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.
Explore the must-see sights and enjoy the hassle-free trip to Japan at an affordable price. Our most cost-effective way to see the highlights of Japan while staying in budget-friendly accommodations. If you would like to have a quick stop to sample the must-see sights of Japan, or plan to explore Japan on your own but would like to take a short trip to learn about Japan before your self-guided journeys. These are the tours for you.
Explore Japan off the beaten path via Japanese public transportation, walking, hiking, cycling and more. Take more time to enjoy local experiences and picturesque landscape. Our Active Small Group Tours combine the best of cultural destinations with off-the-beaten-path via Japanese public transportation, Discover the country of Japan the way the locals do and see Japan from a different angle. A focus on getting away from the crowds and into the real Japan, see the diversity of Japan’s countryside unfold before your eyes.
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 22 Days Grand Tour of Japan is the longest and
comprehensive escorted group tour of Japan that you
find. Visiting all four main islands of Japan, it is
to travel Japan from south to north following the
route of cherry blossoms. This itinerary caters to a
variety of interests about Japan from culture, festivals,
architecture, nature, rural villages, historic towns, and
modern city attractions.
Start your trip in Saga and visit the Mifu... View More
This 22 Days Grand Tour of Japan is the longest and
comprehensive escorted group tour of Japan that you
find. Visiting all four main islands of Japan, it is
to travel Japan from south to north following the
route of cherry blossoms. This itinerary caters to a
variety of interests about Japan from culture, festivals,
architecture, nature, rural villages, historic towns, and
modern city attractions.
Start your trip in Saga and visit the Mifuneyama Rakuen, a 500,000 square meter park filled with colorful azaleas and cherry blossoms. In Nagasaki, visit Dejima, an area with over 400 years of history as a Dutch Trade Post. Make your way to Glover Gardens with its romantic turn of the century houses, as well as Oura Church, the oldest Christian church in Japan. We will also explore the legendary town of Takachiho and have the opportunity to see a special Yokagura Dance Performance.
Continue to Beppu for its “Boiling Hells” hot spring attractions. Afterwards, our group will go to the Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park and meet with some of the 1,500 wild Japanese monkeys up close. You will also have the chance to spend time in a former samurai district before boarding a high speed Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima.
From there, visit the eye-opening Peace Memorial Museum and surrounding Peace Park. Take a ferry to Miyajima Island, one of the top three scenic places in Japan and home to the famed "floating" torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine. Then, drive through the Shimanami Kaido, a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku.
Stroll through an open air museum and visit the stunning Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu. Drive through the Seto Ohashi Bridge back to Honshu Island, and end your night with a relaxing spa bath and a traditional kaiseki banquet dinner. Spend time in the photogenic canal area of Kurashiki and at the majestic Himeji Castle, one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. Proceed to Kobe to savor the world famous Wagyu beef.
Visit the Osaka Castle before traveling to Nara, where you can appreciate the intricate architecture and towering monuments of Todaiji Temple, including the Great Buddha statue. Then, spend time at a deer park where over 1,000 Sika deer freely roam. Our group will also spend two days in Kyoto, where we have hand selected the best temples, shrines, and parks to see cherry blossoms. Outside of Kyoto, tour through a charming bamboo forest and a traditional Zen garden of Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama. Our travel group will also have opportunities to experience a traditional green tea ceremony, meet an apprentice geisha (maiko), and enjoy an elegant kimono fashion show.
Ride a high speed Shinkansen bullet from Kyoto to Maibara. From there, visit the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa before touring the charming village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Takayama, get a glimpse of what 15th Century Japan was like as you watch thousands of people dressed in costumes, traditional music performances, and stunning ornate floats parade the town at the Takayama Spring Festival.
Enjoy the ever-changing scenery along the way to Mt. Fuji, then take a ropeway ride over Hakone and Owakudani. Enjoy a guided tour in Tokyo, where you will visit the city’s cultural landmarks, fashionable neighborhoods, diverse shopping districts, and even learn how to make your own sushi with a professional chef.
Visit the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum and see over 100 bonsai masterpieces before traveling to Nikko. From there, we will visit the Kegon Waterfall, one of Japan's three most beautiful waterfalls. Then, discover the uniquely decorated Toshogu Shrine, dedicated to the founder of Japan’s Tokugawa Shogunate. Continue to Matsushima, where you will get to enjoy a sightseeing cruise along the picturesque bay of pine tree covered islands.
Head to Hiraizumi for a peaceful stroll along the Chusonji Temple, another designated World Heritage Site. Enjoy the Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival before proceeding to Hakodate by crossing the Tsugaru channel between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu, via the undersea train tunnel.
Our trip continues in Hokkaido, the second largest, northernmost, and least developed land of Japan's four main islands. On the island of Hokkaido, we will visit Hakodate, Shikabecho, Onuma Park, Lake Toya, Noboribetsu, Shiraoi, Otaru, and end our tour in Sapporo. This itinerary is perfect for those who wish to discover the whole country at once and see all that Japan has to offer.
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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 private coach between destinations, hassle free baggage handling.
For arrivals at Fukuoka Airport (FUK), this tour starts in Fukuoka and ends in Sapporo, with departures at New Chitose Airport (CTS).
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 after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.
Welcome to Fukuoka! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.
NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
The day begins with a visit to Saga, where we will visit the Mifuneyama Rakuen. This 500,000 square meter park announces the arrival of spring with thousands of cherry blossom trees and azaleas all blooming against a backdrop of the rugged cliff of Mt. Mifune. From there, we proceed to Nagasaki to visit the Nagasaki Peace Park that holds the memorial for the victims of the second bomb that hit the land. A statue of a man pointing up and holding his other arm out is symbolic of the Nagasaki Peace Park. Our next site is Dejima, an area with over 400 years of history in Dutch trade. It features historical warehouses and residences, providing insight into the former Dutch Trade Post and how they lived during Japan's two centuries of isolation. Then, visit the Glover Gardens, an open air museum where we can see a fine collection of historic mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. Continue to the Oura Catholic Church, the oldest standing Christian church in Japan. It was also the first Western building in Japan to be designated as a national treasure.
Today, we will take a 30 minute ferry from Shimabara and cross the Ariake Sea to Kumamoto. From Kumamoto, we drive east to Takachiho, a town in northern Miyazaki Prefecture that is steeped in Japanese mythology. It is the supposed site of legend where Amaterasu, the Shinto Sun Goddess, was disturbed by her brother's cruel pranks and hid herself in a cave. This prompted the other gods and goddesses to try and lure her out. Another legend suggests that this is where Amaterasu's grandson, Ninigi- no- Mikoto, descended to earth to establish Japan's Imperial Family. Takachiho is also known as a "power spot", a place of profound religious importance and natural beauty, which radiates spiritual energy. We will visit Takachiho Gorge, a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River. The nearly sheer cliffs lining the gorge are made of slow forming volcanic basalt columns, which resemble the scales of a dragon where the stone twisted and flowed as it was formed. Along the gorge is the 17 meter high Minainotaki waterfall, located against a backdrop of dense green foliage and surrounding grey cliffs. Then, visit the Amano Iwato Shrine and Amano Yasukawara. Amano Iwato Shrine was built near the cave where Amaterasu is said to have hid herself. A short walk down the road from Amano Iwato Shrine is a path that leads down to the river below. Eventually, the path leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as Amano Yasukawara. This is said to be the cave where the gods and goddesses met to discuss their strategy of luring Amaterasu out of hiding. After a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner, we will have the chance to see a special Yokagura Dance Performance. This dance supposedly caused Amaterasu to leave the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she returned her light to the world.
After your Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will tour to a bather's paradise - the famous hot spring resort of Beppu. Marvel at one of Beppu's most celebrated attractions, the Jigoku Meguri, or "Boiling Hells" hot springs. View two of the nine hot springs, or “hells” of Beppu. Ideal for viewing rather than bathing, the springs earned their name because it was said that these mysterious, steamy attractions resembled a scene from hell ("jigoku" means "hell"). Afterwards, enjoy a scenic drive to Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park, where we will take a monorail up to the observation area. Mt. Takasaki is a forested mountain just outside of Beppu and home to over 1,500 wild Japanese monkeys. Within this natural habitat, the monkeys have been fed regularly in order to keep them living on the mountain and prevent conflicts with local fruit farmers. The monkeys are quite accustomed to human visitors, and it is possible to get very close in order to take their pictures! From here, visit the Kitsuki Samurai Districts en route to Kokura before taking a ride on the top speed Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima.
