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 $5998.00
Single supplement: USD $1260.00
Tour duration: 15 days 14 nights
Himeji / Kurashiki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Takamatsu / Naruto / Koyasan / Kumano / Ise Shima / Osaka / Nara / Kyoto / Kanazawa / Shirakawa- go / Takayama / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Tokyo
Tour cost includes:
• 1 night temple lodging, 9 nights Western style and 4 nights Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Osaka Kansai 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
|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 Osaka! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
NOTE 1: If you wish to stay in the center of Osaka for the first night 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.
NOTE 2: If you will be flying into Itami Airport (ITM) instead of Kansai International Airport (KIX), we can arrange for you to stay in the center of Osaka (Hotel Elsereine Osaka or similar class) instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport. In this case, airport transfer and meet- and- greet are not included, but we will provide with full instructions to get to the hotel in advance.
NOTE 3: The meet and greet is ONLY available for flights arriving in Terminal 1 after 11:00 AM. 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 extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
Today we take a 2-hour ride on a 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, which resembles a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is the largest, most visited castle in Japan, and is one of the few remaining original castles in the country. This splendid example of traditional architecture was declared one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. Next is a visit to Kurashiki. Back in the day 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. We will also visit the Ohara Museum of Art, which is considered the first museum of Western art in Japan. It is a private museum consisting of three adjacent buildings next to the canal. In the afternoon, we will continue our journey to Hiroshima for two nights.
Today our travels will continue with a visit to the Peace Memorial Park, the iconic landmark of Hiroshima's memorial for those who passed away in the infamous Hiroshima bombing on August 6th, 1945. There, we will also enter the A-Bomb Museum where documents, artifacts, and videos are displayed throughout the museum. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima; the cherry blossoms on the island are a spectacular sight. At high tide we can see 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, while Miyajima has been selected as one of Japan's three most scenic places (nihon sankei).
In the morning, 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. We will stop by Kirosan Observatory where you can take in views of the Kurushima Kaikyo Bridges standing among hundreds of islands that are beautifully scattered all over the Seto Inland Sea. The modern observation deck was cleverly designed and built halfway into the ground of the hillside so as not to spoil the natural surroundings. We then proceed to Takamatsu with a stop at 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.
We continue our journey today at Naruto. Naruto is the starting point of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, which leads around the island to visit 88 temples across Shikoku associated with the famous Buddhist monk, Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism. Naruto's Ryozenji Temple is the first temple of the pilgrimage. We will be traveling by foot for approximately 1.2 km (0.75 miles) from Ryozenji Temple to Gokurakuji Temple. From Shikoku Island, we will board a ferry to Honshu Island where we will stay in a monastery in Koyasan complete with authentic Buddhist vegetarian meals. We will experience life very much as a monk would in Japan. Koyasan is the center of Shingon Buddhism, a Buddhist sect that was introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi, one of the most significant personalities in Japan’s religious history. The temple complex of over 100 temples is located on a mountain top, surrounded by cedar trees and mountain peaks. After a vegetarian dinner at the temple, you will have the option to follow your guide at night to Okunoin's gravesite. It is the largest cemetary in Japan where the founder of Shingon Buddhism is said to be in eternal meditation.
Today activities begin with reflection as we medidate with the monks of Koyasan. Then we will go to Okunoin Temple that is surrounded by many grave markings, the majority of which are old and worn out. The gravesite is also the resting place of the founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan, Kobo Daishi. Next is Kongobuji Temple which was originally built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of Nobunaga's generals during the warring era. The temple also has the Ohiroma room, a special room designated for ceremonies and rituals with tatami mat floors and elegantly designed sliding doors. The pilgrimage finishes at Danjo Garan, a temple complex also belonging to Kobo Daishi's original foundations. Painted in brilliant vermillion color, one of the pagoda structures called the Konpon Daito stands out amongst the others.
This morning we head out to the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where pilgrims have walked the forest trails for over 1000 years. The Kumano region is the mountainous southern portion of the Kii Hanto, the largest Peninsula of Japan, where sacred trails are still used for the pilgrimage to the three grand shrines of Kumano. We will walk along a short section of Daimon-zaka Trail and visit the 133 metre high Nachi Waterfall, whose vertical torrent pouring over the cliff edge into the virgin forest, is said to be the highest in Japan. We slowly climb the pilgrim's steps to visit Seigantoji Temple, originally built in 1590, and a very picturesque 3 storied vermilion coloured pagoda that creates a perfect picture of Japanese tranquillity.
The pilgrimage continues to Ise Shima where the Ise Grand Shrine is located. The Ise Grand Shrine has a two- thousand year history, is Japan's most important Shinto shrine, and serves as the centre of all Shinto shrines nationwide. Situated near the banks of the Isuzu River, the shrine is surrounded by Japanese cedar trees, some 800 years old. The inner shrine is considered to be the abode of Amaterasu, the sun goddess, the deity the emperor was considered to be descended from. At Okage Yokocho Street we can experience the townscape of a bygone era, where buildings leading to the inner shrine reproduce the architecture and atmosphere that surrounded Ise pilgrims during the Edo Period (1600-1868). Our next stop is at Mikimoto Pearl Island where in 1893, Kokichi Mikimoto first perfected the technique of producing cultured pearls and started a now world wide industry. Here we see 'Ama' , women pearl divers, demonstrate their skills, watch how cultured pearls are produced and see a truly amazing collection of million dollar treasures made with pearls.
