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Deluxe grand tour of Japan

21 days from $29,725pp

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Tour highlights

  • Experience traditional Japanese hospitality with several ryokan stays.

  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant modernity of Tokyo.

  • Gain insight into Japanese culture with the Women's Association of Kyoto.

  • Take a walk through the geisha district of Kyoto with our top guide.

  • Relax in a hot spring spa in the Japanese Alps.

Price includes:

  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodations
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Travel that's shaped around you

We know that travel has the most meaning when it's created individually for you. Our specialists will only start designing your trip once they understand exactly what you want it to be. So, consider this idea simply as inspiration for your own experience.

Itinerary idea in detail

Ask us if you would also like us to arrange your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • After passing through customs and luggage collection, you're met by an airport guide who will give you your trip documents and direct you to the private shuttle service which takes you to your hotel. After checking in, spend the rest of the day at leisure, resting and relaxing after your flight. If you do feel like starting exploring, you may wish to walk around the Imperial Gardens.

  • Your guide will meet you today in the hotel lobby to run through your trip and offer any local advice to you so you can enjoy the country with confidence. In the first section the guide will explain your itinerary in more detail and answer any questions you might have. This can take up to two hours so afterwards head out with your guide to see some of the highlights of the city. Perhaps start with taking a cruise up from the Hamarikyu Gardens up to the old district of Asakusa to see the beautiful Sensoji temple.

  • Today we recommend heading out of the city for a day trip to Nikko to see its impressive shrines and lakeside scenery.

  • Take the morning for a truly unforgettable experience and try your hand at making sushi with one of Tokyo's top sushi chefs. In the evening, you will have tickets included to see a kabuki performance at one of the best venues in the country. Kabuki is one of the oldest performance arts in Japan and takes the form of a dance-drama with the performers wearing elaborate make-up.

  • Today you travel by high-speed bullet train and local lines to Tsumago by way of Matsumoto. Stop for lunch and a self-guided visit to the impressive Matsumoto Castle.

  • After breakfast, head out to Magome by public bus and enjoy a beautiful walk back to Tsumago. This walk is about six miles along the historic Nakasendo Highway. This will take about two to three hours depending on your pace.

  • After another lovely breakfast at your ryokan, take the train to Takayama. Once you've arrived at your ryokan, you can either head out and explore the town or enjoy some post-hike relaxation in your private open air bath.

  • Spend a full day exploring Takayama on your own. Try starting your day at the famous morning markets before wandering around the Sannomachi District which is lined with old sake breweries.

  • Board your bus to Kanazawa today, stopping off at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawago en route to see the beautiful thatched houses synonymous to the area. Your evening is at leisure.

  • Take a full day of guiding around the interesting artisan city of Kanazawa. The Kenrokuen Gardens are one of the finest in Japan and are well worth a visit along with the samurai residences which feature so prominently in Kanazawa's history.

  • Transfer by bullet train to Hiroshima and then onward by local train and ferry to Miyajima. This is a long journey so enjoy your ocean view room once you arrive for some well-deserved relaxation.

  • You have a full day to explore this beautiful island and its UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  • Today travel by bullet train to Kyoto, home to some of Japan's most important works of art, its richest culture and its most refined cuisine. After leaving your bags at your hotel, we recommend that you set off to see some of the iconic sights, including the Golden Pavilion, the Zen gardens of Ryoanji and the beautiful terrace of Kiyomizudera.

  • One of our local guides will take you around the city for the day. There are numerous impressive sites to choose from and our expert guide will be able to provide you with fascinating insights into the sights you are seeing.

  • In the morning, head out with a local guide to see some of the spectacular temples in Kyoto. Stop at Kodai-ji, one of the most exclusive places for tea ceremonies in the city, before continuing on to the Higashiyama district to gaze upon the awe-inspiring architecture of the area. The afternoon should afford you enough time to take the train to Nara, another ancient capital of Japan. Here you can see the spectacular Daibutsu giant golden Buddha statues and mingle with wild deer in the expansive park.

  • Head out early to the neighboring city of Otsu that sits on the western bank of Lake Biwa. Here you can meet a local family and try your hand at mochi (rice cake) making. The area is particularly famous for its mochi production and this is a fantastic opportunity to see it up close. In the afternoon, visit fushimi-inari, a shrine famous for the thousands of red torii gates that spill out onto the hillside overlooking Kyoto.

  • You will head south to the area of Mount Koya, one of Japan's top three spiritual homes, where you will enjoy the simple life with a short stay in temple lodgings. It's beautifully quiet and quaint in the simple accommodations.

  • Today you will leave Mount Koya for the relaxing onsen town of Hakone.

  • You have today at leisure to explore the park and try to see Mt. Fuji if it isn't clouded over. There is still plenty to see and do including the excellent open-air art museum with installations dotted around the wooded areas.

  • Today you transfer back to Tokyo for your final night in the capital.

  • You will be picked up and taken to the airport by private transfer for your return flights home.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodations, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

What our clients say about us

Audley Travel specialist Tamatha

Contact a Japan specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to Japan will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Tokyo
 
Tsumago
 
Takayama
 
Kanazawa
 
Miyajima Island
 
Hiroshima
 
Kyoto
 
Mount Koya
 
Hakone & Mount Fuji
 

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