Classic Japan Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo 

You will arrive at Narita airport in the afternoon. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel accommodation (Private Transfer).  The rest of the day is free for you to rest, refresh and explore on your own.    (no guide)

Day 2: Tokyo Tour - Private Guide  (B)

Meeting time: 9:00 am Your guide will meet you at your hotel and then you will start your tour of the city.  Your first stop is to the electric city Akihabara.  Here is where the latest technology can be found.

Next you will visit Asakusa is famous for keeping the spirit of old Tokyo alive. It maintains the feel of pre-boom Japan, and gives you a sense of what Tokyo was like before the stunning growth of the 70s and 80s.  Take a walking tour through the traditional neighborhood, and see a unique cemetery.   Next visit the Tokyo Skytree where you can get a great view of the city.

Stop for lunch (purchase direct)

From here acquaint yourself with Tokyo on a cruise along its iconic Sumida River. This transports you from Asakusa district to the modern Shiodome district.  

 Next visit one of Tokyo’s highlights, the beautiful Hamarikyu Garden. Enjoythe futuristic Shiodome district of Tokyo, (optional: enjoy a cup of steaming mattcha (green tea) in a teahouse on a small island in the garden’s lake).

Then return to the hotel. 

Day 3: Tokyo Tour - Private Guide (B, L)

This morning you will start the day early to visit the Tsukiji fish market. This is the largest fish market and one of the largest wholesale food markets in the world.  Then you will continue on with a food tour of Tokyo. Try sushi, sweets, fish cake, etc. as well as a new style ramen called tsukemen in Ginza.

In Ginza there are LOTS of shops, where you can shop till you drop.  Also you might be interested to check out Harajuku which is the young fashionable district where you can see the wild fashions.  (This area is the busiest on the weekends however)  Later if you want, we will take you to the Meiji Shrine.   

Stop in a 100Yen store as well as some other typical stores that locals shop in.  See the way the locals live!!

Day 4:  Tokyo – Kyoto (B)

Today make your own way to the train station and travel to Kyoto.

Your guide will meet you at the train station and you will travel to your hotel where you can drop off your luggage.  This afternoon visit the Nijo Castle.  This is a beautiful set of grounds and buildings with an incredible story that dates back to the days of the Shogun.  

Day 5: Kyoto  (B)

You will start the day with a visit to the Shinto Temple, Fushimi Inari.  This is the temple with the 10,000 orange Dori (gates) which was featured in the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha.  After lunch, you will visit the Golden Pavillion.  You will see the grounds and the various temples, shrines in this beautiful, historic area. 

Next visit the Nishiki Market Alley. Here there are so many different things you can buy.  Then we will take you to the famous Gion area, where the Geishas and Meikos are found.   

This afternoon you will have a very special tea ceremony.  Even for local people of Kyoto, holding or being invited to a party that Geiko (Geisha) and Maiko(apprentice) attend is very special. All the guests are fascinated by their graceful dancing and talks in beautiful silk kimono. 

Day 6: Kyoto - Day trip to Nara – Kyoto - Private Guide  (B)

Today you will be taken early in the morning to Nara, where you will have an opportunity to feed the deer.  Then you will be taken to the beautiful temple named Tōdai-ji which is home to the Daibutsu, the largest Buddha statue in Japan and one of the largest in the world. Appropriately, the Daibutsu-den, which houses it, is said to be the largest wooden building in the world. It's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The giant front gate, Nandai-mon, is guarded by two fierce, awe-inspiring protectors.  (It's also swarmed by deer, who know this is the best place to come looking for a hand-out.)  Through the gate is a stone path leading to the outer walls surrounding the Daibutsu-den. Follow the signs to the left to enter the inner courtyard; if you happen to have a stick of incense with you, you may join the crowd around the incense offerings before you head onward.

Then you will go for a sake tasting! After your Nara tour is done, your guide will return you to Kyoto.

Day 7: Kyoto – Arahiyama – Kyoto - Private Guide  (B)

This morning go on a Hozugawa-kudari river boat.  This is the best river boat ride in Japan.  You will enjoy a 16km (1.5- 2 hour journey) experiencing the rapids and mysterious deep pools through the ravine in the beautiful seasonal scenery.You will end up in Arashiyama where you will be able to enjoy the surroundings. 