Today, we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum, a solemn reminder of the importance of world peace. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima; one of the most scenic spots in Japan. At high tide, the island's famed vermilion torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine appears to float in the middle of the sea. The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, experience driving through the Shimanami Kaido to Shikoku Island. The Shimanami Kaido is a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is also known as the Nishiseto Expressway.
This morning, we will continue our tour to Takamatsu to visit the Shikoku Mura Village. Shikoku Mura (Shikoku Village) is an open air museum situated at the base of Yashima. This pleasant hillside park preserves and exhibits traditional buildings and structures that have been relocated here from all over Shikoku Island. Then visit Ritsurin Park, a masterpiece of Japanese landscape 100 years in the making. This sprawling park features beautiful ponds and pavilions, with Mt. Shiun as the perfect backdrop. In the evening, we will drive through the Seto Ohashi Bridge back to Honshu Island. Seto Ohashi Bridge, or the Great Seto Bridge, is a collective term for the six bridges that connects Japan's main island of Shikoku to the island of Honshu, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Tonight, we will stay in a spa hotel in Kurashiki, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a buffet dinner.
Today, we will visit Kurashiki. In merchant days, this scenic town thrived as a port for rice shipments. Several old rice granaries and examples of historic architecture still remain, in addition to the stone lined canal. Then, we will proceed to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle. It is known as the "White Heron Castle" because of its brilliant white exterior, resembling a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan, and is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. This splendid example of traditional architecture was declared one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. In the evening, we continue to Kobe, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef.
In the morning, we will travel to Osaka Castle by private coach. The construction of the castle began in 1583 on the ruins of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, and it was the largest castle of its time. From Osaka, our coach departs to Nara, the oldest capital city of Japan. We will visit Todaiji Temple, one of the world's largest wooden buildings. This temple also houses the one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 16.3 meters high. Outside of the temple is the Nara Deer Park, where over 1,000 Sika deer freely roam. Afterwards, we will make our way to Kyoto to experience a traditional Japanese green tea ceremony. Meanwhile, you will also have the chance to meet-and-greet with a maiko, who is an apprentice geisha. Photo taking opportunities will be available as well. We will stay two nights in Kyoto.
Today, we will continue our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. Our first stop is in Arashiyama, a popular spot to admire natural scenery during the spring and fall season. Visit the Zen garden of the Tenryuji Temple, the most important temple in the Arashiyama District. Then, enjoy a scenic stroll through the Sagano Bamboo Forest. From there, visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), known for its two top floors covered entirely with 18 carat gold leaf. Next, proceed to the Nishijin Textile Center, where you can learn how kimonos are made and experience an elegant kimono fashion show. Our next attraction is the Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its huge wooden stage that grants its visitors with excellent views of the cherry and maple trees planted on the hillside below. Our group will then go to Maruyama Park, a popular spot where many visitors enjoy cherry blossom viewing (hanami) parties. Lastly, we will tour Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha quarters. It is lined with exclusive restaurants and traditional teahouses (ochaya), entertained by geisha and maiko.
After breakfast, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Kyoto to Maibara, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. Then, transfer to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three most beautiful landscape gardens of Japan. The name,"Kenrokuen", translates to a garden combining the 6 attributes of a perfect landscape: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features, and panoramas. Here, you can find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two-legged stone lantern that is the icon of Kenrokuen and Kanazawa. From Kanazawa, we cross the mountains by coach to the rural area of Shirakawa-go, a listed World Heritage site. In this photogenic village, we will walk past thatched roof farm houses, cultivated fields, and wooden buildings dating back to the Edo Period. Then, we will travel to Takayama to experience a festival that dates back to the 15th century. This city is located amongst the Japanese Alps and is known as "Little Kyoto" for its preserved historical structures and environment. Due to its remote position in the mountains, it was cut off from the rest of Japan for most of its history and has thus maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. Held on the 14th and 15th of April, the festival is meant to pray for a good harvest. Its highlight is displayed during the evening, where colorful dashi (floats) are led through the streets amid cheers and drums.
After breakfast, we will continue sightseeing in Takayama. Our group will first stop by the Morning Market, where you can browse through the market stalls for local crafts and fresh farm products. Then, we will head to the Takayama Jinya, a former government office that is now a public museum. Continue to Takayama's Old Town, which has been beautifully preserved and features entire streets of buildings dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868). On some streets, like Sannomachi Street, you can find many old homes, shops, and sake breweries; some of which have been in business for over a hundred years. In the afternoon, we will continue to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Takayama Spring Festival, watching floats as they parade through Old Town. Tonight, we will stay at an onsen hotel, where you can unwind and soak in the rejuvenating waters of a spa bath, and later enjoy a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
After eating a Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will travel to Mt. Fuji on our private luxury coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from dense forests to open plains. Depending on weather conditions, we will go to the Mt. Fuji 5th Station to gaze upon the world famous peak. From there, we will visit Hakone and experience a scenic ropeway ride to Owakudani. Owakudani has been considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. There, you can view hot rivers, steam vents, and bubbling pools. During clear skies, Owakudani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji. Our tour will continue to Tokyo, where we will proceed to the bustling district of Shibuya. Complete with neon signs and giant video screens, you will get to walk the Shibuya Crossing, a popular photo and film spot. From there, continue to one of Tokyo's most famous meeting spots, the Hachiko Statue. The statue is dedicated to a loyal dog and his famous story, where he faithfully waited for his master at the Shibuya Station for years even after his owner had passed.
In the morning, you will be taken to the Asakusa Kannon
Temple, a colorful temple in Tokyo that holds the largest
paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore
Nakamise Market, which is located right after the
temple's "thunder gate" (Kaminarimon). It is a historical
shopping street filled with traditional snacks and
souvenirs. Next, make your way to the Tsukiji Outer
Market, lined with various food stalls and local goods.
Afterwards, our group will participate in a sushi making
experience with a professional sushi chef. Whatever
prepare, you will get to eat! Then, we will proceed to the
Imperial Palace, the current residence of Japan's
Family, which is surrounded by moats and stone
fortifications. Our next stop is the Meiji Shrine, which is
dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. In the
afternoon, we will visit the world's tallest self-supporting
steel tower. At 333 meters high, Tokyo Tower is 13
meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. Our group
will have the chance to go up 150 meters to the main
observatory deck for a panoramic view of the city.
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.
Today you will have a free day in Tokyo. Tokyo is Japan's most well known and populated city. From pop culture or historic temples to relaxation or shopping, there is no shortage of things to do here! You are free to plan your own route or we are happy to provide suggestions. Tokyo is well known for its culinary diversity so we recommend that you take this opportunity to explore and find yourself some great eats! Lunch and dinner are not included today so you will be free to choose from the wide range Tokyo has to offer.
Today we will first visit Omiya Bonsai Art Museum where you will learn about bonsai. There are over 100 bonsai masterpieces at the museum. Afterwards, we'll travel overland to Nikko National Park in the mountains north of Tokyo and discover this lovely region. The Japanese have a saying: "Don’t say kekko (wonderful) without seeing Nikko." The shrines and temples of Nikko, together with their natural surroundings, have for centuries been closely associated with the history of the Tokugawa Shoguns. Visit Kegon Waterfall; the almost 100 meter (328ft) tall waterfall is the most famous of Nikko's many beautiful waterfalls. In fact, it is even ranked as one of Japan's three most beautiful falls, along with Nachi Waterfall in Wakayama Prefecture and Fukuroda Waterfall in Ibaraki Prefecture. Next is a visit to the lavishly decorated Toshogu Shrine set in a grove of magnificent ancient Japanese cedars.
