Indulge in first-class comfort and bask in serene landscapes on your 7-day best of Japan tour. You will travel by bullet train to experience the marvels of modern Japan and the unique traditions of the nation’s preserved heritage. Each destination will bring a lasting memory as you participate in tea ceremonies, discover historic castles, witness a floating shrine, and explore iconic temples that capture the renowned beauty of Japan.
Tokyo – Contemporary Highlights and Flashing Lights
Tokyo is surreal at first glance. There are so many lights, so many people, so many skyscrapers, and so much life. It seems chaotic at first, bordering on madness as people rush by and incessantly flashing neon continues, but after these first impressions, the experience will settle down. There is great order and structure here. Everything has its own place, and the city runs very smoothly. Arriving in Tokyo, you will also begin to appreciate the premier highlight of traveling in Japan. This is a country that is true to its traditions and culture while having a very innovative and unique take on the future.
A guide will greet you at the airport, and you travel by train to the hotel (this is quicker and more convenient than by road). You will set off into the hustle and bustle of the city, focusing on a futuristic slant rather than any heritage. Your other destinations have more of a historical focus. Neon will flash in Akihabara, the electronics district known for their flashing bright and flashy lights. Streams of people will cross the road in Shibuya, around the corner from the buzz of Shinjuku. In a city that provides such intense impressions, simply taking a walk around the neighborhoods is a superb first experience.
Hiroshima – Whizzing Past Mount Fuji to Peaceful Heritage
Nagasaki – Passing Rice Paddies to Edo and Dutch History
Kyoto – Magnificent Temples and Geisha Culture
Kyoto – Tea Ceremony, Golden Sights and an Afternoon in Nara
Himeji – Along the Sea to a Glorious Castle and Town
Tokyo – Free Exploration and Departure
- Gaze across the sea and gawp at the floating shrine of Miyajima
- Travel in style on the daily railway journeys, with Shinkansen bullet trains providing a window onto wonderfully diverse landscapes
- Experience a traditional tea ceremony and spend an evening in a Geisha district
- Marvel at Himeji Castle and the long-rooted traditions of Himeji town
- Spend two days exploring Kyoto, a magnificent old city with over 2,000 temples and shrines
- Escape into the future with a day of neighborhoods and flashing lights in Tokyo
- Discover the world’s largest wooden building and the secret it hides inside
- Find out what’s happened since 1945 with a day in Hiroshima
- Escape into the Edo and Dutch heritage of Nagasaki’s harbor that survived the atomic bomb
Japan’s landscapes will take you on an ever-changing journey. Cities of flashing color will zoom by the window. Mount Fuji stands iconic with its summit carpeted in snow. Small towns appear in a flurry of action, and temples stud hilly slopes before the railway passes the sea. Urban landscapes will meet open mountain pastures and then you will be out in what appears to be the wild, as you zoom further across Japan on a Shinkansen. With only one week in Japan, you will need to be selective about where you go, but with bullet trains, you can cover most of the journey in just seven days. As always in Japan, the journeys are as memorable as the destinations.
Shinkansen trains are world famous for their ingenuity, comfort, and speed. Relax with style in first-class seats complete with a beautiful view of the country. Food and drinks will be served as you relax and enjoy the landscapes as they provide a unique travel highlight. This seven-day best-of tour has been handcrafted to maximize your experience. On most mornings, you will travel by train, and then you will be given downtime to explore the country. By midday, you will have arrived somewhere new, and a local guide will show you the highlights including attractions, neighborhoods, people, and very local experiences. The destinations are well connected by the Shinkansen and are handpicked for their diversity.
You will arrive and depart from Tokyo. The first day is all about contemporary and futuristic highlights. You will explore neighborhoods like Shinjuku, Akihabara, and Harajuku. Although the city has history, you will be going back in time elsewhere in Japan. It is almost five hours by bullet train to Hiroshima, which is a beautiful journey past Mount Fuji and rice paddies that will have you traveling at up to 186 mph. You will then check into a local hotel, and then head for the Peace Park with your guide, exploring the city’s atomic history. Miyajima Shrine is just across the border and makes for a dazzling late-afternoon experience.
The following morning, you will relax on the train to Nagasaki, a city rich with Edo heritage. You will explore the city by tram and stay in Dejima, an artificial island that mixes local and Dutch history. You will then continue across changing landscapes to Kyoto, arriving in time for a full afternoon. This will give you plenty of time to explore the city’s temples and shrines. This was Japan’s capital for many centuries, and it has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than anywhere else on the planet. In Kyoto, you will spend an evening in a Geisha district, enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, and meet with a monk in a bamboo-wrapped temple.
On day five you will take the train to Nara, where wild deer surround the world’s largest wooden building. It is another old capital and makes for an evocative experience, especially on millennia-old streets. It’s only 90 minutes by train to Himeji, so you can see more of Kyoto on day six before traveling. Himeji has a glorious castle and old town that makes for an idyllic final evening in Japan. You will luxuriate once more on the train back to Tokyo, and you have a full afternoon and evening left in the capital city. Day-room hotel use has been arranged so you can continue the adventure and freshen up before your departing flight.
$3,635 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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