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Trip Extensions

Kyoto-Nara Extension

Duration: 4 days

Join this post-trip extension to Kyoto and Nara.  Accommodations in Japanese-style ryokans.

Hiroshima and Miyajima

Duration: 3 days

If your schedule permits, consider spending an additional three days and two nights in Japan, easily reached from Kyoto or Osaka, so you can visit historic Hiroshima and the nearby lovely park island of Miyajima.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo!Welcome to Tokyo!

Welcome to Tokyo! Arriving late in the day on your flight from the U.S., you will be met at either the Narita or Haneda Airport and transferred to your comfortable, centrally-located hotel in Tokyo, your base for four nights.

Meals
None
Lodging
Rihga Royal Hotel (or similar)

Day 2: tokyo tower, fish market, sushi class

Explore the fish marketExplore the fish market

It's time for your Japan adventure to begin. After breakfast, leave your hotel for a day of Tokyo exploration, including:

  • Tokyo Tower: Built in 1958, the Eiffel-inspired tower provides fantastic views of the entire city. FootTown, a four-story building directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops.
  • Imperial Palace East Garden: The Kokyo Higashi Gyoen Garden (Imperial Palace East Garden) was opened to the public in 1968, covering an area of approximately 210,000 square meters.
  • Tsukiji Fish Market: One of the biggest markets in the world, it features over 450 different kinds of fish. 
  • Tokyo National Museum: The Tokyo National Museum houses and displays a comprehensive collection of art works and antiquities from Japan as well as other Asian countries. The museum also conducts research and investigations concerning its collection of books, rubbings, and photographs related to fine art, and makes these items available to scholars.
  • Sushi class: Meet a sushi chef and learn the fine art of making sushi—then when you return home, you can impress your friends with your new skills. 

Enjoy lunch and dinner on your own during the day, and have the evening to yourself to catch up on sleep or take in more of Tokyo.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Rihga Royal Hotel (or similar)

Day 3: tokyo gardens and museums

You might see a ceremony at the Meiji ShrineYou might see a ceremony at the Meiji Shrine

Get to know more of Tokyo on your second full day in the city. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel, and you'll head out and about to see:

  • Ota Memorial Museum of Art: This museum was established to publicize the Ukiyoe collection by Goshiro Ota Kimiyoshi (1893-1977) who served as President of Toho Life Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Nezu Museum: This museum was founded to conserve and exhibit the collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art that Nezu Kaichiro (1860-1940) had passionately built. 
  • Meiji Shrine: This Shinto shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. The shrine does not contain the emperor's grave, which is located at Fushimi-momoyama, south of Kyoto.
  • The National Art Center: Unlike Japan's other national art museums, this is an 'empty museum,' without a collection, permanent display, and curators. Instead, it accommodates temporary exhibitions sponsored and curated by other organizations.
  • Tokyo Midtown Garden: This natural art gallery includes some 140 cherry, camphor and other trees that foster some of the richest greenery seen in central Tokyo. 

As with yesterday, you'll enjoy lunch and dinner on your own, with time to explore as you wish after dinner. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Rihga Royal Hotel (or similar)

Day 4: tokyo free day

Take a leisurely stroll through one of Tokyo's "Central Parks"Take a leisurely stroll through one of Tokyo's "Central Parks"

Today is a free day to explore Tokyo on your own. Your guide can offer some ideas for you, or if you'd rather be spontaneous, just roll out of bed and see where your mood takes you.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Rihga Royal Hotel (or similar)

Day 5: mt. fuji / hakone

Mt. Fuji during Cherry Blossom seasonMt. Fuji during Cherry Blossom season

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel after breakfast, and you'll begin the two-hour transfer to Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, then to Hakone. Along the way, enjoy beautiful views of the mountains and seas. 

Mt. Fuji is Japan's highest mountain and the focal point of the sprawling Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Visible from Tokyo on a clear day, the mountain is located to the west of Tokyo on the main island Honshu, straddling the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka. A perfectly symmetrical volcanic cone, the mountain is a near-mythical national symbol immortalized in countless works of art, including Hokusai's 36 Views of Mt. Fuji.

