Note: We have various departure dates in 2018 and 2019From bustling cities to quiet mountain villages, experience the distinct flavor of Japan during this amazing vacation. Of course, you’ll visit Japan’s famous sights, including many of its castles and shrines. In Kyoto, see the Temple of the Gold Pavilion, a Buddhist temple covered in gold leaf, and be amazed at its beauty. In Nara, visit Todaiji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 752 AD and one of Japan’s most significant temples. You’ll also visit the traditional Gassho-Zukuri-style (joined hands) thatched houses in Shirawaka and Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine, a magnificent Shinto monument set in a man-made garden.
On this Japan tour, you’ll not only see the fascinating structures and shrines, you’ll also have a chance to visit one of Japan’s greatest gardens—Kenroku-en. According to the ancient Chinese book of gardens, gardens should have six different sublime qualities, but it is rare to find all six qualities in a garden. Dating from the 1670s, Kenroku-en does in fact combine the six attributes of a perfect garden—spaciousness & seclusion, artifice & antiquity, and water-courses & panoramas. Keep your eyes open for the perfect photos!
But that’s not all…on this tour, you’ll discover Japan’s culture through special experiences arranged by Globus. Partake in a traditional tea ceremony, taste sake, and participate in a Japanese cooking class. You'll also attempt calligraphy, learn about the Yuzen dyeing technique used on kimonos, take part in a gold leaf class, browse a farmers market, and try on a traditional kimono.
All of this and much more await you on this marvelous Japan tour. It’s a vacation of a lifetime!
DESTINATIONS & SIGHTSEEINGTOKYO
Visit the Meiji Shrine, Asakusa Kannon Temple, and Nakamise shopping arcade; calligraphy class; kimono fitting; traditional tea ceremony; welcome dinner
MOUNT FUJI AREA
Cable-car ride to view Mount Fuji; visit Chureito Pagoda
Visit Matsumoto Castle and Matsumoto City Museum
City sightseeing; visit a local market, Takayama Jinya, and a sake brewery for a tasting
Visit Gassho-Zukuri houses
Visit Kenroku-en Garden; gold leaf class
Travel by Thunderbird express train
isit Sanjusagendo Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, and the Temple of the Gold Pavilion; Yuzen Handmade Corner; Japanese cooking class; excursion to Nara; farewell dinner
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
- Shirakawa (Gassho-Zukuri houses)
- Todaiji Temple
- Kasuga Shrine
- Kiyomizu Temple
- Temple of the Gold Pavilion
- Mount Fuji
American breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 4 dinners including a welcome dinner in Tokyo and a farewell dinner in Kyoto.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
DAY 1 ARRIVE IN TOKYO, JAPAN
Welcome to Japan’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
DAY 2 TOKYO
eet your Tour Director and traveling companions prior to morning sightseeing in Tokyo. Your tour takes you to the MEIJI SHRINE, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest, followed by a drive to see the Imperial Palace. Next, visit an artist’s studio and learn to write like a local during a CALLIGRAPHY CLASS with a master calligrapher. Here, you’ll also have the opportunity to try on a traditional KIMONO and partake in a TRADITIONAL TEA CEREMONY, a wonderfully choreographed ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea. Last stop is the ASAKUSA KANNON TEMPLE and the NAKAMISE SHOPPING ARCADE. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, join your traveling companions at a welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director.
DAY 3 TOKYO. MOUNT FUJI EXCURSION
This morning, leave Tokyo and head south along the coast to the beautiful Five Lakes region. Here, take a CABLE-CAR RIDE (weather permitting) for panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchi and spectacular Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. You will also have a spectacular view of Mount Fuji from CHUREITO PAGODA, part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine, built as a peace memorial in 1963. Return to Tokyo and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.
DAY 4 TOKYO–MATSUMOTO–TAKAYAMA
Journey to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps. Visit famous MATSUMOTO CASTLE, dating back to 1593, and discover the history at the MATSUMOTO CITY MUSEUM. Later, travel through the ruggedly beautiful Japanese Alps to Takayama. Tonight, enjoy a wonderful Japanese-style dinner at your hotel.
DAY 5 TAKAYAMA
oday begins with a visit to the MORNING MARKET, where farmers display locally grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Then, visit TAKAYAMA JINYA, a former government office during the Edo Period from 1692-1868. This well-preserved building is a national historic site and the only remaining building of its kind in Japan. Continue on to the San-Machi Suji historic district—famous for lacquerware shops and sake breweries, and identified by the sugidama, balls made of cedar branches that hang over the entrances. Stop at one of the breweries for a SAKE TASTING. The balance of the day is at leisure, providing you time to explore the narrow streets where merchants buy and sell as they have for 300 years.
DAY 6 TAKAYAMA–SHIRAKAWA–KANAZAWA
This morning, enjoy a drive through the mountainous Shokawa Valley to Shirakawa. This remote region of Japan is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the unique GASSHO-ZUKURI-style (joined hands) thatched houses that can be found only here. Continue to the scenic town of Kanazawa, situated between the mountains and the Sea of Japan and once the country’s richest region. Your Tour Director leads you on a tour of one of Japan’s greatest gardens, KENROKU-EN, the “Garden of Six Qualities,” dating from the 1670s. Afterward, partake in a GOLD LEAF CLASS, where you learn more about this ancient traditional craft and make your own bento box souvenir. Your included dinner tonight is at your choice of one of three restaurants at your hotel.
