These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.
These tours combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education with time to truly absorb and appreciate your surroundings. Our Deluxe-Plus small group tours are created to cater to those who are interested in having a deeper understanding of Japan's culture. You will have the opportunity to participate in culturally rich activities and visit destinations only locals may know. Experience luxurious hotels and travel at a leisurely pace when you book a Deluxe-Plus small group tour.
Enjoy more than just sightseeing. These tours will allow you to eat in small local restaurants, visit hidden gems, stay at hotels with limited occupancy, take part in activities available only to small groups, and enjoy more interaction with your tour guides. Ultra-Deluxe small group tours are the ultimate way to visit Japan with hand-picked, top hotels and ryokans (traditional inns) to relax in. Select from a unique range of luxurious cultural experiences that are limited to smaller groups, which is why the maximum group size is 6 guests.
These tours allow you to enjoy Japanese culture firsthand in the intimacy of a small group. The maximum group size is 12 guests, which enables you to travel by public transportation, such as by train, subway, taxi, ferry or local bus. Walking the streets and taking the local trains will allow you to interact more with the locals and appreciate what everyday life in Japan is like. Each city will feature an expert local guide who will be able to share in-depth information on the featured attractions and sites, and provide assistance or recommendations if needed prior to your free time.
The price is per person, based on twin or triple room occupancy
For single travelers, this tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour
Prices are excluding international flights
Single room types are rooms for
single room occupants.
One person will be occupying the hotel room throughout the tour.
Twin room types are rooms set for two people who will occupy one room, but will have two separate beds.
A double room is a room that has one bed for two people to share.
A triple room is one room where three people may share the same room. It has three separate beds.
Japanese Style Room
A Japanese-style room traditionally does not have a western-style bed, it is a tatami floor room with futon bedding. However, if you prefer a western-style bed, you may request one though we cannot guarantee it.
Please note: If you would like to request neighboring rooms next to your traveling companions, you and your traveling companions must have the same room types in order to be next to each other. For example, if you have requested a double room, but your traveling companions have requested a twin, or triple room, then neighboring rooms cannot be accommodated. However, if both you and your traveling companions match in room type, then neighboring rooms will likely be arranged for your convenience.
This tour combines Japan's most popular destinations,
the country's rural areas, and wide range of cultural
experiences to make your trip truly memorable.
Japan is a country that combines both traditional and modern aspects of society. On this tour our stops will include Nikko, Tokyo, Hakone, Mt Fuji, Matsumoto, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, and Himeji. These are phenomenal places to learn about the culture and history Japan has to o... View More
This tour combines Japan's most popular destinations,
the country's rural areas, and wide range of cultural
experiences to make your trip truly memorable.
Japan is a country that combines both traditional and modern aspects of society. On this tour our stops will include Nikko, Tokyo, Hakone, Mt Fuji, Matsumoto, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, and Himeji. These are phenomenal places to learn about the culture and history Japan has to offer. It is because of the efforts made by the country to preserve, maintain, and restore landmarks that have impacted their development that allow visitors to have the opportunity to experience places unknown in the world. Japan was once a country in isolation, and has since then made astonishing advancements in technology while setting its high standards for quality control.
This package is ideal for travelers who have more time to enjoy Japan and soak in the atmosphere of each location. It features a wide range of cultural experiences by interacting with the people, such as, Geisha and gathering in places that inspire traditional atmospheres (green tea ceremonies, and the Toshogu Shrine grounds). These experiences represent all that is authentic about the destination and give you an alternative, deeper understanding of Japanese culture and history. While traveling to these different areas you will walk in historical locations, practice the culture, and admire traditions that are centuries old. Imagine a first- hand experience in a tea ceremony, strolling historic areas in kimonos, enjoying a Kyoto cuisine accompanied by beautiful maiko, and learning how to make your own sushi with a professional sushi chef and savor your delicious creations.
With a maximum group size 12 guests, our Signature: Classic Japan summer group tours combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education with the time to appreciate your bountiful surroundings.
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All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.
We require US$200 deposit per person to hold the space at time of booking and the final payment is due 2 month prior to departure
Travel by air conditioned, luxury private coach, baggage handling free
For arrivals at Narita Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND), this tour starts in Tokyo and ends in Osaka, with departures at Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX) or Itami Airport (ITM)
Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged
Please note that the meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, please arrange your own hotel transfer
Welcome to Tokyo! You will be picked up from the Airport and taken to the hotel.
NOTE 1: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
The Japanese have a saying: "Don’t say kekko (wonderful) without seeing Nikko." Today, travel overland to Nikko National Park in the mountains north of Tokyo and discover this lovely region. To get to the Kegon Waterfall in Nikko one must travel by the snakelike road of Irohazaka. The name Irohazaka is based on the incredible 48 hairpin turns on a pair of two-way winding roads. The Kegon Waterfall is one of the three most beautiful waterfalls in Japan, which eventually becomes surrounded by spring foliage. The Toshogu Shrine is the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun who ushered in over 250 years of stability in Japan. At the shrine there will be a Shinto ceremony held with a Priest or Miko (priestess). During the ceremony, they will pray for good luck and prosperity for the group.
