Grand Tour of Japan

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED

Discover Japanese cuisine and culture on this once-in-a-lifetime Japan tour! Visit vibrant Hiroshima to pay tribute at the A-Bomb Dome, journey to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji, stand among soaring stalks of bamboo and observe monks in a ceremony at the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. It's a country where tradition meets modern advancement, and we'll have the opportunity to explore every facet of it!

Inclusions:

  • Round trip air to Tokyo/return from Osaka (pricing based on air estimate of $1,388)
  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • 12 nights’ accommodations
  • 21 meals (12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners)
  • Professional tour manager
  • Admission to attractions as stated in itinerary
  • Gratuities for driver/guides
  • Porter service of one bag per person at hotels
  • Taxes and gratuities for included services
  • Travel protection plan

Not included in the price of this tour: 
Airport transfers, meals/beverages other than those listed on the itinerary, beverages other than tea or coffee with included meals, items of a personal nature/souvenirs, phone calls and faxes from hotels, passport fees, and current baggage fees at the airport as assessed by the airline.

Single Tour Icon

$10,585

Price Per Person

Multiple Tour Icon

$9,215

Price Per Person

(3% cash discount applied)

Full payment is required with your registration form by June 8, 2018

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Itinerary

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight to Tokyo, Japan!

Welcome to Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. Upon arrival we will meet our friendly airport representative and transfer to the hotel via airport shuttle. After checking into our home for the next four nights, the remainder of the day is at our leisure to relax or explore. Our hotel is perfectly located in the heart of the city with many restaurants and sights within an easy walking distance!

We start our morning with breakfast before beginning the day’s sightseeing. Our first stop will be Tokyo Tower’s main observatory for a panoramic view of the city. Modeled after the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower is the world’s tallest self-supported tower, and its main observatory offers the thrill of standing on a glass “lookdown window” to view the activity on the streets 475-feet below! Next we will explore the unique Japanese culture and history at the Imperial Palace Plaza, which serves as the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. The plaza is surrounded by trees, flowers, and moats, creating a beautiful natural oasis in the center of Tokyo. We’ll continue on to the oldest temple in Tokyo – Asakusa Kannon Temple with the famous Nakamise shopping arcade. Alongside typical Japanese souvenirs such as yakata and folding fans, various traditional local snacks from the Asakusa area are sold along the Nakamise. From here we will embark on a pleasant drive through Ueno to Akihabara, known as “Electric Town” due to its many electronics shops. This afternoon we will get acquainted with Japanese cuisine at a sushi making class followed by a wonderful welcome dinner together this evening.

(Breakfast & dinner included)

After breakfast the day is yours to explore Tokyo at your leisure! The city has one of the best public transportation systems in the world, which offers easy access to virtually any attraction. Consider spending time at Odaiba, a popular shopping and entertainment district on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. The district began as a set of small fort islands meant to protect Tokyo in the event of an attack and were later joined together by massive landfills. You may also want to wander through the colorful and busy districts of Shibuya or Harajuku where you will find Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, or admire the charming Shinjuku Gyoen. This is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks and features numerous beautiful gardens.

(Breakfast included)

Following breakfast we will make our way up to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji where we’ll enjoy the spectacular and breathtaking views at 7,546-feet above sea level. We’ll enjoy a delicious Japanese-style lunch before cruising on Lake Ashi. This crater-lake was formed by a powerful volcanic eruption nearly 3,000 years ago and provides postcard views of Mt. Fuji. After our cruise we will take a ropeway ride (aerial tram) to the peak of Mt. Komagatake to see the spiritual Hakone Shrine Mototsumiya nestled on the mountaintop. After time to explore we will make our way back to Tokyo for the evening.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

We say goodbye to Tokyo after breakfast this morning as we board a shinkansen (high speed bullet train) to Kanazawa. During the Edo Period Kanazawa was a town of great cultural achievements, rivaling Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo). Today Kanazawa remains an important city in its region and serves as the capital of the Ishikawa Prefecture. After checking into our hotel, the remainder of the day is yours to relax or explore. The hotel is located near the train station and city center offering easy access to the largest shopping mall and food vendors.

