Country
Japan
Duration
10 Days/9 Nights
Travel Type
Tour
 

Inclusions

9-night accommodation
Daily breakfast, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
All sightseeing as per itinerary
Entrance fees as per itinerary
Luggage courier service as per itinerary
English-speaking tour guide as per itinerary
Public transportation during the tours
English-speaking airport assistance on arrival day
Japan Rail pass 7 days

Exclusions

International airfare and airport taxes – Meals other than mentioned – Beverage – Gratuities to guides and drivers and hotel staff, city taxe and visa fees when applicable – Baggage handling – Travel insurance – Anything not mentioned in the inclusions

Additional Information

Special Notes

• Rhythm : Fast/ active – some days may include a lot of walking up to 10km / day.
• This tour is not suitable for people with mobility issues.
• Our Small Group journeys do not use private coaches. We use a combination of public transportation, including local buses and train, to get around.
• For group of less than 10, a spot guide is provided (1 guide in each city). For Group of 10 or more, a through guide will be provided.
• Departure transfer is included on the last day of the journey using included JR Pass. Clients will walk (hotels included is within walking distance – less then 10 minutes) to the nearest train station. Clients will then use their included Japan Rail pass to get to the airport whether they depart from KIX, ITM (surcharge applies), NRT or HND.
Guide will not accompany the clients on this day. If customers choose a means of transportation other than Japan Rail pass to get to the airport, it will be at their own expense.
• Overnight luggage courier services are used on our Small Group Journeys because most Japanese trains (with the notable exceptions of the Narita Airport Express servicing Tokyo’s Narita Airport, and the Haruka Express servicing Kansai Airport) do not have luggage compartments. Your day-by-day itinerary will note when your main piece of luggage is couriered to an advance destination (included in costing). Please prepare a smaller luggage bag for overnighting on nights when you will be separate from your main piece of luggage.
• The minimum number of people on this group is 4, and the maximum is 16 people.

1

DAY 1 SUNDAY - ARRIVAL IN TOKYO

*The starting and ending times of the guides mentioned in the itinerary below are approximate. Depending on the day, adjustments can be made, so please talk with your guide and decide if you have any preferences.*
English-Speaking assistant.
Upon arrival at Narita or Haneda Airport, you will meet an English Speaking Assistant at the arrival lobby.
(After arriving at the airport, if you cannot locate the guide in the arrival lobby, please contact the guide without moving from the arrival lobby. There is a possibility that the guide is temporarily away from the arrival lobby, assisting customers arriving on earlier flights).
A shared airport shuttle bus will transfer you to your hotel. Your welcome briefing will be on the morning of Day 2.
Arriving into Narita Airport:
- To Shinjuku Washington Hotel: The final direct bus departs from Terminal 2 at 20:00 and from Terminal 1 at 20:05. The final bus to Busta Shinjuku (Shinjuku Bus terminal ) departs from Terminal 2 at 23:00, and from Terminal 1 at 23:05. From Busta Shinjuku, it’s a 12-minute walk to Shinjuku Washington Hotel (or take a taxi at own cost).

Arriving into Haneda Airport:
- To Shinjuku Washington Hotel: The final direct bus departs from Terminal 3 at 21:50 and from Terminal 2 at 22:00. The final bus to Busta Shinjuku departs from Terminal 2 at 01:00. From Busta Shinjuku, it’s a 12-minute walk to Shinjuku Washington Hotel (or take a taxi at own cost).

