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 14-day luxury small group tour takes visitors on an in- depth journey that offers a look into this island nation's ancient history and unique society. In this itinerary, travelers will find a more immersive look at Japan's cultural arts and heritage, starting in Tokyo - the capital city, and one of the largest cities in the world. Here you'll have the chance to wander the outer gardens of the Imperial Palace, see Tokyo's oldest temple - Senso-ji, take a sushi-making lesson from a profess... View More
This 14-day luxury small group tour takes visitors on an in-
depth journey that offers a look into this island nation's
ancient history and unique society. In this itinerary,
travelers will find a more immersive look at Japan's
cultural arts and heritage, starting in Tokyo - the capital
city, and one of the largest cities in the world. Here you'll
have the chance to wander the outer gardens of the
Imperial Palace, see Tokyo's oldest temple - Senso-ji, take
a sushi-making lesson from a professional chef, and view
the magnificent cityscape in a panoramic view from Tokyo
Skytree. Continue from there to Hakone, and enjoy views
of breathtaking and iconic Mt. Fuji. While there, take a trip
to Owakudai Valley to see the blistering hot springs near
the active volcano.
The tour continues to Takayama, where visitors to the UNESCO Heritage Town of Shirakawa-go find themselves immersed in a unique traditional town of Japan's Edo-era, a place of quaintly preserved farm houses with large thatched roofs. From there, at Ise Shima, travelers discover the Ise Grand Shrine - one of the Shinto religion's holiest sites.
From there, the tour winds its way down to Kyoto and Nara, and hundreds of preserved temples and shrines, including the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), built by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and covered in gold leaf; Fushimi Inari, with thousands of red torii gates; and Todai-ji, the oldest wooden structure in Japan with an adjacent park home to hundreds of wild deer. While in Kyoto, you'll also enjoy a traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner in the company of a Maiko, as well as a more modern silent motion performance at the GEAR Theatre.
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All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.
We require US$200 deposit per person to hold the space at time of booking and the final payment is due 2 month prior to departure
Travel by air conditioned, luxury private van, baggage handling free
For arrivals at Narita Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND), this tour starts in Tokyo and ends in Osaka, with departures at Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX) or Itami Airport (ITM)
Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged
Please note that the meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, please arrange your own hotel transfer
Welcome to Tokyo! You will be picked up from the Airport and taken to the hotel.
NOTE 1: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
You may begin your morning with a tour of Tokyo's Toyosu Fish Market. This tour comes complete with insider access to the market's wholesale area. Next, enjoy a lesson in Fish Filleting and Sushi making from a professional chef, then enjoy the lunch you made! Finally, at the Nezu Museum, you can enjoy a collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art that Nezu Kaichiro put together. After bombing in World War II destroyed some of the collection, Nezu Kaichiro’s son continued to add to it to ensure that his father’s collection remained impressive. In the afternoon, you may visit the Meiji Shrine or Harajuku with your guide, or enjoy some free leisure time to explore Tokyo on your own.
In the morning, we will visit the Edo Tokyo Museum which exhibits life size replicas as well as miniature models of structures during the Edo period in Japan. Then you will be taken to Asakusa Kannon Temple, an active place of worship where you can see the largest paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore the Nakamise Market, which is located right after the temple's outer gates. This is a traditional-style shopping street with several centuries of history. Next, we will go to the Imperial Palace and see the beautiful East Garden. This is the current residence of Japan’s Imperial Family and a historic landmark. Tonight, enjoy a delicious Yakitori dinner.
In the morning, travel to the land at the base of Mt. Fuji where we will board a Lake Ashi Cruise to enjoy and appreciate Hakone’s natural scenery. We will take a 20- minute ropeway ride from Togendai to Owakudani. Along the ropeway, weather permitting, there will be great views of Mt. Fuji in the distance. While in Owakudani, visitors will have the chance to see hot springs and sulfurous fumes along the trails of an active volcanic zone. Finally, we will visit the Hakone Open Air Museum which creates a harmonic balance of nature and art by exhibiting various sculptures in combination with views of the surrounding valley and mountains.
