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Insider’s Japan

April 21-May 3, 2018

Tour Operator: Odysseys Unlimited

Activity Level: Moderate

Japan gracefully bridges the future and its alluring past, making it a must see destination for travelers. From the exciting city of Tokyo to the lovely historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa, this small group tour will highlight the beauty and history of Japan.


Day 1
Depart the U.S. for Tokyo, Japan
Day 2
Arrive in Tokyo

After arriving in Japan’s financial, commercial and political capital, you’ll transfer to your hotel.

Day 3

Spend the morning touring this amazing city comprised of 23 wards and covering a staggering 840 miles. Your sightseeing features the Meiji Shrine, a peaceful enclave of Shinto temples and gardens. You will also visit the gallery of pre-eminent calligrapher Koshun Masunaga. Your tour ends in Ginza, Tokyo’s famed shopping, dining, and entertainment district.

Day 4

Your tour of Tokyo continues this morning at the Imperial Palace. You continue on to the Buddhist Asakusa Kannon, Tokyo’s oldest temple, and the adja-cent Nakamise shopping arcade. Last, you visit the Tokyo National Museum, housing an extensive collection of art and antiquities from Japan and other Asian countries..

Day 5
Tokyo/Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park/Hakone

Leave Tokyo for Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park to experience Japan’s pastoral side. Imposing Mt. Fuji, a dormant volcano (it last erupted in 1707) with a perfectly -symmetrical cone that rises to 12,388 feet, sits in the horizon. You’ll travel to Hakone and spend the night at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.

Day 6

Travel to lovely Takayama in the Japanese Alps, considered one of the country’s most attractive towns. Your explorations center on the San-machi-suji district where, in feudal times, merchants lived amidst the authentically preserved small inns, teahouses, and sake breweries.

Day 7

You’ll pay an early visit to the Miyagawa Morning Market, a blaze of dazzling colors and foodstuffs. After lunch, you’ll embark on a walking tour, visiting Takayama Jinya, an historic government house; the local sake brewery; and Takayama’s old town.

Day 8

You’ll leave Takayama this morning for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago Gassho-zukuri Village. Late this afternoon you reach the castle town of Kanazawa, an alluring coastal city that survived the ravages of World War II.

Day 9

Today’s tour of this culturally rich city features renowned Kenrokuen Garden. You also see Ishikawa Gate, the only remaining section of the town’s original castle; Hakukokan, a museum celebrating the art and craft of gold leaf technology; and the Higashi Chayagai teahouse and geisha area. Your last stop is the Nagamachi Samurai district, where the ruling family’s samurai warriors lived.

Day 10

You depart this morning by train for Kyoto. Upon arrival, you visit Kinkakuji, the beloved lakeside Temple of the Golden Pavilion set on pillars suspended over the water. Next: Ryoanji, a Zen Buddhist temple. Your last stop is Unrakugama, a workshop specializing in prized Kiyomizu pottery.

Day 11

Today you travel to Nara, Japan’s 8th-century capital renowned for its shrines and temples. You first visit Todaiji, one of the country’s most important temples whose main hall is the world’s largest wooden building. You also visit historic Kasugataisha, the Shinto shrine and UNESCO site surrounded by parkland where deer roam free.

Day 12

This morning’s tour reveals more of this city. Highlights include Nijo-jo Castle, the extravagant residence and  fortifications of the shoguns who ruled Japan for more than 250 years; and Sanjyusangendo Hall, an important Buddhist temple housing 1,000 statues of the Thousand-Armed Kannon deity. From here you venture to the Gion district, where the geishas gather.

Day 13
Depart Kyoto

Travel to Osaka for a return flight to the United States.

Program itinerary is subject to change. See final brochure for complete details.

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Spend three days and two nights in Hiroshima.

Cost Details

Land Only: $4,895
With Group Air from Seattle: $5,957
Single Supplement: $1,295

Please consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your trip. Learn more.

Map of tour region
The breadth of our experiences more than met my expectations. We saw the old and new, traveled by several modes of transportation, tasted all kinds of Japanese foods, and were exposed to so many interesting things.
Aileen Carter, ‘76

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