Discover inner peace and true tranquility on your tailor-made Japan tour. Linger in famous Buddhist Zen temples, meander in quaint alleyways of tranquil towns, be charmed by the cherry blossoms of Tokyo, and explore the distinctive cultural legacy of historical destinations such as Kyoto, Kōyasan and Osaka. Abundantly tempered with opportunities to meditate, relax and soak in unique sights and sounds at leisure, this tour of Japan will nurture and rejuvenate your body and soul.
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.
Tokyo’s Finest By Day Discover Tokyo with your local guide, stopping by some of its best known landmarks. The Asakusa area, with its many traditional buildings standing alongside the new, is your first stop. Witness the Sensoji Buddhist temple, believed to be Tokyo’s oldest. Discover the temple and the adjacent Nakamise street as well, where you will find rows of old shops selling food and curios of all kinds. After this you will be in for a novel experience as you travel by the Tokyo Water Bus on the Sumidagawa (meaning Sumida River), to reach the Hamarikyu Garden. Walk around the beautiful Edo-era garden and stop for some matcha (powdered green) tea and sweets at the charming little tea house within its precincts. Once done with the refreshments, make your way to the famous Meiji shrine, dedicated to the spirit of Emperor Meiji and also a popular wedding venue. End your tour at dusk with a stroll around the Omotesando shopping street, a tree-lined boulevard with contemporary architecture and fashionable stores stocking some of the world’s finest brands. (Full Day; Private Activity; Transfers by public transport; Meal included: Tea and sweets; Fitness Level: Moderate)
Kamakura Excursion From Tokyo A one hour train ride away from Tokyo, the historical city of Kamakura exudes a distinct charm. Steeped in remnants of the past, this prominent resort town is frequented by local and foreign visitors alike. Several Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines dot the entire town. Your full day Kamakura trip covers some of the most iconic temples in Japan, such as Kotokuin Temple, Hasedera Temple and the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, among many others. Known as the ‘Kyoto of Eastern Japan’, Kamakura’s white sandy beaches are especially inviting in the summer months. Make your trip especially memorable by shopping for mementos in the local market, and sampling eclectic food served up by street vendors. (Full day; Duration: 8 hours; Includes 1 hr return train ride; Please wear comfortable walking shoes)
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).
Visit To Mount Fuji National Park Take a trip to Mount Fuji National Park for Japan’s most iconic destination. Enjoy the numerous transport options to reach Mount Owakudani for the most breathtaking view of this majestic volcanic mountain peak. You could ride the world’s second longest cable car, passing over hot springs and simmering rivers of volcanic landscapes. As per local beliefs—you could add seven years to your life by eating Hakone’s famous hard boiled, smoked eggs that are cooked over the hot vapours! Take the Hakone Tozan ‘switchback train’ that winds its way through the mountains, offering amazing views of the surrounding highland valleys. Or better still, ride a splendid replica of a pirate ship that will sweep you across the 3,000 year old, volcanic Lake Ashinoko, right up to the Moto-Hakone town. (Full Day, Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring warm clothing).
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.
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 Market Visit 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).
Excursion To Nara One of Japan’s most rewarding destinations, consider Nara for a half day trip from Kyoto. History aficionados will have an inspiring time exploring the cultural legacy of the city. Nara takes sightseeing to an exciting new level. Start with the impressive sight of Daibutsu (the Great Buddha). Proceed to catch glimpses of the marvelous Todai-Ji Temple Complex and Kasuga Shrine. Second only to Kyoto’s repository of important ancient landmarks, Nara offers many enchanting experiences, such as feeding the wild deer that roam around in the Nara Park. Travel back to Kyoto. (Half Day; Private activity & Public transport; Duration: 5 hrs. Please bring comfortable shoes. Please don’t carry food items in your bag.)
Tea Ceremony At A Traditional Home In Kyoto Make the most of a personal invitation from an instructor of Japanese traditional arts and visit his home for a lively conversation over tea. Accompanied by a local expert who will be your translator for the experience, you will learn the fascinating art of brewing tea in traditional Japanese style. Discover the varied aspects of a tea ceremony, including brewing and serving wares as well as the cultural significance behind each movement and act. Absorb the rich symbolism of the ceremony as you appreciate a perfectly brewed cup served by your host. Fortified by the aromatic brew, discuss the cultural significance of this timeless tradition at length before you return. (Time of Day: Morning or Afternoon; Duration: 2.5 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Tea; Fitness level: Easy; Don’t forget your cameras; Note: Please inform us in advance about food allergies, if any; Children below 4 not allowed).
Kōyasan, also known as Mount Koya, and its surrounds, is a delightful destination to delve into the ancient culture of Japan, and a marvelous UNESCO World Heritage site.