The Imperial Palace is located on the former grounds of the Edo Castle, and it is the current residence of the Imperial family. The Edo-Tokyo Museum provides an interactive exhibit to Tokyo's past. Then, onwards to Asakusa Sensoji Temple, site of the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo and the Kaminarimon ("Thunder Gate") is symbolic of Asakusa and all of Tokyo. The newest addition to Tokyo is the Tokyo Skytree, which is the new television broadcasting tower. Now, the Tokyo Skytree is the tallest building in the city. You'll have a great view from the highest observation decks in Japan.
Travel to Hakone, which is among Japan's most popular hot-spring resorts, and view the forested slopes of Hakone National Park. We will first visit the Hakone Open Air Museum. Here, they have a Picasso exhibit inside, while the outside has sculptures that are meant to combine with nature in harmony. The cruise around Lake Ashi will be taken not on just any boat, but on a pirate ship. There are three different ships called Royal II, Victory and Vasa. Each ship has something unique as with each port. Lake Ashi is famous for having Mount Fuji in the background in combination with the lake, for example. Then, board a gondola on the Komagatake Ropeway for a spectacular view of Mount Fuji. Tonight, enjoy unparalleled service and kaiseki cuisine at a top-rated ryokan (traditional inn) in Mt Fuji area.
We will stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world famous peak and enjoy spectacular views over the Fuji Five Lakes. From there, we drive across Honshu to the breathtaking Japanese Alps. Rice farms dominate the valleys, while lush forests blanket the mountains. We will visit Matsumoto Castle, also known as, Crow Castle for the black color adorning the exterior walls. In contrast with the black colors, the cherry blossoms blooming all around the castle grounds in the spring provide beautiful scenery. Close to the Matsumoto area is Azumino City where one of the largest wasabi farms is located. The wasabi fields are maintained with networks of small streams utilizing the water from the Northern Alps. The shops and restaurants feature a wide variety of wasabi flavored products including wasabi ice cream.
Takayama is famous for the artisans and craftsmen with traditions continuing to this day from the 9th century. The day starts off with a visit to the Morning Market, where snacks, farm products, and local crafts are sold. The Takayama Yatai (floats) Kaikan Museum features elaborately decorated floats, which are over 700 years old. The yatai demonstrate the legendary craftsmanship of Takayama. Afterwards is a visit to the Kusakabe Heritage House, which is one of the oldest merchant homes in Takayama open to the public. Lastly is the exploration of Sanmach Suji, one of the three Old Town streets that have survived in beautiful state with some businesses that have been around for centuries.
Shirakawa-go is home of the UNESCO designated Gassho-styled ("praying hands") farmhouses. First is the Shiroyama Viewpoint, where great views of Ogimachi Village can be seen. Next is the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen open air museum where farmhouses and other structures were relocated to the area. The Wada- ke House was owned by the one of the wealthiest families in Ogimachi, and is now a public museum. The Kenrokuen in Kanazawa is classified as one of the three most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan. This afternoon we board the Thunderbird train for a rail journey to Kyoto for three nights.
The day begins with a visit in the scenic and historic Fushimi district. We will visit the stunning vermilion colored Fushimi Inari Shrine, whose 4km long tunnel of scarlet torii gates was featured in the film Memoirs of a Geisha. This complex wraps around a bamboo wilderness that includes mountains, streams, and ponds, the perfect backdrop for a scenic hike or a nostalgic photograph. Then we travel to the Nijo Castle, a former residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, first Shogun of the Edo Period. There, a variety of cherry blossom flow into the scenery, creating a romantic scene. Afterwards is the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) known for the upper two stories that are covered in gold leaf designs, which creates a beautiful reflection on the water surrounding it. Continue on to a traditional wooden townhouse to learn about origami, calligraphy and the art of Ikebana. Let your hands bend and fold traditional paper into an crane, rabbit, or a flower with a bright designs. Then, learn swift brush movements for Japanese characters and understand why calligraphy is considered one of the best arts of Asia with every stroke. Lastly, experience the art of flower arrangments and harmonize the delicate flowers with one another in this peaceful and traditional practice.
Finally, everyone will experience wearing kimonos (Japanese traditional garments), and wear it for the entire day. Start the tour with a visit to the Sanjusangendo Hall, where 1001 statues of Kannon, Buddha of compassion, are housed. Next is a visit to the famous Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. A scene often photographed for its majestic features. Then at the Kodaiji Temple, belonging to the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, experience Zen meditation in a real temple. After practicing meditation, participate in a real tea ceremony. The ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, ground up green tea was influenced by Zen Buddhism. Lastly, we will tour Gion, the old Geisha Quarters, along with Pontocho, whose cobblestone alleys vibrate with night life. For dinner the finest Kyoto Cuisine made with ingredients representative of the season will be served, and a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) will provide entertainment for her guests. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about her profession and learn why they must train for years before finally becoming Geisha.
We begin the day with Nara's Todaiji temple, which is
over 1000 years old and home of the Daibutsu, world's
largest bronze Buddha statue. Around the temple is the
Nara Deer Park where visitors can feed the free-roaming
deer with biscuits sold in the vicinity. The deers are
considered to be sacred messengers of the gods in
Shinto religion and thus have been designated natural
treasures. Afterwards, we go onto Osaka where we will
learn how to make sushi and play the traditional taiko
(festival drums). Then, we ride one of Japan's fastest
trains, the bullet train (shinkansen), all the way to
Hiroshima, the place of the first atomic bombing.