Today you will visit Kubota Itchiku Museum, opened by its namesake in 1994. Located near Lake Kawaguchi, with a panoramic view of Itchiku’s beloved Mount Fuji, the museum permanently showcases some of his artistic creations and invites visitors to discover the artist who created them.

Also spend some time at the Fujisan Sengen Shrine, located in Fujinomiya City in the southwestern foothills of Mt. Fuji. Originally built over 1000 years ago for the protection from volcanic eruptions, it has become the region's most important shrine and the head shrine of over 1300 Sengen and Asama shrines nationwide.

Next, transfer to Hakone, and visit Choanji Temple, a temple of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism in the Sengokuhara area of Hakone. Established in 1356 in a quiet area at the base of a hill, the atmospheric temple has a small network of pleasant walking trails which wind through its wooded grounds and cemetery.

Finally, arrive at your Ryokan, where you'll enjoy dinner and stay two nights. A ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period (1603–1868), when such inns served travelers along Japan's highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Yamagishi Ryokan Hotel (or similar)

Day 6: hakone

See Japanese puzzle boxesSee Japanese puzzle boxes

Get ready for a full day to explore Hakone, with trains, museums and crafts. 

  • Hakone Tozan Railway: This is the only mountain railway in Japan. The train departs from Hakone-Yumoto station (at 96 meters above sea level) and takes about 40 minutes to arrive at the final stop, Gora station (at 541 m above sea level). Halfway up the line there are switchbacks, where the driver and the conductor change shifts, and the train switches to reverse travel direction. 
  • Hakone Open-Air Museum: Opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan, this is an ideal outdoor setting to show oversized sculptures.
  • Okada Museum: This spacious building mainly exhibits Japanese, Chinese, and Korean works of art ranging from ancient times through the present age, collected by the businessman Okada Kazuo.
  • Hakone Handi Crafts Shop and Museum: This one-room museum displays a variety of Japanese puzzle boxes. Watch while the craft shop personnel demonstrates the trick to opening them!
  • Hakone Art Museum: The museum displays mainly Japanese ceramics from prehistoric times through the Edo Period (1600-1868), with a number of large earthenware and ceramic vessels such as a haniwa burial statue.

After your sightseeing is complete, return to your Ryokan for dinner. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Yamagishi Ryokan Hotel (or similar)

Day 7: hakone / kyoto

Visit the Odawara CastleVisit the Odawara Castle

Begin your day by seeing some final sites in Hakone, including the Odawara Castle (listed as one of the 100 Fine Castles of Japan) and the MOA Museum, focused on Japanese art and culture. 

After, transfer to the train station for your bullet train ride to Kyoto. Japan’s high speed bullet trains, also known as Shinkansen trains, offer visitors an experience like no other, with speeds reaching up to 200 mph! 

Once you arrive, you'll be transferred for your hotel, where you'll settle in for the next five nights. The evening and dinner are on your own to do as you please. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)

Day 8: kyoto temples

Stroll along the Philosopher's WalkStroll along the Philosopher's Walk

It's time to explore Kyoto! Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then hop in your vehicle with your guide for a full day of fascinating and charming sites, including:

  • Kodaiji Temple: This temple was established in 1606 in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of Japan's greatest historical figures, by Hideyoshi's wife Nene, who is also enshrined at the temple.
  • Ninen-zaka: Lined with beautifully restored traditional shophouses and blissfully free of the overhead power lines that mar the rest of Kyoto, Ninen-zaka is a pedestrian-only lane that makes for some of the most atmospheric strolling in the whole city.
  • Yasaka Pagoda: The last remnant of Hokanji Temple, this is one of the most visible and recognizable landmarks in the Higashiyama District. Visitors may climb up the inside of the five story pagoda, which is a rare opportunity, as most pagodas can only be viewed from the outside.
  • Unraku-gama: This house of pottery located in a region known for its Kiyomizu-yaki and Kyo-yaki ceramics. 
  • Ginkaku-ji Temple: Officially named Jisho-ji, this is a Zen temple in the Sakyo ward, and represents the Higashiyama Culture of the Muromachi period. 
  • Philosopher's Walk: Stroll on this pedestrian path that follows a cherry tree-lined canal in Kyoto, between Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji.