Accommodation : Tokyo for 2 nights

2

DAY 2 MONDAY - EXPLORE TOKYO ON FOOT USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 08:00~18:00.
At 8:00 am meet your fellow travellers and tour guide at the hotel lobby for a tour briefing. This is a great chance to get to know your fellow travellers and talk about the adventure that awaits you.
The local tour leader will guide you to activate your JAPAN RAIL PASS. Please bring your passport along to activate the RAIL PASS.
Note: The exchange of the JR Pass will be done on this day, but the usage will start from the DAY4 onwards.
Following your welcome briefing embark on your exploration of Tokyo. With a teeming population of eight million, the capital of Japan invigorates the senses. Founded in 1603 as an Edo-era military centre, Tokyo has since lived a myriad of lives. Earthquakes, world wars and raging fires have at various times over the past 150 years razed Japan’s main city to the ground, while in the past half-century this current seat of royal power has emerged as a trading super-city and a headquarters for one of the world’s largest economies. On the back of foreign investment, the huge success of automotive and precision electronics industries and national industriousness, Tokyo presents as a truly pulsating metropolis - brimming with street-life activity and neon lights galore, yet also home to an underworld of drinking dens and atmospheric restaurants. Today you will explore some of the city’s highlights on a carefully created tour.

Departing your hotel after breakfast, and taking full advantage of the fantastic underground railway network, you will travel to serene Meiji Jingu shrine. Dedicated to the late 19th-century emperor who opened Japan to the West, Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine is wonderfully serene and austere. The 12 metre high torii gate at the entrance to the 200 acre park is made of 1,500 year old cypress, and there’s a second one like it closer to the shrine itself. Continue to the Imperial Palace, site of the original Edo-jo, the Tokugawa shogunate’s castle. As it’s the home of Japan’s emperor and some of the imperial family, the palace is off limits. However, you will wander through the surrounding grounds and bridges – the iron Niju-bashi and the stone Megane-bashi. In its heyday this was the largest fortress in the world, though little remains today apart from the moat and stone walls. The present palace, completed in 1968, replaced the one built in 1888, which was largely destroyed during WWII. Travel by train to Asakusa and explore Sensoji temple and Nakamise Shopping Street before returning to your hotel.

Insider Experience: Today for lunch you will enjoy “chanko” a Japanese stew traditionally eaten by sumo wrestlers in vast quantities as part of a weight gain diet. Chanko is a type of stew however it is more like a broth with no specific recipe. Unlike other Japanese recipes, the dish can vary according to the chef.

Note: There is a significant amount of walking today, including climbing stairs and taking public transport.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

3

DAY 3 TUESDAY - TOKYO TO HAKONE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 09:00~17:00.

Important information: Luggage courier services are widely used in Japan to transfer your main luggage to your next destination when using Japan Rail services. Today we will transfer your luggage to your Takayama hotel, taking an overnight bag for your one-night stay in Hakone.

This morning, travel by train to Hakone. Hakone has been a popular resting post since the Japanese warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered a natural bath to be built here in 1590 enabling his battle-weary men to relax in the natural hot spring waters of this volcanic area. Set in mountainous countryside South of Mt. Fuji, Hakone offers a curious mix of different attractions. Onsen houses proliferate throughout the region providing plenty of opportunity for relaxing in the revitalising natural hot spring waters. The region is crisscrossed by a collection of ropeways, cable-cars and funicular railways which link numerous small communities. On clear days the ropeways provide spectacular views of surrounding mountains and of course, in the distance the imperious Mt. Fuji - one of the world’s most famous mountains and one of the most recognisable symbols of Japan.
We tour around this picturesque region and take in the surrounding scenery from a boat trip on Lake Ashi before returning to your hotel in the afternoon.

Note: There is a significant amount of walking today

Insider Experience – Special Stay: After checking in to your traditional Japanese hotel, change into your yukata and slippers and savour a sumptuous Japanese dinner. Tonight, enjoy the onsite onsen (please see special notes in your pre-departure guide) and sleep in an atmospheric tatami-floored room, on a futon mattress.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation : Hakone for 1 night

4

DAY 4 WEDNESDAY - HAKONE TO TAKAYAMA BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide 08:00~18:00.
Today travel by train to timeless Takayama, using a combination of bullet train and limited express train with an included bento box lunch or “ekiben” to eat on the way. Situated more than 2000 feet above sea lea level and surrounded by the brooding peaks of the Japan Alps, Takayama is a bustling market town. It was once the home of Japan’s most skilled carpenters and artisans, the well-preserved streets and wooden houses on the banks of the Miyagawa River pay vivid testament to this fact. The buildings now house a multitude of craft shops and specialist food stores where you’ll find numerous sake breweries (open for tastings) and museums covering all manner of things from mechanical dolls to the history of the Lion dance.

