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Experience the best of Japan's classic cultural and natural locations on this tour. Picture yourself relaxing in a hot spring bath at the base of Mount Fuji, enjoying tea with an apprentice geisha in Kyoto, or taking a peaceful stroll through Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo. From the world-famous bullet train rides to stays in traditional accommodations, this tour offers a glimpse into Japan's mysterious spirituality and exquisite aesthetics. Indulge in a gastronomic adventure, sampling local delicacies such as Hida beef, fresh sushi, street food in Osaka, and traditional kaiseki feasts in Takayama. Expertly planned experiences await in each destination, from exploring the history of Osaka Castle to wandering through Takayama's Hida no Sato Folk Village. Join a tour of Kyoto with a local guide, meet a trainee geisha, and enjoy the serene beauty of Hamarikyu Gardens nestled among Tokyo's skyscrapers. Visit two stunning national parks, Chubu Sangaku (Japan Alps) and Fuji-Hakone-Izu, home to magnificent mountain scenery, Japanese macaque monkeys, Lake Ashi pirate ship rides, and volcanic hot springs for boiling eggs. Your tour leader will accompany you, providing insights into history and culture, guiding you on excursions, and ensuring you make the most of your Classic Japan journey.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Included

Full-time services of your InsideJapan tour leader
Breakfast every day and eight evening meals
IC transport card with 4,500 yen credit for city transport
Private coach from Takayama to Japan Alps; bus & trains from Japan Alps to Tokyo
Afternoon tea with a maiko in Kyoto
Entrance to the Hida no Sato folk village in Takayama
Tickets to Hakone Open-Air Museum
Luggage forwarding from Tokyo to Osaka & from Takayama to Tokyo
Arrival and departure transfers by shared shuttle bus
13 nights' accommodation
Your InsideJapan Info-Pack
Three-day Hakone Free Pass for transport in the Hakone region
Full day private guide in Kyoto with private bus
Entrance to Kiyomizu Temple & Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto
Entrance to Osaka Castle
Entrance to Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo
Shared portable Wi-Fi access throughout trip
All transport between destinations

Not Included

International flights
Any entrance fees (including temples, shrines and museums) unless otherwise specified
Any local transport unless covered by the included transport passes
Baggage handling and luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified - you will be expected to carry your own luggage.

Itinerary

Days 1-2

Tokyo

Discover Tokyo, the vibrant capital of Japan, starting with the tranquility of Hamarikyu Gardens and the lively atmosphere of the Shibuya district. Upon arrival in Tokyo, the tenth most populous city in the world, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and taken to your hotel in Asakusa. Your tour leader will be waiting for you in the lobby, where you will gather with your group for a welcome meeting before enjoying a meal at a local restaurant. Asakusa offers a glimpse of the city's history, with its traditional market stalls leading to the ancient Senso-ji temple, Tokyo's oldest. On day 2, your tour leader will guide you on a tour of Tokyo's iconic sites, from Shibuya's bustling scramble crossing to the vibrant arcades of Akihabara. End the day with a relaxing cup of green tea at the serene Hamarikyu Gardens. Tokyo may be a symbol of modernity, but it still holds pockets of history for those willing to explore.

Days 3-4

Hakone

Marvel at the beauty of Mount Fuji and discover the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Hakone, known as one of Japan's most popular national parks. Conveniently accessible by bullet train, Hakone is located within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is renowned for its hot springs. During your visit, you will be accommodated in a traditional Japanese hotel near the Hakone Open-Air Museum. The museum showcases works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Miro, Rodin, and Henry Moore, set against the backdrop of picturesque mountain landscapes. In addition to the art exhibits, Hakone offers a variety of attractions including charming traditional buildings and a leisurely pirate ship cruise on Lake Ashi, with stunning views of Mount Fuji on clear days. Your tour leader will guide you to explore these highlights and more on day 4 of your trip. Each evening, enjoy a delicious kaiseki-style dinner featuring local and seasonal ingredients included in your stay. Be sure to take advantage of the relaxing hot spring baths, a beloved tradition in Japanese culture, while in Hakone, where you will find top-notch bathhouses to unwind in.

