Insider’s Japan

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DETAILS

I t’s a land of delicate art and bustling commerce, of rich traditions and dizzying modernity; a jumble of sights, sounds, and tastes that for visitors are truly foreign – and truly fascinating. This well-crafted tour features the highlights of Tokyo and Kyoto, engages us in local life, and takes us off the beaten path to the lovely historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa.

Pricing from
$7,095
Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, Individual Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
Sep 14, 2022 - Sep 26, 2022

HOTELS

11 nights’ accommodations: 10 nights in Deluxe and First Class hotels; 1 night in traditional Japanese ryokan

EXTENSIONS

September 26-28, 2022 Hiroshima: City of Peace
3 days/2 nights for $1,095 total price
Single Supplement: $155

Discover the city reborn from the atomic destruction of World War II, a modern and cosmopolitan urban center whose residents warmly welcome American visitors.
Your Tour Price Includes
• Rail transportation Kyoto/Hiroshima, Hiroshima/Osaka
• 2 nights’ accommodations at Hotel Granvia Hiroshima
(First Class)
• 3 meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch
• Extensive included sightseeing: excursion to Miyajima Island and Dasho-in Temple, Hiroshima touring by local “Hiroden” train, visit to Peace Memorial Park and Museum, Atomic Bomb Dome
• Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
• Gratuities for dining room servers, hotel porters, and all drivers

TERMS & CONDITIONS

*PLEASE NOTE: Your $500 per person deposit secures your space(s) on this tour. This deposit is fully refundable up until 95 days prior to departure, when final payment will be due. Meanwhile our tour operator, Odysseys Unlimited, will be in touch with you when the tour brochure with a detailed day-by-day itinerary is available. At that time, you will have two weeks to decide whether you would like to confirm your booking or to cancel. Once your booking is confirmed, the cancellation penalties as outlined in the brochure will apply. You will then receive a complete confirmation packet.

TOUR MAP

Insiders Japan map

ITINERARY

  • day 1

    Depart U.S. for Tokyo

  • day 2

    Arrive Tokyo

    Upon arrival in Japan’s financial, commercial, and political capital, we transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary, we have no scheduled activities or meals planned.

  • day 3

    Tokyo

    After a briefing about the journey ahead, we set out to discover a small part of this amazing city that covers a staggering 840 miles. Our sightseeing features the Meiji Shrine, a peaceful enclave of Shinto temples and gardens. We also visit the gallery of preeminent calligrapher Koshun Masunaga, where we learn about this ancient art of artistic writing and browse the collection. Our tour ends in Ginza, Tokyo’s famed shopping, dining, and entertainment district, where we can stay to explore as we wish or return to our hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, we gather for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

  • day 4

    Tokyo

    Our tour of Tokyo continues this morning at the Imperial Palace, surrounded by moats and ramparts and home of the Imperial Family. Here we visit the East Gardens, part of the innermost circle of defense of the historic Edo Castle that once stood here. We continue on to the Buddhist Asakusa Kannon, Tokyo’s oldest temple (c. 645 ce), and the adjacent Nakamise shopping arcade, dating to the 17th century. Last, we visit the Tokyo National Museum, housing an extensive collection of art and antiquities from Japan and other Asian countries. This afternoon is free for independent exploration; lunch and dinner are on our own in this city with endless dining options. B

  • day 5

    Tokyo/Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park/ Hakone

    Japan’s pastoral side is on tap as we leave Tokyo for Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Here sits imposing Mt. Fuji, a dormant volcano (it last erupted in 1707) with a perfectly symmetrical cone that rises to 12,388 feet. We learn about environmental and conservation efforts on the mountain at the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center, then enjoy a relaxing cruise on Ashi Lake, with Mt. Fuji in the background. Leaving the park, we travel to the town of Hakone, where we spend the night at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn where we take off our shoes upon entering, enjoy a Japanese-style Kaiseki dinner, and sleep on a futon. B,D

  • day 6

    Hakone/Takayama

    Today we travel first by bullet train then by Wide View Hida express train to lovely Takayama in the Japanese Alps, considered one of the country’s most attractive towns with its 16thcentury castle and old-style buildings. Our explorations center on three narrow streets in the San-machi-suji district where, in feudal times, merchants lived amidst the authentically preserved small inns, teahouses, and sake breweries. This afternoon we attend a traditional Japanese tea ceremony here, an historic ritual of form, grace, and spirituality. B,D

  • day 7

    Takayama

    We pay an early visit to the riverside Miyagawa Morning Market, a blaze of dazzling colors. Here we meet a local chef to gather ingredients for the lunch we will prepare together at a nearby site. After enjoying the fruits of our labors, we embark on a walking tour, visiting Takayama Jinya, a historic government house; the local sake brewery; and Takayama’s old town, whose well-preserved buildings and homes date to the Edo Period (1600–1868). B,L

  • day 8

    Takayama/Shirakawago/Kanazawa

    We leave Takayama this morning for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago Gassho-zukuri Village. Comprising buildings relocated from authentic villages nearby that were razed for a dam, the village is also a vibrant community whose residents work together to preserve the unique traditional architecture here known as Gassho style. Then we visit Gokayama Village to see how traditional Japanese washi paper is made. Late this afternoon we reach the castle town of Kanazawa, an alluring coastal city that survived the ravages of World War II. B,L

  • day 9

    Kanazawa

    Today’s tour of this culturally rich city features renowned Kenrokuen Garden, a national landmark whose origins date to 1676. We also see Ishikawa Gate, the only remaining section of the town’s original castle; Hakukokan, a museum celebrating the art and craft of gold leaf technology; and the Higashi Chayagai teahouse and geisha area. Last, we visit the Kutani Kosen Kiln, where artists fashion the prized, highly decorated pottery. We dine tonight at a local Japanese restaurant. B,D

  • day 10

    Kanazawa/Kyoto

    We depart this morning by train for Kyoto, formerly Japan’s Imperial Capital and now the country’s cultural and artistic center, with more than 1,600 temples, hundreds of shrines, artful gardens, and historic architecture. Upon arrival, we visit Kinkaku-ji, the beloved lakeside Temple of the Golden Pavilion set on pillars suspended over the water. Next: Ryoan-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple whose acclaimed dry garden epitomizes the simplicity of Zen meditation. B,D

  • day 11

    Kyoto

    More of Kyoto is on tap today, beginning with a visit to the otherworldly Arashiyama Bamboo Grove; the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts (Fureaikan), showcasing all of Kyoto’s 74 different métiers in one place; and Nijo-jo Castle (c. 1603), the extravagant residence and fortifications of the shoguns who ruled Japan for more than 250 years. Then the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration in this traditional yet modern city. B

  • day 12

    Kyoto

    We continue our encounter with Kyoto today, first at the important Fushimi Inari shrine, with its trails straddled by red torii gates; Sanjyusangendo Hall (c. 1266), an important Buddhist temple housing 1,000 statues of the Thousand-Armed-Kannon deity; and Nishiki Market, “Kyoto’s Kitchen” of restaurants, stores, and stalls selling everything food-related. Then this afternoon is at leisure; tonight, we toast our adventure at a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

  • day 13

    Depart Kyoto for U.S.

    This morning we travel by motorcoach to Osaka, where we board our return flight to the United States. B

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