Immerse yourself in the captivating culture of Japan as you encounter vestiges of its imperial past and the dynamism of contemporary life on a journey to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone.

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 Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto  Senso-ji Temple, or Asakusa Kannon, an important Buddhist temple in Tokyo  Tokyo's Ginza district  Mt. Fuji and Ashi Lake  Japan's bullet train with Mt. Fuji in the distance  The Higashiyama District in Kyoto  Entrance to Nijo Castle (detail), Kyoto  Nijo Castle Garden, Kyoto  Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto  Traditional kimonos  Traditional Udon noodle dish  Traditional sushi platter

Japan Past and Present: A Tailor-Made Journey

Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone

11 days from $6,850

Immerse yourself in the captivating culture of Japan as you encounter vestiges of its imperial past and the dynamism of contemporary life on a journey to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690

Overview

This following itinerary is a sampling of the experiences that we offer on a tailor-made journey to Japan. Working with our country specialists, you can customize your itinerary to fit your timing, your budget, and your interests, including accommodations, activities, and the places you visit.

From centuries-old temples and timeless rituals to bullet trains that zip between cities, experience Japan’s enthralling blend of the ancient and the ultramodern. Delve into Tokyo’s inspired culinary scene and follow a local expert through Kyoto’s geisha district. With plenty of free time built into the itinerary, you’ll be able to visit the sites that interest you most in each city, be it world-class art museums, Zen gardens, local markets, or legendary temples. Then head to the spectacular Hakone region to explore a national park set in the shadow of iconic Mount Fuji.

Highlights Include

  • Take a private tour of the historic Asakusa district of Tokyo and sample all kinds of Japanese delicacies on an evening foodie tour in Kyoto.
  • Travel by Japan’s world-renowned bullet train: with your own rail pass, you can take day trips to destinations of your choice during your free time.
  • Venture into Kyoto’s geisha district with a private guide to learn about this age-old tradition.
  • Enjoy legendary Japanese hospitality—and an onsen hot springs experience—at a ryokan in Hakone.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 - Tokyo

Land at Narita International Airport, where an airport guide will escort you to your hotel shuttle. Check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing after your flight—or, if you’re ready to start exploring, consider taking a walk around the nearby Imperial Gardens.

Day 2 - Tokyo

Your private guide will meet you today in the hotel lobby to go over your itinerary and help you get oriented. Then head out on a guided tour of historic Asakusa, an entertainment district during the Edo period. Get a sense of old Tokyo as you wander along its narrow lanes, and visit Senso-ji, an important Buddhist temple in the heart of Asakusa that was originally built in the 7th century. End your tour with a stroll through the lovely Hama Rikyu gardens. This evening,  join a private guide in the vibrant district of Ebisu for a tasting tour of Tokyo’s local cuisine. (B, D)

Day 3 - Tokyo

You’ll have a free day to explore Tokyo and the surrounding area as you choose today. We recommend using your included rail pass to take the train to the coastal town of Kamakura. The town and surrounding hills are brimming with Buddhist and Shinto temples and shrines, many of which date back to the 12th century when it was the seat of a shogunate. Consider hiking up to see the daibutsu, or Great Buddha, a 36-foot bronze figure that sits peacefully among the trees. If you stay in Tokyo, consider checking out some of its excellent museums, such as the Edo-Tokyo Museum and the sky-scraping Mori Art Museum. (B)

Day 4 - Kyoto

This morning, take your first journey by Shinkansen, Japan’s high-speed bullet train, zooming to Kyoto in under three hours. Upon arrival, settle into your hotel and set out to explore the surrounding Higashiyama district on your own. Tonight, join a guide for a fascinating tour of Kyoto’s food scene, sampling local specialties and admiring the artistry of local cuisine. (B, D)

Day 5 - Kyoto

During an unscheduled morning, discover this culturally rich city, whose entire ancient city has been named a World Heritage site. You’ll want to visit some of its stunning temples, gardens, and imperial sites, such as the magnificent Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion and Nijo Castle. Later, meet a local expert for a private tour of Gion, the geisha district. As you stroll the cobblestone streets, learn about the life of a geisha, and their role in Japanese culture. (B)

Day 6 - Kyoto

Head to nearby Shiga prefecture, set on the shores of tranquil Lake Biwa. Here, you’re invited into the home of a local family for a lesson in making traditional rice cakes called mochiand a glimpse of everyday life in Japan. Join the family for a sukiyaki hot pot lunch before returning to Kyoto. Late this afternoon, attend a kabuki theater performance. These classical Japanese dramas are known for their elaborate costumes and sets and dramatic story lines—you won’t have to understand the dialogue to appreciate this timeless Kyoto-born art form. (B, L)

Day 7 - Kyoto

Today is a free day with plenty of possibilities. Stay in Kyoto or use your rail pass for an excursion to the ancient capital of Nara or some of the palaces and shrines in the region.  Fushimi Inari Taisha—a Shinto temple known for its iconic tunnel of red torii gates—is just a few minutes away by train. Once you decide how you’d like to spend the day, we’ll provide you with tips and information about the sites you choose. (B)

Day 8 - Hakone

Travel to by bullet train the quiet town of Hakone, on the edge of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. The Hakone area, dominated by the conical peak of Mount Fuji, is famous for its ryokans and onsens, or hot-spring baths. Settle into your contemporary ryokan in the lakeside village of Hakone-machi. Opt for an onsen experience this afternoon, or head out for a walk along the lake. (B, D)

Day 9 - Hakone

Explore Hakone and its national park from many perspectives today. Get an aerial view of this beautiful area from the gondolas of the Hakone Ropeway, and meander among the sculptures of the Hakone Open-air Museum. Take a picturesque train ride into the mountains to the village of Gōra, or ride the ferry across the lake, enjoying the views. If the weather is clear, you may catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji’s iconic peak. (B, D)

Day 10 - Tokyo

Return to Tokyo by private line train this morning and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Take the opportunity to see any sites you may have missed at the beginning of the trip or pick a lively neighborhood to walk around and soak up the ambiance of Japan’s effervescent capital city. (B)

Day 11 - Depart for home

After breakfast, take a shared transfer from your hotel to the airport in time for your return flight. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)