In the morning, travel to Matsushima, a picturesque bay full of small islands covered in pine trees where we will explore ancient caves once frequented by meditating monks. We first will stop by the Matsushima Fish Market, with fresh seafood of the highest quality. Be sure to visit the restaurants to try the famous Miyagi Oysters, known for their creamy and slightly nutty flavor. Many of the restaurants even offer all-you-can-eat oysters! Matsushima is also famous for being one of Japan's three most scenic views alongside Miyajima and Amanohashidate. The bay is dotted by over 200 small islands covered by pine trees. We will enjoy the best way to view the islands by boarding one of the sightseeing boats. We will then visit Godaido and Zuiganji Temples, the most famous in the Tohoku region, built by Date Masamune and designated as a national treasure. Tonight, we will stay in a Japanese-style room in Matsushima, where you can soak in the soothing waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
This morning, we will head to Hiraizumi for a cultural interlude and to stroll around the magnificent Japanese Cedar Trees and photogenic buildings at Chusonji Temple. Hiraizumi is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the site of Konjiki-do, or “Golden Hall”, within Chusonji Temple, which attempts to create the ideal world, as seen through the eyes of the particular brand of Buddhism that developed in this region. As such, many artifacts on display here exhibit a “culture of gold” which calls back to said brand of Buddhism which was able to develop in the Tohoku region independent from the influence of the cultural center that was, and still is, Kyoto. This makes Chusonji a rare example of a local culture being allowed to mature to such a degree without outside influence, and for such a long period of time – from the ancient to medieval period. In Kitakami, you will be able to enjoy the Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival where you can see over 300 carp streamers hung from one side of the river to the other or walk through the tunnel of cherry blossom trees. Before heading to your hotel, you will stop in Morioka for dinner. Here, you will have the chance to try one of the city’s most famous eating experiences: Wanko Soba. This is not so much a dish as it is an eating challenge. Many locals get competitive and strive to eat over 100 bowls of soba in one sitting! But don’t worry, there’s no shame in sitting back and enjoying the flavor.
In the morning, we will travel across the Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu by train via the undersea train tunnel, before arriving to Hakodate. It is a small city that has some of the most authentic and best- preserved historic buildings in Japan. Upon arrival in Hakodate, visit the Goryokaku Pentagonal Fort, built in 1868 and the only structure of its kind in Japan. The surrounding moat and defensive grounds are now a city park and garden which are particularly well known for their beautiful cherry blossom trees. You will then visit the group of warehouses which face Hakodate bay. These warehouses can trace their roots to the Kanemori Haberdasher’s shop, which first opened in 1869. In the evening, take a tram and ropeway ride up to Mt Hakodate from where you can look down upon the twinkling lights that surround Hakodate Bay. The views from the mountain are spectacular and included among Japan's three best night views.
In the morning, we will be going to the Hakodate Morning Market. It has over 450 shops and was established after World War II. This morning market is the third largest in Hokkaido. In Shikabecho, learn how to make traditional, local cuisine. We’ll then visit Onuma Quasi National Park. This picturesque park is filled with lakes dotted by islands with the majestic volcano, Mount Komagatake, overtaking the horizon. Next to Lake Toya, travel up the Usuzan Ropeway to get excellent views of the mountain and the lake below. At the volcano’s summit, you can also get views of the ocean.
In the morning, we will visit the Jigokudani. The valley generates 10,000 tons of bubbling water everyday, and visitors can walk to the nearby Oyunuma Lake and watch the plumes of steam rise. Today we will have the opportunity to learn about the Ainu, the indigenous people of northern Japan. We will visit the Upopoy National Ainu Museum, a newer museum facility that celebrates the cultural heritage of the native Ainu people, including exhibits on Ainu language, culture, history, crafts, music, and dance. In the afternoon, we proceed to Sapporo city. The tour includes a visit to the Sapporo Clock Tower and Odori Park, where you can stroll along the promenade. The next stop is Susukino, Hokkaido's largest entertainment district. In the evening is for you to enjoy your free time.
In the morning our tour of Sapporo continues with a visit to the Historical Village of Hokkaido, you can view architecture from the Meiji and Taisho periods when Japan experienced rapid expansion. From there we will visit the Sapporo Beer Museum, dedicated to all things beer. Sapporo is Japan's oldest brewery and exports its beer throughout the world. Then, we will travel to Otaru, renowned for its canals and glassblowing. During the first half of the 20th century, the Otaru Canal was a vital part of the city's busy harbor. The canal allowed large vessels to be unloaded onto smaller ones, then transported to local warehouses. Although the canal became obsolete when modern dock facilities allowed for the direct unloading of large vessels, the canal remains an integral part of the city's history and culture. As part of a citizen's movement in the 1980s, the canal was beautifully restored and former warehouses have been transformed into cafes, restaurants, museums, and shops. Next, we will visit glass workshops and Music Box Museum in Sakaimachi Street.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and New Chitose Airport can be reached by hotel shuttle bus.
The city of Saga is located in Kyushu and is the capital city of the Saga Prefecture. One of the most popular destinations within the city is the Saga Castle area, and the nearby Mifuneyama Rakuen Park. There are many museums and other attractions that are popular for guests to visit, from preserved samurai residences to festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The city is also the location for the Saga International Balloon Festival held every autumn, where hundreds of hot air balloons float off into the sky.
150,000-square meter park which has over 5,000 sakura trees and 5,000 azaleas blooming in spring.
One of the most popular destinations for guests visiting the Saga Prefecture area is the beautiful Mifuneyama Rakuen Park. This park was originally completed in the year 1845 and is filled with thousands of azalea bushes and cherry blossom trees. The park is one of the best place to view both the cherry blossoms and azaleas during the spring, and to view the autumn colors in the fall. There are always events going on throughout the year for visitors, including tea and photo events.
The city of Nagasaki is the capital of the Nagasaki Prefecture on Kyushu and is one of the most popular destinations for guests visiting Japan. Nagasaki has historically been known for being one of the first port cities in Japan to have been participating in foreign trade. It is also tragically known for being the second city to be destroyed by an atomic bomb during the Second World War. There are many popular attractions for guests visiting this popular city, including the abandoned Gunkanjima Island and the Nagasaki Peace Park.
Commemorating the atomic bombing.
The Nagasaki Peace Park commemorates the atomic bombing of Nagasaki of August 9, 1945, which destroyed wide parts of the city and killed ten thousands of inhabitants.
Former district reserved for Dutch traders.
Located in the city of Nagasaki is Dejima, the former district that was once reserved for Dutch traders. During Japan’s period of isolation, the Dutch were the only ones to trade with Japan and were restricted to this district. This popular location is free for guests to explore and has plenty of shops and restaurants for travelers.
Open air park exhibiting Western mansions.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Nagasaki is the Glover Garden, a popular destination representing Japan’s trade history with foreign countries. Nagasaki was one of the earliest port cities that traded with the western world, the Glover Garden is a nice mix of Western and Japanese culture and is an important cultural location.
Japan's most famous Christian church.
As a part of Catholic religion in Japan, the Oura Church is often regarded as a must-visit site. It is not only the first foreign building declared as a national treasure, but is often referenced along with the 26 martyrs who were murdered for their conversion to Catholicism despite established laws.
Within Miyazaki Prefecture is the town of Takachiho, one of the most famous and religious towns in Japan. Takachiho is known for the Takachiho Gorge and both the Amano Iwato Shrine and Takachiho Shrine. This town is known for its religious importance, mythology and natural scenery. Guests can take one of the boat tours through the Takachiho Gorge or walk the trail above the cliffs. Visitors can visit one of the shrines and witness the traditional Yokagura performance.
Picturesque gorge, known for its natural beauty and religious importance.
Takachiho Gorge is a beautiful ravine in which the Gokase River flows through. This place is known for its natural beauty and religious importance. The Takachiho Gorge features the scenic Manai-No-Taki Falls and is a popular tourist destination. Guests can view the gorge from renting a boat and rowing down the gorge itself. Another popular way to see the gorge is by walking along the trail above the cliffs to get a good view of the entire gorge.
Cave where the sun goddess hid herself.