DAY 7 KANAZAWA–KYOTO
This morning, board the THUNDERBIRD EXPRESS TRAIN for your journey to Kyoto. Upon arrival, stop at SANJUSANGENDO TEMPLE, famous for its 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Flanking the main statue are 1,000 more life-sized statues, covered in gold leaf, with 40 arms said to have the power to save 25 worlds. After lunch, visit the FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE, renowned for the thousands of brightly colored Torii Gates. Afterward, continue on to the Higashiyama District to visit KIYOMIZU TEMPLE, the “Pure Water Temple,” with stunning views over Kyoto. Along the way, walk through the busy streets, where shops and restaurants have been catering to pilgrims for centuries. This evening, you have the option (additional expense) to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan.
Traditional Ryokan Stay
Immerse yourself in the Japanese culture and hospitality at a ryokan (Japanese inn). Your ryokan, Gion Hatanaka, features traditional touches—tatami mat floors, a thin sleeping mattress on the floor, and the chance to experience a Japanese-style bath—as well as the modern convenience of a private bathroom. Included: transfers to/from ryokan from/to hotel in Kyoto; traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast.
Request at time of booking, as space is limited. See price box for supplement.
DAY 8 KYOTO
his morning starts with a visit to stunning Kinkakuji, the TEMPLE OF THE GOLD PAVILION. Next, visit YUZEN HANDMADE CORNER to learn about the Yuzen dyeing technique used to decorate kimonos by painting dye directly on the cloth. You will be invited to participate in making your own souvenir using this traditional method. For lunch, participate in a special JAPANESE COOKING CLASS. Under the instruction of a local chef you will learn how to make miso soup, teriyaki chicken, and makizushi, more commonly known as a sushi roll. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this fascinating city on your own.
DAY 9 KYOTO. NARA EXCURSION
This morning, take an excursion to NARA, the oldest capital of Japan. Here, visit two separate UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First, at Nara Park, is TODAIJI TEMPLE, built in 752 AD and one of Japan’s most famous significant temples. Rebuilt after a fire in 1692, the temple is only two-thirds its original size, yet remains the world’s largest wooden building. The Daibutsu (Giant Buddha) inside the main hall is made of copper and bronze, and is the largest in all of Japan, weighing in at 250 tons and standing some 49 feet tall! Nearby is KASUGA SHRINE, known for its 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns. Return to Kyoto for some leisure time. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a farewell dinner to celebrate your discovery of Japan.
DAY 10 KYOTO
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. Homebound flights from Kansai International Airport in Osaka should not depart prior to 11 am.
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
“Hi I'm Takako. I have traveled extensively as a certified tour guide. In addition to being a Globus Tour Director, I've guided for government delegates from around the world. From high-tech industry to ancient tastes and rich nature, I'm excited to show my diverse country to you and share fascinating and educational insights throughout your journey.”
6-2 Nishi-Shinjuku 6 Chome
The Hilton Tokyo is the the perfect base for exploring the vibrant, energetic city of Tokyo. The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the Lobby and Marble Lounge. Rejuvenate in the 24-hour health club within the hotel and relax in the sauna or soothing whirlpool spa. Choose from seven tempting restaurants offering a range of delicious cuisine. Favorites include Dynasty authentic Chinese restaurant, and Musashino, featuring sushi, tempura and teppanyaki. For a relaxing evening drink, visit St. George's Bar.
- Gift Shop
- Beauty Salon
- Fitness Room
- Restaurant On-Site
- Business Center
- Dry Cleaning
- Currency Exchange
- Concierge desk
- Spa Services
- Alarm Clock
- Air Conditioning
- Coffee Maker
- Climate Control
- Complimentary Newspaper
- Room Service
- In-Room Safe
- Wake-Up Calls
- Complimentary Toiletries
- Pay Movies
- Hair Dryer
- Iron/Ironing Board
- Internet Access
The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).Price Ranges
$ ($50 CAD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 CAD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 CAD)
$$$$ (Over $150)
KYOTO MAIKO DINNER
An elegant evening of culture, entertainment, and delectable food awaits at Kacho in Chion-in Temple.
Price Range: $$$$
KYOTO NIGHT TOUR
Japan has been renowned for its refined culture throughout the centuries, and we'll help you experience it firsthand on this very special evening excursion.
Price Range: $$$$
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.
JAPAN TRAVEL INFO
* The “Starting at” or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per person based on twin occupancy and any applicable port charges, non-commissionable taxes and fees and intra-vacation flight are included in the price shown. Any included overnight stay in Canada, applicable GST/HST is also included in the price shown. International airfare, however, is not included. If price is crossed out, the new price shown includes a limited time promotional offer(s). Please review current promotions or deals for additional information.