DAY 1: TOKYO ARRIVAL (-/-/-)
Meet your assistant at Narita Airport and transfer your hotel. Relax at the hotel before walk out for dinner at Japanese-style restaurants in the nearby area.
DAY 2: TOKYO (ASAKUSA & HARAJUKU) (-/-/-)
Start off the day with visit to Tokyo sumo morning practice at a stable. Afterwards, travel to Asakusa for a visit to the renowned Sensoji! The colorful, popular temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo’s oldest temple. Stroll along Nakamise shopping street nearby, where typical Japanese souvenir and various traditional snack are sold! Enjoy local sushi or ramen for lunch.
After lunch, we will visit magnificent Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji. The shrine is crowded in the first day of the year because of hatsumode (first prayers). For the rest of the year, if in luck, you may witness solemn procession of Shinto weddings. Continue the journey to Harajuku and Omotesando. This tree-lined avenue features a multitude of dazzling architecturally ambitious buildings of global haute couture brands. Finish the day with Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s tallest and most distinctive skyscrapers for a panoramic view of the city if time permits.
DAY 3: EXPLORE TOKYO YOUR OWN WAY! (-/-/-)
Let’s make your own way exploring the metropolitan. Going back to visited fascinating valleys for an insight? Use our information packet to discover new places? A visit to Tsukiji Fish Market and surrounding restaurants in Tsukishima is strongly recommended.
Interested in Japanese technology? Odaiba – a unique island of gaming and multimedia – is perfect for you! If traditional art is your interest, come to the Kabukiza Theatre in Ginza and watch a performance. Akihabara is recommended for electronic gadgets’ lovers.
Travel further from Tokyo? An optional one day trip to nearby Nikko to visit UNESCO World Heritage Toshogu Shrine, or to Kamakura to admire the giant Buddha statue is available. Tell us what’s your plan?
DAY 4: NAGANO (SHIBU ONSEN) (-/-/-)
Today we will travel to Nagano Station. Upon arrival, take a public bus, which takes about 45 mins followed by a gentle walk of 30 mins to arrive at Jigokudani Monkey Park. Enjoy exclusive experience of seeing wild monkeys bathing in the park’s natural hot spring. They are Japanese Macaques, commonly known as Snow Monkeys.
Take a short bus ride to Shibu Onsen and spend the night at a traditional Ryokan. We encourage you to wander the town and visit local nine public bath houses. Most public baths are locked and only accessible to locals and overnight guests, who are provided with a master key by their ryokan. One bathhouse is open to all guests,making it the only exception. The bath houses are numbered and have special names to indicate they cure different ailments. Traditional Kaiseki meal will be served to you for dinner.
DAY 5: MATSUMOTO (-/-/-)
Wake up to a hearty breakfast, then transfer to Nagano station to visit Zenkoji temple. It is believed that visit there once in a lifetime will ensure your passage into the Land of Happiness.
Afterwards, discover the imposing Matsumoto castle at your own pace. If the time permits, we will visit regional renowned wasabi farm and learn about the growth of this spicy paste.
DAY 6: TAKAYAMA (-/-/-)
Wake up to a tasty breakfast before your adventure to Takayama. Takayama is renowned for its beautiful old town, where traditional touch is preserved. Stroll the beautiful old streets, and visit a local brewery to experience freshtasting of pure sake! Enjoy a sumptuous dinner, with an overnight stay at a traditional Ryokan.
DAY 7: TAKAYAMA – SHIRAKAWAGO – TAKAYAMA (-/-/-)
Wake up to a tasty breakfast before beginning your journey to Miyagawa market. Immerse yourself in daily life of the market, where vegetables and fruits unique to Japan are on display. Take a short walk to Takayama Jinya, the only surviving government office building headed by the officials dispatched from Edo. Take a short bus ride to visit Yatai Kaikan, which displays an array of exotic and flamboyant floats used in Takayama festivals.