Located within Takachio is the Amano Iwato Shrine, and is one of the most popular destinations for guests visiting the town. The town is known for the legend of the sun goddess hiding herself in a cave and thus taking the world’s sunlight with her. The Amano Iwato Shrine is near the cave where the sun goddess hid herself in the legend. This beautiful location is one of the most visited and famous destinations in Japan.
A traditional dance.
Located within Takachiho is the Takachiho Shrine, and is one of the most popular destinations for guests visiting the town. The town is known for the legend of the sun goddess hiding herself in a cave and thus taking the world’s sunlight with her. One of the other gods performed a ridiculous dance which caused all the other gods to laugh, and the sun goddess came out to see what all the commotion was and thus brought back the light into the world. The Yokagura dance is a reenactment of the legend and is one of the most popular events to see.
They city of Beppu is located within the Oita Prefecture on Kyushu and is known throughout Japan as one of the most famous and popular hot springs resort. Beppu is known for its hot springs and produces more hot spring water than other resort in Japan. There are a large variety of hot spring onsen baths available for guests, including mud baths, sand baths, steam baths, and regular hot springs baths. Popular locations other than the baths is the Jigoku Hell Hot Springs, Umitamago Aquarium, Mount Tsurumi, Museums, and the popular Takasaki Monkey Park.
Hot springs for viewing rather than bathing (Place of Scenic Beauty).
There are a few hot springs located in Beppu that are very unsafe for people to go into, but those hot springs are perfect for viewing. There are eight different hot springs that are open for the public due to how beautiful and unique they look. These eight hot springs are all located in different areas within Beppu and offer its own unique view. Some of the hot springs are blue, white, and red or have animals like crocodiles. Some of the hot springs are also a designated national special scenic spot as well.
Known for being the home to over 1500 wild monkeys.
The Takasakiyama Monkey Park is located at the base of Mount Takasaki between the city of Beppu and Oita. This park is one of the most popular destinations for tourist visiting Kyushu and is known for being the home to over 1500 wild monkeys. Guests can watch the monkeys up close as they are fed and watch the monkeys play or relax in the sun. Guests should avoid eye contact or feeding the monkeys for their own safety.
The city of Kitsuki is located on the southern side of the Kunisaki Peninsula, which part of the Oita Prefecture on Kyushu. This city is most known for its two popular well preserved samurai districts. These two historic districts brings many visitors to Kitsuki every year and features many historic attractions. Another popular destination is Kitsuki Castle and there is plenty to explore while on a visit to this city.
A unique and well preserved samurai district located in Oita Prefecture.
Kitsuki’s most popular attraction is its two well preserved samurai districts. The samurai districts sit opposite to each other on hills north and south with a commercial district in between both areas. Both areas are well preserved with hidden powerlines and no large modern signs to keep a well preserved authentic atmosphere. There are plenty of former residences and museums in both districts for visitors to explore and learn about the history of the area.
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.
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.
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.
In the eastern Hiroshima Prefecture is the town of Onomichi, which is located along the Seto Inland Sea on the mainland side. There are many attractions in this town, and the most popular are Onomichi’s Temple Walk, and the Shimanami Kaido. Onomichi’s Temple Walk is a long walkway that allows visitors to visit over more than 20 of Onomichi’s temples. The Shimanami Kaido is a unique roadway that connects different islands together across many bridges. Visitors can also explore the many museums and shrines also available.
A 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku.
One of the most unique attractions in Onomichi City is the Shimanami Kaido. This long 60 km (close to 37.25 miles) road connects the main island of Honshu to Japan’s Shikoku Island and passes over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. This roadway is the only way to travel into Japan’s Shikoku Island by foot or bicycle. Visitors can rent bikes to travel between Onomichi, the small six islands, and Imabari City on Shikoku Island. The scenery is spectacular and lets travelers enjoy the natural beauty of the Seto Inland Sea and the islands.
The city of Takamatsu is the capital of the small Kagawa Prefecture. It is the home of one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens and is famous for its udon. There is plenty for visitors to explore and experience in this city. One of the most popular attractions is the Ritsurin Koen Park, which is one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens. There are also many museums available, like the popular Shikoku Mura Village and the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum. Other attractions and activities include tasting the famous Sanuki Udon, hiking, bike riding, shopping arcades, and many more.
Open air museum about Shikoku architecture.
One of the most popular museums located in the city of Takamatsu is the Shikoku Mura Village. This is an open air museum that features preserved buildings and structures from all over Shikoku. Many of the structures on display have been relocated from all over Shikoku and provide guests with a pleasant experience of Shikoku’s history. The exhibits feature old traditional buildings, farmhouses, storehouses, and other structures.
Outstanding Japanese style landscape garden (Place of Scenic Beauty).
Ritsurin Koen Park is one of Japan’s most beautiful landscape garden located in the city of Takamastu. Many consider this garden to belong on the list of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens. This spacious and beautiful park features many ponds, hills, trees, bridges, and pavilions. There are a number of walking routes throughout the park and provides views that would leave any guest satisfied.
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.
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.
One of Japan's most famous landmarks.
Located in the center of the city of Osaka lies Osaka Castle Park which holds the city’s most popular attraction, Osaka Castle. This castle was originally built in the 16th century, but has been destroyed and rebuilt many times before. Visitors will have to go through Osaka Castle Park to reach the castle, which including walking through impressive gates, and walking up on stone stairs. This area is also one of the most popular cherry blossom season location in the city.
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.
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.
Experience a live interaction with a maiko. Drink tea, asking her questions, take a photo!
Take the chance of interacting with a maiko while drinking tea, ask her about her profession, training, and lifestyle. What is different between her life and other girls in Japan? Drink a cup of tea with her, and fulfill some of your curiosity, and even take a picture with her.
Pleasant district at the outskirts of Kyoto.
Arashiyama is located on the western outskirts of Kyoto and is a well-known destination for both the cherry blossoms and fall colors seasons. North of the famous Togetsukyo Bridge is Sagano, and together they make this place a nice little getaway from temples and shrines to enjoy nature. Popular destinations include the Togetsukyo Bridge and the Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama.
Zen Temple in the Arashiyama district (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Located in the Arashiyama district in Kyoto, the Tenryu- Ji Temple is Arashiyama’s most popular temple. The temple is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The original buildings of Tenryu-Ji Temple was lost many times throughout its history, except for Tenryu-Ji’s garden. The Tenryu-Ji Temple Zen Garden that visitors see today is the original garden and landscape.
One of the most popular and well-known spots for visitors in Arashiyama.
One of the most popular and well-known spots for visitors is the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. A nice walking path takes visitors through the groves of bamboos. The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is also one of the most famous and photographed places in all of Kyoto and brings many visitors every year during the autumn color season.
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.
Watch kimono fashion show.
The Nishijin Textile Center is located northwest of Central Kyoto in the famous Nishijin district. Visitors can view various displays of glorious fabrics and kimonos. Guests can also witness weaving demonstrations and the popular kimono fashion show. The kimono fashion show is held almost every hour throughout the week. There is a shop available for guests to purchase a variety of goods such as kimonos, bags, postcards, dolls, and much more.
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.
Most famous and popular place to view cherry blossoms in Kyoto.
Maruyama Park is located in eastern Kyoto near the Gion district, only 20 minutes away by bus from Kyoto Station. During cherry blossom season in the spring, this is the most popular park for hanami and to view the cherry blossoms. In the center of the park is the tall weeping cherry tree that becomes lit up for a beautiful cherry blossom spring night.
Kyoto's most famous geisha district.
Located only 20 minutes away by bus from Kyoto Station, is the Gion Geisha District. The Gion Geisha District is one of the most famous and popular destinations for tourist visiting Kyoto. This area is filled with restaurants, teahouses, shops, and other attractions to entertain guests. The machiya merchant houses along with river and the occasional geisha walking around, brings visitors from everywhere to experience everything that this area has to offer.
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.
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.
Largest village in Shirakawa-go.
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. There are many attractions available for guests including museums and minshuku (overnight homestay visit). Visitors can get a breathtaking view of the village from Ogimachi- Jo Castle Ruins.
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.
