AJT 13D/15D Japan In Depth

  • Land Tours

AJT 14D Japan In Depth

from
USD 5,098
per person
from
USD 5,098
per person

Visit the undiscovered regions, as well as the most popular sites in Japan

Tokyo - Mt Fuji - Hakone - (Takayama - Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa) - Kyoto - Nara - Osaka - (Koyasan) - Himeji - Kurashiki - Takamatsu - Shimanami Kaido - Hiroshima - Kitsuki - Beppu - Takachiho - Kumamoto – Nagasaki

Tour Highlights:

  • Dive deeper into Japan with a more advanced introduction to Japan’s sites.
  • Travels to Japan’s 3 main islands – Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.
  • Learn how to make sushi with a professional sushi chef and watch a kimono fashion show.
  • Experience a traditional green tea ceremony hosted by an apprentice geisha (maiko).
  • Select itineraries cover the remote and beautifully preserved areas of the Japanese Alps.
  • Itineraries with Koyasan offer a chance to meet monks and stay overnight at a temple lodging.
  • Chances to see cherry blossoms, Takayama Festival, or Autumn Leaves during select tours.
  • ·Visit two of the twelve original castles in Japan - Matsumoto Castle and Himeji Castle.

Inclusion:

  • 11 nights Western style and 2 nights Japanese style accommodation
  • Meet and greet upon arrival at Tokyo Narita Airport
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
  • Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
  • Gratuities
  • Meals: Daily breakfast, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Admission fees and activities: All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

Tour Dates: Mar | Apr | Oct | Nov 2020 – 2022
Cherry Blossom: 31 Mar’21 | 30 Mar’22
Tour with Kyoto Aoi Festival: 11 May’21 | 11 May’22
Tour with Takayama Autumn Festival: 30 Sep 2020 - 2022

Itinerary In Brief
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo
Day 2: Tokyo
Day 3: Hakone - Mt. Fuji
Day 4: Matsumoto - Takayama
Day 5: Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa - Bullet Train Ride
Day 6: Kyoto
Day 7: Kyoto - Nara - Osaka
Day 8: Himeji - Kurashiki
Day 9: Takamatsu
Day 10: Shimanami Kaido - Hiroshima
Day 11: Bullet Train Ride - Kitsuki - Beppu - Takachiho
Day 12: Takachiho
Day 13: Nagasaki
Day 14: Tour ends

Day 1 - Tokyo Narita Airport

Welcome to Tokyo! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.

Day 2 - Tokyo (Asakusa Sensoji Temple / Sushi Making Experience / Tsukiji Outer Market / Imperial Palace / Tokyo Tower)

Today, you will be taken to the Asakusa Kannon Temple, an active place of worship where you can see the largest paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore the Nakamise Market, which is located right after the temple's outer gates. It is a traditional-style shopping street with centuries of history. Next, you will have the chance to enjoy a sushi making experience with a professional sushi chef. Whatever you prepare, you will get to eat! Afterwards, we will proceed to the Tsukiji Outer Market, where various restaurants and shops line the streets. Then, pay a visit to the Imperial Palace, the former site of Edo Castle and current residence of Japan's Imperial Family. In the afternoon, we will visit the world's tallest self-supporting steel tower. At 333 meters high, Tokyo Tower is 13 meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. You will be able to sightsee 150 meters up at the main observatory deck and get a bird's eye view of the city.

Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.

Day 3 - Hakone (Hakone Ropeway / Owakudani), Mt Fuji

We will depart from Tokyo to Hakone on our private luxury coach. We will take a tour of Hakone by taking a 20 minute ropeway from Togendai to Owakundani. Most of the area around Owakundani is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Now, you can experience hot springs and hot rivers there, where sulfurous fumes still linger. Owakundani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji in good weather. From Hakone we will proceed to Mt. Fuji. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands to rolling clouds. Stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world famous peak. We will stay at the Onsen Ryokan at Yatsugatake, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.

