Travel

AACI Kosher & Friendly Majestic Japan 2018   

29 May 2018 - 12 June 2018
Locations: Hakone, Hiroshima, Kobe, Kyoto, Matsumoto, Takayama, Tokyo
Tokyo

 

Japan consists of four main Islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. There are another thousand smaller islands all lying to the east of the Asian mainland in the northwest of the Pacific Ocean. This archipelago curves across 3000 km, linking Russian’s Sakhalin Island in the north to Taiwan in the south.  We will visit the biggest Island: Honshu the most culturally significant of these islands.

In the best that Japan has to offer you’ll enjoy a colorful mix of large cities like Tokyo and Osaka, quaint and traditional Takayama, the historically significant ancient shrines and temples of Kyoto and Nara, the testament to peace of Hiroshima, the natural beauty of Hakone, the thermally-heated valley of Owakudani and much, much more.

Tue 29 May: DEPART TEL AVIV – TOKYO
Depart Tel Aviv at 23:00 to Tokyo via Seoul. Bon Voyage!

Day 01, Wed 30 May: ARRIVAL IN TOKYO (NARITA) – TOKYO
Arrive at Narita International Airport at 8pm. Transfer straight to hotel to rest up for our amazing days ahead.

Day 02, Thu 31 May: TOKYO – NIKKO – TOKYO
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel. Meet our local guide and transfer to Nikko city and National Park. Our first visit will be to the beautiful Toshogu Shrine, the lavishly decorated final resting place of Tokugawa Leyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Continue to the heart of Nikko Natioal Park, and view the scenic Lake Chuzenji. This area is so lovely, that several embassies built their villas here, to house their ambassadors. Here we find the Kegon waterfall, ranked as one of three of Japans most beautiful falls.

Return to Tokyo for dinner at Chabad Tokyo
20:00 Back to hotel in Tokyo.

lakeDay 03, Fri 01 Jun: TOKYO
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

Today our guide will escort us to the Tsukiji Fish Market which is the largest in the world. We will continue to two interesting design sites, the Nagakin Capsule Tower, a modernist Japanese multi-use building, and the Giant Ghibli Clock, a huge cuckoo clock! We will pass these from the outside, and continue to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, a massive, futuristic building which may be by far the best city-history museum you have ever encountered. The exhibits show the histories of Edo and Tokyo, respectively.

Afterwards, we continue to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory, for the best panoramic view the city has to offer. Next in our jam-packed day is the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku, an immersive experience which will give us insight into the spirit of this unique soldier.

Our day ends with Meiji Jingu Shrine, one of Tokyo’s more famous shrines, perhaps if we are lucky we will catch a traditional wedding ceremony!

Return to hotel to prepare for Shabbat, and enjoy tefillah and Shabbat dinner at Chabad Tokyo.

Day 04, Sat 02 Jun: TOKYOSHABBAT)
Morning Tefillah and Shabbat lunch at Chabad Tokyo.

In the afternoon, we will enjoy a walking tour to visit the Sengakuji Temple, a Zen Bhuddist Temple that plays a strong role in local folklore. Continue our walk to the lovely Happo-en Japanese Garden, a prime example of Japanese gardens, built in the 17th century, featuring 10- year old Bonsai trees.

End Shabbat with seudah shlishit at Chabad.
In the evening, we will have a night out in the Shibuya district!

Day 05, Sun 03 Jun: TOKYO – HAKONE – TOKYO
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

After breakfast, we begin our ride towards the mountainous town of Hakone. Our first stop will be the Itchiku Kubota Museum. Kubota Itchiku (1917-2003) was the artist who revived the lost art of Tsujigahana silk dyeing, used to decorate elaborate kimonos.

mount fujiIn the afternoon we head for the vacation village of Hakone, a resort town on the banks of Lake Ashi, on the lower slopes of Mount Fuji. If it’s a clear day we’ll have a good view of Mount Fuji.   There are different ships on the lake, replicas of historical western style boats as well as a pirate ship. We start with a relaxing cruise on the Lake, to take in the views. Next is the Hakone Ropeway ride, which allows visitors to take in such spectacular views as the crystal-clear blue waters of Lake Ashi, the rising volcanic fumes of Owakudani and the grandeur of Mount Fuji on a fine, sunny day.

