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 $7998.00
Single supplement: USD $1860.00
Tour duration: 14 days 13 nights
Himeji / Matsue / Izumo / Takamatsu / Awaji Island / Kobe / Osaka / Koyasan / Nara / Kyoto / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Tokyo
Tour cost includes:
• 1 night temple lodging, 10 nights Western style and 2 nights Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Osaka Kansai Airport or Itami Airport
• Private airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with a garden specialist 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 Osaka! 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.
Travel to Himeji Castle, one of Japan’s few remaining original castles and a World Cultural Heritage Site. Following a long winding road, you’ll view its magnificent castle tower. Elegant from the outside, the interior quickly changes to a more masculine, simple aesthetic highlighting its beautifully preserved wooden features. Next to the castle is Koko-en Garden, flush with fall foliage, featuring a large pond full of colorful carp. Then, you will make your way to Adachi Art Museum and Garden. This garden has been rated among the finest Japanese-styled gardens by JOJG for many years in a row. It stands one of the most sophisticated gardens and museums in Japan, and is splashed here and there with fall colors for your delight. Tonight, you will experience staying at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) at in Matsue City in Japan.
Today, you will visit landmarks around Matsue, a city admired for an abundance of lovely water features including two lakes and a number of rivers, with a long northern coastline bordering the Sea of Japan. First, tour Matsue Castle, another of Japan's remaining original castles, bordered by the preserved remains of an Edo-era castle town. Enjoy the area's feudal atmosphere, taking a small boat tour along the castle moat and walking around the former residential area of samurai warriors. Next, visit the Yushi-en Garden, a small but lovely flower garden on an island in the middle of Lake Nakaumi, featuring trees bursting with red and yellow leaves, where you will also have today’s lunch. The last attraction for today will be Izumo Taisha Shrine and accompanying Treasure Hall. This is one of Japan’s most ancient Shinto shrines and has played a prominent role in Japanese mythology. The path to the shrine features Matsu no Sando, a group of three narrow paths divided by rows of bright green pines.
After leaving Tamatsukuri Spa in the morning, continue to Takamatsu City on Shikoku Island via Seto Ohashi Bridge, an outstanding bridge with views of the Seto Inland Sea. Takamatsu City is famous for its tradition of producing a beautiful display of pine trees. There, you will tour a bonsai village featuring pine bonsai, 80 percent of which are produced in Japan. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll through Ritsurin Koen Garden, one of the best gardens in Japan. Taking 150 years to complete, this garden features a number of rest spots, but none of them are the equal of ancient Kikugetsu-tei Teahouse, where you can enjoy a cup of tea overlooking the garden vista. Other features, aside from the vibrant orange and red autumn colors, include a grove of elaborately trimmed black pines, and ponds full of koi fish. Tonight, you will stay at a hotel next to Takamatsu Station and have dinner on your own.
This morning, transfer from Takamatsu City to Kobe, a lovely international port town. On the way, you will stop by Yumebutai on Awaji Island to see the Miracle Planet Botanical Museum, a large greenhouse popular among floral designers. You will also visit the complex 100 Stepped Garden, a distinctive platform of 100 flower beds. Lunch will be offered there. Next, travel through Akashi Ohashi Bridge, the world longest suspension bridge, and arrive in Kobe. Kobe is the 6th largest city in Japan, an exotic port city famous for its marbled beef. Take a short walking tour around Ikuta Shrine and the bustling shopping area around it, located in the center of Kobe City.
Today, enjoy an immersion into Japan's traditional customs at Hasshu-an, where you will experience Green Tea Ceremony, Ikebana Flower-arranging, and Zen Meditation. Then travel to Koyasan, the heart of Shingon Buddhism, and flush with vibrant autumn foliage. Here you can enjoy a tour of Kongobuji Temple, constructed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to commemorate his mother after death. The rock garden behind Kongobuji Temple is the largest Zen garden, beautifully composed to represent dragons emerging from clouds in the sky. Then we will visit the Danjo Garan, the main temple complex of Koyasan. This evening, enjoy an overnight stay in a temple where you can savor a healthy shojin ryori dinner of vegetarian monks' food. Please be aware that because this is an authentic Buddhist temple, there are no private bath facilities, though there is a public bath.
Awaken that morning to an early meditation session with the monks. This kind of meditation is called ajikan, which involves lessons in proper posture and breathing exercises during the meditation time. Next you will take a tour of Okunoin, the largest cemetery in Japan. This cemetery holds the mausoleum of Shingon Buddhism's founder, Kobo Daishi, and is surrounded by thousands of burning lanterns and other interesting monuments. Then travel to Nara, an ancient capital city before Kyoto, in the 8th century. Our first stop is the Higashimuki shopping area, where you will have lunch on your own. The next point of interest is Todaiji Temple, famous for holding the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha, the Great Buddha. On the south side of the temple is Nandaimon Gate, where a number of local Sika deer adorably wander and may be fed with crackers bought from local vendors. Outside is Todaiji Museum, were you will be able to appreciate a number of important cultural and religious artifacts before heading over to Isui-en Garden, meaning “garden founded on water”, with grassy hills and trees surrounding a large water feature.
