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 $8298.00
Single supplement: USD $1860.00
Tour duration: 14 days 13 nights
Tokyo / Ashikaga / Mt Fuji / Matsumoto / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Osaka / Nara / Kyoto / Hiroshima / Naoshima / Kurashiki / Himeji / Kobe
Tour cost includes:
• 12 nights Western style and 1 night Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Tokyo Narita Airport or Haneda Airport
• Private airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
• Breakfast everyday
• 7 lunches and 4 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 Tokyo! We will pick you up from the airport and take to the hotel by private car.
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.
Today, tour of Tokyo begins with a trip to the Edo Tokyo Museum, which exhibits miniature models and life-size replicas of buildings that take you back to Japan during the Edo period. From there, go to the Asakusa district for a visit to Sensoji Temple. It is Tokyo's oldest temple, and features the Kaminarimon Gate hung with a massive paper lantern. Beside the temple is colorful Nakamise street, filled with rows of shops that sell all manner of traditional souvenirs. Finally, take a drive into Tochigi Prefecture for a visit to the Ashikaga Flower Park. Here is where the most beautiful and well-cultivated grove of Wisteria in Japan spread a bright canopy of hanging vines swaying with purple flowers in the gentle spring breeze. These flowers are accompanied by other flowers to add to the beautiful scene, including azaleas. One of the trees, the Great Wisteria Tree, is over 150 years old. After relaxing under the shade at the flower park, we head back to your hotel in Tokyo for a relaxing evening.
We start the day at Meiji shrine, built to honor Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, where you can enjoy a Shinto ceremony officiated by a Priest or Miko priestess. Then we continue to the MORI Building in Odaiba, where we will explore the interactive digital creations of teamLab Borderless. At this one-of-a-kind art display area, visitors are immersed in a whimsical harmony of light, color, and sound that makes vivid patterns and images all around the visitors. Afterwards, we will head to Fuji Five Lakes located at the base of Mount Fuji. The Fuji Shibazakura Festival will be near Lake Motosu. There are about 800,000 stalks of shibazakura, "moss phlox," on display for the Fuji Shibazakura Festival. Shibazakura fields are adorned in hues of purple, pink and white, which contrasts to the greenery of Mount Fuji in the background. Tonight, enjoy unparalleled service and kaiseki cuisine at a top- rated ryokan (traditional inn) in Mt Fuji area.
Start the morning at with a drive up to Lake Kawaguchi. The lake offers a rich natural appeal in any season, and is considered the loveliest of the Fuji Five Lakes. If the weather is favorable, an amazing view of Mount Fuji can be seen from Oishi Park on Lake Kawaguchi's northern shore. In addition to breathtaking views, Oishi Park features a variety of flowers and trees that bloom through every season, including a "Flowers Road", bordered by tulips, narcissus, lavenders, summer cypress, and others. From there, the tour continues to Takayama, stopping along the way in the city of Matsumoto for a visit to Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan's remaining original castles, known as "Black Crow Castle" for it's dark exterior. Then continue on the way to check into your hotel in Takayama for the night.
Start your morning in Takayama browsing among the various handicrafts, farm-fresh produce and snacks available at the Takayama Morning Market. The market is truly a native experience, where locals and visitors meet and mingle every morning among the rows of small stalls. The other main attraction of the area is Takayama Old Town, where narrow streets are lined with preserved houses dating from the feudal Edo Period, when Takayama was a town of tradespeople. Stroll Sannomachi Street, where some local cafes and shops have served the local community for centuries. Then we take a drive up to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go, famed for its distinctive farmhouses with broad thatched roofs. Ogimachi Village is the main attraction, where we can see rustic Edo period wooden buildings beside cultivated farmland. We will first stop by the Shiroyama Viewpoint for an idyllic glimpse of the town tableau, then go down to the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen – an open-air museum of farmhouses and structures relocated to this area. Wada-ke House is the largest farmhouse in the area, which belongs to the village leader and is now open for visitors to have a look inside. Finally, we will drive into Kanazawa and check into the hotel for the night.
Kanazawa is a city filled with various delights, and this morning we bring you to arguably the most famous - Kenrokuen Garden. One of Japan's Three Great Gardens, Kenrokuen features a landscape arrangement patterned after the six Chinese sublimities of garden design theory. This includes a good variety of flowering trees, ponds and streams, wooden bridges, stone lanterns, and charming teahouses to offer equally fantastic scenes in every season. At mid-morning, we head over to the Nagamachi, a former samurai district near Kanazawa Castle. Many of the restaurants, shops, and houses in the area are well preserved from the Edo era. The Nomura House is one such residence, exquisitely restored, which maintains a number of features common to the homes of feudal Japan's noble warrior class. After, the group will go to Omicho Market where you can enjoy your own lunch. The afternoon is free for you to spend at your leisure, but your guide will provide a few suggestions for how to possibly spend your free time. Among the experiences local to Kanazawa, consider a visit to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art - one of Japan's most popular museums with a collection of modern art from all over the world. Or you might visit the smaller D.T. Suzuki Museum. D.T. Suzuki was a prominent Buddhist philosopher from the Meiji and Showa Eras, and the museum is dedicated to his life and writings. For a more hands-on experience, consider the Kutani Pottery Kosen Kiln, which gives visitors the chance to participate in the ceramics decoration process. Finally, you might choose the Gold Leaf Experience. Kanazawa is one of Japan's main producers of gold leaf, and this workshop provides expert insight into the production process.