We end our day with a visit to the Open Air Museum which houses works of some of the world’s finest sculptors and artists, as well as the world’s largest private collection of the works of Pablo Picasso

Return to Tokyo for dinner at Chabad.
20:30 Back to hotel in Tokyo.

Day 06, Mon 04 Jun: TOKYO – MATSUMOTO – TAKAYAMA
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

***Luggage will be delivered to hotel in Kyoto. Please prepare a small bag for 1 night in Takayama. .

From Tokyo we’ll make our way to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps. En route we stop at  Daio Wasabi Farm, a large Wasabi farm, to castle matsumotojolearn about this popular condiment.  Continue to Matsum onto Castle (Matsumotojo) which is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan’s original castles. It is also a good example of a so called “hirajiro”, a castle built on the plain rather than on a hill or mountain. We’ll continue the alpine climb to Takayama, a traditional hamlet high in the Japanese Alps. We’ll stroll the quaint streets and the ancient shops, visit a sake brewery to taste some of Japan’s finest rice wine (yes, it is kosher), and we‘ll also visit Yatai Kaikan Museum where we‘ll see a display of great chariots, dating back hundreds of years, that were used to transport the gods in the Takayama festival that is held twice a year, spring and fall. This is one of the most spectacular festivals in Japan, and draws large crowds who join the parade.

Check in your hotel in Takayama, and enjoy a catered dinner from Chabad Tokyo.

Day 07, Tue 05 Jun: TAKAYAMA – KYOTO
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

From Takayama we’ll make our way further into the Alps to the village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where ancient “Praying Hands” homes still stand. See a Wada house, a 300 year-old mansion, which offers an excellent example of traditional architecture, culture and history.

After our visit we’ll head for yet another highlight of this tour, a visit to the museum dedicated to Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul in Kovno during World War II, who was responsible for the rescue of over 6500 Jews, for which he was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of Righteous among the Nations.  After the visit we’ll take the Shinkansen, Japan’s famous bullet train, to Kyoto.

Enjoy dinner at Chabad Kyoto.

Day 08, Wed 06 Jun: KYOTO
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

kimonoOur touring in Kyoto starts with a visit to the Kinkakuji Temple. Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) is  a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Continue to the Kimono Show, Nishijin Kaikan, where we learn about the unique silk making techniques of the Kimono, as well as view their shop, and see a Kimono fashion show!

Continue to Nishiki Market, a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, this lively retail market specializes in all things food related.

We will then be the guests at Beit Shalom, a Christian sect, Friends of Israel, which has about 10,000 members. Its headquarters is located in Kyoto. The group’s focus is on supporting Israel and includes prayers for the coming of the Messiah.

Day 09, Thu 07 Jun: KYOTO – NARA – KYOTO
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

We will start this morning by driving to Nara. Due to its past as Japan’s first permanent capital, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. Our visit will include Todaiji Temple – a large temple with a big Buddha statue, the Deer Park and Kiyomizu Dera Temple complexKasuga Shrine – Nara’s most celebrated Shinto shrine.

Return to Kyoto and visit the Kiyomizu Dera Temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to the center of town to visit the Ninenzaka and Sanenzaka lanes and stroll through the fascinating side alleyways of this inspiring sacred city. Visit Gion, the most famous geisha street. Catch a geisha show at Gion corner (based on availability).

Enjoy dinner at Chabad Kyoto
Back to hotel.

Day 10, Fri 08 Jun: KYOTO- HIMEJI – KOBE
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

Bid farewell to Kyoto and make our way to Himeji castle, en route to Kobe. Himeji Castle, also known as White Heron Castle due to its elegant, white appearance, is widely considered Japan’s most spectacular castle for its imposing size and beauty and its well preserved, complex castle grounds.

Transfer to our hotel in Kobe, in time to prepare for Shabbat.
Enjoy Tefillah and dinner at local Chabad.

Day 11, Sat 09 Jun: KOBE (Shabbat)
We’ll spend a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing Shabbat with the Jewish community in Kobe, the only fully functional Orthodox community in Japan. After shacharit and a kiddush/breakfast/Lunch we’ll take a stroll through the neighborhood near our hotel.

