Discover diversity, depth, and tradition during your 10-day Japan culture tour. From floating shrines to celebrate sushi chefs, modern bullet trains to customary ryokans, your customizable tour will immerse you in the contrasting marvels of Japan. You can soak in hot springs and taste delicious sake, wander through serene gardens, and visit iconic temples with each new experience highlighting the historic and contemporary culture of Japan.
Osaka – An Easy Introduction in a Lively City
Osaka is Japan’s forgotten city, usually skipped over as visitors seek the more exotic or historical places. Osaka provides a quintessential introduction to the country, without you needing to rush around and cram in the sights. With a major international airport with meet and greet facilities, your arrival is smooth and unhurried. Osaka moves at a fast pace through the day, perpetual energy rolling through streets of skyscrapers. At night, the neon shines, and still, the city rushes forward. This is what Japan is like, and it is wonderful to watch from the window of an izakaya, or bar, or you can step out into the streets and join the movement. With your guide at your side, this day is about taking your first steps into Japan, gaining all your own first impressions.
Hiroshima – Wandering the Historic Eras
Hiroshima – The Peace Memorial and Exotic Miyajima
Kobe to Nara – Iconic and Unmissable Cultural Highlights
Kyoto – The Heart of Old Japan
Kyoto – Exploring the Very Best of Kyoto’s Temples and Gardens
Hakone – A Shinkansen Bullet Train to Hot Springs and a Ryokan
Tokyo – From Iconic Nature to Enigmatic Culture
Tokyo – Sushi Workshop Plus Customized Highlights of the Capital City
Tokyo – Exploring More of Tokyo Before Departure
- Explore the iconic highlights of Kyoto, the old capital that is home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than anywhere else
- Learn how to prepare sushi with a private class in a Tokyo fish restaurant
- Spend the night in an authentic ryokan, as hot springs look out towards Mount Fuji
- Walk the history of Hiroshima, from the sight of the A-bomb to the floating Itsukushima Shrine
- Continue your journey through old Japanese empires by staying in Nara
- Enjoy a real Japanese tea ceremony and start to understand sake in Uji
- Uncover the past and present with 48 hours of customizable exploration in Tokyo
- Discover a selection of Japan’s finest temples, castle, and gardens
Japanese travel is not just about the places you go so much as it is about the people you will meet, the things you will do, and the atmosphere that is so quick to engage. This is an experiential country, where the highlights range from exploring an ancient shrine to dining on kaiseki as you sit cross-legged in a ryokan. This 10-day tour is handcrafted to maximize your time in Japan with a full range of experiences including a tea ceremony, Geisha district, and sushi workshop. You will visit Zen gardens, ancient shrines and old capitals with travel on a bullet train before you walk the streets of history. Find yourself immersed in nature, and just hours later exploring a bustling city.
Fly to Osaka, a vastly underrated city that is a perfect introduction to what Japan is about. There are not many sights here, so you can relax after your flight and walk the streets with your guide to gain an understanding of how a Japanese city mixes old and new, especially after the surroundings change after dark. The next day will be busy as you travel west to the brilliant white of Himeji Castle, and then onwards to the old merchant town of Kurashiki, and finally to Hiroshima, a surprisingly relaxed city. Not much of old Hiroshima remains, but an eye-opening visit to the Peace Memorial and A-Bomb Museum the next day will give you an indication of how the city used to be. That afternoon you can watch a shrine float out at sea, Miyajima one of those exotic and mysterious places that Japan is so known for.
Zoom to Kobe on a Shinkansen bullet train and get to know a contemporary Japanese city before traveling back in time to stay in Nara, the oldest of all the country’s cities. While the world’s largest wooden building is a famous highlight in Nara, there is far more to take in when you spend the night and wander the streets. The next morning you will be drinking tea in Uji, a city that flourished a millennia ago and sticks true to its traditions. Nearby Kyoto is an excellent place to sample the other famous Japanese drink, sake. Taste its history in a building full of nostalgia, and then wander to shrines as well as Kyoto’s Geisha district.
You will spend two nights in Kyoto with the first day dedicated to the city’s temples and gardens. There are far too many sights for a single day of course as Kyoto has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than anywhere else, but with a full day you can appreciate different eras and explore a wide variety of highlights. Next up, there will be a change of pace as you take the Shinkansen to Hakone and luxuriate in a traditional ryokan. The ambiance will be quiet, and the only sounds come from nearby temples. You can rest up in the hot springs while looking out towards Mount Fuji before dining on kaiseki cuisine as you sit cross-legged on tatami mats.
Tokyo will be your last stop, but not before a journey to Mount Fuji itself, that most iconic of volcanic domes that is visible from so much of the country. Your first night in Tokyo only has time for first impressions, so you will walk around a couple of neighborhoods and try to make sense of this enigmatic place. The next day will begin with the sushi workshop, just as the fresh fish has come from the market. The remainder of this day and the next can be customized to your interests. Tokyo has far too much for 48 hours, so it is best to tailor your itinerary on the ground with your guide providing plenty of offbeat ideas to complement your own images of Tokyo. Interested in learning more by seeing some of our travelers’ Japan vacation tour reviews? Click here for more.
$5,195 per person (excluding international flights)
- 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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