Today, if the weather is in our favor, we will travel to Mt. Fuji’s 5th station, the most popular and convenient spot to enjoy views of the iconic mountain. Afterwards we will tour the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum and view the Tsujigahana silk dyed artworks, regarded as one of the lost arts of Japan. In the afternoon, visit Lake Kawaguchi with your guide or, if you prefer, enjoy some leisurely free time enjoying the countryside surrounding Mount Fuji.
This morning, travel to Matsumoto where you can visit Matsumoto Castle (Black Crow Castle), one of the twelve remaining original castles of Japan. Then savor a delightful soba lunch before going to enjoy the traditional ambience in the Nakamachi District. This well-preserved quarter of Matsumoto includes “Frog Street” – a row of small shops and cafes housed in old-fashioned buildings, the entrance of which is guarded by a frog statue.
We can start our day with the Takayama Morning Market, where visitors can taste local farm products and snacks. Next, take a stroll through the beautifully preserved Takayama Old Town, with buildings dating from Japan's Edo Period. After, travel to the UNESCO World Heritage site in the rural area of Shirakawa-go. Ogimachi Village is the main attraction, where we will walk past thatched roof farm houses and cultivated fields to see unspoiled Edo period wooden buildings. Once there, we will go to the Shiroyama Viewpoint for nice views of the village, as well as the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen, which is an open-air museum of farmhouses and structures relocated to this area.
In the morning, depart Takayama for Ise Shima, stopping on the way in Seto for a visit to the Setogura Museum. This extensive gallery showcases the fine and delicate ceramics of the Seto region - known as "Seto-ware". After, enjoy a more personal look at Seto-ware with a visit to a local studio and a Pottery Experience. Then transfer to your hotel in Ise Shima.
We start our day at Ise Shima with a visit to Ise Jingu Grand Shrine, one of the most important shrines in the Shinto religion. Some buildings in the shrine are rebuilt every twenty years out of local hinoki cypress wood, to symbolize their belief in the cycle of death and renewal in nature. The main building also purportedly houses the Sacred Mirror - one of the Imperial family's most sacred treasures. Attatched to Ise Jingu's Inner Shrine is Oharaimachi a town filled with old buildings from the Meiji and Edo eras. Visit Mikimoto Pearl Island - a museum about pearl cultivation and Kokichi Mikimoto, who brought modern pearl cultivation techniques to Japan.
Today, visit the Miho Museum, which exhibits stunning architecture that accentuates the surrounding natural scenery while exhibiting a variety of items from 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. From there, travel to Kyoto to visit a Traditional Wooden Townhouse to learn about Japanese Calligraphy and the art of Ikebana, or "flower arrangement".
After breakfast, we will travel to Nara and visit one of Japan’s most famous temples and a landmark of Nara, Todaiji Temple. Outside the temple, interact with the wild deer of Nara Deer Park. There are special deer crackers available at every corner of the area. For lunch, enjoy a mouthwatering course featuring Japanese Wagyu Beef. After lunch, you can enjoy a guided garden tour to Murin- an, a rare example of a Japanese garden which also exhibits western architecture, followed by a visit to Nanzenji Temple, a former retirement villa of Emperor Kameyama converted into a beautiful Zen temple. Or, if you prefer, take some leisure time in the afternoon to explore Kyoto on your own.
In the morning, visit Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, so known because it is covered with 18-karat gold leaf. This three-story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. Then we will tour the Arashiyama district. First is a visit to see Tenryuji Temple where you can catch a glimpse of the traditional rock 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. Enjoy a healthy Tofu Lunch. After lunch, take some leisure time to explore Kyoto on your own, or if you choose, you can visit Kyoto Imperial Palace with your guide. Tonight, prepare for a silent spectacle unlike anything you've ever seen. At the GEAR Theater live show, 5 human performers play "robots" who come to life and learn through creative playfulness and skill how they might approach humanity. GEAR uses only silent motion – dance, performance art, and stage magic – to delight audiences of any age and language.
