Tokyo Day 14 Tour Ends. Option to stay a few more nights in Tokyo (recommended) to enjoy the bizarre city on your own!

J A PA N I R E L A N D T R AV E L

21

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ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SMALL GROUP TOURS

japan revealed

1 Osaka 2 Mt Koya 3 nara 4 kyoto 5 kanazawa 6 gokayama/shirakawago 7 takayama 8 matsumoto 9 hakone/mt fuji 10 tokyo

€2,875 PP 12 nights / 13 DAYS | departures DATES, 2009: apr 12 , may 17, jun 21, jul 26, aug 23, sep 27, oct 25, dec 6 - 2010: TBA | START: osaka finish: tokyo | local payment: no Introduction Japan Revealed is an exciting journey through the bright light cities, the mountainous terrains, and paddy field plains, the spiritual temples, and the deep culture of this ancient nation. If you are a first timer or indeed a return visitor you will see parts of Japan that would simply not be possible to find on your own, without the knowledge and language behind you. You will take part in various cultural activities such as an Authentic Tea Ceremony in Kyoto and even stay in a Temple with the chance to meditate alongside the local monks of Mt Koya.

What’s included? Y Airport Meet & Greet with transfer assistance on Day 1 Y Meals: 12 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners

5

6

4 1 3 2

Itinerary Day 1 Arrive Osaka / Assisted with hotel transfer / Meet Tour Buddy at 6pm

Y All activities and entrance fees as per itinerary

Day 2 Transfer to Mt Koya. Sightseeing on arrival. Dinner and hot springs at temple lodge in the evening

Y Fully escorted tour with English speaking Tour Buddy

Day 3 Mt Koya – Nara – Kyoto

Y Mt Fuji Day Trip, Tokyo & Kyoto Sightseeing, Tea

Day 4 Kyoto Full Day Sightseeing

Ceremony, Koyasan & Shirakawago World Heritage Sites, Ryokan & Temple Stays, Japanese Soba (Noodle) making, Japanese Paper (Washi) Making

Y Transport: Local Trains, Bullet Trains, Private Vehicle,

Cable Car, Boat, On Foot

Y Accommodation: Hotels (9 nights), Temple Lodge (1

night), Ryokans (2 nights)

Y Japan Travel Pack including maps, detailed itinerary,

local information & a few special surprises!!

Maximum Group Size: 16 Highlights Osaka ~ Mt Koya ~ World Heritage Koyasan ~ Overnight at Temple Lodge ~ Nara ~ Todaiji Temple ~ Giant Buddha ~ Nara Park ~ Kasuga Shrine ~ Kyoto ~ Gion Area with Geisha Expert ~ Sanjusangendo ~ Kiyomizu Temple ~ Nijo Castle ~ Kyoto Tea Ceremony ~ Kanazawa ~ Kenrokuen Garden ~ Walking Tour Old Streets Kanazawa ~ Ryokan Stay ~ Gokayama ~ Japanses Soba (Noodle) Making ~ Washi (Rice) Paper Making ~ Shirakawago ~ Gassho Style Zukuri Folklore Park ~ Takayama ~ Morning Market Visit ~ Yatai Hall ~ Kasakabe Folkcraft Museum ~ Matsumoto Castle ~ Hakone ~ Owakudani Ropeway ~ Ashinoko Cruise ~ Mt Fuji ~ Sounzan Cable Car ~ Hot Springs (Japanese style) ~ Tokyo ~ Tokyo Tower ~ Imperial Palace Gardens ~ Roppongi Hills ~ Rainbow Bridge & Odaiba

