Splendors of Japan

Sensō-ji Buddhist Temple, Asakusa, Tokyo
10 Days from $3,758 per person

Eclectic cities, traditional villages, snow-capped mountains and coastal beauty combine. Discover the splendors of Japan on a journey of discovery, from iconic Tokyo to Kanazawa and Kyoto. 

You'll enjoy Insider moments like…feeling awestruck by majestic Mt. Fuji as you alight at 2,300 meters. And learning the art of making delicate washi paper with a local family, before trying your hand at this traditional craft for yourself.

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).

  2. Welcome to Japan. Upon arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda International Airport, transfer by airport shuttle service to your centrally located hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetizers.
    hotel:New Otani
  3. This morning your City Tour begins with an orientation drive. See the Tokyo Skytree, the world's highest free-standing broadcasting tower. Continue to Asakusa and visit the Sensoji Buddhist temple. It is one of Tokyo's most colorful and popular temples and has been rebuilt countless times since it was founded in 628, making it Tokyo's oldest temple site. Visit Nakamise, a shopping street over 200 meters long that stretches from the outer gate to the temple's second interior gate. Next head to the famous Ginza district for a hands-on cooking class. Learn how to make sushi with a Local Specialist and then enjoy your sushi creations for lunch. Later choose to either return to the hotel, remain in Ginza at leisure or take part in an Optional Experience.
    meal(s):BB, L
  4. Today continue your City Tour with a visit to the Edo-Tokyo Museum. This fascinating museum displays artifacts and architecture that tell a tale of Tokyo's history and culture during the Edo period. Next drive to Akihabara which began its evolution into ‘Electric Town' post WWII when the area became a black market for radio parts. It now houses numerous electronics shops selling a wide range of computer goods and video games. Enjoy some free time here before heading to the Imperial Palace Plaza, a large park area in the center of Tokyo from where the two bridges that form the entrance to the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace can be viewed. It is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan and built on the former site of Edo Castle. Take a stroll around the Imperial Palace East Gardens before returning to your hotel.

  5. After breakfast depart Tokyo for the Five Lakes District, dominated by majestic UNESCO listed Mt. Fuji. At 3,776 meters it is Japan's highest mountain and most recognisable icon. Ascend by road to 2,300 meters at the 5th Station before taking a ride on the Kachikachiyama Ropeway, (both weather permitting) a cable car ride offering spectacular views on a clear day of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi. Later drive north to visit Matsumoto Castle, one of the most beautiful and complete original Japanese castles with its unique timber and stone structure. It is also a great Cherry Blossom viewing spot in the springtime. Continue to Nagano for your overnight stay with dinner at the hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Shinshu-Matsushiro Royal
  6. This morning travel through the breath-taking Japanese Alps to the beautiful hillside town of Takayama. Begin your walking tour in the Edo style streets of the Old Town, stopping en route to sample Japanese sake, a Cultural Insight. Lunch today is a Regional Meal of Japanese Hida beef at a local restaurant. Hida beef (Hida-gyu) is the specific name given to beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, it is known as one of the finest quality varieties of beef. This afternoon take a step back in time during a visit to the peaceful mountain village and UNESCO designated site of Gokayama. See the unique Gassho-zukuri wooden houses; the steeply sloped thatched roofs resemble two hands together in prayer. Visit one of the houses and meet the family. Later observe local artisans making washi paper and try your hand at making your own, a Cultural Insight before continuing on to the historic castle town of Kanazawa.
    meal(s):BB, RM
    hotel:Kanazawa Tokyu
  7. This morning discover the secrets of gold leaf painting during a visit with a Local Specialist. The production of gold leaf started in Kanazawa at the end of the 16th century and now 99% of Japan's high quality gold leaf is produced in the area. Next visit the gardens of Kenrokuen, rated as one of the top three most beautiful gardens in Japan and a great place to see Cherry Blossoms in the springtime. Take your time to relax and explore the ornate landscapes, temples and ponds. Afterwards take a short walk through the Omicho fish market to see the local catch and enjoy an insiders view of everyday life in a busy coastal town. Later visit the Nagamachi District with its old and beautifully preserved samurai houses. Visit the Nomura house, an elegant samurai mansion with beautiful small gardens belonging to a high-ranked samurai family.

