• AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

    AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

  • Additional Savings for Past Travelers

    Additional Savings for Past Travelers

Splendors of Japan with Hiroshima

14 Days from $5,675 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Comfortable

Embrace the timeless tradition and modern spirit of Japan's iconic sites, from the neon skyline of Tokyo to the foodie hotspot of Osaka.

Relax in the soothing hot springs of Kotohira, spend the night in a traditional ryokan and contemplate world peace at the final remnants of Hiroshima's atomic blast.

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Overview

Embrace the timeless tradition and modern spirit of Japan's iconic sites, from the neon skyline of Tokyo to the foodie hotspot of Osaka.

Relax in the soothing hot springs of Kotohira, spend the night in a traditional ryokan and contemplate world peace at the final remnants of Hiroshima's atomic blast.

  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.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:New Otani
  3. This morning your City Tour begins with a stop in Asakusa and a visit to 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. Visit the Tokyo Skytree, the world's highest free-standing broadcasting tower. Later choose to either return to the hotel at leisure or take part in an Optional Experience.

    meal(s):BB
  4. Start the day by 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 continuing 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 head to the famous Ginza district for a hands-on cooking class. Learn how to make sushi with a Local Specialist and afterwards enjoy your sushi creations for lunch. Then 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 recognizable icon.

    meal(s):BB, L, D
    hotel:Fuji Marriott Yamanakako
  5. After breakfast visit Oshino Hakkai, a small rural village in the Fuji Five Lakes district; a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Oshino Village boasts a beautiful park with 8 natural spring water ponds that are fed by melted snow from Mt. Fuji. The reflections of the sky and landscapes on the clear and pure water provide picturesque scenes which make stunning photographs. Then ascend Mt. Fuji 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 Kawaguchiko. Later travel through the breath-taking Japanese Alps to the beautiful hillside town of Takayama before enjoying dinner at the hotel.

    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Associa Takayama Resort
  6. This morning 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. 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 begin your walking tour in the Edo style streets of the Old Town, shopping en route to sample Japanese sake, a Cultural Insight.

    meal(s):BB, RM
  7. This morning travel to Kanazawa and discover the secrets of gold leaf painting during a visit with a Local Specialist. The production of gold leaf started 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 Blossom in the springtime. Take your time to relax and explore the ornate landscapes, temples and ponds. Afterwards take a short walk through the Omicho market to see the local fish 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.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Kanazawa Tokyu
  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. This morning leave Japan's main island Honshu behind as you cross the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge, over the Seto Inland Sea to Awaji Island. Later have some free time for lunch and take a walk around Yumebutai, a complex of buildings built on the side of the mountain. One of the most striking features is the ‘100 Stepped Garden' — a group of 100 flowerbeds in small square gardens on an incline and arranged in grids spread over several levels. Visit the Water Temple, designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando to be a sensory experience. See how the mountains, sky, rice paddies and bamboo groves are reflected in the stillness of the water as you descend the steps to the Buddhist Temple below the water. Continue to the small mountain hot springs village of Kotohira for your overnight stay in your Authentic Accommodations, a Japanese ryokan. Before dinner, if you wish, climb the steps adjacent to the hotel to visit Kotohira-gu Shrine and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. This evening perhaps have a relaxing soak in the hot spring (onsen) bath at the hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Kotohira Grand Sakuranosho (ryokan) Authentic Accommodation
  11. This morning visit the Zentsuji Temple, birthplace of one of the most revered figures of Japanese Buddhism, the high priest Kobo Daishi. It is the 75th temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage, which covers approximately 1,200 kilometers and was traditionally done on foot taking up to 60 days to complete. It is still done by many people today although modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles or motorcycles. Continue to Omishima Island and make a stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Drive to Hiroshima via the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Expressway, a 60-kilometre highway that links the islands of the Seto Inland Sea with nine individual bridges.
    meal(s):BB, L
    hotel:Rihga Royal
  12. This morning catch a ferry over to Miyajima Island. On arrival visit the Itsukushima Shrine and admire the elaborate torii gate rising majestically out of the sea. Have some free time for lunch and strolling around this peaceful island. Return to Hiroshima and visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. See the UNESCO listed Peace Memorial, the only structure left standing in the area when the first atomic bomb exploded in 1945. Through the efforts of many people, this ruin has been preserved in the same state as immediately after the bombing as an expression of hope for world peace. This evening experience the famous Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, a Cultural Insight. Okonamiyaki is similar to a savory pancake and is made with egg, cabbage, soba noodles, and meat, seafood or cheese and grilled in layers on a hot plate in front of you.
    meal(s):BB, RM
  13. Take the high speed bullet train to Osaka and on arrival have some free time for lunch and shopping in the Dotonbori Street area. Then stop for a visit to Osaka Castle; one of Japan's most famous landmarks which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century. Later check-in at your hotel and this evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant with your Travel Director and fellow guests.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Sheraton Miyako Osaka
  14. Transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport, or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight.
    meal(s):BB
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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
  • Hamarikyu Japanese Garden
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
29 Sep 18 12 Oct 18 checkmark $5,950pp Request Quote Book Now
Hamarikyu Japanese Garden
2 Oct 18 15 Oct 18 checkmark $5,925pp Request Quote Book Now
13 Oct 18 26 Oct 18 checkmark $5,950pp Request Quote Book Now
3 Nov 18 16 Nov 18 checkmark $5,950pp Request Quote Book Now
10 Nov 18 23 Nov 18 $5,950pp Request Quote Book Now
24 Nov 18 7 Dec 18 $5,925pp Request Quote Book Now
8 Dec 18 21 Dec 18 $5,675pp Request Quote Book Now
  • Hamarikyu Japanese Garden: This departure will visit the Hamarikyu Japanese Garden instead of the Imperial Palace East Gardens.

