A well balanced tour with “must” see spots in Japan as Tokyo & Kyoto, along side with some country side of Takayama, and the hot spring experience and famous Mt.Fuji in Hakone.
This tour is based on 1 day of guiding in Kyoto, and 1 day in Tokyo while the rest is done with detailed instruction file for independent traveling with step by step instructions, maps, charts and information made specifically for this journey and with our 24/7 support by phone.
Kyoto ● Takayama ● Shirakawago ● Hakone ● Tokyo
- Kyoto – the old imperial capital and the country’s cultural centre;
- Hakone – a nature reserve and hot springs area;
- Takayama – preserved areas from the feudal period;
- Shirakawago – houses and small rice fields connected by a network of watercourses;
- Mount Fuji – Japan’s highest mountain;
- Tokyo – the capital city, where everything and everyone moves on high speed.
Tour available as:
• Chauffeur – drive, English-speaking guide, bullet train and pre-booked accommodation.
Day 1: Yokoso! W elcome to Japan! Kyoto- The Heart of Traditional Japan
At your arrival at Kansai Airport in Osaka, a welcoming service will greet you at the airport arrival gate and escort you to the airport shuttle that will take you to your hotel in Kyoto. You will dedicate these days to Kyoto – the hub of traditional culture, a city that for hundreds of years has been and continues to be an island of tradition in the swirling whirlpool of progress. Kyoto has 17 W orld Heritage Sites- the most properties in one city- each a representative master piece of the era in which it was constructed. Over these days you will encounter the daily tales that make up the Japanese puzzle. You will discover the past rippling through the every day life of locals.
Day 2: Kyoto’s Classic Sights
Accompanied by your guide and by public transportation, you will be exposed to the fundamentals of esthetics, Zen, architecture, horticulture through visits to famous places such as the distinguished stone garden at Ryoanji temple, The spectacular Golden Pavilion, the Shogun’s castle, a downtown market as well as walking along picturesque streets trying to get a glimpse of a Geisha rushing on her way to work.
During the day, you will have the option to participate in an authentic Japanese Tea Ceremony, or take part in a sushi class at a real Sushi restaurant. If you choose a more authentic and traditional style, you could visit an authentic Japanese family, and participate in a home cooking class for your own dinner together for the evening.
Day 3: Kyoto’s Classic Sights
Continuing your journey in Kyoto, you will also visit the graceful garden of Heian Shrine, the acclaimed Silver pavilion and enjoy a leisurely walk along the celebrated Philosopher’s path, continue to one of Kyoto’s most photogenic slopes with winding streets filled with small specialized shops and caés set against the backdrop of the Eastern Mountains.
Today, you will have the option to dress-up like a Japanese Maiko and have your picture taken as you walk the old stone streets of Kyoto, and/or visit an authentic Japanese musician’s house, who will teach you the serenity of traditional Japanese music.
Day 4: Takayama – The Japanese Alps with an Aura of the Feudal Era
Leaving the charming old capital behind, you will continue by train to another charming town, set in the backdrop of the Japanese Alps. Takayama is a small town which has kept the charms of olden days with preserved areas from the feudal period, allowing you to soak in an atmosphere reminiscent of past centuries. In the evening, you can indulge in one of Takayama’s delicacies – Hida beef, a high quality marbled beef equal to the famous Kobe beef.
Day 5: Shirakawa-go – the Remote Countryside
Takayama is renowned for its morning market, where you can find old ladies selling fresh fruit and mountain vegetables, flowers and other knick-knacks. From Takayama you will continue by bus to Shirakawa-go, one of Japan’s most scenic views, a delight for photographers.
Shirakawa-go is a quiet, picturesque village located in a secluded area deep in the Southern Japanese Alps. The village is dotted with houses and small rice fields connected by a network of watercourses. A World Heritage Site, Shirakawa-go is best known for its Gassho-zukuri farmhouses, a traditional mountain farm house style featuring steep thatched roofs designed to withstand heavy snow. Apart from taking in the beautiful view from the view point, you can also visit inside one of the houses to see the architecture and life style of the locals who still live in the village. After walking along Shirakawa-go’s small streets and charming shops, you will return to Takayama by bus.
Day 6: Hakone – Tokyo’s Backyard featuring Art and Mt. Fuji Views
Leaving Takayama, you will take a train to the “backyard” of Tokyo, Hakone- -a nature reserve and hot springs area with great museums as well as the possibility on a clear day to enjoy one of the best views of M t. Fuji. In the evening, after settling in at your hotel, you can enjoy the hotel’s hot Springs.
