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Tours - Japan Express (20 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: NAGASAKI ARRIVAL

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

DAY 2: NAGASAKI

Today, embrace an insight into Nagasaki on foot and by the trams - the iconic transportation of the city. Journey along Teramachi-dori where many old temples lined up, followed by Sofukuji Temple and Urakami Cathedral. Nagasaki has always had a bonding relationship with Christianity - glimpses of Christian influence can be seen in the city's every breath. We also take you to another dark stone in this grand city's history - Nagasaki Peace Park. See how the city resurrect like a phoenix throughout history. Journey to Glover Garden and Dejima - another multi-cultural asset in this city's many facets.

DAY 3: NAGASAKI

Today will be your free day to discover Nagasaki. Nagasaki is a town of churches - that is, churches, temples, pagodas, shrines and mosques! This multi-cultural city has created a delightful mish-mash of color, culture and design. Sample kappo-ryori at a Kappo restaurant, where you can watch the chef cooking right in front of you!

Option to take a cruise to Gunkanjima (Battleship Island).The small, deserted island that used to serve as coal mine until 1974, located about 20 kilometers from Nagasaki.

DAY 4: NAGASAKI – KUMAMOTO

Start your day with a tasty breakfast before heading to Kumamoto. Upon arrival, settle into your hotel before heading out for a local lunch. Enjoy a peaceful orientation walk around the town afterwards. Visit the renowned Kumamoto Castle. Because the disastrous earthquake destroyed the castle in 2016, it is not permitted to visit the inside but it is still possible to witness massive fortress from the outside. You can also visit the Suizenji garden and Hearn Residence on your own.

DAY 5: KUMAMOTO - MOUNT ASO - KUMAMOTO

In the morning take a train to Higo Ozu station and continue by a public bus to the Mt. Aso area. During this day tour, you will be making a stop for a great views of the valley from the highest point. Along the way, there is a possibility to see the picturesque horses and cattle grazing in the mountains. Besides, on a fine day, you will have the opportunity to see the live volcano. Today will be active day with some soft hiking along the way, so it is recommended to pack a day pack bag and a good walking shoes. In the late afternoon return back to Kumamoto and relax for a last night after a long day.

DAY 6: KUMAMOTO – HIROSHIMA – KURASHIKI

Fuel up with a good breakfast before embarking on a bullet train to Kurashiki. En route stop at Hiroshima, a city recover itself from Atomic Bombing aftermath. Embark on the local tram in Hiroshima to visit the Peace Park and Museum. Afterwards continue by bullet train to Venice of Japan - Kurashiki. The city 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. Enjoy your oriental walk along the town.

DAY 7: KURASHIKI

Wander around the town and visit Ohara museum, Japanese jeans factory to order your own customized jeans or stroll along the back street of this small town.

Alternatively, you can join in bike ride in Kibi Plain from Bijen Ichinomiya station to Soja station. This is 17kms ride and bikes are available for rent for this day. Kibi Plain is a charming, rural flatland covered in sprawling fields and dotted with shrines, temples and small clusters of farmhouses. After the biking, you can make a brief visit to Okayama famous garden 'Korakuen Garden' before returning back to Kurashiki in a local express train.

DAY 8: KURASHIKI - OSAKA - 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 9: KYOTO

Attend the Morning Prayer at your shukubo, and have a vegetarian breakfast afterwards. Enjoy orientation walk of this peaceful area before heading down the mountain and travel to Kyoto. Upon arrival, you might enjoy walking around the Geisha district, and get a glimpse of the elegant Geishas.

DAY 10: KYOTO

Wake up to a hearty breakfast before joining in your Kyoto cycling tour. Begin cycling along Kamo River and admire the exquisiteness of city's downtown while passing riverside restaurants. Visit the vast Heian-jingu Shrine and admire the elegant, richly-colored buildings and its large gardens surrounded.

Continue along canals to reach the picturesque Nanzenji Temple. Admire the scenic Higashiyama mountains backdrop and be amazed by the unique brick aqueduct passing through the temple grounds. Soak up the Zen feeling before continuing down the Path of Philosophy. This national popular walking path is shaded by hundreds of cherry trees that erupt into bloom every plum blossom season. Pedaling back towards Kyoto Station, along beautiful canal passing by ancient teahouses and traditional bathhouses. Back at the city's buzzing station. Rest of the afternoon is free at leisure.

*Please note that this tour required medium level of fitness ability.*

DAY 11: KYOTO - MOUNT ATAGO - KYOTO

Enjoy your tasty breakfast before the journey to Takao. Upon arrival start the hike trail in the foothills of Mt. Atago. Enroute passing by Ninnaji Temple, then stroll down shortly to the Kiyotaki River. Continue hike up to the esoteric Jingoji Temple, located up a long flight of steps.

