For a limited time, book your 2020, 2021 & 2022 group tour packages with no deposit required!!!
These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.
These tours combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education with time to truly absorb and appreciate your surroundings. Our Deluxe-Plus small group tours are created to cater to those who are interested in having a deeper understanding of Japan's culture. You will have the opportunity to participate in culturally rich activities and visit destinations only locals may know. Experience luxurious hotels and travel at a leisurely pace when you book a Deluxe-Plus small group tour.
Enjoy more than just sightseeing. These tours will allow you to eat in small local restaurants, visit hidden gems, stay at hotels with limited occupancy, take part in activities available only to small groups, and enjoy more interaction with your tour guides. Ultra-Deluxe small group tours are the ultimate way to visit Japan with hand-picked, top hotels and ryokans (traditional inns) to relax in. Select from a unique range of luxurious cultural experiences that are limited to smaller groups, which is why the maximum group size is 6 guests.
These tours allow you to enjoy Japanese culture firsthand in the intimacy of a small group. The maximum group size is 12 guests, which enables you to travel by public transportation, such as by train, subway, taxi, ferry or local bus. Walking the streets and taking the local trains will allow you to interact more with the locals and appreciate what everyday life in Japan is like. Each city will feature an expert local guide who will be able to share in-depth information on the featured attractions and sites, and provide assistance or recommendations if needed prior to your free time.
The price is per person, based on twin or triple room occupancy
For single travelers, this tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour
Prices are excluding international flights
Single room types are rooms for
single room occupants.
One person will be occupying the hotel room throughout the tour.
Twin room types are rooms set for two people who will occupy one room, but will have two separate beds.
A double room is a room that has one bed for two people to share.
A triple room is one room where three people may share the same room. It has three separate beds.
Japanese Style Room
A Japanese-style room traditionally does not have a western-style bed, it is a tatami floor room with futon bedding. However, if you prefer a western-style bed, you may request one though we cannot guarantee it.
Please note: If you would like to request neighboring rooms next to your traveling companions, you and your traveling companions must have the same room types in order to be next to each other. For example, if you have requested a double room, but your traveling companions have requested a twin, or triple room, then neighboring rooms cannot be accommodated. However, if both you and your traveling companions match in room type, then neighboring rooms will likely be arranged for your convenience.
This 3-week tour takes our travelers on an exciting route through four intriguing and beautiful countries in Asia: Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Start your journey in Japan, exploring the former capital cities of Nara and Kyoto. While there, you'll appreciate many several ancient shrines and temples, including Todai-ji, which houses the worlds largest bronze Buddha statue; Fushimi Inari Shrine, and its 4 km path of red torii gates, and the Golden Pavilion, with 18-karat gol... View More
This 3-week tour takes our travelers on an exciting
through four intriguing and beautiful countries in Asia:
Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Start your
in Japan, exploring the former capital cities of Nara
Kyoto. While there, you'll appreciate many several
shrines and temples, including Todai-ji, which houses
worlds largest bronze Buddha statue; Fushimi Inari
and its 4 km path of red torii gates, and the Golden
Pavilion, with 18-karat gold leaf covering clearly
in a pristine pond. Included are experiences hand-
to immerse visitors in traditional Japanese culture,
enjoying a traditional green tea ceremony
by an apprentice geisha (maiko), and even a
fashion show of elegant kimono! From there, take a
Hakone to enjoy magnificent scenes of iconic Mount
before proceeding to Tokyo, the heart of contemporary
Japan. Here, you'll get a bird's eye view from Tokyo
wander the outer fish market of Tsukiji, and even
experience a lesson in sushi-making.
Then the tour makes a change in gear as you move toward Southeast Asia and the city of Hanoi in Vietnam. Here, visitors will gain a good sense of Vietnam's cultural growth in moving between the Temple of Literature, Hanoi Old Quarter, the Ho Chi Minh Complex, and other sites. Rare cultural experiences here include a special performance of Vietnamese water puppetry. Continue on to one of the most beautiful and refreshing landscapes to be found in Vietnam - Ha Long Bay. Take a cruise on the azure waters of Ha Long Bay, past monolithic limestone karsts which jut up from its depths, enjoying stops at some of the local islands and even a culinary lesson by on- board chef. Head from there to Hue, where remnants of an older Vietnam, during the era of the Nguyen Dynasty, remain in the Hue Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda. Then the tour takes you over the Pass of the Ocean Clouds to Hoi An, where visitors can explore the charming riverside town, relishing such unique and memorable moments as a colorful mask- making experience, as well as a special Vietnamese cooking class. Then unwind in Ho Chi Minh City, after taking a relaxing cruise on the Mekong Delta in a sampan boat.
Moving deeper inland brings our tour passengers into Cambodia and the UNESCO World Heritage Angkor Temples Complex, including an unforgettable sunrise visit to the famed Angkor Wat. These exciting temples contain incredibly detailed statues and other preserved stone images including the enigmatic Bayon Faces, all carved in the classical Khmer style. Then finish up the tour in Laos, in enchanting Luang Prabang, and enjoy a pleasant medley of local antiquity and natural beauty in the Wat Xieng Thong, the National Museum, Kuang Si Falls, and others. In addition, take a rare chance to observe the age- old tradition of Morning Alms-giving, a Buddhist practice which the Lao have observed for centuries.
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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$500 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.
This tour starts in Osaka and ends in Luang Prabang. You will need flights for arrival at Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX), then international flight from Tokyo (NRT) to Hanoi (HAN) on day 7, with departure in Luang Prabang at Luang Prabang Airport (LPQ).
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 Osaka! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
NOTE 1: If you wish to stay in the center of Osaka for the first night instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included, but we will provide you directions to get to your hotel in advance.
NOTE 2: If you will be flying into Itami Airport (ITM) instead of Kansai International Airport (KIX), we can arrange for you to stay in the center of Osaka (Hotel Elsereine Osaka or similar class) instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport. In this case, airport transfer and meet- and-greet are not included, but we will provide with full instructions to get to the hotel in advance.
NOTE 3: The meet and greet is ONLY available for flights arriving in Terminal 1 after 11:00 AM. For guests arriving in Terminal 2, airport pickup is not included, but and we will provide you with directions to get to your hotel in advance.
NOTE 4: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
In the morning, travel by private coach to Nara -- Japan's oldest capital city. We will first visit Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses the world's largest bronze Buddha statue, which measures over 49 feet (15 m) high. Venture into the surrounding park, which is filled with over 1,000 Sika deer. Then, make your way to historic Kyoto and the lovely vermillion-colored Fushimi Inari Shrine, home to an almost 2.5-mile-long (4 km) tunnel of scarlet torii gates that were part of the film 'Memoirs of a Geisha'. The shrine complex wraps around a bamboo forest that features a backdrop of picturesque mountains, streams, and ponds. You will then take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience – tea with a Geisha in training, known as a Maiko. The Maiko will prepare your tea and show you the Japanese art of the tea ceremony. After, she will be happy to converse, answer questions, and tell tales about local life. (You'll stay two nights in Kyoto).
