Best of Japan in 22 Days

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If you don’t want to miss anything in Japan, then this is the tour for you. From Sapporo to Nagasaki, you will enjoy the best Japan has to offer including some of Japan’s best onsens, gardens, castles, natural scenic areas, historical districts, temples and shrines, cultural activities and much, much more in a tour that will create travel memories to last a lifetime.

Destinations

Tokyo, Hakone Yumoto Onsen, Takayama, Kyoto, Koya-san, Takamatsu, Matsuyama, Miyajima Island, Nagasaki, Sapporo, Noboribestu Onsen, Hakodate, Sendai, Kamakura, Hakone, Kotohira, Hiroshima, Shiraoi, Matsushima, Nikko

You’ll stay overnight at a mountaintop Buddhist temple where Buddhist monks will serve you meals of shojin ryori (the traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine), receive meditation instruction from the monks and attend prayer services at the temple early the next morning, climb to the top of a samurai castle, participate in a tea ceremony, visit the world’s largest fish market, stroll through farmer’s markets, meet a “maiko” (geisha-in-training) face-to-face, see where the geisha live and work, stay overnight on beautiful and quiet Miyajima Island, soak in the thermally-heated mineral waters at some of Japan’s best onsens and admire sacred Mt. Fuji (weather permitting), the icon of Japan.

You’ll enjoy Tokyo where the sheer energy level will sweep you away, and Sapporo, host to the 1972 Winter Olympics with its many, fine restaurants, explore the morning market of Hakodate, where you can have the local specialties of crab, sea urchin or squid prepared for you for breakfast, and learn about Japan’s original inhabitants, the Ainu, whose culture almost disappeared until recent efforts of restoration. You will walk around the rim of an active volcano, enjoy Matsushima, considered to be one of three most scenic places in Japan, visit the sobering testament to peace of Hiroshima and the ostentatious over-the-top shrines and temples of Nikko. The rural, mountainous island of Shikoku will charm you with its natural beauty, and the island of Kyushu with the history-filled city of Nagasaki will surprise you with its diversity.

DAY 1Arrive Tokyo

You lose a day flying to Japan due to crossing the International Dateline, and gain the day back when you fly home. You will be met at Tokyo’s Narita airport by a Samurai Tours representative, who will help you board the bus to the hotel in Tokyo. No meals included.

Travel: 1-1/4 Hours; Walking: Light

DAY 2Tokyo â?? Tsukiji Fish Market, Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View, Ginza, Sumida River Cruise, Sensoji Temple

After breakfast, we will travel by subway to the Tsukiji Fish Market. This market is the largest in the world, and it is estimated that 20% of all of the fish caught in the world passes through this market. Next, we will take the subway to Roppongi Hills, where we will visit the Tokyo City View. From the observation deck on the 53rd floor of the Roppongi Hills Building, you will get a bird’s eye view of Tokyo while also getting oriented to Tokyo, and a glimpse as to just how large Tokyo really is. On a clear day you might even see Mt. Fuji. Afterwards, we travel by subway to the famous Ginza district, the most expensive real estate in the world where we will first stop for a lunch of Kushiage (fried meat and vegetables on bamboo skewers). After lunch, you will have some free time to wander through the numerous boutiques and department stores. Visit the Nissan and BMW showrooms to see the latest auomobile technology. Explore the Sony Building where you will find many of Sony’s products on display, some of which aren’t on the market yet. After riding the subway to the Hinode Pier, we take a relaxing cruise on the Sumida River back to the Asakusa area. Here we will tour the Nakamise-dori, Senso-ji Buddhist Temple and the Asakusa Shrine where you will learn about Buddhist and Shinto Japanese religious practices. Breakfast at the hotel and lunch at a local restaurant included.