(Breakfast included)

This morning we’ll enjoy walking around the bustling Takayama Morning Market where a wide array of local specialities and other products are available. Afterward we’ll journey to the Shirakawago Observatory for an elevated view of the thatched-roofed village of Shirakawago, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. The village is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means “constructed like hands of prayer,” as the farmhouses’ steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. We’ll taste delicious regional cuisine unique to the countryside before returning to Kanazawa for the night.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Enjoy breakfast this morning before exploring the Nagamachi Samurai District. Nagamachi is a beautifully preserved historic area of Kanazawa that was once the residential district for the city’s samurai. One of the main attractions of the district is the Nomura, a restored samurai residence displaying the lifestyle and artifacts of the era when samurai were prosperous. At Kenrokuen Garden we’ll admire the beautiful landscapes that are considered to be part of one of the top three gardens in all of Japan. Next we will visit Higashi Chayagai, where the wooded-latticed exteriors of teahouses line both sides of the stone-paved street. Wander through Hakuza Honten and shop for handicrafts, accessories, cosmetics, and items made with gold leaf. After lunch on our own we will board the JR limited express train to the ancient capital of Kyoto, where we will check-in to our hotel and relax for the remainder of the day.

(Breakfast included)

Today we will experience historical Kyoto and see where the geisha live and work. We’ll explore Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was built in 1603 as the residence for the Tokugawa shogun and later used as an imperial palace. Next we will admire the Kinkakuji Temple that is covered in gold leaf and surrounded by a beautiful pond. From here we make our way to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, the most important shrine in Kyoto where we will have the opportunity to see the monks in a ceremony. This afternoon we will experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Dinner this evening will be enjoyed in the Gion area followed by leisure time to explore the life of a geisha in the area.

(Breakfast & dinner included)

After breakfast we depart on a morning of sightseeing in Arashiyama. With its abundance of temples and shrines, Arashiyama is the second most important sightseeing district in Kyoto. The star attraction of the district is the Bamboo Grove, and it is here that we will stand among the soaring stalks of bamboo and feel like we’ve been transported to another world. After exploring Kyoto’s natural scenery, the remainder of the day is yours to enjoy lunch and explore on your own.

(Breakfast included)

This morning we will head to Nara to visit Todaiji Temple, which serves as a symbol of the Nara Period and is one of the world’s largest wooden structures. Its huge main hall and bronze Great Buddha are impressive sights! At Kasuga Taisha Shrine we will pass through Deer Park where deer are able to roam freely and are believed to be sacred messengers of the Shinto gods that inhabit the shrine. We will end our day in Osaka, one of the largest cities in Japan.

(Breakfast & dinner included)

Following breakfast we will board a shinkansen bound for Hiroshima. Upon our arrival we will travel to Miyajima by ferry. Miyajima is known as the Sacred Island and is one of Japan’s most beautiful landscapes. On the island we will visit Itsukushima Shrine, famous for its beautiful shinden-zukuri style structure that is representative of a noble’s residence in the Heian period. After lunch together we’ll spend our afternoon at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Museum. This large-scale park was established in 1949 after the Pacific War ended and is visited by countless tourists as a symbol of peace. The museum within the park was built to remind future generations of the terror wrought by atomic bombs. The A-Bomb Dome in the park largely survived the bombing during WWII and has been preserved to promote peace and the elimination of atomic weapons around the world.

(Breakfast & lunch included)

We’ll begin our last day of touring with a visit to Osaka Castle, one of the city’s most iconic structures. In the castle’s eighth floor observatory we will enjoy a view of the Osaka city area. Next we will drive by the Osaka Central Public Hall in Nakanoshima and then visit the Sakai Hamono Museum to explore the traditional craftwork of knives. Sakai is renowned for cutlery forged by professional craftsmen using traditional skills. It is said that over 90% of knives used by chefs are from Sakai. Free time will be available this afternoon before we meet again for a farewell dinner. Osaka is known around the world for its food, and our dinner on the famous Dotonbori Street will be quite an experience!

(Breakfast & dinner included)

We will transfer to the Osaka airport for our return flight home.

( Breakfast included)