Upon arrival in Takayama check into your hotel. This afternoon set out on a walking tour of some of Takayama’s main attractions. As an introduction, visit the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, home to colourful floats which come out bi-annually during two of Japan’s most famous festivals. You will also visit Takayama Jinya, formerly a government building and home to some wonderful insights into Japan’s past. Stroll past some beautifully preserved wooden houses on Kami Sannomachi Street and venture past enticing sake rice wine breweries (if time allows).

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation : Takayama for 2 nights

5

DAY 5 THURSDAY - TAKAYAMA FREE DAY

Today is a free day without a guide. It’s a great opportunity to relax and take it easy. However, for those who wish to explore, we suggest visiting Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, home to colourful floats which come out bi-annually during two of Japan’s most famous festivals. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon or visit the serine area of Hidano-Sato. Explore the open-air museum exhibiting over 30 traditional wooden farm houses as well as huts and residences from the Hida region. The houses on display were all built during the Edo period (1603-1867) and were relocated from their original locations to create this museum like experience in 1971. Please feel free to ask your guide about how to get there and what to see.

Meals : Breakfast

6

DAY 6 FRIDAY - TAKAYAMA TO KYOTO BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 09:00~19:00.

Important information: Luggage courier services are widely used in Japan to transfer your main luggage to your next destination when using Japan Rail services. Today we will transfer your luggage to your Kyoto hotel, please prepare an overnight bag as your luggage will arrive 1 day after dispatch.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning, before boarding the train for Kyoto. The spiritual and cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is the setting of more than 1,600 temples and shrines, a headquarters for geisha courtesans, and home of royal cuisine. This enigmatic city is the birthplace of some of Japan’s most beautiful sites and alluring traditions: tea ceremonies, ‘shodo’ calligraphy, peaceful rock gardens, and an array of artistic and intellectual pursuits. The beauty of Kyoto is undeniably manifest in the temples and bamboo forests of Higashiyama, the shrine-dotted slopes of Arashiyama and in gorgeous Ponto-Cho and Gion geisha districts.

Upon arrival in Japan’s most beguiling city, travel short distance to your hotel and check in. In the late afternoon depart from your hotel and explore the world of the geisha, and Kyoto’s famed Gion entertainment district. Wander through scenic streets of two different geisha districts as your guide explains the world of the geisha. Along the way, if you’re lucky, you might spot a geisha on the way to an appointment. Highlights include Hanami-koji Lane (geisha district), preserved houses, the chance of geisha sightings, Shimbashi (the most scenic street in all Kyoto), and Ponto-cho.

Meals : Breakfast

Accommodation : Kyoto for 4 nights

7

DAY 7 SATURDAY - KYOTO BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 08:30~18:00.
Your discoveries of Kyoto will take in some of the city’s treasures. We begin this memorable day with atmospheric Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the sprawling Zen gardens of UNESCO World Heritage listed Tenryu-ji Temple, which represents some of the finest examples of “borrowed scenery” in Japan. Next take a short walk to Togetsukyo Bridge, Arashiyama’s most iconic landmark. After some free time for lunch take Kyoto’s only tram line, The Randen, to Ryoanji Temple and the site of Japan’s most famous rock garden. Next a short walk brings you to The Golden Temple, Kinkakuji, one of Japan’s most cherished sites. This elegant, gilded structure was built in the 14th century as a retirement villa. Return to your hotel at the end of the afternoon.

Note: There is a significant amount of walking today.

Meals : Breakfast

8

DAY 8 SUNDAY - KYOTO FREE DAY

Today is a free day for you to enjoy at leisure. Whether you’re a fan of Japanese gardens, traditional architecture, temples, shrines, hiking, old shops, modern Japan, cycling or a combination of all these.