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.
From your hotel, a ferry will bring you to the famed Miyajima Island, holy site of Shinto, where the Itsukushima Shrine resides. The often photographed floating torii gate is iconic of the Itsukushima Shrine because during high tide the base is covered, giving the illusion of it "floating." Nearby is the Senjokaku Hall, which is the lenght of 1000 tatami mats. The building was commissioned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to chant Buddha sutras, but remained incomplete due to his passing. At the base of Mount Misen is the Daisho-in Temple, one of the significant places for Shingon Buddhism. Then using the Mount Misen Ropeway, we’ll reach the highest peak of Miyajima Island where several more buildings of the Daisho-in Temple reside. From here you can see the 1300 cherry blossom trees around the island.
Today we will visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, also known as Genbaku Dome, where on August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped. It serves as a reminder of hope to one day live in a world without nuclear weapons. Along the Peace Memorial Park is a river where there are 300 cherry blossom trees lined next to it. The A-bomb Museum goes through the history of Hiroshima and the aftermath of the destruction caused by the atomic bomb. Next is Saijo, an area known for their sake breweries. In the Kamotsuru Sake Brewery, you'll have the opportunity to learn about the process in making sake. The temperature of the kura (cellar) is maintained by the thick walls, which allows a natural balance without the need of air conditioners. After the tour you’ll have the chance to try a variety of sake in their tasting room.
Kurashiki is a city in the Okayama Prefecture, where a canal is preserved dating back to the Edo Period. The area was mainly used as a rice distribution center with many storehouses. Many of those buildings have been converted to museums, shops, and cafes. The Himeji Castle, or White Heron Castle, in Hyogo Prefecture is one of the twelve castles still in its original state. This castle painted in white is well preserved and built like a maze. From Himeji Castle dinner will be enjoyed in Kobe. The city of Kobe is famous for their beef, which is a prized delicacy. The meal will be enjoyed teppanyaki style where the chef will cook the meal in front of you.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am, free for leisure until transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport or Itami Airport for departure.
NOTE 2: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
Nikko is a city that developed around the temples that were established in the 8th century. The shrines and temples of Nikko were inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1999 for its breathtaking sceneries, magnificent craftsmanship and cultural impact. The 103 structures and nature surrounding area of Nikko is a World Heritage Site, however the most famous are the Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan Shrine and Rinnoji Temple. The Toshogu Shrine is home to the famous carving of the “See no Evil, Hear no Evil and Speak no Evil” monkeys. The Futarasan Shrine was the first Shinto shrine built and is comprised of smaller reliquaries that embody the fusion of man with nature much like the city Nikko itself. The Rinnoji Temple, which was built in 766, provided solitude for monks because of its location deep in the mountains.
One of Japan's three most beautiful falls
Kegon Waterfall is listed as one of the three most beautiful falls in Japan along with Nachi Waterfall in Wakayama Prefecture and Fukuroda Waterfall in Ibaraki Prefecture. It is located in Nikko and is the most famous waterfall out of the many in the area. Kegon Waterfall is about 100 meters high and is the only exit for the waters of Lake Chuzenji to exit from. The best time to see the waterfall would be in the autumn season. The surrounding foliage of Kegon Waterfall painted in fall hues is a sight not to miss.
Lavish mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Nikko is famous for the Toshogu Shrine, which holds the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the famous founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled for over 200 years (1603-1868). The original resting place for Tokugawa Ieyasu was much simpler in design that it is today. The construction was carried out in accordance to his father’s will by Ieyasu’s son, Hidetaba Tokugawa, in 1617. However, it was later expanded to its modern size by Ieyasu’s grandson, Tokugawa Iemitsu. The dozens of buildings were built with grandiose designs, unique with its brightly- colored carvings of animals and various types of images.
Tokyo is the number one destination for tourist bound for Japan. It is the number one most populated, the biggest city, and is the capital of Japan. From shopping to sightseeing, this city offers everything that tourist want to see. There are a number of places to see the entire city, tourist can visit the Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower to get a breathtaking view of the city. For shopping, visitors can head to the most popular areas such as Ginza, Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City, or Shinjuku. There are also many museums available such as the Edo Tokyo Museum or the Tokyo National Museum. This modern city still has many parks, temples, and shines for anyone interested in a cultural experience.
Main residence of the Imperial Family
The Imperial Palace is located in the center of Tokyo, only a short walk away from Tokyo station. The palace is home to the current Imperial Family. The inner grounds of the palace is not open to the public, except on January 2nd and December 23rd where guests are able to enter and see the current members of the Imperial Family from a balcony. Visitors can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived.
Excellent museum about Tokyo's history
The Edo Tokyo Museum is located in Tokyo’s Ryogoku district. The museum features exhibits that showcase Tokyo’s past in the Edo period. Visitors can learn about how people lived during the Edo period, and has many illustrations or miniature models showcasing the past. Guests can take pictures of the many models or life- sized figures.
Buddhist temple with souvenir shopping street, an atmosphere of old Tokyo
The Sensoji Temple located in Asakusa is one of the most popular Buddhist temples to visit. The temple was built and completed in the year 645 and is Tokyo’s oldest temple. The surrounding area offers shopping for souvenirs and food. The Sanja Festival is one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals and is held every May at Asakusa Temple.