Seudat shlisishit

Day 12, Sun 10 Jun: KOBE – HIROSHIMA
***Luggage will be delivered to hotel in Osaka Airport. Please prepare a small bag for 1 night in Hiroshima

Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel

We’ll make our way by bullet train from Kobe to  Hiroshima. On arrival we cross the water by ferry to Miyajima Island, a sacred island that houses what is arguably Japan’s most beautiful shrine – Itsukushima. The whole island is an historical site and is considered one of the three most beautiful sites in Japan. The birth of the city is dated back to 593 CE when empress Seiko was crowned and a shrine was built in honor of this event.

We end the day in Hiroshima, located on the oceanside. We will learn the history of the city that was the first city in the world that the Atomic bomb was used. Hiroshima, in 1945 was the 6th largest city in Japan and was of major military importance. The headquarters of the Second Army, which was charged with protecting all of southern Japan, was located here. However, Allied bombing during World War II was not focused there.

The city was built mainly of wood, which made it very vulnerable to fire. We will visit the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Peace Park, museum and memorial which are both sobering testaments to the dropping of the Atomic-bomb on August 6, 1945.

Dinner at a local vegan restaurant (under kosher supervision by our guide)

Day 13, Mon 12 Jun: HIROSHIMA – KANSAI AIRPORT
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

Spend the day continuing our visit to Hiroshima. We will tour the Mazda factory (based upon availability).

We bid farewell to Hiroshima, for our third bullet train to Osaka! Tour this buslting city, and compare it with Tokyo! Start with the Dotonbori entertainment district, and continue to the Shinsaibashi shopping district to soak in some local culture. Finish the day with the Umeda Sky Building Observatory, to get a panoramic view of the city.

Return to Chabad Kobe for our last dinner in Japan.

Check in our hotel in Kansai Airport, to prepare for our early morning flight.

Day 14, Tue 11 Jun: KANSAI AIRPORT
Kosher buffet breakfast at our hotel.

9:30 Leave Japan for Seoul by Flight KE722, to return to Tel Aviv by 9pm that evening.

Price: $6890 per person in a double room for AACI members                         Currency Converter
$6940 per person in a double room for non-AACI members
Single supplement: $920

Included in the price for this tour:

  • Flights from Israel with Korean Air
  • 3 bullet train journeys
  • 13 nights in four and five star hotels
  • Kosher full board including provisions to make sandwiches for lunch
  • Sightseeing, activities and attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips
  • English-speaking escort from Israel
  • AACI escort

Flight Schedule:

  • May 29 departure 23:00 from Tel Aviv to Tokyo via Seoul on Korean Air
  • May 30 arrival at 20:00 Tokyo
  • June 12 departure 09:30 from Osaka to Tel Aviv via Seoul on Korean Air
  • June 12 arrival at 21:00 Tel Aviv

Total 10 hotel nights:

  • Tokyo- 5 nights
  • Takayama- 1 night
  • Kyoto 3 nights
  • Kobe- 2 nights (Shabbat)
  • Hiroshima- 1 night
  • Kansai Airport-1 night

Not included in the price:

  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not mentioned in above itinerary

Payment:

  • Deposit of $600 per person at time of registration
  • Balance due 3 months prior to departure – by February 28, 2018

Cancellation Policy:

  • Cancellation from time of registration until February 28, 2018 – $600 per person
  • Cancellation between March 1 – April 1, 2018 – 25%
  • Cancellation between April 2-April 29 – 50%
  • Cancellation from May 1 to day of departure – 100%

Passports must be valid until at least October 2018
Please send a photo copy of your passport with application form

Minimum number of participants required.  Itinerary is subject to change
Please note there are no refunds for unused services or meals.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONTACT CAROLE AT AACI: 02-560-0910
FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE SEND TO:
Japan Registration Form 2018      Insurance Japan 2018

JERUSALEM:  03-526-9424, HENRIETTE_H@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
NETANYA:  03-526-1714 SHARON_BE@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
RAANANA: 09-777-7100 , 
MARCELLE_K@CWT.CO.IL LIA_H@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
BEIT SHEMESH: 02-991-1474,  
DAWN_M@CWT.CO.IL