A Taste of Japan Guided Tour
Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone, Tokyo
|Duration||8 nights and 9 days|
|Departs||March – December (selected dates)|
|Price (land only)||$3,200 per person (based on twin share)|
The Taste of Japan Guided Tour is great for first time visitors to see the sights of Japan in an efficient 9 day tour. Your experienced local guide will take you across the width of Japan from Hiroshima to Tokyo and all the best sites in between. Experience the bullet tains, the food and the culture which will surely leave you with a taste for more.
Day 1: Osaka
Upon arrival at Osaka International Airport, clear customs and immigration. You will be met by a meeting assistant who will guide you to your hotel transfer.
*We can arrange for early check-in or prior accommodation and any other arrangements before the tour begins.
Accommodation: Osaka – 2 nights
Day 2: Osaka – Nara – Osaka (B)
After breakfast, meet with your guide and make your way via public transport to Nara, established as the imperial capital in 710AD. Explore the city famous for its temples and friendly wild deer. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Todaiji Temple, which houses the Great Buddha (Daibutsu); the largest bronze buddha in the world at nearly 15 metres tall.
Proceed to Kasuga Grand Shrine, a religious site important in Japan’s native religion of Shinto. Established originally in 768AD, this shrine is a beautiful example of Shinto aesthetics and is especially famous for its brilliant vermillion gates and its innumerable stone and bronze lanterns.
Take a walk through Nara Park where you can feed, pat and take pictures with the cheeky but polite deer. Your last stop for the day will also pass by Kofukuji Temple. Originally completed in the 7th century, Kofukuji was once one of Nara’s most powerful temples and is currently a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its 5 story pagoda.
Day 3: Osaka – Hiroshima (B)
Get an early start and head to Hiroshima after breakfast. While the city was destroyed during the Second World War, it has been entirely rebuilt and has grown to be one of Japan’s larger cities with just over 1 million residents. Once you arrive your first stop will be the Peace Park at the centre of the city. There you will see the Hiroshima Atom Bomb Dome, one of the few structures to survive the blast that wiped away the rest of the city. Continue on to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which includes informative and well curated exhibits about the reality of an atomic bombing and its domestic, as well as international, aftermath.
After a thoughtful and reflective morning, follow your guide to the Miyajima Ferry Port where you will board the ferry to Miyajima Island. One of Japan’s most photographed places, Miyajima is best known for Itsukushima Shrine and its floating Torii gate that stands in the water. Itsukushima Shrine, the current structure of which was built in the 16th century, has been designated as a Japanese national treasure. After visiting the shrine and walking along the streets of this picturesque little island you will continue to your hotel for the evening.
Accommodation: Hiroshima – 1 night
Day 4: Hiroshima – Kyoto – Osaka (B)
After breakfast at your hotel, board a bullet train to Kyoto. Once you’ve arrived you will board the local train to Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine. Dedicated to the god of rice, Inari, the shrine has been an object of imperial patronage since the Heian Period (c. 800-1100). Along with the thousands of torii gates that snake up approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) along the mountain side, the shrine is well known for its many fox statues—foxes were believed to be messengers of Inari and often carry in their mouths keys to the granary.
Next, visit Yasaka Shrine – the most prominent shrine in the Gion District. The shrine itself is well located with a beautiful ceremonial stage in the centre courtyard that is lit by hundreds of donated paper lanterns. After leaving the area’s main shrine take a walk through the Gion, Kyoto’s famous geisha district. While walking along the paved streets be sure to keep your camera ready as you might catch a glimpse of one of Kyoto’s famed Maiko (Geisha) on her way to a performance. After Gion, take a short walk to Ponto-Cho Riverside street where you can walk down a traditional Japanese street and—if you’re lucky enough to be visiting in summer—maybe enjoy a meal on one of the city’s famous terrace restaurants that overlook the Kamogawa river. Finally, return to Osaka for the night at your hotel.
Accommodation: Shin-Osaka – 2 nights
Day 5: Osaka free day (B)
Spend the day at your leisure. Explore Osaka or maybe get on a train to Kyoto, Himeji, Kobe, or anywhere else you might like.
*We can add guided tours to places such as Mt Koya, Amanohashidate or Tenkawa on your free day.
