- 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
- 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)
- 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 your hotel. Relax at the hotel before walk out for dinner at Japanese-style restaurants in the nearby area.
DAY 2: TOKYO (ASAKUSA & HARAJUKU)
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. Stroll along Nakamise shopping street nearby, where typical Japanese souvenir and various traditional snack are sold! Enjoy local sushi or ramen for lunch.
After lunch, 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: TOKYO – MATSUMOTO
Wake up to a hearty breakfast before heading out to the countryside of the Central Japanese Alps. This is Nagano Prefecture, famed for outstanding snow and national great sake. We start out at the dramatic Matsumoto Castle, one of four castles designated as 'National Treasures of Japan' and the oldest castle donjon remaining in Japan. This castle is called the "Crow Castle" due to its dark color, intimidating to those who want to intrude during Sengoku Era.
Don&;t miss out on hiking and climbing opportunities in this area! Attempt sawa-nobori (climbing up a stream to find its source at the top of a mountain) or explore caves. Sample the regional famous sake and immerse in Matsumoto nightlife.
DAY 4: MATSUMO – YAMANOUCHI – MATSUMO
You will spend today at Jigokudani Park for a visit to the snow monkeys. The area is seismically active and sprinkled with natural hot springs at just the right temperature, making these adorable monkeys come down from the forests to enjoy them. The monkeys visit the hot springs all year 'round, but are most likely to be here during wintertime.
DAY 5: MATSUMO – KISO VALLEY
Today, we will journey to the picturesque Kiso Valley. Following Nakasendo Trail - a path through the beautiful mountains that had been used for hundreds of years by Japanese traders and travelers. This path will take you through the scenic Japanese foliage before reaching Tsumago, the town hidden away into the hills! Tsumago is perfectly preserved, giving travelers feelings of ancient Edo from the period between 1603 and 1867.
Observe trading shops selling the same types of apparels that they have been wearing all along, sample the food tasting like the good old days. Enjoy your stay in a "minshuku" - an old-architectural style inn completed with tatami woven floors, sliding shoji doors. Savour the standard "kaiseki" full-course meal!
Experience yourself the smells, tastes and sounds of old Japan.
DAY 6: KISO VALLEY – TAKAYAMA
Wake up to a tasty breakfast before your adventure to Takayama. Takayama is renowned for its beautiful old town, where traditional touch is preserved. Let us guide you through the streets and show you glimpses of the rich history. Visit Takayama Jinya, the only surviving government office building headed by the officials dispatched from Edo.
The nearby Hida area is famous for a unique style of architecture that resembles hands folded in prayer. Step inside to discover how roomy and comfortable it is, and why this architecture style is still in use today.
DAY 7: TAKAYAMA – SHIRAKAWAGO – TAKAYAMA
Wake up to a tasty breakfast before beginning your journey to Shirakawago. Shirakawago region lines the Shogawa River Valley in the remote mountains that span from Gifu to Toyama. Declared as UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, the place is famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.
In the afternoon, head out on a walk of the town visiting the old town and sake brewery. The freshest sake is the best - find out for yourself how it&;s made, and what it tastes like!
DAY 8: KANAZAWA
Today we bring you back into more samurai culture. Wake up to a yummy breakfast before wandering in Nagamachi, former living district of samurai. The district exhibits a historic atmosphere with remaining samurai residences, earthen walls, entrance gates, narrow lanes and water canals. Visit Nomura-ke, a samurai residence restored to golden era of samurai precedence. There are few other museums and restored structures, which might interest you if time permits.
In addition, the Contemporary Art Museum is now open to the public with the cutting edge of design right around the corner from the old. There is also the DT Suzuki Museum, showcasing the history of Zen being brought to the western world.
DAY 9: KANAZAWA – HIROSHIMA
Next we head over to Hiroshima, a city made world-famous in the aftermath of the Second World War. However, what you'll find the most intriguing is the vibrancy and culture which has regrown itself from the ashes. With the tranquil Peace Park and Museum in the center of the city reminding us of humanity's recent past, you'll find shopping centers, confectionary hubs, teahouses, museums and sports fields branching out all around. At your leisure, visit Prefectural Museum of Art, Shukkei-En Gardens, baseball stadium, and eat a style of okonomiyaki unique to the city!
DAY 10: HIROSHIMA – MIYAJIMA
We will begin the day with a visit the Mazda factory after booking in advance. Then travel to Miyajima - one of the "Three Great Views of Japan" popularized in the Edo Period. The bright, floating red gate is a signature spot of this island.
Miyajima is also populated by the friendly deer - they will eat from your hand and follow you around! Wander the temples and hike (or take a cable car) to the top of Misen Mountain to experience the life of monk.
DAY 11: HIROSHIMA – KYOTO
Wake up to a hearty breakfast and head to train station for your bullet train to Kyoto. Upon arrival, join a tea ceremony at "machiya" - a restored traditional wooden house that is typical to Kyoto and many parts of Japan. If you wish, combine this experience with kimono fitting! The traditional dress comes with many colors, ranging from colorful style to quite plain and simple.
Free evening to enjoy at your leisure to walk through Gion, where you may get a glimpse of Geisha, walking through the narrow alley.
DAY 12: KYOTO
We start with the sprawling, breath-taking Nijo Castle, followed by Ryoanji - the UNESCO World Heritage zen temple with famous rock garden. This unique garden has no plant, apart from little patches of moss around the stones. Afterward, visit Kinkakuji, the shining pavilion completely covered by gold leaf that was originally built as a shogun's summer house.
In the afternoon, stroll through Higashiyama District, where invoke a feeling of ancient capital city. Begin with Kiyomizudera, one of Japan's most sacred temple. Marvel at this temple's unique architecture of the main hall, built without the use of any joiners. Higashiyama quaint alleyways are lined with small shops, cafes and restaurants catered to tourists and pilgrims for centuries.
DAY 13: KYOTO – NARA (OPTIONAL)
Today will be enjoyed at your leisure. You may wish to visit Nara, a city is second only to Kyoto as the richest collection of cultural sites in Japan. This 8th century town is filled with quiet boulevards that lead from shrine to shrine. Journey to the dazzling Todaiji, the iconic landmark of Nara City. The temple claims to be the largest wooden building in the world, despite being rebuilt in 1692 at only two-thirds of the original size. Nara's most celebrated Shinto shrine - Kasuga Taisha is not to be missed, if you want to meet the friendly semi wild deer.
DAY 14: KYOTO DEPARTURE
The final day, see those last few sights which you hadn't had a chance to peek into during your tour, do a little souvenir shopping and perhaps find yourself a kimono. Enjoy a few local snacks before you head off to Kansai Airport. We will be happy to accompany you on this last leg of your journey, and answer any questions you may still have.