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Take a comprehensive tour of Japan and explore its best-known sites and hidden gems with your very own JR Rail Pass. Start your tour in Tokyo with a local expert to show you around historic landmarks such as the Meiji Shrine and follow it up with an evening spent at a glamorous Oiran Show dating back to the Meiji Era! Next, hop on your train and leave the bustling city for the forested mountains of Hakone, with Mount Fuji as its iconic backdrop. Relax and commune with nature as you explore the region and rejuvenate yourself at mineral-rich Japanese onsens.

At Takayama, set out to explore the Japanese Alps and also take out time to see the historic old city on a bike. Nearby, visit the enchanting little mountain village of Shirakawa-go, famous not just for its carefully preserved heritage and traditions but also for its fairytale setting. In Kanazawa, learn about the country’s samurai and geisha history, and discuss traditions over a private tea ceremony in an authentic tearoom. Continue your exploration of Japanese culture in Kyoto while you dine with a geisha and watch a traditional Kyomai dance performance. Follow this up with a day out exploring the stunning Korakuen Garden of Okayama, and visit Kurashiki to soak in its old world charm. At the end of your trip, the JR Rail drops you off at Hiroshima where you can experience Japan’s more recent history at the Peace Memorial and Museum.

Explore the sights and sounds of Japan at your own pace with advice from our experts. Contact us to plan the ideal itinerary suited to your pace and interests.


Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 5TokyoImperial Palace, Meiji Shrine, River cruise to AsakusaHenn na Hotel Tokyo Akasaka, Keio Plaza Hotel
5 - 7HakoneView of Mt Fuji volcano, enjoy the views from a pirate ship, Natural hot springs and Onsen, Ropeway over Volcanic plains, overlooking the sulphuric fumesShinanoki Ichinoyu Ryokan, Yutorelo-an ANNEX
7 - 9TakayamaBi-annual Takayama Festival, Old Town, Morning MarketsBest Western Takayama, Oyado Koto no Yume Ryokan
9 - 10Shirakawa-goUNESCO World Heritage site of historic villages, Traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses e.g. Kanda house, Landscapes and historic mountain villages
10 - 12KanazawaKenrokuen: Japan’s most celebrated landscape garden, Higashi Chaya district (where Geisha’s perform tea ceremonies), Samurai districtHotel Intergate Kanazawa, Kanazawa Sainoniwa Hotel
12 - 15KyotoFushimi Inari Shrine, Nara’s Buddha Statue, Geisha District, Uji Tea PlantationsOriental Hotel Kyoto Rokujo, Hotel Vischio Kyoto by Granvia
15 - 17OkayamaOkayama Castle, Korakuen Garden, Kurashiki Art Village VisitMitsui Garden Okayama, Hotel Granvia Okayama
17 - 18HiroshimaPeace Memorial, Peace Museum, Miyajima IslandHotel Vista Hiroshima, Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel
18 - 18TokyoImperial Palace, Meiji Shrine, River cruise to Asakusa

Ideal For

  • Heritage
  • Landscape
  • Relaxation
Ranajana Travel Consultant Enchanting Travels

Talk to us anytime1 888 263 2574

Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 5

International Arrival

Shared Transfer from Narita Airport to Tokyo Hotel (including airport assistance)


4 Nights

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.

Included Activities

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)

Oiran Show With Dinner at Roppongi Kaguwa Theater
Set off to enjoy an evening of entertainment accompanied by dinner at the glamorous venue of Roppongi Kaguwa. Enter the quaint theatre to a warm welcome from the exquisitely-dressed dancers. Settle down to enjoy the spectacular displays of drama, comedy, and sword fights complemented by fast-paced action and synchronized choreography. These Oiran shows dating back to the Meiji era feature kimono-dressed dancers and acrobatic samurais performing in tandem. Feast on Japanese or Western delicacies accompanied by unlimited drinks. Immerse yourself in the world of modern and traditional Japanese music and dance as you watch the talented performers act out stories without dialogues. After the performance concludes, click photos with the artists before you make your way to the exit. (Half Day; Time: 1800/2115/2400 hrs; Dinner and Drinks Included in First Show, Snacks and Drinks Included in Second and Third Shows; Fitness Level: Easy.)

Hotel Options
RoomDouble room LG Styler
Keio Plaza Hotel – Opt 2
RoomPlaza Superior South Queen
Day 5 - 7

Make your own way from your hotel to Tokyo train station

Train from Tokyo to Hakone with JR Rail Pass

Make your own way from the Hakone train station to your hotel


2 Nights

Hakone defines the iconic image of Japan— with the majestic backdrop of Mount Fujiyama as it rises out of coniferous forest covered mountainsides, lakes and hot springs (onsen).

Included Activities

Onsen: Japanese Hot Spring Baths
When in Japan, you can hardly miss out on experiencing the traditional, hot spring water baths with their healing properties. Enjoy the complementary facility of taking an Onsen soak in your own private outdoor tub of natural hot spring waters. Feel all your stress melt away from your tired muscles. Make the best use of all the other traditional hot tub options available at the property, each bathtub with its own particular temperature and mineral combination. A sumptuous dinner, followed right after by a hot soak comes highly recommend by your hosts. As per tradition, these other hot tubs are gender-segregated, shared bath facilities.

Hakone Free Pass (without travel guide, without entrance fees)
The pass provides unlimited access to 8 different transportation systems in the area, such as the Hakone Tozan Line and the Hakone Ropeway, allowing you the freedom to thoroughly explore Hakone. Enjoy your trip to Hakone with the convenient and economical Hakone Freepass. For an extra charge and with seat reservation, you can also use the e-Romance Car panorama train. The pass is excluding tour guide and entrance fees.