Days 5-6

Osaka

Experience the exceptional street food scene in Osaka and embark on a day trip to a nearby destination accessible by train. Today, you will journey via local train and shinkansen bullet train to Osaka, a bustling and modern city celebrated for its delicious street food offerings such as takoyaki octopus balls and okonomiyaki savory pancake. The city is also notable for the welcoming and down-to-earth demeanor of its residents. Upon arrival, you will kick off your exploration by visiting Osaka Castle, a impressive reconstruction with a museum showcasing the castle's history. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to explore at your own pace or join your tour leader to wander through the lively Dotonbori district, home to iconic sights like the illuminated "Glico running man" and a large animatronic crab. Don't miss the chance to sample some local street food delicacies. On day 6, you will have a free day to pursue activities of your choosing. Consider taking a day trip to Himeji Castle or the ancient imperial city of Nara, both easily accessible from Osaka. Your tour leader will provide guidance on these options or offer suggestions for alternative excursions.

Days 7-8

Kyoto

Discover Kyoto, known as the "City of Ten Thousand Temples," which served as the capital of Japan for over a millennium. With a rich history that spans from 794 to 1869, Kyoto is home to a wealth of historical sites and landmarks. The city's numerous temples and shrines offer a glimpse into its vibrant past. Your tour leader will design a customized itinerary based on the season, weather, and group preferences. Experience the traditional charm of Kyoto's Gion district on day 7 with a private afternoon tea with a maiko, followed by a group dinner at a local restaurant. On day eight, explore the city's highlights, including the bamboo groves of Arashiyama, Yasaka Shrine, and the iconic Golden Pavilion of Kinkaku-ji, accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide and your tour leader.

Days 9-10

Takayama

Experience the charm of Takayama in the Japanese Alps, where you can admire thatched-roof farmhouses, savor succulent Hida beef, explore traditional streets, and visit sake breweries. On day nine of your journey from Kyoto, you will arrive in Takayama, known for its exceptional craftsmen. Take the afternoon to wander through craft shops and sake breweries in the old town district before enjoying dinner at a Japanese-style inn. Day 10 in Takayama offers a full day of exploration, starting with a visit to the riverside morning market. Next, venture to Hida no Sato folk village to see traditional thatched farmhouses. For a different experience, consider visiting the Sukyo Mahikari cult's world headquarters, a unique shrine with a giant fish tank at its altar. Dinner is not included, so we recommend trying the delicious Hida beef for a taste of local cuisine.

Days 11-12

Japanese Alps

Embark on a scenic hike along the Azusa River and take in the breathtaking views of Kamikochi, considered one of Japan's most picturesque national parks. The adventure continues as you explore the Japanese alps. A private coach will transport you to the Shinhotaka Ropeway, a unique "double-decker" cable car offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. After the ride, you will visit the quaint hot spring town of Hirayu Onsen where you can take an optional hike to a beautiful waterfall. Later, you can relax and enjoy the hot spring baths before enjoying a delicious dinner at the accommodation. On day 12, a short bus ride will bring you to Kamikochi, located in the Chubu-Sangaku National Park. The plateau sits at an elevation of about 1,500m (4,920ft) above sea level, providing cooler weather compared to other parts of Japan, even in the summer. Your Insider will lead a hike starting at the serene Taisho Pond and continuing for approximately 6km to the Myojin Pond, which houses a mystical Shinto shrine nestled among the mountainous forest. Along the mostly flat route, you may have the chance to see wild monkeys in the area. Dinner is included once again on this evening.

Days 13-14

Tokyo

Explore Matsumoto's iconic "Black Crow" castle before heading back to Tokyo. Your final evening will be spent in the lively Shinjuku district, enjoying a farewell meal with your tour group. The next morning, say goodbye to your fellow travelers and catch the included shuttle to the airport 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
Yes
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