Cultural encounters from city to countryside

+ Experience Japan’s enduring ways when you dine with Geisha, sample fine sake, visit the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market, and learn to prepare restaurant-quality sushi.
+ Hear colorful stories of Kyoto’s Geisha traditions on a guided stroll through the historic Gion district.
+ A skilled chef teaches you how to prepare restaurant-quality sushi.
+ Learn about the ancient tenets of Japanese landscape design at Kenrokuen, revered as one of the country’s three loveliest gardens.
+ Journey to the rural mountain hamlet of Shirakawago, known for its unusual century-old farmhouses.
  • Day 1 - Welcome to Kyoto

    You’ll be met at the airport and guided to the coach that will take you to the deluxe Granvia Hotel.
  • Day 2 - The Best of Kyoto

    Your exploration of Kyoto c begins at Nijo Castle where you can try to walk in stealth across the Nightingale Floor, designed to chirp in warning if would-be assassins penetrated into the Shogun’s chambers. You’ll also tour Kinkakuji Temple and Sanjusangendo with its 1,001 statues of Kannon, Goddess of Mercy. Then delve into Japan’s enduring traditions when you dine with Geisha at lunch and stroll in Gion where Kabuki traditions began long ago. Meals B+L+D
  • Day 3 - Across the Inland Sea to Miyajima and Hiroshima

    Cross the island-dotted Inland Sea to Miyajima Island and visit Itsukushima Shrine c, established in the 6th century. Just off shore, a majestic red Torii Gate* rises from the sea. In Hiroshima, you’ll visit Peace Memorial Park, where the Memorial Museum stands as a sobering reminder of the destruction wrought by the Atomic bomb. Back in Kyoto, your evening is free. Meals B
    *Miyajima's Itsukushima Shrine will undergo restoration work from 2019 - late 2020 and scaffolding will cover the torii gate for much of this period.

  • Day 4 - Excursion to Nara, Japan’s First Capital

    Discover the ancient capital of Nara c where Buddhism was first introduced to Japan nearly 1,500 years ago. You’ll visit Todai-ji Temple, one of the largest wooden structures in the world and home to an immense statue of Buddha. Stroll the peaceful lantern-lined forest paths of Kasuga Shrine before returning to Kyoto.

    This evening, if you wish, we can arrange for you to enjoy the hospitality of a traditional Japanese inn. Set in a landmark 18th-century structure in the heart of Kyoto’s Gion district (where Geisha and Kabuki traditions began long ago), the deluxe family-owned Yoshi-ima Ryokan offers an authentic Japanese experience. You’ll spend the night in a spacious tatami-matted room with a private en suite bath and enjoy a traditional Kaiseki dinner and Japanese breakfast. The Yoshi-ima’s Buddhist Alter Room, Teahouse and Courtyard Garden enrich your memorable overnight. Meals B
  • Day 5 - By Rail to Kanazawa

    Journey to Kanazawa and visit the Nomura Samurai Residence and Kutani Kosen Pottery Studio to see skilled artisans at work. While strolling through Kenrokuen, revered as one of Japan’s finest gardens, you’ll learn firsthand about the 6 elements of traditional landscape design which have been incorporated so perfectly here. Overnight at the deluxe Nikko Hotel. Meals B
  • Day 6 - Shirakawago

    Travel to the mountain hamlet of Shirakawago c, famous for its “Joined Hands” farmhouses. More than a century old, they derive their name from their steeply pitched roofs which look like hands joined together in prayer. Continue to the deluxe Associa Takayama Resort. Meals B+L+D
  • Day 7 - Exploring Takayama

    Mingle with residents at the busy morning market and then admire perfectly-preserved buildings like Takayama Jinya, a government hall of the Edo era. Enjoy a tasting of fine sake and tour the Folk Craft Museum. At the Festival Floats Exhibit Hall, you’ll see parade floats dating back 400 years, many with cleverly engineered figures that can be animated when these floats are used in the town’s colorful spring and autumn festivals. Meals B
  • Day 8 - Onward to Tokyo