7 8

Day 5 Kyoto Free Day – Optional day Trip to Hiroshima & Miyajima Island Day 6 Transfer from Kyoto to Kanazawa. Garden visit Day 7 Depart Kanazawa via Gokayama for cultural activities day. Arrive Takayama in the evening Day 8 Full day Takayama Sightseeing Day 9 Depart Takayama for Matsumoto by highway bus. Visit Matsumoto Castle Day 10 Depart Matsumoto for Hakone/Mt Fuji. Half Day trip around the area. Overnight at luxurious ryokan with hot spring bath and traditional Kaiseki cuisine Day 11 Transfer to Tokyo. Afternoon Sightseeing with Tour Buddy or option to have free time Day 12 Tokyo Sightseeing with Tour Buddy or option to have free time. Farewell dinner prepared at local Izakaya Day 13 Tour finishes after breakfast

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ADVENTURES IN JAPAN SMALL GROUP TOURS

highlights of japan

1 KYOTO 2 HAKONE/MT FUJI 3 TOKYO

€1,820 PP 6 nights / 7 DAYS | departure DATES, 2009: APR 5, MAY 10, JUN 14, JUL 12, AUG 16, SEP 13, OCT 18, NOV 15, DEC 13 2010: tba | START: KYOTO | FINISH: TOKYO | LOCAL PAYMENT: NO What’s included? Y Airport Meet & Greet with transfer assistance on Day 1 Y Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners Y All activities and entrance fees as per itinerary Y Fully Escorted Tour with English Speaking Tour Buddy Y 7 Day Trips as per itinerary including visits to 4 UNESCO

World Heritage Sites

Y Mt Fuji Day Trip, Tokyo & Kyoto Sightseeing, Tea

Ceremony

Y Transport: Local Trains, Bullet Trains, Private Vehicle,

Cable Car, Boat, On Foot

Y Accommodation: Hotels (5 nights), Ryokan –

Introduction

2 1

Our seven day Highlights of Japan Tour is the perfect way to see the major highlights of Japan in a short visit. Travelling between Kyoto and Tokyo, you will be able to compare the modern sky rise Japan with the historical cultural Japan. You will visit some of the most magnificent Heritage Sites in the world, including Kiyomizu Temple and the Golden Pavilion. In Kyoto we include visits to Nijo Castle and Sanjusangen-do, as well as the chance to experience a traditional and very authentic Japanese tea ceremony. We spend one night at a traditional Japanese style hotel at the foot of Mt Fuji. Here you can experience authentic Japanese style cuisine after dipping in natural hot springs. Our tour ends in the vibrant capital Tokyo, where not only are the most famous highlights included, but also dinner at a traditional Izakaya restaurant.

Traditional Japanese Hotel (1 night)

Y Japan Travel Pack including maps, detailed itinerary, &

local information

Maximum Group Size: 16 Highlights Kyoto ~ Gion Area with Geisha Expert ~ Nijo Castle ~ Golden Pavilion ~ Ryoan-Ji Temple Garden ~ Nara ~ Todaiji Temple ~ Kasuga Shrine ~ Nara Park ~ Tea Ceremony ~ Sanjusangendo ~ Kiyomizu Temple - Hakone ~ Owakudani Ropeway ~ Ashinoko Cruise ~ Mt Fuji ~ Sounzan Cable Car ~ Hot Springs (Japanese style) ~ Tokyo ~ Tokyo Midtown ~ National Art Centre ~ Roppongi Hills Observatory ~ Meiji Shrine ~ Yoyogi Park ~ Harajuku & Omotesando Street ~ Imperial Palace

Itinerary Day 1 Arrive Osaka International Airport / Meet on arrival / Assisted to hotel in Kyoto (available on day 1 only) / Meet Tour Buddy at 6pm Day 2 Full Day Kyoto & Nara Sightseeing Day 3 Full Day Kyoto including tea ceremony. Optional Tour available to Hiroshima/Miyajima Island. Day 4 Transfer to Hakone using bullet & local trains. Half day trip around the Mt Fuji Area. Dinner and hot springs at your traditional Japanese style ryokan. Day 5 Transfer to Tokyo. Half Day Sightseeing in Tokyo Day 6 Free time or option to go to shopping areas with tour buddy Day 7 Tour finishes after breakfast We recommend staying an extra few nights in Tokyo if you can afford the time – inquire with travel consultant for hotel extension plans.

