Travel Dates: April 1, 2021 to December 14, 2021 Book this vacation by July 1, 2021, and save up to 15% of your trip price!
Discover classics as well as hidden gems on this comprehensive Japan cultural tour. Start your journey in Tokyo, soaking in all the sights and sounds of this futuristic metropolis on private guided tours – from the traditional neighborhood of Asakusa to the foodie central Ramen Street! Continue on to Hakone, where you can relax and rejuvenate in Japanese hot springs and explore the pristine national park. In Takayama, visit the fairytale village of Shirakawa-go before your immerse yourself in the Samurai culture and magnificent gardens of Kanazawa.
There are no fewer than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kyoto! Visit these magnificent gems with an experienced local expert by your side. Next, head on to tranquil Kurashiki which will enchant you with its meandering canals and warehouses-turned-museums. Complete your tour in Hiroshima, contemplating the history and heritage of Japan while you wander amid the Peace Park and museum.
As with all our Asia tours, you personalize this Japan vacation to match your interests and preferences. Our experts will be happy to create a tailor-made, seamless trip for you. Contact us for an obligation-free itinerary!
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)
Ramen Romance in Tokyo On an evening out in Tokyo, dive into delicious bowls of ramen, a dish that embraces Japan’s food culture. Accompany Frank, an enthusiastic Tokyo native and ramen enthusiast, as he uncovers Tokyo’s hidden gems! Visit award-winning local ramen shops that pride in their specialty offerings. Expect to taste two completely different bowls of steaming hot ramen at two specifically handpicked restaurants. As you sit down to eat, learn about the history of Ramen, its origins and its evolution as an iconic comfort food in Japan. You’ll soon realize that no two bowls of ramen are the same, thanks to their unique flavors, textures, and composition. As you move from one joint to the next, dig deeper into the world of ramen – discussing the trends and future of ramen, including its impact through popular culture! (Half Day; Duration: 2 -4 hrs; Meal included: 2 bowls of ramen and 1 tea/coffee; Fitness level: Moderate; Please note that additional food and drinks are not included.)
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).
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.
Explore Hakone National Park Discover the stunning natural wonders of the Hakone National Park through its fully-developed traffic network. Drive to the peaceful 650-year old Choanji Temple surrounded by a grove and seasonal flowers. Follow the walking trails observing over 200 whimsical, human-like “rakan” statues (statues of Buddhist disciples). Board a cruise boat and sail the waters of Lake Ashi, admiring Mount Fuji if the weather is clear. Hop into the Komagatake Ropeway and head to the summit of Mount Komagatake. Glide down the ropeway and board a cruise vessel to Sekisho-Ato that was a part of Hakone’s old town earlier. Walk around to one of the few original stretches of the Tokaido Road from Tokyo to Kyoto. Admire the original tall cedar trees and the old paving stones in the 500m stretch which is now mostly main road and railway lines. (Full Day; Times: 1000/1030 hrs; Group size: Max 7 guests; Please wear waterproof, comfortable footwear. You use public transport – local buses in Hakone. Pick up and drop off will be at your hotel.)
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.
Shirakawa-gō Village Excursion Today you will take a guided tour with a local guide to the beautifully preserved old town of Takayama and the UNESCO site Shirakawa-go village. Start the day with a visit to the local Miyagawa Market along the Miyagawa River in the old town. Most stands sell local crafts and farm products such as vegetables, pickles and flowers. Take a walk in the district called San-machi Suji, the traditional home of Takayama merchants and sake brewers, which has been preserved in almost exactly the same state as 200 or 300 years ago. Here are inns, shops and taverns which trace their history back many generations. Visit the Takayama Jinya. Because of its valuable timber resources, the Hida Region around Takayama was put under direct control of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1692. The Takayama Jinya served as the local government office, headed by the officials dispatched from Edo. The present building complex includes various rooms for administrative purposes, offices, kitchens, toilets, bath rooms, residential space, a court room and storehouses. It was in official use until 1969, and is now open to the public as a museum. End the morning by stopping at a sake brewery and enjoy a tasting on Japan’s national tipple. Takayama’s sake is renowned nation-wide, thanks to the clear water of the surroundings. In the afternoon reach Shirakawa-go region. Your guide will show you around the village, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Gassho-zukkuri translates as ‘Praying Hands’, as the farmhouses’ steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer, and are designed to withstand the heavy snows which fall in the region. After the visit, you will separate from your guide and continue on own to Kanazawa (transportation is included but will be unaccompanied). (Full Day; Private Activity; Public Transfers; Fitness level: Easy; Please wear comfortable shoes.)