During your day, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then after, relax with a dinner on your own. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)

Day 9: kyoto tea ceremony & gion show

Witness a traditional tea ceremonyWitness a traditional tea ceremony

Today is a day of traditional experiences, with temples and shrines interspersed throughout. 

First, visit two intriguing historical sites:

  • Daigo-ji Temple: This Shingon Buddhist temple's main devotion is Yakushi. Daigo, literally "ghee," is used figuratively to mean "crème de la crème" and is a metaphor of the most profound part of Buddhist thoughts.
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine: This is the head shrine of Inari, and sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines.

Then, partake in two cultural events that are representative of this region:

  • Tea Ceremony: Kyoto remains the center of the Japanese tea ceremony world (and tea growing world, for that matter, since much of it is grown in the southern suburb of Uji). The three main tea schools are all located here, and it’s a fantastic place to sample an actual tea ceremony.
  • Gion Corner Show: Gion Corner is a place where you can take in seven kinds of performing arts, most notably kyo-mai dance performed by maiko dancers. Here you can see Japan’s traditional performing arts in ‘digest’ form, all on one stage.

During your day, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then after, relax with a dinner on your own. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)

Day 10: kyoto bamboo and handicrafts

Visit Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden PavilionVisit Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden Pavilion

Today you'll get crafty and get in touch with nature as you visit: 

  • Kinkakuji Temple: The top two floors of this Zen temple are completely covered in gold leaf, creating a glimmering structure of pure beauty. 
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove: Stand in the midst of this sprawling bamboo grove and experience a palpable sense of otherness that is quite unlike that of any normal forest we know of.
  • Handicraft Center: See displays of woodprint blocks, ornamental swords, Japanese dolls and more, and choose a workshop to experience making a handicraft yourself. 

During the day, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then after, relax with a dinner and some time to explore on your own. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)

Day 11: kyoto free day

Explore Japanese style gardens in KyotoExplore Japanese style gardens in Kyoto

There's so much to see and do in Kyoto, that no trip is complete without a day to wander the streets and see what you stumble upon. Head out on your own to explore more sites, or, if you like, we can recommend and help organize trips to places you haven't seen yet, such as the Kyoto National Museum, a large and historic museum that focuses on pre-modern Japanese and Asian art, or the Ryoan-ji Temple (Temple of the Dragon at Peace), another Zen temple containing a massive gate and a 15th century rock garden.

Alternatively, and for an additional cost, your guide can take you to Arashiyama, Mt. Hiei, or Mt. Enryaku. Another interesting activity is a visit to a Tea Farm to learn how Matcha tea is grown and produced.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)

Day 12: depart or extend

Extend your trip to visit HiroshimaExtend your trip to visit Hiroshima

After breakfast, depart for the airport to check-in for your flight back home (if you are flying out of Tokyo, the bullet train back is an additional cost.)

Or, if your schedule permits, consider extending your adventure for a few days to see Osaka, Nara and Mt. Koya, or Hiroshima.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$5,100
- $7,250
Group size 5+: $5,100 Group size 4: $5,500 Group size 3: $6,150 Group size 2: $7,250 The land cost published is for the stated group departure and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in the full itinerary. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates. Custom & private adventures are available as well, and the final cost of a custom trip will be based on the activities selected, trip duration, accommodations, etc. Developing an initial custom trip itinerary is a service we provide to all clients at no cost. If after development of the initial itinerary you request additional development but are not ready to make a deposit, a trip planning fee may apply.
Single Supplement:
$500
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Apr 2-13, 2018