Day 4 - Matsumoto (Matsumoto Castle), Takayama (Old Town / Takayama Jinya)

Today, we will head to Matsumoto where we'll visit the photogenic Matsumoto Castle, or Black Crow Castle, dating back over 400 years. Then, we will continue on to Takayama. This city is located amongst the Japanese Alps and is known as "Little Kyoto" for its preserved historical structures and environment. Due to its remote position in the mountains, it was cut off from the rest of Japan for most of its history and thus has maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. We'll explore the old town of Takayama. Along the way you'll notice the huge cedar balls hanging from the eaves of several shops - these indicate that the shops are sake. Next, visit Takayama Jinya, the only traditional local government office in existence and a fine example of a miniature palace containing offices, an interrogation room with torture devices and a 440- year old rice granary.

Day 5 - Takayama (Morning Market), Shirakawa-go (Shiroyama Viewpoint - Gassho-zukuri Minkaen), Kanazawa (Kenrokuen), Shinkansen Bullet Train Ride from Maibara to Kyoto

This morning, we'll enjoy the lively city market before heading to the World Heritage-listed rural area of Shirakawa-go. Shirakawa-go is home of the UNESCO designated gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri translates to "prayer hands", in which the roofs resemble hands in prayer. Visitors can see great views of Ogimachi Village from the Shiroyama Viewpoint. We will also tour the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen, an open air museum of farmhouses and other structures. From Shirakawa-go, we will depart to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of three most beautiful strolling gardens of Japan. The name Kenrokuen literally means a garden combining the 6 attributes of a perfect landscape: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features, and panoramas. Here, you'll find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two- legged stone lantern that is iconic of Kenrokuen and Kanazawa. Next, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Maibara to Kyoto, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. We will stay two nights in Kyoto, a historical city. During World War II it was spared from air raids and saved from the atomic bomb for its cultural and historical value.

Day 6 - Kyoto (Kiyomizu Temple / Nishijin Kimono Show / Golden Pavilion / Arashiyama - Tenryuji Temple Zen Garden - Bamboo Grove - Togetsukyo Bridge / Gion Geisha District)

Today, we will start our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. First is a visit to the famous Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. At the Nishijin Textile Center, you can view displays of kimonos and even watch a kimono fashion show. Visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered with 18 carat gold leaf. This three story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. Next is a visit to Arashiyama to see Tenryuji Temple where you can have a glimpse of traditional Zen landscape garden design. Then proceed through a dense bamboo grove, past several small shrines, tea shops and private houses before arriving at the Togetsukyo Bridge over Hozu River. Lastly, we will tour Gion, the old Geisha Quarter, and Pontocho, whose cobblestone alleys vibrate with night life.

Day 7 - Kyoto (Green Tea Ceremony with Maiko Interaction / Fushimi Inari Shrine), Nara (Todaiji Temple / Deer Park), Osaka (Dotonbori - Shinsaibashi)

The day begins with a green tea ceremony and a meet- and-greet with a maiko – an apprentice geisha. You will have photo-taking opportunities and a chance to interact with the maiko. After that, make your way to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The shrine is famous for its thousands of stunning vermilion torii gates that are lined along a 4 km (2.5 mile) long tunnel, which was even featured in the film "Memoirs of a Geisha". This complex wraps around a bamboo wilderness that consists of mountains, streams, and ponds, making it the perfect backdrop for a scenic hike. We will then travel to Nara, where we will go to Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 15 meters (49 feet) tall. Nearby, explore the surrounding Deer Park, filled with over 1,000 Sika Deer. Our final stop of the day will be in Osaka. We will spend some time in Dotonbori, a popular shopping, entertainment, and food district. It is known for the hundreds of neon and mechanized signs that line its streets. Our group will also stop by Shinasaibashi, one of Osaka's oldest shopping destinations.

Day 8 - Himeji (Himeji Castle), Kurashiki (Canal Area)

Today, we take a 2 hour ride on a luxury coach to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle. It is known as "White Egret Castle" and "White Heron Castle" because of its brilliant white exterior, resembling a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan, and is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. This splendid example of traditional architecture was declared one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. Next is a visit to Kurashiki. In merchant days, this scenic town thrived as a port for rice shipments. Several old rice granaries and examples of historic architecture still remain, in addition to the stone lined canal. Tonight, we will stay in a spa hotel in Kurashiki, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a buffet dinner.