First, we will see the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for its trail of thousands of torii gates. Then we will tour Kiyomizu-dera, a famous temple in Japan that is best known for its large wooden stage that overlooks a hillside of natural scenery. Continue our day by wearing the traditional clothing of Japan, Kimono, which are still widely popular to wear for important and formal events. It is also common to don the Kimono when visiting Kyoto to further enjoy the traditional atmosphere of the city. Then, we will travel to Kodaiji Temple, which is a lavish temple built in the memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Here, we can experience Zen meditation and a Green Tea Ceremony. We will end our day in the Gion Geisha District, the old Geisha Quarters, along with Pontocho, whose cobblestone alleys vibrate with night life. For dinner the finest Kyoto Cuisine made with ingredients representative of the season will be served, and a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) will provide entertainment for her guests. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about her profession and learn why they must train for years before finally becoming Geisha.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am, free for leisure until transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport or Itami Airport for departure.
NOTE 2: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
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.
The fish market at Toyosu was made to take over wholesale seafood sales from the old Tsukiji Market, and comes with a special observation area where visitors enjoy an unobstructed and comfortable view of market operations. While there, select few may find special courses in Japanese techniques of filleting fish, as well as the time-honored art of making authentic Japanese sushi, which not only immerses guests in these traditional culinary arts, but provides a delicious and healthy seafood lunch.
Old-fashioned museum with impressive display of traditional and Buddhist artwork
This modern museum was built to house the collection of traditional and Asian artworks amassed by businessman and avid collector Kaichiro Nezu, being founded and opened to the public by Nezu's sonafter his father's passing. The museum includes a permanent collection of traditional paintings, sculptures, ceramics, handicrafts, and more, with an especial focus on Buddhist artworks, and a more prominent exhibit that rotates every month or so.
Excellent museum about Tokyo's history
The Edo Tokyo Museum is located in Tokyo’s Ryogoku district. The museum features exhibits that showcase Tokyo’s past in the Edo period. Visitors can learn about how people lived during the Edo period, and has many illustrations or miniature models showcasing the past. Guests can take pictures of the many models or life- sized figures.
Buddhist temple with souvenir shopping street, an atmosphere of old Tokyo
The Sensoji Temple located in Asakusa is one of the most popular Buddhist temples to visit. The temple was built and completed in the year 645 and is Tokyo’s oldest temple. The surrounding area offers shopping for souvenirs and food. The Sanja Festival is one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals and is held every May at Asakusa Temple.
World's tallest stand-alone communication tower
The Tokyo Skytree is Japan’s tallest structure ever built and the world’s second tallest structure ever built at the time of its completion. Located not too far from Asakusa, this 634 meter tall tower is now one of the most popular destinations for visitors. The main observatory is 350 meters high and the second observation deck is 450 meters high and both offer a breathtaking view of the city.
Former private garden walk of the Imperial family, including ruins of Tokugawa Shogun's castle
The garden connected to the Imperial Palace is one the most beautiful in the cty, and was once the private gardens of the Imperial Family. The only part of the Inner Palace open for public enjoyment, the grounds includes some stone walls and tower foundations of Edo Castle - former home of the Tokugawa Shogun, as well as the Suwano Teahouse, and the Museum of Imperial Collections. Within the garden areas, wide variety of trees and flowers planted there provide visitors with scenes of colorful beauty in any season, including not only seasonal favorites like cherry, plum, or maple trees, but species of flowers from all across Japan.
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.
Famous for having Mount Fuji in the background and the lake as its inspirational canvas
Lake Ashinoko along with Mount Fuji in the background is the proud symbol of Hakone. One of the best views with the lake and Mount Fuji could be seen from one of the many sightseeing boats. There are a few boat cruises available, but the main two are ran by Hakone Sightseeing Boats and Izuhakone Sightseeing Boats. The best time to come is during the cherry blossom season and when the autumn colors are at its peak.