    Journey by rail to Tokyo and transfer to the Keio Plaza Hotel. After time to refresh in your Premier Grand room on the Club Floor, join your guide for a walking tour in the vibrant Shinjuku district. Meals B
  • Day 9 - Tokyo Sightseeing

    Enjoy a special early morning visit to the famous outdoor fish market in Tsukiji where the city’s best chefs come to procure the freshest seafood. Then join one such chef to learn the art of preparing sushi. Enjoy the fruits of your labor for lunch before ascending the Tokyo Observatory for breathtaking views over the city. Delight in the colorful stalls of the Nakamise Arcade and visit Asakusa Kannon Temple; dating to the 7th century, it’s the oldest temple in the city. Meals B+L
  • Day 10 - Mt. Fuji and Hakone

    Travel to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji and continue to beautiful Hakone National Park, beloved for its pine forests and lovely views of Mt. Fuji. Enjoy a cruise across picturesque Lake Ashi and ascend Mt. Komagatake by cable car for sweeping views over the forested mountains. Return to Tokyo with time to refresh before tonight’s Farewell Dinner. Meals B+D
  • Day 11 - Depart Tokyo

    Step aboard the comfortable airport limousine coach for your trip to the airport. Meals B

Similar Trips

Check In!

  • Hotel Granvia - Kyoto, Japan

    Hotel Granvia Kyoto is an integral part of the JR Kyoto Station Building, the visually striking architectural masterpiece which also includes a department store, museum, musical theater, and a vast underground shopping mall. From this convenient location, hotel guests have direct and easy access to and from Kansai International Airport and major metropolitan destinations across Japan including Osaka, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.

  • Hotel Nikko - Kanazawa, Japan

    The Hotel Nikko Kanazawa offers guests a combination of European and Japanese comfort. The hotel is within walking distance of some of the most famous tourist spots in Kanazawa. The hotel offers a choice of five restaurants, bar, lounge, and the fitness club. The fitness club includes the indoor pool, fitness room, Jacuzzi, and sauna.

  • Associa Resort - Takayama, Japan

    The Associa Resort is located in the Takayama Highlands, surrounded by deep forests and mountains. All 290 guest rooms have a superb view of the Japan Alps, comfortable beds, and climate control. An entire wing of the hotel is dedicated to hot spring baths, and guests can enjoy this as well as many other spa activities.

  • Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, Japan

    The Keio Plaza Hotel is located in the Shinjuku district of bustling Tokyo, walking distance from shopping, cultural experiences, and other events. The hotel plays host to 29 separate restaurants, each with a different atmosphere and dining opportunity. All 1450 rooms are equipped with television, internet access, mini-bar, and a spectacular view of the city. Other hotel amenities include the swimming pool, gymnasium, drugstore, sauna, photo studio and beauty salon.

Our Original Journey Value

+ Escorted comprehensive sightseeing every day, including all entrance fees
+ 17 meals: 10 buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners with wine at dinner
+ 10 nights in our handpicked deluxe hotels
+ All on-tour transportation with on-coach WiFi, airport transfers, and the Bullet Train
+ Gratuities for included meals and porters, luggage handling, and all hotel taxes

Trip Pricing

  • Traveling as a single?

Legend

  • EVT

    Tour includes a special event.

Arrive Kyoto - Per Person Double

Dates   Standard
Departure Return   Regular Deal
9/12/2019
Sold Out
9/22/2019 $7599 $7099
 
9/26/2019
Sold Out
10/6/2019 $7599 $7099
 
10/4/2019
Sold Out
10/14/2019
EVT
$7599 $7099
Takayama Fall Festival
11/7/2019 11/17/2019 $7599 $6599
Our Best Savings Ever

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  • Save $1000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.
  • Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
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    For Groups of 8 or more please call 800.221.2216
  • Save $2,000 per couple | $1,000 solo on this select date. Cannot be combined with any other offer.



There are no upcoming departures for this tour, but our Custom Travel Team can arrange a private departure just for you at an affordable price and on the dates you want.  With your own private car, driver and guide and custom tailored hotels, meals, and sightseeing we can create the journey of a lifetime exactly to your specifications.

