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 $8698.00
Single supplement: USD $1900.00
Tour duration: 22 days 21 nights
Nagasaki / Takachiho / Beppu / Kitsuki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Takamatsu / Kurashiki / Himeji / Kobe / Nara / Kyoto / Kanazawa / Shirakawa-go / Takayama / Matsumoto / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Tokyo / Ashikaga / Nikko / Matsushima / Hiraizumi / Kitakami / Morioka / Seikan Tunnel / Hakodate / Lake Toya / Noboribetsu / Shiraoi / Otaru / Sapporo
Tour cost includes:
• 16 nights Western style and 5 nights Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Fukuoka Airport
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
• Breakfast everyday
• 11 lunches and 11 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary
|Start Date||End Date||Twin/Triple||Start City||End City||Style||Status|
|Start Date||End Date||Twin/Triple||Start City||End City||Style||Status|
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 Fukuoka! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.
NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
The day begins with a visit to Nagasaki. Visit the Nagasaki Peace Park that holds the memorial for the victims of the second bomb that hit the land. A statue of a man pointing up and holding his other arm out is symbolic of the Nagasaki Peace Park. Our next site is Dejima, an area with over 400 years of history in Dutch trade. It features historical warehouses and residences, providing insight into the former Dutch Trade Post and how they lived during Japan's two centuries of isolation. Then, visit the Glover Gardens, an open air museum where we can see a fine collection of historic mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. Continue to the Oura Catholic Church, the oldest standing Christian church in Japan. It was also the first Western building in Japan to be designated as a national treasure.
Today we will take a 30 minute ferry from Shimabara and cross the Ariake Sea to Kumamoto. From Kumamoto, we drive east to Takachiho, a town in northern Miyazaki Prefecture that is steeped in Japanese mythology. It is the supposed site of legend where Amaterasu, the Shinto Sun Goddess, disturbed by her brother's cruel pranks, hid herself in a cave, prompting the other gods and goddesses to try and lure her out. Another legend suggests that this is where Amaterasu's grandson Ninigi- no- Mikoto descended to earth to establish Japan's imperial family. Takachiho is also known as a "power spot", a place of profound religious importance and natural beauty, which radiates spiritual energy. We will visit Takachiho Gorge, a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River. The nearly sheer cliffs lining the gorge are made of slow forming volcanic basalt columns, which resemble the scales of a dragon where the stone twisted and flowed as it was formed. Partway along the gorge is the 17 meter high Minainotaki waterfall cascading down to the river below, and it is truly impressive to see the waterfall against a backdrop of dense green foliage and the surrounding grey cliffs. Then visit Amano Iwato Shrine and Amano Yasukawara. Amano Iwato Shrine was built near the cave where Amaterasu is said to have hid herself. A short walk down the road from Amano Iwato Shrine is a path that leads down to the river below. Eventually the path leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as Amano Yasukawara. This is said to be the cave where the gods and goddesses met to discuss their strategy of luring Amaterasu out of hiding. The natural beauty of the cave and river lined by countless stacks of stones make Amano Yasukawara a place not to miss. After a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner, we have a special treat-a Yokagura Dance Performance. An outrageously ribald dance that supposedly caused Amaterasu to leave the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she returned her light to the world.
After your Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we proceed to a bather's paradise - the celebrated hot spring resort of Beppu. Marvel at one of Beppu's most celebrated attractions, the Jigoku Meguri, or "Boiling Hells" hot springs. View two of the nine hot springs or “hells” of Beppu. These hot springs are ideal for viewing rather than bathing. The springs earned their name because it was said that these mysterious, steamy attractions resembled a scene from hell ("jigoku" means "hell"). Then we will enjoy a scenic drive to Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park where we will take a monorail up to the observation area. Mt. Takasaki is a forested mountain just outside of Beppu and home to over 1,500 wild Japanese monkeys. Within this natural habitat, the monkeys have been fed regularly in order to keep them living on the mountain and prevent conflicts with local fruit farmers. The monkeys are quite accustomed to human visitors, and it is possible to get very close in order to take their pictures! From here, visit the Kitsuki Samurai Districts en route to Kokura before taking a ride on the top speed Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima.