Day 7: From the Backyard to the Mega – Metropolis
The main part of the day will be devoted to Hakone- one of the first national parks in Japan. In Hakone you can witness remains of volcanic activity of a volcano which erupted some 3,000 years ago and enjoy a boat cruise on a caldera lake. If weather permits, you might even get a glimpse of one of the iconic symbols of Japan- Mt. Fuji. In the afternoon, continue by train to Tokyo , encountering the mega metropolis for the first time.
Day 8: The Many Facets of Tokyo
In the next few days, you will explore Tokyo, (today with your private guide) the center of modern Japan. You will spend each day exploring the main sights of the city, getting a thorough introduction to a typical Tokyoite life by public transportation, one of the best subway systems in the world. Tokyo is a huge metropolis, which has surprises in store for us at every street corner. This is an exciting vibrant and bustling city, where everything and everyone moves on high speed. At night, Tokyo reveals yet another side to it with its neon signs brightening the sky, thousands of lively restaurants and bars, and colorful entertainment districts, which you can explore independently.
Day 9: Tokyo in Style
Tokyo offers it all – from the biggest fish market in the world to the refined Japanese culinary aesthetics, right next to a high-end shopping district, and areas where you can see first some of Japan’s latest technology inventions.
On this day, you can have the unique option to participate in a special visit to Tsukiji market with a Michelin star restaurant Chef. In the morning you will join the chef in his quest for the finest and freshest fish to be used that day, learning more about the differences between the fish and their usage in preparing different dishes. In the evening, you will enjoy dining in his restaurant on the dishes that the chef planned and shopped for in the morning.
Day 10: Sayonara, Mata Ne! See You Again!
Itinerary will be adjusted according to your flight schedule.
Today, you will start your way back home- You will take the airport shuttle bus from your hotel directly to Narita AP.
We sure you are taking with you enduring memories of places and people revealed to you over these all too brief days of intimate encounter with the country of the rising sun.
Japan is a world apart – a cultural Galápagos where a unique civilisation blossomed, and today thrives in delicious contrasts of traditional and modern. The Japanese spirit is strong, warm and incredibly welcoming.
Japan maintains its traditions in the midst of the modern world. It’s an interesting blend of old and new. There are temples, shrines and beautiful gardens; thriving traditional arts, including ‘noh’, a minimalist dance-drama, ‘kabuki’, using intricate scenery, costumes and make-up and ‘bunraku’ puppet theatre; kendo, samurai sword fighting; and the astonishing sumo wrestling. Spectacular festivals take place throughout the year.
Kyoto is old Japan writ large: quiet temples, sublime gardens, colourful shrines and geisha scurrying to secret liaisons. While the rest of Japan has adopted modernity with abandon, the old ways are hanging on in Kyoto. Take a morning stroll through the textile district of Nishijin and watch the old Kyoto ladies emerge from their machiya (traditional townhouses) to ladle water onto their stoops. Visit an old shōtengai (shopping street) and admire the ancient speciality shops: tofu sellers, fishmongers, pickle vendors and tea merchants. Then join the locals at a local sentō (public bath) to soak away the cares of the day.
A working city that has retained its traditional charm, Takayama boasts one of Japan’s most atmospheric townscapes and best-loved festivals. Its present layout dates from the late 17th century and includes a wealth of museums, galleries and temples for a city of this size.
If you only have a day or two outside Tokyo, Hakone can give you almost everything you could desire from the Japanese countryside – spectacular mountain scenery crowned by Mt Fuji, onsen and traditional inns. It’s also home to world-class art museums. Ashino-ko is in the centre of it all and provides the foreground for the iconic image of Mt Fuji with the torii gate of the Hakone-jinja rising from the lake.During holidays, Hakone can be quite busy and feel highly packaged.
Yoking past and future, Tokyo dazzles with its traditional culture and passion for everything new. Tokyo brims with astonishing cuisine. It out-Michelins every city in the world, and for good reason: Tokyoites take fresh ingredients, dining and service very seriously. Whether you’re inhaling a thick bowl of miso rāmen noodles, sinking your teeth into some creamy tuna from the Tsukiji Central Fish Market or splashing out with a multi-course kaiseki meal of seasonal delicacies, you’ll often be struck by the care that goes into the humble art of eating here.