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JapanBest of Japan

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Trip highlights
  • Mountain
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    Local cuisine
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    Sightseeing
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    Lake
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Day 1: ​Welcome to Tokyo!

After settling into your accommodation, get oriented in the city with a visit to the world’s tallest tower. At 2,080 feet (634 m), the Tokyo Skytree offers spectacular views as far as Mount Fuji from its 360-degree observation deck. If heights aren’t your thing, take a walk through the grounds of Sensoji,  the city's oldest and most historically significant temple.

​Legends say it was founded when two brothers fished a statue of the goddess Kannon out of the Sumida River. The neighboring Asakusa Shrine also highlights the stark differences between Shinto and Buddhist belief systems.

As night falls, head to the Shibuya district for your pick of restaurants, and finish off the evening with a trip to a Japanese izakaya (bar) to sample the different varieties of shochu, sake, and umeshu on offer.

Visited:
Tokyo, Asakusa

Day 2: Futuristic Odaiba

Explore the artificial island of Odaiba— a center of the city’s futuristic fun. Even traveling to this shopping and entertainment district is enjoyable, whether taking a cruise through Tokyo Bay or crossing colorful the Rainbow Bridge.

Start your day at TeamLab, a permanent interactive art exhibition on the island that gives new meaning to the term 'modern art.' Be prepared to color in, follow art along the walls, gasp in awe, and take loads of photos.

Car enthusiasts can visit the nearby Toyota City Showcase. Check out the latest innovations in the technology zone, reminisce about the old days in the vintage car collection rooms, or test-drive a favorite car on their private track (an international driving license is necessary).
 
In the evening, experience one of Tokyo's wackiest shows at the Robot Restaurant. Less of a culinary adventure and more of a theatrical one, this 90-minute show is jam-packed with neon lights and vibrant music and is a great way to experience Japan's crazy techno culture.

Afterward, weave in and out of the alleys surrounding the famous Golden Gai district, and enjoy choosing from 200+ bars. Some bars only offer 3-5 seats, making for an intimate and memorable experience.

Visited:
TokyoOdaiba

Day 3: Travel to Nikko

Today you’ll head north to Nikko, home of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Toshogu Shrine. Mausoleum to Japan’s last shogun, the ornate shrine is one of the most beautiful in Japan, and a marked contrast to traditional Shinto structures.  

A short walk south will take you to Rinnoji, Nikko's most famous temple. Explore the grounds at your leisure, visiting a treasure house displaying fascinating exhibits, a small yet charming Japanese garden, and a shrine that’s said to house Nikko's three mountain gods.

Finish your day with some lighthearted fun at Edo Wonderland, a cultural theme park where you’ll step back in time to the 15th century. Sit back and experience a traditional magic show, or get hands-on with Hariko doll painting, makeup artistry, and samurai sword fighting classes. When you’re ready to return to the 21st century, you’ll head back to your accommodation in Tokyo for the evening.

Visited:
TokyoNikkō

Day 4: Free Day in Tokyo

Today the city is your oyster. Tokyo is packed with both fast-paced and leisurely pursuits, and the day is yours to explore at our own pace. Suggested activities include:

Disney Sea: Although there are Disney theme parks in several parts of the world, Tokyo is the only city with a Disney Sea. Spend the day exploring hidden volcanic islands, riding gondolas in Mediterranean harbors, and whirlpooling in mermaid lagoons as you enjoy getting lost in the world of Disney.

Picnic in Yoyogi Park: All you need is a few lunchboxes or 'Bentos' from a nearby store, a ball/frisbee, and some refreshing drinks to enjoy the vast lawns, ponds, and forests of Tokyo's largest park. Uniquely beautiful in autumn, when hundreds of trees spout golden leaves, it is equally enjoyable during the rest of the year.
 
Shimokitazawa: Another super-trendy suburb of Tokyo, this district is popular with the younger demographic and filled to the brim with vintage clothing stores, live music venues, and dozens of izakaya offering food and drink from trendy to traditional.

Hike Mount Takao: This is one of the closest mountains to the city and offers numerous hiking trails for any outdoor enthusiasts. If the day is clear, you may also see the tell-tale snowcapped peak of Mount Fuji in the distance.

Attend a festival: Festivals or 'matsuri' are a fantastic opportunity to see a different side of local culture. Depending on the time of year, you can expect anything from parades and food stalls to dancing, music, and traditional arts.

Animal cafes: Tokyo is full of places to hang out with your favorite furry friends, including cats, hedgehogs, owls, and rabbits.

Visited:
TokyoTakao

Day 5: All about the food!

Japan has been dominating the culinary scene for the past few years, and one location at the heart of this is Tokyo. Packed with hundreds upon hundreds of fantastic restaurants, from high-end Michelin-star establishments to backalley holes-in-the-wall dishing up the most marvelous food, this city has everything. Get a taste of what Tokyo has to offer with a tour of some of the city's most famous foodie areas, tastings included!

Later, a visit to one of Tokyo’s sake tasting centers may be a fun way to learn what sake goes best with which foods as you travel! Drink as much or as little as you want at this center which offers over 80 different kinds of Japanese sake and shochu.

