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.
Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|2 Sep 17||15 Sep 17||$6,650pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|9 Sep 17||22 Sep 17||$6,650pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|16 Sep 17||29 Sep 17||$6,650pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|30 Sep 17||13 Oct 17||$6,750pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|3 Oct 17||16 Oct 17||$6,650pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|7 Oct 17||20 Oct 17||$6,650pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|14 Oct 17||27 Oct 17||$6,750pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|28 Oct 17||10 Nov 17||$6,750pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|4 Nov 17||17 Nov 17||$6,750pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|11 Nov 17||24 Nov 17||$6,750pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|9 Dec 17||22 Dec 17||$6,450pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|2 Jan 18||15 Jan 18||$5,675pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|10 Feb 18||23 Feb 18||$5,675$5,108pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|10 Mar 18||23 Mar 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|17 Mar 18||30 Mar 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|24 Mar 18||6 Apr 18||$5,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|27 Mar 18||9 Apr 18||$5,950pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|31 Mar 18||13 Apr 18||$5,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|3 Apr 18||16 Apr 18||$5,950pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|7 Apr 18||20 Apr 18||$5,950pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|10 Apr 18||23 Apr 18||$5,950pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|14 Apr 18||27 Apr 18||$5,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|21 Apr 18||4 May 18||$5,950$5,355pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 May 18||18 May 18||$5,925pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|8 May 18||21 May 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|12 May 18||25 May 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|19 May 18||1 Jun 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|2 Jun 18||15 Jun 18||$5,675$5,108pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|9 Jun 18||22 Jun 18||$5,675$5,108pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|16 Jun 18||29 Jun 18||$5,675$5,108pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|30 Jun 18||13 Jul 18||$5,675$5,108pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|18 Aug 18||31 Aug 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|1 Sep 18||14 Sep 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|8 Sep 18||21 Sep 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|15 Sep 18||28 Sep 18||$5,950$5,355pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Sep 18||12 Oct 18||$5,950$5,355pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|2 Oct 18||15 Oct 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 Oct 18||18 Oct 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|13 Oct 18||26 Oct 18||$5,950$5,355pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|27 Oct 18||9 Nov 18||$5,950$5,355pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|3 Nov 18||16 Nov 18||$5,950$5,355pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|10 Nov 18||23 Nov 18||$5,950$5,355pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|24 Nov 18||7 Dec 18||$5,925$5,333pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|8 Dec 18||21 Dec 18||$5,675$5,108pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
Gion Festival : Takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. Evens and parades are held for the entire month of July.
Takayama Festival : This is considered one of Japan's best festivals to see the traditional floats in the streets of Takayama.
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.
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
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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