Country
Japan
Duration
14 Days/13 Nights
Travel Type
Tour
 

Inclusions

13-night accommodation
Daily breakfast 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 14 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 3 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.
Taking full advantage of the fantastic 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. Walk to Harajuku and immerse yourself in the teenage culture of Takeshita Dori and its side streets, which are lined by many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the fashion and trend conscious teens. Continue by train to Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and busy districts, packed with shopping, dining and nightlife serving swarms of visitors that come to the district every day. A prominent landmark of Shibuya is the large intersection in front of the station’s Hachiko Exit. The intersection is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens and gets flooded by pedestrians each time the crossing light turns green, making it a popular photo spot. Finish your day visiting one of the famed Japanese department stores basement food halls or “depachika”. Sample some of the delicacies on display before returning to your hotel for a free evening.

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

Meals : Breakfast

3

DAY 3 TUESDAY - TOKYO BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking Guide from 09:00~18:00.
Start your day with a visit to the bustling Senso-ji Temple, the oldest and most beloved temple in Tokyo. Here, be introduced to the influences of Buddhism on Japanese culture. Take a short walk to Kappabashi Dori or Kitchen Town to see the endless array of specialised stores selling everything from cooking utensils to plastic food to be displayed in the windows of Tokyo restaurants. Next, take a quick train trip to Nippori fabric town with streets of various materials before discovering Yanaka Old Town. Yanaka is one of the most quaint and aged parts of the city and is one of the few areas of Tokyo that was spared from bombing in WW11. Visit the Yanaka cemetery, established in 1874 which feels more like a tranquil park than a cemetery. Return to your hotel in the afternoon.

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

Meals : Breakfast

4

DAY 4 WEDNESDAY - 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.

Travel by train the short distance 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 the mountainous countryside just to the 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 revitalizing natural hot spring waters. The region is crisscrossed by a collection of ropeways, cable-cars and funicular railways which link the many small communities. On clear days the ropeways provide spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and of course, away in the distance the imperious Mt. Fuji - one of the world’s most famous mountains, the most recognisable symbol of Japan there is. Upon arrival you will enjoy a short boat trip on peaceful Lake Ashi-no, and an exciting cable car ascent (weather permitting) for majestic views of Japan’s most loved and famous geographic landmark.

Insider Experience - Special Stay: After checking into your traditional Japanese hotel, change into your yukata and slippers and savour a sumptuous Japanese dinner. Tonight, you will 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

5

DAY 5 THURSDAY - 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. 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 home of Japan’s most skilled carpenters and artisans, and 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, will also visit Takayama Jinya, formerly a government building and home to some wonderful insights into Japan’s past. Stroll past beautifully preserved wooden houses on Kami Sannomachi Street and venture past some enticing sake rice wine breweries (if time allows).

Meals : Breakfast

Accommodation : Takayama for 2 nights

6

DAY 6 FRIDAY - 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

7

DAY 7 SATURDAY - TAKAYAMA TO OSAKA BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 09:00~18:00.

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 Osaka 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 to Osaka. Osaka is Japans second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo and is known for its modern architecture, nightlife and hearty street food. This evening enjoy some local food for dinner in Dotonbori. Both sides of the Dotonbori River are filled with eating and drinking establishments.

Meals : Breakfast

Accommodation : Osaka for 2 nights

8

DAY 8 SUNDAY - OSAKA BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 09:00~12:00.
This morning following breakfast depart for the Umeda Sky building where a 360-degree view of Asaka awaits from the 170- metre high observatory. Later make your way to Kuromonichiba where you will get a taste of local life wondering through the bustling market. Locals will come here to purchase their goods whether it be fresh produce used in a local restaurant to home owners needing furniture. Enjoy the afternoon at your own leisure.

Meals : Breakfast

9

DAY 9 MONDAY - OSAKA TO HIROSHIMA BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 09:00~18:00.

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 for the 2 nights in Hiroshima.