One the most beautiful festivals of Japan.
The Takayama Festival known as one of Japan’s three most popular festivals and is held twice a year in the spring and autumn. The festival in the spring is known as the Takayama Sanno Spring Festival and is held in the southern half of the old town because of the Hie Shrine. The festival features floats, performances, and parades as well.
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.
The former local government office.
Located by only a ten minute walk away from Takayama Station is the Takayama Jinya. The Takayama Jinya was once the former local government office until the year 1969, but now has been turned into a museum. Guests can see the various items on display such as past official documents and other historical items in this museum.
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.
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.
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.
An aerial lift that provides nice views of Mount Fuji and Lake Hakone.
One of the most popular ways to get around Hakone is by taking the Hakone Ropeway. The ropeway travels between Sounzan and Togendai. The Hakone Ropeway gives visitors a beautiful view of Hakone and on a clear day, it is possible to get a nice view of Mount Fuji as well.
Sulfurous vapors and warm rivers.
Owakudani is located in Hakone and is an area around a crater where gaseous fumes, hot springs, and hot rivers exist. Just like most of Hakone, on a clear day, it is possible to see Mount Fuji as well. There are hiking trails available for guests, but these trails are difficult for inexperience hikers.
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.
One of Tokyo's most colorful and busy districts, famous for its Hachiko Statue and Shibuya Crossing.
Shibuya is a popular shopping and entertainment area near Shibuya Station. It is one of the most busiest and popular locations in Tokyo. There are plenty of options when choosing for a place to dine or shop and there are plenty of nightclubs as well. The most famous locations in Shibuya would be both the Shibuya Crossing and the Hachiko Statue.
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.
Visit a famous Japanese market filled with fresh fish and agricultural products, plus delicious dishes.
The outer Tsukiji Fish Market offers a variety of freshly prepared food products and ingredients. Travel in between the different stores and taste a few of their dishes, freshly prepared with some of the best ingredients.
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.
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.
A shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort.
The Meiji Shrine is located next to Harajuku Station and next to Yoyogi Park. The shrine is located within a small forest with large trees and the entrance is designated by a large torii gate. This is also one of Tokyo’s most popular shrines, with more than a million visitors after New Year’s Day.
World's tallest self-supporting steel tower, great views of Tokyo City.
Tokyo Tower is the world’s tallest self-supported steel tower and is the second tallest structure in Japan. There are two observatories in the tower sitting at 150 meters and 250 meters tall. The main 150 meter observatory offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding area and has small souvenir shops for visitors. The special 250 meter observatory offers a higher view of the surrounding area over some of the tall buildings and on a good day, visitors might be able to see Mount Fuji off in the distance.
Omiya is located in the city of Saitama and is one of the ten wards of the city. The area around Omiya Station has many restaurants and shops within walking distance. Omiya Station is a major transportation hub as well. Visitors can be able to take a bus to both Narita and Haneda Airport, and hop on the bullet train. Omiya Park is a popular place to visit during the spring for cherry blossom viewing. The Railway Museum is also a popular destinations and the Omiya Bonsai Air Museum should not be overlooked as well.
Omiya Bonsai Village is a collective of bonsai nurseries that were created by the locals.
The Omiya Bonsai Village is a collective of bonsai nurseries, which dates back to 1925. When the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 hit many of the bonsai nurseries in Tokyo were damaged. It is later that Omiya was chosen for bonsai lovers to relocate because of the access to land, good soil and clean water. When visiting the area, you will have the chance to go around the Omiya Bonsai Village where there are 5 nurseries kept by 5 different artisans. It is free to enter the gardens, but photographs are not allowed in the respective gardens. You can also find bonsai vendors within the vicinity as well as world class bonsai art. It is a quiet village where you can enjoy a stroll through the area and admire the foliage in any season. Nearby the village is the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, the first public bonsai art museum in the world. The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is where you will learn about the care and cultivation of bonsai. Bonsai is a form traditional planting art that can be traced back to the 9th century.
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.
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.
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.
Matsushima is famous for having one of the most scenic views in Japan and is located half an hour away from Sendai. Matsushima is located half an hour away from Sendai the largest city in Miyagi Prefecture. It is also a Prefectural National Park on top of being a city. Matsushima has 260 small and large islands located 10 kilometers away from the city, which are covered by pine trees. There are a couple of islands that can be reached by a bridge and is open to the public. Near the pier of Matsushima is the Godaido, a small temple hall, which has become the symbol of the town. Matsushima Bay is one of the top three most scenic places within all of Japan.
Visit a popular indoor fish market with stalls selling top quality seafood and with restaurants offering all-you-can-eat Miyagi Oysters.
The Matsushima Fish Market is a popular location for guests to enjoy local seafood specialties and shop for all of their seafood needs. Run by a captain who owns 7 large tuna fishing boats, visitors will find several kinds of fresh seafood being sold. As an indoor market, guests will find several stalls selling their products on the first floor, whether it be ingredients to cook with or live fish. Another popular aspect of the market, and Matsushima in general, are the Miyagi Oysters, known for their creamy and slightly nutty flavor. You will also find food vendors at the market, which serve these Miyagi Oysters as an all-you-can-eat treat for a low price. Because the water near Matsushima is rich with nutrients, their seafood is considered to be one of the highest quality in Japan. The market also holds tuna cutting shows every month as well as other events. Be sure to give the fresh tuna or the Miyagi Oysters a try, whether you prefer them raw, steamed, or fried, there is something for everyone. Even if you're not a fan of seafood, there are several other foods offered at the market including rice bowls, sushi, and even ramen.
One of Japan's three most scenic views.
Matsushima Bay has been known as one of the top most scenic places in all of Japan for many years. Without a doubt the most popular and best way to see the bay is by boat cruises. There are many cruises available for visitors to ride on to experience one of Japan’s best scenic views.
Small temple hall and symbol of Matsushima.
Godaido serves as a symbol of Matsushima since it is a on an islet of the bay in Miyagi Prefecture, which is known for its cruises and natural scenery. Inside the temple itself are five statues that are presented to the public once every 33 years. The small island is connected a short, red bridge that gives the scenery a particularly attractive elegance to the temple’s surrounding environment. Admission to this temple is free, however it does close in the evenings.
One of Tohoku's most famous Zen temples.
One of the most distinguished temples of the Tohoku region is the Zuiganji Temple. The temple is so notable that it has been received as a national treasure in Japan; particularly special places are the main hall with golden sliding doors, the Kuri of the main hall, the “Gate of Honor”, and the “Inner gates” are some examples. Visitors going to the temple can also visit the museum called Seiryuden, also called the Zuiganji Art Museum, where many artifacts and some temple treasures are displayed, in particular a wooden statue of an armored Date Masamune.
Hiraizumi was once the home of the powerful Northern Fujiwara Clan and rivaled Kyoto as a city during the Heian Period. In 2011 Hiraizumi was inscribed as one of Japan’s World Heritage sites. Because of their representation of the Buddhist teachings of Amida, Hiraizumi is a reflection of a world centered on peace and harmony. Hiraizumi is located within the Iwate Prefecture of the northeastern region of Tohoku. It was once part of the ancient Mutsu Province. It was also the place where the Northern Fujiwara Branch thrived for nearly 100 years. For those 100 years Hiraizumi was in a Golden age of economic and political grandeur. Also it served as the capital of Oshu. Visitors can expect to receive a great cultural experience from the many temples and learn some history from this historical site.
Hiraizumi's most famous temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Iwate Prefecture’s Chusonji Temple was built on the Kanzan Hill, which is why it is also commonly referred to as the Kanzan Chusonji Temple. The grounds originally had many buildings created like pagodas, temples, and halls, however, only two of the buildings remain standing. One of these structures is called Kyozo Hall, which holds Buddhist scripture. The second building is called Konjikido, which is covered in gold and is often compared to the famous golden pavilion located in Kyoto.
A long time ago Kitakami (北上) was part of the Mutsu
Province, but there has been evidence of settlement from
the Jomon period. In the late Heian period the Northern
Fujiwara clan ruled the area, but during the Sengoku
period the land was fought over by various samurai
clans. Kitakami was divided in the Edo period between
the Nanbu Clan of Morioka and the Date Clan of Sendai.
