“Thank you for all of the excellent arrangements you made. The guides were all excellent, the hotels and transportation were wonderful. The grandkids loved the big breakfast buffets with all the choices. The guide in Kyoto arranged a wonderful tea ceremony and geisha dress up place.” ~ Past traveler, Diana W.
Photography | World Heritage | Nature | Senior | Gourmet
9-Day Highlights of Japan – experience the diversity of Japan’s past and present. Begin your journey of Tokyo, visiting the remarkable sites of Tokyo Tower, Imperial Palace, Asakusa Kannon Temple and its shopping streets. Enjoy a panoramic view of Mt. Fuji, an icon of Japan. Experience the traditional Japan in an ancient capital, Kyoto, a home to over 1000 ancient shrines and temples with numerous World Heritage Sites. Explore the historic Hiroshima and Miyajima Island. This 9 day tour gives you an overview experience of Japan’s culture and traditions.
Arrive in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. Meet your friendly airport representative and transfer to the hotel by an airport shuttle. Check in at your hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure.
Enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo from Tokyo Tower’s main observatory. Explore the unique Japanese culture and history by visiting the Imperial Palace Plaza, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. Continue to the Tokyo oldest temple – Asakusa Kannon Temple with the famous “Nakamise” shopping arcade. Enjoy a pleasant drive through Ueno, where Tokyo’s first coffee shop once stood, to Akihabara which is home to the famous Electric Town. Afternoon, enjoy free time at own leisure.
Today, have free time to explore Tokyo at own leisure. Tokyo has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. Spend time at Odaiba, a popular shopping and entertainment district on a man made island in Tokyo Bay or wander through the colorful and busy district – Shibuya or Harajuku, where you will find Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles or admire the charming Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks to see the class Japanese garden.
Head up to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji; enjoy the spectacular and breathtaking views at 7,546 ft above sea level. Taste a delicious Japanese-style lunch before cruising on Lake Ashi, this crater lake was formed by a powerful volcanic eruption nearly 3,000 years ago, and provides postcard views of Mt. Fuji. Take a ropeway ride to the peak of Mt. Komagatake to see the spiritual Hakone Shrine Mototsumiya (original shrine) that nestles at the mountaintop. Spend a relaxing evening in your hotel in Hakone area. Soak in the thermally-heated mineral waters at an onsen.
This morning, take a Shinkansen (high speed bullet train) to Kyoto, the ancient capital. It is a lifetime experience to travel on the world’s first bullet train. Check in at your hotel. Head to Nara via Nara Keinawa Expressway. Visit Toda-ji Temple, a world heritage site, it is a symbol of the Nara Period and one of the world’s largest wooden structures. Its huge main hall and bronze Great Buddha are impressive to behold. At Kasuga Taisha Shrine, you will find the deer of Nara Park, the shrine messengers. Stop by Nara Nagomikan, the largest souvenir shop in Nara. Enjoy yourself in this spacious shop and look for the perfect local handicrafts.
Experience the historical Kyoto and see where the geisha live and work today. Explore Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was built to provide lodging for Tokugawa Shogun and as a palladium for Kyoto Imperial Palace. Admire the golden structure of Kinkaku-ji Temple, a world Heritage site that is covered in thin layers of pure gold and is surrounded by a beautiful pond. See the Kyoto Imperial Palace, which was used as the Emperor’s residence until about 150 years ago. Don’t miss the characteristic red architecture of the beautiful Heian Jingu Shrine built to celebrate the 1100 year anniversary of the founding of the city of Kyoto. Visit Sanjusangen-do Temple, the world’s longest wooden structure, which houses 1,001 life-size statues of Buddhist Kannon deities dating back to the 13th century. Wander through the historic shopping lane that leads to the World Heritage Site of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Evening, experience the life of geisha at the Gion Area.
Take a Shinkansen to Hiroshima. Discover the world heritage sites of Hiroshima and Miyajima. Go to Miyajima by ferry. Miyajima, is known as the Sacred Island, and one of Japan’s most beautiful landscapes. Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site; established in the 6th century, this shrine is one of Japan’s finest, and is famous for its beautiful Shinden-zukuri style structure (architecture representative of a nobles’ residence in the Heian period). Spend your afternoon at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum, this large-scale park was established in 1949 after the Pacific War ended, and is visited by countless visitors as a symbol of peace. See the Atomic Bomb Dome, a symbol of the disastrous atomic bombing during WWII, the first atomic bombs used in human history, and has been preserved as it was to promote peace and elimination of atomic weapons around the world.
Journey of Kyoto on own.
Depart to airport by an airport shuttle for flight to home.