Travel: 1-3/4 Hours; Walking: Heavy

DAY 3Kamakura â?? Hase-dera Temple, Kotokuin (Great Buddha), Hokokuin (Bamboo Temple); Travel to Hakone, Hakone Yumoto Onsen

We board a subway and an express train to the ancient city of Kamakura, the former capital of Japan in the 13th century. Hase-dera Temple, originally established in the 8th century houses a famous Kannon statue made from wood and gold leaf, and also has a commanding view of the nearby ocean. Next we will visit Kotokuin, the home of the famous Kamakura Great Buddha. This 40-foot tall bronze statue of Buddha, built in the 13th century is an icon of Japan. After a relaxing noodle lunch, we continue by taxi to Hokokuin Temple, also known as the Bamboo Temple. Here you will be able to relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the bamboo garden while savoring tea and sweets. Late in the afternoon, we will travel to Hakone Yumoto Onsen, where we will stay overnight and where you can enjoy the thermally-heated mineral baths at the ryokan. Before leaving Tokyo, you will prepare your luggage to be transferred to Takayama, and will be traveling to Hakone and Takayama with an overnight bag only. Breakfast at the hotel and lunch at a local restaurant is included.

Travel: 1-1/2 Hours; Walking: Light

DAY 4Tour Hakone, Travel to Takayama

After checking out of the ryokan, we will tour Hakone. Hakone is famous for its natural beauty and the view of nearby Mt. Fuji (weather permitting). We will be taking many different forms of transportation (electric train, funicular, gondola and bus) around Hakone including the Hakone Sightseeing Boats on Lake Ashi. In good weather, passengers aboard the sightseeing cruise can get a fine view of Japan’s most famous peak, Mount Fuji, and enjoy Hakone’s rich scenery reflected on the lake’s calm surface. The large windows of the ropeway (gondola) allow visitors to observe the panorama of Hakone’s unspoiled natural setting. Along the ropeway, we will stop at Owakudani. Owakudani offers magnificent views of Mount Fuji in what is still an active volcanic region. Here at Owakudani, you will have free time to explore the thermally-heated pools and mud pots. You can try one of the ‘black eggs’, which are eggs hard-boiled in the thermally-heated mineral waters. It is said if you eat one of these eggs, it will add seven years to your life. (It is probably said by the people who sell the eggs.) After returning to Hakone Yumoto and picking up our overnight bags, we will continue on to Takayama. Takayama, in the middle of the Japan Alps, with its traditional inns, shops, and sake breweries, has managed to retain its traditional charm. After checking into the ryokan, the evening is free to enjoy one of the many nearby Hida Beef restaurants. (Hida Beef is the same thing as the more famous Kobe Beef.) Breakfast at the ryokan and lunch at a local restaurant is included.

Travel: 5 Hours; Walking: Medium

DAY 5Takayama – Miyagawa Morning Market, Jinyamae Morning Market, Takayama Jinya, San-machi-suji

This morning we stroll through the farmer’s market, sampling the numerous options from vegetable stands and stalls selling herbs, pickles, and souvenirs. After that, we tour the Takayama-jinya, which was the governing office of Takayama and the surrounding area since the early 17th century. The guide will take you to the Sanmachi-suji district, consisting of merchant homes dating back to the 16th century. The rest of the day is free to roam and explore Takayama. Visit the many temples, shrines and museums, rummage through antique shops, or relax at one of the sake breweries. Breakfast and lunch at a local restaurant are included.

