Upon your arrival at Kansai International Airport or Itami Airport, our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in Kyoto. Rest of the day at leisure.
Meet your guide in the lobby and start the day with a Private Classic Kyoto Tour via Public Transportation. Kyoto was the capital city of Japan for several centuries, until 1868 when Tokyo became the capital. Begin your tour at Ryoanji Zen Temple, the site of Japan's most famous rock garden, which attracts hundreds of visitors every day. Originally an aristocrat's villa during the Heian Period, the site was converted into a Zen temple in 1450. The garden consists of a rectangular plot of pebbles surrounded by low earthen walls, with 15 rocks laid out in small groups on patches of moss. An interesting feature of the garden's design is that from any vantage point at least one of the rocks is always hidden from the viewer.
The Kyoto Imperial Palace used to be the residence of Japan's Imperial Family until 1868. It is located in the spacious Kyoto Imperial Garden, an attractive park in the center of the city that also encompasses the Sento Imperial Palace and a few other attractions.
In the afternoon, take a stroll along the Philosopher's Path, a pleasant stone path through the northern part of Kyoto's Higashiyama district. The path follows a canal which is lined by hundreds of cherry trees. Approximately two kilometers long, the path begins around Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) and ends in the neighborhood of Nanzenji. The path gets its name due to Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan's most famous philosophers, who was said to practice meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University. You have free time for the rest of the day to continue your exploration of Kyoto.
After checking out of your hotel, you have a private transfer to Kyoto Rail Station. From here you will take a Bullet Train to Hiroshima. Upon arrival at Hiroshima, you'll have a private taxi transfer with guide to your Hiroshima hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
(Breakfast, Kyoto; Accommodations, Hiroshima)
Your guide will meet you at your hotel to take you on a tour of Hiroshima and Miyajima by streetcar, train, and ferry. Start the day with a visit to the Peace Memorial Park. The area where the park now lies was ground zero for the Atomic Bomb on 6th August 1945. After the bombing, the Memorial Park was created and dedicated to those who lost their lives in the attack. Stroll through the park and discover the many memorials, monuments, and statues in the park before heading into the Museum itself.
From Hiroshima, a short ferry ride will take you to Miyajima Island. A small sacred island located on the Island Sea, it has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. Here you will find perhaps the most photographed site in Japan - the Floating Torii Gate. The shrine it belongs to dates back to the 6th century, with the present structure dating back to the 12th century. The harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill and have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mere 'commoners' were not allowed to set foot in this holy place, and even now it is forbidden to give birth or die on the island! You will have time to explore the island and its many shrines and temples, and to sample local goodies like maple leaf shaped cakes before heading back to your hotel.
After checking out of your hotel, you have a private transfer to Hiroshima Rail Station. From here you will take a Bullet Train to Okayama. Upon arrival at Okayama, you'll have a transfer with guide to your Okayama hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Today you will be met at your hotel by your guide for a day tour to the pretty seaside town of Tomonoura. This lovely coastal settlement has been featured in many films in recent years, including "Wolverine". Your day begins with a quick photo stop at the Joyato Lighthouse, the symbol of the town. Next, you will head to the Residence of the Ota Family, who were a family of affluent merchants from the middle of Japan's Edo period right through to the reforming Meiji period. Here, you will see how wonderfully efforts made to preserve the town have paid off as the house and surrounding buildings have been carefully restored to their old Japan appearance.
You and your guide will then walk around the harbor, admiring the views of the inland sea. You'll break for lunch before making your way to the beautiful Fukuzenji Temple, renowned in Japan for its astonishing views of two islands across the bay.
If time allows and if you are not too tired, we recommend walking to the beautiful Nunakuma Shrine, which is in fact two different shrines both dedicated to gods of the sea. Being such an important port town in days gone by, the shrine demonstrates just how revered marine deities were in Tomonura's history. Afterwards, your guide will escort you back to your hotel in Okayama.
After hotel checkout, you'll have a private transfer to the train station for your connection to your next Avanti destination!