AJT 7D/8D The Golden Route Japan
Visit the must-see sites of Tokyo & Kyoto, perfect for first time visitors with limited time.
Tokyo - Mt Fuji - Hakone - Kyoto - Nara - Osaka
- Explore the top sites of Tokyo and Kyoto, perfect for first time visitors to Japan with limited time.
- Visit Miho Museum, an art museum listed on "1000 Places to See Before You Die".
- Learn how to make sushi with a professional sushi chef.
- Unwind at a Japanese hot springs (onsen) hotel.
- Indulge in traditional Japanese meals and a gourmet kaiseki dinner.
- Catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji, and ride a shinkansen bullet train for the experience.
- Experience a traditional green tea ceremony hosted by an apprentice geisha (maiko).
- Selected tours featured cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, or festivals.
- 5 nights Western style and 1 night 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
- Meals: Daily breakfast, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
- Admission fees and activities: All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary
Tour Dates available from Jan 2020 through 31 Dec 2022
Selected departures are operated in reverse between 7 to 8 days.
Itinerary In Brief
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo
Day 2: Tokyo
Day 3: Mt. Fuji - Hakone - Bullet Train Ride
Day 4: Hikone - Koka
Day 5: Kyoto
Day 6: Kyoto - Nara - Osaka
Day 7: 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 (1092.5 feet) high, Tokyo Tower is 9- meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. You will be able to get a bird's eye view of the city from 150 meters (492 feet) at the main observatory deck.
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please inform us in advance for other ingredient options.
Day 3 - Hakone (Open Air Museum / Lake Ashi Cruise / Hakone Ropeway / Owakudani), Shinkansen Bullet Train Ride
Today begins with a drive to Hakone to visit the Hakone Open Air Museum. This museum aims to create a harmonic balance of nature and art by exhibiting various sculptures and interactive structures on its grounds, in combination with views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Then board a leisurely cruise around Lake Ashi, a little caldera lake near Mount Hakone, where you can take in the gorgeous local scenery. We will take a 20 minute ropeway ride from Togendai to Owakudani. Most of Owakudani is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Visitors will encounter the area's hot springs and bubbling pools, complete with sulfurous fumes and steam vents. If the weather conditions are in our favor, Owakudani also grants splendid views of Mount Fuji. Then, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride, which can reach speeds of up to 320 km/hr (200mph). We will stay at the Onsen Hotel at Hamanako Kanzaiji Onsen, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Day 4 - Hikone (Hikone Castle - Genkyuen Garden), Koka (Miho Museum)
After breakfast at the hotel, our group will visit the Hikone Castle, an original castle that has survived the post feudal era without undergoing severe damages or reconstruction. It is considered an excellent impression of what a complete feudal castle looks like, and is a national treasure itself. Afterwards, visit the tranquil Genkyuen Garden, located on the grounds of Hikone Castle. From there, proceed to the Miho Museum, which is distinguished for its fascinating architecture designed by I. M. Pei. The museum exhibits various collections from different ancient civilizations. It is named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the founder of the museum. Miho Museum is also listed as one of the "1000 Places to See Before You Die"
Note: If Miho Museum is close, we will visit Kyoto National Museum or Sagawa Art Museum instead.
Day 5 - Kyoto (Arashiyama - Tenryu-ji Temple Zen Garden - Sagano Bamboo Forest - Togetsukyo Bridge / Golden Pavilion / Nishijin Kimono Show / Kiyomizu Temple / Gion Geisha District)
Today we will start our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. First, we will visit Arashiyama to see the Tenryuji Temple, where you can have a glimpse of a traditional Zen landscape garden design. Then, proceed through the dense Sagano Bamboo Forest, pass several small shrines, tea shops, and private houses before arriving at the Togetsukyo Bridge over Hozu River. Continue on to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered with 18- karat gold leaf. This three-story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. At the Nishijin Textile Center, you can view displays of kimonos, watch an elegant kimono fashion show, and learn how they are made. Our group will tour the Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its large wooden stage that sits 13 meters (42.6 ft) above a hillside. Visitors are granted a charming view of numerous cherry trees that come with spring, as well as a beautiful scene of Kyoto City in the distance. Lastly, we will tour Gion, a famous geisha district in Kyoto lined with many restaurants and teahouses called ochaya.
Day 6 - 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 7 - Tour Ends
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached in a three minute walk.
Visit the famous attractions of Tokyo & Kyoto. Designed for first-time visitors or travelers seeking a brief introduction to Japan’s top sites.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to Japan, we recommend “The Golden Route Japan”, our most popular tour. This tour provides a sample of what Japan has to offer, from unique locales to “must see” tourist attractions in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Our Golden Route Japan itinerary loosely follows the Tokaido Road, the most traveled route during the Edo Period connecting Kyoto to Tokyo. Today, this route is referred to as the "Golden Route" and is popular among visitors as it features famous sites along the route including Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka. Travel in comfort on our private coach bus while an English- speaking guide and private driver help you navigate Japan’s cultural landmarks, diverse shopping districts, and historic sites.
Explore the bustling city of Tokyo, visiting famous attractions such as Tokyo Tower and Asakusa Sensoji Temple. Learn how to make sushi with a professional sushi chef and savor your delicious creations. If the season is right, visit Ueno Park in Tokyo to see 1000s of cherry trees, or admire the autumn foliage while riding the Hakone Ropeway. Hakone is also famous for its hot springs and wonderful views of Mt. Fuji (if weather permits). Take an exhilarating bullet train ride before unwinding at your Japanese-style inn (Ryokan), where you can enjoy the natural bath waters of the hot springs.
Kyoto, once Japan's capital, offers a glimpse into the past with its historic buildings and rich history and culture. You will have exclusive access to the city’s top gardens, temples, and shrines, and will enjoy a traditional green tea ceremony hosted by an apprentice geisha (maiko). Depending on the tour's dates, you may also experience the Aoi Festival or Gion Summer Festival in Kyoto which have been held for thousands of years. During Golden Route Cherry Blossom Tours, visit Maruyama Park in Kyoto, famous for its weeping cherry tree.
Whether you want to see the lush pink cherry blossoms in spring, the vibrant colors of autumn, or the festivals of summer, there is something to enjoy each season on our Golden Route Tours. This tour is also available in reverse versions (travel from Osaka to Tokyo), convenient for guests wanting to stay in Tokyo longer after the tour ends. For those wanting a glimpse of what Japan can offer, this tour is an excellent choice!
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.