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
Tour cost includes:
• 11 nights Western style and 3 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
• 8 lunches and 8 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary
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.
Our tour begins by seeing the foremost surviving example of 17th century Japanese architecture, the Himeji Castle, also known as the White Heron Castle. It is labeled as both a National Treasure and World Heritage site. Next, we will visit the Kokoen Garden, an elegant Edo-inspired garden that features 9 separate gardens and a tea ceremony house. After that, we will make our way to the "castle floating in the sky", or the Takeda Castle Ruins. Although the buildings no longer remain, the foundations offer an impressive view of its former layout plus the surrounding mountains. We will end our day by relaxing at the Kinosaki Onsen, the top hot springs destination in the Kansai region.
We begin our day at the Tottori Sand Dunes, which is on CNN's list of the most beautiful places in Japan. Here we will enjoy Japan's largest sand dunes, along with impressive coastal views and a number of activities provided. We will then tour to the Adachi Museum of Art, founded by Adachi Zenko in hopes of expanding people's appreciation of Japanese artwork and gardens. Afterwards, we will head to the Matsue Castle, one of Japan's 12 original castles and also a National Treasure. Then, enjoy a Horikawa Boat Tour around the moats of the Matsue Castle and other waterways. Lastly, we will visit the beautifully preserved samurai residence, known as Buke Yashiki.
Our day starts at the Izumo Grand Shrine, one of Japan's most important shrines. Its origins are deemed mysterious, and it is considered to be the oldest shrine in Japan. No one knows its true establishment date, but it has been mentioned as early as the 700s in Japan's oldest chronicles. Its main deity is Okuninushi no Okami, founder of the land of Japan and head of all the Japanese deities, according to creation myths. Our last destination for the day will be Iwami Ginzan, which was once the top producing silver mine in the world. Its main attractions include Ryugenji Mabu Mine Shaft, a 273 meter long tunnel, as well as various temples and shrines.
Today we will discover the Kikuya Family Residence, who were once samurai before turning into a wealthy merchant family. Located in the Hagi Castle Town, the property is a stellar example of architecture from the Edo Period. You will also partake in a unique ceramic art experience at Hagiyaki-Kaikan, where you will create your own Japanese pottery. Next up is the Motonosumi Inari Shrine, another one of CNN's most beautiful places in Japan. It is distinguished for its tunnel of 123 red torii gates and its impressive views of the Japan Sea. This unique shrines holds an offertory box in a difficult-to- reach spot, but it is believed that the shrine's deity will grant your wish if you successfully throw money into it.
Today we will embark on a unique journey through the long, beautiful Akiyoshido Limestone Cave. The cave is the largest and most spacious in Japan, featuring paved paths, various rock formations, underground waterfalls, and more. At the end of the cave you'll be greeted with a panoramic view of the Akiyoshidai Plateau. Next, we'll cross the Kintaikyo Bridge, an eminent landmark of Iwakuni, and admired for its five bold arches built across giant stone pillars. The Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima will be our final attraction for the day. There you can see the A-Bomb Dome and the Peace Memorial Museum, which are eye-opening reminders of war, world- peace, and human life.
This day, we will experience one of Japan's three most scenic views. The Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island gains world-wide attention for its 16-meter-high "floating" torii gate built over water. At low tide, it is possible for visitors to walk up to it for a closer look. Then, we will go to a stunning canal town in Kurashiki, where you will find original storehouses from the Edo Period (1603-1967). This nostalgic canal area is very photogenic, with many shops and restaurants available. Nearby, we will visit the Ohara Museum, Japan's first museum of Western art. It features several galleries, with its main one highlighting works from Picasso, El Greco, Gauguin, and much more.
Patrons will spend the day indulging in the "coexistence of nature, art, and architecture" at the Benesse House Museum. Benesse House, along with the Chichu Art Museum and the Lee Ufan Museum, are all located on a tiny island known as Naoshima. Benesse House, the island's main attraction, incorporates guest rooms for a one-of-a-kind experience, and features extensive artwork at every turn. The Chichu Art Museum is an underground art exhibit, utilizing natural lighting to create its unique ambience. The Lee Ufan Museum is the product of Japanese architect Ando Tadao, who also designed the Benesee House and Chichu Art Museum, in collaboration with contemporary artist Lee Ufan.
