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Embark on a journey through Japan's iconic "golden route" with our Fuji, Lake Biwa & Kyoto tour. Explore Tokyo and the timeless charm of Kyoto, from ancient temples, and bustling markets, to delicious street food. Venture beyond to discover hidden gems in Nara, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Miyajima. Experience traditional Japanese hospitality with a stay at a ryokan inn in Hakone National Park, where stunning views of Mount Fuji await.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Included

The full-time services of your IJT tour leader
Breakfast every day and one evening meal
Arrival transfer by shared shuttle bus
Three-day Hakone Free Pass
Luggage forwarding from Tokyo to Lake Biwa
Shared portable Wi-Fi access throughout trip
Nine nights' accommodation
All transport between destinations in Japan
IC transport card with 4,500 yen credit for city transport
Evening walking tour of Kyoto's Gion geisha district
Your InsideJapan Tours Info-Pack

Not Included

International flights
Any entrance fees including those for shrines, temples and museums
Local transport when not covered by one of the included passes
Baggage handling and luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome

Tokyo. Welcome to Japan! Upon your arrival at a Tokyo airport, our driver will assist you in boarding a shared shuttle bus to the Asakusa district, where your hotel is located.

Asakusa, hailed as Tokyo's traditional hub, boasts the majestic Senso-ji, the city's oldest temple, alongside a lively marketplace. After settling in, the remainder of the day is yours to unwind at the hotel or explore Asakusa. Later, join an evening welcome meeting, where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow adventurers.
Overnight: Tokyo

Day 2

Explore Tokyo

Today you'll have the freedom to explore the city at your own pace. However, your knowledgeable tour leader will be on hand to offer recommendations and insights into Tokyo's top attractions.

Consider beginning your day with a visit to the ancient Meiji Shrine. Nearby, venture into the vibrant streets of Harajuku, where fashion and colorful energy collide. Explore quirky boutiques, sample street food, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this iconic neighborhood.

Afterwards, stroll through the serene Hamarikyu Gardens, where you can relax amidst lush greenery. Come nightfall, explore Tokyo's futuristic side in the district of Akihabara - famous for its neon lights and bustling arcades. Make the most of this free day, as the possibilities are endless!
Overnight: Tokyo

Days 3-4

Hakone & Mount Fuji

Experience the stunning vistas and relaxing hot spring baths in Hakone, a picturesque national park just a short distance from Tokyo. In under an hour, via local train routes, you can arrive at Hakone National Park, renowned for its natural beauty and the iconic Mount Fuji. While there, you can take a cruise across Lake Ashi on a pirate-themed boat, savor a black egg cooked in a geothermal spring, explore the sculptures at the Hakone Open-Air Museum, and revel in the breathtaking surroundings. Throughout your stay, you will be treated to the traditional Japanese hospitality of a ryokan inn, where you will sleep on futon mattresses on tatami floors and have the opportunity to soak in the healing waters of an outdoor onsen hot spring bath. This experience is certain to be a memorable highlight of your trip!

Day 5

Lake Biwa

Unwind in the tranquil setting of Lake Biwa and explore an authentic samurai castle. Our journey will proceed by bullet train to Hikone, where we will tour the castle constructed in the early 1600s. Unlike many other castles in Japan, Hikone-jo, with its inner moats, walls, and guard houses, has remained remarkably preserved, offering a fascinating insight into the era of samurai dominance. We will also visit Genkyuen Garden before heading to our hotel located along the lakeshore of Lake Biwa. Dinner will be provided at the hotel for the evening. The following morning, we will take a boat ride across the lake to Chikubushima Island, a sacred site. This small uninhabited island boasts stunning views of Lake Biwa and is home to both a Buddhist temple, Hogon-ji, and a Shinto shrine, Tsukubusuma, dating back to the 700s and 400s respectively. These historical sites showcase the long-standing coexistence of Buddhism and Shintoism in the region.

Days 6-8

Kyoto

Explore the ancient historical and cultural legacy of Kyoto, known as the "City of Ten Thousand Temples". Kyoto, once the imperial capital of Japan from 794 to 1868, is renowned for its historical significance and cultural richness. The city is home to numerous ancient temples and shrines, as well as traditional crafts that continue to be practiced to this day. During your first day in Kyoto, you will have the opportunity to visit some of the city's remarkable attractions. With so much to uncover, Kyoto offers endless hidden treasures waiting to be explored. In the evening, you will have a guided tour of Gion, Kyoto's well-preserved traditional district known for its geisha culture. As you stroll through the charming streets, you may even catch a glimpse of a geisha in traditional attire. The day concludes with a group dinner, allowing you to savor a delicious meal with your tour leader. On the second day, you can choose to further immerse yourself in Kyoto's heritage or opt to travel to Nara using your Japan Rail pass. In Nara, you can visit the city's deer park and admire the majestic Todaiji Temple, home to the world's largest wooden building housing a colossal Buddha statue.

Days 9-10

Tokyo

Head back to Tokyo for an exhilarating last night in the city. Ride the bullet train once more for a return trip to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo. Spend your final night in the lively district of Shinjuku, famous for its bright neon lights, energetic nightlife, and plethora of top-notch restaurants. It's the perfect spot to end your journey in a memorable way and raise a toast to an amazing trip. On your last morning, catch a ride on the limousine bus to the airport for your departing flight. We're confident you'll be back soon!

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
Departs
Fridays
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 0
Hotel Rating
3-4 star
Tour Guide
Yes, escorted by tour guide
Meals
None Provided
Countries
Minimum Age
15 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
No
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