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11-Day Japan Tour: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Osaka

A Trip to Discover Culture and Landscape of Japan

Begin in Tokyo, a dynamic metropolis, explore the serene beauty of Hakone, and delve into the timeless charm of Kyoto. Visit the historic town of Nara, home to friendly deer and ancient temples, and experience the modernity of Osaka. This thoughtfully designed itinerary offers the perfect blend of history, culture, and urban exploration, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking to explore Japan's dynamic energy, natural wonders, and profound heritage. Book now for an unforgettable journey through Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka.

We can customize this trip by adding anything you're interested in and scheduling days to fit your pace. We would happily organize a unique theme or activities for birthdays, young children, anniversaries, etc.

  • Days:11±
  • Best For:Slow Pacers and Couples
  • Departure date: Up to you
  • Sample Price:On request

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Tour Route

Japan tour map

Tour Highlights

Here are the fantastic attractions, the most must-do activities selected by Asia Highlights (AH Hand-Picked), and exclusive cultural experiences offered by Asia Highlights (Only With AH) included in this tour:

Learn about Japanese emperors by visiting the Imperial Palace and the Meiji Shrine.

the Imperial Palace of Japan

Enjoy steaming matcha on a small island in the lake at Hamarikyu Garden.

A view from the teahouse

Delight in the captivating panorama of Tokyo city from the heights of the renowned Sky Tree Tower.

Tokyo Sky Tree
the tag of ah hand picked

Witness Nara's spring charm and encounter its lovely deer for a delightful daytrip.

deer at Nara Park in Spring

Take a walk through Arashiyama's famous bamboo groves and visit a great Zen temple, Tenryuji temple, one of Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

bamboo groves at Arashiyama

Suggested Itinerary for Inspiration

The itinerary serves as a mere example of a personalized tour, designed exclusively for you.
Your preferences will shape the authentic journey. We are fully prepared to craft an tailor-made tour that fulfills your desires.

Day 1
Tokyo Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Tokyo. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.

Day 2
Tokyo Discovery | Meiji Jingu Shrine and Sumida River Cruise

Meiji Jingu Shrine: Start your day at the serene Meiji Jingu Shrine located within Yoyogi Park. Take a leisurely stroll through the tranquil grounds, surrounded by a lush forest that offers a welcome escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Immerse yourself in Shinto customs by making offerings at the main hall, acquiring charms and amulets, or inscribing your wishes on ema tablets. If you visit on a Sunday morning, you may witness the magical sight of a traditional wedding procession.

Meiji Jingu ShrineMeiji Jingu Shrine

Sumida River Cruise: Hop on a river cruise along the Sumida River, offering breathtaking views of cherry blossoms in spring and people enjoying Hanami picnics along the banks. As you sail, you'll witness Tokyo from a unique perspective, appreciating both the riverside and its vibrant life.

Sensoji Asakusa: Continue to Tokyo's oldest temple, Sensoji, a captivating destination that houses a sacred statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Stroll through imposing gates, marvel at the iconic five-story pagoda, and explore the lively stalls of Nakamise Dori. It's a cultural and sensory journey that's a must during your time in Japan.

Hama-rikyu Gardens: Escape the urban jungle for a while at Hama-rikyu Gardens, an oasis of tranquility amid Tokyo's skyscrapers. Originally reserved for Imperial use, these scenic gardens opened to the public in 1946. Make sure to savor a traditional experience in the floating teahouse while soaking in the serene surroundings.

Day 3
Tokyo Discovery | Ghibli Museum, Tokyo Skytree

The Ghibli Museum: Kick off your day at the enchanting Ghibli Museum, a treasure trove of Japanese animation by Studio Ghibli. Located in the heart of Inokashira Park in Mitaka, Tokyo, this museum seamlessly combines elements of a children's museum, a technology hub, and a fine arts gallery. It's a dedicated celebration of the art and technique of animation. Don't miss the replica of the Catbus from "My Neighbor Totoro" and the exclusive short films by Studio Ghibli in the museum's theater. Whether you're a fan or not, it's a captivating experience.

Tokyo Skytree: Next, elevate your adventure with a visit to the Tokyo Skytree, where you'll rise 634 meters above the city's skyline. The panoramic views of Tokyo are breathtaking, and on a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of majestic Mt. Fuji. It's a view that stretches beyond the horizon, offering a unique perspective of this bustling metropolis.

Tokyo SkytreeTokyo Skytree

Shibuya: Immerse yourself in the vibrant heart of Tokyo's youth culture in Shibuya. Witness the world-famous Shibuya scramble crossing, a true icon of this district. The area is alive with energy, trendy fashion, and a youthful spirit. Explore, shop, and feel the pulse of modern Tokyo.

Akihabara: Venture to Akihabara, a district that has evolved from a hub of electronics to a vibrant blend of electrical megastores, maid cafes, and all things anime. With its transformation comes a new nickname, "Akiba." Dive into the world of otaku culture, browse anime shops, and experience the unique vibe of this district.

