B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner | SD: Special Dinner
2019 Memorial Day Weekend in Osaka
Day 1 | Honolulu – Kansai (Osaka)
We begin our journey by boarding an international flight to Kansai Airport, the gateway city to Osaka. Meals and snacks will be served on the plane.
Day 2 | Osaka
Upon arrival at Kansai Airport, an Air & Sea Travel representative will greet us and escort us to our hotel.
Day 3 | Osaka – Nara – Osaka | (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will transfer to Nara. Nara Park is a public park and one of the “Places of Scenic Beauty” designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Over 1,200 wild Sika Deer freely roam the park and have become a symbol of the city and designated a natural treasure. According to local folklore, deer from this area were considered sacred due to a visit from Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto, one of the four gods of Kasuga Shrine. Killing one of these sacred deer was a capital offense punishable by death until 1637. Today, visitors can purchase “deer-crackers” to feed them. The park is also the home of Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine. It was established at the same time as the capital and is dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city. Kasuga Taisha was also the tutelary shrine of the Fujiwara’s, Japan’s most powerful family clan during most of the Nara and Heian Periods. Like the Ise Shrines, Kasuga Taisha had been periodically rebuilt every 20 years for many centuries. In the case of Kasuga Taisha, however, the custom was discontinued at the end of the Edo Period. The park is also the home of Todaiji, also known as Great Eastern Temple and one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temples and landmarks of Nara. After lunch, we will continue to Kofuku-ji Temple and Five Story Pagoda. Kofukuji use to be a family temple of the Fujiwara Clan. At the height of Fujiwara power, the temple consisted of over 150 buildings. At 50 meters, the Five Story Pagoda is Japan’s second tallest, just seven meters shorter than the five story pagoda at Kyoto’s Toji Temple. Kofukuji’s pagoda is both a landmark and symbol of Nara. It was first built in 730 and was most recently rebuilt in 1426.
Day 4 | Osaka – Kyoto – Osaka | (B, L)
Today we travel to Kyoto and start our tour of the historic Kiyomizu-dera, an independent Buddhist Temple in Eastern Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beauty of the temple will be enhanced when you stand by the main hall looking down at the hillside covered with cherry blossoms. The neighborhoods next to this temple are Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka which literally means Two-Year Hill and Three-Year Hill. These are charming pedestrian only shopping lanes lined with traditional Japanese buildings that offer a taste of pre-modern Kyoto. After lunch, we will head to Maruyama Park, famous for hosting different festivals throughout the year. It is part of the Yasaka Shrine, also named Gion Shrine. Next, we will visit the Fushimi Inari-taisha, the head shrine of Inari. Inari is the Japanese god of foxes who protects the agriculture industry, such as rice, tea & sake. This shrine is famous for its thousands of red torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds. Afterward, we will visit Nishiki Market, a narrow, five blocks long shopping street lined with more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, such as fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. Please enjoy your dinner in Nishiki Market before we transfer back to Osaka.
Day 5 | Osaka (Universal Studio Japan) | (B)
This morning, we will visit Universal Studios Japan, the first theme park under the Universal Studios brand built in Asia in 2001 with a collection of world-class entertainment for all ages to enjoy. The park occupies an area of 39 hectares and is one of the most visited amusement parks in Japan. Universal Studios Japan currently has eight sections: Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You will be able to enjoy many amusement rides, ranging from child-friendly carousels to thrilling roller coasters and simulators based on popular movies such as Spiderman, Back to the Future, Terminator 2, and Jurassic Park. In addition to rides, the park offers many opportunities to take pictures with popular characters’ mascots such as Snoopy, Hello Kitty and the muppets of Sesame Street. There are also various shows put on every day, including a Night Parade featuring illuminated floats. It’s time to refresh yourself after a whole day adventure. Just outside the park’s gates is Universal Citywalk Osaka, a shopping mall with many restaurants and shops, including stores selling Universal Studios merchandise and Osaka souvenirs. You might want to sample food at the Osaka Takoyaki Museum, five restaurants that specialize in fried octopus dumplings, located on the mall’s fourth floor.