Day 9 - Seto Ohashi Bridge, Takamatsu (Shikoku Mura Village / Ritsurin Park)

After your Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will cross the inland sea through the Seto-ohashi Bridge to Shikoku Island. Seto-ohashi Bridge is a collective term for the six bridges that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over five small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. These beautiful bridges took 40 years and a tremendous amount of money to build. They are the essence of all available bridge-building technologies. Proceed to Takamatsu with a visit to the Shikoku Mura Village. Shikoku Mura (Shikoku Village) is an open air museum situated at the base of Yashima. This pleasant hillside park preserves and exhibits traditional buildings and structures that have been relocated here from all over Shikoku Island. Then visit Ritsurin Park, a masterpiece of Japanese landscape 100 years in the making. This sprawling park features beautiful ponds and pavilions with Mt. Shiun as the perfect backdrop.

Day 10 - Shimanami Kaido (Scenic Driving), Hiroshima (Peace Memorial Park - A-bomb Museum / Miyajima - Itsukushima Shrine)

In the morning, we will drive through the Shimanami Kaido to Honshu Island. The Shimanami Kaido is a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Shikoku to the island of Honshu, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is also known as the Nishiseto Expressway. In Hiroshima, we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum. Then take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima, considered sacred by many. At high tide, the famed vermilion torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine looks like it's floating in the middle of the sea. The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Miyajima has been selected as one of Japan's three most scenic places (nihon sankei).

Day 11 - Shinkansen to Kokura, then board the "Sonic" express train to Kitsuki, Kitsuki (Kitsuki Samurai Districts - Ohara Residence), Beppu (Beppu Hells / Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park), Takachiho (Takachiho Shrine - Yokagura Performance)

This morning, we will take a ride on the top speed Shinkansen bullet train to Kokura, then board the "Sonic" express train to Kitsuki where we will visit the Kitsuki Samurai Districts. From Kitsuki, we proceed to a bather's paradise - the celebrated hot spring resort of Beppu. Marvel at one of Beppu's most celebrated attractions, the Jigoku Meguri, or "Boiling Hells" hot springs. View two of the nine hot springs or “hells” of Beppu. These hot springs are ideal for viewing rather than bathing. The springs earned their name because it was said that these mysterious, steamy attractions resembled a scene from hell ("jigoku" means "hell"). Then we will enjoy a scenic drive to Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park where we will take a monorail up to the observation area. Mt. Takasaki is a forested mountain just outside of Beppu and home to over 1,500 wild Japanese monkeys. Within this natural habitat, the monkeys have been fed regularly in order to keep them living on the mountain and prevent conflicts with local fruit farmers. The monkeys are quite accustomed to human visitors, and it is possible to get very close in order to take their pictures! From here, we drive west to Takachiho, a town in northern Miyazaki Prefecture that is steeped in Japanese mythology. It is the supposed site of legend where Amaterasu, the Shinto Sun Goddess, disturbed by her brother's cruel pranks, hid herself in a cave, prompting the other gods and goddesses to try and lure her out. Another legend suggests that this is where Amaterasu's grandson Ninigi-no- Mikoto descended to earth to establish Japan's imperial family. Takachiho is also known as a "power spot", a place of profound religious importance and natural beauty, which radiates spiritual energy. After a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner, we have a special treat-a Yokagura Dance Performance. An outrageously ribald dance that supposedly caused Amaterasu to leave the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she returned her light to the world.

Day 12 - Takachiho (Takachiho Gorge / Amano Iwato Shrine), Ferry from Kumamoto to Shimabara

After breakfast, we will visit Takachiho Gorge, a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River. The nearly sheer cliffs lining the gorge are made of slow forming volcanic basalt columns, which resemble the scales of a dragon where the stone twisted and flowed as it was formed. Partway along the gorge is the 17 meter high Minainotaki waterfall cascading down to the river below, and it is truly impressive to see the waterfall against a backdrop of dense green foliage and the surrounding grey cliffs. Then visit Amano Iwato Shrine and Amano Yasukawara. Amano Iwato Shrine was built near the cave where Amaterasu is said to have hid herself. A short walk down the road from Amano Iwato Shrine is a path that leads down to the river below. Eventually the path leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as Amano Yasukawara. This is said to be the cave where the gods and goddesses met to discuss their strategy of luring Amaterasu out of hiding. The natural beauty of the cave and river lined by countless stacks of stones make Amano Yasukawara a place not to miss. After lunch, proceed to Kumamoto and take a 30 minute ferry crossing the Ariake Sea to Shimabara. Tonight we stay in a western style hotel in Nagasaki.