Need to Know

Duration:
12 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Charming Japanese ryokans (inns) & standard 4-star Western style hotels
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

FISH MARKET: A tour of Japan

  Asia Destination Specialist Kerina Rowley recalls her recent trip to Japan, starting with a famous fish market and reflecting on various highlights of this fascinating …

See geishas in Kyoto's old Gion entertainment district
See geishas in Kyoto's old Gion entertainment district
Explore Asakusa and other fascinating neighborhoods of Tokyo
Explore Asakusa and other fascinating neighborhoods of Tokyo
Girls in traditional attire
Girls in traditional attire
One of Kyoto's atmospheric canals
One of Kyoto's atmospheric canals
Statue at a traditional burial ground
Statue at a traditional burial ground
A typical ryokan meal setting
A typical ryokan meal setting
Gathered in temple garden
Gathered in temple garden
Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji
Traditional shop keeper
Traditional shop keeper
A traditional kaiseki dinner
A traditional kaiseki dinner
You may be lucky enough to witness a traditional Japanese wedding
You may be lucky enough to witness a traditional Japanese wedding
Streets of a Japanese Old Town
Streets of a Japanese Old Town
Get a bird's eye view of Tokyo from the Skytree
Get a bird's eye view of Tokyo from the Skytree
Walk along Philosopher's path
Walk along Philosopher's path
Hakone Odawara Castle
Hakone Odawara Castle
Japanese garden caretaker
Japanese garden caretaker
Spend time exploring at the Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Spend time exploring at the Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Japan pagoda in the spring
Japan pagoda in the spring
Japanese Park in the center of the city
Japanese Park in the center of the city
Japanese monument during cherry blossom season
Japanese monument during cherry blossom season
Shinjuku Gyoen Park in central Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen Park in central Tokyo
Hakone handicraft
Hakone handicraft
Explore Japanese style gardens in Kyoto
Explore Japanese style gardens in Kyoto
Attend a traditional tea ceremony
Attend a traditional tea ceremony

Ancient Arts and Temple Gardens of Japan

Arts, crafts and gardens of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone

overview

Welcome to an Arts & Crafts version of our signature trip, Classic and Festive Japan! We've taken the original and very popular itinerary and tweaked it for those interested in exploring more of the arts, crafts, and gardens that Japan is famous for.

Begin in Tokyo and end in Kyoto, with visits to Hakone and Mt. Fuji along the way. Visit the country's most interesting landmarks and museums, and meet locals off the tourist paths. You'll have plenty of time to explore vibrant Tokyo before visiting Mt. Fuji and scenic Lake Ashinoko in Hakone, then take the bullet train to the old capital of Kyoto, where the simple elegance of the temples and gardens defy description. 

Overnight in a traditional-style Japanese ryokan in Hakone and comfortable 4-star hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto.

Gail Scherer, long-time Journeys trip leader, is heading up the April departure. Join Gail, her ever-popular husband Walter, and a group of inquisitive and adventurous souls on this new Japan exploration.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Welcome to an Arts & Crafts version of our signature trip, Classic and Festive Japan! We've taken the original and very popular itinerary and tweaked it for those interested in exploring more of the arts, crafts, and gardens that Japan is famous for.

Begin in Tokyo and end in Kyoto, with visits to Hakone and Mt. Fuji along the way. Visit the country's most interesting landmarks and museums, and meet locals off the tourist paths. You'll have plenty of time to explore vibrant Tokyo before visiting Mt. Fuji and scenic Lake Ashinoko in Hakone, then take the bullet train to the old capital of Kyoto, where the simple elegance of the temples and gardens defy description. 

Overnight in a traditional-style Japanese ryokan in Hakone and comfortable 4-star hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto.

Gail Scherer, long-time Journeys trip leader, is heading up the April departure. Join Gail, her ever-popular husband Walter, and a group of inquisitive and adventurous souls on this new Japan exploration.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive tokyo
    Welcome to Tokyo!Welcome to Tokyo!

