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Life in Japan - 10 Days Escorted Program Details

Visiting Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Kyoto, Ginkakuji, Shijo, Arashiyama, Uji & Momoyama

Day 1 – Tokyo, Japan
Check into your Shinjuku hotel, Tokyo’s dynamic center of business, shopping and entertainment.
Keio Plaza Hotel

Day 2 – Explore Tokyo
A morning tour of Tokyo shows you the highlights of this fascinating metropolis: the Imperial Palace Plaza and the Asakusa Kannon Temple, the oldest in the city, where you can stroll past the bustling stalls of Nakamise Arcade. Also included on the tour are the beautifully landscaped grounds of the Meiji Shrine, a fine example of Shinto architecture built to honor the Emperor Meiji. The afternoon is free for you to spend as you wish. Tokyo has many distinct neighborhoods, each with its own special character. The modern and larger areas include the shopping centers of Ginza, Shibuya, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku; the Marunouchi business district; the entertainment district of Roppongi; and the government administration center around Kasumigaseki.
Keio Plaza Hotel – Meals B

Day 3 – Free Day in Tokyo
A full free day gives you time to explore this delightful city on your own. A full-day optional tour to Nikko (Apr-Nov) is available; here you see the magnificent Toshogu Shrine, set against the wooded splendor of Nikko National Park. Please ask us about the wide variety of other optional tours and excursions that allow you to customize your trip by adding those that most interest you.
Keio Plaza Hotel – Meals B

Day 4 – Tokyo Fish Market / Mt. Fuji / Hakone
Early this morning we join the locals at Tsukiji, Tokyo’s lively wholesale fish market. Over 2,800 tons of more than 450 species of fish are sold here each day. The Tsukiji market is like a bustling street fair and is a fascinating glimpse into Japanese culture. We leave Tokyo and drive through the countryside to Mt. Fuji, revered in Japan as a sacred peak. Halfway up the mountain we stop and enjoy the beautiful views and photo opportunities. Afterward travel on to Hakone, a hot springs resort set amidst pine-clad mountains. A cruise of Lake Hakone is followed by a cable car ride up Mt. Komaga-take to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding mountains and forest. Later enjoy a special Japanese dinner.
Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa – Meals B,D

Day 5 – Bullet Train to Mishima / Kyoto
This morning, travel along the scenic road to Mishima and board the Bullet Train (shinkansen) bound for Kyoto. Ancient Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan for over a thousand years. Surrounded by scenic hills to the west, north and east, the city reigned from 794 to 1868 as the cultural and artistic center of the nation, a position it still holds today. Kyoto is best known for its more than 1,600 Buddhist temples and 270 Shinto shrines; the city’s Imperial Palace and legendary gardens also are classic representations of Japan’s cultural legacy. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel by hotel shuttle. Or, you can experience a traditional Japanese inn for one night by staying at the Yoshi-ima, located in the Gion district. Owned by the same family for generations, you enjoy a Japanese breakfast and dinner, plus a tea ceremony.
Rihga Royal Hotel – Meals B

Day 6 – Explore Kyoto
Your morning sightseeing of Kyoto visits the city’s most remarkable sights – Kinkaku-ji Temple, the Golden Pavilion, Heian Shrine and the Sanjusangendo Temple’s Hall of 1,001 statues of Buddha. This afternoon we travel to Nara, another exquisite ancient capital of Japan. In Nara we visit some of the eight historic monuments of ancient Nara that have been placed on the World Heritage List – Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji, Gango-ji, Yakushi-ji, and Toshodai-ji Temples; Kasuga Taisha Shrine; the Kasugayama Primeval Forest; and the Nara Palace Site. Don’t miss a relaxing visit to Nara’s famous deer park, with its 1,200 tame bucks, doe, and fawns.
Rihga Royal Hotel – Meals B

Day 7 – Visit Inari, Uji & Momoyama
A local train brings us to Inari where we stop to visit Fushimi Inari – a temple complex with gardens – and walk up through more than 1,000 huge Torii gates to a small temple on the side of a hill. A short train ride brings us next to Uji where we walk to the Byodoin Temple. The temple was first a rural villa owned by Fujiwara Michinaga, a powerful regent and the model for the hero Genji in Tale of Genji. The lovely complex is filled with beautiful halls, gardens and ponds and is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. After our visit to Byodoin, we take a train to Momoyama to visit the Gekkeikan Okura Memorial Sake Museum and learn about the rich history of sake brewing and enjoy a tasting of this traditional beverage.
Rihga Royal Hotel – Meals B

Day 8 – Boat Adventure on the Arashiyama River / Explore Arashiyama
A morning walk brings us to Kyoto station where we board a train bound for Kameoka. Here walk along paths through lush rice paddies to the banks of the Arashiyama River where we climb aboard wooden boats for a two-hour ride through the Hozu rapids, known for its beautiful scenery. Once we arrive downriver in Arashiyama, a small fishing town, we’ll head for the Tenryu-ji Temple, a World Heritage site that is the head temple of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism. We’ll also visit the Okochi-Sanso garden to walk through this private villa’s beautiful bamboo forest and surrounding gardens. We’ll stop at the tea house on the grounds for a traditional Japanese pick-me-up – a cup of cold green tea. Walking on, we explore the charming town of Arashiyama on our way to the train station for a return trip to Kyoto.
Rihga Royal Hotel – Meals B

Day 9 – Exclusive inside visit to Kyoto’s Imperial Palace
This morning a short walk through the streets of Kyoto takes you to the station where you board a local bus to Karasuma-Imadegawa. Here you enjoy an exclusive visit inside the Kyoto Imperial Palace, normally closed to the public. The palace, renowned for its elegant simplicity, served as the palace of the emperor until the captial was moved to Tokyo after the Meiji Restoration (1868). We’ll also stroll down the Philosopher’s Walk, a residential area that has wonderful examples of Japanese architecture and gardens. At Kano Shojan, a little tea house, we stop for a tea ceremony presented by the owner. After finishing our stroll down the Philosopher’s Walk we take the subway to Shijo where we visit the huge Nishiki Market filled with stalls selling everything a Japanese household needs – fish, spices, cloth, pots, china and more. We’ll travel back to Kyoto on the subway and walk back to the hotel.
Rihga Royal Hotel – Meals B

Day 10 – Kyoto
Your program with us finishes after breakfast or choose to extend your stay.
Meals B

A Spectacular July Event –The Gion Festival in Kyoto
First celebrated in 896, the Gion Festival has grown through the centuries into a celebration that fills Kyoto with color, music and merriment. The highlight of the festival is the Yamahoko-junko – a parade of colorful floats through downtown Kyoto. The gigantic floats are pulled through the streets by teams of men dressed in traditional costumes; many of the floats even have musicians on board. The whole city is decorated for the festival, the streets are lit up with lanterns and the floats are covered with colorful, beautifully patterned fabrics. Travelers on the July 12 tour will attend the Gion Festival, enjoy the parade and see the city decorated for the festival.

B Breakfast
D Dinner

Keio Plaza Hotel
Deluxe hotel centrally located in th Shinjuku district

Hakone Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa
Deluxe hotel on the foothills of Japan's majestic Hakone Mountains overlooking the rich blue waters of Sagami Bay
Kyoto Rihga Royal Hotel
Superior first class hotel just a short walk from the train station

Departures & Pricing

Call (800) 990-3454 for reservation