Travel Dates: September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021 Book this trip before September 30, 2020, and receive 10% off your trip price.
Discover the diversity of Japan on this comprehensive tour from the north to the south. Explore classic cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka at your own pace on privately guided tours with local experts. Take in sights such as the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo and the magnificent gardens of Kyoto and Okayama. Fuel up with some delicious ramen on a culinary tour in Fukuoka and then explore two contrasting cities: multicultural Nagasaki and buzzing Osaka, home to historic castles, and glittering skyscrapers. In Kanazawa, stroll about the famous Kenroku-en gardens and then wind down with tea at an authentic tea ceremony.
Away from the metropolises, discover Japan’s unique landscapes: take in a bird’s eye view of Hakone on a cable car up to Mount Komagatake and explore the natural landscapes of Sapporo. Set out on a hike from Kurama to Kibune, winding your way past temples, waterfalls, and ancient cedars.
Personalize this Japan private tour to suit your pace and style with advice from our experts. We will create a seamless and flexible itinerary for you without obligation. Get in touch with us today!
Tokyo is a city like no other! Defined by cutting-edge design, quirky creativity and its own unique ancient culture, the city defines the best of both worlds.
Traditional Tokyo by Day For a day well spent, visit some of Tokyo’s best known landmarks with your local expert! Begin with a trip to the Asakusa locality, well-known for its “shitamachi” or old-world vibe. You can visit the Sensoji temple, a Buddhist temple believed to be Tokyo’s oldest. Adjacent to the temple you will find the Nakamise “dori” or street, where you can taste some traditional snacks if you like. Travel across town to Omotesando and after exploring the ritzy flagship stores and spectacular architecture on the main boulevard. Next, make your last stop at the famous Meiji shrine, dedicated to the spirit of Emperor Meiji. Surrounded by a forested area with 365 species of trees, the shrine is also a popular wedding venue, so don’t be surprised if you come across a bride and groom all dressed up for their big day! (Half Day; 0900 or 1400 hrs; Private Activity; Transfers by public transport; Fitness Level: Moderate)
Natural Delights of Hakone (From Tokyo) Discover spectacular natural beauty in the mountainous town of Hakone. Reach Hakone with your guide, and explore the old town – Moto Hakone – along lake Ashi. Taste local delicacies in Ashinoko Chaya, stroll along the cedar tree-lined Kyukaido (Ancient Highway) or visit the Hakone-jinja shrine or the museum – depending on your interests. Relish lunch before you board a cruise boat to sail across the lake. Take in stunning views of the snow-capped Mount Fuji if the weather is clear. Glide up from the lake to Mount Komagatake on the Komagatake Ropeway admiring Mount Fuji. At the summit, enjoy panoramic views of the lake, Hakone, and Mount Fuji. Head down the ropeway, board the cruise back to Moto Hakone and catch a train back to Tokyo. (Full Day; Please note that you can use public transport – bullet train / Romancecar depending on hotel location and local buses in Hakone. Your pick-up and drop-off point will be your hotel.)
Explore Sapporo, the dynamic capital of Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido! A year-round destination, stunning natural landscapes and distinctive seasons welcome you in this city.
Half Day Sapporo Highlights Tour (English Guide, Public transport) Start your exploration of Sapporo at the scenic Maruyama Park situated at the heart of the city. Accompany your guide through this green oasis to Hokkaido Shrine, one of the island’s important places of worship. Move on to Odori Park which hosts the snow festival in February each year. Stroll through the park watching locals picnic while children run about. Stop for a quick photo in front of the iconic Clock Tower, which is the inspiration for the star on the Sapporo Beer cans. Make your way to the century-old Nijo Market, which is a hub of activity with locals and tourists alike thronging to see and sample the variety of fruits, vegetables, and fish available there. Lunch on some donburi or raw fish with rice, or choose from the numerous other seafood delicacies that Sapporo is famous for. Say goodbye to your guide and explore the market at your own pace before heading back to your hotel. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Fixed Time; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness Level: Easy;) Public Transport: Local busses and subway. Pick up: hotel / Drop off: hotel
Kyoto is to be seen to be believed. With no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the city encapsulates traditional Japanese culture and tradition.
Kyoto Highlights: Half Day Tour Discover a slice of traditional Japan on this tour of a selection of Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visit the famous Golden Pavilion or the Buddhist Kinkakuji Temple, which was originally built as the retirement home of the 14th Century Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The lovely villa was turned into a temple after his death. Stop by the grand, 16th Century Nijo Castle with its imposing ramparts and spectacular gardens. Reflective of the power and grandeur of the Edo Shogunate, marvel at the castle’s architecture and building features like its intricate sliding doors, ‘chirping’ nightingale floors and secret chambers. Wind up your day tour by fortifying yourself at Nishiki Market, also known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”. This street food district is lined with innumerable little noodle shops and food stalls selling deliciously fresh seafood, delectable sushi, traditional pickles and sweets. [Half Day, Time of the Day: 0930 or 1430 hrs; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please bring comfortable walking shoes].
