Japan Discovery - 14 Days

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • See Mount Fuji and travel to the Fifth Station, 2300m above sea level
  • Visit the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s best landscape gardens
  • Visit Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan’s last surviving original feudal age castles
  • Enjoy a halfday tour of Shirakawago

Discover Japan on this 14-day guided group tour. Explore some of Japan’s largest, busiest cities while also getting a taste of the more traditional side of the country.

Visit bustling Osaka with its brightly lit streets and fantastic food culture. Take a trip to ancient Nara, a city steeped in history. Walk the streets of Kyoto and take a step back in time as you explore its old temples and shrines. Visit Takayama, a wonderfully preserved old merchant town of the Edo period and see the famous 200-year-old farmhouses of Shirakawago. Step inside one of Japan’s last remaining original castles in Matsumoto. And admire the lofty, snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji and be treated to breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Our Japan Discovery tour has it all!

Please see the itinerary and what’s included sections for more details on this fantastic tour.

Day 1

Welcome to Osaka, Japan! Upon arrival at Kansai Airport, clear customs and immigration before meeting your guide and transferring to your accommodation.

Day 2

Today we head to Nara, famous for its many temples and its free-roaming deer. First, we visit Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple), one of Japan’s most famous temples. This massive building houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha. On your way back, wander through Nara Park, home to hundreds of deer.

We will then head back to Osaka and stop at Osaka Castle, before finishing our day with a tour of Osaka’s central food and entertainment area, Dotonbori.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 3

Today we will take the super-fast Shinkansen bullet train from Osaka to Kyoto. Upon reaching Kyoto, we will first visit Kinkakuji, otherwise known as the Golden Pavilion. Kinkakuji is a three-storyed temple, each floor displaying a different style of architecture, while the top two floors are covered in pure gold leaf. Afterward, we will head to Nishijin Textile Centre and enjoy a traditional kimono show.

Day 4

Today is a free day to explore Kyoto at your own pace. Kyoto was the nation’s capital for over 1000 years, and as such, it has a wealth of history. There are hundreds upon hundreds of shrines and temples throughout the city, and an air of old world charm still persists in the old preserved streets and teahouse districts.

Some places you may want to visit are Heian Jingu (Heian Shrine), a magnificent green and red shrine with a massive torii gate at its entrance; Sanjyusangendo (also known as Rengeo-in), a temple housing 1001 life size Buddhist Kannon deities dating back to the 13th century; Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water Temple), a UNESCO World Heritage site; or Fushimi Inari Taisha, famous for its thousands of vibrant vermillion torii gates.

Day 5

This morning we visit Nijo Castle, the former residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period, and a designated UNESCO world heritage site.

Then we will make our way to Arashiyama to see Togetsu Bridge and the Bamboo Grove, iconic sights of Western Kyoto.

We then continue to the city of Kanazawa, a name which translates as ‘the marsh of gold’.

Day 6

Today we will explore the castle town of Kanazawa. First up, we will visit Buke Yashiki, a preserved house in the old Nagamichi samurai district, and learn about how the high-ranked samurais lived during the Edo period. Later we will make our way through the streets of Higashi Chaya, an old teahouse district lined with preserved buildings. Next, we will visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s “three best landscape gardens” and widely believed to be the most beautiful of them all. Finally, we will visit Omicho Market, Kanazawa’s largest fresh food market.

Day 7

Today you can enjoy your day in Kanazawa at your own pace. You could consider visiting the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, a must for modern art lovers or Ninjadera, an Edo period temple that more resembles a ninja trick house with its dozens of deceptive defenses.

Day 8

Today we travel out to Shirakawago for a half-day guided sightseeing tour, which will give you a chance to explore one of the rural villages in Shirakawago. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you can see the traditional gassho-style houses of the area, some of which are over 200 years old.

Afterward, we will head to Takayama, a thriving merchant town during the Edo period in mountainous Gifu prefecture.

Day 9

Today we will spend the day exploring Takayama. First we will stop by the preserved Old Town, where preserved Edo period shops and houses line the streets. Then we will visit the open air museum of Hida Folk Village, followed by Takayama Jinya, the former local government office which was in use from 1692 right up until 1969. Next, we visit Matsuri no Mori (Festival Museum), an impressive museum about the famouse Takayama Matsuri (festival) that is held twice a year in the town. Lastly, we visit Yatai Kaikan (Festival Float Exhibiton Hall) where some of the centuries old festival floats are on display to the public.

Upon finishing your tour in Takayama we travel to Nagano, home to nature walks, natural hot springs, never-ending mountains and ninjas!

Day 10

After breakfast, we will head to Hokusai Museum to discover the great artworks of Katsuhika Hokusai (1760-1849), one of Japan’s leading Edo period ukiyo-e painters.

Then, we will depart for Zenkoji Temple, which was founded over 1,400 years ago. Continue on to Matsumoto, where you will have the opportunity to see one of Japan’s last remaining original castles, Matsumoto Castle. Not far from the castle is Nakamachi Street, where you can see preserved shops, houses and warehouses.

Day 11

Today we will visit Oshino Hakkai in the Mount Fuji area, a village known for its eight, crystal clear ponds. Fed by melting snow filtered down from the slopes of Mount Fuji through porous layers of lava, the ponds are a beautiful, natural attraction. Afterward, we will head to Mount Fuji’s 5th Station, which is 2300m above sea level.

Day 12

Today we will visit Gotemba Peace Park to capture another breathtaking view of Mount Fuji. Then, we will take a relaxing cruise across Lake Ashi.

Day 13

Enjoy your free day in Japan’s mega city, Tokyo!

Tokyo is Japan’s largest city and the nation’s capital. It is a true blend of old meets new. There are still many aspects of traditional Japanese life that Tokyoites hold dear, and amongst the neon lights, cutting-edge technology, gargantuan skyscrapers and lively bars you’ll find a plentitude of temples, shrines, museums and gardens.

Day 14

At the appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.

Tokyo is serviced by two airports, Narita and Haneda which are both accessible from Tokyo city.

  • 10 Breakfasts and 2 Dinners
  • Professional tour guide
  • Return airport transfers
  • Accomodation
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenditures and anything not stated
  • Optional tour extensions

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Japan Discovery
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$ 3,000 Per Person
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Adult
$ 3,000 Per Adult
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