Iconic Japan
12 days from Tokyo to Kyoto
From $ 5149
Duration12 days

Japan delights in contrasts, revering the past while embracing the future. Begin your 12-day adventure in glittering, massive Tokyo, then head by rail into the countryside to visit traditional villages and tranquil shrines. On strolls through geisha districts and restorative visits to ancient temples and gardens, feel the power of the here and now.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 12 days
    Service level: Upgraded
  • Starts in: Tokyo
    Physical Grading: Average
  • Ends in: Kyoto
    Ages: 12+
Iconic Japan - Tour Map

Itinerary

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Day 1: Tokyo

Start place: Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo at any time today. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city.
Arrive at any time. On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan's world famous transportation system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto's extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.

As well, there is a lot of walking on this trip, every day - please ensure you have an average level of fitness and can walk unaided for long periods of time. A good pair of walking shoes are highly recommended.

We will use a baggage transfer service, so you will not have to worry about carrying your bags on and off trains as we travel. As such, you will not have access to your bags during transfer from each city - we recommend using a day pack for anything you may need during the transfer day, as well as to carry any valuables.

End place: Tokyo

Day 2: Tokyo

Start place: Tokyo

In Harajuka we catch a glimpse of the pop culture phenomenon of Kawaii. Directly translated as "cute", this Japanese popular culture movement is reflected, through various avenues of entertainment, toys, personal style, attitude and cuisine.

Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by metro and on foot.
Spend the day exploring vibrant Tokyo by public transit. As a city of extreme contrasts, we experience the ancient and traditional with visits to Meiji Jingu Shrine and the old town of Asakusa. We then see Tokyo's quirky and modern side with a walk through the pop culture-obsessed Harajuku district — a great place to sit back and people-watch. On some departures of this tour the activities on Days 2 and 3 will be swapped.

End place: Tokyo

Meals: B
Day 3: Tokyo

Start place: Tokyo

This afternoon, enjoy some free time exploring Tokyo. Opt to visit Ueno park and the museums, Akihabara for cutting edge electronics, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, walk the grounds of the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just stroll the streets, looking for the traditional life that still lies just under the modern surface.

Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by metro and on foot.
This morning, insiders of Tsukiji Fish Market take us on a tour to learn about the fishing industry in Japan, ending with a class led by sushi masters. Learn how to identify the freshest fish, to prepare and fillet, and the fine art of sushi-making and presentation. After, try your hand at making your own sushi and enjoy a taste of your creation. This afternoon is free to explore Tokyo on your own. Due to the Tsukiji Fish Market closure and relocation, a visit to the fish market will not be possible until further notice. The sushi-making class and discussion with sushi masters will run as usual.

End place: Tokyo

Meals: B, L
Day 4: Tokyo/Tsumago

Start place: Tokyo

Ryokan are traditional Inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around), and kaiseki meals (often served in the comfort of your own room); a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and local immersion. The Ryokan is a simple, traditional Inn with few amenities and shared facilities, have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan’s unique customs.
Depart Tokyo by train. Disembark at Nagiso and continue to our local ryokan accommodation. Enjoy a walk through the countryside, passing farms and hamlets into Tsumago, a traditional village. After, feast on a kaiseki meal, learn about Japanese customs, and sleep on a futon. Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train, bus and on foot.

End place: Tsumago

Meals: B, D
Day 5: Tsumago/Kanazawa-shi

Start place: Tsumago

Continue by train to the historic city of Kanazawa. Explore the ancient Samurai culture with a walk through the well-preserved Nagamachi Samurai district and visit to the Nomura Samurai family residence. Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public transportation and on foot.

End place: Kanazawa

Meals: B
Day 6: Kanazawa-shi

Start place: Kanazawa

Continue exploring Kanazawa, visiting the Myoryuji Ninja Temple and walking through the Higashi Geisha district. The city is also renowned as a centre of traditional arts and crafts. We delve into these traditions with a chopstick and gold leaf painting experience. Opt to visit the stunning gardens or original castles. Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus and on foot.

End place: Kanazawa

Meals: B
Day 7: Kanazawa-shi/Hiroshima

Start place: Kanazawa

The large Peace Park in the centre of the city is an extremely moving place dotted with memorials of those known to have been killed in the explosion and those that died as a result. A burning flame waits in the park to be extinguished when all nuclear weapons in the world have been destroyed. A tram ride through the city takes you to the Peace Park.
Continue by bullet train train to Hiroshima and visit the park and Memorial Museum to learn more about the tragic history of this city. Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train, public transportation and on foot.

