Discover the wonders of Japan.  Start in the buzzing capital city, Tokyo, with its Imperial Palace, famous shopping districts and immense cityscape. 

Enjoy spectacular views of Mount Fuji and the volcanic hot springs in Hakone, before heading to historic Takayama.  Step back to the time of the samurai in the castle town of Kanazawa, before a short train trip to Hiroshima and a moving visit to the Peace Park. 

Explore the old Geisha district and dine in a traditional izakaya, before wandering the streets of Japan's former imperial capital Kyoto, with its prominent castle, Kiyomizu Temple and ornamental gardens.
 

Back to Japan Tours

Why We Love It

Chance to visit UNESCO World Heritage listed Kyoto, Japan’s former imperial capital and an important cultural centre.

Step back in time and walk the narrow streets admiring the traditional wooden Japanese homes in Takayama.

In the Tokyo suburb of Harajuku experience the weird and wonderful local youth culture.

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Day by day Itinerary

Handpicked Japan

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Day 1

Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo and transfer to your hotel.  Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

Tokyo is a quirky, vibrant metropolis that pulses with a constant energy. Its passion for everything new sharply contrasts with the traditional culture that still permeates the city.  The mix of old and new is evident with ancient strolling gardens, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, intertwined with tall skyscrapers. 

Japan's capital is home to some of the best Japanese food in the country, with 234 Michelin-starred restaurants—more than any other city.  The birth place of sushi, Tokyo offers many delicious culinary delights from casual Izakaya eateries to renowned Michelin star restaurants.

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Day 2

Tokyo

Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Tokyo, starting at the Tsukiji Fish Market, best known as one of the largest fish markets in the world.

Take the subway to Asakusa, part of Tokyo’s old town and the city’s oldest Geisha district and then head to Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine. Continue on to the pop culture mecca of Harajuku and the neighbouring Omotesando. (B)

Day 3

Tokyo - Nikko - Tokyo

Using your Japan Rail Pass, take the two hour journey to Nikko. 

Scattered among hilly woodlands, Nikkō, with its World Heritage temples and shrines, is an awesome display of wealth and power and is the site of Toshogu, the famous Shinto shrine built in 1617. (B)

Day 4

Tokyo - Hakone

Board a bullet train and travel to the iconic snow-capped Mount Fuji.

Hakone is a large area made up of seven hot spring towns.  Each town has its own distinct history, appeal, and character. It also encompasses Hakone Shrine, a Shinto shrine with a red “torii” gate overlooking Lake Ashi, which can be toured by boat, as well as the boiling sulphur springs of the Owakudani Valley.

Enjoy a bath in an outdoor hot spring, stay in traditional ryokan accommodation and sleep on a futon. In the evening, relax in your yukata, or lightweight kimono, and dine on a kaiseki multi-course meal. (B)(D)

Day 5

Hakone

Today is a self-guided day where you can spend the day exploring Hakone using your transport pass. Suggestions include a trip to Mt Owakudani, a cruise on Lake Ashinoko and trekking the preserved old Takaido Walking Trail. (B)

Day 6

HAKONE – TAKAYAMA

Today travel to Takayama.  Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.  You may like to stroll the narrow streets admiring the well preserved 17th century merchant houses and traditional wooden Japanese homes in Takayama. (B)

Day 7

Takayama

A day to wander and explore historic Takayama. Visit beautiful stone shophouses and sake breweries, wander cobbled streets, and browse the Miyagawa morning market.

Take the short bus ride to Shirakawa-go , and walk amongst the traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses with their high-pitched thatch rooves. Many of the houses are more than 250 years old, and this is one of Japan’s most celebrated  UNESCO World Heritage sites. (B)

Day 8

TAKAYAMA – KANAZAWA

Using your pass, travel by train to Kanazawa, which was a notorious castle town and headquarters to many samurai nobles between the 16th and 17th centuries.

Kanazawa is the prefectural capital of Ishikawa, a narrow stretch of land on Japan's main island of Honshu along the Sea of Japan. It was one of the most important centres for culture and art during the Edo period and remains a haven for art enthusiasts.  This city contains museums and workshops on everything from gold leaf to samurai.

Sometimes called 'little Kyoto'.  It boasts many attractions such as the Kenrokuen garden, one of Japan’s most famous gardens, restored residences and districts such as the Higashi Chaya area a lovely neighbourhood of preserved geisha houses and the Nagamachi Samurai house area a collection preserved samurai houses located near Kanazawa castle park. (B)

Day 9

KANAZAWA – HIROSHIMA

Today spend the morning further exploring Kanazawa's modern and historic attractions, before travelling by train to Hiroshima.

Despite the horrors of its recent history, modern day Hiroshima is a modern and peaceful city. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the terrible events of 1945 with numerous monuments and sites; Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the ruins of Genbaku Dome, one of the few buildings that was left standing after the atomic blast, the Cenotaph for A bomb victims of the bombing and the Children’s peace monument.

Today Hiroshima is home to an ever-thriving cosmopolitan city, with its wide leafy boulevards along the river banks and other prominent sites including Shukkei-en, a formal Japanese garden, Hiroshima Castle, a fortress surrounded by a moat and a park. (B)

Day 10

Hiroshima

Today enjoy a full day guided tour of Hiroshima.  Reflect on the city’s tragic history in the Peace Park and take a short train and ferry ride to Miyajima, a sacred island in the Seto Inland Sea also known as Itsukushima. Its brilliant orange torii gate is one of Japan’s most photographed monuments. (B)

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Day 11

HIROSHIMA – KYOTO

Continue on to Kyoto, the former imperial capital and home to the country’s most treasured remnants of Japanese imperial life.

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Surrounded by mountains, and gorgeous natural scenery in Central Honshu. Kyoto is still regarded by many as the spiritual, cultural and historical heart of the nation and birthplace of much of Japanese traditional culture – including geishas, tea ceremonies and imperial cuisine. 

Once in Kyoto there is so much to do – this ancient city boasts over 2,000 temples, shrines and gardens. Many traditional arts and crafts are kept alive by artisans from generation to generation. Wander through historic Gion district you will find t machiya (traditional Japanese townhouses) in the Nishijin textile district you will find a variety of ancient speciality shops from tofu sellers, washi (Japanese handmade paper) and tea merchants, to exquisite lacquerware, handcrafted copper chazutsu (tea canisters) and indigo-dyed noren (hanging curtains). Steeped in rich heritage Kyoto is also a bustling modern city, with a contemporary arts and culinary scene. (B)

Day 12

Kyoto

Today visit Nijo Castle, the Zen Gardens of Ryoan-ji and the Silver Pavilion on a guided tour. Walk around Gion to catch a glimpse of a Geisha going from teahouse to teahouse and learn how to cook typical dishes served in an izakaya during a traditional cooking experience. (B)(D)

Day 13

Kyoto

Enjoy your day at leisure until your transfer to Kanzai Airport, Osaka for your onward arrangements. (B)

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