Visited:
Tokyo

Day 6: Mountains and Hot Springs in Hakone

Today, you’ll depart from Tokyo and head into the mountains. No trip to Japan would be complete without seeing one of the country’s most iconic natural landmarks–the majestic Mt.Fuji, and one of the best places to see it is in the region of Hakone.


A scenic cruise across the lake, followed by a ropeway right to the top of Mt. Owakudaniwill reveal stunning views of the surrounding forest, and of course, Mt. Fuji. This mountain city is also famous for its onsen hot springs. Arrangements can be made for a private experience, or to soak in a Japanese bathhouse.


Hakone has so many other things to do, and its backdrop encourages you to experience the outdoors. The mystical Hakone Shrine and Old Tokaido Road, which dates back to the Edo era, are among the popular stops to make while in town. 


As an optional add-on, the town boasts an onsen theme park you can visit. The park offers guests the opportunity to experience more than 20 different types of hot springs, including baths which allow you to bathe in liquids like wine, coffee, green tea, and sake! For those seeking a more conventional experience, simply relax in the open-air hot springs and saunas, or enjoy a more stimulating adventure with a visit to the waterslides, cave baths, and splash pools.


You will have plenty of time for hot springs relaxation during your time in Hakone!

Visited:
TokyoHakone

Day 7: Memoirs of a Geisha in Kyoto

Japan's former capital, Kyoto, is bursting with history, and a lot more traditional than Tokyo. Things here move at a much slower pace and the people tend to be a lot more laid back. One of your first stops in Kyoto will be one of the most famous shrines in Japan, the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Featured in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, this shrine has over 10,000 picturesque red torii gates donated by people and various businesses from all over Japan.

Your next activity is a traditional Japanese arts show. As well as offering a  chance to see a performance by a maiko (trainee geisha), this 60-minute theatrical experience also introduces you to other various skilled artists such as ikebana flower arrangers, puppeteers, Japanese harp players, and court musicians.

In the evening, take a walk through the bustling streets of Pontocho. Right next to the Kamogawa River, this area is packed with restaurants and bars. You can also request for a private dinner or tea ceremony to be arranged, if you wish.

Visited:
HakoneKyoto

Day 8: Bamboo Groves and Temples at Arashiyama

Just outside Kyoto is the tranquil area of Arashiyama, where you'll start your day with a ride on an open-air train, surrounded by incredible views of the river and surrounding forest. Then, travel down the Hozugawa River on a traditional Japanese boat. Depending on the season, you could be floating past banks lined with white and pink cherry blossoms in March, the deep green leaves of a warm summer in July, or the brilliant and fiery colors of autumn trees in November.

The district’s centerpiece is the sprawling Tenryuji Temple, a World Heritage Site that includes picturesque and ancient landscape gardens. Its gorgeous and otherworldly bamboo grove is the star attraction of Arashiyama, and it's easy to devote hours to exploring the meandering trails. Nearby, you'll find Nonomiya Shrine and the Iwatayama Monkey Park, where macaques roam freely.

If you're up for a walk, head to Otagi Nenbutsu-ji , a unique temple that houses hundreds of statues, all carved by different people. Look closely, and you'll find some of these Buddhist statues sporting glasses and carrying cellphones.

Visited:
KyotoArashiyama

Day 9: Free day in Kansai!

Today the city is your oyster! Not only is Kyoto packed with tons of amazing activities and places, but it is in a prime position for easy day-trips to multiple nearby areas. Here are a few of our suggestions:

- Breakfast and shopping in Nishiki Market. This expansive area of shops and food stalls is a great place to stock up on souvenirs and drown yourself a seemingly never-ending selection of delicious foods and aromas.

- Day trip to Kobe: This picturesque port city has various attractions including: the world's longest suspension bridge, an earthquake museum, several sake breweries and dozens of restaurants where you can enjoy its famous A5 quality wagyu beef.

- Walk the gardens of the Imperial Palace: Before Tokyo took its place, Kyoto used to be where the imperial family resided. Although you cannot enter the buildings, the outside grounds give you a good idea of how large the palace is. There are also tours which take place on most days.

- Day trip to Himeji: This city is famous for its castle which is said to be the most beautiful in Japan. 

- Visit the Wazuka tea plantation: This small town produces almost half of the country's matcha tea and offers visitors the opportunity to pick leaves and experience a tea ceremony amongst other things.

- Hop on the train to Osaka: One of the country's most vibrant cities and famous for its food, choose from a variety of things to do including a street food tour, Osaka Castle, the Umeda Sky building, karaoke and much more!

- Explore Koyasan: This spiritual center is the beginning and end of the Shikoku pilgrimage route, and is therefore an extremely significant place in the buddhist culture in Japan.  Choose from a variety of stunning hiking trails, or simply enjoy the beauty of the multiple temples in the area.

Visited:
Arashiyama, Kansai Airport Station, Himeji, OsakaKōyasan

Day 10: Farewell!

Today you'll bid farewell to Japan and reflect on all the fantastic memories you've made during your trip!

Visited:
Tokyo

TokyoAsakusaOdaibaNikkōTakaoHakoneKyotoArashiyamaKansai Airport StationHimejiOsakaKōyasan

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

SeasonPrice Per Adult
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All year round $2,100

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