Anime Cafe: Wrap up your day with a quintessential Tokyo experience by visiting an anime-themed cafe. Even if you're not a die-hard fan, these cafes offer a cool and unforgettable experience found nowhere else in the world. Enjoy your time, immerse yourself in the ambiance, and be prepared to capture memories with photos.

Day 4
Tokyo to Hakone | Mt. Fuji and Hakone

Embark on a captivating day trip from Tokyo to the enchanting landscapes of Mt. Fuji and Hakone. This private car excursion offers a memorable blend of natural beauty, history, and cultural exploration.

Mt. Fuji's 5th Station: Your adventure begins with a drive to the iconic Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest peak. As you ascend, make a stop at the Fuji Visitor Center to gain insights into the mountain's history and significance. Weather permitting, you'll continue to Mt. Fuji's 5th station, perched at an elevation of 2,300 meters. If heavy snow closes the road, your guide will take you to the closest accessible point for awe-inspiring views. Keep your eyes on the horizon as Mt. Fuji may reveal herself on this day.

Lake Ashinoko Pirate Ship Ride: Next, journey to the picturesque town of Hakone, where an extraordinary experience awaits. Step aboard a majestic replica pirate ship that gracefully sails across Lake Ashinoko, a serene body of water formed by a volcanic eruption 3,000 years ago. The lake's crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding beauty, creating a stunning tableau.

Day 5
Hakone to Kyoto | Lake Kawaguchi

Hakone Checkpoint: Delve into Japan's feudal history as you visit the Hakone Checkpoint, a vital post along the Tokaido highway linking Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo Period. Explore the gates, housing for officers and foot soldiers, a prison chamber, and a lookout tower. Gain a deeper understanding of this strategic outpost's role in the country's past.

Lake KawaguchiLake Kawaguchi

Lake Kawaguchi: Cap off your day at Lake Kawaguchi, one of the five lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji. This tranquil lake, easily accessible from Tokyo, offers the chance to witness the perfect mirror image of Mt. Fuji on a still, clear day. Lake Kawaguchi is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring hot springs, excellent fishing, captivating museums, and an array of attractions. It's a relaxing getaway, where nature and culture converge.

Day 6
Kyoto Discovery | Fushimi Inari Shrine and Gion District

Discover the timeless charm of Kyoto with this captivating day trip that showcases the city's rich history and culinary delights.

Fushimi Inari Shrine: Your day begins at the enchanting Fushimi Inari Shrine, a sacred sanctuary located on the outskirts of Kyoto. If the elegant layout of this shrine seems familiar, it's because it made an appearance in the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha." One of the most striking features is the winding pathway adorned with vibrant red torii gates, creating a mesmerizing photo opportunity.

Fushimi Inari ShrineFushimi Inari Shrine

Gion District: Continue your adventure in the iconic Gion District, renowned for its graceful geishas. In this district, the geishas refer to themselves as Geiko, which translates to "a woman of art." Take a leisurely walk through these historic streets, immersing yourself in Kyoto's unique and timeless charm.

Nishiki Market: Experience the rich tapestry of Kyoto's culinary heritage at Nishiki Market. This famous traditional food market offers a wide array of fresh and seasonal delicacies, creating an authentic and unique atmosphere. Stroll through centuries-old stalls and savor traditional Japanese foods and snacks, from sushi and pickles to mochi and matcha. Many vendors generously offer free samples, allowing you to indulge in a variety of flavors and discover your favorites.

Sanjusangendo: Next, visit Sanjusangendo, a temple steeped in history and famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Founded in 1164 and later rebuilt after a fire, this temple boasts Japan's longest wooden structure at 120 meters. The centerpiece is a monumental wooden statue of a 1000-armed Kannon, flanked by 500 statues of human-sized 1000-armed Kannon. It's an awe-inspiring sight that captures the essence of Japanese spirituality.

Traditional Tea Ceremony: Conclude your day with an authentic traditional Tea Ceremony, a quintessential Japanese cultural experience. Hosted by a local English-speaking expert, this immersive journey allows you to don a traditional kimono and have your hair styled, creating a genuinely memorable and informational experience. Capture the moment with great photo opportunities. With guidance from your host, you'll also prepare and savor your own tea using traditional tools, deepening your connection to Japanese culture.

Day 7
Kyoto Discovery | Nijo Castle and Arashiyama

Nijo Castle: Your journey begins at the awe-inspiring Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This monumental complex comprises two concentric rings of fortifications, the exquisite Ninomaru Palace, the remains of the Honmaru Palace, and meticulously crafted gardens. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of this historic castle and its beautiful surroundings.

Nijo CastleNijo Castle

Arashiyama: Next, you'll explore Arashiyama, a place of national significance renowned for its natural beauty. As you gaze across the Ōi River, the mountainous backdrop sets a stunning scene. Arashiyama is particularly enchanting in autumn, offering various ways to appreciate its splendor. Enjoy a ride on the Sagano train, a tranquil Hozugawa River Boat excursion, or a leisurely stroll through the enchanting bamboo grove. Nearby, the Tenryuji and Jojakukoji temples await, providing moments of tranquility and more breathtaking vistas.

Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion): Prepare to be mesmerized at Kinkakuji, the iconic Golden Pavilion. This Zen temple in northern Kyoto is an architectural marvel, with its top two floors entirely covered in gold leaf. Originally the retirement villa of shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, it later became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect. Gaze upon this stunning structure, set against a reflective pond, as it stands as the sole surviving building from Yoshimitsu's former retreat. Despite enduring fires and wars, the Golden Pavilion remains a symbol of timeless beauty.

Bamboo Grove: Your journey continues through the enchanting Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, one of Kyoto's most iconic destinations. A leisurely stroll through this short but immersive path leaves a lasting impression. The play of light on the forest floor creates a mesmerizing atmosphere, making it a must-see in Kyoto.

Hozu River Boating Experience: Conclude your day with a serene Hozu River boating experience. As the river winds through Kyoto and Kameoka, picturesque mountains adorn the banks, creating a scene straight out of a painting. Whether it's the vibrant reds of autumn or the year-round charm, this landscape is best appreciated from the tranquility of a boat. Take your own rowboat, accommodating up to three people, and row through the enchanting lower Hozu-gawa area.

Day 8
Kyoto to Osaka | Nara Park and Mount Yoshinoyama Hanami

Nara Park: Begin your day at Nara Park, a sprawling natural haven at the base of Mt. Wakakusa. Home to friendly deer, it boasts ancient temples and serene woodlands, a stark contrast to Kyoto's often-rebuilt structures.

Nara ParkNara Park

Mount Yoshinoyama Hanami: Travel to Nara Prefecture to experience the beloved hanami tradition at Mount Yoshinoyama. During spring, the mountain is a pink and white spectacle, perfect for "flower viewing" gatherings. Enjoy picnics, photos, and cultural performances under thousands of cherry trees, celebrating life's beauty and nature's cycles.

Mount Wakakusa: Ascend to the summit of Mount Wakakusa, where you'll enjoy a quintessential Nara view that unfolds before your eyes. From this vantage point, you'll gaze upon iconic landmarks such as Todai-ji Temple, Kodai-ji Temple, and more. An extraordinary annual spectacle on this mountain is the "yama yaki," a prescribed burning of the mountainside brush that adds a unique touch to your visit.

Mount Wakakusa: Ascend to the summit of Mount Wakakusa, where you'll enjoy a quintessential Nara view that unfolds before your eyes. From this vantage point, you'll gaze upon iconic landmarks such as Todai-ji Temple, Kodai-ji Temple, and more. An extraordinary annual spectacle on this mountain is the "yama yaki," a prescribed burning of the mountainside brush that adds a unique touch to your visit.

Day 9
Osaka Discovery | Osaka Castle Park

Osaka Castle Park: Explore the history-rich Osaka Castle Park, home to the iconic Osaka Castle that has witnessed centuries of power struggles. While the castle's roots trace back to 1583, its iconic main tower was reconstructed in 1931. The park now serves as a cultural hub where visitors can delve into its history through an adjacent museum. The lush green spaces are a favorite spot for locals to jog, cycle, and unwind.

Osaka CastleOsaka Castle

Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum: Immerse yourself in the world of Kamigata Ukiyoe at the one-of-a-kind Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum. These woodblock prints, created in the Osaka-Kyoto region during the Edo Period, offer a unique perspective on art and culture. Unlike their Edo counterparts, Kamigata prints emphasize realism and the personalities of their subjects, particularly Kabuki actors. With around 50 works in its permanent exhibition, the museum is a treasure trove of this distinctive art form.

My Cupnoodles Factory Experience at Cupnoodles Museum: Visit the CupNoodles Museum in Ikeda, Osaka, and embark on a journey to explore the world of instant noodles and their visionary creator, Momofuku Ando. At the heart of the museum is the "My Cupnoodles Factory" workshop, a hands-on experience where you can design your very own cup noodles.

Day 10
Osaka to Hiroshima Discovery | Universal Studios

Universal Studios Japan: Discover Universal Studios Japan, a thrilling theme park situated in Osaka's Bay area. Since its grand opening on March 31, 2001, it has continuously captured the hearts of visitors. Notably, it was the first Universal Studios to grace international shores.

In its debut year of operation, the park drew in over 11 million visitors, a testament to its magnetic appeal. Even today, approximately 8 million guests flock to the park annually. This consistent popularity cements its position as the 4th or 5th most visited amusement park globally, offering a diverse range of entertainment that keeps people coming back for more.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: Upon arrival, you'll step into the poignant landscape of the Peace Memorial Park, marking the ground zero of the Atomic Bombing. This solemn site pays homage to the lives lost in the tragic event. Stroll through the park adorned with memorials, monuments, and statues, and visit the museum that vividly portrays the impact of that fateful day.

Day 11
Osaka Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Osaka Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

Our Service Includes:

11 days from
On request
Private tour for 2 people in low seasons. Price varies based on program, travel date, number of people, chosen hotel. We accept payments in multiple currencies (GBP, AUD, CAD, EUR...).
  • Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Hand-picked star-rating accommodations
  • Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
  • Governmental taxes

Tour code: ah-jp-cx-6

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