Today we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima, considered sacred by many. 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.
This morning we will proceed to Takamatsu with a visit to the Shikoku Mura Village. Shikoku Mura (Shikoku Village) is an open air museum situated at the base of Yashima. This pleasant hillside park preserves and exhibits traditional buildings and structures that have been relocated here from all over Shikoku Island. Then visit Ritsurin Park, a masterpiece of Japanese landscape 100 years in the making. This sprawling park features beautiful ponds and pavilions, with Mt. Shiun as the perfect backdrop. In the evening, we will drive through the Seto- ohashi Bridge back to Honshu Island. Seto-ohashi Bridge is a collective term for the six bridges that connects Japan's main island of Shikoku to the island of Honshu, passing over five small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. These beautiful bridges took 40 years and a tremendous amount of money to build. They are the essence of all available bridge-building technologies. Tonight, we will stay in a spa hotel in Kurashiki, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a buffet dinner.
Today we will visit Kurashiki. In merchant days, this scenic town thrived as a port for rice shipments. Several old rice granaries and examples of historic architecture still remain, in addition to the stone lined canal. Then we will proceed to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle. It is known as "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. In the evening we continue to Kobe, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef.
In the morning, travel to Nara, the oldest capital city of Japan, by private coach. Visit Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses the largest bronze Buddha statue that is 49 feet (15 m) high, and the surrounding park is filled with over 1,000 Sika Deer. In the afternoon, travel to Kyoto, a historical city that was spared from both air raids and the atomic bomb during World War II for its cultural and historical value. The tour will continue to the scenic and historic Fushimi district to see the stunning vermilion-colored Fushimi Inari Shrine. This architectural wonder boasts an approximately 2.5 mile (4 km) tunnel of torii gates, showcased during a critical scene of the hit film 'Memoirs of a Geisha'. This complex wraps around a bamboo wilderness that includes mountains, streams, and ponds - the perfect backdrop for a scenic hike. You will then enjoy a traditional green tea ceremony with a special host: an apprentice Geisha, or Maiko.
Today, we will continue our tour of Kyoto, which once served as Japan's capital and emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. First, we will visit Arashiyama to see the Tenryuji Temple, where you can have a glimpse of a traditional Zen landscape garden design. Then, proceed through a dense bamboo forest, pass several small shrines, tea shops, and private houses before arriving at the Togetsukyo Bridge over Hozu River. Continue on to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered with 18- karat gold leaf. This three-story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. At the Nishijin Textile Center, you can view displays of kimonos, watch an elegant kimono fashion show, and learn how they are made. Our group will tour the Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its large wooden stage that sits 13 meters (42.6 ft) above a hillside. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry trees below, experiencing a first hand view of real spring feelings, as well as the view Kyoto's city in the distance. Lastly, we will tour Gion, a famous geisha district in Kyoto lined with many restaurants and ochaya (teahouses).
After breakfast, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Kyoto to Maibara, which can reach speeds of up to 320 km/hr (200mph). Then transfer to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of three most beautiful strolling gardens of Japan. The name Kenrokuen literally means a garden combining the 6 attributes of a perfect landscape: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features, and panoramas. Here, you'll find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two-legged stone lantern that is the icon of Kenrokuen and Kanazawa. From Kanazawa we cross the mountains by private coach to the World Heritage-listed rural area of Shirakawa-go. Shirakawa-go is home of the UNESCO designated Gassho-styled ("praying hands") farmhouses. First is the Shiroyama Viewpoint, where great views of Ogimachi Village can be seen. Next is the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen open air museum where farmhouses and other structures were relocated to the area. Then, we will continue on to Takayama, a city located amongst the Japanese Alps and is known as "Little Kyoto" for its preserved historical structures and environment. Due to it's remote position in the mountains, it was cut off from the rest of Japan for most of its history and thus has maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. Tonight, we will stay at the Ryokan, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
After enjoying breakfast at the ryokan, we will continue sightseeing in Takayama, including the Morning Market, Takayama Jinya and Old Town. You can browse the market stalls for local crafts and fresh farm products. Takayama's Old Town has been beautifully preserved, with many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600- 1868). On some streets, like Sannomachi Street, you can find many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries. In the afternoon, we will continue on to Matsumoto. Visit Matsumoto Castle, also known as "Crow Castle" because of its black exterior. Inside, we can see the best examples of wooden construction of a traditional Japanese style castle. This is a classical "flatland" castle surrounded by a still intact defense moat.
