Welcome to the island of Kyushu, Japan. Enjoy your welcome reception at your hotel Fukuoka, your luxury hotel in the centre of the city.
Fukuoka > Hiroshima
Fukuoka is the capital city of Fukuoka Province and most populous city on the island. Visit Maizuru Park and the 17th century castle ruins located within. Transfer to the station, then sit back and relax in your Green (Business) Class seats on the Shinkansen train to Hiroshima. Check into your hotel for two nights, enjoying the view from your Deluxe Corner View rooms.
Experience an emotional visit to the Peace Park and Museum, dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack. Move to Orizuru Tower to learn how to create your own special origami crane offering for the Orizuru Wall.
Tonight, sample Okonomiyaki, a delicious Japanese-style pancake, a specialty of the region.
Hiroshima > Miyajima Island
Sail by ferry to Miyajima Island to visit Daisho-in Temple and its famous floating Torii Gate at the Itsukushima Shrine, also built over the water.
This afternoon on your guided visit at the Mazda car factory, see the industrial robots at work on the cars on the production line.
Note: Renovation works on Miyajimas famous floating torii gate started in June 2019. During the renovation works, the torii gate is covered up by scaffolding. It is not known yet exactly how long the renovations will take, but they are expected to take at least one year.
Hiroshima > Osaka
En-route to Osaka on the Shinkansen train, stop at Himeji Castle and marvel at Japan’s most spectacular and one of the few remaining original feudal castles. This evening, admire the 360 degree view of Osaka at night from the Floating Garden Observatory, 170m off the ground. Then settle in for a two night Special Stay in Osaka.
Osaka > Asuka
Drive to the birthplace of the Japanese state and cradle of Japanese culture in Asuka, in Nara Prefecture. Wander through the Inabuchi terraced rice paddy fields, the ancient Tobiishi stone bridge, famous in Japanese folklore and visit Ishibutai tumulus, the largest known megalithic structure in Japan.
Learn about the history, life and training routine of a sumo wrestler during a private visit to a Sumo Museum in Kehayaza, where Sumo originated. After your welcome ceremony, see a demonstration of Jinku and the wrestlers in action in the dohyo.
This evening catch the Osaka Metro to wander around the lively entertainment area of Dotonbori and Hozenji Yokocho food alley, where you can have the opportunity to choose your own meal this evening from one of the many traditional food stalls.
Osaka > Kyoto
Begin the day with a walking tour of Osaka’s Kitchen, the Kuromon Food Market. Drive to the culturally rich city of Kyoto and walk through the impressive Nijo Castle, built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867). Settle into your hotel for the next three nights.
After a short stroll through the Gion area be entertained at dinner with a Samurai Kembu show. After the show you can choose to learn the way of the Samurai yourself with a lesson in swordsmanship.
Kyoto > Nara
Begin your day with an early visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates and its appearance in the film ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’. Then continue to Nara, where you’ll visit Todaiji Temple, one of the most historically influential temples in Japan and see deer in Nara Park.
Partake in a Japanese tea ceremony while dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono, a great photo opportunity.
You will have time this afternoon for some shopping or relaxation.
Freechoice Dining: Enjoy the option of dining at Fortune Garden or traditional Kaiseki at Gion Sekiya located in the famous Gion District.
Freechoice: Revel in the atmosphere of the ancient preservation districts or visit the Silver Pavilion before strolling along part of the Philosopher’s Walk, an approximately two kilometre long, beautiful stone path walk along a canal through the northern part of Kyotos Higashiyama district.
Afterwards, glide through the surreal Arashiyama Bamboo Grove by traditional rickshaw before exploring and enjoying a vegetarian meal at the World Heritage listed Tenryu-ji Temple. Finish the day at the famous zen temple Kinkaku-ji or known as the Golden Pavilion because it is completely covered in gold leaf. Tonight enjoy Italian cuisine at the hotels FoRni Restaurant.
Kyoto > Kanazawa:
Travel by the ‘Thunderbird’ train to Kanazawa. Upon arrival wander around Kenroku–en Garden, one of Japan’s three great gardens located across from Kanazawa Castle Park. Enjoy a two night stay.
Tonight’s dinner will allow you to interact with a Geiko and Maiko who’ll host your meal presentation in a nearby traditional Japanese Restaurant. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about what is involved in becoming a Geisha and the art of Japanese hospitality.
This morning visit Omi-cho Market, commonly known as Ishikawa’s Kitchen with over 180 stalls. Move to the Higashi-Cgaya District tea house district and try your hand at making your own chopsticks at the Kanazawa Gold Leaf craft shop. Later, catch a glimpse of life in Feudal Japan with a visit to former Kaga Clan Samurai houses in the Nagamachi district.