First, we will head to the quiet and tranquil Ritsurin Garden, which features many ponds, hills, and a Mt. Shuin backdrop. There are a number of amenities for visitors to enjoy refreshments, such as the Kikugetsu-tei teahouse, where you may enjoy a cup of tea while overlooking the gardens. Afterwards, we will make our way to Tadao Ando's Water Temple, a fascinating architectural concept of a shrine that gradually leads to a unique sacred space. Then, we will visit Kiseki no Hoshi Botanical Garden, a stunning greenhouse exhibition. For dinner, we will experience a prized Japanese delicacy, Kobe Beef. This high-end meat must pass through strict requirements before earning its Kobe Beef label.
This morning you will travel to Nara, the oldest capital city of Japan, by private coach. We will first visit Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 16.3 meters high. Just outside the temple grounds is the Nara Deer Park, filled with over 1,000 Sika deer, where you can greet and feed them deer crackers. We continue our tour to Kyoto, where we will visit the stunning vermilion colored Fushimi Inari Shrine, whose 4km long tunnel of scarlet torii gates was featured in the 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. Finally, you will partake in a traditional green tea ceremony, where you will also have the chance to meet a maiko. A maiko is simply an apprentice geisha. There will be photo taking opportunities and time to interact with the maiko.
Today, we will continue our tour of Kyoto, the former capital of Japan and arguably its biggest cultural center. First, you will go to Arashiyama, well known for its natural scenery and popular during the spring and fall season. Visit the Zen garden of the Tenryuji Temple, which is ranked first among the city's five great Zen temples. Afterwards, enjoy a pleasant walk through the Sagano Bamboo Forest. We will then make our way to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), a temple with two floors completely covered with 18 carat gold leaves. Next, you will have the chance to see an elegant kimono fashion show at the Nishijin Textile Center and learn how kimonos are made. Our next attraction is the famous Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its wooden stage that extends from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of numerous cherry and maple trees below, as well as a beautiful scene of Kyoto in the distance. From Kiyomizu Temple, we will head to Maruyama Park, which is one of the most popular places for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) in Kyoto. Lastly, we will tour Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. Here, you will find many restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where maiko and geisha entertain.
This morning, we will visit the famous Miho Museum. The Miho Museum is known for its stunning architecture that allows visitors to appreciate the surrounding nature and natural light. It exhibits many works from different ancient civilizations. There is also a tunnel that leads from the museum to a road lined with hundreds of cherry blossom trees. It was designed by the renowned architect, I. M. Pei, and is named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the founder of the museum. The group will continue to Hikone to visit Hikone Castle, an attractive hanami spot during the cherry blossom season. Hikone Castle is an original castle, meaning it has survived the post feudal era without undergoing destruction and reconstruction. It is regarded as a national treasure next to four other castles, the highest designation a cultural property can receive. Afterwards, visit the tranquil Genkyuen Garden, located on the grounds of Hikone Castle. Next, our group will experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. Tonight, you will stay at the Onsen Hotel at Hamanako Kanzaiji Onsen, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath (onsen) and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Note: If Miho Museum is close, we will visit Kyoto National Museum or Sagawa Art Museum instead.
After enjoying a Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will travel 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 experience hot springs and bubbling pools, where sulfurous fumes and steam vents still linger. Owakudani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji during pleasant weather conditions. From Hakone, we will proceed to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands and rolling clouds. We will stop at the Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on the weather) to admire the world famous peak. In the afternoon, we will travel to Tokyo. Our final stop of the day will be in Shibuya. There, you will get to see the famed Shibuya Crossing in action and cross the street with the crowd. You will also be able to take photos with the Hachiko Statue, a monument dedicated to Japan's most loyal dog, which continued for nine years after his owner's death.
Today, you will be taken to the Asakusa Kannon Temple,
an active place of worship where you can see the
paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore
the Nakamise Market, which is located right after the
temple's outer gates. It is a traditional-style shopping
street with centuries of history. Continue to Ueno Park, a
famous cherry blossom viewing spot with more than
1,000 cherry trees. Afterwards, you will be able to
participate in a sushi making experience with a
professional sushi chef. Whatever you make, you will
to enjoy for lunch! Our group will continue to the Tsukiji
Outer Market, which is lined with shops that sell fresh
produce and other food-related goods. Then we will
proceed to the Imperial Palace, the former site of Edo
Castle and current residence of Japan's Imperial Family.
It is surrounded by moats and stone fortifications,
in the heart of Tokyo. In the afternoon, we will visit Tokyo
Tower, the world's tallest self supporting steel tower
standing at 333 meters high. You will get to tour 150
meters up to the main observatory and enjoy a bird's
view of Tokyo.
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 Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included, but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.
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 Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo (or similar class) instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita. In this case, airport transfer is not included but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.
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.