World's tallest stand-alone communication tower
The Tokyo Skytree is Japan’s tallest structure ever built and the world’s second tallest structure ever built at the time of its completion. Located not too far from Asakusa, this 634 meter tall tower is now one of the most popular destinations for visitors. The main observatory is 350 meters high and the second observation deck is 450 meters high and both offer a breathtaking view of the city.
Hakone is located in Kanagawa Prefecture and is only about two hours away from Tokyo. Hakone is park of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is a popular destination for tourist. Hakone is famous in Japan for its hot springs and beautiful natural views. Visitors can go to the many hot spring resorts to relax and unwind or visit the many museums and shrines available. Guests that would appreciate nature more could go to the parks and trails to experience the natural beauty.
Exhibiting sculptures and paintings
The Hakone Open Air Museum is located near Chokoku No Mori Station in Hakone. There are over than one thousand pieces of art featured at this museum that will keep visitors busy besides the breathtaking views. The museum features various sculptures with beautiful views of the surrounding area of Hakone. The museum also features indoor galleries of paintings, sculptures, ceramic art, and other artistic creations.
Famous for having Mount Fuji in the background and the lake as its inspirational canvas
Lake Ashinoko along with Mount Fuji in the background is the proud symbol of Hakone. One of the best views with the lake and Mount Fuji could be seen from one of the many sightseeing boats. There are a few boat cruises available, but the main two are ran by Hakone Sightseeing Boats and Izuhakone Sightseeing Boats. The best time to come is during the cherry blossom season and when the autumn colors are at its peak.
A top spot for viewing Mt. Fuji
The Komagatake Ropeway is located on Lake Ashinoko’s lakeside station Hakone-en. Visitors can ride up to the top of Mount Komagatake in only seven minutes on this popular ropeway. Guests are able to see the Hakone Mountains and on a clear day, see Mount Fuji. At the top of the ropeway, visitors can have a fantastic view of the surrounding area of Hakone from the top of Mount Komagatake.
The highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji is 3,776 meters above sea level, and is located more or less in the center of Japan, stretching over Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. Its elegant conical form has frequently been depicted in many paintings and literary works since ancient times. Many artists have been captivated by the diverse expressions shown by this mountain depending on the season, or depending on the time of the day, whether in the morning or early evening. It is widely believed that Mt. Fuji is unparalleled worldwide as a mountain that has so frequently been narrated, sung in verse, and drawn.
Great view of the Fuji Five Lakes area below
Mt. Fuji is a widely-known symbol of Japan. At 3,773 meters, Mount Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain. “Station (gome)” is the unit representing one tenth of the length from the trail entrance to the top.The fifth station Mt. Fuji is the fifth point from the base at the height of 2,305 meter. Being the end of the Fuji Subaru Line toll road and the highest point that general cars can reach. From the observatory you can see below Komitake Shrine, an ancient place for prayer that has been visited by worshippers and disciplinant, and Yamanaka-ko, the largest lake among the five Fuji lakes.
Matsumoto is located in the Nagano Prefecture and is known for one of Japan’s most popular and original castles. Many people travel to Matsumoto to view the popular Matsumoto castle, known as one of Japan’s most beautiful original castles and is one of Japan’s four National Treasure Castles. Another popular location is the Daio wasabi Farm, which is Japan’s largest wasabi farm. Matsumoto is also a popular location for people departing into Kamikochi, Norikura, or any of the popular Japanese Alps resorts locations.
One of Japan's premier historic castles, along with Himeji Castle and Kumamoto Castle
Matsumoto is home to one of Japan’s four National Treasure Castles, the Matsumoto Castle. This castle is one of the most beautiful, and complete original castles in all of Japan compared to the other four National Treasure Castles. During the spring season, Matsumoto Castel is a very popular location to view the cherry blossoms.
Attractive wasabi farm outside Matsumoto
Located nearby Matsumoto in the city of Azumino is Japan’s largets wasabi farm, the Daio Wasabi Farm. Real wasabi is a very expensive and difficult plant to grow, as most of the wasabi used around the world is an imitation or fake with little to no wasabi in it. This place farm is a very popular attraction among tourist to view the growing of wasabi plants. The farm also hosts a number of shops and restaurant with wasabi themed products as well.
The city of Takayama is located within the Hida mountain region in the Gifu Prefecture. This city is one of the top destinations for tourist wishing to explore a touch of rural Japan. The old town of Takayama is one of Japan’s most beautifully preserved area of historic buildings and houses that date back to the Edo period.
Guests can enjoy shopping for goods such as small crafts, foods, snacks and flowers
Every morning in Takayama there are two morning markets set up for tourist to visit. Both markets are well within walking distance from Takayama station. In front of the Takayama Jinya is the Jinya-Mae Market and along the Miyagawa River in the old town section is the Miyagawa Market. Guests can enjoy shopping for goods such as small crafts, foods, snacks and flowers.
Festival floats exhibition hall
Located at the northern end of Takayama’s old town area, only a twenty-five minute walk away is the Takayama Yatai Kaikan. This exhibition hall is near to the Hachiman Shrine and features four of the Takayama Autumn Festival’s floats. There are eleven floats in total and they are rotated throughout the year for visitors to view the entire collection.
