12 Day Japan, Then & Now - Friday Departure

12 Day Japan, Then & Now - Friday Departure

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Countries Visited


Cities Visited

Hakone, Kaga, Kyoto, Osaka, Takayama, Tokyo

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1, Friday - Depart for Japan
Depart for Japan

DAY 2, Saturday - Arrive in Tokyo
Arrive in dynamic Tokyo in the "Land of the Rising Sun"; transfer to your hotel. This evening, attend an orientation meeting at approximately 6:30 pm with your Tour Manager on the exciting adventure that awaits you in Japan, followed by a Welcome Dinner and drinks with your fellow travelers. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 4 pm on Day 2 of the itinerary, if possible
Overnight: Tokyo
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Sunday - Imperial Palace & Asakusa Kannon Temple
Start your day with the Imperial Palace East Garden, a precious jewel of nature within the hectic city center and view the lovely Nijubashi Bridge that stretches over the moat in the outer gardens with its colorful displays of seasonal flowers. Later, travel to the imposing Asakusa Kannon Temple (Sensoji) enshrining a golden image of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy; its entrance is dominated by a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red and black tones. Walk along Nakamise, a major shopping area, centuries-old, where everything from souvenirs to genuine Edo-style crafts is sold. Finally, visit the serene Meiji Shrine nestled in a forested area, honoring the first Emperor of modern Japan and his Empress
Overnight: Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4, Monday - Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, Hakone National Park and Mt. Fuji Excursion*
A full day of breathtaking scenery as you drive south to Hakone, the most famous National Park in Japan. En route, stop to visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, situated in the wooded hills along the coast of Lake Kawaguchi. Here, view exhibits of the textile artist Kubota Itchiku’s kimono creations, depicting the themes of nature and the seasons. Continue along the scenic roads of rural Japan to Hakone where a gondola takes you on the Hakone Ropeway to the Owakudani Valley’s extraordinary volcanic zone. Here, the bubbling pools cook eggs in the hot waters blackened by sulfur, and are said to prolong one's life by at least seven years. Enjoy a relaxing cruise around placid Lake Ashi. End your visit in Hakone with a drive along Cedar Avenue, a historic site of Hakone Old Tokaido Road that linked Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo Period. Tonight, be adventurous and explore Tokyo’s incredible variety of cuisine! *Due to local conditions, the Mt. Fuji sightseeing might be altered. Details will be provided locally by your Tour Manager.
Overnight: Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Tuesday - Tsukiji Fish Market, Sushi Demonstration & Akihabara District
On today’s tour of Tokyo, witness the stark contrasts of this dazzling city of ancient traditions coupled with state-of-the-art technology. To begin, walk the lanes of the hectic Tsukiji Fish Market, famous for fish and seafood. Afterward, enjoy a culinary demonstration led by a professional Sushi Chef. Learn the art of creating sushi or sashimi and enjoy them for lunch afterward! Continue to the Ginza district, Tokyo's most celebrated upscale shopping, dining and amusement area. Then, Akihabara shopping district, a wonderland of electrical equipment shops, computer shops and animation studios that are attracting world attention. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a Japanese style pub
Overnight: Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Wednesday - Kenroku-en Gardens, Kagaonsen Ryokan Experience
Board the famous Shinkansen, or "bullet train," that takes you to Kanazawa south of the Noto Peninsula, with its winding cobblestone streets, Samurai residences, Geisha houses, lavish gardens and a flower filled open-air market. Stroll through Kenroku-en Garden, one of the country’s most elite gardens with its elaborate water fountains and designs. Continue to the Nomura Family House, where Samurai once dwelled. In Kagaonsen, an exceptional experience is awaiting you. Spend the night at a traditional Ryokan (inn), where you dress in yukata (bathrobe) that you wear to the onsen (hot spring spa.) You overnight in authentic Japanese rooms with tatami mats and sleep on a futon bed. Dinner together at the Ryokan is a full course Kaiseki Dinner highlighted by regional specialties
Overnight: Kaga
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Thursday - Thatched Farmhouses in Shirakawa-go, Takayama’s Old Town
You travel from Kagaonsen to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go, known for its village of thatched gassho-zukuri (praying hands) farmhouses. Visit the historic village of Ogimachi and the ruins of its castle, dating back to medieval times. From atop the observation deck, see the amazing view of an entire settlement of thatched style houses. Lunch at local restaurant before driving to 16th century Takayama, with its meticulously preserved Old Town. Upon arrival, visit Takayama Jinya, a historic government house converted to a museum and the Yatai Kaikan Hall housing intricately designed wooden floats brought out only for major festivals. Later, you arrive at a scenic mountain resort for overnight
Overnight: Takayama
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Friday - Takayama's Historic District, Morning Farmer’s Market, Bullet Train to Kyoto
The delightful town of Takayama, with its wealth of museums, galleries, and impressive temples, is often called "Little Kyoto." A walking tour includes the remarkably preserved Edo-period merchants’ shops and houses in the Sanno-machi Historic District. Visit the morning market along the Miya River with farmers and craftsmen selling everything from vegetables to clothing and hand carvings. Across the river lies the Sanmachi-Suji (district) of sake breweries, cafes and immaculately preserved old private houses. Lunch en route before traveling to Nagoya. Board the bullet train to enchanting and historic Kyoto, founded in the 8th century, one of the early capitals of Japan
Overnight: Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Saturday - Kyoto’s Cultural Heritage & Tea Ceremony, Zen Meditation
Your first discovery in Kyoto is Kiyomizu Temple, known for its sacred waters believed to bestow health and longevity. As you stroll through the ancient streets of Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka, you’re transported back in time to "old" Japan on these distinctive streets crowded with old wooden storefronts and tea houses. View the Zen Buddhist Temple of Kodai-ji’s richly decorated interior, and the surrounding zen gardens. Next, familiarize yourself with Zen meditation, a calming practice deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Enjoy a traditional Tea Ceremony, where you participate in the ritualized art of preparing and serving tea, savoring the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinctly different from the fast pace of everyday life. Lunch at a local restaurant, followed by leisure time in Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. Afterward, visit the impressive Heian Shrine, a Shinto shrine boasting the largest torii (gate) in Japan. It was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the transfer of the capital from Nara to Kyoto
Overnight: Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 10, Sunday - Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Nijo Castle, Kimono Dressing
Discover the beautiful cultural heritage of Kyoto that has spanned the centuries. Head outside the city to Arashiyama bamboo forest. Here, take a stroll through the stunning bamboo grove, followed by a ride on a traditional Japanese rickshaw, a unique experience! Visit the celebrated Kinkaku-ji Temple, "the Golden Pavilion," and understand why this magnificent gold leaf covered temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Ryoan-ji Temple with its mysterious Rock Garden before moving on to Nijo Castle, a residence of the first Tokugawa Shogun, with its ornate interior handcrafted with Japanese cypress. Afterward, dress in an authentic kimono during a visit to a Kyoto-style home. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure for individual pursuits
Overnight: Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Monday - Imperial Nara, Great Buddha Statue, Deer Park, Kasuga Grand Shrine, Maiko Dance Performance
Make a stop at Fushimi Inari Shrine before traveling by private bus to the 8th century Imperial capital of Nara, repository of Japan's cultural heritage, with eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a wealth of historic treasures, including some of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples. Arrive at the exquisite wooden Todai-ji Temple, home of the impressive Daibutsu (Great Buddha) bronze statue, rising over 50 feet high. You then continue to Nara (Deer) Park to see the over 1,000 tame deer roaming freely in the peaceful park. Visit the famous and beautiful Kasuga Grand Shrine displaying over 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns. Return to Kyoto and enjoy leisure time this afternoon before a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant, featuring a traditional Maiko (Geisha) dance performance that reflects the core of Japanese culture
Overnight: Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Tuesday - Depart Japan
Sayonara! Transfer to Osaka for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