Today we will continue our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. First is a visit to the Nijo Castle, built in the early 17th century. Ninomaru- goten, renovated in 1626, is a building renowned as a priceless example of the architectural style of that period. At the Nishijin Textile Center, you can view displays of kimonos and even watch a kimono fashion show. Visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered with 18 carat gold leaf. This three story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. Next is a visit to Arashiyama to see Tenryuji Temple where you can have a glimpse of traditional Zen landscape garden design. Then proceed through a dense bamboo grove, past several small shrines, tea shops and private houses before arriving at the Togetsukyo Bridge over Hozu River. Lastly, we will tour Gion, the old Geisha Quarter, and Pontocho, whose cobblestone alleys vibrate with night life.
This morning we will visit the famous Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. We will then continue to Miho Museum. The museum has stunning architecture that accentuates the surrounding nature while exhibiting a variety of items from different ancient civilizations. It was designed by the renowned architect, I. M. Pei, and is named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the founder of the museum. This museum is also listed as one of the "1000 Places to See Before You Die". Next, our group will experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. We will stay at the Onsen Hotel at Hamanako Kanzanji Onsen, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Note: If Miho Museum is close, we will visit Kyoto National Museum or Sagawa Art Museum instead.
After enjoying Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will travel to Hakone and take a 20 minute ropeway from Togendai to Owakundani. Much of the area here is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. There, you can experience hot springs and hot rivers, where sulfurous fumes still linger. Owakundani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji in good weather. From Hakone we will proceed to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands and rolling clouds. We will stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world famous peak. In the afternoon we will travel to Tokyo. Our last visit for this day is Shibuya. We will be able to see the famed Shibuya Crossing in action and cross the street with the crowd. We will then take photos with the Hachiko Statue at the crossing, which is a monument dedicated to a loyal dog that waited even after his master passed away.
Today, you will be taken to the Asakusa Kannon Temple,
an active place of worship where you can see the
paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore
the Nakamise Market, which is located right after the
temple's outer gates. It is a traditional-style shopping
street with centuries of history. Next, you will have the
chance to enjoy a sushi making experience with a
professional sushi chef. Whatever you prepare, you will
get to eat! Afterwards, we will proceed to the Tsukiji
Market, where various restaurants and shops line the
streets. Then, pay a visit to the Imperial Palace, the
former site of Edo Castle and current residence of
Japan's Imperial Family. 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. You will be able to sightsee 150
meters up at the main observatory deck and get a bird's
eye 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.
After breakfast, free for leisure until your transfer to Narita Airport for your flight to Vietnam. Upon arrival Hanoi, an AJT representative will meet you at the arrival gate holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
Discover Vietnam's bustling and beautiful capital city of Hanoi. First enjoy breakfast, and then sightseeing begins with a visit to the majestic Ho Chi Minh Complex exterior. This stone edifice consists of Ho Chi Minh's former stilt house, Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, and the Presidential Palace. Afterward, continue to the Museum of Ethnology to learn about Vietnam’s 54 ethnic peoples. After a break for lunch, visit the Temple of Literature -- Vietnam's first university -- which was built in the 11th century by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. Then, head to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple (Tortoise Pagoda). From there, walk through the the Old Quarter to explore 'The 36 Streets.' This fascinating network of alleyways and shops is an exciting place to search for souvenirs, as well as explore the vibrancy of local Vietnamese life. Later this afternoon, experience Vietnam's unique theatrical art of water puppetry, where master puppeteers effortlessly glide puppets along a glassy pool of water onstage. Finish the day with a delicious dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
Today, ride approximately 100 miles (160 km) east of Hanoi to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay (Descending Dragon), nestled in the Gulf of Tonkin's seafoam-green waters. The gulf's waters are peppered with small islands covered in lush, emerald foliage that enhance the bay's breathtaking natural beauty. Upon arrival, board the luxurious boutique cruise ship. You'll take an overnight cruise through the bay, which is home to over 3,000 limestone pillars covered in greenery, hidden caves, peaceful floating fishing villages, and iconic islets. Winding past the unique shaped islets, you will disembark at Sung Sot Cave to catch breathtaking panorama views across the bay. Later, join a chef’s cooking demonstration. In the evening, on board the spacious sundeck, witness this verdant landscape become even more beautiful in the golden light of sunset. After dinner, the evening is yours to relax and bask in the natural beauty that surrounds you, or to experience rustic- style squid fishing (seasonal).
Note: The itinerary is subject to change depending on the cruise company's specifications and/or local weather conditions.
As morning sunlight bathes the ship's sun deck, early risers may partake in a Tai Chi class for exercise and meditation. Afterward, the cruise continues to towering Titov Island, another paradise shrouded in emerald plant life and known for its bow-shaped beach. If time permits, enjoy a swim in Titov's sapphire waters or hike to the island's summit for a once-in-a-lifetime, panoramic view of the bay. Return to the cruise boat, sail back to the pier, disembark, and head to Hanoi Airport for your flight to Hue: a city in central Vietnam and another major cultural hub. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be transferred to your hotel for the night.
In the morning, explore the Imperial City (Citadel) of Hue, the political center where the Nguyen dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945. Afterward, enjoy a scenic drive to an ancient village on the outskirts of Hue, where you can leisurely walk through the countryside and immerse yourself in the local lifestyle. Shortly thereafter, you'll be welcomed into an authentic and ancient Vietnamese house where you will learn how local Vietnamese people live today. Here, you will have the opportunity to help the host to prepare a traditional Vietnamese lunch. Enjoy this delicious home-cooked meal in a rustic, yet cozy, family atmosphere. Next, visit the iconic and elegant Thien Mu Pagoda, a seven-tiered, octagonal tower. Later in the afternoon, embark on a local boat cruise down the Perfume River to the city center. After short break at the hotel, venture off of the beaten tourist paths with a foodie cyclo tour for an evening of mouthwatering Vietnamese cuisine. In Hue, food is an art form that possesses roots in Buddhist traditions, as well as engages your senses of taste and touch.
After breakfast, ascend a massive staircase guarded by statues of figures and horses to the awe-inspiring Khai Dinh tomb. This monumental stone structure fuses both ancient and modern architectural styles from Europe and Asia. Next, set out for the city of Hoi An across the Hai Van Pass, known as ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds. Along the pass, you will see small villages that are bursting with succulent fruit orchards. This exceptionally picturesque region is also framed by vast, azure skies and the stunning peacock blue waters of the China Sea. After lunch, visit Hoi An Town for mask-making. Engage your creative side by crafting masks that feature expressive facial features and a vibrant rainbow of colors. Afterward, allow your ears to fill with the sublime sounds of a Vietnamese folk music performance.