Alternatively, should you wish to travel further afield, your rail pass is valid for travel to various regions in Japan. You can choose from Hiroshima to visit the Peace Museum and neighbouring Miyajima island, Himeji to visit its grand castle, Nara to see a giant bronze Buddha in the world’s largest wooden building and endearing free roaming deer or Osaka and its vibrant street foods.

Your tour guide can help you put together a self-exploration itinerary to satisfy every interest.

Meals : Breakfast

9

DAY 9 MONDAY - FREE DAY AND GEISHA DINNER

English-speaking guide at dinner only.
Today is free to enjoy at leisure before your farewell dinner in the company of a real-life Geisha.

You could spend your last day visiting the covered shopping streets of Teramachi and Shinkyogoku. Kyoto is the perfect place to pick up traditional Japanese souvenirs from beautiful artwork to Kimonos. Nishiki Market is also in this area and is Kyoto’s largest traditional food market giving you a glimpse of what a traditional “shotengai” or shopping street would have looked like. Grab some skewers of yakitori or a plate of sashimi and relax in one of the many small restaurants watching the locals going about their business.

Meet at your hotel this evening to be taken to your farewell kaiseki dinner.

Insider Experience – Taste: Enjoy a group dinner, a chance to farewell new friends and indulge in a very special dining experience. Kaiseki is a type of art form that balances taste, texture, appearance, and colours of food. To this end, only fresh seasonal ingredients are used and are prepared in ways that aim to enhance their flavour. Finished dishes are carefully presented on plates that are chosen to enhance both the appearance and seasonal theme of the meal. Dishes are beautifully arranged and garnished, often with real leaves and flowers, as well as edible garnishes designed to resemble natural plants and animals.

Insider Experience – Local: During your meal a Maiko/Geisha will come to your private room to perform traditional arts and to talk with you. A geisha with her elaborate kimono and ghost white make-up, is one of the most enduring images of Japan. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience a highly exclusive service that is usually only available through a personal introduction. This is the best way to really experience the world of Kyoto’s geisha. Interact with the geisha and pose for pictures with them, while enjoying a fantastic traditional meal in refined surroundings. After enjoying dinner and the performance the evening is yours to enjoy at leisure.

Note: The Geisha and Maiko industry has its own unique rules, and there is a chance that confirmed reservations may be cancelled. This is a cultural aspect of the Geisha and Maiko industry. A suitable alternative will be provided in lieu of any cancellations.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

10

DAY 10 TUESDAY - DEPART KYOTO

No guide.
It’s time to say goodbye, but just think of all the wonderful stories you will take home.
Walk to Kyoto Train Station where your Japan Rail Pass can still be used for travel on the JR Rail Network.

Meals : Breakfast

HOTELS OR SIMILAR

Tokyo:

Shinjuku Washington Hotel 3*– Standard room

Hakone:

Susukinohara Ichinoyu 3*- Japanese style room with beds

Takayama:

Takayama Ouan 3*– Run of House room

Kyoto:

Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo 4*- Run of House room

Rates in CA$, per person, starting from

Land Package
Departures 2024-2025 Double Single
 

June 2, 16 and 30, 2024

August 25, 2024

5149 6339

September 15, 2024

October 13, 2024 – 2 passengers booked – 2 passengers needed to guarantee the tour

November 3, 2024

February 2, 2025

March 9, 2025

5899 6799

March 23, 2025

April 13, 2025

6109 7049

Minimum of 4 and the maximum is 16 passengers.

**Prices in this document are for information only; they were issued at press time, for the current year. Please note that due to exchange rates and temporary promotions, they can increase or decrease at any time. Contact your travel agent for the price and promotion of the moment. Prices include the contribution of customers to the Compensation Fund for clients of Quebec travel agents.

Highlights of Japan – Detailed itinerary
Highlights of Japan – Detailed itinerary