Seasonal Gardens of Japan27th Mar 2024
The origin of the Japanese garden lies in simple, gravel-covered forest clearings where the gods could manifest themselves. Over the centuries the gardens have evolved into an idealized reflection of the natural landscape through the careful use of stone and water features, trees, plants and moss. They are places of exquisite beauty, where the eye is led gently to perfectly framed views, often ‘borrowing’ a distant landscape as part of the picture being created. Trees and plants are carefully chosen for certain qualities of form, colour or texture, all of which combine to create an atmosphere of calm and contemplation. Autumn and spring foliage is particularly highly prized. Many of the most notable gardens are in and around Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, and we will have three full days exploring both public and private gardens here. We have included a variety of different styles: landscape gardens, stroll gardens, pond-and-island, each with its own particular charm and beauty. One of the best known is Kinkaku-ji, with the three-tiered Golden Pavilion at its heart. Another highlight of our stay in Kyoto is dinner with a Maiko, an apprentice geisha or, more correctly, geiko, the highly accomplished traditional hostess of Japan.
From Kyoto we travel by Bullet Train to Tokyo, where there will be further garden visits, including Hamarikyu. There is so much more to Japan than gardens, of course, and we have also included a wide range of other visits and excursions reflecting the unique culture of the country. Highlights include the historic town of Omihachiman, the Imperial Palace Garden in Tokyo and a cruise on Lake Ashi, beneath the snow–capped peak of Mount Fuji. We also offer an optional excursion to Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park. We spend our final full day in Kamakura, which includes a visit to the Great Buddha and Hase Temple and is rounded off with a farewell Japanese-style dinner at a local restaurant.
departures:Select Your Departure Date
What to Expect
- The temples and gardens of Kyoto, probably the finest in Japan
- Stepping back in time to old Japan at Omihachiman
- Watching the deer roam free in Nara Park
- Riding the bullet train to Tokyo
- The enormous Buddhas at Todaiji and Kamamura
- Stunning scenery in Hakone, including the iconic Mount Fuji
- The pulsating light show that is Tokyo at night
- Dinner with a Maiko in Kyoto
|Kansai International Airport
|London Heathrow Airport
** Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure. **
Day by Day Itinerary
Enjoy access to the airport Executive lounge before we fly from London to Osaka on our overnight flight.
Meals includedIn flight