Day 1: Arrival
Welcome to Tokyo - the ultramodern and the traditional at the same time capital of Japan! An English-speaking assistant meets you at the arrivals hall and takes you to your private driver for the transfer to your hotel.
Upon arrival to the hotel, you check in and have the rest of the day at leisure to relax after your trip or start exploring the vibrant city on your own.
Day 2: Introduction to Tokyo & River Cruise
In the morning after breakfast you meet your private guide and start your first full day tour of Tokyo. During the tour you use the convenient Tokyo public train transportation to travel around the city.
Today you visit the Asakusa Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, and learn the legend of how this temple was built. The temple is known to bring good luck in almost anything, so make sure to make a wish! Here you can feel the traditional Japanese culture the moment you step on the temple grounds. A shopping street, called Nakamise, leads from the outer gate to the temple's second gate, here you can find a great selection of souvenirs as well as local confectionaries that the locals admire so much.
Then you have a visit the Tokyo Sky Tree, a television broadcasting tower and the tallest structure in Japan. Its observation decks offering spectacular views over Tokyo are the highlights of the tower. You visit the deck located at the height of 350 meters (1148 feet), so make sure to have your camera and phone charged!
After a break for lunch, you enjoy a river cruise and rediscover Tokyo from water. Later you proceed to Hamarikyu, a large landscape garden in the heart of the city. The traditionally styled garden with seawater ponds stands in stark contrast to the skyscrapers of the adjacent modern district. The garden has its own history that goes back several centuries, and your local guide will share its stories to you.
Before returning to your hotel, you explore Ginza, Japan's premier shopping, dining and entertainment district, which has one of the most expensive real estate in all of Japan.
After the tour you return to your hotel and have the evening at leisure.
Day 3: Tokyo Sightseeing & Sumo Show
In the morning after breakfast you meet your private guide and continue exploring Tokyo on a second full day tour of the city. During the tour you use public transportation, just like a local.
You start the tour today with the Shinjuku, an area surrounding Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station, the world's busiest railway station, handling more than two million passengers every day. The area is known for its lively mix of entertainment, office buildings, and shopping complexes.
You then see the Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo's iconic intersection, is a symbol of modern Japan and of Tokyo itself: action in all directions. People are constantly pouring across the street from all directions, three huge television screens mounted on the buildings flash all day, the area is covered with lights. The intersection is a popular filming location for movies, it has appeared in the films Lost in Translation and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, as well as numerous music videos and newscasts.
After taking in the energy of modern Tokyo, you have a chance to see the Imperial Palace (from the outside), the main residence of the Imperial Family. The palace was destroyed during the World War II, and rebuilt in the same style, afterwards.
After a break for lunch, you head to Odaiba, a popular futuristic shopping and entertainment district on a man made island in Tokyo Bay. Here you find the Mega Web, an automotive-focused theme park where you can explore Toyota’s history and learn about its newest technological developments and test-drive futuristic cars.
After the tour, you enjoy a dinner at a Sumo Restaurant. In the middle of the restaurant lies a real sumo ring, used by performers, musicians, singers or retired sumo wrestlers, to entertain diners. After dinner, you return to your hotel.
Day 4: Departure
In the morning after breakfast and check-out you meet your private guide and take a public train to the train station to catch your bullet train.
Please note: Direct luggage transfer from Tokyo hotel to Kyoto hotel is arranged. Please take a small bag with you today, only for 1 overnight in Hakone.
Day 4: Hakone Shrine & Ashi Lake Cruise
Upon arrival at Odawara Station, together with your guide you take a public bus to the Hakone Shrine. This day is full of amazing scenery and iconic views, so make sure to have your cameras and phones charged.
One of the classic images of Japan is the red shrine gates floating on the water with Mt. Fuji in the background. This is the Hakone Shrine, that you have a chance to see today, a place of history, culture, and tradition.
The high peaks of Hakone have been worshipped for thousands of years as a place where the souls of the dead would go to travel to the next world, for this reason several shrines were established on the surrounding peaks and later combined at the Hakone Shrine, founded over a century ago. Hakone Shrine played an important role in the history of Japan, which you have a chance to discover during your visit.
Then you enjoy a cruise on Ashi Lake. The lake was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano's last eruption 3000 years ago. Today, the lake with Mount Fuji in the background is the symbol of Hakone. The cruise gives you an opportunity to take in the best views of Mount Fuji and the lake.
After the tour, you take a public bus and arrive at your traditional ryokan hotel for overnight.
Day 5: Morning at Leisure & Departure
In the morning after breakfast you have some leisure time to enjoy the hot spring baths at your ryokan hotel. Later you meet your private guide and take a public bus to the train station to catch your bullet train.
Day 5: Fushimi Inari Shrine & Sanjusangendo Temple
Upon arrival at Kyoto, you take the hotel shuttle bus to the hotel. After check-in you have a half day tour to explore Fushimi Inari Shrine and Sanjusangendo. You will reach these sights by the convenient system of public trains.
Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of red torii gates, which stand astride a network of trails. The trails lead into the forest of the sacred Mount Inari. Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. You can take a hike on these trails and learn how the thousands of the torrid gates appeared here.
Then you proceed to the Sanjusangendo Temple, famous for its 1001 human sized statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Once inside, you see a large wooden statue composition of the Kannon, equipped with numerous heads and arms, the goddess of mercy can better witness the suffering of humans and better help them fight the suffering.
After the tour you return to your hotel in Kyoto and have the evening at leisure.
Day 6: Kyoto City Tour & Tea Ceremony
In the morning after breakfast you meet your private guide and start your full day exploration of Kyoto.