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J

A PAN HOT E L S Accommodation in Japan is first class. From the basic 2 star to the luxurious 5

star, you will find a similar level of excellent customer service, efficiency, cleanliness, value for money, and overall satisfaction across the board. Generally, the only downside to hotels in Japan, especially the 2 and 3 star, are the size of their rooms. Most hotels are easily accessed to train stations. The level of English available at hotels will depend on the star rating. 3-5 star city centre hotels will be able to communicate in English. The lower the star ranking, the lower the facilities and services available to foreign guests. Here you will find a list of hotels Japan Ireland Travel recommend when staying in the selected areas. These are just a sample of the extended options we have for guests so if you cannot find a suitable hotel in this brochure call or email us. Our network of hotels in Japan is endless. For more information, visit our website www.japanirelandtravel.ie

*All prices are subject to availability and may vary depending on the Yen/Euro exchange rate at time of booking. Prices are based on 2 people sharing with no meals included. Contact us directly for Single or Triple Room Rates.

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J APAN HOTEL S

TOKYO HOTELS

SHINAGAWA PRINCE HOTEL (Shinagawa) V V V PLUS

the peninsula hotel (gINZA) V V V V V PLUS

Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 115~ Euro (Standard Room / 21m sq) 130~ Euro (Superior Room / 21m sq)

Y Prices From 350~ Euro (TW/DBL) per room per night

SUPERIOR DOUBLE

Y Blackout Dates Mar 31, Dec 31, Jan 1-2

Y Room Size 51m sq Y Blackout Dates Dec 30, 31, Jan 1-3 Y Highlights Premium location (over looking Imperial Palace) ~ World Class Service & Facilities ~ Japanese Inspired Design Hotel ~ 3 mins walk to shopping capital Ginza ~ 314 Bedrooms The Peninsula Hotel, a superior international hotel brand, is one of Tokyo’s newest additions to their 5 star profile. This is by far superior to many of its 5 star colleagues. Brand new designs inspired by Japanese architecture. Rooms are considered the largest in Tokyo with marble bathrooms and inroom facilities highly advanced in terms of technology. “Peter” Restaurant located on the 24th floor is worth at least one evening meal. This is one of Tokyo’s finest choice of 5 star luxury. Highly recommended for at least one night of your stay!

Y Highlights Opposite Shinagawa Station ~ Shinkansen Station Hub ~ 3+ star hotel, 4 star service ~ Excellent Facilities ~ Ideal for business or leisure purposes ~ 1735 Bedrooms The Prince Hotel Group is one of Japan’s largest chain of hotels. The service and facilities provided by the Shinagawa Prince Hotel are perfect for the busy traveller, whether for business or pleasure. Less luxurious than the 4 star Keio Plaza, it offers similar levels of service and facilities such as a cinema complex, bowling alley, shops, restaurants, bars and so on. Rooms are smaller than the 4 or 5 star options but adequate for the length of time you spend in them. Convenient to Narita (NEX) and Haneda Airports (Express Train Direct), Kyoto/Hiroshima/ Hakone (Shinkansen), and the reliable Yamanote Line, you can access just about anywhere from this station.

THE KEIO PL AZA HOTEL (Shinjuku) V V V V PLUS Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 135~ Euro (Superior Room / 25m sq) 165~ Euro (Deluxe Room / 36m sq) 195~ Euro (Plaza Premier Room / 36m sq)

SUPERIOR DOUBLE DELUXE

Y Blackout Dates Dec 31, Jan 1

SHIBA PARK HOTEL V V V PLUS (Hamamatsucho/Daimon)

Y Highlights Shinjuku Area ~ Easy Access ~ 4 star hotel, 5 star service ~ Fantastic Views overlooking Tokyo Metrolotan City ~ 11 restaurants & bars ~ 1,440 bedrooms

Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 95~ Euro (Standard / 21m sq)

The Keio Plaza, one of Shinjukus landmark hotels, has everything you need and more. Shinjuku is like another city inside the enormous Tokyo Metropolitan area. Shinjuku is home to one of Tokyo’s largest and busiest train stations with dozens of train lines going in all directions across the city and country. Convenient to Narita Airport (NEX), Hakone (Odakyu Romance Car), Nagano (Shinkansen) among many others, it is also located on the famous Yamanote Line. Keio bus terminal is located within walking distance from the hotel which offers bus routes to plenty of popular spots across the country including Hakuba (Skiing), Takayama, Matsumoto and so on. The Keio Plaza is located in the heart of this bustling distict. Rooms are spacious, clean, well equipped with standard toothbrush, hair products, shower cap etc. If unsure which room to choose, we recommend the Deluxe Rooms over Superior or Plaza Premier.

Y Highlights Located beside Tokyo Tower ~ 10 mins walk Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal ~ Direct Airport Limousine Bus Access ~ 389 Bedrooms

PREMIER

Y No Blackout Dates

STANDARD T WIN A warm friendly hotel close to Tokyo Tower, Shiba Park, Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal and JR station and one of Tokyo’s oldest areas known as Shimbashi, home to hundreds of Izakaya style restaurants and bars. Roppongi, Tokyo’s night life area is not too far from here either. The Shiba Park Hotel has been welcoming foreign guests to its doors for many years so although it boasts only 3 stars, their ability to communicate with International guests (through English) is impressive. Rooms are simple with adequate amenities. Overall a perfect place to rest your head after a long day of city sightseeing.


star HOTEL SHINJUKU V V

New Hankyu Hotel V V V

Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 80~ Euro (Standard / 17m sq)

Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 95~ Euro (Standard / 19m sq) 130~ Euro )Deluxe / 33m sq)

Y Highlights Fantastic Location, 3 mins Shinjuku Station ~ Endless amenities nearby ~ Internet Access ~ 214 Bedrooms This basic 2 star hotel has the benefit of being surrounded by all the shops and restaurants one could ask for among the tall skyscrapers and neon lights in the Shinjuku District. Location is perfect. However, rooms are very small and very basic with fewer in-room amenities than a 3 or 4 star hotel. Adequate if on your own and not the fussy type!

OSAKA HOTELS

Y No Blackout Dates

DOUBLE

Y Highlights 2 mins on foot to Osaka Station ~ Excellent value ~ 922 Bedrooms Hotel New Hankyu Osaka is conveniently located next to Osaka JR and Subway Stations. Connected to Kansai International Airport by Limousine Bus, access on arrival or departure to or from Japan can be done with little hassle. The hotel itself has an impressive lobby with efficient and friendly staff, ready to help you at all times. Room sizes vary depending on the price you pay. The deluxe rooms are recommended if looking for the larger room. However standard rooms are adequate if only on a short visit to Osaka.

SWISS HOTEL NANKAI OSAKA VVVVV

KYOTO HOTELS

Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 225~ Euro (Standard / 32m sq) Y Blackout Dates Jan1, 2 & Dec31 Y Highlights Excellent Location: Connected to Namba Station Osaka ~ Direct Access to Kansai International Airport ~ 548 Bedrooms ~ Excellent facilities and services

HOTEL GRANVIA KYOTO V V V V PLUS CL ASSIC

PREMIER

Perfectly located in one of Osaka’s busy transport hubs, Namba Station, linked directly to Kansai Airport by express train. Convenience & comfort come hand in hand at the Swiss Hotel. Shops, restaurants, bars, you name it, are within walking distance of your room or, just a short subway or taxi ride away you can reach the neon lights and miles of sheltered shopping arcades and restaurants in downtown Osaka areas. Rooms are tastefully finished, offering excellent value for money. Whether on business or pleasure the Swiss Hotel offers outstanding facilities with superb level of customer service at all times.

Osaka Hotel Granvia V V V PLUS Y Prices from 120~ Euro (Standard / 25m sq) (TW/DBL) per room per night Y Blackout dates Jan1, May2-4, Aug23, Dec31 Y Highlights Fantastic Location: Connected to Osaka Station ~ 652 Bedrooms On arrival to Osaka Station you can easily find the impressive entrance to the Granvia Hotel. Both Osaka and Kyoto’s Granvia Hotels are conveniently located inside the main stations making them highly accessible. As you will mostly use trains as your mode of transport in Japan, being located inside the station makes travelling around a lot less hassle (with bags) and more time efficient when doing out of town day trips. Slightly less luxurious than Kyoto, the rooms in Osaka come well equipped with the necessary facilities and amenities. Across the street you can find the discount electronic store – Yodobashi Camera where you might pick up a nice camera at bargain prices!

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Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 140 Euro (Standard Station View Room 26m sq) 180 Euro (Superior City View Room 30m sq) Y No Blackout Dates Y Highlights Connected to Kyoto Station ~ First class service & Facilities ~ Contemporary & Fresh ~ 539 Bedrooms The Granvia Hotel Group in Japan has a reliable reputation for offering high standards , Kyoto is probably their best hotel. The style is contemporary with a stroke of Japanese inspired designs throughout. Very convenient if only in Kyoto for a few nights as the bullet train is only a short distance from the hotel lobby. Equipped with many restaurants, bars, café’s, pool, shopping malls etc. you are spoilt for choice. The underground subway also hosts a large shopping mall, also a short stroll from the hotel lobby. We highly recommend the Granvia Hotel for those seeking convenience, comfort, luxury, and style.

KYOTO MONTEREY HOTEL V V V PLUS Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 120~ Euro (22m sq) Y No Blackout Dates

T WIN

Y Highlights Downtown Kyoto ~ Excellent facilities inhouse and nearby ~ Funky in Design ~ 327 Bedrooms

This stylish hotel opened its doors quite recently in 2006. The Monterey Hotel Group in Japan is a collection of boutique style hotels, Kyoto no different. Rooms are semi-spacious, enough for one or two large suitcases. Located in downtown Kyoto just off the busy Karasuma Street, and only a few minutes walk to the nearest subway station, you are never too far away from anything. With a mysterious interior to its welcoming lobby, the atmosphere appears dark; until you enter your hotel room which is bright and colourful, equipped with all the necessary amenities. We recommend this hotel to those who want to be in the heart of where the action is rather than close to the station which tends to quieten down after 9pm.


J APAN HOTEL S KARASUMA KYOTO HOTEL V V V Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 95~ Euro (22m sq) Y Blackout Dates Jan1-3, May2-5, Jul15-16, Aug16, Sep19-22, Dec31

OKUYUMOTO RYOKAN

Y Highlights Downtown Kyoto ~ Good value ~ Efficient and friendly staff ~ 1 min walk from Shijo subway station ~ 251 Bedrooms Perhaps less stylish than the other hotels listed but just as efficient and superbly located. Just one minute walk from Shijo Subway Station, with a Starbucks Coffee shop attached to the lobby makes this hotel very inviting for those seeking convenience and confort. Rooms are semi-specious (22m sq), simple in design, but clean and equipped with all the necessary amenities. Great value for money and access to station are two major factors for choosing this hotel.

HAKONE HOTELS/ RYOKANS

HIROSHIMA HOTELS RIGHA ROYAL HOTEL V V V V Y Prices From Prices from: 90 Euro pp (TW/DB) Y Blackout Dates Jan 1-3, Feb 4, May2-5, Aug 8-15, Sep 19-22, Dec 30-31 Y Highlights City Centre Location ~ Opposite Peace Park ~ Great food ~ Excellent Facilities

FUJIYA HOTEL V V V V Y Prices From (TW/DBL) per room per night 150~ Euro (35-40m sq) Y Blackout Dates Jan1-3, Feb4, May2-5, Aug8-15, Sep19-22, Dec30-31 Y Highlights Oldworld Charm ~ Great Value ~ Easy Access ~ Excellent Facilities ~ 145 Bedrooms One of the oldest hotels in the area, The Fujiya Hotel dates back to 1878. Located within walking distance to Miyanoshita station the hotel is easy to find. Its style is antique, unique to most hotels in Japan. A warm hospitality is apparent the moment you step through the front doors making the atmosphere in this hotel rather special. Rooms are with Western Beds and relatively large for Japan standards.

OKUYUMOTO RYOKAN

A traditional Japan ryokan located in the heart of Hakone. Soothing hot springs combined with stunning views and delicious cuisine, one or two nights stay in this superior ryokan is worthwhile.

SUPERIOR RYOKAN

Y Prices From (TW/DB) Prices from: 150 Euro pp (including breakfast & dinner)

The best thing about this hotel is its location. Towering over most buildings you can recognise it from very near the Peace Memorial Park and A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima City Centre. A luxurious option with great shopping and facilities nearby. The buffet breakfast is particularly good!

JAL CIT Y HOTEL V V V Y Prices From Prices from 70 Euro pp (TW/DB) Y Blackout Dates Jan 1-3, Feb 4, May2-5, Aug 8-15, Sep 19-22, Dec 30-31 Y Highlights Next to Hiroshima Station ~ Great value for money hotel ~ Reliable Brand Located next to Hiroshima station this 3 star property is exactly what you need if on a tight budget. Rooms are standard: clean, compact, equipped with essential amenities, and good value. The perfect resting place when visiting this vibrant city.

Y Blackout Dates Jan1-3, Feb4, May2-5, Aug8-15, Sep19-22, Dec30-31 Y Highlights Traditional Japanese Ryokan~ great location~ fantastic hot spring & cuisine

Accommodation provided by Japan Ireland Travel is not limited to the list above. We also offer stays at local Minshiku’s (Guest houses), Ryokan’s (Traditional Japanese Inn), Hot Spring Hotels, Ski Resorts, Buddhist Temple Lodges, Tropical Beach Resorts, Self Catering City Centre Apartments, and so on. Contact us today for more information: Tel: 01-6787008 Email: info@japanirelandtravel.ie

J A PA N I R E L A N D T R AV E L

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US EF U L I N FO RMATIO N 1. Holiday Seasons • New Year Dec 29th – Jan 4th • Golden Week Apr 29th – May 5th • Obon Festival Aug 9th – Aug 17th If your self-guided tour falls on any of these dates, prices may incur a supplement. During these busy seasons, itineraries may alter slightly to avoid crowds in certain areas. You will be informed of this before making payment. 2. Official National Holidays IN 2009 • New Years Day Jan 1 • Coming of Age Day Jan 12 • National Foundation Day Feb 11 • Vernal Equinox Day Mar 20 • Showa Day Apr 29 • Constitution Day May 3 • Green Day May 4 • Children’s Day May 5 • Green Day Substitute Day May 6 • Marine Day Jul 20 • Respected-for-the-Aged Day Sep 21 • Declared Official Holiday Sep 22 • Autumnal Equinox Day Sep 23 • Health Sports Day Oct 12 • Culture Day Nov 3 • Labor Thanksgiving Day Nov 23 • Emperors Birthday Dec 23 If your tour falls on any of the days above, prices may incur a slight supplement. 3. Booking and Payment When to book Our Small Group Tours have a maximum number of 16 per group so to avoid disappointment we recommend you book your place as early as possible (3 – 6 months before tour date). Self-Guided Tours should also be booked at an early stage to ensure we can confirm the best hotels for you as seen in our itinerary. Note: Hotels in popular destinations tend to fill up quickly, particularly in the busy seasons. How to book To book any of our tours contact us directly by email, phone, or in person (appointment preferred). As soon as you have chosen your desired tour, a booking deposit is required for each travel member. We will send you a booking form and a copy of the terms and conditions of travel that each tour member must read carefully and sign. Once confirmed, you will be sent a Letter of Confirmation stating the hotels and full inclusions before we request full payment. Payment Deadlines Payment for all tours is required 2 months prior to your starting date. In the event a booking is made less than 2 months prior to the Departure Date, full payment must be made within 7 days of receipt of your Letter of Confirmation. After payment has been made in full, a cancellation policy is put in place. We will highlight this on the terms and conditions before you pay your deposit so you are fully aware of the consequences for canceling.