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.
Exhibiting sculptures and paintings
The Hakone Open Air Museum is located near Chokoku No Mori Station in Hakone. There are over than one thousand pieces of art featured at this museum that will keep visitors busy besides the breathtaking views. The museum features various sculptures with beautiful views of the surrounding area of Hakone. The museum also features indoor galleries of paintings, sculptures, ceramic art, and other artistic creations.
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.
Excellent museum about the kimono artist
The Kubota Itchiku Art Museum is located on the north coast of Lake Kawaguchiko near Mount Fuji. This museum showcases the works of the late Kubota Itchiku, a famous Japanese kimono artist. This museum showcases several of Kubota Itchiku’s kimono art, which are based on themes of nature, the seasons, and the cosmos.
Matsumoto is located in the Nagano Prefecture and is known for one of Japan’s most popular and original castles. Many people travel to Matsumoto to view the popular Matsumoto castle, known as one of Japan’s most beautiful original castles and is one of Japan’s four National Treasure Castles. Another popular location is the Daio wasabi Farm, which is Japan’s largest wasabi farm. Matsumoto is also a popular location for people departing into Kamikochi, Norikura, or any of the popular Japanese Alps resorts locations.
One of Japan's premier historic castles, along with Himeji Castle and Kumamoto Castle
Matsumoto is home to one of Japan’s four National Treasure Castles, the Matsumoto Castle. This castle is one of the most beautiful, and complete original castles in all of Japan compared to the other four National Treasure Castles. During the spring season, Matsumoto Castel is a very popular location to view the cherry blossoms.
Nakamachi District is a preserved district with several old buildings and many warehouse (kura) buildings that have been converted into various shops. Nakamachi was the former merchant district of Matsumoto and can be recognized by the row of white painted buildings. Back then it was center of the castle town and thrived as the business section of the city. Some of the buildings in the area are more than 100 years old. Most of the structures were designed to be fireproof by having thick mud walls. By having layers of mud between the buildings it prevented the chance of the products from catching on fire. Walking around the historic district you can enjoy shopping at converted warehouses that maintain an Edo Period look. Every Saturday from April to December there is a morning market where farmers from all over Matsumoto bring in seasonal vegetables, fruit, flowers, and other goods.
The city of Takayama is located within the Hida mountain region in the Gifu Prefecture. This city is one of the top destinations for tourist wishing to explore a touch of rural Japan. The old town of Takayama is one of Japan’s most beautifully preserved area of historic buildings and houses that date back to the Edo period.
Guests can enjoy shopping for goods such as small crafts, foods, snacks and flowers
Every morning in Takayama there are two morning markets set up for tourist to visit. Both markets are well within walking distance from Takayama station. In front of the Takayama Jinya is the Jinya-Mae Market and along the Miyagawa River in the old town section is the Miyagawa Market. Guests can enjoy shopping for goods such as small crafts, foods, snacks and flowers.
Beautifully preserved old town
One of the most popular attractions for visitors in Takayama is the old town district. Many of the buildings and houses in this area have been preserved since the Edo Period. There are many shops, sake breweries, tea houses, and even some homes open for the public to enjoy.
Shirakawa-Go is located within the Shogawa River Valley and listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Hertiage Site. This popular rural area is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses and some of the farmhouses are up to 250 years old. Many of the villages located here offer plenty of sightseeing and different experiences for guests. Many of the famous farmhouses offer minshuku, or a farmhouse stay where guests can experience an overnight homestay at a gassho-zukuri farmhouse.
Scenery from the Shiroyama Viewpoint overlooking the entire settlement
Ogimachi Village is part of Shirakawa-Go, which is one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ogimachi is Shirakawa-Go’s largest village and the most popular destination for visitors. One of the most popular attractions available for visitors is the Shiroyama Viewpoint. This place is only about a twenty minute walk from the village center and offers a beautiful view of Ogimachi.
