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Cultural Japan

9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,985

FIRST-CLASS | COACH & RAIL: There’s no country on earth like Japan. Tokyo to Kyoto is one of its classic travel routes, but this trip takes you deeper than most Japan tours, immersing you in the colour, culture, and history of this unique destination.

This 9-day trip through Japan takes you from frenetic Tokyo to the serene temples and gardens of ancient Kyoto, going via some of the country’s most beautiful small cities and rural regions.

The modern-day capital, Tokyo, is an endlessly rewarding city to explore. On a one-day tour, you’ll get your bearings at Tokyo Tower, then pay your respects at the Imperial Palace Plaza before visiting Senso-ji, Tokyo’s most famous Buddhist temple. The surrounding Ueno area is Tokyo at its most attractive, with old-fashioned buildings, parks lined with cherry blossoms, and a variety of small local shops. The following day, depart Tokyo and make your way to another Japanese icon, Mount Fuji, enjoying sweeping views from the 5th station, halfway up the mountain. Fuji-san also overlooks Lake Ashi, where you’ll take an afternoon cruise, followed by a scenic ride on the Hakone Ropeway.

There’s something magical about the streets of Takayama, your next stop. Many of the shops here date back to the Edo period, and it shows. Besides the old town being a delight to wander at leisure, the city includes the Yatai Kaikan Hall, and the Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum, both of which feature on your tour. Departing the city, visit Gokayama and Shirakawa, small towns famed for their traditional gassho-zukuri houses. Finally, visit Kanazawa, an Edo Period city that showcases Japanese arts, crafts, and culture at its finest. Here, you’ll visit Tentoku-in Temple, and the Nagamachi Samurai District, along with Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.

Your final destination is Kyoto, the ancient capital containing many of Japan’s most famous and beautiful temples including Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Chion-in. Your day tour includes Kinkaku-ji, home to the famous Golden Pavilion, and Nijo Castle, former home to the Tokugawa Shogun in the early 17th century. After lunch, admire the thousand Buddha images of Rengeoin Sanjusangendo, before ending the day enjoying the view from Kiyomizu-dera. Kyoto is the highlight of many Japan tours, so don't be surprised if it becomes one of your favourite cities as well.

Transfer to Osaka’s Kansai airport for departure, or add an extra day or two to explore some more.


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9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,985

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Tokyo

Upon arrival at Narita or Haneda airport, clear immigration and proceed to the arrivals hall, where our representative will greet you and assist you in boarding a taxi to your Tokyo hotel. After check-in, the remainder of the day is at leisure.


Accommodation: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

Duration3 Nights
Day 2

Tokyo to Mt. Fuji to Hakone

Depart from Tokyo by bus for Fuji Hakone-Izu National Park in the morning. Your first stop is Mt. Fuji where you will drive half way up the mountain to the 5th station for a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside from a sight 2,300 meters. (When the drive to the 5th Station is closed in winter, due to snow, you will go to the highest possible point.) After lunch (included) take a cruise on the beautiful Lake Ashi followed by a scenic ride on the Mt. Komagatake Ropeway. Return to Tokyo in the evening, tour ends on arrival at Shinjuku Station.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 3


Start off your stay in Tokyo with a morning tour. Pass the Imperial Palace, which is formerly known as Edo Castle, this palace is the residence of the Emperor of Japan. The grounds are lush with green foliage and provide a relaxing spot for Tokyoites and visitors alike. Then visit Tokyo Tower, an Eiffel tower inspired communication tower. Visit the main deck at 150 m. Next, visit Senso-Ji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street. Senso-Ji, Tokyo's oldest temple, offers plenty to see including the bright red Kaminarimon Gate, a statue of the god of thunder, and a five-story pagoda. The bustling street known as 'Nakamise' stretches for about 250 m from Kaminarimon Gate to Senso-Ji Temple and is filled with a plethora of shops. The tour ends near Tokyo Station in the early afternoon. Rest of day at leisure to explore Tokyo at your own pace.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Tokyo to Kanazawa

