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Spring in Japan is a vibrant time when the country sheds its winter coat and comes alive with cherry blossom festivals and a festive atmosphere. It is a wonderful time to travel and experience the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Japan. Near Tokyo, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park offers stunning views of Mount Fuji and relaxing hot springs. In Kanazawa, visitors can explore a well-preserved traditional city, while Kyoto provides insights into Japan's history and culture with opportunities to meet a maiko and witness geisha dances. The Japanese Alps offer a glimpse of samurai castles and traditional farmhouses. The tour includes stays in Tokyo, where visitors can sample Japanese cuisine and visit peaceful gardens. With a knowledgeable tour leader and a mix of activities included, this tour provides a classic sightseeing experience during a fantastic time of year.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Included

Full-time services of your InsideJapan tour leader
Breakfast every day and four evening meals
Airport transfers and all transport between destinations in Japan
3-day Hakone Free Pass for transport in the Hakone region
Transfers from Takayama to Kanazawa by private coach
Full day private coach in Tokyo
Entrance to the Hida no Sato folk village and full day guide in Takayama
Tickets to the Odori spring geisha dances
Luggage forwarding from Tokyo to Takayama, Takayama to Kyoto and from Kyoto to Tokyo
13 nights' accommodation
Your InsideJapan Info-Pack
IC transport card with 2,500 yen credit for city transport
Takayama bus pass
Entrance to Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo
Full day guide, full day private coach in Kyoto
Private afternoon tea with a maiko
Entrance to the Hakone Open-Air Museum
Shared portable Wi-Fi access throughout trip

Not Included

International flights
Entrance fees (including those for temples, shrines and museums) unless otherwise specified
Any local transport (taxis, buses, subways) unless covered by the included transport passes
Baggage handling & luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified

Itinerary

Days 1-3

Tokyo

Discover the many vibrant districts of Tokyo and consider taking an optional day trip to Nikko or Kamakura.

Upon arrival in Tokyo, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver. You will then travel by shared shuttle bus to your hotel in the Asakusa district, where your tour leader will be waiting in the lobby to meet you. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the market stalls and stunning Senso-ji temple. In the evening, there will be a welcome meeting followed by a group meal at a local restaurant.

On day 2, your tour leader will take you on an extensive tour of Tokyo. You will visit various city centers, such as the traditional Asakusa and the modern Shinjuku. You will also explore areas like Akihabara and Ginza, and relax in the beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens. The day will end with a visit to Harajuku and Meiji Jingu shrine on the west side of the city.

On day 3, you have the option to continue exploring Tokyo or take a day trip to Nikko or Kamakura. Nikko is known for its elaborate temple complex and historical significance, while Kamakura is a charming seaside city famous for its giant Buddha statue.

Day 4

Matsumoto

Embark on a journey into the Japanese Alps by visiting Matsumoto, renowned for its historic "Black Crow" samurai castle. This castle is one of the few original samurai castles still standing in Japan, offering visitors the chance to explore the main keep and museum. For dinner, we suggest trying the regional specialty of soba noodles or, if you're feeling daring, sampling some basashi - raw horse meat.

Days 5-6

Takayama

Experience the journey through the Alps to Takayama, a mountain town known for its skilled craftsmen who have contributed to the construction of important temples and shrines in Kyoto. Take time to explore Takayama's old-town district, where you can browse craft shops and enjoy sake-tasting at local breweries. In the evening, return to your traditional ryokan for a delicious kaiseki dinner served Japanese-style. Don't miss the opportunity to relax in the ryokan's hot spring baths before bed.

On day 6, a local guide will lead you through the historic town, starting with a visit to the lively morning market. Explore the Hida no Sato folk village, showcasing traditional thatched farmhouses and offering insight into pre-industrial Japanese mountain life. Dinner is on your own tonight, so be sure to sample the delicious Hida beef, a regional specialty.

Day 7

Kanazawa

Explore the well-preserved geisha and samurai districts of Kanazawa before visiting Kenrokuen, which is considered one of Japan's top three landscape gardens. Today, you will leave the mountains to spend a day in Kanazawa on the Japan Sea Coast. Traveling by private coach, you will pass through stunning scenery on your journey. Similar to Kyoto, Kanazawa was spared from bombing during World War Two due to its historical buildings and cultural achievements, making it one of Japan's most well-preserved historical cities. Take time to wander through the geisha districts, explore Edo-period houses in the samurai quarter, sample fresh sushi from the market, and be sure not to miss Kenrokuen during your visit.

Days 8-10

Kyoto

Discover Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan, and have the option to take a day trip to Nara, Himeji, or Hiroshima.

During your time in Kyoto, you will have the chance to explore the city's numerous temples and historic sites. On day 8, you will visit Gion, the traditional geisha district, for a private audience with a maiko, followed by a group meal at a local restaurant.

On day 9, a local guide will lead you on a tour of Kyoto, showcasing the city's rich cultural heritage. You will have the opportunity to visit Nijo Castle, Arashiyama bamboo groves, and witness the Geisha Odori, geisha dances in the evening.

Day 10 is free for you to further explore Kyoto or take a day trip to nearby attractions such as Nara or Himeji. Your tour leader can provide recommendations for day trips or help you make independent arrangements for the day.

Days 11-12

Hakone & Mount Fuji

Spend two leisurely days in Hakone, renowned for its hot springs, a captivating open-air sculpture park, and breathtaking views of Mount Fuji.

Embark on day 11 with a thrilling ride on the bullet train to Hakone, a popular hot spring destination nestled within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Experience the Chokoku no Mori Hakone Open-Air Museum this afternoon, showcasing works by renowned artists such as Moore, Rodin, Kusama, and Picasso against a backdrop of picturesque alpine scenery. After a day of exploration, indulge in a delectable dinner at one of Hakone's esteemed restaurants.

On day 12, immerse yourself in the various attractions Hakone has to offer. Cruise across Lake Ashi on a pirate ship, delve into the history of the Checkpoint Museum, which sheds light on Hakone's past as a post town along the Tokaido trail, and enjoy unparalleled views of Mount Fuji - weather permitting.

Days 13-14

Tokyo

Returning to Tokyo on day 13, you have one last day to enjoy the capital city. Use this time for any last-minute shopping or to visit the 634m Skytree, explore Odaiba Island via monorail, or book a karaoke booth in Shinjuku. Dinner is not included, but we recommend going out with your tour group and leader for a final-night meal to celebrate the end of a fantastic trip.

Saying goodbye on day 14, you will be transferred back to the airport in time for your flight home.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates marked with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departures are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Tokyo
Ends
Tokyo
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 14
Hotel Rating
 
Tour Guide
0
Meals
None Provided
Countries
Minimum Age
15 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
No
Dep. Transfer
No
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