Follow the trail crossing at a bridge and see the region's "living fossil": Japanese giant salamanders. They are the world's largest amphibian that inhabits these pristine waters, and can reach up to 1.5 meters in length.

The trail continues to the village of Kiyotaki, which is 5 to 6 kms away. Then return back to Kyoto. For those who wish to continue to Arashiyama, we offer the option to continue to further visit at your own pace before the return to Kyoto.

DAY 12: KYOTO FREE DAY

Enjoy this free day to visit Nara. The city is second only to Kyoto as the richest collection of cultural sites in Japan. You can either wander around the back-street of Kyoto in the less touristed sites.

DAY 13: KYOTO – KISO VALLEY (TSUMAGO)

Fuel up with a good breakfast and embark on a bullet train to Nagoya, transfer on a local express train to Nakatsugawa afterwards. Upon arrival, a short bus ride will take you to Magome, a gateway to Kiso Valley. Stroll along the scenic landscape to Tsumago - a post town on the Nakasendo route. Running alongside the mountains of the Central Alps, Kiso Valley has been a vital path of Japan's commerce for centuries.

The Valley became even more vital from the beginning of the Edo Period, when it was amalgamated with other routes in the formation of the 500 km long Nakasendo. The Nakasendo (literally translated as "path through mountains") was one out of only two modes of transportation between Edo and Kyoto. Enjoy your overnight stay at minshuku (the local homestay) and savour hearty meals cooked by the host family.

DAY 14: KISO VALLEY - NAGANO

Wake up to a home-cooked breakfast and prepare for your travel to Nagano. Upon arrival, hop on a local train for a short ride to Togura Kamiyamada Onsen (Japanese hot spring town). Settle your stay at a local ryokan before heading out to explore the surrounding in the afternoon. We offer unique experience of visiting Jigokudani Monkey Park as an option for you to choose.

In the evening, you can wander this Japanese onsen town to discover the backstreet and perhaps sample some local Japanese cuisine in one of the local Izakayas (restaurant).

DAY 15: NAGANO

Today will be your free day. You can choose to head back to Nagano for a visit to Zenkoji temple, travel to Matsumoto for the imposing castle or enjoy an orientation walk in Obuse town. We can arrange one option based on your preference.

Enjoy your last evening here before going back to Tokyo.

DAY 16: NAGANO - TOKYO

Depart by bus in the morning to the capital and arrive in the afternoon. Start off the Tokyo tour in the neighbourhood of Ningyocho, a sophisticated district of old downtown Edo. Along the way, pass by Japanese sweets shop, incense store that dates back to 1705. Visit a little gift shop that carries various traditional Japanese items, from calligraphy tools to decorative wares.

We'll stop at a snack shop from the Showa Era that carries treats popular in the early 20th century, including candies, caramels, Ramune soda, fish jerky, and bean paste snacks. Sample Japanese specialities: sweet kawara senbei, and salty rice crackers. We'll then cross the street to a shamisen shop, and learn about this traditional Japanese musical string instrument. From there, we'll head to a local tenugui shop, where woven hand towels depicting Japanese scenes are sold. Journey to a local shrine, where you can offer a prayer and wash a coin to ensure a prosperous life. Finish the journey with neo-lit streets of Shibuya.

DAY 17: TOKYO

After breakfast, visit a Buddhist temple founded in 1703, in an old part of Tokyo. Explore the inside of the temple before getting up-close views of a dramatic purification ceremony. The ceremony features powerful drumming, chanting, and even a bonfire - where you can have your bag blessed over the healing smoke!

Enjoy this afternoon freely to explore the city at your own pace. Sightseeing at Meiji shrine, Harajuku and finish at Asakusa is recommended.

DAY 18: TOKYO FREE DAY

Today can be enjoyed freely at your own pace. Or you can choose our Hakone optional tour and visit the iconic Mount Fuji!

Wake up early and prepare for an adventure day to Hakone National Park. Travel to Mount Fuji - the symbol of Japan all around the world in the masterpiece of Hokusai. Enroute visit the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, where offers a commanding view of the Fuji Five Lakes. Cruise on Lake Ashi with a replica pirate ship. Embark on a ropeway ride to enjoy the view of active sulfuric hot springs and many other scenic landscape. Tonight, enjoy comfortable stay in hotel/ryokan.

DAY 19: TOKYO FREE DAY

Enjoy your last free day or participate in our optional excursion: Nikko Day tour                          

Embark on a bullet train to Nikko, Tokugawa Shogunate's sacred town.The town is home to UNESCO World Heritage Toshogu Shrine, an extravagant mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu - the first shogun of the Edo Shogunate. Wander around Japan's most opulent complex before having a local lunch. In the afternoon, journey to the scenic Lake Chuzenji followed by the renowned Kegon Waterfall and then return to Tokyo.

DAY 20: TOKYO DEPARTURE

Today you will transfer to Narita airport and board your flight home. Sayounara!

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