Linger in the beautiful gardens of Kyoto, shoot through the mountain air on a Shinkansen bullet train and stay in a traditional Ryokan for the ultimate in Japanese luxury. From the futuristic towers and gadgets of Tokyo to the serenity of sacred shrines and the soaring beauty of Mt Fuji, this trip provides the perfect blend of guided excursions and free time to explore this fascinating region at your own pace.
Day 01: Arrive in Tokyo
Welcome to Tokyo! You will be greeted and escorted to your hotel by our representative and checked in for two nights. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 02: Tokyo
Your full day tour includes a visit to the Meiji Shrine, Japan's famous Shinto shrine, stroll around the gardens of the Imperial Palace. Browse through the many stores lining Nakamise-dori walkway leading up to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo's oldest and most famous Buddhist temple. Complete your city tour with a relaxing 50 minute cruise on Tokyo Bay (weather permitting) before crossing the Rainbow Bridge to Odaiba, one of Tokyo's most popular spots.
Days 03-04: Takayama
Experience your first ride on the Shinkansen bullet train to Takayama, nestled in the Japan Alps. Check into your Ryokan for two nights. This town retains an old charm nurtured by its ryokans, sake breweries and craft shops. Visit the "Praying Hand" houses at the Hida Folk Village, watch the Festival Floats at Yatai Kaikan or simply walk around the houses and stop for a cup of sake. Optional bike rides can take you well beyond the city centre.
Days 05-06: Kanazawa
Travel by train to Kanazawa, a beautifully preserved castle town. Check into your Hotel for two nights. Later stroll through the Nagamchi Samurai district and Higashi Geisha district, where you are transferred to a time when samurai were sworn to protect their lord, and geisha on hand to entertain. Visit Ninja temple and Keroku-en Garden - the highlight of any visit to Kanazawa. A visit to the castle next door is also a must. You will also have the chance for a hands-on experience in the famous crafts of lacquer ware and pottery and silk dyeing and gold leaf. Or tour to a local brewery if that is more your thing.
Days 07-08: Hiroshima - Miyajima - Hiroshima
Travel to Hiroshima and check into your Hotel for two nights. Hiroshima is famous for one moment in history when it became the target of an atomic bomb. Peace Park is a solemn place, dotted with memorials of those known to have killed during the explosion, or died as a result. A short ferry ride takes you to Miyajima Island, home to the Floating Torii Gate, designated as one of Japan's "three most beautiful views." Take time to explore the island and its many shrines and temples.
Days 09-10: Kyoto
The centre of artistic and cultural history in Japan, Kyoto will leave you breathless with its temples, gardens and traditional courtyards. There are said to be 2,000 temples, shrines, palaces, museums and traditional gardens in Kyoto. Use your time to wander past huge wooden structures and multi-storied pagodas, all linked with famous walkways. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a geisha popping into a teahouse in the narrow alleyways of Gion Geisha District.
Days 11-12: Mt. Fuji region - Kawaguchiko
Spend the night at the base of one of the most famous mountains in the world. Get lost in the throngs of pilgrims, families and school groups who come to make the ascent.
Day 13: Tokyo
Return back to Tokyo and check into your Hotel. Loiter around on your own or take part in some last minute shopping for high tech gadgets upon your return to this exciting city.
Day 14: Depart Tokyo
In time transfer to Narita Airport for your flight back home.