Your sightseeing tour of Nara continues after breakfast, with a trip to see the five-storied pagoda of Kofukuji Temple - family temple of the noble and powerful Fujiwara clan and an iconic city landmark. On the southern edge of the temple grounds is a local contemplation spot - Sarusawa-ike Pond, lined with a row of willow trees. Nearby is Naramachi - an Edo-era heritage quarter, where you will find the nearly 100 year-old Nigiwai-No-Ie House. This former merchant's dwelling was simply built with old- fashioned tatami rooms, a traditional kitchen, and a pretty backyard garden. Then a short drive takes you to Kyoto, straight to the former Imperial Palace. The charming palace garden still offers plenty of green scenery in autumn, but with a colorful splash red and orange foliage here and there. Take some time for lunch by the garden at Zezekan Pocchiri restaurant. Then you can enjoy exclusive access to the fall colors in a local private garden. Check into your hotel for the night, before enjoying a night walking tour through the traditional streets and alleys of the old Gion Geisha District.
You will spend today touring Japan's old capital city with a professional Japanese garden builder and designer. Together, you will visit Nijo Castle and Myoshinji Temple, taking time to visit Taizo-in Temple for fascinating garden critique and insight. You will learn the principles of building a Japanese garden, the cost to maintain it, and any further questions you have. At Nijo Castle, a World Cultural Heritage Site, you will not only see a 17th century garden, but also an original palace where you can appreciate its architecture. Continue to Myoshinji Temple with the garden designer and enjoy a stroll along its large and peaceful precinct. Within Myoshinji Temple is Taizo-in, known for having one of the best gardens of the Showa era. Then, visit the Nishiki Market, a lively marketplace in downtown Kyoto, where you can enjoy your own lunch. After, immerse yourself in local Kyoto tradition with a kimono experience, where you can try on a colorful kimono. Finally, make your way to Yasaka Shrine, near Kyoto's Gion District. This shrine is known for a central wooden stage lit with hundreds of lanterns every evening.
We will spend today sightseeing the highlights of Kyoto, with many stunning spots known for autumn foliage. Three out of the four Buddhist temples we will visit are World Cultural Heritage Sites. Each temple has its own unique gardens with special beauty. First, you will visit Daikakuji Temple, a large, peaceful temple that was once a former residence to ex-emperors. It is also one of the headquarters of Japanese-styled flower arrangement schools, so beautifully arranged flowers are always seen near the entrance. Continue to Tenryuji Temple, which features a magnificent garden built in the 14th century and gorgeous bamboo groves. After lunch, you will drive through a conserved area that retains the scenery of old Sagano. From there, visit Ryoanji Temple, the site of Japan’s world-famous stone landscape garden. Finally, reach the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), the #1 sightseeing destination in Kyoto. This impressive structure highlights its two top floors covered entirely in gold leaf. At the end of the day, enjoy dinner with entertainment provided by an apprentice geisha (maiko).
Before traveling to Mt. Fuji, you will first aboard one of Japan’s high-speed bullet trains to experience the thrill of this local transportation. Disembark near Lake Kawaguchi to visit the Kawaguchiko Muse Museum, featuring charming dolls made by local artist Yuki Atae. Continue to the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum located on the other side of the lake. This art museum is devoted to silk-dyeing artist Kubota Itchiku, who devoted his life to recreating elaborate kimonos using the lost art of silk-dyeing. Finally, take some time to enjoy lakeside scenery surrounding Lake Kawaguchi - famous in the area for its bright fall colors and some of the best views of Mount Fuji.
This morning, enjoy a scenic cruise along Lake Ashinoko, which borrows scenery from Mt. Fuji to create a stunning landscape. The next attraction will be the Hakone Open- Air Museum, which displays abstract sculptures and exhibitions from various artists. It is recognized for successfully balancing its outdoor exhibits with the surrounding mountains and valley. Then make your way into the heart of Tokyo to walk around the Imperial Palace East Gardens. Located at the foundation of the former Edo Castle tower, the garden was created in place of the fallen castle tower. Continue to Rikugi-en Garden, one of Tokyo’s most beautiful landscape gardens. Built in 1700, the garden is an excellent example of Edo Period strolling gardens with pathways leading to teahouses and a central pond.
After breakfast, we will make our way to the garden of the hotel we are currently staying at. This beautiful garden is steeped in 400 years of samurai lord history and possesses a peaceful ambience while nestled in the heart of Tokyo. Next is Asakusa Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest and most colorful temple. Then board a Sumida River Cruise, where you can enjoy the scenery of the city’s most famous river on your way to Hama Rikyu Garden, a traditional landscape garden standing in the heart of Tokyo's skyscrapers. Visit the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, home to an assortment of freshly caught fish and various food options for lunch on your own. Finally, head to teamLab Borderless for a new immersive world of artwork as you become surrounded in the light and color of the various interactive displays.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends.
Checkout time is 11 am.
Transfer to Tokyo Narita Airport or Haneda 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.