Begin your morning in Hoi An with a walking tour to discover the historical treasures of this port town, which enjoyed the heights of its prosperity during the 16th through the 18th centuries. Here, visit the Tan Ky Old House, the Fujian Assembly Hall, and the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. During this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to see local artisans raising silkworms and producing gorgeous lengths of silk to fuel Hoi An’s booming textile industry. After, enjoy an aromatic tea service at Tea Reaching Out. Your afternoon in Hoi An will be filled with exquisite culinary delights, including a visit to a local market and a cooking class. At the market, all of your senses will be engaged as you experience the myriad sights, sounds, and delicious aromas that surround you and the lively hustle and bustle of shoppers. Here, you will also be able to purchase ingredients for your upcoming cooking class. Upon leaving the market, you will board a boat for a leisurely cruise along the Hoi An River where you can spot local river life! This journey will end at a nearby Vietnamese cooking school, and as you disembark, you will be invited to explore the cooking school's herb and vegetable garden. During the class, you'll learn how to prepare some of Vietnam's most well-known dishes. The class will also include a brief introduction to Vietnamese fruit and vegetable carving. After the lesson, savor the delectable meal that you prepared.
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for a morning flight into Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon (locals still prefer to call this city 'Saigon'). After lunch, experience contemporary Vietnamese history with a tour of the Reunification Palace, previously known as the Independence Palace of South Vietnam. Continue to the War Remnants Museum, which comprehensively documents the suffering endured during the long Vietnam- American War. Afterward, you’ll ride to Ho Chi Minh's historic center to visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda. This architectural gem was constructed 1909 and honors the Jade Emperor -- a Taoist god -- and is one of the most visually spectacular sites in Ho Chi Minh City. At the pagoda, the sweet scents of incense fill the air as visitors bow their heads in their prayer. These intimate moments provide you with a glimpse into some of the deeper spiritual aspects of Saigon and the weight of the city's history. In late afternoon, pay a quick visit to the city’s colonial legacies, including the Central Post Office, City Hall, and Opera House (please note: City Hall and the Opera House may only be viewed from the outside). Also, stroll through bustling Dong Khoi Street, the main shopping thoroughfare at the heart of old colonial Saigon.
In the morning, set out for the Mekong Delta to explore Ben Tre province by sampan (a traditional Chinese-style flat-bottomed, wooden boat), as well as by rowboat, and tuk-tuk (a motorized taxi with three wheels). Upon arrival in pier on Ben Tre River, our crew will welcome you aboard a sampan. Cruise leisurely on the Ben Tre River and observe daily river life, including fascinating processions of boats, fishermen casting nets, and verdant landscapes with lush fans of leaves. Your first stop will be a riverside village where you can visit a local family that uses traditional techniques to manufacture handmade bricks. After, visit a coconut processing workshop along the canals. Then get back on the boat, sail through a peaceful waterway to another village, and step ashore. Here, you will have the chance to visit a home business that makes sleeping mats and taste juicy, locally produced fruits. Continue your voyage across villages, rice paddies, and farmlands on a tuk-tuk or by bicycle. Enjoy lunch by the river. Afterward, board a small rowboat and explore the diversity of the Mekong Delta's ecosystem. Cruise along the river banks and tranquil inlets lined with nipa palm trees. After the cruise trip, return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Note: The cruise schedule is subject to change depending on the tide, other river conditions, and/or inclement weather.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh airport) and board your flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Upon arrival, an AJT representative will meet you at the Siem Reap International Airport and direct you to your hotel for check-in.
At least once in your lifetime, you must see a stunning sunrise over the incredible Angkor Wat -- one of the greatest monuments in the world, and an enduring source of Cambodian national pride. This morning, you will travel to the Angkor Wat on tuk-tuk (a motorized taxi with three wheels) – the pleasant way to go to the majestic temple through the sleepy town. After the unforgettable sunrise, you will have the opportunity to further explore this masterpiece of Khmer art and architecture. Here, you can find over 2,600 feet (800 m) of bas-relief sculptures that depict Khmer legends. Enjoy breakfast before returning to the Angkor Complex later this morning. Later this morning, you will tour to Ta Prohm -- a quintessential example of a lost jungle temple where kapok trees entwine themselves within the ruins. The ruins remain mostly untouched by preservation teams; therefore, they look almost exactly as they did when they were first discovered by French explorers in the 19th century. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and begin your afternoon with a tour of the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the temples of Bayon and Baphuon, the Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas, and the Terraces of the Elephants and the Leper King. Angkor was an ancient capital of the powerful Khmer Empire and served as its religious and administrative center. On your journey, discover Angkor Thom’s South Gate – a masterwork of Khmer art that includes sculptures of dignified faces carved from stone. This evening, you are free to explore and dine at your leisure.
In this morning, drive to Banteay Srei (The Citadel of Women), which is home to some of the world’s most exquisite sandstone carvings. Banteay Srei is relatively small compared to other Angkor temples, but its well- preserved and intricate sculptures are some of the very best stone carvings found in the world. You will also stop at a local village to see the rice fields and learn about collecting sugar palms (when in season). Today’s lunch will be a Khmer cultural and culinary experience -- at a charming private house by the Sala Kdey -- a perfect place for enjoying peaceful moments away from the crowds. After, the lunch you will venture to Preah Khan: a large-scale complex that originally served as a Buddhist monastery, and Neak Pean: a hidden gem among the Angkor Temples that is sheltered from tourists. In late afternoon, enjoy a spectacular view of the sunset at the Hindu temple of Pre Rup. Tonight, experience the thrilling Phare Circus show, Cambodia’s contemporary circus performed by some of the country's most talented and energetic young artists! After, dine and relax on your own.
After breakfast, embark on a boat trip along the Tonle Sap Lake, known as Cambodia’s ‘Great Lake.’ Here, you will see an enchanting floating village with houses built on stilts. After the cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a local market. On your way to the airport, take a moment (please note: if time permits) to visit Les Artisans d’Angkor. Les Artisans d’Angkor trains young Cambodians in the ancient Khmer traditions of stone-carving and wood-sculpting. Later, transfer to the airport for your departure flight to Luang Prabang, Laos.
Early this morning, witness the Laotian tradition of morning alms. This will be an exceptionally memorable event, as morning alms are a time-honored ritual of monk life. Breakfast will be at your hotel. Next, venture to the UNESCO World Heritage Center of Luang Prabang as you visit the National Museum (formerly the Royal Palace). Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a beautiful Buddhist temple with gold relief sculptures. Finish this morning’s tour at Wat Xieng Thong -- Luang Prabang’s most revered temple. After exploring the town's rich history, you’ll take a brief drive toward the Kuang Si Waterfalls. After your lunch, experience the gorgeous Kuang Si Waterfalls, where turquoise waters cascade over the surrounding stones and foliage. You can also enjoy swimming in one of the pools! You will then return to Luang Prabang. Tonight’s dinner will take place at a local restaurant as you conclude your Indochina trip.