End place: Hiroshima

Meals: B
Day 8: Hiroshima

Start place: Hiroshima

Enjoy Miyajima Island, a famous wooded island located in the Inland Sea, not far from the coast near Hiroshima. Here you will find perhaps the most photographed site in Japan - The Floating Torii Gate. Designated as one of Japan's '3 Most Beautiful Views', the shrine itself dates back to the 6th century and is designed in a pier like structure. Mere 'commoners' were not allowed to set foot on this holy place.
Catch a ferry over to the sacred island of Miyajima to see the famous floating Torii Gate, considered one of Japan's most beautiful and sacred shrines. This afternoon is at your leisure. Opt to catch the ferry to other islands and explore on your own. Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public transportation, ferry and on foot.

End place: Hiroshima

Meals: B
Day 9: Hiroshima/Kyoto

Start place: Hiroshima

As the Imperial capital, Kyoto is an essential part of any visit to Japan. Kyoto has some of the most magnificent temples in Japan which date back centuries. There are said to be 2,000 temples, shrines, palaces, museums and traditional gardens in Kyoto. Use your time to wander past huge wooden structures and multi-storied pagodas, all linked with famous walkways.

This morning we visit Himeji Castle, considered the best preserved and most stunning castle in all of Japan. After, continue by train to Kyoto, the former Imperial Capital and home of the country's most treasured remnants of Japanese imperial life. This afternoon, take a stroll around the Gion Geisha district. Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train, public bus and on foot.

End place: Kyoto

Meals: B
Day 10: Kyoto

Start place: Kyoto

Visit the stunning Fushimi Inari, an ancient shrine at the base of the mountain of the same name. After, spend the day exploring sites around Nara, visiting the impressive Todaiji Buddhist Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.

End place: Kyoto

Meals: B
Day 11: Kyoto

Start place: Kyoto

This morning, visit a local temple to learn about the history and practice of Zen Buddhism in Japan. Here we meet with a local monk who will talk about Buddhism and instruct us in Zen meditation and calligraphy. Enjoy a traditional bowl of matcha tea before visiting the famous Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion. After, we learn about the etiquette of the samurai as well as the practice of basic kembu, and take a lesson on how to use the Japanese sword. Then, enjoy a performance by kembu masters which includes short poems, which were traditionally written by samurai about major events in their life. Later, take some time to explore on your own. Opt to visit museums, temples, or zen gardens. Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.

End place: Kyoto

Meals: B
Day 12: Kyoto

Start place: Kyoto

There are no planned activities today and you are free to depart at any time.
Depart at any time.

End place: Kyoto

Meals: B

Inclusions

Included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tsukiji Sushi Experience, Tokyo Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Zen Buddhist Meditation and Calligraphy, Kyoto Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kembu Masters, Kyoto Your Hands-On Moment: Chopstick and Gold Leaf Painting Experience, Kanazawa-shi
  • Tour of Tokyo including Meiji Jingu Shrine and Asakusa and Harajuka districts
  • Walking tour of Tsumago Village and countryside
  • Kaiseki dinner
  • Visit Kanazawa samurai and geisha districts
  • Visit Nomura Family Samurai Residence and Myoryuji Ninja Temple
  • Visit Himeji Castle
  • Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial
  • Excursion to Miyajima Island
  • Zen tea experience
  • Tour Kyoto and Nara including Fushimi Inari, Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine
  • Visit Gion Geisha district
  • Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Transport

    Bullet train, Express train, Local train, Ferry, Metro, Taxi, Public bus, Walking
  • Accommodation

    Hotels (10 nts), Traditional Inn (1 nt)
  • Meals

    11 breakfasts,
    1 lunches,
    1 dinners

Dates & availability: Iconic Japan

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Mon, 01/28/2019 Finishing Fri, 02/08/2019 Catalog Price $ 5149 Sale Price $ 4377 -
Departing Mon, 02/25/2019 Finishing Fri, 03/08/2019 Catalog Price $ 5149 Sale Price $ 5149 15 Book
Departing Mon, 03/18/2019 Finishing Fri, 03/29/2019 Catalog Price $ 5399 Sale Price $ 5399 6 Book
Departing Mon, 03/25/2019 Finishing Fri, 04/05/2019 Catalog Price $ 5649 Sale Price $ 5649 5 Book
Departing Mon, 04/01/2019 Finishing Fri, 04/12/2019 Catalog Price $ 5649 Sale Price $ 5649 -
Departing Wed, 04/03/2019 Finishing Sun, 04/14/2019 Catalog Price $ 5649 Sale Price $ 5649 -
Departing Mon, 04/08/2019 Finishing Fri, 04/19/2019 Catalog Price $ 5549 Sale Price $ 5549 15 Book
Departing Wed, 04/10/2019 Finishing Sun, 04/21/2019 Catalog Price $ 5649 Sale Price $ 5649 10 Book
Departing Mon, 04/22/2019 Finishing Fri, 05/03/2019 Catalog Price $ 5399 Sale Price $ 5399 12 Book
Departing Mon, 05/13/2019 Finishing Fri, 05/24/2019 Catalog Price $ 5399 Sale Price $ 5399 9 Book

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