After breakfast, we will travel to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands to rolling clouds. We will stop at Mt. Fuji's 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world famous peak. From Mt. Fuji we will proceed to Hakone and take a 20-minute ropeway from Togendai to Owakudani. 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 view hot springs and hot rivers, where sulfurous fumes still linger. Owakudani also has splendid views of Mt. Fuji in good weather. 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 and friend that waited, even long 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 largest
paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore
Nakamise Market, which is located right after the
outer gates. It is a shopping street with a traditional-style
and centuries of history. Next, you will have the chance
enjoy a sushi-making experience with a professional
chef. Whatever you prepare, you will get to eat!
Afterwards, we will proceed to the Tsukiji Outer 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 (1092.5 feet)
high, Tokyo Tower is 9-meters taller than its model, the
Eiffel Tower. See the city from up to 150 meters (492
up at the main observatory deck to get a bird's eye view
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.
Today you will have a free day in Tokyo. Tokyo is Japan's most well known and populated city. From pop culture or historic temples to relaxation or shopping, there is no shortage of things to do here! You are free to plan your own route or we are happy to provide suggestions. Tokyo is well known for its culinary diversity so we recommend that you take this opportunity to explore and find yourself some great eats! Lunch and dinner are not included today so you will be free to choose from the wide range Tokyo has to offer.
Today we travel to Tochigi Prefecture to visit Ashikaga Flower Park, beloved for its many-colored wisteria flowers. The bright umbrella of hanging blue, white, and pink flowers hang over your strolling paths as you head to the centerpiece of the park. The main attraction of the park is undoubtedly the Great Wisteria Tree, which is over 150 years old and blooms every year a vast canopy of blue flowers. Additional flowers such as azaleas can be seen - a lovely complement to the wisteria hanging throughout Ashikaga Flower Park. Afterward, we'll travel overland to Nikko National Park, a lovely region set in the mountains north of Tokyo. As the Japanese say, "Don't say kekko (wonderful) without seeing Nikko." The shrines and temples of Nikko, together with their natural surroundings, have been connected to the Tokugawa family for centuries. We will visit the main attraction of Nikko - Toshogu Shrine. Toshogu enshrines the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate and is lavishly decorated with a large amount of gold leaf and countless wooden carvings of various creatures. Be sure not to miss the carving of the Three Wise Monkeys over the stable of the sacred horse, and look for the carving of Sleeping Cat. The shrine also contains a magnificent grove of ancient Japanese sugi cedars along a path of hundreds of stone steps leading to Tokugawa Ieyasu's grave. Toshogu Shrine is, without doubt, one of the grandest monuments of ancient Japan.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be visiting Matsushima, a picturesque bay full of small islands covered in pine trees where we will explore ancient caves once frequented by meditating monks. Matsushima is famous for being one of Japan's three most scenic views alongside Miyajima and Amanohashidate. The bay is dotted by over 200 small islands covered by pine trees. We will enjoy the best way to view the islands by boarding one of the sightseeing boats. We will then visit Godaido and Zuiganji Temples, the most famous in the Tohoku region, built by Date Masamune and designated as a national treasure. Tonight, we will stay in a Japanese style room in Matsushima, where you can soak in the soothing waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
This morning, we will head to Hiraizumi for a cultural interlude and to stroll around the magnificent Japanese Cedar Trees and photogenic buildings at Chusonji Temple. Hiraizumi is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the site of Konjiki-do, or “Golden Hall”, within Chusonji Temple, which attempts to create the ideal world, as seen through the eyes of the particular brand of Buddhism that developed in this region. As such, many artifacts on display here exhibit a “culture of gold” which calls back to said brand of Buddhism which was able to develop in the Tohoku region independent from the influence of the cultural center that was, and still is, Kyoto. This makes Chusonji a rare example of a local culture being allowed to mature to such a degree without outside influence, and for such a long period of time – from the ancient to medieval period. In Kitakami, you will be able to enjoy the Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival where you can see over 300 carp streamers hung from one side of the river to the other or walk through the tunnel of cherry blossom trees. Before heading to your hotel, you will stop in Morioka for dinner. Here, you will have the chance to try one of the city’s most famous eating experiences: Wanko Soba. This is not so much a dish as it is an eating challenge. Many locals get competitive and strive to eat over 100 bowls of soba in one sitting! But don’t worry, there’s no shame in sitting back and enjoying the flavor.