One of Takayama's oldest merchant homes open to the public
Located within the old town district of Takayama is the Kusakabe Heritage House Museum. This museum is one of many Takayama buildings open for visitors to explore. This merchant home once belonged to one of the most successful money lenders in Japan’s history, the Kusakabe family. The museum showcases local historic crafts, artifacts and has a garden for guests to enjoy as well.
Beautifully preserved old town
One of the most popular attractions for visitors in Takayama is the old town district. Many of the buildings and houses in this area have been preserved since the Edo Period. There are many shops, sake breweries, tea houses, and even some homes open for the public to enjoy.
Shirakawa-Go is located within the Shogawa River Valley and listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Hertiage Site. This popular rural area is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses and some of the farmhouses are up to 250 years old. Many of the villages located here offer plenty of sightseeing and different experiences for guests. Many of the famous farmhouses offer minshuku, or a farmhouse stay where guests can experience an overnight homestay at a gassho-zukuri farmhouse.
Scenery from the Shiroyama Viewpoint overlooking the entire settlement
Ogimachi Village is part of Shirakawa-Go, which is one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ogimachi is Shirakawa-Go’s largest village and the most popular destination for visitors. One of the most popular attractions available for visitors is the Shiroyama Viewpoint. This place is only about a twenty minute walk from the village center and offers a beautiful view of Ogimachi.
The Wada family was one of the wealthiest families and village leaders of Ogimachi
Ogimachi Village is part of Shirakawa-Go, which is one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ogimachi is Shirakawa-Go’s largest village and the most popular destination for visitors. The Wada-ke House in Ogimachi is a very popular attraction and is a museum. This house is a fantastic example of gassho-zukuri houses and showcases how people lived when these houses were originally built.
Kanazawa is the capital city of the Ishikawa Prefecture and has many attractions available for visitors to enjoy. Kanazawa was one of Japan’s cities to avoid any bombing runs from air raids during the Second World War, thus hosts a number of historic attractions. Guests can enjoy a number of museums, gardens, temples, shrines, and other interesting districts.
One of the three most famous gardens in Japan
Located in Kanazawa is the Kenrokuen Garden, which is one of Japan’s most famous and three most beautiful landscape gardens. The garden is especially beautiful during the plum blossom season and cherry blossom season with the different flowers that bloom as well. This garden is also a popular location to view the fall colors during autumn. Nearby are plenty of attractions including restaurants, shops, and the popular Kanazawa Castle.
Kyoto was once the old capital of Japan and is filled with historic temples, shrines, buildings, and other structures. Kyoto is filled with many temples and shrines such as the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Golden Pavilion. It is also home of the Gion Festival, which is the most famous festival in Japan. Kyoto is the number two destination for tourist bound for Japan, and is the number one destination for tourist looking for a full Japanese cultural experience.
One of the most famous and visited shrines in Kyoto
The Fushimi Inari-Taisha Grand Shrine is located in southern Kyoto and is one of the most famous and visited shrines in Kyoto. This shrine is only five minutes away from Kyoto Station by train, and features over a thousand vermillion colored torii gates that brings many tourist to this shrine every year.
Former Kyoto residence of the shogun (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
In the northern part of central Kyoto is Nijo Castle, where it was once the former Kyoto residence of the shogun. This area is also listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This area was once home to the shogun when he would visit Kyoto. This place serves as the best examples of castle palace architecture from Japan’s feudal era because most of the buildings here survived since they were originally built.
Temple building covered in gold (National Special Historic Site)
The famous Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) Temple is located in northern Kyoto and is most known for the building covered in gold leaf. This famous building is the number one most popular destination for tourist visiting Kyoto. The Golden Pavilion sits overlooking a large pond and various small attractions and shops are available for visitors.
Old-fashioned Kyoto Townhouse that once housed the affluent merchants of the old capital
The machiya of Kyoto are old-fashioned wooden townhouses from the Edo period, usually serving as the residences and shops for merchant families of that period. The strict propriety laws of the period contributed to the simplistic nature of the machiya, which ooze rustic charm from the smooth tatami mats and minimalist decoration through the thin folds of bamboo window screens. Merely to experience the atmosphere that prevails in the Machiya Townhouse is to be immersed in the time-honored traditions of old Kyoto.
One of Japan's olderst paper crafts
Origami is one of Japan’s oldest crafts, which is the art of paper folding. The history of origami in Japan is rich and full of various techniques and styles. There are classes and lessons available for visitors to attend that teaches the art of origami. Guests can learn about the different styles, techniques, and history of origami while taking these lessons.
A timeless art that still receives praise for its beautiful handwriting
Japanese calligraphy is the art of writing beautiful artistic characters of the Japanese language. The history of Japanese calligraphy is rich and has different techniques and styles just like any other form of art. There are classes and lessons available for visitors to attend that teaches the art of Japanese calligraphy. Guests can learn about the different styles, techniques and the history of Japanese calligraphy while taking these lessons.
