- 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.
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 YOUR OWN WAY!
Let's make your own way exploring the metropolitan. Going back to visited fascinating valleys for an insight? Use our information packet to discover new places? A visit to Tsukiji Fish Market and surrounding restaurants in Tsukishima is strongly recommended.
Interested in Japanese technology? Odaiba - a unique island of gaming and multimedia - is perfect for you! If traditional art is your interest, come to the Kabukiza Theatre in Ginza and watch a performance. Akihabara is recommended for electronic gadgets' lovers.
Travel further from Tokyo? An optional one day trip to nearby Nikko to visit UNESCO World Heritage Toshogu Shrine, or to Kamakura to admire the giant Buddha statue is available. Tell us what's your plan?
DAY 4: NIKKO
Embark on the Shinkansen to Nikko National Park, where you can enjoy lakes, mountains, hot springs and nature trails. Today is a self-guided day. You can visit sake brewery, Tosho-gu, Kanmangafuchi abyss at your own speed.
DAY 5: NIKKO
Enjoy meals at traditional restaurant going back hundreds of years, try the famous onsen hot springs, and on the second day of your tour, take some time to hike the many trails that lead through the park, beautiful and accessible year-round, but especially popular during the autumn. If you visit the Lake Chuzenji, you may also view the Kegon Waterfalls, a 96-meter flow that crashes dramatically into the river below.
DAY 6: NIKKO – KYOTO
Today, after breakfast, take a taxi to the train station and then transfer on a bullet train to Kyoto.
Customer service assistant to meet at the train station and transfer to your hotel using public transport. If you wish to use taxi, please pay additional cost.
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 7: KURASHIKI
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.
Transfer to the outskirt of Kyoto for a gentle walk through Sagano lush bamboo groove. The sunlight filters through the densely packed grove, projecting thin slashes of light onto this enchanting forest. Head to Tenryuji temple, which survived centuries maintaining its original design. Then continue to Jojakkoji Temple nestled in the quiet and understated wooded hill. Crossing over the iconic landmark Togetsukyo Bridge for stunning views of adjacent cherry forest.
DAY 8: KYOTO - NARA (OPTIONAL)
Today's morning, you will participate in a tea ceremony at the traditional Japanese house called “machiya". The 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.
In the afternoon, 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 9: KOYASAN
Enjoy a tasty breakfast before heading to Osaka. Upon arrival, hop on an express train to Koyasan. This scenic journey is not to be missed as the train ascends uphill towards the base of Koyasan. Short cable car journey takes you to Koyasan bus station, from here take a regular city bus to your shukubo (temple lodging). Koyasan is the center of Shingon Buddhism, an important Buddhist sect which was introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi - one of Japan's most significant religious figures. Experience your overnight stay at a shukubo, where you can get a taste of a monk's lifestyle, eating vegetarian monk's cuisine (shojin ryori) and attending the morning prayers.
DAY 10: KOYASAN
Enjoy your time in Koyasan for meditation and relaxation, walking through historical trails, admiring the traditional temples, and visiting the treasure rooms. There are more than 5,000 relics in the form of paintings, statutes, scrolls and charms that have been preserved as icons of high-order Buddhism throughout the ages. You might also climb the nearby mountains, a trail which the monks themselves often took to better appreciate the meaning of life. Your meals will all be taken care of at your lodging.
DAY 11: HIMEJI
The 11th day of your journey will bring you to Himeji in the Hyogo Prefecture. Himeji boasts the most impressive of only 12 surviving castles from the feudal Sengoku Era in all of Japan. Rising high above the city, there are tours available so that you too can get a glimpse of what it might have been like to live as a samurai in a stronghold like this one. The castle has only just been opened to the public after many years of renovations, so enjoy this chance while fresh.
If the time permits, you may wish to visit Kurashiki. The stunning canal town is renowned for its preserved canal area, which were built to allow boats and barges to navigate between the city's storehouses and the nearby port when Kurashi was still a vital rice trading center.
DAY 12: 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 13: 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 14: KANAZAWA
Returning in the direction of Tokyo once again, we visit the Kyoto of East Japan. The town used to serve as home of second most powerful clan, Maeda Clan, during the Edo Period. Thereupon, Kanazawa has become the town of great cultural achievements, rivalling Tokyo and Kyoto. In the afternoon, journey to nation's most celebrated garden Kenrokuen, and perhaps visit the slowly restored Kanazawa Castle if time permits.
The evening with be enjoyed freely, you may wish to travel to the largest one of three regional well preserved chaya districts - Higashi Chaya district. Chaya is an exclusive restaurant, where geishas perform song and dance to entertain patrons. Another signature of Kanazawa is gold leaf handicrafts - from accessories to clothing, housewares and even food.
DAY 15: GOKAYAMA
Today we will journey to Gokayama, located along the Shogawa River Valley nestled in remote mountains. Declared as UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, the picturesque Gokayama is renowned for its distinctive gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Designed to look like hands in prayer, these farmhouses can withstand heavy snowfalls in the winter and have spacious attics for cultivating silkworms.
In the afternoon, we will visit the traditional paper making factory. An overnight stay at gassho-zukuri with hearty dinner from local family will be an unforgettable memory.
DAY 16: NAGANO - TOKYO
Embark on a short bus followed by a bullet train to return to Tokyo on for your final night. Stroll through the neon-lit streets, multi-cultural restaurants, mish-mashed with traditional sights still found on the back streets! Enjoy shopping for souvenirs, sampling exotic foods you had been meaning to, and checking the final items off your list of "must do while in Japan”, all in this exciting area.
DAY 17: TOKYO DEPARTURE
Today you will transfer to Narita airport and board your flight home. Sayounara!