Travel: TBD; Walking: Medium

DAY 6Travel to Kyoto, Kyoto

In the morning, we will travel by express train and Shinkansen (bullet train) to the city of Kyoto. For many, just the name of Kyoto conjures up the classic images of Japan: streets of traditional wooden houses, the click-clack of geta (wooden sandals) on the paving stones, geisha in a flourish of brightly colored silks, and a tea master deliberately warming water and making tea. Steeped in history and tradition, Kyoto has in many ways been the cradle of Japanese culture. A stroll through Kyoto today is a walk through 11 centuries of Japanese history. After lunch we will visit Kinkaku-ji. Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is one of Kyoto’s, as well as Japan’s, most recognizable attractions. The gleaming building covered in gold leaf seems to float on the aptly named Mirror Pond, especially on a sunny day. Next, we will visit Nijo Castle. Built in 1603, it was the Kyoto home of Tokugawa Ieayasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun. The ostentatious style of construction was intended as a demonstration of Ieyasu’s prestige, and to signal the demise of the emperor’s power. The finest artists of the day filled the castle with delicate transom woodcarvings and paintings by the Kano School on sliding doors. One of the castle’s most intriguing features is the so-called “nightingale” floors. To protect the Shogun from real or imagined enemies, these floorboards creak when stepped on. Next we will learn about the tea ceremony. The regimented discipline of the tea ceremony has been practiced for more than 400 years, and at one time was considered mandatory for Samurai as an aid to train the mind. You will even have an opportunity to make your own tea. Breakfast at the ryokan and lunch and dinner at a local restaurant is included.

Travel: 3-1/2 Hours; Walking: Light

DAY 7Kyoto

Today we are off by train to the nearby city of Fushimi, one of the largest sake producing regions of Japan. Here we will visit the Fushimi Inari shrine. This Shinto Shrine, established in the 8th century, is famous for the long tunnels of vermilion torii gates straddling a network of trails leading to the top of the heavily forested Mt. Inari. Next, we will visit the famous Kiyomizu-dera temple. Kiyomizu-dera literally translates to “Pure Water Temple”. For centuries, visitors and pilgrims have climbed the hill to the temple standing on a steep hillside with fine views of the city of Kyoto. Supported by 139 pillars, the temple juts out over the valley. Finding the courage to set out on a daring, new adventure is likened to “taking a leap from the veranda of Kiyomizu”. From Kiyomizu, we will walk through the Higashiyama District of Kyoto. This area of narrow, cobblestone alleys with its numerous shops and restaurants is truly enjoyable and relaxing. Next, we will walk to the famous Gion Geisha District. Here, you will see where the Geisha live and work. You may even see one on their way to one of their appointments. We will continue by taxi to the restaurant to enjoy a Shabu-Shabu dinner. During the dinner in a private room, we will be joined by a “Maiko” for a private Maiko dinner party. A Maiko is a geisha in training. She will perform a short dance, answer any of your questions, pose for pictures with you and teach you some traditional Japanese party games. Breakfast at the ryokan, lunch and Shabu-Shabu dinner at a local restaurant included.

Travel: 1-1/2 Hours; Walking: Heavy

DAY 8Travel to Koya-san, Koya-san – Okunoin Cemetery and Temple, Garan Temple Complex, Meditation Lessons, Overnight at a Buddhist Temple

We will board an express train to Osaka, and then continue to Koya-san by train and funicular. Koya-san, the world headquarters of the Shingon School of Esoteric Buddhism, was established in the year 816 by Kobo Daishi, considered by many to be the most influential religious person in Japanese history. After dropping off the luggage at the temple, we will enjoy a vegetarian lunch. After lunch, we will wander through the huge cemetery leading up to the Okuno-in temple. Kobo Daishi is buried at this temple, and many Japanese still believe that he is not dead, but merely in a very advanced state of meditation, waiting to awaken at the appropriate time. After touring the Garan Temple complex and checking into our shukubo (Buddhist temple lodging), you are free to roam and visit one of the 110 temples in the area or just rest in the garden at the shukubo. Your dinner of shojin-ryori (traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine – no meat, fish, onions or garlic) will be served by the Buddhist Monks from the temple. After dinner, one of the monks from the temple will give instructions on meditation. Meditation is an important part of Buddhism, and the path to enlightenment. The lesson will concentrate on the proper breathing techniques which will allow you to relax and free your mind. Breakfast at the ryokan, Shojin-ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) lunch at a local restaurant and Shojin-ryori dinner at the temple is included.

