Day 1: Tokyo, Japan.
Welcome to Japan’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for midafternoon check-in.
Day 2: Tokyo.
Today’s sightseeing tour takes you to the MEIJI SHRINE, a magnificent 20th century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest. Afterward, pass by the Imperial Palace Plaza, the State Guest House, the Akihabara district, and the famous Ginza shopping street. Your tour concludes with a visit to the ASAKUSA KANNON TEMPLE and the NAKAMISE SHOPPING ARCADE. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening in this cosmopolitan city. (B)
Day 3: Tokyo.
This morning, leave Tokyo and head south along the coast to the beautiful Five Lakes region. Here, take a CABLE-CAR RIDE (weather permitting) for panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchi and spectacular Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. Return to Tokyo and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. (B,L)
Day 4: Tokyo - Azumino - Matsumoto
Journey to the Nagano prefecture and stop at a WASABI FARM for a glimpse into how wasabi is grown. Tour the beautiful grounds and perhaps sample some of the unique offerings like wasabi noodles or wasabi chocolate.Then, it’s just a short drive to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps. Visit famous MATSUMOTO CASTLE, dating back to 1593, and discover the history at the MATSUMOTO CITY MUSEUM. (B)
Day 5: Matsumoto - Takayama
Continue through Japan’s beautiful mountain scenery to one of the country’s most remote regions, SHIRAKAWA. Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the unique Gassho-Zukuri (joined hands) thatched houses can only be found here. This afternoon, journey through the Japanese Alps to the secluded town of Takayama, where old traditions are untouched by the passage of time. (B)
Day 6: Takayama - Kyoto
Travel to Kyoto, one of the most fascinating cities in Japan. The remainder of your day is free to explore. This evening, you may choose to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan (additional expense). (B)
Day 7: Kyoto.
Enjoy a tour of Kyoto, visiting many of the city’s temples, shrines, palaces, and pagodas. A highlight of the day is a visit to the extraordinary NIJO CASTLE, built in 1603 as the official residence of the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. You will also visit the TEMPLE OF THE GOLD PAVILION and the HEIAN SHRINE AND GARDEN. (B)
Day 8: Kyoto - Matsue
This morning travel the to the coast of the Sea of Japan. Visit the ADACHI MUSEUM OF ART to view Japanese style gardens and view paintings by one of the greatest Japanese painters, Yokoyama Taikan. Then, continue to Matsue to see MATSUE CASTLE and BUKE YASHIKI, a former samurai residence. (B)
Day 9: Matsue - Hiroshima
En route to Hiroshima, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE and its famous FLOATING TORII GATE. Then, arrive in the city to visit the SHUKKEI-EN GARDEN, which dates back to 1620. (B)
Day 10: Hiroshima.
Hiroshima bears significant historic importance, for it was here that the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped in 1945. Your tour features the PEACE MEMORIAL PARK to see the PEACE MEMORIAL. Commonly referred to as the Atomic Bomb Dome, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been preserved just as it was on August 6, 1945, immediately after the bombing. (B)
Day 11: Hiroshima - Osaka.
Your fascinating journey to Osaka, aboard one of Japan’s famous BULLET TRAINS, is sure to be a highlight of your tour. The rest of the day is yours to explore Japan’s second largest city. (B)
Day 12: Osaka
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.
Note: Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable