Kyoto & Tokyo (3 nights)

KOB 400-102
Highlights
  • Visit Nijo Castle
  • Ride on the Bullet Train
  • Tour the Imperial Palace
  • Walk the streets of Tokyo
  • Take photos with the Great Buddha
  • Explore Hakone and the surrounding national park
Program Overview
Country: Japan
Depart: 01/24/2017 1230
Return: 01/27/2017 1845
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Strenuous
Capacity: Min. 15/ Max. 38
Program Fee
$1464 (early booking: $1380)

Field Class Conflicts
  • PSY 320: Abnormal Psychology
  • POLS 232: International Relations
  • SPCM 332: Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • ECON 204: Principles of Macroeconomics 
  • MGT 320: Contemporary Management Principles/Practices
  • ART 100: Introduction to the Visual Arts (Section 1)
  • JTC 416: Global Communication Technologies
  • IE 272: World Interdependence – Current Global Issues (Migration)

A must see destination in Japan, Kyoto is the nation’s former capital and was the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868. It is a city of culture that offers a plethora of temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures that still survive today.

Day 1 (January 24): You will start your day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples.  Next, you will visit Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence. The castle is surrounded by stunning gardens and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors, and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors. Following your visit, the coach will bring you to Kyoto station to board the exciting bullet train to Tokyo.

Day 2 (January 25): You will start your day at Meiji Shrine, Tokyo’s most famous shrine, dedicated to the spirit of the late Emperor Meiji. The park that surrounds the shrine is a forest of some 120,000 trees of 365 different varieties.  The shrine is a popular site for traditional Japanese weddings, if you are lucky you may see a bride and groom dressed in traditional Shinto wedding attire. You will then visit the Imperial Palace Plaza (exterior view). The palace occupies the original site of Edo Castle, the seat of power for the Tokugawa Shoguns during the Edo Period (1603 – 1867). Restoration to repair damage suffered during World War II was completed in 1968. Your approximately 45-minute guided tour explores the spacious gardens and grounds, surrounded by moats. Stop at Nijubashi Bridge, a picturesque two-tier bridge, for a superb photo opportunity.  Next is off to Asakusa, which is the Shitamachi (downtown) area of Tokyo. Stroll down Nakamise Street which is full of traditional shops, and visit Asakusa Kannon temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Your last stop of the day is Akihabara, the center of Japan’s otaku (diehard fan) culture. Here you will find many shops and establishments devoted to anime and manga. Hundreds of electronics shops also line the main Chuo Dori street and the crowded side streets around Akihabara. They offer everything from the newest computers, cameras, televisions, mobile phones, electronics parts and home appliances to second-hand goods and electronic junk. 

Day 3 (January 26): Your next destination is the ancient capital of Kamakura (Little Kyoto), which has thousands of shrines and temples. The region is backed in by picturesque mountains and faces the shimmering Pacific Ocean. Here you will visit Hasedera, a temple of the Jodo sect, famous for its eleven-headed statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The 9.18 meter tall, gilded wooden statue is regarded as one of the largest wooden sculptures in Japan and can be viewed in the temple’s main building, the Kannon-do Hall. According to legend, it was carved from the same tree as the similarly tall Kannon statue worshiped at the Hasedera Temple in Nara Prefecture. You will also see the Image of the Great Buddha  –  one of the largest sitting Buddhas in the world. The 38-feet high bronze statue occupies a courtyard at Kotokuin Temple and was cast by order of the shogun Minamoto Yoritomo to rival the famed Daibutsu at Nara.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Hase Shrine. Following that, the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine – a Shinto shrine whose main pavilion was built by Minamoto Yoritomo in 1191 to celebrate the establishment of the Minamoto Shogunate. After sightseeing, you will have free time to explore and shop along Komachi-Dori Street, where traditional and modern shops stand side-by-side. Bring Yen for your purchases or a major credit card.

Day 4 (January 27): On your last day, you will have the opportunity to take a tour of breathtaking Hakone – the gateway to Mt. Fuji and the surrounding national park. Your first stop is the Hakone Open Air Museum, which successfully creates a harmonic balance of nature and art by exhibiting various sculptures on its spacious grounds in combination with beautiful views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Besides the sculptures, the Hakone Open Air Museum features various indoor galleries, including a sizable Picasso Collection, consisting of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramic creations. You can also relax your tired feet here with a soak in the hot spring foot bath!

Ride the Hakone rope way up to Mt. Sounzan, for breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji, and pay your respects to Hakone Shrine. Drinking from its fountains, shaped like a seven-headed dragon, is said to bring luck in love! Following  Mt. Sounzan, a ship will sweep you across Lake Ashinoko, formed by a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago.  The last stop of the day is Hakone Shrine. Hakone Shrine stands at the foot of Mt. Hakone along the shores of Lake Ashi. The shrine buildings are hidden in dense forest, but are well advertised by its huge torii gates, one standing prominently in the lake and two others over the main street of Moto-Hakone. Throughout the day you will have the chance to get a glimpse of Mt Fuji, however please keep in mind that she is a notoriously shy mountain and it needs to be a clear day. At the end of the program, the coach will drop you off at Mishima station where you will board the bullet train to Shin Kobe.

Itinerary

Day 1

1230 Departure from Kobe Port Terminal by coach to Golden Pavillion
1420 Visit the Golden Pavillion
1520 Drive to Nijo Castle
1550 Visit Nijo Castle
1650 Drive to Kyoto Station to take the bullet train
1745 Take the Bullet train to Shinagawa station (Nozomi 136 / 17:45 departure)
2015 Arrive at Shinagawa station (walk to hotel)

(Please note times, activities, and accommodations are subject to change)

Day 2

0900 Depart hotel by coach for Meiji shrine
0945 Visit Meiji Shrine
1045 Drive to the Imperial Palace
1115 Visit the Imperial Palace
1200 Drive to Asakusa
1245 Free time at Asakusa, lunch on own
1445 Drive to Akihabara
1515 Free time at Akihabara
1615 Return to hotel
Overnight at Tokyo hotel
*The order of the tour may vary

(Please note times, activities, and accommodations are subject to change)

Day 3

0830  Breakfast and check out
0900  Coach to Hase Kannon Temple in Kamakura
1045  Visit Hase Kannon Temple
1145  Walk to Kotokuin
1155  Photo stop at the Great Buddha
1225  Drive to local restaurant
1240  Lunch at local restaurant
1340  Drive to Tsuruoka Hachimagu
1355  Visit Tsuruoka Hachimagu
1455  Free time at Komachi-dori
1615  Return to hotel
Overnight at Kamakura hotel

*The order of the tour may vary

(Please note times, activities, and accommodations are subject to change)

Day 4

0800 Breakfast and check out
0815 Coach to Hakone Open Air Museum
1000 Visit Hakone Open Air Museum
1100 Depart to Sounzan Station
1115 Ride the Hakone Rope Way (Sounzan – Tougendai)
1145 Take the Hakone Pirate Cruise from Togendai (Get off at Motohakonemachi)
1215 Walk to Hakone Shrine
1230 Free time at Hakone Shrine
1315 Drive to local restaurant
1330 Lunch at local restaurant
1430 Coach to Mishima Station
1548 Shinkansen Mishima – Shin Kobe  (Hikari 477)
1818 Arrival at Shin Kobe station
1845 Arrival at Port Terminal

*The order of the tour may vary

(Please note times, activities, and accommodations are subject to change)

Meals Included

Jan 24: bento box (for dinner)
Jan 25: breakfast
Jan 26: breakfast, lunch
Jan 27: breakfast, lunch

Special Note

Hakone is a mountain area, please wear appropriate warm clothing.

Bring spending money to purchase meals not listed in the itinerary.