All Japan Tours 337 N.Vineyard Ave Suite 215, Ontario, CA 91764
Toll Free: 1-855-325-2726 (US/CANADA) Tel: 1-909-988-8885
Fax: 1-909-349-1736 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Land cost: from USD $6098.00
Single supplement: USD $1380.00
Tour duration: 17 days 16 nights
Taiwan (Taroko National Park / Sun Moon Lake / Fenqihu / Alishan National Forest / Taichung / Taipei), Japan (Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Obokekyo Gorge / Kotohira / Takamatsu / Kobe / Nara / Kyoto / Kanazawa / Shirakawa-go / Takayama / Matsumoto / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Tokyo)
Tour cost includes:
• 15 nights Western style and 1 night Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan Airport & Osaka Kansai Airport
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Taiwan & Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
• Breakfast everyday
• 10 lunches and 5 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary
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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.
Welcome to Taiwan! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.
NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
Begin the day with breakfast at your hotel, then take a drive to Taroko National Park. On the way, we will drive along Qingshui Cliffs, a Taiwan natural wonder stretching along the gorgeous Pacific coastline. Then we will take time to explore the Taroko National Park, taking in its incredible features. The star attraction is breathtaking Taroko Gorge, a beautiful gorge lined in marble stone, with a river rushing through a tree-lined canyon. Another must-see is the shrine of the Eternal Spring, one of the park's most stunning locations, where a charming shrine building sits prettily atop a waterfall, making for a picturesque scene.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then we depart Hualien and travel to majestic Sun Moon Lake. Taiwan's largest lake, Sun Moon Lake is so-called for it's shape, which has a rounded eastern shore like the sun, and a curved crescent western shore like the moon. Embark on a shuttle boat tour around the lake, which includes views of Lalu Island. The lake's only island is reserved for special religious practices and so cannot be visited, but the panoramic views of the lake are wonderful to behold. If the weather is clear, look out for the elegant spire of Ci En Pagoda. After lunch, we take a special tea tour of the nearby Maolanshan Tea Plantation, where we can walk around the local hiking trail and stop for a sip of refreshing Maolanshan tea. Then we return to our lakeside accommodation for a relaxing evening.
Today, enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing Sun Moon Lake for Chiayi. On the way, we stop in Fenqihu for the old market street. While strolling through the old market filled with charming restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops, take time to find some delicious local snacks or a native souvenir before we stop for a traditional lunch. This afternoon, our focus turns to Taiwan's astounding natural beauty as we are heading to Alishan Mountain nestled in the ancient cypress forest. Hike through the verdant Alishan National Forest, an exhilarating walk that features breathtaking mountain scenery. Then we enjoy a relaxing ride through the mountains on the Alishan Forest Railway before heading to our hotel in Chiayi and a relaxing evening.
Start off with breakfast at the hotel before we depart Chiayi and head to Taichung. We visit the Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden. Built in the 1800s, this palatial mansion was home to one of Taiwan's most influential families, and included such buildings as a Tower of Prospective Fragrance, a Great Flower Hall, and a Hibiscus-Mirror Studio. Nearby is the Lin Family Garden, which is one of the island's prettiest, with a number of little picturesque features to search for while on your relaxing stroll. Enjoy a delightful lunch before we discover the beautiful Rainbow Village - a little town of surprising street art, with houses painted in a colorful, psychedelic style. From there we visit the National Taichung Theater, built in an ultra-modern architectural style which the architect envisioned as a grand whirlpool, where the construction acts as artistic complement to the galleries on display. Then we take in views of the Pacific at Gao-mei Wetland. This wetland preserve on the coast of Taichung city has a great strolling boardwalk offering sweeping views of the pacific coast. After, we explore Fengjia Night Market, Taiwan's largest night market, before a relaxing night at the hotel.
