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 $5598.00
Single supplement: USD $1170.00
Tour duration: 14 days 13 nights
Saga / Nagasaki / Takachiho / Beppu / Kitsuki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Takamatsu / Kurashiki / Himeji / Kobe / Nara / Kyoto / Kanazawa / Shirakawa-go / Takayama / Matsumoto / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Tokyo
Tour cost includes:
• 10 nights Western style and 3 nights Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Fukuoka 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
• 7 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 Fukuoka! 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 after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.
NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
The day begins with a visit to Saga, where we will visit the Mifuneyama Rakuen. This 500,000 square meter park announces the arrival of spring with thousands of cherry blossom trees and azaleas all blooming against a backdrop of the rugged cliff of Mt. Mifune. From there, we proceed to Nagasaki to visit the Nagasaki Peace Park that holds the memorial for the victims of the second bomb that hit the land. A statue of a man pointing up and holding his other arm out is symbolic of the Nagasaki Peace Park. Our next site is Dejima, an area with over 400 years of history in Dutch trade. It features historical warehouses and residences, providing insight into the former Dutch Trade Post and how they lived during Japan's two centuries of isolation. Then, visit the Glover Gardens, an open air museum where we can see a fine collection of historic mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. Continue to the Oura Catholic Church, the oldest standing Christian church in Japan. It was also the first Western building in Japan to be designated as a national treasure.
Today we will take a 30 minute ferry from Shimabara and cross the Ariake Sea to Kumamoto. From Kumamoto, we drive east to Takachiho, a town in northern Miyazaki Today, we will take a 30 minute ferry from Shimabara and cross the Ariake Sea to Kumamoto. From Kumamoto, we drive east to Takachiho, a town in northern Miyazaki Prefecture that is steeped in Japanese mythology. It is the supposed site of legend where Amaterasu, the Shinto Sun Goddess, was disturbed by her brother's cruel pranks and hid herself in a cave. This prompted the other gods and goddesses to try and lure her out. Another legend suggests that this is where Amaterasu's grandson, Ninigi- no- Mikoto, descended to earth to establish Japan's Imperial Family. Takachiho is also known as a "power spot", a place of profound religious importance and natural beauty, which radiates spiritual energy. We will visit Takachiho Gorge, a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River. The nearly sheer cliffs lining the gorge are made of slow forming volcanic basalt columns, which resemble the scales of a dragon where the stone twisted and flowed as it was formed. Along the gorge is the 17 meter high Minainotaki waterfall, located against a backdrop of dense green foliage and surrounding grey cliffs. Then, visit the Amano Iwato Shrine and Amano Yasukawara. Amano Iwato Shrine was built near the cave where Amaterasu is said to have hid herself. A short walk down the road from Amano Iwato Shrine is a path that leads down to the river below. Eventually, the path leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as Amano Yasukawara. This is said to be the cave where the gods and goddesses met to discuss their strategy of luring Amaterasu out of hiding. After a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner, we will have the chance to see a special Yokagura Dance Performance. This dance supposedly caused Amaterasu to leave the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she returned her light to the world.
After your Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will tour to a bather's paradise - the famous hot spring resort of Beppu. Marvel at one of Beppu's most celebrated attractions, the Jigoku Meguri, or "Boiling Hells" hot springs. View two of the nine hot springs, or “hells” of Beppu. Ideal for viewing rather than bathing, the springs earned their name because it was said that these mysterious, steamy attractions resembled a scene from hell ("jigoku" means "hell"). Afterwards, enjoy a scenic drive to Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park, where we will take a monorail up to the observation area. Mt. Takasaki is a forested mountain just outside of Beppu and home to over 1,500 wild Japanese monkeys. Within this natural habitat, the monkeys have been fed regularly in order to keep them living on the mountain and prevent conflicts with local fruit farmers. The monkeys are quite accustomed to human visitors, and it is possible to get very close in order to take their pictures! From here, visit the Kitsuki Samurai Districts en route to Kokura before taking a ride on the top speed Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima.
Today, we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum, a solemn reminder of the importance of world peace. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima; one of the most scenic spots in Japan. At high tide, the island's famed vermilion torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine appears to float in the middle of the sea. The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, experience driving 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.
This morning, we will continue our tour to Takamatsu to visit 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. In the evening, we will drive through the Seto Ohashi Bridge back to Honshu Island. Seto Ohashi Bridge, or the Great Seto Bridge, is a collective term for the six bridges that connects Japan's main island of Shikoku to the island of Honshu, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Tonight, we will stay in a spa hotel in Kurashiki, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a buffet dinner.