A form of expressing Japanese discipline and beauty using flower arranegments
Ikebana is one of Japan’s oldest crafts, which is the art of flower arrangement. The history of Ikebana (also known as Kado in Japanese) is rich and has different techniques and styles just like any other form of art. There are classes and lessons available for visitors to attend that teaches the art of Ikebana. Guests can learn about the different techniques, styles, and history of Ikebana while taking these lessons.
Continue exploring Japan, but wearing a kimono for a more traditional flavor
Japan is a very unique cultural experience because much of Japan’s history is still preserved, protected, and celebrated. One of the best ways to experience a visit to Japan would be to explore it while wearing a kimono. The kimono is one of Japan’s most oldest and traditional pieces of clothing. There are many places available in Japan to rent a kimono to wear and explore this beautiful country.
Famous for being Japan’s longest wooden structure and for its 1001 human sized statues of Kannon, goddess of mercy
The Sanjusangendo Hall is located in eastern Kyoto and only takes ten minutes by bus from Kyoto Station or only a twenty minute walk from Kyoto Station. This temple is famous for being Japan’s longest wooden structure and for its 1001 human sized statues of Kannon, goddess of mercy.
Temple famous for its large wooden terrace (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
The Kiyomizu-Dera Temple is located only 15 minutes away by bus from Kyoto Station to the eastern side of Kyoto. This temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto and is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple features a large wooden terrace that offers a fantastic view of the cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn colors during the fall season with the city of Kyoto in the background.
Built in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Kodaiji Temple is located in eastern Kyoto in the Higashiyama district and is only fifteen minutes away by bus from Kyoto Station. This beautiful temple is one of Kyoto’s most popular temples during the autumn colors season. Visitors can enter the main hall of the temple and also view the beautiful gardens that surround the temple as well.
Zazen is a type of meditation unique to Zen Buddhism that functions at the heart of the practice
Zen meditation is unique and is central in Zen Buddhism. This form of meditation calms both the body, mind, and to also gain enlightenment by seeking insight into the nature of existence. There are lessons and classes available for visitors where a Zen priest guides guests to practice Zen meditation and teaches the significance of Zen as part of the Japanese culture.
Traditional way of preparing and drinking tea
Green tea has a rich history in Japan and has been the most popular non-alcoholic beverage for years. A green tea ceremony is the ceremonial way of preparing and drinking green tea that has been practiced for hundreds of years. The ceremony is full of many rituals and has a strong Zen Buddhism influence. The tea is prepared by the host for the guests and is usually green tea made from powdered tea leaves.
Enjoy a traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner in the company of a Maiko
Kyoto is known for its Gion district which is famous for its geisha (geiko in Kyoto dialect) and apprentice geisha called maiko. There are many locations within Kyoto and the Gion district where visitors can have a maiko experience. Enjoy a traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner in the company of a Maiko.
The city of Nara was once known as the first capital established in Japan. Nara is located only less than an hour away from both Kyoto and Osaka. Nara is home to some of Japan’s oldest, largest, and historic temples. The landmark and symbol of Nara is the Todaiji Temple, which was built in the 7th century. One the most popular attractions is Nara Park where visitors come every day to see the wild deer that roam free throughout the park.
One of Japan’s most historic and famous temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Located north of Nara Park is one of Japan’s most historic and famous temple called the Todai-Ji Temple. This temple is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple’s main hall named Daibutsuden, is the largest wooden building in the world. It is home to one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha siting at fifteen meters tall.
Over 1,000 Sika deer roam free
Located in central Nara is Nara Park, it is one of the most famous and popular parks in Japan. The park is famous and popular because it is home to over one thousand deer. The deer roam freely throughout the park and visitors are able to get up close and feed the deer as well. This park is conveniently located near most of Nara’s main tourist destinations, which include Todai-Ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Kofuku-Ji Temple, and the Nara National Museum.
Osaka is the second largest city in Japan in terms of size located not too far from Kyoto. This city is one of the top three destinations for tourist visiting Japan after Tokyo and Kyoto. Osaka is the location of the popular Universal Studios Japan, Osaka castle, and Namba. There is plenty to experience in Osaka, from shopping to visiting temples and shrines, Osaka has plenty of destinations to experience Japan.
Learn how to make and prepare fresh sushi for yourself in Japan
Take a lesson from an expert and prepare fresh sushi. Experience the difference in the taste of Japanese-grown ingredients. Then, enjoy eating your masterpiece for lunch after completing your sushi lesson.
Practice learning a traditional drum often used in major Japanese festivals
The taiko drum is an iconic musical instrument of Japan. The history of the taiko drum in Japan is rich and full of various techniques and styles to play the drums. There are many classes and lessons available for visitors to attend that teaches the art of taiko drums. Guests can learn about the different styles, techniques, and history of the taiko drums while taking these lessons.
Japan's main islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido are served by a network of high speed train lines that connect Tokyo with most of the country's major cities. Japan's high speed trains (bullet trains) are called shinkansen and are operated by Japan Railways (JR). The shinkansen network consists of multiple lines, among which the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka) is the oldest and most popular. All shinkansen lines (except the Akita and Yamagata Shinkansen) run on tracks that are exclusively built for and used by shinkansen trains. Most lines are served by multiple train categories, ranging from the fastest category that stops only at major stations to the slowest category that stops at every station along the way.
