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 $6698.00
Single supplement: USD $1360.00
Tour duration: 14 days 13 nights
Sapporo / Shiraoi / Noboribetsu / Lake Toya / Niseko / Yoichi / Otaru / Yudanaka / Matsumoto / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Nara / Mt Yoshino / Kyoto / Hakone / Tokyo
Tour cost includes:
• 10 nights Western style, 2 nights Japanese style and 1 night overnight ferry accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Sapporo New Chitose 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
• 9 lunches and 7 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 Sapporo! 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.
Today we will take a sightseeing tour of Sapporo City, beginning with browsing through Nijo Market, a public market featuring the freshest produce and seafood. After, we will visit the Asahi Beer Hokkaido Brewery. As Sapporo's largest brewery, and the brewer of the incredibly popular Asahi Super Dry, the Asahi Beer Hokkaido Brewery offers tours of the production facility, including beer-tasting. For lunch, the group will be treated to a Hokkaido specialty - succulent live crab! The tour continues on to the Historic Village of Hokkaido, an outdoor museum where many preserved buildings from the Showa, Taisho and Meiji eras have been transplanted from across Hokkaido. A visit to this historic village gives visitors a good sense of what life was like in Hokkaido during it's colonial period. Then, we make our way to the city center for a look at the Sapporo Clock Tower, with vintage American colonial architecture and a clock brought over from Boston, USA. From there we will walk through Odori Park - a central park stretching across twelve city blocks, offering a peaceful place of relaxation in the heart of busy Sapporo.
In the morning we will go to Shiraoi, and 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. From there we drive up to Noboribetsu, and into the mysterious, primordial beauty of Jigokudani "Hell Valley". Take the safe walking paths through this rocky crater, where water roils inside nearby bubbling pools and sulfurous steam rises from jagged cracks in the landscape. A hot river, flowing from out the area, eventually reaches the perfect temperature at the Oyunumagawa Natural Foot Bath. The tour continues on to Lake Toya for a relaxing evening at the hotel.
While visiting Lake Toya, we will take the Mt. Usu Ropeway for a gorgeous view of the surrounding area. Next, explore the area around Showa Shinzan, a young volcanic cone that slowly rose out of a wheat field during the reign of Emperor Showa, reaching a current height of about 290 meters. Sulfurous smoke can still be seen venting from the mountain to this day. From there we go to Niseko for a Samurai Experience. Here, you become a samurai for a day, and can wear traditional samurai clothes and learn the correct technique for how to hold and use a real katana.
After breakfast, we drive to the small town of Yoichi, home to the Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery. The Nikka Whisky label was established by Masataka Taketsuru - the father of Japan whisky - who sold the first local Japanese whiskey ever made. His company, Nikka, is still considered a leader in Japan whisky production, and a tour of the factory shows off their homegrown distillation process. Then we take the afternoon to explore more of Otaru, where you can find a lunch to suit your taste at the Otaru Sushi District. After, take a stroll down Sakaimachi Street, which preserves much of the city's rich heritage as a prosperous fishing port. In particular, we will explore the evolution of Otaru's glass-blowing industry, which went from making simple glass fishing buoys to producing fine glassware. At the end of the street sits the Music Box Museum, with about 25,000 music boxes of various sizes and shapes. Once we finish our sightseeing for the day, we embark on an overnight ferry departing Otaru for Niigata.
Today, we arrive in Niigata, and make our way to Yudanaka, in Nagano prefecture, where we will enjoy exploring the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Jigokudani is a word that means "Hell Valley", and the volcanic hot springs are this area's most memorable feature. It is well known as the bathing grounds of the Japanese macaque, which troops down from the mountains to clean themselves and each other in the water. Though most monkeys are thought to be disgusting and dirty, these primates are the cleanest creatures around, combing through each other's hair until it becomes fluffy and soft. After we finish exploring the snow monkey park, we continue on to Matsumoto for a relaxing evening at the hotel.
After breakfast, we explore Matsumoto Castle - a flatplain castle, and one of the oldest in the country. Nicknamed the "Black Crow Castle", the inky black- colored keep, mounted on a great stone basin, is one of Japan's most impressive castles. Then we continue the tour in Takayama, known for its preservation of cultural traditions. One of the most important of those traditions is the Takayama Spring Festival, which features a number of ancient floats that are carried through town in celebratory procession. We will see duplicates of these floats, as well as listen to traditional festival music. After, we head over to Takayama Old Town to explore the Sanmachi Suji, filled with vintage houses, shops, and even a few sake breweries.
After breakfast, we take the morning to explore a Takayama Morning Market, which sells local produce and handicraft, and can be a good place to find a unique souvenir! Then we drive to the UNESCO- protected village of Shirakawa-go, a charming mountain village celebrated for its farmhouses with broad thatched roofs, known locally as gassho-zukuri. At Shiroyama Viewpoint, you will see the entire town spread out before your eyes in an idyllic vista. From there, we head to the Gassho-Zukuri Minkaen, a collection of old buildings in an outdoor museum which showcase the rural architectural style. Then we drive to Kanazawa to see Kenrokuen - one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Designed after the "six sublimities" of Chinese landscape garden design, Kenrokuen is pretty in spring, when the locals of Kanazawa turns out for seasonal hanami, or cherry blossom viewing parties. Depeding on weather and temperature, a walk around may reveals flowering petals sprouting from every sakura branch, or a pink carpet covering the lawns. Finally, as the day draws to a close, we will take the express train to Kyoto.