Take a bus or taxi from your hotel to Tokyo station and then board the bullet train to go to Kanazawa. An English-speaking assistant will help with your transfer to the train station. You’ll be met on arrival in Kanazawa and escorted to your hotel. Then begin your Kanazawa afternoon city tour. Visit the Nomura Residence, a former samurai family residence. There you can admire the traditional architecture and the beautiful Japanese garden. The next stop is Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three great gardens of Japan and Kanazawa’s star attraction. The garden offers amazing seasonal views all year around. Continue to the Higashi Chaya-gai district, where teahouses line the stone-paved streets. While there stop to visit Hakuza Honten, known for its gold leaf products. The tour ends at Kanazawa Station.


Accommodation: Hotel Kanazawa

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 5

Kanazawa to Shirakawago to Takayama

Take a full day bus excursion to Shirakawago and Takayama. Shirakawago is a UNESCO World Heritage village. Your guide will show you around the village, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses that have thatched-roofs, some of which are more than 250 years old. You will be able to look around inside one of these and will see how life in Japan's mountainous region used to be. Then continue by bus to Takayama where you will visit the Yatai Kaikan Hall, the exhibition hall for the Takayama festival floats and the Kusakabe Heritage House, where a range of folk art and traditional handicrafts are displayed. Take a stroll through Takayama's old town, originally developed as a merchant town with traces to the Edo period. Return by bus to Kanazawa.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Kanazawa to Kyoto

Take the train from Kanazawa to Kyoto (assistance will be provided to board the train in Kanazawa). You'll be met on arrival in Kyoto and assisted by taxi to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Kyoto.


Accommodation: Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Day 7


Take a full day tour to explore some of Kyoto's most famous sites and discover the history behind this one thousand year capital. Visit Nijo Castle, noted for its gorgeous interiors and its 'squeaky' nightingale floors which alerted residents to unwanted intruders (if Nijo Castle is closed, visit Ryoanji Temple instead). Continue to Kinkakuji Temple, famous for its Golden Pavilion covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold as well as for its exquisite Japanese gardens and koi ponds. Afterwards, visit Kyoto's Imperial Palace and gain exclusive access to the former residence of the Emperor of Japan (if the Palace is closed, visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine instead). After lunch, visit Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine to walk through the thousands of ted tori gates that line the hillside. Continue on to Sanjusangendo Temple, home to the world's longest wooden structure which houses over a thousand life-sized statues of Buddhist deities. Finally, proceed to the hilltop temple Kiyomizudera and admire the views of Kyoto from its wooden veranda. You might also want to catch a few drops of the Otowa waterfall which flows underneath the main hall, known to grant wishes to those who drink it.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 8


Today is a day at leisure to explore Kyoto on your own.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Depart Kyoto

Transfer to Osaka's Kansai or Itami Airport for your onward flight

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


2024: Jan 18, 25; Feb 1, 15, 28; Mar 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28; Apr 3, 4, 17; May 15, 16, 22, 23, 30; Jun 6, 13, 20, 27; Jul 4, 18, 25; Aug 1, 22, 29; Sep 5, 25, 26; Oct 2, 3, 17, 23, 24; Nov 7, 14, 21, 28; Dec 5, 12



  • 8 nights in first-class hotels
  • Shared group sightseeing as per itinerary with English speaking guides
  • Transportation during sightseeing by bus, train and by foot
  • Bullet train tickets from Tokyo to Kanazawa to Kyoto (ordinary class)
  • Assistance to board the bullet train in Tokyo and Kanazawa
  • Assistance on arrival at the train stations in Kanazawa and Kyoto
  • 8 breakfast, 2 lunches
  • Luggage shipping from Tokyo to Kanazawa (1 piece per person)


  • Guide escort from start to visit (you will have different guides each day)
  • Other meals and incidentals
  • International airfare and airline taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Optional tours


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.


6 Dec 2023
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