Day 6 | Osaka | (B)
After breakfast, enjoy a free day to shop around the city and eat whatever looks interesting. “Shop till you drop; eat till you overflow!” You can enjoy shopping in Shinsaibashi, the largest and best known shopping area in Osaka where many boutiques and specialty shops attract local people and visitors. The Shinsaibashi evolved from the arcaded streets “Shinsaibashi Shopping Street”. With a history of 380 years, it was already an established shopping area in the Edo Period. Shops of all kinds and for all ages line the street, a roofed 600 meter long arcade. Dōtonbori is another principal tourist destination in Osaka. One of the area’s most prominent landmarks is “The Glico Man”, a billboard for confectionery company Glico displaying the image of a runner crossing the finish line and is an icon of Osaka within Japan.
Day 7 | Osaka (Kaisai) – Honolulu | (B)
After breakfast, we will start our city tour by visiting Osaka Castle. Nishinomaru Garden was opened in 1965 and has a total area of approximately 64,000 m2. The former residents of Osaka Castle were the wives of a 16th century Japanese ruler named Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The garden has a spectacular view of the castle tower. During springtime, the garden’s 600 cherry blossom trees bloom beautifully, including the pure white somei-yoshino. We will visit the Castle Tower which houses an informative museum about the castle’s history and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It was the largest castle at the time. After that, we will transfer to HEP FIVE, one of the best known landmarks of Umeda (business/financial district in Osaka). The main attraction of HEP FIVE is a huge Red Ferris Wheel attached to its roof. We will board the Ferris wheel from the 7th floor today. The 75 meter diameter wheel has 52 four-seater gondolas and takes 15 minutes to make one complete revolution. At its highest point it is 106 meters above ground and offers spectacular views of the city all the way to Osaka Harbor. Afterward, we will visit Kuromon Ichiba Market, a lively covered market which stretches for 580 meters in Osaka’s Chuo Ward. Nicknamed “Osaka’s kitchen” because both local homeowners and restaurant chefs get their supplies here, the market is famous for its fresh seafood and has recently become a popular tourist location. One reason for the market’s popularity is that many stalls will prepare, cook and serve their food to you right on the spot. This makes it an excellent venue for strolling, sampling, and snacking on a delicious variety of fresh market foods. So please enjoy your lunch here before we transfer to Shinsekai, a colorful area to the west of Tennoji Park packed with cheap shops and eateries and best known for its iconic Tsutenkaku Tower. Tsutenkaku Tower is known as the Eiffel Tower of Osaka. With an observation platform on the 5th floor with a bird’s eye view of Osaka and Billiken, a deity believed to bring good luck if you rub the soles of his feet, the tower attracts 700,000 people every year. After a long day, we will transfer to the Kansai Airport for our return flight to Honolulu, taking with us the lasting memories of this wonderful Osaka trip.
We wish you a safe journey and with many wonderful memories to share with family and friends! ☺
CHECK OR CASH PAYMENT ONLY. A deposit of $ 350 per person is required at the time of application. The balance of payment is due 70 days prior to departure. In the event balance of payment is not made within the required time period, Air and Sea Travel Center reserves the right to cancel reservations and charge a cancellation fee.
Written notice is required for any cancellation. $350 deposit is non-refundable if you cancel within 70 days before departure.
Within 70 days before departure, the cancellation fee will be as follow:
** 69-31 days prior departure, 50% of total price plus any other service fee caused from the cancellation;
** 30 days prior to departure or withdrawing during the tour shall be regarded as willingly giving up all rights concerned, 100% of total price, and request for other services as a substitute shall not be accepted. We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance when you make a reservation.
Price from: $2,388.00
Includes: Tax and fuel surcharge
(SINGLE SUPP: $700)