Contact our Custom Travel Team:    800-221-2216  or  Email Us

 

Private Tour Add-Ons

  • Be A Hong Kong Insider

    4 Day Privately Guided Journey

    Our resident guide will take you around town like a savvy insider to discover facets of Hong Kong which few visitors ever glimpse! We include transfers, a choice of fine city-center hotels, our exclusive Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day private tour, and more!

  • Be a Beijing Insider

    4 Day Privately Guided Tour

    This Private Tour just for your traveling party includes your choice of deluxe or luxury hotel, 5 meals and extensive sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide.

  • Shanghai

    3 Day Privately Guided Tour

    Our 3-day Private Tour package includes a choice of fine hotels, daily breakfast, full day sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide and private car airport transfers.

Trip Reviews

Average Traveler Rating:  Review This Trip »

(153 Traveler Reviews)

  • Anne from CA gives this tour 

    The local traditional lunch while watching a performance by both a Geisha and Maiko was a special experience. The visit to Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial was the highlight of the trip!


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    Date Traveled: 5/17/2019

  • Geoffrey from OH gives this tour 

    The well organized itinerary made the trip stress-free.


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    Date Traveled: 4/10/2019

  • Ana from CA gives this tour 

    We were pleased we booked the spring/Takayama tour, made our first trip to Japan very special. The cherry blossoms were gorgeous, and we saw them throughout the tour. We enjoyed visiting so many temples/castles such as Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple & Sanjusandendo, even the rainy weather didn’t dampen our delight or enthusiasm. We love the history. We were lucky to see the Torii Gate in Miyajima before it was covered in scaffolding for renovation. Nara was wonderful, even with the roaming deer. Other cities such as Kanazawa and Shirakawago really enhanced the itinerary. Takayama was fun, although we were disappointed that due to rain the float parade was canceled. We did enjoy the beautiful floats the next day, and had fun visiting the shops and running into dancers or small parades throughout the city. The accommodations were excellent for the most part, particularly the Granvia Hotel in Kyoto as it is so convenient for transportation, dining, shopping. (The stay at the ryokan was really a “once” in a lifetime experience, very courteous hosts, perfect if you’re not seniors like us.) We were glad that we did our homework prior to the trip as many of the must-see sites in Kyoto (particularly for that time of year) were not included in the tour (Fushimi Inari, Philosopher’s Path, Kiyomizudera, Arashiyama and Sagano Bamboo Forest for example). We had four days on our own instead of the 2-1/2 we had planned because the tour actually started on Day 3 not Day 2 as indicated on the itinerary; Day 2 was a free day and it was a little disappointing. Plan on staying at least an extra day in Tokyo as not enough is covered in the tour. And, be prepared to spend $$$ as Japan is very expensive.


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    Date Traveled: 4/9/2019

  • Sarah from TX gives this tour 

    The itinerary for this destination was great.


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    Value for the Money 



    Date Traveled: 4/1/2019

  • Thomas from TX gives this tour 

    Great destination


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    Date Traveled: 4/1/2019


Save $1000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking.

Stay in a Japanese inn...  

Enjoy dinner and a night at the Yoshi-ima Ryokan here in Kyoto’s Gion district on Day 4. Just $195 per person double, $200 single.

Kyoto’s Gion Festival  

Experience one of Japan’s liveliest festivals with 1,200 year-old traditions! At festival-time, the streets of Gion, Kyoto’s historic Geisha district, are filled with color, music and light. Join local residents for this mid-summer revelry, see the festive decorations and thrill to Yamaboko-Junko, a spectacular parade of gigantic floats pulled by teams of men in traditional garb. Experience all this and more on our July departure.

Takayama's Seasonal Festivals  

With colorful centuries-old traditions, Takayama’s Spring + Fall Festivals are highlighted by a spectacular parade of giant floats, many of them dating to the 17th century with remarkable, ingeniously-animated moving parts. Go in Spring and delight in the island’s famed Cherry Blossoms or join us in the fall for the brilliant autumn foliage – what the Japanese call Momiji.

 

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