In the morning, we will travel to Osaka Castle by private coach. The construction of the castle began in 1583 on the ruins of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, and it was the largest castle of its time. From Osaka, our coach departs to Nara, the oldest capital city of Japan. We will visit Todaiji Temple, one of the world's largest wooden buildings. This temple also houses the one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 16.3 meters high. Outside of the temple is the Nara Deer Park, where over 1,000 Sika deer freely roam. Afterwards, we will make our way to Kyoto to experience a traditional Japanese green tea ceremony. Meanwhile, you will also have the chance to meet-and-greet with a maiko, who is an apprentice geisha. Photo taking opportunities will be available as well. We will stay two nights in Kyoto.
Today, we will continue our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. Our first stop is in Arashiyama, a popular spot to admire natural scenery during the spring and fall season. Visit the Zen garden of the Tenryuji Temple, the most important temple in the Arashiyama District. Then, enjoy a scenic stroll through the Sagano Bamboo Forest. From there, visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), known for its two top floors covered entirely with 18 carat gold leaf. Next, proceed to the Nishijin Textile Center, where you can learn how kimonos are made and experience an elegant kimono fashion show. Our next attraction is the Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its huge wooden stage that grants its visitors with excellent views of the cherry and maple trees planted on the hillside below. Our group will then go to Maruyama Park, a popular spot where many visitors enjoy cherry blossom viewing (hanami) parties. Lastly, we will tour Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha quarters. It is lined with exclusive restaurants and traditional teahouses (ochaya), entertained by geisha and maiko.
After breakfast, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Kyoto to Maibara, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. Then, transfer to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three most beautiful landscape gardens of Japan. The name,"Kenrokuen", translates to a garden combining the 6 attributes of a perfect landscape: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features, and panoramas. Here, you can 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 coach to the rural area of Shirakawa-go, a listed World Heritage site. In this photogenic village, we will walk past thatched roof farm houses, cultivated fields, and wooden buildings dating back to the Edo Period. Then, we will travel to Takayama to experience a festival that dates back to the 15th century. This city is located amongst the Japanese Alps and is known as "Little Kyoto" for its preserved historical structures and environment. Due to its remote position in the mountains, it was cut off from the rest of Japan for most of its history and has thus maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. Held on the 14th and 15th of April, the festival is meant to pray for a good harvest. Its highlight is displayed during the evening, where colorful dashi (floats) are led through the streets amid cheers and drums.
After breakfast, we will continue sightseeing in Takayama. Our group will first stop by the Morning Market, where you can browse through the market stalls for local crafts and fresh farm products. Then, we will head to the Takayama Jinya, a former government office that is now a public museum. Continue to Takayama's Old Town, which has been beautifully preserved and features entire streets of buildings dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868). On some streets, like Sannomachi Street, you can find many old homes, shops, and sake breweries; some of which have been in business for over a hundred years. In the afternoon, we will continue to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Takayama Spring Festival, watching floats as they parade through Old Town. Tonight, we will stay at an onsen hotel, where you can unwind and soak in the rejuvenating waters of a spa bath, and later enjoy a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
After eating a Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will travel to Mt. Fuji on our private luxury coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from dense forests to open plains. Depending on weather conditions, we will go to the Mt. Fuji 5th Station to gaze upon the world famous peak. From there, we will visit Hakone and experience a scenic ropeway ride to Owakudani. Owakudani has been considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. There, you can view hot rivers, steam vents, and bubbling pools. During clear skies, Owakudani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji. Our tour will continue to Tokyo, where we will proceed to the bustling district of Shibuya. Complete with neon signs and giant video screens, you will get to walk the Shibuya Crossing, a popular photo and film spot. From there, continue to one of Tokyo's most famous meeting spots, the Hachiko Statue. The statue is dedicated to a loyal dog and his famous story, where he faithfully waited for his master at the Shibuya Station for years even after his owner had passed.
In the morning, you will be taken to the Asakusa Kannon
Temple, a colorful temple in Tokyo that holds the largest
paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore
Nakamise Market, which is located right after the
temple's "thunder gate" (Kaminarimon). It is a historical
shopping street filled with traditional snacks and
souvenirs. Next, make your way to the Tsukiji Outer
Market, lined with various food stalls and local goods.
Afterwards, our group will participate in a sushi making
experience with a professional sushi chef. Whatever
prepare, you will get to eat! Then, we will proceed to the
Imperial Palace, the current residence of Japan's
Family, which is surrounded by moats and stone
fortifications. Our next stop is the Meiji Shrine, which is
dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. In the
afternoon, we will visit the world's tallest self-supporting
steel tower. At 333 meters high, Tokyo Tower is 13
meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. Our group
will have the chance to go up 150 meters to the main
observatory deck for 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.