After breakfast, we continue our route back to Taipei. Our first stop is the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, which is one of Taiwan's major monuments. Considered a Founding Father of the modern state of Taiwan, Chiang Kai-Shek was a famed military general and president of China who administered his government from Taiwan. Many Taiwanese people hold him in especially high regard, and his memorial is a grand reflection of his legacy, with a large bronze statue seated under an opulent pagoda. After lunch, we visit the National Palace Museum, a magnificent museum complex boasting an expansive collection peering back through 8,000 years of Chinese art. Finally, the tour proceeds to the Taipei 101 shopping mall, which is located in the tallest tower in the city and at one time tallest in the world. The shopping mall on the lower levels offers a perfect chance at finding that perfect memento from your vacation. After, we return to the hotel for a last relaxing night in Taipei.
After breakfast, free for leisure until your transfer to Taoyuan International Airport for your flight to Japan. Upon arrival Osaka, an AJT representative will meet you at the arrival gate holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
NOTE 3: The meet and greet is ONLY available for flights arriving in Terminal 1. 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 in the center of Osaka 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.
Today we take a 2-hour ride by private coach to Himeji to visit the Himeji Castle. It is known as "White Egret Castle" and "White Heron Castle" because of its brilliant white exterior, resembling a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan, and is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. This splendid example of traditional architecture was declared one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. Next is a visit to Kurashiki. In merchant days, this scenic town thrived as a port for rice shipments. Several old rice granaries and examples of historic architecture still remain, in addition to the stone lined canal. In the afternoon, we will continue our journey to Hiroshima.
Today we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima. At high tide, the famed vermilion torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine looks like it's floating in the middle of the sea. The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Miyajima has been selected as one of Japan's three most scenic places (nihon sankei). In the afternoon, we will drive through the Shimanami Kaido to Shikoku Island. The Shimanami Kaido is a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is also known as the Nishiseto Expressway.
After breakfast, we continue our journey to Oboke Gorge, one of three hidden mountain regions of Japan. Oboke is the valley located upstream of the Yoshino-gawa River. "Boke" means "dangerous to walk along," and Oboke (big "boke") was named for its jagged V-shaped rocks and narrow path which, no matter how carefully or slowly you walk, makes walking dangerous. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride and take in the panoramic view of the valley. Then, climb the 1,368 stone steps to the Kotohira-gu Shrine, a Shinto shrine. In Takamatsu we will visit Ritsurin Park, a masterpiece of Japanese landscape 100 years in the making. This sprawling park features beautiful ponds and pavilions, with Mt. Shiun as the perfect backdrop. From there, our private coach takes us across Awaji Island through a series of spectacular bridges. In the evening we continue to Kobe, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef.
After breakfast, we will make our way to Nara to visit the Todaiji Temple, one of Japan's most historically significant temples. Its main hall is the largest wooden building in Japan, and it also houses one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 16.3 meters high. Outside the temple grounds is the Nara Deer Park, filled with over 1,000 Sika deer. Our tour will continue to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its 4km long tunnel of vermillion colored torii gates, which was also featured in the film "Memoirs of a Geisha". Lastly, you will have the chance to experience a traditional green tea ceremony. There will also be a meet-and-greet with a maiko, who is simply an apprentice geisha. Photo-taking opportunities will be available as well.
We will spend the day touring Kyoto, which once served as Japan's capital from 794 until 1868. It is considered Japan's cultural center, even being spared from the bombings of WWII due to its historically priceless structures. Our group will first visit Arashiyama, a scenic area particularly popular during the spring and autumn seasons. Visit a traditional Zen garden at Tenryuji Temple before enjoying a stroll through the Sagano Bamboo Forest. Continue to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), distinguished for its two top floors completely covered with 18 carat gold leaf. It was originally built as a retirment villa by shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. Then, our group will get experience an elegant kimono fashion show and learn how they are made at the Nishijin Textile Center. Our next attraction is the famous Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its wooden stage that extends from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of numerous cherry and maple trees below, as well as a beautiful scene of Kyoto in the distance. From Kiyomizu Temple, we will head to Maruyama Park, which is one of the most popular places for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) in Kyoto. Our last destination for the day will be Gion, the city's most famous geisha district. It is filled with exclusive ochaya (teahouses) where maiko and geisha entertain, and is also recognized for its traditional wooden machiya merchant houses.
