This 5-day itinerary will give you a quick overview of Tokyo, along with an easy day-trip from the city to one of its nearby cultural and scenic destinations: either Kamakura, Nikko, Mt Takao or Hakone.
Expect moments of carefully choreographed beauty and tranquility, with people still finding time to observe Shinto rituals and stand in silent worship, engage in tea ceremonies and enjoy a cup of tea, and contemplate the glaze of cut glass.
Have your own guide and private vehicle during the guided day.
Learn about Japanese emperors by visiting the Imperial Palace and the Meiji Shrine.
Participate in an authentic tea ceremony and sample freshly-made green tea in a Japanese tearoom.
Experience the spirit of Edo (1603-1868) culture and craftsmanship by yourself!
Make a day-trip to Kamakura, a seaside town of temples and wooded hills
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
Wonderful 10 day trip in Japan!!!
Well planned trip by Alisa . Everything was well scheduled, guides and drivers were excellent!! The cars were extremely comfortable and the hotel she chose for us was beautiful!! Enjoyed planning with her she was very professional and always offered other choices.More
Lianne Stone, May 2023
11 days trip to Japan
I am planning my trip to Japan in November with Sharon's help and she has provided amazing customer service.She is very responsive and put together very quickly an incredible plan for 11 days in Japan. She provided recommendations and made changes based on our interests and budget. She also provided information about visa restrictions and the best way to get tickets for transportation services. Thanks so much Sharon, looking forward to this trip!More
LE, May 2023
Hi Cathy! I just want to thank you for making our Japan trip so much fun & memorable! We loved everything that you had scheduled for us! All the guides and drivers were great & punctual! We love Japan so much that we’re planning to go back next year to different part of Japan! We’ll definitely contact Asia Highlights for our trip again! SereneMore
Serene Storslett, May 2023
Quick, easy and detailed service
Alisa was our advisor from Asia highlights and she prepared for us a wonderful 28 day trip to Japan, taking into consideration our needs and desire not to be traveling everyday and to have a mixture of slow and busy days. We've not yet taken our trip, but very much looking forward to it Thank you Alisa for the quick response and wonderful itineraryMore
Lynette Whittle, Apr 2023
Sharon Huang did an excellent job in planningour 15 day Cherry Blossom Japan tour. Shewas available during our trip to answer our questions and readily agreed to the itinerary changes.Everything was arranged - accommodation,breakfast, guide, car, entrance fees and train tickets. The guides were knowledgeable, and managed the tour very efficiently. The drivers were punctual and very patient. We visited must see places in and near Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. We also got to experience Japanese Tea ceremony, Sushi making, Sake tasting, shopping etc.We highly recommend Asia Highlights for your travel needs.More
Madhu, Apr 2023
I organized a trip to Japan for my
I organized a trip to Japan for my parents who don’t speak English and Alisa was so amazing helping make an itinerary for them. They needed a Spanish guide and she coordinated everything so they wouldn’t have any trouble when they got there. She was so patient changing and adjusting the itinerary to their needs and wants, it’s been a total pleasure working with her and she always responds promptly to any question I have. I definitely recommend this company and if you can ask to work with Alisa.More
Luisa, Apr 2023
Trip to Japan. I have had the pleasure to book with…
For the reasons above, I decided to book again with Asia highlights for our trip to Japan this year in September. Until now it’s been a pleasure dealing with Albee Ning. She was so efficient and pleasant in adjusting our itinerary. Whenever I had any questions I could count on her to answer promptly. I am very lucky to have her as our organiser for our future trip to Japan. I have had the pleasure to book with Asia Highlights when we went to China in 2018. We were extremely satisfied with the exceptional services rendered by our organiser, Robert Hui and private guide William.More
Mrs Cristina Hidalgo Loris, Apr 2023
Albee Ning and Asia Highlights - wonderful to work with.