Ryokan Upgrade - For a unique insight into Japanese culture, choose to stay tonight in a Ryokan (at additional cost, must be pre-booked before departure). This traditional Japanese Inn has tatami mat flooring with futon beds, sliding shoji paper doors, onsen hot spring baths and private facilities, and includes dinner and breakfast.
Kanazawa > Shirakawa-go > Takayama:
Drive to Takayama stopping en route at the historical farmhouses of nearby mountain villages in Shirakawa-go, now a World Cultural Heritage site. Continue to Takayama and partake in Sarubobo mascot-making at the Hida Folk Village before beginning a two night stay at your hotel located in the centre of Takayama.
Freechoice Dining: Choose between Le Midi, a French-inspired bistro in town famed for its Hida Beef, or Sakanaya, a fine Japanese restaurant set in a renovated former sake brewery near your hotel.
Begin the day wandering through Miyagawa morning markets before gaining unique insights into the region’s culture and history at the Festival Float Exhibition Hall. After lunch, try a tasting at a sake brewery before moving to Takayama’s old quarter. Dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city thrived as a wealthy town of merchants, explore the small alleyways and shops on your own.
Takayama > Tsumago Juku > Karuizawa
Drive to Tsumago Juku, a fully restored and preserved Edo era post town in the Kiso Valley. Continue to Karuizawa, a resort town in the mountains near Nagano, and your hotel for two nights .
Karuizawa > Jigokudani Monkey Park
Move to Jigokudani Monkey Park to view the wild Japanese macaques going about their daily lives including the unique behavior of bathing in onsens (natural hot springs). After lunch in Nagano, visit the 7th-century Zenko-ji Buddhist temple before returning to your hotel.
Karuizawa > Matsumoto > Five Lakes
Drive to the Daio Wasabi Farm to learn how wasabi paste is made. Then continue to Matsumoto to visit one of Japan’s most beautiful and original castles, the unique ‘hirajiro’ style Matsumoto Castle. As you venture deep into the stunning scenery of Kawaguchiko Area via Suwa Lake, lookout for your first view of Mt Fuji. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park surrounding your hotel for the night.
Five Lakes > Hakone
Discover the incredible workmanship involved in creating kimonos during the Muromachi Period (1333-1573) at the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. After a group photo opportunity of Mt Fuji, move to Hakone to cruise on the First class deck of your pirate ship on Lake Ashinoko, a lake that formed in the caldera created after Mt. Hakone erupted 3000 years ago and a short walk along the heritage trail. This evening enjoy a Special Stay at your hotel overlooking Lake Ashinoko.
Hakone > Tokyo
Study the art works and sculptures at Japan’s first open air museum, the Hakone Open Air Museum before continuing to Tokyo. Upon arrival visit the Asakusa district, known as the centre of Tokyo’s shitamachi or ‘low city’ capsulizing the atmosphere of Tokyo’s past, paying your respects at Sensoji temple, the city’s oldest Buddhist temple. Check into your hotel, your home for the next three nights. Rooms overlook the most picturesque sites in Tokyo, such as the Imperial Palace, the 500-year old Hie Jinja Shrine and beautiful landscaped Japanese gardens.
Freechoice Dining: Choose from dining at a ninja themed restaurant or culturally immerse yourself in the traditional Izakaya bar scene serving Yaki-tori and Kushiyaki.
Begin the day in the beautiful Imperial Palace’s East Gardens, once part of the inner palace area and the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defence when the Tokugawa shogun ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. Then in Ginza, dress up in your chef’s clothes to make your own sushi lunch with the help of a local chef.
Freechoice: Visit the Imperial Shinto Meiji Shrine, before walking across the often-referred to as ‘the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing’ and seeing the famous Hachiko dog statue in Shibuya. Alternatively, wander through picturesque Shinjuku-Gyoen Gardens before witnessing the Shinjuku entertainment district come alive at dusk where you can choose to stay into the night.
Given by Taiko Masters, partake in an interactive, private group demonstration and lesson in playing the Taiko drums.
Afterwards visit the epicentre of Tokyo’s teenage youth as you wander along Takeshita Street Harajuku, known for its colourful street art, youth fashion, quirky vintage clothing and cosplay stores and dessert shops and carts that specialise in sweet crêpes, donuts, and bubble tea. Afterwards the afternoon is yours at leisure. Tonight, relive your experiences at your farewell dinner.
It is time to bid farewell, taking many wonderful memories with you.
The itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons. As such Scenic cannot guarantee the tour will operate unaltered from the itinerary stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.