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Get the perfect introduction to Japan’s age-old traditions! Focused on onsen or hot spring bathing rituals, this private tour takes you to the mountain town of Kinosaki, set between Kyoto and Osaka, which is famed for its onsen bathhouses, ryokans (inn) and gorgeous scenery. While staying in a typical ryokan, you can also sample authentic kaiseki, Japan’s formal haute cuisine!

Not just onsen traditions, this trip also introduces you to other unique customs of Japan at the country’s three most popular cities – Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Enjoy personalized tours of vibrant districts such as Asakusa in Tokyo, visit a selection of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO-listed sites customized to your interests, and take a tour of the stunning Osaka Castle.

Would you like to see more of Japan? We are happy to tailor this trip to your exact interests and preferences. Just get in touch!

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Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 3TokyoImperial Palace, Meiji Shrine, River cruise to AsakusaWashington Hotel Shinjuku, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
3 - 5KyotoFushimi Inari Shrine, Nara’s Buddha Statue, Geisha District, Uji Tea PlantationsOriental Hotel Kyoto Rokujo, Noku Roxy Kyoto
5 - 7Kinosaki OnsenSpa Town, Therapeutic Hot Springs, Onsenji TempleSennen No Yu Koman, Onishiya Suishoen
7 - 9OsakaOsaka Castle, Umeda Sky Building, Street FoodWaQoo Shitaderamachi, Hotel Vischio Osaka by Granvia

Ideal For

  • Heritage
  • Relaxation
Julia Koch Reiseberaterin Enchanting Travels

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Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 3

International Arrival

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

Tokyo

2 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; Time of the day: 0900 or 1400 hrs; Private Activity; Transfers by public transport; Fitness Level: Moderate)

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Double Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
RoomStandard Twin Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 3 - 5

Make your own way from your hotel to Tokyo train station

Shinkansen Train from Tokyo to Kyoto (2.5 hrs)

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

Kyoto

2 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: 0900 or 1300 hrs; Private Activity; Public Transport; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please bring comfortable walking shoes].

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Twin
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Noku Roxy Kyoto – Opt 2
Room
Meals
StyleInternational
Day 5 - 7

Make your own way from your hotel to Kyoto train station

Train from Kyoto to Kinosaki Onsen (2.5 hrs).

You will be transferred from Kinosaki Onsen Train Station to your hotel in a shared vehicle organized by your hotel

Kinosaki Onsen

2 Nights

Kinosaki Onsen is a charming hot spring town located three hours from Kyoto and Osaka in northern Hyogo Prefecture, overlooking the Sea of Japan. This atmospheric 1,300-year-old Japanese town boasts seven public hot spring bathhouses within walking distance of each other.

Included Activities

Kinosaki Onsen Tour
Embark on the Kinosaki Limited Express train on a 2.5-hour journey from Kyoto. Travel through the mountains of Hyogo Prefecture to Kinosaki Onsen, a charming 8th-century hot spring town near the Sea of Japan in the Kansai Region. At Kinosaki Onsen, make your way on foot or by complimentary shuttle bus to a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. You can visit Onsenji Temple, dedicated to the town’s guardian of hot springs, and Kinosaki Art Museum to see its ancient religious artifacts. Ascend by cable car to the observation deck for a bird’s-eye view of the town. On your return, head to the on-site onsen (baths) for a relaxing soak in mineral-rich waters. The next morning, clad in a luxurious kimono and wooden sandals, venture out along the scenic willow-lined Otani River to Kinosaki’s seven legendary public bathhouses. As an overnight guest at a ryokan, you will receive a free pass to all communal bathhouses. Each hot spring bathhouse has unique features and waters known to heal many ailments. On Day Three, depart from Kinosaki Onsen and take a three-hour train ride to Osaka. (Duration: 3 days/2 nights; Available year-round; Time: 0930 hrs; Shared transfers; Meals included: breakfast & dinner; Please inform us of any food allergies in advance; Fitness level: moderate)

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Japanese-style room with toilet & bath
MealsHalf Board (Breakfast & Dinner)
StyleBoutique
RoomStandard Japanese-style room with toilet & bath
MealsHalf Board (Breakfast and Dinner)
StyleBoutique
Day 7 - 9

You will be transferred from from your hotel to Kinosaki Onsen Train Station in a shared vehicle organized by your hotel.

Train from Kinosaki Onsen to Osaka (3 hrs).

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

Osaka

2 Nights

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.

Included Activities

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; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness Level: Easy.)

Hotel Options
RoomSuperior Japanese Twin Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
RoomStandard Double Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational

Shared Transfer from Osaka Hotel to Kansai Airport

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 3,390 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 3,990 /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
  • Carbon emissions offsetting for 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
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Japan’s Onsen Traditions

9 days $ 3,390 / person