Day 6: Osaka – Hakone (B, D)
When you check out of the hotel your bags will be transferred to your Day 7 Tokyo hotel. Pack a backpack for a 1 night stay and board a Shinkansen to one of Japan’s premier hot spring towns, Hakone. Once you arrive, board the Owakudani Ropeway from which you can see the volcanic valley that heats the spring water Hakone is famous for. If the weather is clear you’ll get a fantastic view of Mt. Fuji looming in the distance. After arriving at the shores of Lake Ashi, board a cruise ship for a short ride on the picturesque bay. After the end of the lake cruise you will transfer to your hotel which is a traditional Japanese style Ryokan. There you will enjoy a dinner of traditional Japanese cuisine and can enjoy the local hot springs.
Accommodation: Hakone – 1 night
Day 7: Hakone – Tokyo (B)
After breakfast, board a train for Tokyo, Japan’s capital and by far its most populous metropolitan area. Tokyo, formerly called Edo, became the defacto capital in 1603 when the feudal warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu became shogun. After you arrive in Tokyo your first stop will be to visit the Meiji Grand Shrine, which enshrines the spirits of the Meiji emperor who officially transferred the capital to Tokyo in 1868 when practical rule of Japan was restored to the imperial household. Set in a deep green forest in the centre of Tokyo, the solemnity of the Meiji Grand Shrine provides a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city beyond the trees.
After the shrine, make the short walk to Harajuku, Tokyo’s youth mecca ascendant. On weekends the streets of Harajuku’s Takeshita Street throng with teenagers out shopping in what was until very recently the epicentre of all Japanese fashion trends.
Continue to Shibuya, famous across the world for its hectic scramble crossing. After you’ve seen—and maybe even experienced—the scramble crossing and had some time in Shibuya, go to Asakusa and walk down the shop-lined Nakamise street until you reach Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of the country’s most visited Buddhist temples. Maybe try some traditional Japanese snacks or purchase some Japanese hand crafts on Nakamise street before heading back to the hotel for the night.
Accommodation: Tokyo – 2 nights
Day 8: Tokyo free day (B)
Spend your last full day in Japan at your leisure.
*We can add guided tours around Tokyo or to places such as Nikko on your free day.
Day 9: Tokyo – your next destination (B)
After breakfast, check out from the hotel, board a limousine bus for the airport and depart from Japan.
*We can also arrange late check out, post-tour accommodation and any other arrangements if you wish to extend your stay in Japan after the tour concludes.
– Japan’s icon, Mt Fuji and Hakone
– Ancient cities Kyoto & Nara
– Peace city Hiroshima & sacred island Miyajima
– Modern mega cities Tokyo & Osaka
|Duration||8 nights and 9 days|
|Departure Dates||Available March – December (selected dates)|
|Route||Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, Hakone, Tokyo|
|Tour Type||Fully escorted|
|Price (land fee)||Twin share $3,200 per person
Single $4,020 per person
*No seasonal fees
– An experienced escort and local guides (where applicable) who will assist with your sightseeing.
– 8 nights accommodation:
・ 2 nights in Osaka – FP Hotels (South Namba) or similar
・ 1 night in Hiroshima – Hiroshima Tokyu REI Hotel or similar
・ 2 nights in Shin-Osaka – Esaka Tokyu REI Hotel or similar
・ 1 night in Hakone – Sengokugahara Prince Hotel or similar
・ 2 nights in Tokyo – Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo or similar
・ 1 dinner (day 6) and daily breakfast
– Train fares (standard class)
– Airport transfer to your hotel upon arrival
– Departure transfer to Narita or Haneda airport after the tour concludes
– Luggage transfer services (Osaka – Shin-Osaka, Shin-Osaka – Tokyo)
– Meals: Except as mentioned in the Package inclusions.
– Personal expenses
– Travel insurance (get a discounted rate)
– All other expenses unless mentioned in Package inclusions
*A fair amount of walking is involved on this tour.
*Hotels are subject to change of the same category
*Daily schedule is subject to change due to weather, transport or any other unforeseen circumstances.
*Minimum 2 persons for the tour to operate, maximum 20.
*Non-smoking rooms may not be available at some properties, in which case the rooms will be deodorised.
*Please note that some of the properties/restaurants on this tour may not be able to cater for special dietary requirements.
*The locations visited during a Fully Escorted Tour may involve a considerable amount of walking and climbing stairs. We recommend that travellers with disabilities be accompanied by their own assistant, capable of providing all necessary assistance. Fully Escorted Tours do not include special assistance to participants with disabilities. We reserve the right to refuse participation in Fully Escorted Tours if we consider that such participation is reasonably likely to impose an unjustifiable hardship on us or our escorts. Alternatively, we would be happy to organise independent tours for travellers with special needs.
*Please read our term and conditions.
2019 Tour dates
|Day 1 – Arrival in Japan (Wednesday)||Day 9 – Depart Japan (Thursday)|
*No seasonal fees