  8. This morning leave Kanazawa for Kyoto by Express train. On arrival enjoy a special Be My Guest lunch at a traditional ryokan nestled in the peace and quiet of Mt. Yoshida. The ryokan was built in 1932 by master craftsmen to serve as the second residence of the uncle of the current Japanese Emperor, Akihito. Learn more about local Japanese customs as your hosts welcome you into their beautiful home. After lunch visit Kinkakuji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its Golden Pavilion. The Kinkakuji history dates back to 1397, when the villa was purchased by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son. Later check in to your hotel for a relaxing evening.
    meal(s):BB, BG
    hotel:Nikko Princess Kyoto
  9. This morning visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine and see the tunnel of thousands of bright orange torii gates that snake through the forest up into the mountains. Then head to the Sanjusangen-do Hall, a temple famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy and afterwards enjoy a walking tour of the Gion area. Choose to remain in Gion to explore further or return to the hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Farewell Dinner at the Ninja Kyoto restaurant. Venture into the mysterious labyrinth and secret fortress of the Ninjas, the traditional Japanese heroes and enjoy the creative Ninja-style food.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  10. Transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight. Alternatively, continue to Hiroshima by choosing the 13 day itinerary on page 24.

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.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
3 Jan 17 12 Jan 17 checkmark $4,175pp
$4,175 pp
11 Feb 17 20 Feb 17 $4,175$3,758pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,175 $3,758 pp
11 Mar 17 20 Mar 17 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
18 Mar 17 27 Mar 17 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
25 Mar 17 3 Apr 17 checkmark $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
28 Mar 17 6 Apr 17 checkmark $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
1 Apr 17 10 Apr 17 checkmark $4,395pp
$4,395 pp
4 Apr 17 13 Apr 17 checkmark $4,395pp
$4,395 pp
8 Apr 17 17 Apr 17 checkmark $4,395pp
$4,395 pp
11 Apr 17 20 Apr 17 checkmark $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
15 Apr 17 24 Apr 17 $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
22 Apr 17 1 May 17 checkmark $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
6 May 17 15 May 17 checkmark $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
9 May 17 18 May 17 $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
13 May 17 22 May 17 checkmark $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
20 May 17 29 May 17 $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
3 Jun 17 12 Jun 17 $4,175$3,758pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,175 $3,758 pp
10 Jun 17 19 Jun 17 $4,175$3,758pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,175 $3,758 pp
17 Jun 17 26 Jun 17 checkmark $4,175pp
$4,175 pp
1 Jul 17 10 Jul 17 checkmark $4,175$3,758pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,175 $3,758 pp
19 Aug 17 28 Aug 17 $4,175$3,758pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,175 $3,758 pp
2 Sep 17 11 Sep 17 $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
9 Sep 17 18 Sep 17 $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
16 Sep 17 25 Sep 17 $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
30 Sep 17 9 Oct 17 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
3 Oct 17 12 Oct 17 $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
7 Oct 17 16 Oct 17 $4,295$3,866pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,295 $3,866 pp
14 Oct 17 23 Oct 17 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
28 Oct 17 6 Nov 17 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
4 Nov 17 13 Nov 17 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
11 Nov 17 20 Nov 17 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
25 Nov 17 4 Dec 17 $4,395$3,956pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,395 $3,956 pp
9 Dec 17 18 Dec 17 $4,175$3,758pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$4,175 $3,758 pp

Solo Travelers: These dates offer a discounted single supplement rate. 

Gion Festival: Takes place annually in Kyoto for the entire month of July.

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 $880.

Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip. 

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation. 

Special Discounts: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Past Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details

  • 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

8 nights' accommodations, 8 buffet breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

Be My Guest

  • Lunch at a traditional Japanese ryokan.

Cultural Insight

  • Sample Japanese Sake, learn about the production of Japanese washi paper.

Local Specialist

  • in Tokyo and Kanazawa.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tour of Tokyo and Kyoto, walking tour of Takayama
  • Visit the Edo Tokyo Museum and the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, the Kinkakuji Temple, Sanjyusangen-do Hall and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
  • View Mt. Fuji
  • See the traditional Gassho-zukuri houses in Gokayama and the beautiful gardens of Kenrokuen in Kanazawa
  • 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 48 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.


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