Todai-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple in the city of Nara, considered the largest wooden structure in the world.

Discovering the Past and Present of Japan Tour

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited


Places Visited

Tokyo,  Obuse,  Nara,  Tsumago...

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Suggested Duration

14 Days

Your luxurious 14-day Japan historical tour will take you through time to experience culture and tradition. You can indulge in delicious cuisine unchanged for generations and witness religious rites that predate customs from the European Middle Ages. Meet with master artisans and sample exquisite sake. Your experience will immerse you in the majesty, wonder, and ritual of Japan that offer unparalleled lessons that will last a lifetime.

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Stay at traditional inns and a Buddhist monastery deep in the Japanese mountains
  • Learn first-hand the secrets of Japanese art and design from master artisans
  • Explore a 250-year-old sake brewery followed by an exquisite tasting
  • Ride the famous Shinkansen, the Japanese Bullet Train, which is one of the fastest trains on Earth
  • Visit the Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden structure in the world
  • Explore both the ancient customs of the secluded Takayama, as well as the futuristic attractions of Tokyo
  • Dine at the finest 3-Michelin star restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto

Detailed Description

Central Japan is a region known for its tall mountains, deep valleys, and rushing rivers. Many of the villages and towns in this region are untouched by the technological progress and fast-paced life in the big cities. Beginning in futuristic Tokyo, each stop on your journey sends you further into the past.

In feudal times, people traveling from Tokyo and Kyoto used the Nakasendo trail, an ancient highway running through the Japanese Alps. As you make your own journey from Tokyo to Kyoto by train, you become part of this historical tradition, visiting preserved villages and staying at local inns, some of which have been run by the same family for multiple generations.

In the Hida region, you visit the castle town of Takayama, a city isolated for centuries by the mountainous terrain. In the city center, take a private lesson from artisans who produce some of the finest lacquerware, pottery, furniture, and sake found in Japan. Just outside the city is Hida no Sato, the Hida Folk Village. In this open air museum, wander freely through Edo Period homes, and even participate in hand making the traditional crafts that defined the era.

From the mountains, travel by train to Kyoto, the seat of Japan’s government for over 1,000 years. Like the emperors of centuries past, in Kyoto, you dine on the best cuisine Japan has to offer. The cultural treasures once reserved only for Japan’s political and religious leaders are at your fingertips, as well.

Nara, Japan’s capital during the 8th-century, is a quick train ride from Kyoto.

Nara’s ancient temples and shrines are a testament to the glory and influence of Japanese Buddhism. The city’s main attraction is the Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden structure in the world. Within its massive walls is a 49-foot high bronze Buddha, an architectural triumph that leaves you speechless.

Your last night before heading back to Tokyo is spent in a Buddhist temple lodging on one of Mount Koya’s eight summits. In the evening, wander among the thousands of ancient tombs and memorials in the Okunoin cemetery, the final resting place of monks who have called Mount Koya home since the 9th-century.

Along with the beautiful mountain landscapes and wonderful hot springs, each stop offers freshly made local cuisine, such as hida beef, miso bean paste, fresh tofu, and sansai-ryori, mountain vegetables harvested from the wild. Ideal for couples, this two-week tour is best taken in the fall or spring. Private guides fluent in English and Japanese are provided for you in every city.

Starting Price

$7,275 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.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • 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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