The main attraction to Kitakami is the 10,000 cherry
blossom trees and 100,000 azaleas planted along the
Kitakami River. Before these trees were planted,
Kitakami was going through a severe case of
deforestation in the early Taisho era.
The mayor of Kurosawajiri, which is now part of Kitakami, Kouji Sawafuji created the Waga Tenshochi Plan and hired two people to head the project. The plan was to create a cherry blossom spot that was not only a beautiful place in the region, but nationwide. Most other scenic spots have one species of cherry blossoms, but they decided to plant a variety of seeds along the bank of Kitakami River. This resulted in over 150 species of cherry blossoms blooming in 1921 when the Tenshochi Park officially opened to the public. It is said the view from the nearby small hill called Jingaoka inspired the name. In 1990, Tenshochi Park was listed as one of the top 100 famous cherry blossom spots in Japan.
Kitakami is the place for the famed Michinoku Geino Festival where 100s of people perform folk art traditions. Patrons will have the chance to see the Shishi Odori (deer dance), kagura (god entertainment), and Onikenbai (demon sword dance). The Shishi Odori has many stories pertaining to the origin of the dance like it was created to mimic the movements of a wild deer or a prayer to a deer that was killed. Kagura is a form of theatrical Shinto dancing that has existed for over 500 years. The two most famous styles in Iwate are Take and Otsugunai Kagura. Together the styles are known as Hayachine Kagura. In 2009, Kagura was listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Onikenbai translates to demon sword dance and is traditional folk art from Kitakami. The history of the dance dates back over 1,300 years ago and has been continually performed by the locals. In 1993 it was listed as a national important intangible folk cultural property. Even though the word Oni (demon) is used, the masks for the performance do not have horns thus resembles Buddha instead. The colors of the masks are red, black, green and white. The person who wears the white mask is the leader of the group and is referred to as ichikenbai (first sword dance). In addition to the dance, taiko drums and flutists accompany the group. The Onikenbai is meant to purify the land and appease the vengeful spirits by performing the henbai, which is a unique step in the dance. Kitakami keeps this tradition alive by teaching the dance in elementary and junior high schools.
Tohoku Region's three best cherry blossom spots alongside Hirosaki Castle and Kakunodate.
Tenshochi Park is famous for the more than 10,000 cherry
trees planted alongside the Kitakami River. The trees are
usually in bloom for one to two weeks around late April
and form a beautiful tunnel of cherry blossoms that earns
the park a spot among the Tohoku Region's three best
cherry blossom spots alongside Hirosaki Castle and
During the cherry blossom season, festival visitors stroll along the park's two kilometer long path which is lined by cherry trees on both sides and covered in a canopy of white blossoms. Food vendors and festival event venues are found at both ends of the path.
Morioka is the capital of Iwate Prefecture and is known for their various noodle dishes like Wanko Soba. In the background of the city is the active volcano Mount Iwate. One of the best places to see the mountain is from Kaiunbashi Bridge in Morioka. Mount Iwate is considered one of the 100 Most Beautiful Mountains in Japan. Morioka is also famous for the different types of noodles they have like the Wanko Soba, Reimen, and Jajamen.
Wanko-soba (buckwheat noodles) is the local cuisine of Iwate and is eaten in a very unique and entertaining manner.
Wanko-soba (buckwheat noodles) is the local cuisine of Iwate and is eaten in a very unique and entertaining manner. As soon as you finish the first bowlful, a server flings a fresh ball of noodles into the empty bowl with a wild cry and keeps on filling it until you have had enough! Only about a mouthful of noodles is served each time, so if you are an adult male you should be able to eat about 50-60 bowls. Some say that this tradition stems from when landowners hospitably served their guests until they were full. It is now known throughout Japan as a specialty of Morioka and Hanamaki. The trick to eating a lot is to slurp it down without chewing. National championships are held every year in Morioka and Hanamaki, so if you are confident of your appetite, why not take up the challenge?
Hakodate is a port city and is the third largest city in Hokkaido. It was one of the first ports to be open to foreign trade and the influences of other countries can be shown in the Motomachi area of the city. The architecture still survives even after the 1934 Great Hakodate Fire, which destroyed over 11,000 buildings and World War II bombings. The night view from Mount Hakodate is one of the top tourist spots people go to and is the symbol of the city. Since Hakodate is a port town there is a place called the morning market where you can buy a plethora of fresh seafood and other delectable items. Hakodate is a city of cultural importance that not only reflects the past, but possibilities of the future. As the gateway to Hokkaido it would be a great place to stop and visit all the sites.
Japan's first Western style fortress.
The Goryokaku Fort was first built over a hundred years ago, this established structure held the magistrate’s office where Hokkaido was administered and was the first western-styled stronghold of its kind in Japan. The fort was not always affiliated to military, once it lost its importance for military self-defense, it was employed as a park in 1910. This area is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in early May because it has more than a thousand trees blooming there each year. An observation tower is also available for public use to view the grounds from above.
Atmospheric shopping complex in the bay area.
The Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse refers to the several buildings lined up facing the Hakodate Bay. The Kanemori Youbutsukan is a shopping center, which offers a variety of goods. It is set up daily like a flea market for people to enjoy. The Hakodate History Plaza is where the Hakodate Beer Hall is located. Here you can have a chance to enjoy Hakodate beer, and there is an exhibition hall at the center of the plaza showcasing the history of the area.
One of the Japan's three best night views.
Known as “Lying Cow” for its shape, Mount Hakodate offers one of the best views from its summit some 334 meters high, overlooking both sea and land. The views that can be seen from Mount Hakodate include the peninsulas located south from the summit, the Tsugaru and Shimokita Peninsulas belonging to Aomori Prefecture. In addition to the peninsular views, the night time and daytime views in either direction are popular among the tourists, so tourists need only worry about the observation deck and ropeway operational times when visiting Mount Hakodate.
Enjoy fresh seafood for breakfast.
Hakodate’s Morning Market is a market specializing in seafood. It was created after World War II and extends some four city blocks. This morning market consists of approximately 160 shops, however tourists from all over can buy and have their meals prepared for them at that moment. Seafood like sea urchins, clams, king crab, salmon and more amongst the fruit and vegetables that they sell as well. This market offers sales every day from early in the morning until around noon time.
Shikabe is a town that borders the north of Hakodate in southern Hokkaido. Shikabe is home to the Shikabe Kanketsusen Park, which is a park that has a geyser. There are only a few geysers located in Japan, so this place is a popular destination for visitors to experience. There is a natural hot spring foot bath nearby so people can relax while they wait for the geyser to erupt. Every August the Shikabe Sea and Hot Springs Festival is held in Shikabe. The festival celebrates summer and holds a beautiful fireworks show at night.
Experience making home cooked meals from freshly caught seafood.
The Shikabe Hot Springs Tourism Association has classes available for visitors wishing to learn more about Shikabe cuisine. Guests are able to go out on catch their own fish or shellfish in some of the offered classes. Guests are shown how to prepared the food and cook it in Shikabe style from the locals.
Lake Onuma, located in the southern part of Hokkaido, is part of Onuma Quasi National Park, together with the nearby Konuma and Junsainuma marshes. Lake Onuma is 24 kilometers in circumference and was formed by the eruption of Mt. Komagatake. It has 126 islands, large and small, and is famous for the spectacular views of these islands connected by 18 bridges. It takes approximately 60 minutes to walk around the lake through a series of arched bridges, including Kogetsubashi, Ukishimabashi, and Hinodebashi.
National park 20 kilometers north of Hakodate.
Onuma Park (known as Quasi National Park) is located north of Hakodate in Hokkaido. Lake Onuma is located within Onuma Park. Lake Onuma is known for the resorts that permit year-round for guests at their hotels some of which offer golfing, canoeing and camping among other activities as part of their outdoor attractions. Even during winter, Lake Onuma has a ski resort for tourists, so people can try snow- based activities in the colder seasons. During colder seasons and even in spring, Lake Onuma is usually frozen until May due to the high altitude in its already cold prefecture of Hokkaido.