Open air museum about the historic gassho (praying hands) farm houses
An open air museum that exhibits farmhouses and other structures relocated to Ogimachi in order to save them from destruction
Seto has a long history of producing ceramics. It is
confirmed that the town has produced ceramics since the
10th century, but nearby in the Sanage hills there is
evidence that it can be longer. Seto is one of the six most
important ancient kiln towns along with Bizen, Echizen,
Tanba, Tokoname, and Shigaraki. The first glazed ware
(koseto) in Japan were produced in Seto in the late 10th
century and was made for Buddhist Artifacts. Even
though the town has a long history, ceramics did not take
off until the Kamakura Period when Toshiro Kato, a
pottery master, set up his kiln in Seto. He is referred to as
the founder of Seto because he was the one to highly
value the clay. The pair of mythical lions at the Fukagawa
Shrine are said to be his work. At the Suehiko Shrine,
Toshiro Kato’s spirit is enshrined there. In Toso Park
there is also a monument of him, which is made out of
At Kamagami Shrine, an Edo Period potter by the name Tamikichi Kato is enshrined there. He is the one who brought the secrets of porcelain from Arita in Kyushu to Seto. A bronze statue of Tamikichi can be found on the shrine grounds. There are a few ceramics festivals throughout the year. There Is the Setomono Festival and Maneki Neko Festival in September, Seto Toso Festival in April, and the Seto Pottery Studio Fair and Market in November. Several ceramics museums can be found in Seto, which are Seto-gura Museum, Seto Ceramics & Glass Art Center, Seto City Art Museum, Maneki Neko Museum, Seto Novelty Children’s Creative Center, Seto Municipal Center of Multimedia and Traditional Ceramics, and Kamagaki no Komichi Museum/Gallery.
Museum preserving centuries of quality ceramic pottery from the Seto region
The city of Seto has a long history of quality production in pottery, stoneware, and ceramics, to such a degree that kiln-fired ceramics in Japan are generally known as seto- mono, or "Seto goods". On the second and third floor of the Seto Pottery building, the Setogura museum preserves classic examples of the range and quality of ceramics throughout centuries of production, from as far back as Japan's Heian period. The second floor also provides engaging displays of pottery-making machinery and a coal-fired kiln.
Local informational class given by a Japanese ceramics artist and expert
Japan has a long history of ceramic quality and intricate design, as can be seen in many a museum or collector's display cabinet. Yet nothing can enrich one's understanding of this cultural treasure like a hands-on pottery experience. Local pottery studios are found in craft villages across Japan, and many of them offer workshops in the production process of Japanese ceramics. Understandably, these local studios usually specialize in the kind of pottery particular to the region, such as Seto, Kaga, or Akita.
The Ise Shima region of Japan refers to the area near Ise-Shima National Park, which include cities like Ise and Toba, it is usually called Ise Shima by most of Japanese citizens. The most popular destination and attraction is the famous Ise Grand Shrine, which is known as Japan’s most sacred and holiest shrine. This location also hosts a number of different theme parks and beautiful natural scenery.
One of Japan’s most sacred and holiest Shinto shrines
Located in Ise Shima is the famous Ise Grand Shrine, this shrine is known as one of Japan’s most sacred and holiest Shinto shrines. The shrine is split into two parts, there is an outer and inner shrine. The outer shrine area is not the main shrine area and is not as impressive as the inner shrine. The Inner Ise Shrine is the more impressive of the two and is known for the sun goddess Amaterasu.
Quaint village attached to Ise Grand Shrine, featuring Edo-era vintage architecture
Oharaimachi is the primary street leading to the Grand Shrine of Ise - the site most sacred to the Shinto religion. Centuries of pilgrimages to the shrine have made the neighborhood prosperous, and preserved a traditional style of architecture in the roadside shops, restaurants, and ryokan. Far from serving as a mere service attachment to the shrine, Oharaimachi has enhanced the culture of the area through development of specialty products and cuisine, such as Ise udon soup.