Imperial Palace East Gardens are closed on Fridays, so trips starting in Tokyo on Wednesdays will visit the Hamarikyu Japanese Garden instead.

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

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 $1030.

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

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.

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

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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

12 nights, 12 buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches , 7 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

  • As per Splendors of Japan itinerary plus:

Cultural Insight

  • Sample the famous Hiroshima style okonomiyaki

Authentic Accommodations

  • Stay at a traditional ryokan in the mountain hot springs village of Kotohira

Sightseeing Highlights

  • As per Splendors of Japan itinerary plus:
  • City Tour of Hiroshima
  • Visit the Water Temple on Awaji Island, the Peace Memorial Park and Museum in Hiroshima, the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island
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

Reviews

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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.

Print Itinerary

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Kyoto

Gion Corner, Kyoto

Adult Price: ¥3900

The Gion corner is a unique experience where you can observe seven of Kyoto’s traditional performing arts, all on one stage. See a Bunraku puppet play; A UNESCO listed traditional Japanese puppet performance. Listen to the wonderful harmonies of Koto Music, as a master plays an ancient six stringed zither using ivory plectrums worn on their fingers. Watch Kyo-Mai, an elegant and dazzling dance performed by Maiko dancers in beautiful and ornate dress. Enjoy a performance of Kyogen Theatre, a comical play portraying humorous stories of daily life. Experience Gagaku (court music), the indigenous Japanese music performed at imperial court shrines and temples. During the evening observe the art of creating flower arrangements and a traditional ‘Ryurei style’ tea ceremony. There is also a Maiko Gallery, displaying costumes, hair decorations and videos of Maiko Dancers. NB. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.

Japanese Tea Ceremony Experience

Adult Price: ¥3500

Experience the ambience of a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony with a professional Tea Master who will have spent many years leaning his craft which is often presented in a ceremony influenced by Zen Buddhism. Learn about the history and culture of tea making in Japan and observe how the powdered green tea (matcha) is prepared by adding boiling water and mixing it with a bamboo whisk. There will also be an explanation on the Japanese way of making and drinking tea. Take the opportunity to try some Japanese sweets and afterwards, having observed the skill involved in making the tea, have a go at making your own! The price shown is in Japanese Yen.

Kanazawa

Izakaya Dining Experience

Adult Price: ¥4500

Join your Travel Director for a different kind of Japanese dining experience! An ‘izakaya’ is a type of informal Japanese pub where the food is shared by everyone at the table (similar to Spanish tapas). The menu changes according to the season but generally includes a small Japanese appetizer, sashimi, Japanese salad, grilled prawns, yakisoba, tofu yaki and chicken yakitori. The main dish is Japanese style dumplings known as ‘Gyoza’ which are very popular in Japan and featured on the menu at many izakaya establishments. The price also includes vanilla ice cream and two glasses of wine, beer or soft drinks per person. Vegetarian options are available for non-meat eaters. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.

Tokyo

Kimono Dressing Experience

Adult Price: ¥4500

From cotton summer yukatas to silk kimonos, these pieces of wearable art are icons of Japanese style. Visit a specialist kimono hiring shop and have fun getting dressed up in traditional Japanese style with the assistance of an expert ‘kimono dresser’ who will show you the tricks to make it easy. Choose your preferred colour of kimono which will come with a matching bag and shoes. A professional stylist will dress you in the kimono and afterwards enjoy some free time to stroll through streets wearing your kimono! Strike a pose for camera carrying visitors or just simply act like a local and take a relaxing stroll through the streets. Great fun for both ladies and gentlemen. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.

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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  • 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.

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