Lake Toya is located southwest of Sapporo, at the center of the lake are four islands called Nakajima. On the island called O-shima, which is the largest of the four islands, is the Toyako Forest Museum. Kannon-jima used to enshrine a sculpture of Kannon, Goddess of Mercy, from the Edo Period, but now there is just the temple in its place. Benten-jima is connected to Kannon-jima by a sandbank called Toppmoshiri. Benzaiten, Goddess of everything that flows like music, time, water, speech, rivers and knowledge, is enshrined on the island. Manju-jima is off limits to casual visitors because it is known for having many vipers thus it is called “Snake Island.” Another thing you can do around Lake Toya is rent out bicycles and pass by sculptures surrounding the lake shore.
A volcano which has erupted four times in the past 100 years.
Mount Usu, Japan’s most active volcano. The unusual thing with Mount Usu is that it does not spew out tons of lava, but instead forms new landmarks. The rise of volatile magma creates the lava domes as well as the crypto domes. There are several walking trails that can be taken to see the destruction left behind. There are also wrecked houses, confection factory, telephone poles, cars and other buildings that remain there to educate individuals on the destructive power of volcanoes. The trail then leads to the craters where you can still see steam emitting from the fissures.
Noboribetsu is located in southwestern Hokkaido along the southern coast of Hokkaido. Noboribestu is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which is located in southwestern Hokkaido. This place is known throughout Hokkaido and hosts Hokkaido’s best-known hot spring resort. Surrounding the area is a forest and if visitors wish to, they can travel to Shikotsu-Toya National Park. There are numerous outdoor activities within the park which include hiking, hot springs, camping, boat tours on the lakes, canoeing, and many other activities. Noboribetsu is also home to the famous Noboribestu Jigokudani. The Jigokudani (or known as “Hell Valley”) is just above the town, this valley is the number one destination for nature lovers making a visit to Noboribestu.
Hell valley - displaying volcanic activities.
There are many hot springs in Japan, one of which is located in Hokkaido with the name of Jigokudani, meaning “Hell Valley.” The very characteristics of the valley itself justify the name given to the location. Other physical features of the valley include its crater foundation that is more than a kilometer and half all around.
Shiraoi is a small town in Hokkaido Prefecture. Though officially established in the mid-1800s by the lords of Sendai during the feudal era, this coastal town’s history goes back even further as a former settlement of the native Ainu. In recognition of this dual heritage, the town has constructed the Ainu Museum, which celebrates the language, history, culture, and legacy of the Ainu, through various exhibits and demonstrations for nearly every aspect of daily Ainu life. The museum apparently has collected over five thousand various folk items related to the Ainu people. Shiraoi is also noted for its beautiful nature, especially Lake Kuttara, which, according to Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, is one of Japan’s clearest lakes. Shiraoi wagyu beef is a famous local product, with local farms of black Japanese cattle scattered around the nearby countryside.
A replacement facility for the old “Porotokan” Ainu Museum, this newer exhibit space works to further expand visitors’ understanding of the Ainu People.
Initially opened in 1990, the Porotokan Ainu Museum was dedicated to cataloging, preserving, and teaching the history and culture of the original native peoples of Hokkaido: the Ainu people. In 2018, however, the Porotokan closed down in order to clear the way for the new and expanded National Ainu Museum. This newer museum’s philosophy is based on the ideals of multicultural coexistence and presents various exhibits divided into six separate Ainu-centered themes: history, language, lifestyle, livelihood, worldview, and trade with other peoples. The museum is one building in a larger facility called Upopoy (“singing in a large group” in Ainu language). This facility includes, in addition to the museum, a National Park near Lake Poroto, and a Memorial Site for deceased Ainu.
Otaru is a small harbor city in Hokkaido near Sapporo. There are various activities in Otaru, including food (especially seafood), sightseeing and shopping. There are many hills, including the very steep slope called Jigoku-Zaka, thus is a popular location for skiing and other sports. Otaru beer is also well known in Hokkaido, places like the Otaru Soko No. 1 Brewery is a popular place for beer lovers. The Otaru Canal is a very popular place for tourist to gather. The Otaru Canal is also one of the locations of the Snow Light Path Festival held every February, where the area is decorated in lights and small snow statues. Tourist can visit the various glass workshops and shop for famous Otaru glassware or even make their glassware. The Music Box Museum is one of the most popular destinations in Otaru, guests can explore the sea of music boxes in this Museum.
Beautiful canal lined by old warehouses.
The Otaru Canal was employed by businesses to transport their merchandise to warehouses with smaller ships since the bigger ships could not directly unload their goods to their destinations. However, eventually there was no use for the smaller vessels when the facilities were modernized, making the use of canals less necessary. Now the area is a tourist attraction, during the day people take leisurely walks about the scenic route where there are museums, restaurants, and shops. Furthermore, Otaru Canal is the main site of the Snow Light Path Festival which is celebrated annually during February as a winter festival.
Otaru's famous blown glass factory.
The glass made in Otaru is refined and is made in many workshops that also offer hands-on experience for guests who take interest in making their own glassware for a fee. Otaru is located in the prefecture of Hokkaido, neighboring the city of Sapporo. Aside from glass workshops, there are also many cafés, restaurants, and other shops that also allow guests to admire and purchase their artistic glass.
A unique museum about Music Box.
Among the many shops found on Sakaimichi Street is the Otaru Music Box Museum. It not only displays various objects, but also sells a wide range of music boxes, some of which are more elaborate than others; some move and others light up along with their melody. Midst the various types of music boxes are some made from glass, wood, or even traditional Japanese fabric, some are fashioned after sushi or Western-themed concepts. These music boxes also carry different songs according to a collection that the establishment has at their disposable.
Located in Hokkaido Prefecture, Sapporo was once a dense forest with wildlife that included bears, deer, and wolves until its construction started in 1871. A man named Shima Yoshitake began the city’s development which eventually led to the current North American form it has as a grid-like system layout. Consequently, the northern and southern parts of the city are divided by the main boulevard called O-dori, which runs through the center of the city. Sapporo is known mostly for its beer, beer museum, dairy products, and its annual snow festival every February. One of the oldest standing structures established is the Sapporo Clock Tower, introduced by the North Americans, is now employed as a history museum. Dr. William Clark, a scholar from America, became one of the founders that established educational policies at the Sapporo Agricultural College. Later, this same college became the University of Hokkaido.
The symbol of Sapporo.
The Sapporo Clock Tower is a museum and a symbol of Sapporo’s city. Once used as a drill house for physical education and military training for the students in the Agricultural College, it now holds small displays of the origins of Sapporo’s development and local history. The clock itself was bought in 1881 from Boston, Massachusetts. Its appearance now consists of red roofs and white walls that stand out to people passing by this historical monument. It was once the tallest building when it was constructed, but is now overshadowed by the taller business buildings around it.
Pleasant public park in the city center.
Located in the center of Sapporo, running from east to west is Odori Park. It was supposed to be the main street separating Sapporo north from south as a fire break, but now represents the area holding the annual Snow Festival events. It has 92 types of trees and many flowerbeds, enough to attract tourists and locals for a relaxing time in its vicinity. For guests wishing for good views and photographs, there is the Sapporo TV Tower’s observation deck available to the public for a fee. The deck is especially popular during the Snow Festival’s events held every February.
Sapporo's entertainment district.
Nightlife plans for guests in Sapporo might include activities like hitting the pachinko machines, nightclubs, bars, karaoke, and restaurants. If that is the case, it will probably lead them to Sapporo’s biggest entertainment neighborhood, Susukino, which is similar to Shinjuku’s Kabukicho red light district. As such, it should not come as a surprise that expenses might run a little higher here than in other parts of the city. Susukino is one of the sites that hosts the annual Snow Festival held every February in Sapporo. Genghis Khan nabe, or Susukino’s Ramen Yokocho are local foods recommended to all.
Open air museum about Hokkaido.