High-speed railway at speeds up to 300 km/hr
The shinkansen (or Japan’s bullet train) is a high speed train that travel between most of the major cities in Japan. Travelers can reserve seats on either ordinary or green car seats for an added cost. The shinkansen can run up to 320 kilometers per hour (close to 200 miles per hour), and are known to always be on time, comfortable and safe.
Itsukushima Island, is famously called Miyajima Island and located only an hour outside of Hiroshima and is a popular tourist destination for people visiting the Hiroshima area. It is famous for the large torii gate that seems to be floating on water during high tide (ranked as one of Japan’s top three most scenic views). There are many activities for visitors to explore, there is a temple, museum, walking trails, aquarium, and more to view.
Famous shrine with floating torii gate (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
One of the most famous and well known shrines in Japan is the Itsukushima Shrine. This location is one of Japan’s top three most scenic places along with the famous Matsushima Bay and Amanohashidate, and brings plenty of tourist every year. This shrine and its famous torii gate are built over the water, which makes it seem like it is floating in the sea. Guests can stay in the ryokan hotels nearby or ride one of the many boat cruises while here.
Large wooden hall built by Hideyoshi
Senjokaku Hall is located on the popular Miyajima Island (Itsukushima Island) and originally started its construction in the year 1587 by the order of one of Japan’s famous unifiers, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This large wooden hall is mostly empty, but is a beautiful place to visit. Next to the hall is a large is a five- storied pagoda that was built before Senjokaku Hall in the year 1407. This location is a beautiful place to view the cherry blossoms during the spring season.
Buddhist temple at the foot of Misen
Daisho-in Temple is located at the base of Mount Misen on Itsukushima Island (Miyajima Island) and is one of the most important temples of Shingon Buddhism. There are many buildings, statues, natural scenery, and other religious objects for guests to enjoy. A hiking trail is also available for those that wish to go to the summit of Mount Misen from Daisho-in Temple.
Miyajima's highest mountain
Mount Misen is located on Itsukushima Island (famously known as Miyajima Island) and is the highest peak on the island. The summit of Mount Misen offers fantastic views of the surrounding area, and on a clear day can provide a distant view of Hiroshima City. There is a ropeway available for visitors to take up the mountain or hiking trails to reach the summit by foot. There are various activities for visitors to enjoy, which include temples, natural scenery, an observatory, and hiking.
Hiroshima is the capital city of the Hiroshima Prefecture located on the western region of Japan’s main island Honshu. This city is unfortunately remembered for its tragic history from the dropping of the atomic bombs, but this modern city is now a top destination for travelers. Many western visitors, especially Americans, feel apprehensive about visiting this city, but it is like any other friendly city in Japan that welcomes tourist. Guests can visit the many museums available, the Hiroshima Peace Park, or Hiroshima Castle, and other popular destinations.
Remembering the drop of the atomic bomb (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
The Hiroshima Peace Park is a memorial park located in the center of the Hiroshima City. Many of the memorials related to the dropping of the atomic bomb are located in and around this area. The park is the location to the memorials such as the A-Bomb Dome, Children’s Peace Monument, and the Peace Memorial Museum. This area is also listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collects and displays belongings left by the victims
The Peace Memorial Museum is one of the main destinations for guests visiting the Hiroshima Peace Park. The features the history of Hiroshima, effects of the atomic bomb, and its aftermath. Guests visiting the museum can explore the various artifacts and displays related to the atomic blast.
A visit to Saijo is like a trip back in time. In a very small area you will encounter some of the world’s most prestigious and oldest sake breweries. Feel free to drop in, look around and have a taste. If you’re seeking the world’s best sake, your journey starts in Saijo.
Kura study and sake tasting
Kamotsuru Shuzo Brewing is a brewer in Saijo, one of three famous sake-producing districts in Japan. With its roots dating back to 1623, early in the Edo period, the distinguished brewer will celebrate its 400th anniversary in a few years.
Located near Okayama City in the Okayama Prefecture is the city of Kurashiki, which is known for its well preserved Edo Period canal area. Guests can visit one of the most beautifully canal areas in Japan, where many of the buildings that were once storehouses have been turned into modern attractions. The Ohara Museum of Art is also a great museum for tourist to visit while exploring Kurashiki. Other popular destinations include the Ohashi House, Ivy Square, and many museums.
Canal lined by willows and old storehouses
Kurashiki’s canal area is one of Japan’s most beautifully preserved canals that date back as far to the Edo Period. The canals were once used to transport rice into the storehouses where they would be shipped to cities such as Osaka and Tokyo (was known as Edo during those times). Now this historic area is the most popular destination for tourist visiting Kurashiki. Many of the historic storehouses have been turned into shops, cafes, restaurants, and museums for guests to enjoy.
They city of Himeji is located in western Kansai and is known for one of Japan’s most beautiful and finest castles. This is a popular destination or side-trip for tourist visiting Kyoto or Osaka. Himeji is famously known for the beautiful Himeji castle, which is both a national treasure castle and listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are plenty of shops, food, and sight-seeing spots available for tourist visiting Himeji.
