This Japan tour is a must for value-minded travelers who enjoy history, beautiful settings, and fascinating architecture. You’ll start in Tokyo, end in Osaka, and overnight along the way in the Mount Fuji area, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. Highlights of this tour through Japan are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites you’ll visit. Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, has long been worshipped as a sacred mountain; you’ll enjoy views of majestic Mount Fiji and Lake Kawaguchi during your cable-car ride (weather permitting). In Kyoto, visit Nijo Castle, built in 1603 as the shogun’s official residence, and the Temple of the Gold Pavilion, a Buddhist temple overlooking a large pond and covered in beautiful gold leaf. In Hiroshima, visit Peace Memorial Park and see the only remaining structure—the Atomic Bomb Dome—that predates the 1945 atomic blast. An excursion from Hiroshima takes you to Miyajima Island and the Itsukushima Shrine, built over water and known for its iconic floating Torii gate. In addition to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, famous shrines, and other historic sites, this Japan tour also includes visits to two of Japan’s beautiful gardens: Koraku-En, dating to 1686 and considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens, and Shinjuku Gyoen, dating to 1603 when it was a feudal lord’s home. You’ll enjoy a local lunch and taste the “Japanese pizza” of Hiroshima: the legendary okonomiyaki dish. Plus, you’ll ride on the famous bullet train. History, scenery, and fun experiences…this Japan vacation has it all!
Welcome to Japan’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 Tokyo
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions prior to morning sightseeing in Tokyo. Your tour starts with a visit to Meiji Shrine, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest. Next, visit Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. Originally dating from the early 1600s, the garden was destroyed in World War II and reopened in 1949 as a public park. Today, it remains a very popular stop for locals and visitors alike. Last stop is the Asakusa Kannon Temple and the bustling Nakamise shopping arcade. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 3 Tokyo–Mount Fuji Area
Location: Tokyo–Mount Fuji Area
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
This morning, leave Tokyo and head south along the coast to the beautiful Five Lakes region. Here, take a cable-car ride (weather permitting) for panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchi and spectacular Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain.
Day 4 Mount Fuji Area–Kyoto
Location: Mount Fuji Area–Kyoto
This morning, board one of Japan’s famous bullet trains bound for Kyoto. Upon arrival, visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for the thousands of brightly colored Torii Gates. Then, take a walking tour through Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, and sample a local Japanese treat. This evening, you may choose to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan (additional fee).
Day 5 Kyoto
Your day begins with a visit to Nijo Castle, built in 1603 as the official residence of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Then, visit stunning Kinkakuji, the Temple of the Gold Pavillion, covered in shimmering gold leaf. The afternoon is free for you to explore more of Kyoto’s historic sites and shrines.
Day 6 Kyoto–Hiroshima
This morning, drive south to Hiroshima. Once there, travel to Miyajima Island to visit Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its floating Torii Gate.
Day 7 Hiroshima
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Today’s sightseeing starts at Peace Memorial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Peace Memorial, commonly referred to as the Atomic Bomb Dome, that has been preserved just as it was on August 6, 1945, immediately after the bombing. You will also visit the Memorial Museum and Memorial Hall, which commemorate the lives lost that day. For lunch, experience the city’s legendary dish, okonomiyaki, a Japanese-style savory pancake. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
Day 8 Hiroshima–Okayama–Osaka
Drive north to Okayama and visit Koraku-en, one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan.” Covering some 30 acres, the garden features ponds, plum groves, and tea fields. A unique feature not typically found in Japanese gardens are the wide lawns which are said to help uplift the spirit and promote open mindedness. Continue on to Osaka and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 9 Osaka
Your sightseeing tour starts at the Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farm Houses, where traditional thatched-roof farm houses dating from the Edo period have been restored. See the old architecture and be transported back in time. Next, visit Osaka Castle and take a walking tour in Dotonbori, the city’s most famous entertainment district. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Perhaps return to Dotonbori this evening to sample some local cuisine and see the sparkling neon lights.
Day 10 Osaka
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.
9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 0 dinners
Book with flexibility
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