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Late Bookings If you decide to book a tour less than 4 weeks prior to your departure date we cannot guarantee availability or prices stated in this brochure. However, in most situations we will be able to confirm your holiday at the price in this brochure. In this case, full payment will be required as soon as we confirm your place. We will endeavor to accept your booking within 3 – 5 working days. For payments made using credit card, a 2-3% surcharge will be added. No surcharge is added for booking deposits made with credit cards. Travel Documents Upon booking, you will be sent a Letter of Confirmation to confirm your tour inclusions, dates, and acceptance. Your full itinerary and Essential Travel Pack will be sent to your postal address (or you are welcome to come into our office to pick up and discuss) 2 – 3 weeks before your travel date. Some tickets such as Hakone Free Pass or Theatre Tickets may be handed to you or left at your arrival hotel on Day 1 in Japan. In this case, we will inform you in writing of what you should expect to receive. 4. Our Packages Price Inclusions No matter which tour you choose, you will be informed of the detailed itinerary with inclusions prepared for you. Each tour has clearly marked “inclusions” which you can expect to receive in Japan. Inclusions for other tours, not listed in this brochure (tailor-made), may vary depending on clients request. Our tours include: • Airport transfers on first and last day • Airport meet & greet assistance • Hotels as listed in your Letter of Confirmation (see No. 5) • Transfers as written in itinerary • Meals highlighted in itinerary • Local guides as written in itinerary • Japan Ireland Travel Essential Travel Pack Our tours do not include: • International Flights • Transport not included in itinerary (e.g. taxi’s, subways, local buses) • Entrance fees not stated in itinerary • Meals not clearly stated • Drinks of any description • Hotel charges (telephone, mini bar etc.) 5. Named Accommodation In the event that one or more of the hotels are not available at the time of booking, we will offer you an alternative hotel of similar quality. As we do not take payment before hotels are confirmed, you will be informed of any alterations (all subject to your approval) prior to full payment. 6. Flights You are welcome to book your own flight or if you like, we would be happy to send you some quotations. As soon as your flight is confirmed, you must inform your booking agent of both arrival and departure times, flight numbers, and airline for us to make the necessary airport transfers and meeting assistance.


7. Minimum Numbers All of our Small Group Tours engage a minimum number of 10. In the unlikely event that this minimum number is not achieved, we may be forced to cancel the tour. In the event of cancellation, you will be given at least 6 weeks notice in writing and offered the option of 1. Joining a different Tour 2. Choosing a self-guided tour or 3. Receiving a full refund. If we manage to operate the tour with less than 10 people, slight changes in transport will be made to accommodate this change. 8. Travel Insurance It is a condition of travel that each tour member obtains their own valid travel insurance to cover medical or accidental costs. 9. Credit Card / Cash Only Citibank (24 hours / found in major cities only), 7/11 Convenience Store ATM’s or Post Office ATM’s (normal business hours) will accept foreign credit cards for cash withdrawals Don’t forget your PIN. It is advisable to bring as much cash you need as possible - credit cards and Japan are not as advanced as you might think! We recommend to budget 5,000JPY – 15,000JPY per day per person (when accommodation and rail pass has been included). If you are taking part in a small group escorted tour, the amount required will be less, as your activities and places of interest will keep you busy hence less time to spend money. 10. Luggage Porter service is not included in any of our tours so be prepared to carry your own suitcase. There will be times where we recommend you send your large bags to your next day destination using the reliable and reasonable courier service, used by all Japanese themselves. The fee per case varies from 1,000JPY – 2,000JPY. Cost of luggage transfers are paid for separately. We recommend you only bring ONE light suitcase weighing no more than 15 KG. Japanese airports are very strict about weight and can charge up to ¥5,000 per extra kilo. If you get caught at the airport with a hefty fine on your way out of the country, use the Post Office Service to send by SAL (Ask your airline representative for details). This takes from 1 week up to 6 weeks to be delivered. It’s a lot cheaper than paying the airline. Coin Lockers are found in most train stations. This is a safe and very convenient option if you arrive to your next destination before check in time. 11. Climate & Clothing Check the climate and temperature before you leave and bring clothes to suit the season. Japanese weather is usually predictable so it shouldn’t be a problem planning your wardrobe. Rainy Season Falls around June time. Sudden downpours of heavy rain throughout the day so always carry an umbrella and rain jacket. Temperatures are warm so dress lightly. Four distinct seasons calls for careful planning before you pack your suitcase! Summer July, August and September are Japans hottest months, with high humidity and temperatures ranging from upper 20’s to upper 30’s. Luckily, most places have air conditioning, be prepared for the cold indoors!