Mount Koya Monastery Retreat Immerse yourself in the rejuvenating and tranquil experience of a two day retreat at a Japanese monastery. A pleasant and scenic train ride will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mount Koya. You will take several local trains, with the last train being one of the most scenic in Japan, winding your way up through the mountains. The train journey is unguided. After disembarking you will take a short cable car ride up to the top of the 900m Mt. Koya. On arrival meet you guide. Marvel at the magnificent sight of over one hundred temples surrounding the mountain top. This sacred site has been the center of a key Buddhist sect for over a century! Visit Kongobunji Temple, the main monastery of Shingon Buddhism, which is also home to Japan’s largest rock garden. Stop by the Garan Temple Complex and Okunoin. The latter is Japan’s largest cemetery, housing the mausoleum of the founder of Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi. Imagine walking past 200,000 tombstones of Japan’s feudal lords, prominent monks and well known dignitaries. Retire to your comfortable but simple Buddhist temple lodging (shukubo) after dusk. Stay at the lodge, which is well equipped with shared bathing area. Enjoy a traditional vegetarian meal served with the compliments of your gentle hosts. The following morning, wake up to Buddhist chants and the morning prayers of the monks. After a refreshing and healthy typical shojin ryori breakfast, take a leisurely walk to explore the area at your own pace, before boarding the train back to Osaka unaccompanied by your tour guide. (Duration: 2 days, 1 night, Journey time: 2.5 hrs by local train; Meals included; Drinks are extra)
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 Evening Street Food Trail Eat your heart out on this evening food trail at Osaka’s street food paradise – Dotonbori – in the company of your local guide. This pedestrian-only food street in the boisterous Namba District, is lined with causal eateries and hole-in-the-wall establishments, dishing out local favorites and delicious Kansai delicacies. Cross the Dotonbori Bridge and settle down to the joys of sampling delectable takoyaki dumplings (or “octopus balls” as they are more popularly called) and kushikatsu (skewered meat and vegetables). All of which can be washed down with cups of tea. The experience is made richer by the cultural explanations offered by your guide. All in all, this is a most satisfying evening spent out on the town! (Half Day, Evening Tour; Fitness Level: Easy; Meal included: Street food samplings; Please inform your guide about any food allergies and strict dietary restrictions in advance).
Highlights Of Osaka Accompanied by your local expert guide, explore Osaka’s famed attractions. Admire the magnificently restored Osaka Castle that sits on expansive grounds covered in cherry, peach and plum trees. Next, just across the street from the park, see several large exhibits that chronicle the city’s past, and learn about its rich heritage at the Osaka Museum of History set within a tall building. Later, visit the Indoor Observatory at 173 meters high on the 40th floor connecting bridge of the landmark Umeda Sky Building’s two towers. At sundown, enjoy panoramic vistas of Osaka skyline and its bay area from the open-air Kuchu Teien Observatory’s circular walkway. Once you have built up an appetite, head to the bustling riverside neighborhood of Dotonbori to immerse yourselves in Osaka’s Kudiore ‘eat till you drop’ food culture. Amid the neon light signs and a medley of flavors, sample Japan’s famous street food including the Takoyaki – octopus dumplings, and the Okonomiyaki – eclectic savory pancakes. (Half Day; Private Activity; Timings: 1000 or 1300 hrs; Duration: 4 hrs; Meal included: Takoyaki snack; Fitness level: Moderate)
Private transfer from Osaka Hotel to Kansai Airport with a non-English speaking chauffeur
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 7,830 /person
Option 2 From $ 8,585 /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 13 days / 12 nights
Meals as indicated
The following train journeys in the highest class available :
Tokyo – Odawara Hakone (Shinkansen Train-Standard Class)
Odawara Hakone – Kyoto 1.45 h (Shinkansen Train-Standard Class)
Kyoto – Koyasan via Osaka (Train – Express Train)
Koyasan – Osaka (Train – Express Train)
All activities as listed :
Tokyo: Tokyo’s Finest by Day
Tokyo: Kamakura Excursion from Tokyo
Hakone: Visit to Mount Fuji National Park
Hakone: Onsen: Japanese Hot Spring Baths
Kyoto: Highlights of Kyoto- Golden Temple, Bamboo forest and Market visit
Kyoto: Excursion to Nara
Kyoto: Tea Ceremony at a Traditional Home in Kyoto
Koyasan: Mount Koya Monastery Retreat
Osaka: Osaka Evening Street Food Trail
Osaka: Highlights of Osaka
All activities specified in the itinerary, including entrance fees, when accompanied by our local, English-speaking 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).
Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
Welcome kit including all important documents and information regarding your itinerary