Visitors can learn about pearls, how pearls are cultivated, and about Mikimoto Kokichi
One of the most popular museums located in the Ise Shima area is the Mikimoto Pearl Island. In this museum, visitors can learn about pearls, how pearls are cultivated, and about Mikimoto Kokichi (famous person that first cultivated pearls). Visitors are able to explore the museum and learn much about Mikimoto, and visit the shops to purchase a variety of pearl jewelry. There are also hourly performances by the female pearl divers for guests to enjoy.
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.
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.
Old-fashioned Kyoto Townhouse that once housed the affluent merchants of the old capital
The machiya of Kyoto are old-fashioned wooden townhouses from the Edo period, usually serving as the residences and shops for merchant families of that period. The strict propriety laws of the period contributed to the simplistic nature of the machiya, which ooze rustic charm from the smooth tatami mats and minimalist decoration through the thin folds of bamboo window screens. Merely to experience the atmosphere that prevails in the Machiya Townhouse is to be immersed in the time-honored traditions of old Kyoto.
A timeless art that still receives praise for its beautiful handwriting
Japanese calligraphy is the art of writing beautiful artistic characters of the Japanese language. The history of Japanese calligraphy is rich and has different techniques and styles just like any other form of art. There are classes and lessons available for visitors to attend that teaches the art of Japanese calligraphy. Guests can learn about the different styles, techniques and the history of Japanese calligraphy while taking these lessons.
A form of expressing Japanese discipline and beauty using flower arranegments
Ikebana is one of Japan’s oldest crafts, which is the art of flower arrangement. The history of Ikebana (also known as Kado in Japanese) is rich and has different techniques and styles just like any other form of art. There are classes and lessons available for visitors to attend that teaches the art of Ikebana. Guests can learn about the different techniques, styles, and history of Ikebana while taking these lessons.
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.
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.
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.
A variety of skilled performance art in a highly imaginative stage show
GEAR is a lively and colorful stage production that seamlessly integrates a variety of performing arts, including dance, juggling, magic, and pantomime. At the old "1928 Building" (one of Kyoto City's designated Cultural Properties), GEAR takes their audience to the world of a futuristic toy factory, now falling to ruin. Within, four skilled android robots (or "Roboroids") and a graceful toy Doll, through whimsical curiosity and cheerful play, attempt to reach nearer to what it means to be human. A silent performance with musical accompaniment, GEAR is well suited for viewers of all ages and languages.
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.
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.
Continue exploring Japan, but wearing a kimono for a more traditional flavor
Japan is a very unique cultural experience because much of Japan’s history is still preserved, protected, and celebrated. One of the best ways to experience a visit to Japan would be to explore it while wearing a kimono. The kimono is one of Japan’s most oldest and traditional pieces of clothing. There are many places available in Japan to rent a kimono to wear and explore this beautiful country.
Built in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Kodaiji Temple is located in eastern Kyoto in the Higashiyama district and is only fifteen minutes away by bus from Kyoto Station. This beautiful temple is one of Kyoto’s most popular temples during the autumn colors season. Visitors can enter the main hall of the temple and also view the beautiful gardens that surround the temple as well.
Zazen is a type of meditation unique to Zen Buddhism that functions at the heart of the practice
Zen meditation is unique and is central in Zen Buddhism. This form of meditation calms both the body, mind, and to also gain enlightenment by seeking insight into the nature of existence. There are lessons and classes available for visitors where a Zen priest guides guests to practice Zen meditation and teaches the significance of Zen as part of the Japanese culture.
Traditional way of preparing and drinking tea
Green tea has a rich history in Japan and has been the most popular non-alcoholic beverage for years. A green tea ceremony is the ceremonial way of preparing and drinking green tea that has been practiced for hundreds of years. The ceremony is full of many rituals and has a strong Zen Buddhism influence. The tea is prepared by the host for the guests and is usually green tea made from powdered tea leaves.
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.