Japan's best preserved feudal castle (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Himeji Castle is located in the city of Himeji and is only a five minute bus ride away from Himeji Station. Himeji Castle the most popular and visited castle in Japan, it is also listed both as one of Japan’s national treasure castles and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This castle is also one of Japan’s twelve original castles, which means it was never destroyed in its history and has been standing since it was originally completed in the year 1609. The surrounding area is also one of Japan’s most popular cherry blossom destinations during the spring.
Kobe is one of Japan’s largest cities and popular destination for tourist visiting Japan. There is plenty for visitors to see and do in the capital city of the Hyogo Prefecture. Guests can try the world famous and expensive Kobe beef in the many restaurants available here. There is plenty of museums, shopping, food, and sight-seeing to experience in this modern port city.
There are many restaurants located within Kobe that serve Japanese or international cuisine, but there are many places that offer Kobe beef. Kobe is known around the world for its famous Kobe beef, which is beautifully marbled, delicious, and very expensive beef. The most popular way to enjoy Kobe beef is in a restaurant where the chef grills the meat in front of the guests. Eating Kobe beef is a popular activity for tourist visiting Kobe and can provide a delicious and unforgettable experience.
Tokyo (Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3)
Western Style Accommodation
Situated in the heart of Tokyo, the Imperial Hotel Tokyo is a historic 5-star hotel that has drawn high-profile clientele from all over the world. For over 125 years, the Imperial Hotel has proudly offered outstanding hospitality and exceptionally comfortable spaces. It is recognized for its combination of Western technologies and Japanese culture, award-winning cuisine, and highly personalized services. The Imperial Hotel Tokyo spans over two buildings and features a number of amenities and public-area spaces. Hotel amenities include a fitness center with city views, indoor pool, saunas, a Japanese garden, esthetic salon, massage room, and Japanese teahouse. Additionally, there is an executive business center with four conference rooms, two meeting rooms, a soundproof music room, and more. Enjoy complimentary WiFi service, choices from 13 restaurants, a grocery/convenience store, 24-hour room service, and individually furnished rooms. Surrounding areas include the shopping and theater districts of Ginza and Marunouchi.
Mt Fuji (Day 4)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Offering stunning views of the iconic Mt. Fuji, Japan’s symbol and spirit, the Fujisan Onsen Hotel Kaneyamaen is a traditional Japanese ryokan located just north of the majestic mountain. This onsen (hot springs) hotel offers a variety of indoor and outdoor hot springs baths, including public and private baths. Kaneyamen emphasizes its tranquil ambience, exceptional hospitality, Japanese gardens, and outstanding views of Mt. Fuji. Hotel amenities include a seasonal outdoor pool, variety of hot springs, complimentary internet access, and a free buffet breakfast. Guests will stay in traditional tatami mat rooms at various sizes with options to include an open-air hot springs bath, private garden, or spectacular views of Mt. Fuji. For cuisine, the chefs of Kaneyamaen select only fresh seasonal ingredients to create delicate, tasty dishes. Spa services are also available, including aromatherapy and reflexology. Enjoy a peaceful stay at Kaneyamen with Mt. Fuji just outside your window.
Takayama (Day 5 & Day 6)
Hotel Associa Takayama Resort soars on the Takayama
highland at 640 meters above sea level.
You can experience living with nature and have an irreplaceable time. Every room of the hotel has magnificent views of the Northern Japanese Alps. Spa Wing-onsen or Hot Spring Baths features 'Ten'- no-yu or Sky bath (7th floor) and 'bou'-no-yu or Overlooking bath (5th floor). There are ten outdoor baths and two indoor baths which have fine hot spring water of the highlands. Here, you can enjoy a variety of warmth within the Hida Takayama highland hot springs.
Kyoto (Day 7, Day 8 & Day 9)
Western Style Accommodation
The beauty of the surrounding landscape with panoramic mountains and spectacular seasonal variations makes the Kyoto Hotel Okura a natural showcase for the exquisite charm and unique allure of exotic Kyoto. This hotel has high noted opulent lobby and rooms are spacious. The bathroom has separate shower booth. It is convenient to shopping and night walks for downtown as Kawaramachi-dori, Shinkyogoku, Ponto-cho and Gion are near by.
Hiroshima (Day 10 & Day 11)
Western Style Accommodation
Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima is located beside Motoujina Park and commands the picturesque islands dotted in the Seto Inland Sea. With magnificent views of the Hiroshima Port and Miyajima Island, the hotel is a dramatic prism structure tower of 23 floors. The hotel's private pier is a great starting point to enjoy leisure activities along the marina or to take a cruise to the nearby islands.
Kurashuki (Day 12)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Washu Highland Hotel is located on the quiet hilltop and it is able see the wonderful scenery of Seto Ohashi Bridge and the Inland Sea from the room and main bath.
Kobe (Day 13)
Western Style Accommodation
Hotel Okura Kobe is a luxury and elegant city resort hotel located at Meriken Park overlooking Kobe harbor front. It is the comfortable space which harmonized the traditional beauty and functionality of Japan, and rooms are designed by globally prominent British interior design designer Mr. David Hicks. Hotel Okura Kobe offers the ultimate in elegance and hospitality as the land mark of Kobe.
PLEASE NOTE: These are the hotels All Japan Tours generally uses on the touring styles and regions shown. There is no guarantee that you will stay in the lodgings listed on the website. We encourage you to check your travel documentation for confirmation of the exact accommodation you will be staying in.