    Welcome to Tokyo! Arriving late in the day on your flight from the U.S., you will be met at either the Narita or Haneda Airport and transferred to your comfortable, centrally-located hotel in Tokyo, your base for four nights.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Rihga Royal Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: tokyo tower, fish market, sushi class
    Explore the fish marketExplore the fish market

    It's time for your Japan adventure to begin. After breakfast, leave your hotel for a day of Tokyo exploration, including:

    • Tokyo Tower: Built in 1958, the Eiffel-inspired tower provides fantastic views of the entire city. FootTown, a four-story building directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops.
    • Imperial Palace East Garden: The Kokyo Higashi Gyoen Garden (Imperial Palace East Garden) was opened to the public in 1968, covering an area of approximately 210,000 square meters.
    • Tsukiji Fish Market: One of the biggest markets in the world, it features over 450 different kinds of fish. 
    • Tokyo National Museum: The Tokyo National Museum houses and displays a comprehensive collection of art works and antiquities from Japan as well as other Asian countries. The museum also conducts research and investigations concerning its collection of books, rubbings, and photographs related to fine art, and makes these items available to scholars.
    • Sushi class: Meet a sushi chef and learn the fine art of making sushi—then when you return home, you can impress your friends with your new skills. 

    Enjoy lunch and dinner on your own during the day, and have the evening to yourself to catch up on sleep or take in more of Tokyo.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Rihga Royal Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: tokyo gardens and museums
    You might see a ceremony at the Meiji ShrineYou might see a ceremony at the Meiji Shrine

    Get to know more of Tokyo on your second full day in the city. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel, and you'll head out and about to see:

    • Ota Memorial Museum of Art: This museum was established to publicize the Ukiyoe collection by Goshiro Ota Kimiyoshi (1893-1977) who served as President of Toho Life Mutual Insurance Company.
    • Nezu Museum: This museum was founded to conserve and exhibit the collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art that Nezu Kaichiro (1860-1940) had passionately built. 
    • Meiji Shrine: This Shinto shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. The shrine does not contain the emperor's grave, which is located at Fushimi-momoyama, south of Kyoto.
    • The National Art Center: Unlike Japan's other national art museums, this is an 'empty museum,' without a collection, permanent display, and curators. Instead, it accommodates temporary exhibitions sponsored and curated by other organizations.
    • Tokyo Midtown Garden: This natural art gallery includes some 140 cherry, camphor and other trees that foster some of the richest greenery seen in central Tokyo. 

    As with yesterday, you'll enjoy lunch and dinner on your own, with time to explore as you wish after dinner. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Rihga Royal Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: tokyo free day
    Take a leisurely stroll through one of Tokyo's "Central Parks"Take a leisurely stroll through one of Tokyo's "Central Parks"

    Today is a free day to explore Tokyo on your own. Your guide can offer some ideas for you, or if you'd rather be spontaneous, just roll out of bed and see where your mood takes you.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Rihga Royal Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: mt. fuji / hakone
    Mt. Fuji during Cherry Blossom seasonMt. Fuji during Cherry Blossom season

    Your guide will pick you up from your hotel after breakfast, and you'll begin the two-hour transfer to Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, then to Hakone. Along the way, enjoy beautiful views of the mountains and seas. 

    Mt. Fuji is Japan's highest mountain and the focal point of the sprawling Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Visible from Tokyo on a clear day, the mountain is located to the west of Tokyo on the main island Honshu, straddling the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka. A perfectly symmetrical volcanic cone, the mountain is a near-mythical national symbol immortalized in countless works of art, including Hokusai's 36 Views of Mt. Fuji.

    Today you will visit Kubota Itchiku Museum, opened by its namesake in 1994. Located near Lake Kawaguchi, with a panoramic view of Itchiku’s beloved Mount Fuji, the museum permanently showcases some of his artistic creations and invites visitors to discover the artist who created them.