In the morning, we travel to Nara to see the city's most famous landmark - Todaiji Temple. The immense temple hall was, until recently, the largest wooden structure in the world, and houses the massive Great Buddha of Todaiji. The temple is located in a corner of Nara Park, which is home to over a thousand free- roaming, adorable Sika deer. These friendly creatures are protected by Nara, even becoming an official symbol of the city. Stalls around the park sell special crackers to feed the deer, and some of the animals have even learned to bow when asking for food. We travel further south to stop at Mount Yoshino, one of the best places in Japan to view cherry blossoms. From the viewpoint, you can see a forest of cherry blossom trees covering the side of the mountain with pale pink branches.
Today, spend a day sightseeing in the former imperial capital of Kyoto. Start with a visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, widely famed for its thousands of vermillion torii gates. Dedicated to Inari, a Shinto deity of agriculture and prosperity, the shrine is guarded by a number of fierce-looking fox statues, who represent her heavenly messengers. Then we visit the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum, run by the Gekkeikan Sake Company, one of Japan's most prominent sake labels. Once a busy sake brewery in the early 1900s, the museum offers visitors a rare inside look into the history of Japanese sake, also housing around 400 sake production implements. Next, we take you to experience a more traditional Kyoto as we sit down for a Japanese green tea ceremony. Also known as "sado", the green tea ceremony is a unique custom which invites guests to slow down and enjoy authentic Japanese hospitality. Then we will go for a local Kimono Experience, which gives you the chance to try on a colorful kimono and take pictures. After, we take a walk through Gion, Kyoto's famous Geisha district, where you can see classical Japanese shops, restaurants, and teahouses. In the evening, have a taste of old Kyoto as you eat traditional kaiseki cuisine in the company of a maiko - a geisha apprentice.
After breakfast, we continue our sightseeing in Kyoto with a visit to Kiyomizu Temple, one of the old capital city's most iconic and magnificent temples. Kiyomizu features a dramatic wooden veranda offering incredible views of trees and cityscape. Then we enjoy the glittering shine of the Golden Pavilion, a three story Buddhist temple originally constructed in the late 1300s, featuring a golden phoenix perched on top. Then, in the Arashiyama district, we will visit several of the city's famous landmarks starting with Tenryuji Temple, the largest temple in the district, and a UNESCO world heritage site. On the temple grounds is Sogen Pond, an especially beautiful garden. Then we take a walk on a path through a dense grove of towering bamboo, an experience that feels like stepping into a hidden world. After, we will take a walk along Togestukyo Bridge, a popular place to admire the natural beauty of the old city, known for its gorgeous seasonal scenery. Finally, we finish our day with a ride on a rickshaw through the charming streets of Kyoto for one last look at the beauty of the ancient city.
After breakfast, we hop board a high-speed Shinkansen "bullet train" to Odawara, where we will transfer to Hakone. Once there, we will visit the Hakone Open Air Museum. Many of the sculptures and artsy structures use "borrowed scenery", integrating the surrounding landscape into each overall exhibit. The grounds also include a Picasso Exhibition Hall which feature various works by the famous artist. Then we take the Hakone Ropeway which, on clear days, offers spectacular views of Mount Fuji, before arriving at Owakudani. Explore this rocky, volcanic landscape, which is constantly wreathed in steam and sulfurous fumes from the boiling pools and steamy hot springs. Then we will continue to Tokyo, one of the biggest cities in the world, where we will discover the creative digital art displays at teamLab Borderless. Imagine wandering into a digitally projected world surrounded in realistic floating lanterns, rainbow waterfalls of colored lights, or other immersive display experiences designed to dazzle the mind. The art exhibits of teamlab Borderless carry away each guest into worlds of digital imagination that leave you spellbound in wonder.
After breakfast, make your way to the Tsukiji Outer
Market, filled with shops and restaurants where you
can try fresh produce and other food-related goods.
Next, we have a sushi-making experience where you
can learn to prepare different kinds of sushi from a
master chef. The Edo Tokyo Museum is next, and
offers a look into the old fishing town of Edo (also
called Tokyo), incluing old buildings, historic displays,
and a library. Then travel to Asakusa Kannon Temple,
in Tokyo’s Asakusa district. Enter by way of the
Kaminarimon “Thunder Gate”, underneath one of
Japan’s largest paper lanterns. Don’t forget to look up
to see the dragon sculpture underneath! Walk through
the Nakamise Market – a street lined with shops
selling traditional goods of all kinds, before
approaching Sensoji Temple. Take some time to
explore Tokyo’s oldest temple and shrine complex.
From there, we travel to Tokyo Skytree, one of the
tallest towers in the world, for an awe-inspiring view of
the Tokyo cityscape. Finally, we meet for a farewell
dinner at a local izakaya - a special type of relaxed
dining establishment unique to Japan, before returning
to the hotel.
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, our tour officially ends.
Checkout time is 11 am.
Transfer to Tokyo Narita Airport or Haneda Airport by airport shared shuttle.
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.