Autumn From the end of September to late November is like an Irish Summer, with warm days and cool nights. The further south you go, expect higher temperatures. Spring As winter fades out from March, flowers begin to blossom everywhere, including the famous Sakura. You will still need a jacket until late March/early April. Winter The severity of weather during December, January and February depends on the latitude. Winter is generally crisp and fresh with frosty mornings that clear with the rising sun. Warm clothing is recommended though remember, as soon as you enter buildings or public transport, you will be too hot. Temperatures indoors are set between 22 and 26°C. Sweaters, warm jackets and gloves, especially if planning on going to snow areas are essential. 12. Travel Adaptor If you plan to carry electronic devices it is advisable to carry a travel adaptor with you. Voltage in Japan is 120W compared to 220W in Ireland. Make sure your device has a built in transformer or you may burn it out. 13. Mobile Phones A common mistake many travelers make is assuming your mobile phone will work in Japan. It is recommended you contact your phone company before going. Note that roaming charges are extortionate. If you can not be without, you can rent for a reasonable fee. Ask your booking agent to arrange for you. Or, book online yourself: http://www.gomobile.co.jp/ Enter our AGENT CODE: “japanireland” to receive a discount price. 14. Time It is advisable not to go to MacDonald’s 10 minutes before your train leaves - they won’t wait. A common shock, for Irish in particular, is the punctuality of services, especially the trains. If your train is due to leave at 11.11, you should aim to be at the station for 10.50. This gives you time to find which carriage you are supposed to be standing at (written on your ticket). The bullet train will arrive at 11.11 and leave 10 seconds later so there is really no time for wasting or rushing. 15. Language Surprisingly, you will find little or no English once you leave the main cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto). For this reason it is advisable to either carry a pocket phrase book, go on an escorted tour, or consult with us before you leave for Japan. Advance planning will make your trip to Japan a lot more worthwhile and comfortable. 16. Japan Rail pass Most of our tours include a Japan Rail Pass. It is up to you, the passenger, to ensure that this is not lost. If you loose this, your train journeys must be paid for on the spot. 17. Visa’s, Airport Security & Documentation Passengers carrying an EU passport are exempt from obtaining a visa to enter Japan. You are not permitted to carry out work as this is only a tourist visa. Visa’s can be validated for up to 6 months or less. For more information on Visa’s in Japan visit: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/02.html


| D UBLIN OFFICE |

| JAPAN OFFICE |

Japan Ireland Travel

Japan Ireland Travel

7 Herbert Street

561-9 Sasago

Dublin 2

Kisarazu City

Ireland

Chiba Japan

Tel: +353 (0)1 6787008 Fax: +353 (0)1 6787773

Tel: +81 (0)90 6532 8772 Fax: +81 (0)43 898 1440

Opening Hours Monday - Friday: 9.30am-6pm

Email: info@japanirelandtravel.ie

Saturday: 11am-3pm

Skype: japanirelandtravel

Sunday & Bank Holidays (IRL): Closed for business

URL: http://www.japanirelandtravel.ie

Special thanks to the Japan National Tourist Organisation, Mikami Mayumi, and Colin Sinclaire for allowing us to use their photos.


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