In the afternoon, we will visit the local folk village, or travel to UNESCO World Heritage Shirakawago.
DAY 8: KANAZAWA (-/-/-)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast before your journey to Kanazawa. The town used to serve as home of second most powerful clan, Maeda Clan, during the Edo Period. Thereupon, Kanazawa has become the town of great cultural achievements, rivalling Tokyo and Kyoto. In the afternoon, journey to nation’s most celebrated garden Kenrokuen, followed by the the slowly restored Kanazawa Castle.
Afterward, travel to the largest one of three regional well preserved chaya districts – Higashi Chaya district. Chaya is an exclusive restaurant, where geishas perform song and dance to entertain patrons. Another signature of Kanazawa is gold leaf handicrafts – from accessories to clothing, housewares and even food.
DAY 9: KANAZAWA – HIROSHIMA (-/-/-)
Fuel up with a good breakfast before heading to Hiroshima, a city recovered itself from Atomic Bombing aftermath.
Admire stunning vibrancy and splendid culture which has regrown itself from the ashes. Peace Memorial Park and Museum inside the park are major attractions of the city. Prefectural Museum of Art, Shukkei-En Gardens, Baseball Stadium, restaurants selling unique okonomiyaki is recommended attractions for your leisure time!
DAY 10: MIYAJIMA (-/-/-)
We will begin the day with a visit the Mazda factory after booking in advance. Then travel to Miyajima – one of the “Three Great Views of Japan” popularized in the Edo Period. The bright, floating red gate is a signature spot of this island.
Miyajima is also populated by the friendly deer – they will eat from your hand and follow you around! Wander the temples and hike (or take a cable car) to the top of Misen Mountain to experience the life of monk.
DAY 11: KURASHIKI (-/-/-)
Embark on a bullet train to Kurashiki. The city is renowned for its preserved canal area, which were built to allow boats and barges to navigate between the city’s storehouses and the nearby port when Kurashi was still a vital rice trading center.
Enjoy the afternoon wandering around this canal town. Ohara museum, Ohashi house, Ivy Square and buy yourself Japanese jeans made at a local factory is recommended.
DAY 12: HIMEJI – KYOTO (-/-/-)
After breakfast, travel to train station for a bullet train to Kyoto. En route we will visit Himeji Castle. Our Client Experience Officer meets you at the train station and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy your leisure walk through Gion, where you may get a glimpse of Geisha, admire beautifully preserved machiya houses along its side alleys. Dinner with Maiko is offered as an optional experience here.
DAY 13: KYOTO – SAGANO & ARASHIYAMA (-/-/-)
We start with the sprawling, breath-taking Nijo Castle, followed by Ryoanji – the UNESCO World Heritage zen temple with famous rock garden. This unique garden has no plant, apart from little patches of moss around the stones. Afterward, visit Kinkakuji, the shining pavilion completely covered by gold leaf that was originally built as a shogun’s summer house.
Transfer to the outskirt of Kyoto for a gentle walk through Sagano lush bamboo groove. The sunlight filters through the densely packed grove, projecting thin slashes of light onto this enchanting forest. Head to Tenryuji temple, which survived centuries maintaining its original design. Then continue to Jojakkoji Temple nestled in the quiet and understated wooded hill. Crossing over the iconic landmark Togetsukyo Bridge for stunning views of adjacent cherry forest.
DAY 14: KYOTO – NARA (-/-/-)
Today’s morning, you will participate in a tea ceremony at the traditional Japanese house. We will then travel to
Nara for your free afternoon here. The city is second only to Kyoto as the richest collection of cultural sites in Japan. Meet the semi-wild deer at Nara Park, admire the structure of Todaiji Temple, Kasuga-Taisha Shrine is recommended.
DAY 15: KYOTO DEPARTURE
Spend your final day exploring Kyoto. Perhaps shopping for souvenir & snacks before you head off to Kansai Airport?