Travel: 3 Hours; Walking: Heavy

DAY 9Koya-san – Morning Prayer Service; Travel to Okayama, Okayama – Korakuen Garden; Travel to Takamatsu

Early in the morning, we will attend a Buddhist prayer service held at the temple. After a vegetarian breakfast, we will travel back to Osaka, and continue by Shinkansen to Okayama. We will stop here to tour Korakuen Garden. Korakuen Garden is considered by the Japanese to be one of the three best gardens in Japan. The garden was commissioned by the head of the Ikeda clan in 1687 and completed in 1700. Initially, the garden was used by the Ikeda clan for relaxing, entertaining important guests and training vassals in the literary and military arts, such as archery and horsemanship. After touring the garden, we will continue to Takamatsu by express train. The sprawling city of Takamatsu is located on the northern shore of Shikoku, the smallest, the least populated and least visited of the four major islands of Japan. Despite a relaxed atmosphere, Takamatsu hums with an urban energy. Walking down the city’s wide, sunlit boulevards or numerous covered shopping arcades you will find funky shops, artsy cafes and exciting nightlife. Shojin-ryori breakfast at the temple and lunch and dinner at a local restaurant is included.

Travel: 4 Hours; Walking: Medium

DAY 10Takamatsu – Ritsurin Garden; Kotohira – Konpira Shrine

We will start the day at Ritsurin Garden, thought by many to be one of best gardens in Japan. This garden was designed by the local feudal lord family and took over 100 years to create. The more than 1,400 twisted and contorted pines set this garden apart from other gardens. We will also stop for tea and sweets in a tea house overlooking a beautiful koi-filled pond. Next we travel by street car to the nearby city of Kotohira, where we will visit Kompira Shrine. Kompira Shrine is the main shrine of multiple Kompira shrines found around Japan that are dedicated to sailors and seafaring. Located on the wooded slope of Mount Zozu in Kotohira, the approach to Kompirasan is an arduous series of 785 stone steps. We will return to Takamatsu by train. Breakfast at the hotel and lunch at a local restaurant included.

Travel: 3-1/2 Hours; Walking: Heavy

DAY 11Travel to Matsuyama, Matsuyama – Matsuyama Castle, Dogo Onsen

In the morning, we will travel by express train to the city of Matsuyama. We will start the afternoon at Matsuyama Castle. Matsuyama Castle is one of Japan’s most beautiful original castles. It is located on Mt. Katsu, a steep hill in the city center providing visitors to the castle with a bird’s eye view of Matsuyama and the Seto Inland Sea. The castle was constructed between 1602 and 1628. The current three storied castle tower was constructed in 1820 after the original five storied one was destroyed by lightening. In the evening, you can visit the famous Dogo Onsen. It is thought this was the first onsen in Japan, and the history of the onsen goes back 1,000 years. The current main onsen building was built in 1894, and includes a bath reserved exclusively for visiting Emperors. Breakfast at the hotel is included.

Travel: 3 Hours; Walking: Medium

DAY 12Matsuyama – Ishiteji Temple, Travel by ferries to Miyajima Island

In the morning, we will tour the nearby temple of Ishiteji. This temple is one of the 88 temples (#51) on the Shikoku pilgrimage. Ishiteji is known for its Niomon Gate, a designated national treasure. The main hall and pagoda are also designated important cultural properties, and all of the structures exhibit the typical architecture style of the Kamakura Period (1192-1333). In the afternoon, we will travel by high-speed ferries to Miyajima Island. The Japanese proclaim Miyajima Island to be one of the top three scenic sights in Japan. The evening is free to enjoy the solitude and ambiance of the island after all of the day-trippers head back to the mainland. Before leaving the hotel in the morning, we will transfer the luggage to Nagasaki. (You will need enough items for three days/two nights.) Breakfast at the hotel and Kaiseki-style dinner at the ryokan is included.

Travel: 2-1/2 Hours; Walking: Medium

DAY 13Miyajima Island â?? Free Day

The entire day is a free day to enjoy Miyajiima Island. The afternoon and evening is free to enjoy the solitude and ambiance of the island after all of the day-trippers head back to the mainland. Ride the cable car to the top of the mountain on Miyajima Island, or visit the Itsukushima-jinja shrine which was built in its present form in 1168. Or just stroll around the island while enjoying grilled oysters, the island’s specialty.  Breakfast at the ryokan and Kaiseki-style dinner at the ryokan is included.

