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JAPAN TOURS

Japan has always been known for its vibrant culture, excellent transportation system, and friendly people, not to mention very safe place to visit.

 

Although best time to tour Japan is in the spring, first part of summer and fall, it can be just as well visited in the winter months. Coming in the offseason has its benefits – there are fewer tourists, especially in popular destinations like Kyoto, and prices for lodging drop .

 

Measuring some 1800 miles north to south, Japan is an archipelago of nearly 7,000 islands, though the main islands are only four and naming them has a rhyme to it – Hokkaido, Honshu,  Shikoku, and Kyushu.

 

Efficient air, sea and Shinkansen bullet train transportation can get you anywhere you wish to go. So where to go and what to see?

 

Needless to say, what you can realistically pack on a single trip will depend on how many days you can set aside for touring Japan to begin with, though yur decision is ultimately likely going to be based on your budget, and for obvious reasons, as Japan is not the cheapest place to visit.

 

Most of our clients focus on the historical and cultural heartland of Japan, Kyoto, and then add a few days in one or another part of the country.

 

Provided you’d want to make the most of your Japan tour, and see all of Japan's key attractions on one trip, following would be the ideal itinerary. The length of this itinerary is 10 nights, 11 days. Please note it is not a package, and its ultimate costs will differ by what type of lodging standard you will use, what type of transportation you will take between the individual stops along the itinerary, whether bus, local train, Shinkansen bullet train or travel by plane, and whether you will include all or only some of the guided sightseeing excursions listed, or visit certain sites entirely on your own.

Private Tours

*Tours are private with departure per your travel dates.
*Tours can be customized.
*Hotel category as requested, Western style or Ryokan, traditional Japanese style inns.
*Meals, except daily breakfast at hotels, are normally not included.
*Entrance fees to sites and monuments are normally excluded.
*Quotations are based on English-speaking guides only (other language-guides on request.)

Quote on Request

Ready to answer your Japan tour questions

 

 

 

720-360-1497 or Email us and we call you to discuss your Japan travel plans!

 

Japan Classic Tour
11 Days - 10 Nights Private Tour

                     
Date Time Itinerary Transportation Stay
Day 1 Morning     Tokyo
     
Afternoon  Arrive at Narita Airport and Transfer to Hotel in Tokyo Airport Limousin Bus
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Tokyo  
Day 2 Morning  Visit Tokyo Tower and Imperial Palace Plaza Bus, Taxi, or Train Tokyo
     
Afternoon  Visit Sensoji an Nakamise Dori Street in Asakusa Bus, Taxi, or Train
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Tokyo  
Day 3 Morning  Continue to Hakone Shinkansen & Local Train Hakone
     
Afternoon  Visit Lake Ashi and Owakudani Local Train & Ropeway
     
Evening  Enjoy Hot Spring and Free Time in Hakone  
Day 4 Morning  Enjoy Views of Mt. Fuji and Free Time in Hakone   Kyoto
     
Afternoon  Continue to Kyoto Shinkansen & Local Train
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Kyoto  
Day 5 Morning  Visit Arashiyama, Rock Garden, and Golden Pavilion Bus, Taxi, or Train Kyoto
     
Afternoon  Visit Imperial Palace, Nijo Castle, and Kiyomizu Temple Bus, Taxi, or Train
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Kyoto  
Day 6 Morning  Visit Todaiji Temple and Kasuga-Taisha Shrine Bus, Taxi, or Train Kyoto
     
Afternoon  Enjoy Free Time in Nara and Kyoto Bus, Taxi, or Train
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Kyoto  
Day 7 Morning  Visit Himeji Castle Shinkansen Naoshima
     
Afternoon  Visit Naoshima, "Island of Art", in Seto Inland Sea Shinkansen, Train, & Ferry
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Naoshima  
Day 8 Morning  Enjoy Free Time in Naoshima   Hiroshima
     
Afternoon  Continue to Hiroshima Shinkansen, Train, & Ferry
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Hiroshima  
Day 9 Morning  Visit Peace Memorial Park and Museum Street Car, Taxi, or Walk Miyajima
     
Afternoon  Visit Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Street Car or Train & Ferry
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Miyajima  
Day 10 Morning  Visit Mt. Misen on Miyajima Ropeway &Walk Tokyo
     
Afternoon  Return to Tokyo Ferry, Train, Bus & Plane
     
Evening  Enjoy Free Time in Tokyo  
Day 11 Morning  Transfer to Narita Airport and depart Japan Airport Limousin Bus None
     
Afternoon    
     
Evening    

 

Tokyo and vicinity

If your time or budget may be limited, and Tokyo is all you can see, we can structure your tour of Tokyo to visit the sites noted in the above itinerary and possibly include a trip to Nikko National Park, an easy side trip from Tokyo, and a great place to sample Lake Chuzenji's hot springs, and if interested, you could also spend a night there at a traditional Japanese ryokan inn. There are some scenic spots to see here, namely the Kegon Waterfall, the marshy Ozegahara Plateau and the Toshogu Shrine.