    Also spend some time at the Fujisan Sengen Shrine, located in Fujinomiya City in the southwestern foothills of Mt. Fuji. Originally built over 1000 years ago for the protection from volcanic eruptions, it has become the region's most important shrine and the head shrine of over 1300 Sengen and Asama shrines nationwide.

    Next, transfer to Hakone, and visit Choanji Temple, a temple of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism in the Sengokuhara area of Hakone. Established in 1356 in a quiet area at the base of a hill, the atmospheric temple has a small network of pleasant walking trails which wind through its wooded grounds and cemetery.

    Finally, arrive at your Ryokan, where you'll enjoy dinner and stay two nights. A ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period (1603–1868), when such inns served travelers along Japan's highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Yamagishi Ryokan Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: hakone
    See Japanese puzzle boxesSee Japanese puzzle boxes

    Get ready for a full day to explore Hakone, with trains, museums and crafts. 

    • Hakone Tozan Railway: This is the only mountain railway in Japan. The train departs from Hakone-Yumoto station (at 96 meters above sea level) and takes about 40 minutes to arrive at the final stop, Gora station (at 541 m above sea level). Halfway up the line there are switchbacks, where the driver and the conductor change shifts, and the train switches to reverse travel direction. 
    • Hakone Open-Air Museum: Opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan, this is an ideal outdoor setting to show oversized sculptures.
    • Okada Museum: This spacious building mainly exhibits Japanese, Chinese, and Korean works of art ranging from ancient times through the present age, collected by the businessman Okada Kazuo.
    • Hakone Handi Crafts Shop and Museum: This one-room museum displays a variety of Japanese puzzle boxes. Watch while the craft shop personnel demonstrates the trick to opening them!
    • Hakone Art Museum: The museum displays mainly Japanese ceramics from prehistoric times through the Edo Period (1600-1868), with a number of large earthenware and ceramic vessels such as a haniwa burial statue.

    After your sightseeing is complete, return to your Ryokan for dinner. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Yamagishi Ryokan Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: hakone / kyoto
    Visit the Odawara CastleVisit the Odawara Castle

    Begin your day by seeing some final sites in Hakone, including the Odawara Castle (listed as one of the 100 Fine Castles of Japan) and the MOA Museum, focused on Japanese art and culture. 

    After, transfer to the train station for your bullet train ride to Kyoto. Japan’s high speed bullet trains, also known as Shinkansen trains, offer visitors an experience like no other, with speeds reaching up to 200 mph! 

    Once you arrive, you'll be transferred for your hotel, where you'll settle in for the next five nights. The evening and dinner are on your own to do as you please. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: kyoto temples
    Stroll along the Philosopher's WalkStroll along the Philosopher's Walk

    It's time to explore Kyoto! Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then hop in your vehicle with your guide for a full day of fascinating and charming sites, including:

    • Kodaiji Temple: This temple was established in 1606 in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of Japan's greatest historical figures, by Hideyoshi's wife Nene, who is also enshrined at the temple.
    • Ninen-zaka: Lined with beautifully restored traditional shophouses and blissfully free of the overhead power lines that mar the rest of Kyoto, Ninen-zaka is a pedestrian-only lane that makes for some of the most atmospheric strolling in the whole city.
    • Yasaka Pagoda: The last remnant of Hokanji Temple, this is one of the most visible and recognizable landmarks in the Higashiyama District. Visitors may climb up the inside of the five story pagoda, which is a rare opportunity, as most pagodas can only be viewed from the outside.
    • Unraku-gama: This house of pottery located in a region known for its Kiyomizu-yaki and Kyo-yaki ceramics. 
    • Ginkaku-ji Temple: Officially named Jisho-ji, this is a Zen temple in the Sakyo ward, and represents the Higashiyama Culture of the Muromachi period. 
    • Philosopher's Walk: Stroll on this pedestrian path that follows a cherry tree-lined canal in Kyoto, between Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji.

    During your day, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then after, relax with a dinner on your own. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: kyoto tea ceremony & gion show
    Witness a traditional tea ceremonyWitness a traditional tea ceremony

    Today is a day of traditional experiences, with temples and shrines interspersed throughout. 

