The perfect introduction to Japan’s main island of Honshu, with its remarkable history and culture. Explore the modern and ancient in Tokyo, the stunning temples and gardens of Kyoto, sample local cuisine, and experience traditional and modern Japanese accommodation.

Back to Japan Tours

Why We Love It

Explore the sites of Tokyo and Kyoto

Visit smaller towns like Takayama and Kanazawa

Stay in traditional accommodation

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Day by day Itinerary

World Heritage Japan

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Day 1


Upon arrival, you will be met by a representative who will assist with your shuttle bus/train transportation to your hotel.

Day 2


Visit Hamarikyu, an Edo era Japanese garden. Take tea at Nakajima-no-Ochaya teahouse followed by a scenic river cruise to Asakusa, a part of Tokyo’s old town. The streets around Senso-ji Temple feature many traditional shops and are a delight to wander through. (B)

Day 3


Today is a self-guided day. Use your day to further explore the sites of Tokyo, or use your rail pass for a day trip to Kamakura, a delightful seaside town. (B)

Day 4

Tokyo - Takayama

Today is a self-guided day. Travel by bullet and express train to Takayama, a charming town high in the Hida Alpine region. Stroll along streets lined with century-old merchant homes and sake breweries. Stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese-style inn. (B)(D)

Day 5

Takayama - Shirakawago

Today is also self-guided. Take an optional Food and Culture Walk, learning the town’s history and sampling local delicacies. Afterward, travel by bus to Shirakawago, famous for its Gassho-zukuri farmhouses. In Shirakawago, stay in a minshuku, a simple family-run Japanese-style inn. (B)(D)

Day 6


Travel to Kanazawa. Take a self-guided visit to Kenroku-en Garden and Kanazawa Castle. Later take an optional Evening Food Scene Tour, through the quaint streets of Higashi Chaya, where Geisha entertain their clients. (B)

Day 7

Kanazawa - Kyoto

After a free morning, travel by train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital and home to around 2,000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (B)

Day 8


Today’s tour starts with a visit to Nijo Castle, continue to some of Kyoto’s most famous temples and shrines. Finish in the Higashiyama District, a collection of narrow alleyways lined with local shops and eateries. (B)

Day 9


Start today visiting a machiya, a traditional wooden townhouse. Participate in a traditional ceremony conducted by a local tea master. Enjoy an introductory course in origami. (B)

Day 10


Take a self-guided trip to Nara using your rail pass. Explore Japan’s 8th-century capital and its temples and shrines including Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building. (B)

Day 11

Kyoto - Koyasan

Home to over 100 temples, Koyasan has been the center of Shingon Buddhism for over 1,200 years. The final ascent by cable car is a spectacular mountain experience. Overnight at a shukubo (temple lodge), where Buddhist cuisine is served. (B)(D)

Day 12

Koyasan - Miyajima

To have a complete experience of Koyasan, join the Morning Prayer, which usually starts at 6:00. Before midday, travel to Miyajima, a sacred island in the Seto Inland Sea. (B)(D)

Day 13

Miyajima - Hiroshima - Miyajima

With your guide, explore the island and sample delicacies like oysters, saltwater eel, and maple leaf-shaped cakes. Visit Itsukushima Shrine, with its huge vermillion o-torii gate seeming to float on the sea. Later, travel to Hiroshima to visit Peace Memorial Park and Museum. (B)

Day 14

Miyajima - Osaka

Upon arrival in Osaka, you are free to explore on your own. Perhaps head to Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca or Umeda, home to the city’s modern architecture. (B)

Day 15


Your final day is at leisure until your scheduled rail transfer to the airport. (B)

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