Kurama – Kibune Hiking Tour Wake up early and enjoy a peaceful hike through the Kitayama mountains in northern Kyoto. Arriving at Kurama, pass by a bright red statue of Tengu, and the two small waterfalls nearby. Ascend the beautiful, forested staircase trail flanked by vermillion-colored lamp posts. Expect to see numerous shrines, paper lanterns, statues of mythical figures, and a couple of conceptual installations along the way. After entering the wooden gate of Yuki-jinja shrine, encounter a lofty pine tree, make a wish at the main hall, and continue further. Take a breather at the plaza in front of Kurama-dera temple. Minutes later, you’ll walk past a bell tower and a museum before reaching the summit. After a short break, head further downhill on a trail covered in tree roots. As you traverse the atmospheric trail, occasionally spot deer amid the cedar trees. Reaching the bottom of the hill, cross a small bridge over Kibune-gawa river and explore the quaint village of Kibune. (Half Day; Time of the day: 0900 hrs, Duration: 4 hrs, Public transport in local trains and buses; Fitness level: Moderate; Please note that this activity is not available during December – March.)
Okayama provides you with beauty and grace during your tour of Japan. The town boasts a gorgeous castle that sits on the banks of the Asahi River, which has been dubbed ‘Crow Castle’ due to its blackish exterior although the castle also has remnants of its original gold gilded roof.
Highlights of Okayama Discover the feudal history of Okayama, along with its quintessential Japanese culture and traditions during this half day tour. Admire the spellbinding beauty of Korakuen Garden that was commissioned by a feudal lord in 1700. This circuit-style Japanese garden includes a broad lawn, and is part of Japan’s top three gardens and has also been awarded the highest, three-star rating by the Michelin Green Guide. Walk over to the impressive black tower of Okayama Castle next door. This modern reconstruction showcases the history of Okayama’s Ikeda feudal family. (Half Day; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable walking shoes).
Fukuoka is a strategic harbor city anchored on Kyushu island in southern Japan. Historically, part of marine trade routes since the 13th century, discover a wealthy, cosmopolitan metropolis.
On the Ramen Trail in Fukuoka Try out the simple yet hearty culinary delights that Fukuoka is famous for! Accompanied by your expert guide, go hunting for Fukuoka’s iconic Yatai or open-air food stands that typically accommodate a handful of hungry patrons in a congenial outdoor setting. Although the city boasts more than a hundred such Yatai that serve a range of delicious ramen or noodle bowls, the best are to be found on Nakasu Island, right in the heart of the city. Stroll along the waterfront lined with long rows of Yatai, and relish a hearty bowl of Fukuoka’s famous tonkotsu ramen from any of the stalls. (Time of Day: Evening; Duration: 2.5 hrs; Private Activity & Public Transfer; Meal included: A bowl of ramen and a drink; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please note that you may have to wait in line for seats as the stalls are small and popular, and do not accept reservations).
Highlights of Fukuoka Tour Explore the landmarks of Fukuoka on this tour. Visit the famous eighth century Shinto shrine of Kushida-jinja that hosts the annual Yamakasa Festival. Stroll around the grounds admiring the beautiful floats used in the festival, the biggest Otafuku mask in Japan, and a well to pray for eternal youth. Try lifting the Trial Stone and learn about the beliefs behind it. Continue on to the beautiful green lung – Ohori Park, and stroll on the pathway around the central pond. View the ruins of the Fukuoka Castle and the lovely cherry blossoms in bloom during spring. If you wish, relish a local delicacy – the Hakata Ramen – for lunch. (Half Day; Times: 0900/1300 hrs; This activity includes public transport – local trains and buses. You will be picked up and dropped off at the hotel.)
Close to mainland Asia, foreign traders, merchants, and missionaries have thronged to Nagasaki since the 16th century. The only trading port during national isolation, the city has played a significant role in modernizing Japan.
Nagasaki: A Colorful Fusion of Civilizations Discover the unique ambience of this historic town that straddles both the orient and the occident with ease. As the only Japanese town that could interact with foreign merchants during the nation’s era of seclusion, it is home to old British mansions, churches and Chinese shrines. Visit the charming Glover Hill open-air museum, showcasing the residences of European merchants built during the second half of the 19th century. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and harbor stretched out below. Stop by the Chinese shrine of Koshi-byo dedicated to Confucius, built in the 1890s. Walkover to the city’s bustling Chinatown and sample the delicious steamed dumplings at the many street stalls. Your afternoon is dedicated to the Nagasaki Peace Park that commemorates the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in August, 1945. Discover how the city has recovered since that time, and visit the monuments and memorials leading up to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and the Hypocenter Park. (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 8 hrs; Private Activity & Public Transfer; Fitness Level: Moderate).
