Personalize this Japan tour with our choice of city-center hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto, and choose one of our hot spring resorts in Hakone! Immerse in the daily life, vibrant spirit and scenic beauty of Japan as your own personal English-speaking Japanese guide brings their history and culture to life.
Day 1 – Welcome to Tokyo
On arrival in Tokyo, you’ll be met and assisted to the Airport Limousine Bus that will take you to your choice of hotel in the center of town: The first class ANA InterContinental, the deluxe Keio Plaza, or the Imperial Hotel, the city’s most famous luxury landmark for more than 120 years.
Day 2 – Tokyo with Your Private Guide
In the engaging company of your experienced personal guide, you’ll join city residents on Tokyo’s modern public transportation to visit the must-see sites. Ascend Tokyo Tower for breathtaking views over the entire metropolitan region; on a clear day, you can even see majestic Mt. Fuji rising in the distance. Stopping at the Imperial Palace Plaza, you’ll get a glimpse into the life of the Imperial family as you learn about their history and the recent ascension of Emperor Naruhito.
Next, youll visit the Asakusa Kannon Temple. Founded in the 7th century to honor Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, this is the oldest temple in the city. The outer entrance to this Buddhist Temple is through the impressive 1,000-year-old Kaminari-mon or Thunder Gate. Inside the gate, youll continue along the busy Nakamise Arcade toward the temple itself, a fascinating stroll that takes you past shops and merchant stalls selling traditional sweets, savory snacks, colorful handicrafts, and souvenirs. Back at your hotel, your private guide can offer recommendations for dining, shopping and exploring on your own to make the most of your free afternoon and evening. Meals B
Day 3 – Free Day in Tokyo
This day is free to enjoy as you wish. Your hotel’s heart-of-it-all location makes it easy to step out and enjoy Tokyo on your own. From April to November, a guided excursion is available to visit the magnificent Toshogu Shrine #WHS#, set against the mountain splendor of Nikko National Park. Meals B
Day 4 – Mt. Fuji + Hakone National Park
Accompanied by your private guide this morning, leave the bustling city behind and travel into the tranquil countryside landscapes and beautifully forested mountain vistas of Hakone National Park. Ascending to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji at an elevation of more than 7,500 feet, you’ll have wonderful clear-day views of the Fuji Five Lakes area and Mt. Fuji’s dramatic 12,388-foot peak. After a Japanese-style lunch, a cruise on the placid waters of Lake Ashi offers a chance to relax and take in some of the Park’s most enchanting views. Then ride the Mt. Komagatake Cable Car to the summit for a thrilling and entirely different, aerial view over Hakone’s forested mountains and pristine lakes. This day ends at your choice of hot spring resort: The inviting Yumoto Fujiya Hotel or the 5-star Hakone Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa. Both of our resorts promise idyllic settings surrounded by the natural beauty of the region and the opportunity to experience a traditional onsen – or Japanese hot-springs bath. Meals B+L
Day 5 – Ride the Bullet Train to Kyoto
After breakfast, you’ll be chauffeured to the rail station in Odawara. Travel at startling speeds in absolute comfort and safety aboard the world-famous Bullet Train to Kyoto. On arrival, you’ll be met on the platform and assisted to your choice of hotel: The first class ANA Crowne Plaza, the deluxe Okura Hotel, or the luxurious Ritz Carlton. Meals B
Day 6 – Kyoto, Privately Guided
Enhanced by fascinating facts and personal insights from your private guide, you’ll make use of the city’s efficient public transport network to explore the celebrated sites of ancient Kyoto #WHS#. Begin your sightseeing at Nijo Castle where you can try to walk in stealth across the famed Nightingale Floor – ingeniously designed centuries years ago to chirp in warning if would-be assassins penetrated the Shogun’s inner chambers! Then visit Kinkaku-ji Temple, the oft-photographed golden pavilion that shimmers in its tranquil setting surrounded by pine forests on the edge of a quiet pond. Your sightseeing ends at the Kyoto Imperial Palace that served as the residence for the Imperial Family until 1868 when the Emperor and capital moved to Tokyo. Your afternoon is free to enjoy as you wish, and your guide will be happy to offer personalized recommendations for dining, shopping exploring on your own. Meals B
Day 7 – Free Day in Kyoto
This entire day is yours to experience more of this cultured city at your own pace. On the western side of Kyoto, Arashiyama is a lovely riverside district tucked along the base of the Arashiyama Mountains. With pleasant parks, ancient Zen temples and the famed Bamboo Grove, it’s a delightful place to spend some time. Foodies will want to check out the Nishiki Market, where you can find all things food-related from fresh seafood, local produce and pickles to cookware, sushi and other ready-to-eat delicacies! For those who prefer guided sightseeing, you might consider adding our excursion to Nara #WHS#, Japan’s ancient capital. Meals B
Day 8 – Sayonara, Japan
We include your prepaid transfer to the airport aboard the efficient MK Shuttle. Meals B