You start with a Japanese tea ceremony experience, that provides an engaging induction to the traditional tea ceremony. This activity dates back hundreds of years and is the most idealistic pastime of ancient Japan. In this ceremony you will have an opportunity to wear traditional kimono robes, taste the green matcha tea and eat unique Japanese sweets specifically made to match the tea's flavour.
After soaking up the Japanese tea culture, you proceed to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Imperial Family's residence from 794 until 1868, during the times when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. Here you have a chance to explore the palace buildings (from the outside) and the gardens, which was just recently opened to the public.
After a break for lunch, you visit the Arashiyama, the second-most important sightseeing district in Kyoto that is filled with temples and shrines. The highlight of the district is the famed Bamboo Forest, one of the most photographed sights in Kyoto. Standing in the midst of this sprawling bamboo grove is like being in another world, it has a sense of otherness that is very much unlike that of any other forest. This is an experience that is not to be missed!
After the tour you return to your hotel and have the evening at leisure.
Day 7: Day Trip to Nara
In the morning after breakfast and check-out you meet your private guide and embark on a day trip to Nara.
Please note: Direct luggage transfer from Kyoto hotel to Osaka hotel is arranged.
In the morning after breakfast you meet your private guide and embark on a full day trip to Nara.
Together with your guide you take a train to Nara, Japan's first permanent capital then knows as Heijo. Before the establishment of the first permanent capital in 710, the capital used to be moved to a new location whenever a new emperor ascended to the throne. Nara (Heijo) remained a capital for less than a century, but the city’s past had a significant impact and the city remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples.
You take a bus to the Todaiji Temple, that was constructed in 742 as a head of all provincial temples and grew so powerful that the capital of Japan has to be moved to Nagoka in 784 to lower the temple's influence on government affairs. The temple’s main hall, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall) is currently the world's largest wooden building, even though its present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original size. The massive building houses one of Japan's largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu). The beautiful temple is located in Nara Park, which is also famous for being the home to hundreds of freely roaming deer.
After a break for lunch, you explore Kasuga Taisha , which is most celebrated shrine in Nara. This shrine is famous for its lanterns, are donated by worshipers. Hundreds of bronze lanterns are hanging from the buildings, while as many stone lanterns line its approaches. Here you also find the Kasuga Taisha Shinen Manyo Botanical Garden that boasts about 250 kinds of plants described in the Manyoshu, Japan's oldest collection of poems which dates to the Nara Period, when Nara was the capital from 710 to 784.
After the tour, you take a train to Osaka.
Day 7: Arrival
Upon arrival in Osaka, you walk to your centrally located hotel (located within walking distance from the station), check in and have the evening at leisure.
Day 8: Osaka City Tour
In the morning after breakfast you meet your private guide and to explore Osaka on a full day tour of the city. During the tour you use public transportation, just like a local.
First you visit the Umeda Sky Building, a high rise building that consists of two towers connected with each other by the "Floating Garden Observatory" on the 39th floor. The observatory offers great views of the city through its windows and from its open-air deck.
Then you have a chance to see the Osaka Castle. The construction of the original castle, that was intended to become the center of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule, started in 1583. It was the largest castle at the time. Your guide will share with you the history of the castle, that was destroyed and rebuilt since then.
After some time for lunch, you proceed to the Shinsaibashi shopping area, the best-known shopping area in Osaka, and a symbol of the city that has its own history of nearly 400 years. Among the numerous shops you can find here local specialties and great cafes and restaurants.
After having some free time at the Shinsaibashi, you return to your hotel.
Day 9: Day Trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima
In the morning after breakfast you meet your private guide and embark on a full day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima.
Together with your guide you take a bullet train to Hiroshima, a city that was mostly destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II.
Here you visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park located in the area that used to be the political and commercial heart of the city, before the bomb. The main site at the park is the Peace Memorial Museum that focuses on the events of August 6: the dropping of the bomb and its outcome in human suffering. The exposition serves as a reminder that peace should not be taken for granted.
The A-Bomb Dome, also known as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, is what remains of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, it was one of the few buildings to remain standing when the bomb exploded. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the A-Bomb Dome today is a tangible link to Hiroshima's unique past.
After some time for lunch, together with your guide you take a ferry to Miyajima Island. The island is officially named Itsukushima, but more popularly known as "Miyajima", literally "shrine island" in Japanese, thanks to its most important attraction - the centuries-old Itsukushima Shrine. The shrine and its torii gate are unique for being built over water, as if floating in the sea during high tide.
Please note: Renovation works on the floating torii gate started on June 3, 2019. During the renovation works, the torii gate will be covered up by scaffolding. It is not known yet exactly how long the renovations will take, but they are expected to take at least around one year.
After the tour you return to Osaka by bullet train and have the evening at leisure.
Day 10: Departure
This is the final day of your amazing exploration of Japan. After breakfast and check-out your private driver transfers you to the Osaka airport in time for your flight back home.
We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future trips!
Not included: international flights, multiple arrival/departure transfers, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses.
1. Hotels availability is subject to change. In case current hotels are booked out we will provide alternative hotels of an equal value for you.
2. We include 1 vehicle for your arrival and departure transfers. If multiple vehicles are required additional transfer costs will apply.
Stress-free Booking Book your journey without stress and at convenient pace. You can pay a deposit of 20% to book any tour in any major currency; the final balance will be due 90 days before start date. In event if you decide to change or postpone your trip, you can transfer your deposit to any other packages we offer. Cruise bookings and special offers may be subject to different booking terms.
Trip Assurance If you need our assistance during your trip, you can call our support line available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CET) on weekdays and weekends.