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: email@example.com
Land cost: from USD $9298.00 (Limit to 16 guests)
Single supplement: USD $1860.00
Tour duration: 14 days 13 nights
Tokyo / Hakone / 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 is a sightseeing tour of Tokyo that begins with a
once in a lifetime experience! 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. During the
ceremony, they will pray for good luck and prosperity for
the group. Afterwards, we will proceed to the Tsukiji
Outer Market, where we will find various shops selling
fresh seafood and delicious fruit. After walking through
the market, we will enjoy lunch together, where a
professional sushi chef will guide you in preparing your
very own sushi! Vegetarian options are available for
those with dietary restrictions. After enjoying our sushi
creations, we will visit 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 the colorful Nakamise
street, filled with rows of shops that sell all manner of
traditional souvenirs. Then, enjoy a different view of
Asakusa on a traditional rickshaw ride as you cruise
through the historical streets, sightseeing from your own
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 begins with a drive to Hakone to visit the Hakone Open Air Museum. This museum aims to create a harmonic balance of nature and art by exhibiting various sculptures and interactive structures on its grounds, in combination with views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Then board a leisurely cruise around Lake Ashi, a little caldera lake near Mount Hakone, where you can take in the gorgeous local scenery. Then travel to Lake Kawaguchi, near the base of Mount Fuji, where you will visit the Itchiku Kubota Museum. Here you can view silk artwork dyed by master textile artist Itchiku Kubota using the Tsujigahana technique, considered one of Japan's lost classical arts. Among the exhibits on display are parts of the unfinished "Symphony of Light", that uses a long row of dyed silk kimono to create a unified scene of Mount Fuji. After checking-in at a top-rated ryokan (traditional inn) in the area, relax in the warm hot spring baths before indulging in traditional, multi-course Japanese food, or kaiseki cuisine, which will allow you to taste local and seasonal flavors.
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, making a stop 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 we continue on to Takayama, where we will attend the Takayama Night Festival, which features 12 antique floats that are renowned for their craftsmanship and are illuminated by lanterns.
Takayama is famous for the artisans and craftsmen with traditions continuing to this day from the 9th century. After breakfast we will continue sightseeing in Takayama, including the Morning Market, Takayama Jinya and Sanmachi Suji 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 lined with 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 to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Takayama Spring Festival, watching floats as they parade through Old Town.
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. A quick drive over to Kanazawa brings us to gorgeous 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.
Take an express train into Osaka, where we will join 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 history and culture. We will first 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, we will find 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.
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.