After Breakfast, enjoy leisure time until your transfer to Luang Prabang International Airport by private car.
NOTE 5: If you would like to stay longer in Laos, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
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.
One of the most famous and visited shrines in Kyoto.
The Fushimi Inari-Taisha Grand Shrine is located in southern Kyoto and is one of the most famous and visited shrines in Kyoto. This shrine is only five minutes away from Kyoto Station by train, and features over a thousand vermillion colored torii gates that brings many tourist to this shrine every year.
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.
Former Kyoto residence of the shogun (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
In the northern part of central Kyoto is Nijo Castle, where it was once the former Kyoto residence of the shogun. This area is also listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This area was once home to the shogun when he would visit Kyoto. This place serves as the best examples of castle palace architecture from Japan’s feudal era because most of the buildings here survived since they were originally built.
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 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.
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.
The most iconic landmark of Arashiyama.
The Togetsukyo Bridge is located in the Arashiyama district in Kyoto and is the most iconic landmark of Arashiyama. It is a very popular spot to view the cherry blossoms during the spring and to view the autumn colors during the fall season. The bridge connects Arashiyama to Sagano and many shops, restaurants, and attractions are found nearby as well.
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.
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.
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.
The city of Koka is located in the Shiga Prefecture and together with the city of Iga, is known as the home of ninjas. Koka is a nice side trip when visiting Kyoto or Osaka since it is not too far off east of Kyoto. Tourist can visit the Miho Museum to look at art or visit the Ninja Village or Ninja Mansion to learn more about Japanese Ninja.
Unique art museum in the mountains. Listed as one of the "1000 Places To See Before You Die".
The Miho Museum is located in the city of Koka and along with Koka’s ninja attractions, is a fun side trip from Kyoto. This museum has a unique architecture that blends in well with its surroundings and artwork display. This museum features many exhibits of world history and culture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hanoi, Vietnam's national capital, is a fascinating city. Some of its major attractions include Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature. In addition, Hanoi's Museum of Ethnology, which documents the cultural heritage of Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups, is heralded as one of the best museums in the country. Hoan Kiem Lake is located at the heart of the city and is a lovely place to walk. Within Hanoi's fascinating network of narrow streets and shop houses is 'The 36 Streets' -- a paradise for handicraft lovers. The Old Quarter is another major city highlight. Here, you can sample pho noodles, quintessential Vietnamese fast food, at any time of the day or night.
Resting place of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.
Ho Chi Minh is regarded as the father of Vietnam who helped lead the country to independence; as a result, his legacy remains in Vietnam’s capital. His mausoleum opened in 1975 and was modeled on Lenin's in Moscow. In the mausoleum, Ho's body is housed in a glass case, and it is sent to Russia for continued preservation on a yearly basis. The mausoleum receives a great number of visitors each day, so make sure to not miss this incredible historical site. As with Vietnamese religious sites, respectful attire and conduct are required
Former French colonial seat of power to Vietnam's Governor Generals.
Hanoi's Presidential Palace is an impressive building that was once home to French Governor Generals. Consequently, Ho Chi Minh felt it was an inappropriate residence while he was President of North Vietnam. Instead, he had a quaint North West-style stilt house – one of his many legacies – built behind the palace. Ho Chi Minh's House in Hanoi is surrounded by a picturesque garden, and the 100-square-foot interior is made up of two rooms with simple furnishings. 'Uncle Ho' spent the majority of his life in this modest dwelling, remaining there until his death in 1969. Make sure to find time to visit Ho Chi Minh's house, his mausoleum, and the Memorial Museum – these are absolute must-sees!
Buddhist temple in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, connected by an elegant red bridge.
Ngoc Son Temple, also known as the Tortoise Pagoda, is located on Jade Island in Hoan Kiem Lake and connected by a classical Vietnamese-style bridge. While the temple's vividly painted decorations are splendid to behold, the main bridge is also an attractive wooden structure. Two massive columns, inscribed with Chinese characters, guard the pagoda. Ngoc Son Temple is as rich in history as it is in beauty; it commemorates soldier Tran Hung Dao who defeated 300,000 of Kublai Khan's troops, the Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu, and the famous scholar Van Xuong.
Center of Hanoi's street cuisine and culture.
The narrow streets of Hanoi are a fascinating paradise for curious explorers. Undoubtedly, Hanoi's most famous merchants are those who prepare and sell food. In Hanoi's Old Quarter, many locals eat breakfast on their way to work and dinner on their way home. If you happen to see an especially busy stall, you can be certain that the food is fresh and delicious – be sure to give it a try! And, if you truly want to experience an authentic slice of daily life in Hanoi, make sure to check out the traditional shop- houses. These buildings function as both homes and storefronts where shopkeepers sell textiles, shoes, vegetables, snacks, and much more.
Preservation center of Vietnam's cultural heritage.
For those who are interested in learning about Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a definite must-see. Here, a staggering number of exhibits record the history and culture of Vietnam, as well as aspects of daily life and religion. Artifacts from weddings and funerals, as well as exquisite clothing and jewelry, may be viewed in detail. Moreover, the museum features impressive outdoor displays, including traditional Vietnamese houses that are sheltered by tranquil gardens. The museum is also family- friendly and features educational programs such as water puppetry performances, demonstrations of traditional crafts, and the children's discovery room.
Confucian temple and Vietnam's first university.
One of Vietnam's most attractive tourist sites is Hanoi's Temple of Literature, originally Vietnam's first university. Today, this Confucian temple immortalizes Vietnam's most celebrated scholars by carving their names in stone. This exceptionally well-preserved complex is an enchanting example of Vietnamese architecture, and its interior teems with rich hues of gold and crimson. The exterior is equally gorgeous and includes picturesque courtyards, pavilions, and passageways that were once used by royalty.
Peaceful blue lake in the heart of Hanoi.
Amid the hustle and bustle of city life in Hanoi, there is a tranquil oasis that locals and tourists enjoy: Hoan Kiem Lake. Numerous visitors flock here to take a stroll, or to sit and relax as they absorb the placid beauty of their surroundings. Hoan Kiem Lake is also known as 'The Lake of the Returned Sword.' According to legend, an emperor was given a sword to repel Chinese Ming dynasty invaders. Upon successfully completing this quest, the emperor returned the blade to the lake. In addition, Hoan Kiem Lake is home to Ngoc Son Temple (Tortoise Pagoda).
Authentic and delicious homegrown culinary culture of Hanoi.
