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Japan Delights with Rail incl. Air

9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,669

Take advantage of a week-long Japan Rail Pass to explore the major cities of Honshu. Starting in Tokyo, you’ll explore Nagoya, Kobe, Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Nara to see famous Buddhist temples, venture through mighty castles, and experience a taste of this Asian nation’s many wonders.

This 9-day Japanese vacation takes you by rail to five of the nation’s major cities. It can feature moderate or deluxe accommodations, depending on preference, and lets you explore the cities on your own, which is perfect if you want to explore at your own pace but enjoy the peace of mind of pre-booked accommodations and arrangements.

Your trip to Japan begins in Tokyo, the nation’s capital and largest city. There are futurist cities and then there is Tokyo, a mind-blowing showcase of state-of-the-art technology, world-class transit, and looming skyscrapers all next to ancient temples and remnants of the imperial past. Spend a day seeing grand temples like Senso-ji or the Meiji Shrine, or experience a taste of futuristic Japan at Shibuya Crossing, Shinjuku, or Akihabara “Electric Town,” where manga, video games, and pop culture reign supreme. We suggest you add on a few days at the beginning of your journey to best experience all that Tokyo has to offer.

After getting a taste for Tokyo, activate your rail pass and ride the shinkansen to Nagoya, the nation’s fourth-largest city and one of its transportation hubs. Although the old city was largely destroyed during World War II, it retains some reconstructed remnants of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It’s also the headquarters for the global car manufacturer, Toyota. Spend a day learning about the city’s manufacturing history at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology or see reconstructed Nagoya Castle and the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Continue to Kobe, the gorgeous port city, to wander around Sorakuen Garden, admire views of Mount Rokko, and dine on some fabulously-marbled Kobe beef. Connect southwest to Hiroshima, stopping off at Himeji Castle, the white-walled wonder that’s widely considered the nation’s greatest castle. After you wander the complex grounds and marvel at the stunning architecture of this medieval castle, continue to Hiroshima, the city forever in the shadow of the atom bomb. Spend a day visiting Itshukushima, the small island to the city’s south more popularly known as Miyajima, where you will see the nation’s most famous red torii gate, which is partially submerged by the tide each day. The next morning visit the Atom Bomb Dome and the Peace Park to pay tribute to the victims of the atom bomb that detonated over the city in 1945 to close World War II.

Ride the rails back to the east and reach Kyoto, the former imperial capital and Japan’s loveliest city. Spend a day seeing a few of its many temples and imperial sights, from Nijo Castle and the Kyoto Imperial Palace to the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji and the thousand orange-red torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine, which climbs a mountain in the city’s east. On your final full day in Japan, head to nearby Nara, the nation’s first permanent capital and a historical gem with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites within its very walkable city core. See the statue of the Giant Buddha at Todai-ji Temple before strolling through Nara Park to befriend the partially-domesticated deer that have lived there for over a milennium. After another night in Kyoto, head to the airport to continue your onward journey.


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9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,669

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Depart North America

Depart from your home town for Tokyo, Japan

Day 2

Arrive Tokyo

On arrival at the airport, please make your own way to your chosen hotel. Tokyo has a wide variety of transport options that are so easy to use. We suggest either taxi or public transport (airport bus or metor) for this airport transfer, your Goway Asia experts can advise you on the options prior to travel. As this itinerary only has 1 night in Tokyo, we suggest you add on some pre nights to explore the city if time permits.

Duration1 Night
Day 3

Tokyo to Nagoya

Today you will activate your rail pass and start your journey. Japan has one of the most extensive, comfortable and modern rail systems in the world. Your first stop today is Nagoya which is only 1 hour and 40mins from Tokyo by train. With over two million inhabitants, Nagoya is Japan's fourth most populated city. It is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and the principal city of the Nobi plain, one of Honshu's three large plains and metropolitan and industrial centers.

Nagoya developed as the castle town of the Owari, one of the three branches of the ruling Tokugawa family during the Edo Period. Much of the city, including most of its historic buildings, were destroyed in the air raids of 1945. The Toyota Motor Corporation maintains its headquarters just outside of Nagoya. Explore on your own or we can pre-arrange a walking tour for you. There are also side trips from Nagoya to Takayama, Kiso Valley or Ise Shima that are possible.

Duration1 Night
Day 4

Nagoya to Kobe

Kobe is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan's ten largest cities. Located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, Kobe is also considered one of Japan's most attractive cities.

Kobe has been an important port city for many centuries. Its port was among the first to be opened to foreign trade in the 19th century alongside the ports of Yokohama, Nagasaki, Hakodate and Niigata. In 1995, Kobe was hit by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed over 5000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Today the city is completely rebuilt, and few signs of the terrible event remain. Top attractions here are the Mount Rokko, Shin-Kobe Ropeway, Sorakuen Garden and of course Kobe beef!

Duration1 Night
Day 5

Kobe to Hiroshima via Himeji Castle

After breakfast today, you will head to Hiroshima with a stop at the Himeji Castle on the way. Himeji Castle, also known as White Heron Castle (Shirasagijo) due to its elegant, white appearance, is widely considered as Japan's most spectacular castle for its imposing size and beauty and its well preserved, complex castle grounds. The castle is both a national treasure and a world heritage site. Unlike many other Japanese castles, it was never destroyed by war, earthquake or fire and survives to this day as one of the country's twelve original castles. The castle recently underwent extensive renovation over several years and was fully re-opened to the public in March 2015.