In the morning, we will travel across the Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu by train via the undersea train tunnel, before arriving to Hakodate. It is a small city that has some of the most authentic and best- preserved historic buildings in Japan. Upon arrival in Hakodate, visit the Goryokaku Pentagonal Fort, built in 1868 and the only structure of its kind in Japan. The surrounding moat and defensive grounds are now a city park and garden which are particularly well known for their beautiful cherry blossom trees. You will then visit the group of warehouses which face Hakodate bay. These warehouses can trace their roots to the Kanemori Haberdasher’s shop, which first opened in 1869. In the evening, take a tram and ropeway ride up to Mt Hakodate from where you can look down upon the twinkling lights that surround Hakodate Bay. The views from the mountain are spectacular and included among Japan's three best night views.
In the morning, we will be going to the Hakodate Morning Market. It has over 450 shops and was established after World War II. This morning market is the third largest in Hokkaido. We’ll then visit Onuma Quasi National Park. This picturesque park is filled with lakes dotted by islands with the majestic volcano, Mount Komagatake, overtaking the horizon. Next to Lake Toya, travel up the Usuzan Ropeway to get excellent views of the mountain and the lake below. At the volcano’s summit, you can also get views of the ocean.
In the morning, we will visit the Jigokudani. The valley generates 10,000 tons of bubbling water everyday, and visitors can walk to the nearby Oyunuma Lake and watch the plumes of steam rise. Today we will have the opportunity to learn about the Ainu, the indigenous people of northern Japan. We will visit the National Ainu Museum, a newer museum facility that celebrates the cultural heritage of the native Ainu people, including exhibits on Ainu language, culture, history, crafts, music, and dance. In the afternoon, we proceed to Sapporo city. The tour includes a visit to the Sapporo Clock Tower and Odori Park, where you can stroll along the promenade. The next stop is Susukino, Hokkaido's largest entertainment district. In the evening is for you to enjoy your free time.
In the morning our tour of Sapporo continues with a visit to the Historic Village, you can view architecture from the Meiji and Taisho periods when Japan experienced rapid expansion. From there we will visit the Sapporo Beer Museum, dedicated to all things beer. Sapporo is Japan's oldest brewery and exports its beer throughout the world. Then, we will travel to Otaru, renowned for its canals and glassblowing. During the first half of the 20th century, the Otaru Canal was a vital part of the city's busy harbor. The canal allowed large vessels to be unloaded onto smaller ones, then transported to local warehouses. Although the canal became obsolete when modern dock facilities allowed for the direct unloading of large vessels, the canal remains an integral part of the city's history and culture. As part of a citizen's movement in the 1980s, the canal was beautifully restored and former warehouses have been transformed into cafes, restaurants, museums, and shops. Next, we will visit glass workshops and Music Box Museum in Sakaimachi Street.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and New Chitose Airport can be reached by hotel shuttle bus.