Experience the thrill of adventure on your 14-day highlights tour of Japan that celebrates the traditions, scenery, and culture of the island nation. Trek volcanic slopes and bask soothing hot springs. Hear Shinto mythology passed down through generations. Wander through feudal realms in the footsteps of samurai, delight in the serenity of blossoming gardens, and discover regal temples during your trip of a lifetime in Japan.
Tokyo – Explore the City Center
You are met at Narita Airport by an experienced guide. Together you transfer via train to central Tokyo. As the train glides into the city proper, take a moment to reflect on its wonders: neatly stacked skyscrapers, the impeccable punctuality of each train and subway, the densely packed denizens who—despite their close quarters—always seem to remain calm and polite. From what circumstances did such a land, culture, and people evolve?
A guided stroll through the city center takes you under the afternoon shade of municipal parks as well as the looming shadow of the Tokyo Skytree—the world’s second tallest structure. Consider learning more about your premier travel agents for Japan who strive to make this the most memorable trip of your life.
Having built an appetite, it’s time for the welcome dinner. During this unique Tokyo dining experience—held at a select city restaurant—fellow travelers get acquainted with one another while sharing first impressions and excitement for what lies ahead.
A sound night’s sleep is in order, well sheltered in a city center hotel from the vibrant lights and sounds of Tokyo.
Kyoto – Train of the Future, City of the Past
Kyoto – The Trees and Temples of Arashiyama
Kuju Highlands – Hike into the Highlands
Mount Aso – The Kurokawa Hot Springs and Aso’s Grand Caldera
Mount Aso – Full Day Hike to the Peaks of Naka-dake and Taka-dake
Takachiho – The Yokagura Dance of Creation
Takachiho – The Feudal Lands of the Shimazu Clan
Obi – Obi Castle and Traditional Craftwork
Ebino Kogen – Hiking the Kirishima Volcano Range
Kagoshima – Sakurajima Bay and The Shimazu Villa
Tokyo – Bathe in the Sands of Kaimondake
Tokyo – Free Day and Farewell Dinner
Tokyo – Departure
- Discover historic Kyoto, a city built for the emperors and devoted to the gods, and which has remained astonishingly well preserved for over a millennium
- Explore the subtropical island of Kyushu on invigorating day hikes to active volcanoes in the Kuju Highlands, the Kirishima range, and the 15-mile caldera of Mount Aso
- Simmer yourself in the geothermal hot baths, which many Japanese believe to have healing properties
- Travel to Takachiho and learn the national mythos from the sacred Shinto dancers who claim to channel the gods themselves
- Immerse yourself in feudal history during visits to Aya and Obi Castle as well as the villa and gardens of the fearsome Shimazu clan
- Maximize two days of free time in Tokyo by exploring its idiosyncratic neighborhoods and stunning shopping centers
According to Japanese mythology, the island nation was formed from the droplets of water that fell from the god Izanagi’s spear. In doing so, Izanagi created a land that could remain insulated from outside influence for centuries. From these circumstances grew one of the world’s most unique cultures. On your exploratory Japan tours, you will travel back through time to uncover the powerful forces that created the archipelago and the historical and religious roots from which Japanese culture blossomed.
You’ll soon be swept off to Japan’s thousand-year capital, Kyoto—home to a millennium of imperial and religious history. In two days, you’ll visit four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and meditate before vast rock gardens, the gravel combed in wavelike imitation. Sit beside tranquil temple ponds watching the still reflections of trees and temple grounds that have stood the test of time. Humble yourself before grand pagodas and imposing bamboo forests. Kyoto has a way of imparting even the most restless heart with a calm reverence for simplicity, impermanence, and nature.
On the southern island of Kyushu, you’ll summit several of Japan’s most fearsome volcanic peaks, affording you a far-reaching view of a craggy and craterous land formed from geological upheaval. By night, you’ll rest your body in an onsen, a time-honored Japanese hot springs said by some to have healing properties. Stand at the mythological site where the god Ninigi descended to Earth to propagate the Imperial Family and watch as this creation story is told to you through the pageantry and dance of locals. Then descend to the feudal farmlands, castles, and villas once controlled by the powerful Shimazu clan and learn how these Samurai strongmen bent Kyushu to their will.
You’ll be accompanied by an expert guide whose knowledge of the land and culture will add further depth to your understanding. And as you stay in homey ryokans—traditional Japanese inns—and sample the best of Japanese cuisine, your appreciation for this unique culture will undoubtedly blossom.
$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.
- 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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