Travel: TBD; Walking: TBD

DAY 14Hiroshima – Peace Park and Museum; Travel to Nagasaki

We will travel by ferry and train to the city of Hiroshima. Here we will visit the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum, both sobering monuments to the tragic event on August 6, 1945. Late in the afternoon, we will travel to Nagasaki on the island of Kyushu. Breakfast at the ryokan and lunch at a local restaurant included.

Travel: 6-1/2 Hours; Walking: Heavy

DAY 15Nagasaki â?? Dejima, Glover Garden, Free afternoon

We will start the day by visiting Dejima. Dejima was a man-made island in the port of Nagasaki constructed in 1636. A few years later, the Dutch trading factory was moved to Dejima. The Dutch workers, the only remaining Westerners allowed in the country, were restricted to Dejima during Japan’s two centuries of isolation. Today, Dejima is no longer an island, as the surrounding area has been reclaimed during the 20th century. However, a number of Dejima’s historical structures have been reconstructed, including various residences, warehouses, walls and gates. There are many displays in these buildings documenting the daily life of the Dutch residents. Next, we will tour Glover Gardens. Glover Garden is an open air museum, exhibiting mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. It is located on the hill where Western merchants settled down after the end of Japan’s era of seclusion in the second half of the 19th century. You can also enjoy a panorama of the city from the garden. The rest of the day will be free. Breakfast at the ryokan and lunch at a local restaurant included.

Travel: 1 Hours; Walking: TBD

DAY 16Travel to Sapporo

The entire day is a travel day. We will be traveling by air to Sapporo, Hokkaido’s largest city and host of the 1972 Winter Olympics. After arriving, we will visit the JR Sapporo Tower where you will be able to get a bird’s eye view of Sapporo. In the evening, we will enjoy dinner at the Sapporo Beer Garden, located in the original Sapporo Beer brewery, where you can try the local specialty of grilled lamb, cooked yourself at the table. Breakfast at the hotel and dinner at a local restaurant included.

Travel: 8 Hours; Walking: Light

DAY 17Sapporo – Old Government Building, Clock Tower; Travel to Shiraoi, Poroto Kotan Ainu Village and Museum, Travel to Norboribetsu Onsen

After breakfast, we will next visit the Old Hokkaido Government Building. Affectionately known by the locals as “Red Bricks” (akarenga in Japanese), it was built in 1911 and has been designated as an Important Cultural Asset. Next, we will visit the Clock Tower, the symbol of Sapporo. The building was constructed in 1878 as a drill hall of the Sapporo Agricultural College. The American-made clock was added in 1881. In the afternoon, we will travel to Noboribetsu Onsen, one of the most popular and famous hot spring resorts in Japan. On our way to Noboribetsu, we will stop at the city of Shiraoi, where the Poroto Kotan Ainu Village and Museum is located. Ainu are considered to be the original inhabitants of Japan. Here you will see a traditional Ainu dance demonstration, as well as a demonstration of traditional Ainu musical instruments. In the museum, you will learn about Ainu history, as well as their every-day life and how they lived. Before leaving Sapporo, we will transfer the main luggage to Hakodate. Breakfast at the hotel and dinner at the ryokan included.

Travel: 1-1/2 Hours; Walking: Medium

DAY 18Nooboribetsu Onsen, Travel to Hakodate

The morning is free to explore Noboribetsu Onsen, including the Jigoku-dani (Hell Valley) and the other geothermal activity in the area. In the afternoon, we will travel to the city of Hakodate. Hakodate was one of the first cities open to the West after the Meiji Restoration. In the evening, we take a cable car to the top of Mt. Hakodate, where we will enjoy a panoramic view of Hakodate’s night lights. Breakfast at the ryokan is included.