Travel by train the short distance to Hiroshima. Western Honshu’s largest city needs little introduction as the name of Hiroshima has become synonymous with the atomic bomb. On August 6, 1945, the city was obliterated by the devastating effects of the first atomic bomb, wiping out - almost instantly - everything within a 2 kilometer radius. Immediately some 70,000 buildings were destroyed and by the end of the year, 140,000 people had become a victim to its horrifying effects. Nowadays, short of the remaining memorial of the A-Bomb Dome, you would be hard pressed to imagine the destruction once wrought in such a modern and bustling city. The downtown area is filled with places to shop, eat, and explore. You will find a vast amount of Okonomiyaki restaurants - a cabbage style pancake - as well as the famous oysters and maple-leaf-shaped pastry, considered the quintessential Miyajima souvenir. Afterwards, depart for the Peace Memorial Museum, dedicated to the events of 1945 and the aim of a war-free world. A visit to this exceptional museum is a sobering, yet educational experience. You will also see the famous Peace Memorial Park and a poignant cenotaph inscribed with all the known victims of the Hiroshima bomb, and the eerie A-Bomb Dome, a tragic city-symbol, left standing in a ruinous state after more than 60 years. In the evening, explore Hiroshima, a truly ‘reinvented’ city.

Meals : Breakfast

Accommodation : Hiroshima for 2 nights

10

DAY 10 TUESDAY - HIROSHIMA BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 08:30~18:00.
Following breakfast take a short walk to board the fast ferry for the passage to Miyajima Island on the edge of the Seto Sea. This tranquil island is home to Itsukushima Shrine, partly comprised of an offshore red ‘torii’ gate - one of Japan’s most famous and photographed sites. In ancient times access to holy Miyajima Island was through this ‘floating’ gate; you will arrive more conventionally, gliding into the ferry terminal. Visit the surreal Itsukushima shrine before taking a ride on the ropeway to Mt Misen to take in the magnificent views the island has to offer.

Meals : Breakfast

11

DAY 11 WEDNESDAY - HIROSHIMA TO KYOTO BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 09:00~18:00.
After breakfast travel by train to 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 the 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 the gorgeous Ponto-Cho and Gion geisha districts.
On the way, visit the Himeji castle before journeying onto Kyoto.
Upon arrival in Japan’s most beguiling city, travel the short distance to your hotel and check in. Late afternoon, explore the world of the geisha, and Kyoto’s famed Gion entertainment district. Wander through the most 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 3 nights

12

DAY 12 THURSDAY - KYOTO BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide 08:00~17:00.
Your discoveries of Kyoto will take in a sampling of treasures starting with a visit to Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. Originally founded in 780, today it is a UNESCO world heritage site. The temple was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools of Japanese Buddhism, but has now formed its own Kita Hosso sect in 1965. Then visit Ninnenzaka and walk around this ancient part of Kyoto where the traditional medieval architecture of the houses is well preserved and very interesting to see. Afterwards, walk to Kennin-ji temple, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. Kennin-ji temple is an oasis of calm in Kyoto and had a superb Zen garden that is highly pleasant to stroll around. Finally, take in Sanjusangendo, another unique and impressive temple dating back to 1164 and famous for its 1001 golden statues of Kannon, goddess of mercy.

Insider Experience - Local: Learn about the art of tea making in Japan. The Kimono wearing instructor will take you through all facets of the cha-no-yu (meaning hot water for tea), and its four principles - harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity.

Note: There is a significant amount of walking today.

Meals : Breakfast

13

DAY 13 FRIDAY - KYOTO BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

English-speaking guide from 09:00~12:00 and dinner.
This morning venture to Fushimi-inari shrine before enjoying the remainder of your day at your leisure.

Insider Experience - Local: This evening enjoy a group dinner, a chance to farewell new friends and indulge in a delightful evening while appreciating a fascinating Maiko dinner and performance During your meal a Maiko 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. Note that this is the best way to really experience the world of Kyoto’s geisha. Interact with the geisha and pose for pictures with her, all while enjoying a fantastic traditional meal in refined surroundings.

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

14

DAY 14 SATURDAY - 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

Osaka:

Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka 4*- Standard room

Hiroshima:

Hotel Granvia Hiroshima 4*- 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 16, 2024 – guaranteed

September 1, 2024 

September 29, 2024 guaranteed

October 6, 2024

7359 8499

October 20, 2024

November 3, 2024 – guaranteed

November 17, 2024 

March 2, 2025

7979 9149

March 23, 2025 – 1 passenger booked

March 30, 2025

April 6, 2025

April 20, 2025 – 2 passengers booked – 2 passengers needed to guarantee the tour

8299 9469

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.

Secrets of Japan – Detailed itinerary
Secrets of Japan – Detailed itinerary