Osaka is third largest city of Japan and has been the home of traders and merchants. It is also well-known for Japan’s oldest temple, the Shinto Sumiyoshi-taisha, and the majestic 16th century Osaka Castle.
Osaka Castle and Abeno Harukas Tour Set out on this fascinating discovery of the iconic attractions of this sprawling metropolis. Stroll around the stately Osaka Castle with its majestic stone walls and moats as your guide narrates interesting anecdotes. Soak in the historic ambiance of this famous castle that has been wholly rebuilt after World War II to include modern amenities while retaining its original facade. After exploring the castle and its grounds to your heart’s content, head to Abeno Harukas skyscraper, Japan’s tallest building at a height of 984 feet (300 m). Savor 360 degree views of the city from the observation decks that are spread across the top three floors of the building. Wind up your tour and head back to your hotel. (Half Day; Time: 0930/1330 hrs; Fitness Level: Easy.)
Kanazawa is perhaps best known for its 17th century castle garden Kenroku-en. It is equally well known as the neighbor of the quintessential Japanese feudal fortress, Kanazawa Castle.
Kanazawa Tea Ceremony Enjoy the unique experience of participating in an authentic tea ceremony with a sado or tea art host at a charming Japanese tearoom. Gain insights into the art and history of the ceremony as the assistant of the host speaks about its significance in Japanese culture. Step into the tearoom and pick up the nuances of participating in a private Japanese tea ceremony. Savor every minute of the nearly hour-long experience that guides you to the heart of Japanese aesthetics and tradition. (Half Day; Fitness Level: Easy. Please do not wear perfume or cosmetics with a strong aroma. Tea ceremonies involve kneeling on tatami mats but chairs can be provided on advance notice.)
Treasures of Kanazawa Discover the glorious 17th century Kenroku-en, renowned among Japan’s top three gardens. Kenroku-en includes fountains, waterfalls, bridges, stone layouts, and teahouses that enhance its appearance around the year. A sophisticated water system feeds its two ponds – Kasumigaike and Hisagoike. The centerpiece of the garden is a huge two-legged stone lantern – Kotojitoro. Walk on its meandering paths that cut across forests of cherry trees and Karasaki pine. Drop by the well-preserved Seisoanku Samurai villa next door. Later, you will also visit the unique samurai district of Nagamachi. Nomura-ke, the showstopper of this district, is a historic samurai residence with Edo Period heirloom antiques, samurai calligraphy, an lovely courtyard garden, and a tea ceremony room. See the 400-year old Japanese bayberry tree on the premises, Japanese cypress ceilings, and traditional fusuma-e paintings. (Half Day; Private Activity; Time of the Day: 0930 or 1300 hrs; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Moderate)
Tokyo is a city like no other! Defined by cutting-edge design, quirky creativity and its own unique ancient culture, the city defines the best of both worlds.
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 12,883 $ 10,890 /person
Option 2 From $ 13,870 $ 12,690 /person
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation in one double room for 20 days / 19 nights.
Meals as indicated
Economy flights for all sectors :
Tokyo (Haneda) – Sapporo (New Chitose)
Sapporo (New Chitose) – Osaka (Kansai)
The following train journeys in the highest class available :
Kyoto – Okayama (Shinkansen Train – Standard Class)
Okayama – Hakata Fukuoka (Shinkansen Train – Standard Class)
Hakata Fukuoka – Nagasaki (Train – Standard Class)
Nagasaki – Shin Osaka (Train – Standard Class)
Shin Osaka – Kanazawa (Train – Standard Class)
Kanazawa – Tokyo (Shinkansen Train – Standard Class)
Tokyo Train Station – Narita Airport (Train – Standard Class)
All activities as listed :
Tokyo: Traditional Tokyo by Day
Tokyo: Natural Delights of Hakone (From Tokyo)
Sapporo: Half Day Sapporo Highlights Tour (English Guide, Public transport)
Kyoto: Kyoto Highlights: Half Day Tour
Kyoto: Kurama – Kibune Hiking Tour
Okayama: Highlights of Okayama
Fukuoka: On the Ramen Trail in Fukuoka
Fukuoka: Highlights of Fukuoka Tour
Nagasaki: Nagasaki: A Colorful Fusion of Civilizations
Osaka: Osaka Castle and Abeno Harukas Tour
Kanazawa: Kanazawa Tea Ceremony
Kanazawa: Treasures of Kanazawa
Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
On request: A printed set of your travel documents by post
Fees and taxes
All activities specified in the itinerary, including entrance fees, accompanied by your tour guide
All airport, train station and hotel transfers as indicated. For private transfers our representative will meet you at the airport or the station and accompany you to your vehicle (and vice versa).
Tips, additional meals and personal expenses
Travel, health and cancellation insurance
International airfare (from your home country to your destination and return)
Book this trip before September 30, 2020, and receive 10% off your trip price.