    First, visit two intriguing historical sites:

    • Daigo-ji Temple: This Shingon Buddhist temple's main devotion is Yakushi. Daigo, literally "ghee," is used figuratively to mean "crème de la crème" and is a metaphor of the most profound part of Buddhist thoughts.
    • Fushimi Inari Shrine: This is the head shrine of Inari, and sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines.

    Then, partake in two cultural events that are representative of this region:

    • Tea Ceremony: Kyoto remains the center of the Japanese tea ceremony world (and tea growing world, for that matter, since much of it is grown in the southern suburb of Uji). The three main tea schools are all located here, and it’s a fantastic place to sample an actual tea ceremony.
    • Gion Corner Show: Gion Corner is a place where you can take in seven kinds of performing arts, most notably kyo-mai dance performed by maiko dancers. Here you can see Japan’s traditional performing arts in ‘digest’ form, all on one stage.

    During your day, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then after, relax with a dinner on your own. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: kyoto bamboo and handicrafts
    Visit Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden PavilionVisit Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden Pavilion

    Today you'll get crafty and get in touch with nature as you visit: 

    • Kinkakuji Temple: The top two floors of this Zen temple are completely covered in gold leaf, creating a glimmering structure of pure beauty. 
    • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove: Stand in the midst of this sprawling bamboo grove and experience a palpable sense of otherness that is quite unlike that of any normal forest we know of.
    • Handicraft Center: See displays of woodprint blocks, ornamental swords, Japanese dolls and more, and choose a workshop to experience making a handicraft yourself. 

    During the day, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then after, relax with a dinner and some time to explore on your own. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: kyoto free day
    Explore Japanese style gardens in KyotoExplore Japanese style gardens in Kyoto

    There's so much to see and do in Kyoto, that no trip is complete without a day to wander the streets and see what you stumble upon. Head out on your own to explore more sites, or, if you like, we can recommend and help organize trips to places you haven't seen yet, such as the Kyoto National Museum, a large and historic museum that focuses on pre-modern Japanese and Asian art, or the Ryoan-ji Temple (Temple of the Dragon at Peace), another Zen temple containing a massive gate and a 15th century rock garden.

    Alternatively, and for an additional cost, your guide can take you to Arashiyama, Mt. Hiei, or Mt. Enryaku. Another interesting activity is a visit to a Tea Farm to learn how Matcha tea is grown and produced.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shin Miyako Hotel Kyoto (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: depart or extend
    Extend your trip to visit HiroshimaExtend your trip to visit Hiroshima

    After breakfast, depart for the airport to check-in for your flight back home (if you are flying out of Tokyo, the bullet train back is an additional cost.)

    Or, if your schedule permits, consider extending your adventure for a few days to see Osaka, Nara and Mt. Koya, or Hiroshima.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$5,100
- $7,250
Group size 5+: $5,100 Group size 4: $5,500 Group size 3: $6,150 Group size 2: $7,250 The land cost published is for the stated group departure and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in the full itinerary. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates. Custom & private adventures are available as well, and the final cost of a custom trip will be based on the activities selected, trip duration, accommodations, etc. Developing an initial custom trip itinerary is a service we provide to all clients at no cost. If after development of the initial itinerary you request additional development but are not ready to make a deposit, a trip planning fee may apply.
Single Supplement:
$500
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Apr 2-13, 2018

Need to Know

Duration:
12 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Charming Japanese ryokans (inns) & standard 4-star Western style hotels
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Kyoto-Nara Extension

Duration: 4 days

Join this post-trip extension to Kyoto and Nara.  Accommodations in Japanese-style ryokans.

Hiroshima and Miyajima

Duration: 3 days

If your schedule permits, consider spending an additional three days and two nights in Japan, easily reached from Kyoto or Osaka, so you can visit historic Hiroshima and the nearby lovely park island of Miyajima.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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