Day 13 - Nagasaki (Nagasaki Peace Park / Dejima / Glover Garden / Oura Church), Fukuoka (Wagyu Dinner)

After breakfast, we will visit the Nagasaki Peace Park that holds the memorial for the victims of the second bomb that hit the land. A statue of a man pointing up and holding his other arm out is symbolic of the Nagasaki Peace Park. Our next site is Dejima, an area with over 400 years of history in Dutch trade. It features historical warehouses and residences, providing insight into the former Dutch Trade Post and how they lived during Japan's two centuries of isolation. Then, visit the Glover Gardens, an open air museum where we can see a fine collection of historic mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. Continue to the Oura Catholic Church, the oldest standing Christian church in Japan. It was also the first Western building in Japan to be designated as a national treasure. In the afternoon, we depart from Nagasaki to Fukuoka, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef.

Day 14 - Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am, free for leisure until transfer Fukuoka Airport for departure.

Embark on an extensive trip through three of Japan’s main islands with a combination of hidden regions and famous destinations.

For those longing to explore regions of Japan less traveled by the common tourist, while still seeing the highlights that make Japan so popular, this tour is for you! Explore the bustling city of Tokyo, the ancient city of Kyoto, and the scenic city of Takamatsu, visiting three of Japan's main islands. You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture by enjoying tender wagyu beef, making rich matcha tea with a maiko (apprentice geisha), and watching a traditional Yokagura dance performance. Ride through Japan on our private coach bus, as your English- speaking guide provides valuable insight into the attractions. Travel along in comfort with All Japan Tours, as we explore Japan in Depth.

On this extensive tour, you will visit hand-selected attractions designed for both first-time visitors and for those wanting to see Japan's more rural gems. Three of Japan's islands, Shikoku, Kyushu, and the main island of Honshu, each offer travelers a unique experience. You will visit popular destinations on Honshu Island, such as Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. In the bustling city of Tokyo, experience making your own sushi lunch and take a stroll under the hundreds of cherry blossom trees during March and April. Pay a visit to Hiroshima, a city destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Today, the city flourishes and offers shopping centers, beautiful gardens, the Memorial Peace Park, and the Atomic Bomb Museuem.

Travelers will also cross the Inland Sea to Shikoku Island by a scenic drive across Shimanami Kaido highway and visit Takamatsu, where you can visit one of Japan’s most beautiful landscape gardens. Take a high-speed bullet train to Kyushu to visit hidden-gems in Beppu, Takachiho, Nagasaki, and in Fukuoka. Watch 1,500 wild Japanese macaques monkeys in their natural habitat in Beppu and enjoy a trip to the mythological town of Takachiho, where you can watch as performers reenact the legend of Amaterasu, the Shinto Sun Goddess.

Travelers that select a “Japan in Depth” itinerary with Japanese Alps will experience the rural, mountainous regions of Japan, including the preserved old town of Takayama, stunning cherry blossom tree or autumn leaves in Kanazawa, and the original-standing castle of Matsumoto. For those passengers wanting an escape from the bustling cities, we suggest joining our "Japan in Depth" with Koyasan, a small, secluded temple town known as the center of Shingon Buddhism. Here, you will have the chance to stay overnight in a Buddhist temple, where you will gain deeper insight into a monk’s lifestyle.

Our “Japan in Depth” itinerary is perfect for those who would like a deeper understanding of a Japan that is rarely seen by the average visitor. Experience both rural areas and popular attractions in one unique Japan trip. With dates in spring and autumn, All Japan Tours selects the best dates and places to experience the cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, or even festivals.

We plan our tours based on seasonal attractions, with must see sites in every tour.

from
USD 5,098
per person

Terms and Conditions

  • Prices stated are per person on twin-sharing basis and are subject to change without prior notice
  • Arrival and/or departure airport transfer does not apply to guests who extend their stay before or after the main tour. Other conditions apply.
  • Promotion discounts stated are subject to change without prior notice
  • All arrangements are subject to availability upon booking
  • Standard itinerary displayed is subject to change and may differ depending on season, duration of tour and tour dates
  • Please request for details such as duration of tour and itinerary based on tour date
  • Other terms and conditions apply.

 

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