Enjoy a traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner in the company of a Maiko
Kyoto is known for its Gion district which is famous for its geisha (geiko in Kyoto dialect) and apprentice geisha called maiko. There are many locations within Kyoto and the Gion district where visitors can have a maiko experience. Enjoy a traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner in the company of a Maiko.
The city of Nara was once known as the first capital established in Japan. Nara is located only less than an hour away from both Kyoto and Osaka. Nara is home to some of Japan’s oldest, largest, and historic temples. The landmark and symbol of Nara is the Todaiji Temple, which was built in the 7th century. One the most popular attractions is Nara Park where visitors come every day to see the wild deer that roam free throughout the park.
One of Japan’s most historic and famous temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Located north of Nara Park is one of Japan’s most historic and famous temple called the Todai-Ji Temple. This temple is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple’s main hall named Daibutsuden, is the largest wooden building in the world. It is home to one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha siting at fifteen meters tall.
Over 1,000 Sika deer roam free
Located in central Nara is Nara Park, it is one of the most famous and popular parks in Japan. The park is famous and popular because it is home to over one thousand deer. The deer roam freely throughout the park and visitors are able to get up close and feed the deer as well. This park is conveniently located near most of Nara’s main tourist destinations, which include Todai-Ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Kofuku-Ji Temple, and the Nara National Museum.
Tokyo (Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3)
Western Style Accommodation
Boasting fine restaurants and an award-winning spa on the 37th floor, Mandarin Oriental offers 5-star luxury in the historical Nihonbashi area in the heart of Tokyo. Among the most spacious in Tokyo, rooms feature gorgeous city views. Mitsukoshimae Subway Station and JR Shin- Nihonbashi Train Station are directly connected to the hotel. Rooms at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo pair wide windows with chic design inspired by Japanese aesthetics. A full range of modern amenities are offered, including a satellite flat-screen TV. All rooms boast a sofa, seating area and desk, while bathrooms have a large bathtub and separate shower.
Mt Fuji (Day 4 & Day 5)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Book Bessho Sasa in Mt. Fuji Lake Kawaguchi Onsen— All rooms come with open-air baths that command a view of Mount Fuji. The unobstructed view of Mount Fuji from the public bath is also stunning.
Takayama (Day 6 & Day 7)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Hanaougi Bettei Iiyama features private natural hot spring baths and Japanese-style rooms. Rooms at Iiyama Hanaougi Bettei come with traditional futon bedding, a TV and a fridge. Guests can pamper themselves with a massage or browse in the hotel’s souvenir shop. Local food can be enjoyed in a traditional setting at Bettei Hanaougi’s restaurant, including a dinner course menu serving the finest hida beef. The natural hot spring baths are renowned for its spring quality, and can be enjoyed in a traditional Japanese setting.
Ise Shima (Day 8 & Day 9)
Western Style Accommodation
Amanemu opened as Aman Resorts’ second property in Japan. The hotel is located within the Ise Shima National Park. Designed by Kerry Hill Architects, the architecture of the resort is based on a contemporary interpretation of Japanese Minka buildings, which incorporate traditional low-slung tiled roofs and dark-stained Japanese cedar exterior walls, reflective of the nature-influenced design of ryokans, Japan’s traditional bathing retreats. The resort’s driveway leads to the welcome pavilion, curving up a small hill lined with maple and cherry trees.
Kyoto (Day 10, Day 11, Day 12 & Day 13)
Western Style Accommodation
Open from 2016, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto features a sushi bar and a tea house by a pond in Shakusuien Japanese garden as well as a Western-style restaurant and a lounge. Kyoto Station is a 7-minute drive away. Free WiFi is provided throughout the hotel. Rooms at Kyoto Four Seasons Hotel feature a view, an iPad to access hotel services and a flat-screen TV with a DVD player and video on demand. A coffee maker and tea sets are provided in each room. The hotel offers spa facilities including an indoor swimming pool, 2 whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and 7 spa treatment rooms. There is also a 24-hour fitness center with a variety of equipment and machines.
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.