Hanoi is teeming with delicious street food, and this world- famous cuisine can be found in charming food stalls, diners, and cafes. Some vendors specialize in one particular dish, which they prepare each day to pure perfection. In Hanoi, some of the most popular types of street food include: pho, a delicious noodle soup; xoi, sticky rice; banh mi, a French-style baguette sandwich, and banh cuon, translucent rice crepes filled with aromatic meat, seafood, and vegetables. The tantalizing aromas of these freshly- cooked dishes permeate through the entire city, making your mouth water!
Regional art performance featuring puppets that dance across a watery stage.
Arts and culture enthusiasts will not want to miss a water puppetry performance! This art form is unique to Vietnam and began in northern rice paddies. Puppeteers would stand in waist-high water as their puppets danced above the shimmering surface of these flooded fields. During Hanoi's water puppet shows, the puppeteers are accompanied by an orchestra and singing, and the performances illustrate stories and myths from Vietnam's past. Some of the most famous shows take place at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater in Hanoi. However, if you wish to see the puppets at close-range in a more intimate atmosphere, private stages are also available. Without question, water puppet shows are extremely popular with locals and tourists alike!
Long-standing colorful merchants' neighborhood within Hanoi Old Quarter.
Hanoi's 36 Streets are a must-see for any visitor to Vietnam. Here, you can find a treasure trove of shops that specialize in everything from textiles and clothing, to dazzling jewelry, to delicious Vietnamese food. The number '36' corresponds with the different types of craft and merchant guilds that developed in this district over time. As a result, individual streets are often named for the types of goods that they typically sell.
Modest former residence of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.
Hanoi's Presidential Palace is an impressive building that was once home to French Governor Generals. Consequently, Ho Chi Minh felt it was an inappropriate residence while he was President of North Vietnam. Instead, he had a quaint North West-style stilt house -- one of his many legacies -- built behind the palace. Ho Chi Minh's House in Hanoi is surrounded by a picturesque garden, and the 100-square-foot interior is made up of two rooms with simple furnishings. 'Uncle Ho' spent the majority of his life in this modest dwelling, remaining there until his death in 1969. Make sure to find time to visit Ho Chi Minh's house, his mausoleum, and the Memorial Museum -- these are absolute must-sees!
Ha Long Bay (Dragon Descending to the Sea) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and extremely popular with tourists year-round. Islands jut out of the sea along the bay, forming mountain peaks of limestone. Since limestone is susceptible to erosion, lovely coves and caves have formed that are perfect for the adventurous explorer. Most of the locals are fishers who live in villages dotted around the bay. Like in many mainland areas of Vietnam, bay houses are built on stilts. Moreover, in Ha Long Bay, you can experience one of the greatest delights of a holiday in Vietnam: spending the night aboard a junk (a traditional, Chinese-style sailing ship). Without a doubt, the highlight of any Vietnam tour is a spectacular and scenic cruise along the Bay.
A relaxing escape to pristine Ha Long Bay aboard a traditional Chinese junk ship.
Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Asia's most famous and beautiful bays. Located on Vietnam's northeast coast, it is home to over 3,000 limestone islands and majestic, towering outcrops. Take a junk boat (a traditional, Chinese-style sailing ship) or classy boutique-style boat on a cruise through this exceptionally picturesque bay. Disembark on one of the islands and swim to explore glassy waters in hidden caves, take a bamboo row boat to discover some of the bay's secluded villages, or hike to find breathtaking aerial views of the bay. We recommend an overnight cruise; a morning on the sundeck is a refreshing way to greet the dawn of a new day. A Ha Long Bay cruise is the perfect way to discover the bay in depth and appreciate its natural beauty.
Hue was home to the Nguyen Dynasty -- Vietnam's last dynasty before Communist rule. The city still bears remnants of its prosperous dynastic past. The Imperial City (Citadel) is perhaps the most impressive site in Hue. The Imperial City and the Old Town sit on the north bank of the Perfume River. Along this river, tourists can see many temples and pagodas, as well as defensive moats and walls. The tombs of Emperor Minh Mang are located on the south bank, with Khai Dinh and Tu Duc being the most impressive monuments. One of the best ways to absorb what this city has to offer is to take a river cruise to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, then visit these royal tombs.
Symmetrical, seven-teired Buddhist pagoda.
According to Vietnamese legends, each evening in ages past, an old lady wearing red used to appear on a hill. She predicted that in the future, a deity would demand that a Buddhist pagoda be built on this hill. Lord Nguyen Hoang heeded this request and built Thien Mu Pagoda. This seven-tiered octagonal tower remains an iconic symbol of Hue. In addition, this pagoda is one of the monuments associated with the Imperial City (Citadel), which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Culinary legacy of Vietnam's Nguyen dynasty.
Trying Hue cuisine is must. Many years ago, Hue was the imperial city of the Nguyen dynasty. Today, it continues to play a critical role in Vietnam's culinary history, as it became home to some of Vietnam's most iconic dishes. Hue's imperial cuisine reflects the lavishness of royal lifestyles and includes feasts made from succulent meats and fish that are garnished with colorful, carved vegetables. In contrast, rustic dishes are made from everyday produce, and the traditional bun bo hue (rice noodles with slices of beef) is a local favorite. In addition, vegetarian specialties, which were once mainly for Buddhist monks, also have a long tradition in Hue.
A relaxing sailing excursion through Hue's idylliic riverfront landscape.
It is believed that the Perfume River’s name comes from the orchard flowers that fall gently into its flowing water, which carries them (and their sweet, fresh aromas) into Hue. Without question, a Perfume River Cruise is one of the city's most distinctive -- and romantic -- pleasures. This river's unparalleled beauty has served as inspiration for many Vietnamese poems, novels, works of art, and music. A Perfume River Cruise is also a great way to visit the royal tombs, pagodas, and historical sites located along the water. For travelers seeking relaxation, a leisurely boat trip through Hue’s tranquil countryside is a perfect alternative to the hustle and bustle of traffic in town.
Impressive legacy displaying the power of feudal Vietnam's Nguyen dynasty.
Today, Hue's Imperial Citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a striking example of Vietnamese architecture. Centuries ago, the citadel was the major cultural and religious center of Vietnam's last dynasty -- the Nguyen dynasty. The complex sits on the banks of the Perfume River and includes impressive royal tombs, pagodas, and temples. The Imperial Citadel is a resilient structure that has weathered the ravages of multiple wars, and as a result, some areas still require renovation. Yet overall, the Imperial City retains much of its impressive grandeur from centuries past.
Imperial tomb of uniquely mixed Vietnamese and European architectural design.
Khai Dinh Tomb is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it was originally conceived by Emperor Khai Dinh of the Nguyen dynasty. The tomb is located at the foot of the picturesque Chau Chu Mountain. While the Khai Dinh Tomb is relatively small compared to other royal tombs, its exceptionally intricate design is a fusion of Vietnamese and European influences. Unsurprisingly, its elaborate structure and surface decorations took around 11 years to complete!