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Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights Los Angeles-Tokyo, Osaka-Los Angeles
    Other departure cities available.
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 10 nights First Class accommodations
  • 4 nights Tokyo
  • 1 night Kaga
  • 1 night Takayama
  • 4 nights Kyoto
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 19 meals: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Wine with all dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

    Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals
  • Tour dazzling Tokyo, a city of ancient traditions coupled with state-of-the-art technology
  • Culinary demonstration led by a professional chef -- learn the art of creating sushi and sashimi
  • Visit the serene Meiji Shrine honoring the first Emperor of modern Japan and his Empress
  • A day of breathtaking natural scenery as you drive to the National Park of Hakone in full view of Mt. Fuji
  • Board the famous Shinkansen, or "bullet train" that takes you to Kanazawa south of the Noto Peninsula
  • Travel to the UNESCO site of Shirakawa-go, known for its village of gassho-zukuri farmhouses
  • In Kagaonsen, stay at a traditional Ryokan (inn)
  • A walking tour of Takayama’s historic district reveals its traditions dating back to the 8th century
  • Discover enchanting Kyoto, founded in the 7th century, one of the early capitals of Japan
  • Visit Kyoto’s Nijo Castle, residence of Shoguns, and the magnificent gilded Golden Pavilion
  • Experience the cultural heritage of Kyoto at a traditional Tea Ceremony at the Gesshin-in Temple
  • Dinner and traditional Maiko (Geisha) dance performance reflects the core of Japanese culture
  • Travel to the Imperial capital of Nara, with eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • †Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

    *Not Included:
    Optional tours and gratuities.

    Additional Information:
    Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.

    Passengers should select flights that arrive in Narita Airport no later than 4 pm in order not to miss the welcome dinner and trip briefing.

    Accommodation Details:
    Hotel rooms in Japan cannot comfortably accommodate 3 adults; therefore, a double, plus a single room configuration should be purchased.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620


    Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo
    This first class hotel is located in the heart of the city.

    Kasuikyo Ryokan
    This superior tourist class hotel overlooks Lake Shibayama.

    Associa Takayama Resort
    This first class resort has spectacular views of the Japanese Alps.

    Takayama Green Hotel
    This superior tourist class hotel is located in the city of Takayama.

    Takayama Kanko Hotel
    This tourist class hotel has wonderful views of the Takayama city.

    Kyoto Century Hotel
    This first class hotel is located a short walk away from Kyoto Station.

    RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
    This first class hotel is within walking distance of Kyoto Station.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Note: AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Discovery By Gate1. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time by the tour operators. All prices are USD per person and based on double occupancy. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. Please call us toll free at 1-800-935-2620 to confirm availability and current pricing on all our discounted specials. The prices on this website are not guaranteed until a deposit has been made. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Some land prices may include an internal air component and discounts will not be offered on the internal air component. Discounts will not be offered on packages with a land price of less than $500.

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