Equally worthwhile add-on to your tour of Tokyo stay may be a trip to Jo-Shin-Etsu-Kogen plateau to see the active volcanoes of Asama and Shirane.

But perhaps most memorable stop we can tailor into your short Japan itinerary will be a visit to Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. If to see Mt. Fuji is all you may have time for, then we’ll include some of the impressive viewpoints. But to make the best of this area, you must visit Hakone, as shown in the itinerary, and experience at least one of its local hot springs, spend a night at a wonderful ryokan, and enjoy the Lake Ashi. If active vacation is what you wish for, we can have you climb Mt.Fuji; most people in reasonable shape can summit Mt. Fuji in nine to ten hours roundtrip.

You can try the game of Pachinko which can be played in arcades around Tokyo. It is a mechanical game originating from Japan it is played as a recreational arcade game and more commonly as a gambling device.

Kyoto

 

Undeniably Kyoto is the focal point of most Japan tours. Considered the cultural heartland and the cradle of Japanese civilization, Kyoto abounds in classical shrines, temples, a shogun's castle, imperial villas and a palace as well as cultural attractions, including performing arts and traditional crafts.
 

In Kyoto you can admire classical Japanese style of temple and residential architecture, stunning gardens as well as decorative arts and traditional crafts of Nishijin silk weaving, Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, technique of Yuzen dyeing, admire Kyoto dolls and marvel at local lacquer ware.
 

Kyoto also sports wonderful festivals, namely the Aoi, or Hollyhock festival, that takes place in May, then the Gion Festival in July, and the October Jidai Festival, known as the Festival of the Ages.
 

Other than visiting Kyoto’s main sites and temples, including Kinkakuji Temple, Higashi-Honganji Temple, Nishi-Honganji Temple, Toji Temple, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Nijo Castle, Ginkakuji Temple, Sanjusangendo Temple, the famous Kiyomizu Temple, Heian Shrine, not mention the renown Zen temple of Nanzenji. One part of Kyoto definitely not to miss, and possibly also to stay in sleeping in a local ryokan, is the Gion district of Kyoto, a historical quarter of classical architecture known as the home of the geisha.
 

Additionally, a great selection of wonderful programs to include in your Kyoto stay are courses to learn some of Japan’s traditional crafts such as flower arranging, doll making, umbrella making, the Japanese art of paper folding, origami, or simply take a class on Japanese cooking, make sushi, or learn about other expressions of Japanese culture, like how to wear a kimono, or partake in a tea ceremony demonstration, go sake tasting or take a class in Japanese dance.

 

Beyond Kyoto

To make your trip to Kyoto complete we recommend you visit also neighboring Nara, which indeed was Japan’s capital before Kyoto, from 710 to 784. Nara contains number of exquisite temples, most famous of which is the Todaiji Temple namely for its massive bronze statue of Buddha, Daibutsu, the Great Buddha.

Nearby is found another of Nara’s attractions, Kasuga Grand Shrine, a Shinto shrine of thousands of stone and bronze lanterns, said to be 3,000 of them, that are lit during Lantern Festivals in February and August.

Our ideal itinerary of Japan includes visit to Himeji castle, considered to be one of the most impressive and best preserved Japan's original structures, and on that account declared an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

After visit of Himeji it’s time to explore the Inland Sea, the large body of water separating Honshu from the island of Shikoku and further down the island of Kyushu. Studded with some 3,000 islands the archipelago has a pleasant mild climate and some of the islands should not be missed. If you were to visit only a couple, it should be the Naoshima island, known for its many contemporary art museums and a wonderful slice of nature, and then the Miyajima Island, famous for its Itsukushima Shrine, another UNESCO World heritage site, and a shrine easily remembered for its massive torii, or shrine gate, standing dramatically offshore.

The Miyajima Island is easily included to your tour of Hiroshima, a destination most come to visit for the Peace Memorial Park, though the Hiroshima Castle and the Shukkeien Garden, both destroyed in 1945, are a must-see when in the city.

For those with time, Kyushu, the southernmost of the four major islands, with its subtropical climate, accounts for yet another magical impression of Japan. Most known of Kyushu’s towns is Nagasaki, though as Hiroshima completely destroyed in the atomic bomb attack in August 1945, Nagasaki is today a pleasant port town and constitutes a gateway to the very bottom of Japan, if you dare to venture this far south, to Kagoshima and the string of islands all the way to Okinawa.


 

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