Vietnam's Hoi An possesses a rich history of trade and commerce. Here, spice trade with surrounding countries first began as early as the 7th century, during Vietnam's Champa Kingdom. By the 15th century, Hoi An had become one of Southeast Asia’s major mercantile ports. Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Filipino, and European ships came to trade a variety of highly-valued goods. Some of the most popular items were silk, porcelain, Chinese medicine, pepper, pearls, and lacquer. Chinese and Japanese influence in Hoi An also extended into architecture, including the Japanese Covered Bridge, which was built in the 16th Century. The Fujian Assembly Hall was built in 17th Century, and it possesses Chinese architectural influences including a symmetrical layout and elaborate roof decorations. Hoi An also hosts Lantern Festivals where people send hundreds of silk lanterns with candles down the river. This is a perfect way to welcome the full moon! In addition, make sure to also drop by Hoi An's lovely Old Town, another UNESCO Heritage Site and always worth the trip.
Cultural hall and temple of an ornate Chinese design.
The Fujian Assembly Hall was built at the end of the 17th century by Fujians from China. Originally, the hall's main function was to give Fujian people a place to socialize, but later it became a sacred temple dedicated to Tien Hau -- the Chinese Goddess of the Sea. The hall exhibits classical styles of Chinese architecture including ornate gates, a beautiful courtyard, flowing fountains, and a large prayer room. In addition, there is a temple dedicated to fairies and midwives, as well as The Goddess of Fertility. As a result, childless couples frequently visit the Fujian Assembly Hall to leave offerings and pray that they will be blessed with children.
Picturesque bridge known for its vibrant colors and stately arch.
This beautiful bridge was originally constructed in the 1590s and remains one of Hoi An's most iconic attractions. The bridge's north side is home to a small temple dedicated to the Taoist God of Weather, and its graceful stone arch is topped with an ornate roof that is accented by tones of redcurrant and pale green. The Japanese Covered Bridge is certainly lovely during the day, but it becomes even more impressive at night; the city lights cause the bridge's vibrant colors and ornamentation to appear even more vivid!
Antique house featuring a blend of Chinese and Japanese influences.
Hoi An's Tan Ky Old House is steeped in rich layers of culture and history, and it has been carefully preserved over the course of seven generations. While Tan Ky Old House is one of Hoi An's most aged buildings, it is in excellent condition and divided into multiple functional rooms. Tan Ky also possesses elegant Japanese and Chinese architectural influences. Chinese aesthetics abound in the use of dark wood paneling and carved Chinese characters, and Japanese sensibilities shine in the designs of the ceiling and peaked roof. The house's visual appeal is further amplified by its numerous antiques and dazzling mosaics. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to explore this amazing architectural gem.
The iconic Mekong River rises far to the north on the Tibetan Plateau but by the time it reaches Vietnam, it is spreading out into a huge delta. The Delta has a number of towns and cities as well as small villages where life is about farming and fishing. This is Vietnam’s most fertile region and the morning markets where the produce is sold are something that every visitor should experience. Mekong Delta tours allow you to explore rural life and the small channels as well as cruising the main ones to see the huge amount of activity that goes on throughout the day.
A venture through charming country villages on a traditional Chinese sampan.
The Mekong is more than just an unhurried flow of water headed toward the South China Sea. This mighty river meanders through Southern Vietnam, and its waters help make the Mekong Delta the most fertile in the entire nation. One of the best ways to experience this rich region is through a Mekong Delta Cruise. As you gently float on a sampan (a traditional, Chinese-style boat), enjoy gazing at nearby villages, lovely fruit orchards, and farmers and fisherman earning their daily livings. Take an exciting overnight cruise along the Mekong Delta, where you can witness the lively mornings that are characteristic of this region. Each morning, the Mekong Delta wakes up early! Its bustling floating markets open to sell their fresh produce, including succulent tropical fruits.
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is Vietnam's commercial hub, largest city, and southern capital. Here, past and present collide as skyscrapers stand alongside French colonial-era architecture. The Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office represent Saigon’s colonized history. The War Remnants Museum leaves a powerful impression as it displays the brutality of war. The Reunification Palace – where the Vietnam War ended – also reveals Vietnam's past. In addition, bustling Ben Thanh Market is a haven for handicraft lovers and adventurous eaters. Ho Chi Minh City is also an excellent location for seeing the wider South-Central region, including the Cu Chi Tunnels to the north and the Mekong Delta.
Grandiose and graceful European-style music performance hall.
The Ho Chi Minh Opera House is a French colonial building located near Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. The Opera House's exterior is painted in pearl-white and pale beige, and these colors look especially luminous under evening lighting. This is one of Old Saigon's most recognizable buildings, and it is home to operas, concert recitals, ballet performances, and traditional dance and drama programs. The Opera House regularly posts information about its upcoming events, so visitors to Ho Chi Minh City will not want to miss one of these spellbinding performances!
Stately colonial-era post office co-designed by Gustave Eiffel.
The Central Post Office dates back to French colonial times and was designed by Gustave Eiffel with his collaborator Marie-Alfred Foulhoux. It is located next to Notre Dame Cathedral and encourages visitors to imagine what life was like in the late 1800s. It also remains in excellent condition and fully functional. Tourists are welcome to stop by and send postcards that will serve as reminders of their trip to this rich historical site. The Central Post Office still keeps two old glue pots, which were used many years ago for attaching stamps to envelopes. Some of the building's most distinguishing features include its marble floors, two overhead maps, and a colossal portrait of Ho Chi Minh.
Former colonial landmark and civic center of French Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City Hall (People’s Committee Building) is a classic example of French colonial architecture, and this iconic landmark is located at the end of Nguyen Hue Street's walking promenade. Its spectacular buildings have intricate wall reliefs, statues of animals and figures, and a large commemorative sculpture of Ho Chi Minh. City Hall is also located near many other French- style buildings, including the Ho Chi Minh City Museum and the Opera House.
Exquisite and historical heart of contemporary Vietnam.
Set on lovely grounds with manicured trees, the airy and open Reunification Palace is a fascinating example of 1960s architecture. Many dramatic scenes from Vietnam’s modern history took place at this building; the Reunification Palace is most famous for being the site where the Vietnam War ended. In 1975, a North Vietnamese tank smashed through the building's gates, and a soldier rushed inside to fly a Viet Cong flag from the balcony. Today, it still hosts important occasions including meetings with national and international dignitaries. Unless official events are taking place, this fascinating palace remains open to visitors.
Commercial main street featuring stylish shops and restaurants, with a French colonial flair.