You will arrive into Hiroshima around the early evening, depending on how much time is spent at the castle.

Duration2 Nights
Day 6


Miyajima is a small island less than an hour outside the city of Hiroshima. It is most famous for its giant tori gate, which at high tide seems to float on the water. The sight is ranked as one of Japan's three best views.

While officially named Itsukushima, the island is more commonly referred to as Miyajima, Japanese for 'shrine island'. This is because the island is so closely related to its key shrine, Itsukushima Shrine, in the public's mind. Like the tori gate, the shrine's main buildings are built over water. There are also wild deer on the island that have become accustomed to people. In the day the deer wander around the same sites as the tourists, and in the evening they sleep along the walking paths. Make your way back to Hiroshima for overnight. You could overnight in Miyajima at one of their Ryokan's, chat with our experts to arrange that for you.

Day 7

Hiroshima to Kyoto

Hiroshima is the principal city of the Chugoku Region and home to over a million inhabitants. When the first atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city became known worldwide for this unenviable distinction. The destructive power of the bomb was tremendous and obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometer radius. We suggest a visit to Peace Park this morning before boarding your train to Kyoto.

Only an hour and 37 minutes by train from Hiroshima, Kyoto served as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868. It is one of the country's ten largest cities with a population of 1.5 million people and a modern face.

Over the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its exceptional historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and escaped destruction during World War II. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today. Some of Kyoto's main attractions are Nijo Castle, Sento Palace, Nishiki market, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Fushimi Inari Shrine and the preserved historic district of Higashiyama. There is so much to see, it may be worth extending your stay here.

Duration2 Nights
Day 8


Today we recommend you use your rail pass to visit Nara. Japan's first permanent capital was established in the year 710 at Heijo, the city now known as Nara. As the influence and political ambitions of the city's powerful Buddhist monasteries grew to become a serious threat to the government, the capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784 and a few years later to Kyoto.

Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka. Due to its past as the first permanent capital, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples. Some sites of interest Todaiji Temple, Horyuji Temple, Heijo Temple and Omizutori to name a few.

Day 9

Depart Osaka

Today is your last day in Kyoto but why not extend and stay longer, there is so much to explore. Once you have checked out of your hotel, please make your way to the airport by public transport or taxi, your concierge at the hotel can assist.

Other Information


Daily between 15 Sep 2019 and 31 March 2020 (except 24 Dec-05Jan, Chinese New Year and Cherry Blossom season)

From Toronto / Montreal / Ottawa CAD
Date Moderate First Class First Class
1 December  – 15 December,
5 January – 10 March 2020
$3,359 $3,639 $4,159
16 – 23 December 2019
11-31 March 2020
$3,439 $3,729 $4,239

For departures from:
Halifax – add $150

From Vancouver / Calgary / Winnipeg CAD
Date Moderate First Class First Class 
1 December – 15 December,
5 January –10 March 2020
$3,279 $3,559 $4,079
16 – 23 December 2019 $3,279 $3,569 $4,079
11 – 31 March 2020 $3,319 $3,609 $4,119


From New York USD
Date Moderate First Class First Class
2 - 6 December 2019,
2 - 6 January 2020
$2,819 $3,039 $3,449
7 – 13 December 2019 $2,859 $3,079 $3,489
14 – 23 December 2019 $3,029 $3,249 $3,659
7 January – 31 March 2020 $2,779 $2,999 $3,409

For departures from;
Boston – add $120
Chicago – add $80
Miami – add $140
Denver – add $230

From Los Angeles USD
Date Moderate First Class First Class
2 - 6 December 2019,
2 - 6 January 2020
$2,739 $2,959 $3,369
7 – 13 December 2019 $2,819 $3,039 $3,449
14 – 23 December 2019 $2,889 $3,109 $3,519
7 January – 31 March 2020 $2,669 $2,889 $3,299

For departures from:
Seattle - add $50
San Francisco or San Diego - add $100


  • Roundtrip airfare from North America to Japan
  • 7 nights accommodation in moderate, first class or first class upgraded hotels
  • 7 day Japan Rail ordinary pass
  • Breakfast Daily


  • Airport transfers
  • Excursions
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas if required
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not specifically noted in the itinerary
  • Beverages

Our Asia Experts can assist with adding any excursions you wish to this itinerary. Click here for a sample of some of the day trips on offer.  Don't worry, if what you are looking for is not listed, we are able to assist with any request.


If the city visited does not offer the class of hotel (moderate, first class or first class upgraded / deluxe) for the program, the best possible option was chosen. Please chat with you Asia Experts on the options available.

Please chat with our Asia Experts about upgrading your rail pass to the green pass which allows for some extra benefits. Green cars offer larger seats, more foot space and enhanced board service, and they tend to be less crowded than ordinary cars. They are available on most shinkansen and limited express trains and on a small number of local trains. Many travelers find the size and foot room of ordinary seats sufficient, but those who wish to have additional luxury, should go for the green car.  

The pass is valid on almost all trains operated on the nationwide network of JR (Japan Railways), including shinkansen, limited express, express, rapid and local trains. Below is a map showing the major train lines that can be used with the pass.   

Book by 5pm December 31, 2019. Airfares used in the above pricing is subject to availability, and they have to be purchased by a certain date.  As they are the cheapest airfares, they do include restrictions that include but not limited to; no pre-seating, luggage costs at time of check in and will not present the best flying time or routing.  Please inquire for full details on above and chat with our experts on all available airfare options. 



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

20 Sep 2020
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