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 $4698.00
Single supplement: USD $1080.00
Tour duration: 13 days 12 nights
Tokyo / Hakone / Mt Fuji / Matsumoto / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Obokekyo Gorge / Kotohira / Takamatsu / Kobe / Kashihara / Koyasan
Tour cost includes:
• 1 night temple lodging, 10 nights Western style and 1 night Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Narita 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
• 5 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 Tokyo! 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 Tokyo for the first 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 you directions to get to your hotel in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$65.00 per person per way.
NOTE 2: If you will be flying into Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita International Airport (NRT), we can arrange for you to stay in the center of Tokyo (Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class) instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita. In this case, meet-and- greet and airport transfer are not included. We will provide with full instructions to get to the hotel in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.
NOTE 3: The meet-and-greet is ONLY available for flights arriving in Terminal 1 & 2 after 11:00 AM. For guests arriving in Terminal 3, airport pickup is not included, but 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, you will be taken to the Asakusa Kannon Temple,
an active place of worship where you can see the largest
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. Next, you will have the chance to
enjoy a sushi-making experience with a professional sushi
chef. Whatever you prepare, you will get to eat!
Afterwards, we will proceed to the Tsukiji Outer Market,
where various restaurants and shops line the streets.
Then, pay a visit to the Imperial Palace, the former site of
Edo Castle and current residence of Japan's Imperial
Family. In the afternoon, we will visit the world's tallest self
supporting steel tower. At 333 meters (1092.5 feet) high,
Tokyo Tower is 9-meters taller than its model, the Eiffel
Tower. You will be able to get a bird's eye view of the city
from 150 meters (492 feet) up at the main observatory
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.
We will depart from Tokyo to Hakone on our private luxury coach. We will take a tour of Hakone by taking a 20- minute ropeway from Togendai to Owakundani. Most of the area around Owakudani is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Now, you can see hot springs and hot rivers there, where sulfurous fumes still linger. Owakudani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji in good weather conditions. From Hakone, we will proceed to Mt. Fuji. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands to rolling clouds. Stop at Mt. Fuji's 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world famous peak. We will stay at the Onsen Ryokan at Yatsugatake, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Today we will head to Matsumoto where we'll visit the photogenic Matsumoto Castle, or Black Crow Castle, dating back over 400 years. Then, we will continue on to Takayama. 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 thus has maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. We'll explore the old town of Takayama. Along the way you'll notice the huge cedar balls hanging from the eaves of several shops - these indicate that the shops are sake establishments. Next, visit Takayama Jinya, the only traditional local government office in existence and a fine example of a miniature palace containing offices, an interrogation room with torture devices and a 440-year old rice granary.
This morning we'll enjoy the lively city market before heading to the World Heritage site in the rural area of Shirakawa-go. In this very photogenic village, we will walk past thatched roof farm houses and cultivated fields and see unspoiled Edo period wooden buildings. Once there, we will also go the Shiroyama Viewpoint, which allows us to have a scenic view of Shirakawa-go from higher ground. From Shirakawa-go, we will depart to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of three most beautiful gardens of Japan. The name "Kenrokuen" literally means a garden combining the 6 attributes of a perfect landscape: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features, and panoramas. Here, you'll find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two-legged stone lantern that is iconic of Kenrokuen and Kanazawa. Next, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Maibara to Kyoto, which can reach speeds of up to 320 km/hr (200mph). We will stay two nights in the deeply historic city of Kyoto.
Today we will start our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. First, we will visit Arashiyama to see Tenryuji Temple, where you can have a glimpse of a traditional Zen landscape garden design. Then, proceed through the dense Sagano Bamboo Forest, pass several small shrines, tea shops, and private houses before arriving at the Togetsukyo Bridge over Hozu River. Continue on to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered with 18-karat gold leaf. This three-story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. At the Nishijin Textile Center, you can view displays of kimonos, watch an elegant kimono fashion show, and learn how they are made. Our group will tour the Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its large wooden stage that sits 13 meters (42.6 ft) above a hillside. Visitors are granted with a charming view of numerous cherry trees that come with spring, as well as a beautiful scene of Kyoto City in the distance. Lastly, we will tour Gion, a famous geisha district in Kyoto lined with many restaurants and teahouses called ochaya.
The day begins with a green tea ceremony and a meet- and-greet with a maiko – an apprentice geisha. You will have photo-taking opportunities and a chance to interact with the maiko. After that, make your way to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The shrine is famous for its thousands of stunning vermilion torii gates that are lined along a 4 km (2.5 mile) long tunnel, which was even featured in the film "Memoirs of a Geisha". This complex wraps around a bamboo wilderness that consists of mountains, streams, and ponds, making it the perfect backdrop for a scenic hike. We will then travel to Nara, where we will go to Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 15 meters (49 feet) high. Nearby, explore the surrounding Deer Park, filled with over 1,000 Sika Deer. Our final stop of the day will be in Osaka. We will spend some time in Dotonbori, a popular shopping, entertainment, and food district. It is known for the hundreds of neon and mechanized signs that line its streets. Our group will also stop by Shinasaibashi, one of Osaka's oldest shopping destinations.
Today we take a 2-hour ride by 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, resembling a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan, and is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. This splendid example of traditional architecture was declared one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. Next is a visit to Kurashiki. In merchant days, 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. In the afternoon, we will continue our journey to Hiroshima.
Today we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima. At high tide, 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 and Miyajima has been selected as one of Japan's three most scenic places (nihon sankei). In the afternoon, 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.
After breakfast, we continue our journey to Oboke Gorge, one of three hidden mountain regions of Japan. Oboke is the valley located upstream of the Yoshino-gawa River. "Boke" means "dangerous to walk along," and Oboke (big "boke") was named for its jagged V-shaped rocks and narrow path which, no matter how carefully or slowly you walk, makes walking dangerous. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride and take in the panoramic view of the valley. Then, climb the 1,368 stone steps to the Kotohira-gu Shrine, a Shinto shrine. In Takamatsu we will 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. From there, our private coach takes us across Awaji Island through a series of spectacular bridges. In the evening we continue to Kobe, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef.
Begin today with a visit to the Osaka Cup Noodles Museum, which celebrates the invention of instant ramen noodles by Momofuku Ando. Instant Ramen was invented in Osaka, and began with a simple Chicken flavor. The museum includes exhibits on the history of instant noodles and Ando’s life, as well as a workshop where you can create own original cup noodle. Then your tour will make its way to Kashihara Shrine, regarded as the resting place of Jimmu – Japan’s first emperor. It is also believed that Jimmu ascended the throne where the shrine stands. Two of the buildings, the main hall and the prayer hall, were donated from the Kyoto Imperial Palace by Emperor Meiji when the shrine was first constructed. Finally, travel to Koyasan, the heart of the Shingon Buddhist sect, where you can enjoy an overnight stay in a local temple with Buddhist monks, where you'll dine on shojin ryori dinner, or monks' food.
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. Afterwards, tour the 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 and a sacred location for the Buddhist monks to train and chant. Transfer from there back to Osaka to relax and enjoy your last night in Japan.
NOTE 5: If you wish to stay in the center of Osaka for the last 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 full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.
NOTE 6: If you will be flying out from Itami Airport (ITM) instead of Kansai International Airport (KIX), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class) instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport. 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 Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached in a three minute walk.
NOTE 7: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.