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Classic Japan

10 Days from $4,676 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Active

A tale of three iconic cities and three former capitals – your epic journey through Japan blends old and new, with soul-stirring visits to ancient centers and modern cities.

Travel to Asia often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

A tale of three iconic cities and three former capitals – your epic journey through Japan blends old and new, with soul-stirring visits to ancient centers and modern cities.

Travel to Asia often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. Tokyo's futuristic cityscape launches your journey through Japan's modern centers and ancient capitals. On arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport, you'll be transferred by airport shuttle to your hotel. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception drink with appetizers.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Keio Plaza
  2. Rub shoulders with the locals this morning as you dive into culture and wander through Ameyoko Street Market, once a black market selling American goods after World War II. Continue to the old-time entertainment center of Asakusa to visit the Sensoji Buddhist Temple, which has been rebuilt countless times since its founding in 628, making it Tokyo's oldest temple site. Take a stroll down Nakamise shopping street with some free time for lunch, then join a Local Specialist and learn the mesmerizing rhythmic art of Taiko drumming, one of Japan's most popular cultural icons. Board a cruise along the Sumida River to admire Tokyo's modern skyline, the traditional neighborhoods of old Edo and beautiful Hamarikyu Garden. Later, return to your hotel for time at leisure and dinner at a Sumo-themed izakaya restaurant.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
  3. We journey to Kamakura today. A former political capital, its glory days under the Kamakura shogunate spanned from the 12th to 14th centuries, coinciding with the spread of Buddhism in Japan which is reflected in the city's numerous temples. The most important of these is the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, which we'll have an opportunity to visit this morning, passing multiple torii gates that line the wide approach from Kamakura's waterfront. We head to Komachi-dori street for some free time to admire the old western-style houses lining narrow alleys that branch off this popular market street. Later, we'll travel to Kotokuin Temple to see its Great Buddha which weighs 121 tons. Returning to Tokyo, enjoy an evening at leisure or an opportunity to join an Optional Experience.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  4. The towering slopes of snow-capped Mt. Fuji loom in the distance as we journey from Tokyo to this celebrated UNESCO-listed site. Admire spectacular views of the surrounding countryside from its 5th station, a magnificent vantage point at 7,550 feet. After lunch at a local restaurant, we'll continue to Owakudani to see the volcanic activity. Consider sampling the local black eggs boiled in geysers, then head back to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  5. We leave Tokyo, traveling by high-speed bullet train to Kyoto, another former capital of Japan and the center of Japanese culture for centuries. On arrival, we'll embark on a walking tour of the Gion District, embracing the energy of Kawaramachi Street. Enjoy some free time before we head to the UNESCO-listed Kinkakuji Temple, whose glittering golden pavilion is widely regarded as the symbol of Kyoto. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure and perhaps some karaoke or a visit to a local Geisha teahouse.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Nikko Princess
  6. After a late start this morning, we'll visit one of Kyoto's highlights—the historic and scenic district of Arashiyama, renowned for its cherry blossom trees which bloom in the springtime and its beautiful landscapes that change dramatically from season to season. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the towering Bamboo groves and see its iconic Togetsukyo Bridge. Connect with nature in the Zen gardens of Tenryuji Temple, then return to Kyoto for some free time at Nishiki market, a traditional food market known by locals as "Kyoto's Pantry." Return to your hotel or consider joining an Optional Experience.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  7. Delve into the ancient history of Nara, the first permanent capital city of Japan. Here you'll visit the landmark Todaiji Temple, one of the powerful Seven Great Temples and home to one of Japan's largest bronze statues of Buddha. Take a stroll around Nara Park, home to hundreds of freely roaming tame deer, then connect with locals over a Be My Guest lunch with a local farmer at his tea plantation. Gain insights into the life of his family while sampling fresh tea and indulging in a delicious home-made meal. Return to Kyoto later, for an evening at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  8. This morning, we board a high-speed bullet train to Hiroshima, a lively city that celebrates peace in the shadow of the previous century's devastation. Our first stop is to a local restaurant where we'll join our Local Specialist for an Okonomiyaki Making experience. Mix your ingredients to make your own savory pancake and cook it on a hot plate before enjoying your creation for lunch. This afternoon, we head to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum and see the UNESCO-listed Peace Memorial, the only structure left standing when the first atomic bomb exploded in 1945. Take a moment to contemplate its symbolic expression of hope for world peace, then spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel:Rihga Royal
  9. Take the ferry to Miyajima Island to visit the famous UNESCO-listed Itsukushima Shrine and elaborate torii gate rising majestically out of the sea. Learn how to make Momiji Manjyu, one of the local specialties, shaping your steamed bun in the shape of a maple leaf and filling it with sweet red bean paste. You'll have an opportunity to sample your work before some free time for lunch. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience. Later, join your fellow guests and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  10. Your journey revealing Japan's ancient past and modern cityscape is at its end. Take a transfer by airport shuttle to Hiroshima Airport for your onward flight.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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  • Definite Departure
Start Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
29 Mar 19 7 Apr 19 checkmark $5,750$5,175pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
5 Apr 19 14 Apr 19 $5,750$5,175pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
12 Apr 19 21 Apr 19 checkmark $5,495$4,946pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
19 Apr 19 28 Apr 19 checkmark $5,495$4,946pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
10 May 19 19 May 19 $5,495$4,946pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jun 19 16 Jun 19 $5,195$4,676pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
5 Jul 19 14 Jul 19 checkmark $5,195$4,676pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
19 Jul 19 28 Jul 19 $5,195$4,676pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
16 Aug 19 25 Aug 19 $5,195$4,676pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 19 15 Sep 19 $5,350$4,815pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 19 22 Sep 19 $5,350$4,815pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
11 Oct 19 20 Oct 19 $5,450$4,905pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
25 Oct 19 3 Nov 19 $5,450$4,905pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $1,480.

Cherry Blossom season varies between different regions of Japan and is dependant on weather conditions so can also vary slightly each year. Late March to mid-April are the most likely times to experience it on this trip but this is not guaranteed.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

9 buffet breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect With Locals

  • Lunch with a local farmer's family who runs a traditional tea plantation in Nara.

Dive Into Culture

  • Visit Ameyoko Street Market
  • Take a Taiko Drumming Lesson
  • Dine in an izakaya restaurant
  • Learn how to make Okonomiyaki and Momiji Manjyu

Local Specialist

  • Taiko drumming lesson, Okonomiyaki making experience

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour of Tokyo, Kamakura
  • Visit Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and Kotokuin Temple in Kamakura, Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Gion District, Arashiyama and Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto, Todaiji Temple and Nara Park in Nara, Peace Memorial Park and Museum in Hiroshima, Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island
  • Cruise along the Sumida River in Tokyo
  • See the multiple orange colored torii gates in Kamakura, the Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Japan must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Japan.

  • The currency in Japan is the Yen. We recommend bringing a combination of debit and credit cards on your trip. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before leaving the country.  You can pay by card at larger stores but small shops and markets will only accept cash. The most convenient way to obtain yen is by using your debit or ATM card to withdraw cash at local banks in Japan.  

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  Japanese food offers an abundance of delights with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients and regional traditions.  Rice, noodles, and miso soup are common staples.  You’ll find a variety of fish, which is often grilled, but also served raw in sushi or sashimi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried as tempura.

  • We suggest bringing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf could also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • There is no custom of tipping at restaurants in Japan.  If you attempt leave a tip for your waiter it could very well be refused – or even perceived as an insult.  As such, it’s best to follow the local customs by not tipping on top of your bill. 

    It is, however, customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary

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Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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