Leave Hiroshima today and head to Japan’s most impressive samurai castle at HIMEJI
by train (approx. 1 hour). The UNESCO Listed Himeji Castle
was constructed of wood in 1346 and is renowned for its elegant shape, painted white exterior, together with a highly developed maze-like system of defence. Explore the castle that was once home to over 10,000 Samurai families and look out over the castle grounds and the city below from the seventh floor.
Continue on a 1 hour train ride to KYOTO
. Originally founded as Heian-kyo (literally “tranquillity and peace capital”) by Emperor Kammu in 794, Kyoto had its golden age during the imperial court's heyday from 794 to 1185. Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years but the emperor and government are now located in Tokyo. With over 2,000 temples, shrines and gardens, Kyoto is a great place to get lost in. Spend some free time getting acquainted with Kyoto and walking through the historical streets.
Explore the Arashiyama neighborhood, including the garden of Tenryu-ji Temple. Later, bask in the magical atmosphere of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
, strolling along a winding path as sunlight filters down through towering bamboo shoots — considered by many a healing experience.
In the evening, free to make your way to Gion
, the famed Geisha district to enjoy a guided walking tour before attending a famous Spring Geisha Dance and Tea Ceremony ("Miyako Odori" performance), which is hosted by a Geisha, in Japanese at the Minami-za theatre.
Overnight in Kyoto.