The Historic Village of Hokkaido is a restored area based of what remained from the Meiji era and Taisho era. It is now an open-air museum with shops, households, and horse-drawn trams that run through the village. It displays various buildings and shops that were once constructed during Hokkaido’s growing development, including 60 different buildings from all over this northern island. It is also a place where many who lost their positions in the Edo Shogunate went to start their lives anew, especially samurai. It is located in the suburbs of Sapporo. It consists residential, mountainous, fishing, and agricultural zones.
Museum of the Sapporo Beer Breweries.
Sapporo is considered the birthplace of beer in Japan since it started manufacturing beer in the Meiji Period. The building for the Sapporo Beer Museum was originally used as the Sapporo Sugar Company around 1890. Then, it was employed as a location for the cleaning process of barley leaves that were used to make beer in 1965. Finally, it was made into a brewery and, then, the museum that now has two neighboring beer gardens. There are tasting lounges and tours offered at the Sapporo Beer Museum for a fee, though there are few signs containing English for foreign guests.
Fukuoka (Day 1)
Western Style Accommodation
Hotel Nikko Fukuoka is a prestigious world class hotel located in front of Hakata Station, the entrance gate of Kyushu. It is conveniently located only two subway stations away from Fukuoka Airport and 3 minutes walk from JR Hakata City (Hakata Station). It has 360 guest rooms all with a relaxing atmosphere and of various styles including authentic Imperial Suite Room and rooms with an atmosphere of a classy study room. You can visit any of the 8 authentic restaurants residing in the hotel and enjoy a variety of dishes made by skillful cooks with seasonal ingredients. This hotel run by the flag carrier company promises you a refined and comfortable time with its great hospitality.
Nagasaki (Day 2)
Western Style Accommodation
ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Nagasaki Gloverhill is located on a mountainside in Nagasaki- Minamiyamate, the southern part of Nagasaki City. The area is famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, with historical structures like the Oura Catholic Church and the memorable Glover Garden built at the time when Nagasaki City itself was playing a very important role as the international seaport of Japan. ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Nagasaki Gloverhill provides guests with first class service and refined facilities for their relaxation.
Takachiho (Day 3)
Western Style Accommodation
One of the most popular places to stay in Takachiho. As a Kokuminshukuha ("Peoples Lodging"), they offer great indoor public bath room and facilities of the rooms are the same as standard Japanese ryokan and can feel the calm atmosphere and the heartfelt hospitality. Great access down to Takachiho Gorge.
Hiroshima (Day 4)
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.
Imabari (Day 5)
Western Style Accommodation
Imabari Kokusai Hotel is 22-story landmark tower building standing in the center of Imabari city and over looking Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge. Here, one will feel refreshed while overlooking the beautiful Inland Sea. The hotel has large main bath with open-air bath and sauna in addition to the fitness center with swimming pool and gym.
Kurashiki (Day 6)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Located just a 3-minute walk to Washu Highland Amusement Park, Washu Blue Resort Kasago features open-air natural hot spring baths on the rooftop. Each Japanese-style room is fitted with tatami (woven-straw) flooring, and in-room facilities include a flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle. Mini-bar and yukata robes are also provided. The private bathroom has a hairdryer and free toiletries. While staying at Washu Blue Resort Kasago, guests can unwind at the public bathing area which includes large indoor baths and a sauna. Guests can savor delicately prepared buffet-style dinner featuring local seafood. A breakfast buffet can be enjoyed at the restaurant with an open kitchen.
Osaka (Day 7)
Western Style Accommodation
Located in the Umeda city centre, Hotel Elsereine Osaka features stylish accommodation and plenty fresh flowers. This completely non-smoking hotel offers 3 dining options, and comes with a concert hall with a grand piano and a meeting space. JR Osaka Train Station is a 10-minute walk, and the JR Kita-shinchi Train Station is a 5- minute walk away. Universal Studios Japan is a 25-minute train ride away, and Osaka Castle is a 30-minute train ride away from Osaka Hotel Elsereine. Umeda Station is a 10-minute walk away from the property.
Kyoto (Day 8 & Day 9)
Western Style Accommodation
This 4-star Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto offers comfort and convenience whether you're on business or holiday in Kyoto. Designed with flair by noted architect Togo Murano, the Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto features spacious guest rooms, elegant banquet halls, multiple restaurants and a Sukiya-style teahouse at the Japanese garden on the property.
Takayama (Day 10)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Okada Ryokan features Japanese- style accommodations with mountain views. You can relax in the indoor or outdoor hot- spring baths. Beautiful views of Northern Alps and wonderful starry sky is best enjoyed from the open-air bath. Rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. The en suite bathroom comes with slippers for all guests.
Oizumi Kogen (Day 11)
Japanese Style Accommodation
The 4-star Yatsugatake Royal Hotel offers comfort and convenience whether you're on business or holiday in Yamanashi. This hotel has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Designed and decorated to make guests feel right at home, each room comes with separate dining area, air conditioning, seating area. Enjoy the hotel's recreational facilities, including hot spring bath, indoor pool, spa, outdoor pool, before retiring to your room for a well-deserved rest. At an altitude of 1000 meters, this hotel has great views of the South Alps and Mount Fuji and it has its own observatory for star gazing.
Tokyo (Day 12, Day 13 & Day 14)
Western Style Accommodation
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro is located 3 minutes by foot from Ikebukuro Station, a massive terminal with eight different subway and JR lines. From the station, over 17 round trip buses depart to both Narita and Haneda International Airports each day, assuring convenience for guests arriving by or planning to make a transfer by air. When setting off from the hotel, guests can easily reach popular attractions such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and Ikebukuro Café, a unique space where visitors can play with owls and other animals.
Nasu (Day 15)
Western Style Accommodation
Surrounded by a forest and an expansive pasture, this stylish, Northern Italian-style hotel is wrapped in the verdant, peaceful bosom of nature. The baths use water from the hotel's own constant and free-flowing hot spring.
Matsushima (Day 16)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Hotel Taikanso is located on the highland overlooking Matsushima bay in the three most famous scenic places in Japan. The largest resort hotel sprawls atop a plateau surrounded by pine- covered hills and offers the best views in town. Matsushima's splendid view are enjoyed from the observatory public bath, open-air bath, lobby and several other locations in the hotel.
Morioka (Day 17)
Western Style Accommodation
3 minutes on foot from the station. This top class facility features a mixture of classic European style and elements of Morioka. The large banquet hall can host international conferences.
Hakodate (Day 18)
Western Style Accommodation
Facing beautiful Hakodate Port, this hotel is located in exotic and poetic surroundings including Motomachi Park, a historical church and the morning market.
Noboribetsu Onsen (Day 19)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Noboribetsu Manseikaku is standing at the entrance of Hokkaido's famous hot-springs Resort, Noboribetsu Onsen and promises the stay in comfort and relaxation. It is the modern style ryokan which offers genuine courtesy services.
Sapporo (Day 20)
Western Style Accommodation
This modern luxury hotel and resort, situated in the northernmost major city of Japan, is a landmark for opulence and leisure. Guests will enjoy a location that is just a short walk from the Sapporo Subway Station and an additional six minutes from the JR Sapporo Station. ANA Crowne Plaza Sapporo is an ideal choice for guests who want a central location close to public transport links and a vast selection of on- site facilities as well as first class professional service.
Chitose (Day 21)
Western Style Accommodation
Located just a five minute walk from JR Chitoise station and a 10 minute drive from the airport, the hotel offers guests comfort and convenience. The in- house restaurant serves up traditional Japanese dishes. However, if you are in the mood for other cuisines, just step out of the hotel and you will find numerous restaurants and bars where you can indulge with your favorite cuisine or drink.
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.
Saga / Nagasaki / Takachiho / Beppu / Kitsuki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Takamatsu / Kurashiki / Himeji / Kobe / Osaka / Nara / Kyoto / Kanazawa / Shirakawa- go / Takayama / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Tokyo / Omiya / Nikko / Matsushima / Hiraizumi / Kitakami / Morioka / Seikan Tunnel / Hakodate / Shikabecho / Lake Toya / Noboribetsu / Shiraoi / Otaru / Sapporo
Other Japan Tours you may interested
Other Japan Tours you may interested