Contemplate the meaning of life as you explore some of Japan’s finest gardens. You’ll visit the ‘Three Great Gardens’, take a bonsai workshop with a bonsai master as well as see a whole host of iconic city highlights.
We begin in Tokyo where we’ll visit the grounds and gardens of the Imperial Palace, as well as Asakusa Temple, Tokyo’s most popular Buddhist Temple. We spend time at Kairakuen, one of the best landscaped gardens in Japan with over 3000 plum trees. We’ll also make a stop at Hitachi Seaside Park to see the huge variety of seasonal flowers on display. Another highlight is the day in Omiya where we visit the Bonsai village and art museum as taking part in a bonsai workshop.
We travel by train to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, reputed to be one of the most beautiful feudal-lord gardens in Japan with its emphasis on space and tranquillity. We’ll also visit the restored Samurai residence of Nomura-ke and its garden with its famous 400 year old bayberry tree. In Kyoto we’ll spend time in the Gion district, still home to many traditional Geisha’s, as well as discovering Nijo Castle, a 17th century Shogun’s home with a garden designed by Kobori Enshu.
Feast your eyes on a sea of green at the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and we also hope to visit the Kokedera Moss Temple where the gardens house a huge variety of moss in a wonderful setting (special permission is needed to visit here and the visit is subject to availability). Before continuing to Hiroshima we will visit the landscaped garden of Korakuen in Okayama and the historic city of Kurashiki set on the Takahashi River.
Whilst in Hiroshima we will wander through the shrunken scenery garden of Shukkeien as well as crossing to Miyajima Island with its distinctive red ‘torii’ gate. We will of course also spend time at the Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome. We return to Tokyo for our final night where you will have some free time.