Take an express train into Osaka for a local class in
playing the Taiko Drums. Taiko are made from tanned
hide leather dried and stretched over a base of polished
wood. A master drummer will lead your group through a
series of easy traditional Japanese songs and coach you
in the basic techniques of taiko. After the lesson, the tour
proceeds to Nara for further immersion into Japanese
culture with a Sushi-Making Experience. A professional
sushi chef will guide you in preparing your very own sushi
dish, and then you can enjoy the lunch you made!
Vegetarian options are available for those with dietary
restrictions. Then we will visit Nara's most famous
landmark - Todaiji Temple. This temple was, until the late
1990s, the world's largest wooden building, and contains a
massive seated Buddha statue nearly 50 meters tall, as
well as a few other statues. Nearby the temple is Nara
Deer Park, home to a thousand friendly and adorable Sika
deer walking under the trees, who can be fed with small
crackers available for purchase around the park. In the
evening, we take a short drive into Kyoto to check into the
hotel for a restful evening.
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, begin your morning in Japan's old imperial capital with a visit to the Golden Pavilion, and icon of the city and one of its most popular sites. Built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the upper tiers are covered in 18- carat gold leaf and the top is crowned with a delicate phoenix. Next, tour the Arashiyama district, home to the Sagano Bamboo Grove. Standing between the towering bamboo stalks and listening to the wind rustling through them feels for a moment like you have stepped out of the city and into a landscape painting. Next, visit a traditional wooden townhouse to learn the Japanese arts of Calligraphy and Ikebana. Take some time to admire the thousands of vermillion torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine before going to the GEAR Theatre for a live performance unlike anything you've ever seen. Five 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.
Begin today with a morning visit to Kiyomizu Temple. This temple is known for its dramatic wooden veranda that provides breathtaking views of Kyoto as well as its sacred waterfall. While in the area, enjoy a Kimono Experience where you can try on and take pictures in an elegant Japanese kimono. This traditional attire is still worn for many formal occasions. Leading up to the temple are Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka, these streets are filled with preserved buildings from Japan’s past. Many of the buildings are now shops that sell souvenirs and Kyoto- specific wares. Then, we will travel to Kodaiji Temple, a lavish temple built in memory of samurai warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Here, we can experience Zen meditation and Green Tea Ceremony. We will end our day in the Gion Geisha District, where its streets are lined with ochaya (teahouses), exclusive establishments where guests are entertained by Geisha and Maiko. Here, we will enjoy traditional Kyoto Cuisine in the company of a beautiful Maiko – a geisha in training.
After breakfast, experience the high speed transit of the Shinkansen bullet train as you transfer to Hiroshima, then take a local ferry to Miyajima Island. Here you will see Itsukushima Shrine, uniquely built to extend out over a little cove into the sea. Its main attraction is its great scarlet torii gate, which was built just off the shoreline and appears to float atop the water at high tide. Take time while there to admire Miyajima Island's gorgeous landscape. The local islanders make constant efforts to preserve the bright maple forests, stunning coastline, and various wildlife - including wild deer. After, return to Hiroshima for a relaxing evening at your hotel.
Our first destination of the day is the Peace Memorial Park. The Peace Park consists of the Peace Memorial Museum, the A-Bomb Dome, and the Cenotaph for the A- Bomb Victims. The Peace Park is one of the most significant features of the city, devoted to the events that occurred on August 6, 1945. Then, in Saijo, visit the renowned Kamotsuru Sake Brewery which consistently produces high quality, award-wining brews and for much of its over 100-year-long history was ahead of the game in sake production technology. Here, you'll have the opportunity to learn about the sake making process. The temperature of the kura (cellar) is maintained by the thick walls, which allows a natural balance without the need of air conditioners. After the tour, you'll have the chance to try a variety of sake in their tasting room. In the evening, you will travel to Okayama for a restful evening at your hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit Naoshima Island, first touring the Benesse House Museum. This museum was designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando and displays works from many different artists, both from Japan and abroad. About 20 of these works reside on the lawns and beaches that surround the museum, including the famous pumpkin. Next is the Chichu Art Museum, considered to be one of the world’s best museums for contemporary art, also designed by Tadao Ando and nestled deep underground on the island of Naoshima. It is both an intimate environment and a world- class institution. We will explore Chichu’s collections and investigate what makes this Japanese museum so special. Finally, you will see the Art House Project, where artists renovate old houses, turning the house and the space inside into a new "work of art." Afterwards, we return to Okayama to relax for the evening at the hotel.
Today, the tour takes your group to Kurashiki to visit the city's Historical Bikan Quarter. Once part of the distribution center that linked Kyoto with Tokyo, today the canal is a local heritage district where visitors can walk along the canal's broad promenade lined with a row of weeping willows and see the old storehouses and other buildings from the Edo period. Then we move on to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle, one of the twelve remaining original castles of Japan. It is also known as White Heron Castle because of its brilliant white exterior, resembling a bird raising its wings in flight. For your last night in Japan, we will take you to the city of Kobe to savor a sumptuous dinner of tender Kobe Wagyu beef, before going to the hotel for a relaxing evening.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends.
Checkout time is 11 am.
Transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport or Itami Airport by private car.
NOTE 3: The departure airport transfer is ONLY available on the last day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights after the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.
NOTE 4: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.