Dong Khoi Street, home to numerous colonial-style buildings, was once especially important to the French. However, the street has seen significant changes over the years. It was known at Tu Do (Freedom Street) during the Vietnam War. When Communists took over the city it was renamed Dong Khoi -- Total Revolution. Today, the street is Ho Chi Minh's major commercial center. Dong Khoi is home to international brands, stylish cafes, exclusive restaurants, and colonial era architecture including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, and the Opera House -- all perfect reasons to continue venturing along the street!
Spectacular Taoist temple filled with detailed statues, with cute tortoises crawling over one another in a small pond.
The Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of Ho Chi Minh City's most visually spectacular temples and an excellent example of Buddhist architecture. Over a century ago, the structure was built by Cantonese immigrants from Guangzhou in South West China to honor the Taoist god Jade Emperor Ngoc Hoang. Here, pungent clouds of incense fill the air, reminding visitors of the temple's sacred purpose. The Jade Emperor Pagoda is also known as the Tortoise Pagoda because many tortoises circle around a small pond, crawling on each other’s backs.
Somber collection of Vietnam War military armaments, relics, and war photographs.
The War Remnants Museum, formerly known as the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, is a stark memorial to the Vietnam War. It includes U.S. military equipment, bombs, armored vehicles, and an immense helicopter. In addition, there are hundreds of striking exhibits and horrific photos. Each year, approximately half a million visitors visit the museum to learn about the intense suffering brought about by the war. While the War Remnants Museum is a very somber place, and these artifacts are extremely difficult to look at, they stand as powerful reminders of the importance of peace.
Secret Tunnels once used by North Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War.
The 155-mile-stretch (250 km) of Cu Chi Tunnels, which were used by Northern Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War, are located north of Ho Chi Minh City. These tunnels served numerous functions; they were a hiding spot from enemies, places where families lived for extended periods, storage facilities, military command centers, and hospitals. If you wish, you may try to crawl into the tunnels, although you will be startled by how narrow they are. In recent years, some of the tunnels have been slightly enlarged to allow visitors easier access.
Siem Reap, Cambodia is the gateway to Angkor Wat Temple: a striking example of Khmer architecture and a celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Angkor Wat's unparalleled religious and architectural importance also make it one of world’s greatest treasures. During your Angkor expedition, stay in Siem Reap -- a charming riverside town that is ideal for a short break. You'll find luxurious Khmer-style accommodations, as well as stylish cafes and bars inside French-colonial buildings. True to the city's spiritual heritage, you'll see monks in orange robes walking along the narrow streets, as well as thriving markets with friendly locals. Siem Reap is also a major center for Cambodian culture, both past and present. Witness the impressive craftsmanship of traditional silk- making and lacquerware techniques. Today, Khmer creative expression also flourishes in Cambodia's growing contemporary art scenes. Local artists run innovative boutiques that offer unique goods, and when it comes to theatrical arts, talented Cambodian youth shine in Phare Circus performances. No matter which attractions you choose to see, be sure to experience authentic Siem Reap as it comes alive against the backdrop of astonishing Angkor temples.
Massive temple complex and former seat of authority for the Khmer Empire.
When it comes to Southeast Asia's highlights, visiting Angkor Wat Temples is at the top of many travelers' bucket lists. Angkor Wat is the centerpiece of the UNESCO-recognized temples of Angkor -- a well- preserved reminder of the Khmer Empire's former grandeur. It comes as no surprise that Angkor Wat tours provide fascinating insights into bygone eras. At least once in your lifetime, see this massive temple complex in silhouette before it shines with the golden light of early morning. As you witness a beautiful sunrise over Angkor Wat, be prepared for a truly unforgettable moment. Over the centuries, overgrown foliage has interwoven itself into the picturesque temple of Angkor Thom. And, if you're looking for less touristic Angkor complex ruins, venture to the hidden gems of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre to see exquisite salmon-pink sandstone carvings.
Largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and heart of Cambodia's agricultural life.
Embark on a Tonle Sap tour to see the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The Tonle Sap's climate is relatively predictable with two distinct seasons (wet and dry). The lake fills to the brim during the rainy season, and in contrast, it can shrink down to just a few feet during the dry season. A cruise through this great lake will take you past Tonle Sap floating villages, home to people whose livelihoods depend upon the fishing and agriculture that these waters provide. Explore Tonle Sap Lake to learn more about Cambodian village life, mangroves, and the stunning bird sanctuary that is situated in this peaceful region.
Whatever your preference, there are countless ways to explore the colonial city of Luang Prabang, and a Laos tour package will take you to this essential destination. Former royal capital Luang Prabang is now one of the best-preserved historic towns in Southeast Asia. In 1995, this lovely town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of its stunning cityscape that boasts a fusion of Lao and French-colonial architecture, as well as exquisite temples and shrines. As you stroll through the small-town streets, the surrounding scenery has a colorful, patchwork-like feel. Make your way through the cobblestone alleys past Lao-style homes with blooming bougainvillea plants, glittering wats (Buddhist temples), and towering colonial buildings.
Pristine multi-tiered waterfalls cascading into broad turquoise pools.
Luang Prabang waterfalls are spectacular. The Kuang Si Waterfalls, located approximately 18 miles (29 km) from Luang Prabang, are some of the most gorgeous in the world. A Kuang Si Waterfall tour will take you to this majestic three-tiered waterfall which boasts turquoise waters that cascade 160 feet (50 meters) down. The falls collect into pools, and the cold waters are great for a refreshing swim. You can simply relax and enjoy this sublime setting if you wish. If you need to stretch your legs, take a trek to explore the streams that feed the main waterfalls.
Centuries-old Buddhist tradition, monks travel the city receiving food from pious pilgrims.
Traditional Buddhist ceremonies are an important part of daily life in Laos, and one of Luang Prabang's attractions is the daily ritual of almsgiving. At dawn, monks in tangerine-colored robes emerge from temples and travel through the streets of Luang Prabang in silence, accepting offerings of rice and fruit from faithful pilgrims. Even during wars and periods of political conflict, morning alms in Laos has thrived for centuries. Tourists and non- Buddhists are also welcome to participate in the ceremony. Appropriate attire is required including long pants or skirts, and shirts that cover your shoulders, arms, and torso. You are also welcome to watch this sacred ceremony unfold and take photographs from a distance, but these activities should be done as discreetly as possible.
National museum and former royal residence featuring a collection of historic antiques.
The Royal Palace in Luang Prabang is a must-see during your Laos vacation. Built in 1904 for King Sisavangvong, the building is set on lovely grounds and now functions as a museum. The Royal Palace Museum (National Museum) is a great destination to explore; it provides an introduction into the past royal family’s history, and its collection of murals and gifts from foreign countries is extremely well- preserved. Some of the museum's highlights include the king's car collection, as well as the highly-revered Phrabang Buddha.
Iconic Lao Buddhist temple near the Mekong River with detailed mosaic and carvings.