Monkey Park Iwatayama

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from November to March 14)
Closed: Days with heavy rain or snow

Located in the Arashiyama mountains, the entrance to the monkey park can be found just south of the Togetsukyo Bridge. After hiking uphill for about ten minutes, visitors will find an open area with over a hundred monkeys roaming freely. There are also nice views down onto the city.

Bamboo Groves

The walking paths that cut through the bamboo groves make for a nice walk or bicycle ride. The groves are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth. The bamboo has been used to manufacture various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries.

Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street

Much of this street along the way to the Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple has been preserved in the style of the Meiji Period (1868-1912). Many of the buildings are traditional machiya ("town houses") that served as private residences but have since been converted into shops and restaurants.

There are also various other temples.  You can discuss with your guide what you feel like you’d like to do for the day!

Day 8: Kyoto – Day Trip to Osaka (approx. 1-1.5hrs) Private Guide(B)

Today you will be taken to Osaka by train (depart around 8:00am, about 1.5 hours). First you will be taken to the Osaka Castle, where you can see the moat, the walls and enter into the castle, which is now a museum with various exhibits. 

Then we will take you to the Shitennoji Temple, which is the oldest temple in Japan (built over 1,400 years ago).

Then we can take you to the Osaka: Umeda Sky Building - Floating Garden Observatory.  You enter this magical building from the street at level three.  The Sky garden is off to the south on a low rise southern block which you look down onto.  It represents the landscape and rural features of all of Japan. To the north is a magic rainforest and waterfall which most miss as it is below the entry level. Best to visit early in the morning before the view is obscured. A must visit if you want to appreciate both Japanese architecture and engineering and the greater Osaka Kobe area in one glance! 

Afterwards return to Kyoto via train. Overnight in Kyoto.

Day 9: Kyoto – Cooking Class  (B, L)

Pick Up 10:00am, Return 1:00pm

See included voucher and present to attendant upon pickn-up

1.     Your attendant picks you up to your hotel lobby.

2.     You will then continue to your instructor’s house with the attendant by chartered taxi.
The attendant introduces many things, basic information about cooking lesson, Kyoto and Japan.
Note: We may have to use public transportation, depending on the location of your hotel or your instructor’s house.

3.     As you arrive at the house, your instructor meet you. She/He introduces about her/himself firstly, and you will introduce yourself as well. Then start a basic lecture about a history of Japanese food.

4.     Let’s start cooking with ingredient’s comments. She/He also explains Japanese regions food culture.

5.     You use some ingredients that you can find them easily in your country. You cook about 3 meals. And it is now the time to taste!
Over the meal, you can enjoy conversation with the cooking instructor.

6.     Your taxi comes to the house. You leave your instructor’s house and go back to your hotel with the attendant.
Note: We may have to use public transportation, depending on the location of your hotel or your instructor’s house.

Day 10: Kyoto – Hakone (B, D)

Today you will travel to Hakone area.  Upon arrival you will check into your ryokan. 

Day 11: Hakone (B, D)

Today you’ll take a private guided tour of Hakone National Park, which is most famous for its onsen (hot springs), and on clear days, its stunning views of Mount Fuji.

You’ll also enjoy a scenic boat trip across Lake Ashinoko, a lake formed by a volcanic eruption 3,000 years ago, and a ride on the Hakone Tozan Train, which zig-zags though the mountains, providing amazing views of the surrounding valleys.

For a bit of the area’s history, stop by the Ha  kone Checkpoint. This used to be an important checkpoint at which traffic between Tokyo and Kyoto was controlled (along the Tokaido highway) during the Edo Period.

Your final stop today is the Hakone Open Air Museum. Located on spacious grounds with beautiful surrounding views, the museum is home to sculpture, paintings, prints and more (including a sizable Picasso collection).

Afterwards you’ll be dropped back off at your ryokan. 

Day 12: Hakone – Tokyo – Home (B)

Today youwill have the morning at your leisure.  Then at the appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.  Return with a lifetime of wonderful memories!

Note: Tour and Tour Information are subject to change.

Meals Provided: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner


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