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.
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)
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.
Highlights of Kyoto – Golden Temple, Bamboo Forest and Markets Revel in the traditional sights, smells and sounds of feudal Japan’s best preserved city, in the company of your local guide. Visit the many UNESCO World Heritage sites dotting Kyoto, beginning with the Kinkakuji Temple, originally built for the Shogun. At his request, the Shogun’s villa was converted into a Buddhist Temple after his death. Discover the magnificent 15th century Nijo Castle with its splendidly preserved medieval gardens from Japan’s Edo period. Admire the many details and typical architectural features of the old monument, before walking down to the bustling Nishiki Market. Eat your heart out at this food street payable on spot, also known as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’, lined with innumerable restaurants and traditional eating houses! Try out typical local delicacies such as pickles, dried fish and sushi. Also visit the beautiful Arashiyama bamboo grove. (Full Day; Private activity & Public transport; Duration: 8 hrs. Please wear comfortable walking shoes; Fitness level- Moderate; Food tasting to be paid by the guests on spot).
Kurashiki is a charming city in the Okayama Prefecture facing the Seto Inland Sea, and embracing the banks of Takahashi river. With a bustling modern center and an old heritage quarter, the city beautifully blends the best of the old and the new.
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.
Peace Memorial Tour (Public transport with English Guide) Drive to the center of Hiroshima by ferry and public transport. Appreciate the resilient spirit of the Japanese people during your day trip to the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. While the visit helps you relive one of mankind’s darkest hour, the park also stands as a symbol of the hope that underlines the indomitable spirit of the human race to this day. Ground zero of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, is dedicated to all the lives lost in the Second World War. Stroll through the park and discover the many memorials, monuments and statues, leading up to a museum. You can also walk up to the 17th century Shukkeien Garden, or “”shrunken-scenery garden””, where valleys, mountains, and forests are landscaped in miniature form. Enjoy the traditional aesthetics of this Japanese garden, while relaxing over fragrant cups of tea at one of the charming traditional tea houses that surround the central water body. (Half Day; Fitness Level: Easy; Some guests can find the historic representations upsetting, Tea/sweets to paid on spot from guests)
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.
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 12,670 $ 10,790 /person
Option 2 From $ 15,530 $ 13,390 /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 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
Entrance fees and meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary description
Tips and personal expenses
Visa and tourism fees
Travel, health, and cancellation insurance
Book this vacation by July 1, 2021, and save up to 15% of your trip price!
What our guests say about this trip
We chose Enchanting Travels to plan our honeymoon to Japan in winter 2019 over Christmas, New Year’s, and my husband’s birthday. We got a bit of a late start in planning (about a month and a half before we were looking to go!) and knew that some things might be booked or closed for the holidays, but through close collaboration and tireless planning, the Enchanting Travels team was able to pull together an amazing itinerary for us that allowed us to experience so many unique and varied aspects of Japanese culture, cuisine, architecture, history, and more. Over a 2 week period, we visited Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, and Kyoto, with day-long excursions to Shirakawa-go and Nara in between. The accommodations booked for us were superb, meals planned for us for New Year’s and Kevin’s birthday were thoughtful and enjoyable, and individual tours and activities gave us an in-depth look at particular aspects of Japanese culture and cuisine that we might not have been able to enjoy as much if we tried to see or learn ourselves. Overall, can’t recommend Enchanting Travels highly enough.