Today, we will visit 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. Then, we will proceed to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle. It is known as the "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. In the evening, we continue to Kobe, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef.
After breakfast, we will make our way to Nara to visit the Todaiji Temple, one of Japan's most historically significant temples. Its main hall is the largest wooden building in Japan, and it also houses one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 16.3 meters high. Outside the temple grounds is the Nara Deer Park, filled with over 1,000 Sika deer. Our tour will continue to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its 4km long tunnel of vermillion colored torii gates, which was also featured in the film "Memoirs of a Geisha". Lastly, you will have the chance to experience a traditional green tea ceremony. There will also be a meet-and-greet with a maiko, who is simply an apprentice geisha. Photo-taking opportunities will be available as well.
We will spend the day touring Kyoto, which once served as Japan's capital from 794 until 1868. It is considered Japan's cultural center, even being spared from the bombings of WWII due to its historically priceless structures. Our group will first visit Arashiyama, a scenic area particularly popular during the spring and autumn seasons. Visit a traditional Zen garden at Tenryuji Temple before enjoying a stroll through the Sagano Bamboo Forest. Continue to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), distinguished for its two top floors completely covered with 18 carat gold leaf. It was originally built as a retirment villa by shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. Then, our group will get experience an elegant kimono fashion show and learn how they are made at the Nishijin Textile Center. 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. Our last destination for the day will be Gion, the city's most famous geisha district. It is filled with exclusive ochaya (teahouses) where maiko and geisha entertain, and is also recognized for its traditional wooden machiya merchant houses.
Today, you will get to experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Kyoto to Maibara, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. Afterwards, transfer to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of three most beautiful strolling gardens of Japan. Here, you'll find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two-legged stone lantern and iconic symbol of Kanazawa. Then, we will we cross mountains by private coach to the World Heritage site of Shirakawa-go. Shirakawa-go is home to the Gassho-zukuri ("praying hands") farmhouses. We will go to the Shiroyama Viewpoint to see splendid views of the Ogimachi Village. Next, the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen, which is an open air museum of farmhouses and other structures. We will continue to Takayama, a city located amongst the Japanese Alps and sometimes referred as "Little Kyoto" for its preserved historical structures and environment. Due to it's remote position in the mountains, it has maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. Tonight, we will stay at the Ryokan, where you can enjoy a soothing soak in the onsen and try a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
After enjoying a Japanese breakfast at the ryokan, we will continue sightseeing in Takayama. Browse through the market stalls at the Morning market for local crafts and fresh produce. Next, visit Takayama Jinya, a former local government office that now serves as a public museum. It features an interesting interrogation room and official documents of past feudal lords. Proceed to Takayama's beautifully preserved Old Town, which highlights many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600- 1868). In the afternoon, our group will visit the Matsumoto Castle, also known as "Crow Castle" because of its black exterior. Inside, we can see the best examples of a wooden constructed, traditional Japanese-style castle. It is classified as a "hirajiro", meaning it is a castle built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain.
Today, we will travel to Mt. Fuji on our private luxury coach. If the weather is in our favor, we will stop by the Mt. Fuji 5th Station for a grand view of Japan's famous mountain. Enjoy an extensive tour of Hakone by taking a 20 minute ropeway ride from Togendai to Owakudani. Owakudani is known for its active volcanic zone that was created from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Here, you can experience its hot springs and bubbling pools, where volcanic gases still linger. From there, we will travel to Tokyo and spend time 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.
After breakfast, you will be taken to the Asakusa
Temple, the most colorful temple in Tokyo that holds
Japan's largest paper lantern. You will also be able to
explore the Nakamise Market, which is located right
the temple's "thunder gate" (Kaminarimon). It is an Edo-
style shopping street full of traditional snacks and
souvenirs. Then, make your way to Ueno Park, an
excellent cherry blossom spot with more than 1,000
cherry trees. Afterwards, you will have the chance to
participate in a delicious sushi making experience with a
professional sushi chef. Whatever you prepare, you will
get to eat! Our next attraction will be the Tsukiji Outer
Market, which is lined with a plethora of food stands and
shops. Our group will continue to the Imperial Palace,
current residence of Japan's Imperial Family and former
grounds of the Edo Castle. It is surrounded by moats
stone fortifications, located in the heart of Tokyo. From
there, we will reach our final stop of the day, the Tokyo
Tower. At 333 meters high, Tokyo Tower is 13 meters
taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. Visitors can go up
150 meters to the main observatory deck and get 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.