AJT 8D-10D The Golden Triangle of Japan
Visit sites that have persevered the history, traditions, and culture of Japan.
Tokyo - Hakone - Mt Fuji - Takayama - Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa - Kyoto - Nara - Osaka
- Visit the must-see sites of Tokyo and Kyoto, plus the beautiful Japanese Alps.
- Experience the remote attractions of Kanazawa, Shirakawa-go, and Takayama.
- Learn how to make sushi with a professional sushi chef.
- Enjoy a therapeutic bath in a hot springs (onsen) hotel and dine on gourmet kaiseki cuisine.
- Experience a traditional green tea ceremony hosted by an apprentice geisha (maiko).
- Spend a day at Hakone and Mt. Fuji, and ride a shinkansen bullet train for experience.
- During May, visit the famous Snow Corridor, a 50-foot- high wall of snow
- Seasonal attractions include snow monkeys, cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, and festivals.
- 6 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, 4 lunches and 3 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
Snow Monkey Tour Dates
- 2020: 23 Dec
- 2021: 2 Jan | 31 Jan | 23 Dec
- 2022: 2 Jan | 30 Jan | 23 Dec
Autumn Leaves Tour Dates
- 2020: 14 Sep | 31 Oct | 15 Nov | 21 Nov
- 2021: 13 Sep | 30 Oct | 14 Nov | 20 Nov
- 2022: 12 Sep | 29 Oct | 13 Nov | 19 Nov
Cherry Blossom Tour Dates
- 2021: 21 mar | 28 Mar | 3 Apr | 6 Apr
- 2022: 20 Mar | 27 Mar | 2 Apr | 5 Apr
Takayama Festival Tour Dates
- 2020: 6 Oct
- 2021: 6 Oct
- 2022: 6 Oct
Selected departures are operated in reverse between 8 to 10 days
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: Tour ends
Day 1 – Arrival 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) up 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 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 Owakudani is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Now, you can see hot springs and hot rivers there, where sulfurous fumes still linger. Owakudani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji in good weather conditions. 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's 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 establishments. 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 site in the rural area of Shirakawa-go. In this very photogenic village, we will walk past thatched roof farm houses and cultivated fields and see unspoiled Edo period wooden buildings. Once there, we will also go the Shiroyama Viewpoint, which allows us to have a scenic view of Shirakawa-go from higher ground. From Shirakawa-go, we will depart to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of three most beautiful 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 320 km/hr (200mph). We will stay two nights in the deeply historic city of Kyoto.
Day 6 - Kyoto (Arashiyama - Tenryuji 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 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 with 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 7 - Kyoto (Green Tea Ceremony with a Maiko / 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) high. 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 - 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.
Join an in-depth exploration of the Honshu island, featuring remote attractions, ancient architecture, and famous landmarks of Tokyo & Kyoto.
For those looking to explore Japan's most popular sites of Tokyo and Kyoto, and also longing to see a more quiet, old-fashioned side of Japan, our Golden Triangle of Japan Tour is perfect for you. Journey through the ultra-modern city of Tokyo, the natural beauty of Mt. Fuji and Hakone, the ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara, and the incredibly preserved old town of Takayama in the Japanese Alps. Most of the travel is done on our private coach, allowing for a hassle-free transfer.
Explore the bustling city of Tokyo, visiting famous attractions such as Tokyo Tower and Asakusa Sensoji Temple. Learn to make your own sushi with the guidance of a professional sushi chef. If the season is right, visit Ueno Park in Tokyo to see 1000s of cherry trees, or admire the autumn foliage while also taking in the wonderful views of Mt. Fuji (if weather permits). Visit Kyoto and Nara, both of which were once Japan's capital. You will have exclusive access to the cities’ top gardens, temples, shrines, and specialty shops. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to experience a traditional green tea ceremony hosted by an apprentice geisha (maiko) and watch a kimono fashion show.
During your journey, travel through the remote Japanese Alps, where something special can be seen each season. Takayama is beautifully preserved and has developed its own culture that is unique from the rest of Japan. Visit the charming village of Shirakawa-go, consisting of traditional houses with thatched roofs called Gassho-Zukuri. The beautiful and less traveled city of Kanazawa is home to the Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s top three gardens. With 20 different varieties of cherry blossom trees blooming in spring, it is a truly mesmerizing sight.
We plan our tours based on seasonal attractions with must-see sites in every tour. Select tours will include the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park during winter or the Takayama Sanno Spring Festival and cherry blossom viewing during spring. For the autumn season, opportunities to see the Takayama Hachiman Autumn Festival and fall foliage is also possible depending on selected tour dates. The Takayama Festivals are considered two of the most beautiful festivals of Japan, with a large parade of 1,000 people. Staged with costumes and music performances, you will feel like you're in 15th Century Japan.
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.