Today, you will get to experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Kyoto to Maibara, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. Afterwards, transfer to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of three most beautiful strolling gardens of Japan. Here, you'll find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two-legged stone lantern and iconic symbol of Kanazawa. Then, we will we cross mountains by private coach to the World Heritage site of Shirakawa-go. Shirakawa-go is home to the Gassho-zukuri ("praying hands") farmhouses. We will go to the Shiroyama Viewpoint to see splendid views of the Ogimachi Village. Next, the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen, which is an open air museum of farmhouses and other structures. We will continue to Takayama, a city located amongst the Japanese Alps and sometimes referred as "Little Kyoto" for its preserved historical structures and environment. Due to it's remote position in the mountains, it has maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. Tonight, we will stay at the Ryokan, where you can enjoy a soothing soak in the onsen and try a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
After enjoying a Japanese breakfast at the ryokan, we will continue sightseeing in Takayama. Browse through the market stalls at the Morning market for local crafts and fresh produce. Next, visit Takayama Jinya, a former local government office that now serves as a public museum. It features an interesting interrogation room and official documents of past feudal lords. Proceed to Takayama's beautifully preserved Old Town, which highlights many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600- 1868). In the afternoon, our group will visit the Matsumoto Castle, also known as "Crow Castle" because of its black exterior. Inside, we can see the best examples of a wooden constructed, traditional Japanese-style castle. It is classified as a "hirajiro", meaning it is a castle built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain.
Today, we will travel to Mt. Fuji on our private luxury coach. If the weather is in our favor, we will stop by the Mt. Fuji 5th Station for a grand view of Japan's famous mountain. Enjoy an extensive tour of Hakone by taking a 20 minute ropeway ride from Togendai to Owakudani. Owakudani is known for its active volcanic zone that was created from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Here, you can experience its hot springs and bubbling pools, where volcanic gases still linger. From there, we will travel to Tokyo and spend time in Shibuya. There, you will get to see the famed Shibuya Crossing in action and cross the street with the crowd. You will also be able to take photos with the Hachiko Statue, a monument dedicated to Japan's most loyal dog, which continued for nine years after his owner's death.
After breakfast, you will be taken to the Asakusa
Temple, the most colorful temple in Tokyo that holds
Japan's largest paper lantern. You will also be able to
explore the Nakamise Market, which is located right
the temple's "thunder gate" (Kaminarimon). It is an Edo-
style shopping street full of traditional snacks and
souvenirs. Then, make your way to Ueno Park, an
excellent cherry blossom spot with more than 1,000
cherry trees. Afterwards, you will have the chance to
participate in a delicious sushi making experience with a
professional sushi chef. Whatever you prepare, you will
get to eat! Our next attraction will be the Tsukiji Outer
Market, which is lined with a plethora of food stands and
shops. Our group will continue to the Imperial Palace,
current residence of Japan's Imperial Family and former
grounds of the Edo Castle. It is surrounded by moats
stone fortifications, located in the heart of Tokyo. From
there, we will reach our final stop of the day, the Tokyo
Tower. At 333 meters high, Tokyo Tower is 13 meters
taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. Visitors can go up
150 meters to the main observatory deck and get a
panoramic view of the city.
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.
NOTE 5: If you wish to stay in the center of Tokyo for the last night instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included. We will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$65.00 per person per way.
NOTE 6: If you will be flying out from Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita Airport (NRT), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro (or similar class) instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita. In this case, airport transfer is not include. We will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Narita Airport can be reached by hotel shuttle bus.
NOTE 7: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.