Travel: 3 Hours; Walking: Light

DAY 19Hakodate – Hakodate Morning Market, Goryokaku Fort; Travel to Sendai

Early in the morning, we will visit the Hakodate Morning Market, where the sellers can prepare the specialties of Hakodate (crab, sea urchin and squid) fresh from their stalls for breakfast. Next we will visit the Goryo-Kaku, Japan’s first western-style fort. Built in 1864 by the Tokugawa Shogunate in the shape of a five-pointed star, it was designed to trap attackers in a deadly crossfire. We will go to top of the Goryo-kaku tower next to the fort, providing a view of the fort and the surrounding city. We will then tour the Moto-machi historic area. This is where many of the westerners who lived in Hakodate lived at the end of the 19th century. Overlooking the western bay at the foot of Mount Hakodate, there are numerous sloping streets lined with 19th century churches, consulates, shops and homes of the foreigners who first opened this area of Japan to commerce. In the afternoon, we will travel to the city of Sendai. Breakfast at the hotel is included.

Travel: 8 Hours; Walking: Medium

DAY 20Matsushima – Matsushima Bay Cruise, Kanran-tei, Zuigan-ji

Today we will tour Matsushima. Matsushima, near Sendai, is known as one of Japan’s three most scenic areas, and has been visited by numerous dignitaries over the years including the famous Haiku poet Basho who wrote a very famous poem about Matsuhsima published in the late 17th century. First, we will take a sightseeing boat that will navigate between the 260 small islands sculpted by the waves and covered with pine trees. During the cruise, you will see how Matsushima got its name (Matsu means pine and shima means island). After the cruise, we will visit the Kanran-tei Pavilion given to the Date feudal lord family of Sendai by Toyotomi Hideyoshi which was used for moon viewing and tea ceremonies. Here we will enjoy the view while sampling green-powder tea and sweets. We will also visit Zuigan-ji Temple. Originally founded by the Tendai Buddhism sect in 828, the current buildings were built by the Date feudal lord family in 1606. Here, along the entrance to the temple, we will find the numerous Buddha statues carved by hand into the rocky-cliff face by Buddhist monks to show their dedication. Breakfast at the hotel and lunch at a local restaurant is included.

Travel: 8 Hours; Walking: Medium

DAY 21Nikko – Rinno-ji, Tosho-gu, Taiyuin; Travel to Tokyo

We board a Shinkansen (bullet train) and local train to Nikko, where the Tosho-gu Shrine is located. This shrine – built by Tokugawa Iemitsu – is a dedication to his grandfather, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. (James Clavell’s fictional Shogun in his novel Shogun was based on this person.) One of the most elaborate monuments in Japan, no expense was spared in this shrine’s construction. After touring Nikko, we will travel by local train and Shinkansen to Tokyo. In the evening, we will enjoy our “Sayonara” dinner. Breakfast at the hotel and lunch and dinner at a local restaurant is included.

Travel: 8 Hours; Walking: Light

DAY 22Return Home

You will travel to the airport by express train to catch your flight home. Breakfast at the hotel is included.

Travel: 1-1/2 Hours; Walking: Light

Inclusions

The full-time services of a Samurai Tours guide.

Travel Guard Gold Policy from Travel Guard, one of the world’s largest travel insurance providers, will be provided to everyone from the United States and Canada (except for Quebec). All others will receive a $100 per person credit and will be responsible for obtaining their own travel insurance in their own home country. (The insurance provided by Samurai Tours will cover the land portion only. Insurance to cover airfare and other additional expenses is the tour member’s responsibility.)

