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Tours - Essential Japan (8 days)
Tour includes:
  • Accommodation at selected hotels with meals as mentioned in your final itinerary.
  • Check-in time is 3.00PM and check-out time is 11.00AM. Early or late service is subject to availability with surcharge.
  • Meals if mentioned in the final itinerary
  • Transfers if mentioned in your final itinerary:
    • Airport transfer (arrival and departure) in a shared van
    • Public/Private transport on tour day
  • Guidance:
    • Client Service Officer: provide self-guided clients with tour information
    • Guide for half day or full day tour (English & other languages: German, Spanish, etc.)
  • Sightseeing fees and permits during guided time
  • Service charge and current government VAT tax    
  • JR Pass and/or Train ticket(s)  
Tour excludes:
  • VISA
  • Optional tour
  • Please make sure you have 6 months passport validity.  
  • Early/late check in/out service at hotels (surcharge if request) 
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Services and meals if not mentioned in itinerary
  • All drinks, including water, soft drink and alcohol on all included or optional excursion
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance (Compulsory)

DAY 1: TOKYO ARRIVAL

Meet your assistant at Narita Airport and transfer to the city hotel. Relax at the hotel before walk out for dinner at Japanese-style restaurants in the nearby area.

DAY 2: TOKYO (HARAJUKU & ASAKUSA)

Wake up to a tasty breakfast before beginning your adventure. Journey to Hamarikyu garden, the former private garden of an Edo Period Lord. Stopover for sampling Japanese green tea, followed by a short cruise along Sumida River. Later on, travel to Asakusa for a visit to the renowned Sensoji! The colorful, popular temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo&;s oldest temple.

In the afternoon, we will visit magnificent Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji. The shrine is crowded in the first day of the year because of hatsumode (first prayers). For the rest of the year, if in luck, you may witness solemn procession of Shinto weddings. Continue the journey to Harajuku and Omotesando. This tree-lined avenue features a multitude of dazzling architecturally ambitious buildings of global haute couture brands. Finish the day with Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, one of Tokyo's tallest and most distinctive skyscrapers for a panoramic view of the city if time permits.

DAY 3: EXPLORE TOKYO IN YOUR OWN WAY

You can go back to the areas we showed you to get a deeper look at the fascinating back alleys, or use our information packet to visit new areas of the old town. Make a visit to the Tsukji Fish Market and surrounding restaurants in Tsukushima.

Or perhaps take a cruise down the Sumida River to visit Odaiba - a unique island of gaming and multi-media! If  you are interested in traditional art, come to the Kabuki-za Theatre in Ginza, and see a performance while there - a must-see for any visitor to Japan. 

DAY 4: TOKYO – HAKONE

Wake  up bright and early as we take you to Hakone National Park, an area known for its geothermal activity and beautiful landscapes. Visit Mount Fuji - a symbol of Japan all around the world in the paintings of Hokusai. Admire the 2,500 meter high "5th station," mountain on a cruise aboard a replica pirate ship, from the nearby Lake Ashi. 

We'll take a ropeway ride to see more of Owakudani - an area of colorful, bubbling hot springs, steam vents and more where you can catch a glimpse of living Earth. Stay in a traditional ryokan - designed with tatami floors and zen-like architecture, with fluffy futon and eat a traditional kaiseki-style full-course meal. This checkpoint was famous for its hot springs and geisha - much of the traditional town persists to this day. Get a taste of the old life simply by walking out of your hotel room and strolling down to the nearby izakaya! The Hakone townsfolk are friendly - take their recommendations when asking what of the many o-tsu-mami to try while accompanying your sake!

DAY 5: TOKYO

Today is your food experience day. We take you for a Japanese cooking lesson using local ingredients. Learn how to make many kinds of sushi - maki-sushi, gunkan-maki, and the ever-popular nigiri! We'll show you how to appreciate the ingredients and encourage them to bring out the authentic Japanese flavor so that you too can make sushi for your friends and family at home. 

In the evening, we bring you to a special kind of izakaya so that you can try even more delicious foods you make have never experienced before. Feel free to ask your tour guide if there is anything specific you're interested in trying while in the country - we're good at making accommodations!

DAY 6: TOKYO - OSAKA

Embark on shinkansen to Osaka - a bustling, gaudy, vibrant city of multi-cultural life and trade in the center of the Kansai Area of Japan. We'll start with a walking guided tour in which we visit the oldest areas of the city, and the backstreets which have changed little over the years! We also visit the Tsutenkaku - an icon of the city, featured in multiple movies and once the highest structure in Asia. Visit the curious god of luck on the 5th floor, and tour the curious streets of old Naniwa in the area! Don't forget to try the local cuisine - tiny shops and stalls boast finger-foods unique to the city.

DAY 7: KANAZAWA

Returning in the direction of Tokyo once again, we visit the Kyoto of East Japan - Kanazawa. This lovely town, like Kyoto, was spared the firebombings of the war, and so boasts similarly nostalgic and traditional streets. Visit the teahouses, spot geisha strolling the alleyways, and see in what kind of homes the samurai lived. Kanazawa is unique for its use of color and gold - not only in architecture and design, but in food as well! A very walkable town, you can enjoy this area at your liesure - there isn't a boring street to be found.

DAY 8: TOKYO

Finally, return to Tokyo and the forefront of the future by spending the last two days in Shinjuku. This area is famous for its generous use of neon lighting, multi-cultural restaurants, mish-mashed with traditional sights still found on the back streets! Shop for souvenirs, try those exotic foods you had been meaning to, and check the final items off your list of "must do while in Japan," all in this exciting area!

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