Arguably, Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang is the city's most iconic and beautiful temple, overflowing with religious and historical significance. Wat Xieng Thong, Laos was originally built in 1560, and the temple has since undergone numerous revisions and restorations. Today, this almost 500-year-old complex remains well-preserved and is one of the most significant centers of religious worship for the Lao people. Since Wat Xieng Thong Temple is located close to the Mekong River, it is also seen as the gateway to the city. The building itself exhibits traditional Lao architectural styles and is home to a striking 'Tree of Life' mosaic, intricate carvings, and a massive funeral carriage that measures almost 40 feet (12 m). One of the building's many highlights includes the exquisite Reclining Buddha. Dating back to 16th century, this elegant statue is considered to be one of the greatest Buddhist artworks in all of Southeast Asia.
Visually stunning Buddhist temple known for exquisite ordination hall and religious artworks.
Wat Mai Buddhist Temple is not only one of Luang Prabang's largest temples but one of the most visually- stunning buildings found in Southeast Asia. This Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang is a major focal point during the Lao New Year when the Phra Bang -- one of the most sacred Buddha images in Laos -- is on display for a ceremonial cleaning. Wat Mai Temple in Luang Prabang was built during the 18th century by King Anurat and has also been the home of Sangkharat, Lao Buddhism's highest dignitary. In addition, Wat Mai is famous for its exquisite sim (ordination hall), which has a five-tiered brick-red roof, elegant carvings and scrollwork, reliefs that depict narrative scenes, and generous flourishes of glimmering gold. Without question, this spectacular temple is one of Laos' national treasures.
Kansai (Day 1)
Western Style Accommodation
Located within the Kansai Airport's Aeroplaza a short walk from both passenger terminal and train station, the Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport combines superb convenience with world-class facilities and the famed hospitality of Nikko Hotels International. With its seafront setting and harmonious design, this is a hotel with the ambience of a resort-yet with direct access to Osaka and the entire Kansai region. The local area also offers a number of attractions, including Rinku Park, Rinku Premium Outlets and Nakami Shrine.
Osaka (Day 1)
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 2 & Day 3)
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.
Hamanako Kanzanji Onsen (Day 4)
Japanese Style Accommodation
The Hamanako is a resort hotel that's located on the east side of Lake Hamana and you can enjoy the lake view from all rooms. It was boldly renovated mainly around the lobby in 2012, and re-opened with grand renewal including an open-air bath and a large public bath. The onsen (hot spring) at The Hamanako is an original springhead "Yuto Onsen" which gushes out from 500 meters underground.
Tokyo (Day 5)
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.
Narita (Day 6)
Western Style Accommodation
The Hotel Mystays Premier Narita is conveniently located ten minutes from Narita Airport and 80 minutes by car from central Tokyo. Guests can relax in the tranquility of the hotel’s traditional Japanese garden or explore nearby places of historical beauty such as the Narita Shrine and Shinshoji Temple. The rooms are functional, well kept and convenient with essential facilities such as direct line telephones and cable TV. There is an excellent choice of sports and recreational activities including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and a fitness club. Guests can be spoiled by the choice of dining options which include restaurants specializing in Western, Chinese and Japanese cuisine in locations with impressive views of the airport.
Hanoi (Day 7 & Day 8)
Western Style Accommodation
Pan Pacific Hanoi, with its picturesque views of West Lake, is a tranquil oasis in a bustling city. Strategically located at the edge of central Hanoi, the hotel is just a short walk from key attractions like Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex. In addition, each of the guestrooms and suites boasts stylish interiors and modern amenities. Stay connected with ease; each of the spacious rooms features large work desks and access to cutting- edge technology.
Ha Long Bay (Day 9)
Ha Long Bay Cruise
As you glide through the magnificent seascape of Ha Long Bay, the President Cruise leads you through handcrafted experiences and discoveries hidden amongst the limestone karsts. Delve into mythical caves, explore floating villages, and climb picturesque peaks to marvel at the sheer majesty of the bay from above. This boutique cruise is one of the newest and largest cruise lines to grace Ha Long Bay’s waters. The cruise liner boasts sophisticated evening entertainment and ala carte menus crafted by a famous celebrity chef. The luxurious cabins, with the dramatic views from a private balcony or terrace, feature polished wood and locally crafted furniture that gives a classic feeling to your cruise experience.
Hue (Day 10 & Day 11)
Western Style Accommodation
Pilgrimage Village is located in a verdant valley found just outside of the famous and historic city of Hue. With 139 rooms and villas nestled in lush gardens, this lovely hotel brims over with authentic Vietnamese culture and hospitality. This deluxe boutique resort also has cozy guestrooms, fully-equipped facilities including a 157-foot (48 m) pool, peanut pool, relaxing lounge, and free wellness programs offered daily. With so many options, this eco-resort makes it easy to relax and unwind.
Hoi An (Day 12 & Day 13)
Western Style Accommodation
Discover authentic Vietnamese hospitality at Boutique Hoi An Resort, which boasts an ideal location on quaint An Bang Beach near Hoi An ancient town. Unwind on the pristine white-sand beach or take a relaxing swim in resort’s pool, surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Each guestroom’s modern colonial design features warm-toned furnishings and a spacious balcony that overlooks the beautiful greenery.
Ho Chi Minh City (Day 14 & Day 15)
Western Style Accommodation
Located on historic Le Duan Boulevard, Sofitel Saigon Plaza is near the city’s thriving center and major tourist attractions like the Notre Dame Cathedral and Reunification Palace. Luxuriate in this immaculate, 5-star hotel, designed by French architect Pierre Maciag. Inside, you’ll find Vietnamese and French touches, as well as 286 guest rooms and suites with modern facilities and stunning panoramic views of the city. Indulge your senses with luxury dining options or at the holistic spa.
Siem Reap (Day 16, Day 17 & Day 18)
Western Style Accommodation
Shinta Mani Shack is a 5-star boutique hotel centrally located in the heart of Siem Reap's foliage-filled French Quarter. Situated just 15 minutes from Angkor Wat, this beautiful resort hotel is an oasis in the midst of this magnificent temple town. The guestrooms offer modern comfort with stunning views of the swimming pool and the courtyard's thriving tropical gardens. For an additional touch of luxury, the rooms showcase beautifully-crafted furniture and fascinating artworks that were created exclusively for Shinta Mani.
Luang Prabang (Day 19 & Day 20)
Western Style Accommodation
Built in the 1930s, Villa Maly is a boutique hotel located in the historic, UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang. This lovely building also used to be the private residence of Luang Prabang royals. Originally, Villa Maly was traditional wooden Lao house that blended French and British colonial furnishings. After a few renovations, Villa Maly is now an upscale boutique hotel that caters to discerning travelers. The hotel’s 33 rooms feature wooden parquet floors, classical mahogany furniture, and modern amenities including Wi-Fi. Better still, these chic guestrooms are as comfortable as a private villa.
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.