Download a PDF of the Travel Guard Gold Policy

The provided insurance coverage includes:

  • Trip Cancellation (up to trip cost)
  • Trip Interruption (up to 150% of trip cost)
  • Trip Delay (up to $750)
  • Missed Connection (up to $250)
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Loss (up to $1,500)
  • Baggage Delay (up to $250)
  • Medical Expense (up to $25,000)
  • Medical Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains (up to $250,000)
  • Accidental Death or Dismemberment (up to $25,000)
  • Coverage for financial default of tour operator
  • Cancel for Work Reasons
  • A waiver of any pre-existing medical conditions that could eventually cause you to interrupt your trip

Travel Insurance Surcharge: Depending on your age at the time the travel insurance is purchased, you may be subject to the following surcharge for your travel insurance. Travel insurance surcharges will be due at the same time as your tour deposits.

  • Up to 69 – $0
  • 70-74 – $150
  • 75-79 – $325
  • 80-84 – $600
  • 85+ – $1000

Travel Insurance Opt-Out: If you would prefer to opt out of the travel insurance, please note this at the time of registration. You will receive a $100 credit per person, which will be reflected on your invoice. In the event that you would need to cancel your tour, cancellation penalties may apply. See the Terms and Conditions page for the Cancellation Fees Schedule.

Airport transfer from Tokyo’s Narita Airport and airport transfer to Tokyo’s Narita Airport.

Meeting service at Tokyo’s Narita Airport and sending service to the Shinagawa train station. (The meeting service will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel in Tokyo. The sending service will escort you to the Shinagawa train station and make sure you board the correct train. The sending service will not accompany you to the airport. For those requiring meeting or sending services on other than the scheduled arrival/departure dates, there will be a $100 fee for the meeting service from the airport into Tokyo or the sending service to the Shinagawa train station.)

Lodging for 21 nights in Japanese-style ryokans or western-style hotels

Meals

  • Japanese-style or Western-style breakfast every morning?(Please Note: Some ryokans offer Japanese breakfasts only.)
  • 12 Japanese-style or western-style lunches
  • 9 Japanese-style or western-style dinners (including 2 gourmet kaiseki dinners, a Shojin-Ryori (traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) dinner at the Buddhist temple and All-You-Can-Eat Grilled Lamb Dinner at the Sapporo Beer Garden)

21-day Japan Rail Pass (allows unlimited train travel.)

The appropriate amount of free time to allow you to explore and discover your own personal Japan.
All transportation costs when traveling with the group. (Transportation costs during scheduled free times are the tour member’s responsibility.)

Admission fees to the destinations and activities listed in the Tour Highlights column on the right. (Itinerary specifics subject to change.)

Welcome dinner at the beginning of the tour
Sayonara dinner at the end of the tour
Luggage delivery from Tokyo to Takayama (one bag only)
Luggage delivery from Takayama to Kyoto (one bag only)
Luggage delivery from Kyoto to Takamatsu (one bag only)
Luggage delivery from Takamatsu to Matsuyama (one bag only)
Luggage delivery from Matsuyama to Nagasaki (one bag only)
Luggage delivery from Nagasaki to Hakodate (one bag only)
Luggage delivery from Hakodate to Tokyo (one bag only)

Each tour member receives an electronic copy of our tour handbook. This handbook is full of tips and suggestions taken from our Japan travel experiences that allow you to better plan and prepare for your trip, and therefore enjoy your trip even more. The tips and suggestions included cover everything from how to save while exchanging money, what to pack, some basic Japanese-language tips, general etiquette dos-and-don’ts, ryokan customs, etc.

Exclusions

Airfare to and from Japan is NOT included
Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and desserts are NOT included – except at the dinner the first evening, the sayonara dinner and the Grilled Lamb dinner at the Sapporo Beer Garden

Tour Map

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Overall Customer Ratings

Individual Customer Reviews

Robert and Kathleen Vieth – May 11, 2013 to Jun 01, 2013

Ana Sweet – May 11, 2013 to Jun 01, 2013

Nahide Craig – May 11, 2013 to Jun 01, 2013

Cynthia Jones

Ralph and Linda Cioppa – Oct 13, 2013 to Nov 03, 2013

Mayumi Nalls – Oct 13, 2013 to Nov 03, 2013

alma ries – Oct 27, 2013 to Nov 17, 2013