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Japanese / Japanese-Western Room B (Main Bldg)
MealsHalf Board (Breakfast & Dinner)
RoomStandard Japanese Room
Day 7 - 9

Make your own way from your hotel to Hakone train station

Train from Hakone to Takayama with JR Rail Pass

Make your own way from the Takayama train station to your hotel


2 Nights

Located in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Takayama is an excellent option for those seeking a countryside jaunt. A gateway to the hiking paradise of mountainous Hida, Takayama is home to ancestral old homes, temples and shrines.

Included Activities

Bicycle Tour Around Takayama
Explore Takayama’s lush and charming alpine countryside like a local on the trail of Hida Satoyama. Over this 13 mile excursion through rural Japan on a cycle, discover the pastoral scenery and soak in the natural beauty. Along the way, you’ll witness the forested peaks of Hida Mountain range in the distance. Pass by paddy fields, traverse colorful orchards and pause at sprawling farms. Delight in koi-filled streams that crisscross the villages, and take a dip in natural hot springs if you wish. See traditional wooden farmhouses with ceramic-tiled roofs perched on steep slopes. Your expert guide will help you understand the lifestyle and traditions of Satoyama’s village folk. Interacting with the families, learn about the region’s history, traditional farming methods, and daily life. As you return to town, enjoy the colorful foliage scattered on Takayama’s streets. (Half Day; Shared Activity; Time of the Day: 0900 or 1400 hrs; Duration: 3.5 hrs; Fitness level: Moderate; This activity is available from March to December.)

Hotel Options
RoomTwin Room
RoomStandard Japanese room - 8 tatami
Day 9 - 10

Make your own way from your hotel to Takayama train station

Bus from Takayama to Shirakawa-go (50 km, 1 hr)

Make your own way from the Shirakawa-go train station to your hotel


1 Night

Shirakawa-go is nestled in the remote mountains of Gifu Prefecture. With Shogawa River Valley as its immediate neighbor, this historic region has several points of interests.

Day 10 - 12

Make your own way from your hotel to Shirakawa-go train station

Bus from Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa (65 km, 1.5 hrs)

Make your own way from the Kanazawa train station to your hotel


2 Nights

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.

Included Activities

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)

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.)

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Double room
RoomStandard Room
Day 12 - 15

Make your own way from your hotel to Kanazawa train station

Train from Kanazawa to Kyoto with JR Rail Pass

Make your own way from the Kyoto train station to your hotel


3 Nights

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.

Included Activities

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].

Dinner Date with a Maiko Geisha at Kyoto Hot Spring Hatoya Zuihokaku Hotel
Experience a unique evening in Kyoto where you can indulge in a shared group dinner with a maiko (apprentice geisha)! Following a brief introduction, enjoy an array of entertainment courtesy of your hostess. Appreciate the traditional Kyoto dance performance of Kyomai, and various art forms practiced by geishas. Dining in a classic tatami room, chat with the maiko over sake as your admire the elaborate kimonos, elegant makeup, and colorful accessories. You could also join in for traditional Japanese party games conducted by these iconic entertainers. Savor an exquisitely prepared Kyoto-style kaiseki meal featuring a variety of handpicked seasonal ingredients from the surrounding regions. Finally, pose for a commemorative photograph with your maiko before retiring for the night! (Half Day; Duration: 3 hrs; Dinner included; Fitness level: Easy; Please note that formal clothing is not required for this activity. Vegetarian meal options are available upon request, however, meals will be prepared with fish stock.)

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Twin
RoomModerate Double
Day 15 - 17

Make your own way from your hotel to Kyoto train station

Train from Kyoto to Okayama with JR Rail Pass

Make your own way from the Okayama train station to your hotel


2 Nights

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.

Included Activities

Cultural Tour of Kurashiki
Embark on this journey to the picturesque town of Kurashiki accompanied by your knowledgeable guide. Soak in the old world charm as you stroll down the narrow alleys lined with white walled houses and storefronts in the charming Kurashiki Bikan area. Stroll past quaint galleries, coffee shops, and boutiques housed in the renovated buildings. Afterward, you can choose to browse the oldest private collection of Western art in the country housed at the Ohara Museum. Or, you could instead explore Ohashi House, a fine example of a wealthy merchant’s residence dating back to the 18th century. (Half Day; Time: 0900/1330 hrs; Fitness Level: Easy. A visit to Ohashi House will be substituted when Ohara Museum is closed and vice versa.)

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Single
RoomConcept Double
Day 17 - 18

Make your own way from your hotel to Okayama train station

Train from Okayama to Hiroshima with JR Rail Pass

Make your own way from the Hiroshima train station to your hotel


1 Night

Hiroshima evokes powerful images and emotions attached to its war-torn past. Yet today, Hiroshima has emerged as a symbol of peace, beauty, and hope.

Hotel Options
RoomModerate Double
Day 18 - 18

Make your own way from your hotel to Hiroshima train station

Train from Hiroshima to Tokyo with JR Rail Pass

Train from Tokyo Train Station to Narita Airport (1 Hr)


0 Nights

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.

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 5,990 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 7,690 /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.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation and meals, as specified in the itinerary
  • Activities and excursions, as specified in the itinerary
  • Transportation services, as specified in the itinerary
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact supporting you during your trip

Not Included

  • Entrance fees and meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary description
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Visa and tourism fees
  • Travel, health, and cancellation insurance
  • International airfare
Inquire Now
Highlights of Japan by JR Rail

18 days $ 5,990 / person

Contact Us

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