I and my daughter planned a trip to China and Japan. We worked with Albee Ning who was fantastic in developing a itinerary based on our desires and needs. She was extremely responsive, taking into account all of our requests and worked closely with us, it wasn't just selecting from one of several pre-developed itineraries. We decided to postpone the trip until next year and received the guaranteed refund, minus a small deposit on next years trip. We look forward to working with her again on next years trip and trips in the future. We highly recommend Asia Highlights and Albee NingMore
Nancy K, Apr 2023
Handcrafted tour of Japan by Asia Highlights
My initial inquiry to this company (based in China) was answered in under 10 hours by an amazing travel consultant, named Alisa. She is such a professional in the ways she conducts herself and serves her clients. Alisa is a great communicator and listener. She is very open to requests for additional experiences which require research on her part to arrange. Alisa also provides very detailed information about each experience, location, guides, private car transfers, trains, hotels. This approach is very appealing since detailed communication is so useful and important to me. Alisa also makes the process simple and easy to follow. Answered tons of questions and created the perfect tour for us. We are looking forward to this once in a lifetime visit to Japan and are so grateful we have had the chance to work with Alisa at Asia Highlights!More
Laurie Lee, Feb 2023
Great Overall Experience
Our guide in Tokyo, Fuki, was outstanding. We saw things we would never have otherwise seen, if Fuki had not been there.More
Todd Hankinson, Dec 2022
Plenty of options and personalized tours as needed
Monica Mo was very helpful from the beginning after I enquired about my travel plans to Japan. She listened with understanding and took careful notes and clarified things to make sure she got everything.More
Ginybel Belgira, Sep 2022
Asia Highlights especially Ms. Kanae Chida superb
Asia Highlights and particularly our Tokyo guide, Ms. Kanae Chida, were the best. When Kanae met us, she asked for details of what we wished to see and she constructed an outstanding combination of visits for the day.More
Geoff Rayner-Canham, May 2019
I have arranged a 27 day tour of China, Japan and Hong Kong China
Peggie's English is impeccable and she uses lots of nuances which usually only a native English speaker would know. I have found her very prompt in responding to emails and her knowledge is terrific.More
Ailsa West, Jul 2018
Very professional, great customer service
We travelled to Japan this May (2018). We had contacted Asia Highlights to organise our trip for us. Miss Peggie Lyoo was very helpful, super-friendly, very professional and very prompt with all her replies!More
Tibor Marton, May 2018
Great job!! We had an amazing vacation to Japan. We will use Asian highlights for all of our trips to AsiaMore
Joe, May 2018
In addition, I want to specifically mention the guides provided in certain locations. Rum, in Siem Reap, made the most memorable experience possible. His positivity was contagious - even when it felt like 1000 degrees and we were tired. He brought it all to life, and created a couple days of Ankor Wat, etc. that we will never forget! He heard my daughter's request for specific Cambodian food, and changed our itinerary to go to a village and eat at a locally known shop. He brought the dessert she asked about to us in the car! Overall, he and his driver "Lucky" were a reason to go to Siem Reap. In addition, the other guides (minus one which was switched out immediately) were stupendous. Mon in Bangkok was friendly and provided a great day there; Eak in Chiang Mai gave us a world-class food-tour and day touring the city and its surrounding temples with lots of laughs; Tommy in Hanoi kept us from getting killed in the traffic and gave a stupendous food and architecture/history tour - so very friendly and funny; the fishing village tour in Hoi An, as well as the side-car tour in Saigon, were both unforgettable! Thank you Sharon, and Asia Highlights. Would definitely use again for future trips!More
Teri Simpson, Apr 2023
Cambodia and Vietnam adventure!
Our guide in Cambodia, Meas Darapolaith (Pol), was absolutely amazing. He was knowledgeable, friendly and so helpful. His English was excellent and he shared important insights about history and the magnificent sites we visited. We highly recommend him!More
Jennifer Roth Krieger, Apr 2023
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE…
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE Asia. Being the first in that region, we wanted to use a tour service company. We ended up using Asia Highlights. From the beginning we were impressed with their services. We left home with of mind because all the pre-travel arrangements were taking care and communicate to us efficiently. All our questions were answered promptly. Once in the countries, we were welcome by our excellent tour guides. Everything was taking care for us. We did not have one issue. They selected the right tours guides for us, they were highly knowledgeable and so much attentive to our needs. We had Dhat in Vietnam and Borin in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I came back home so much rested, and with plenty of wonderful pictures and memories. I will definitely use Asia Highlights again for my next trip to Asia.More
Isabelle Dessaux, Apr 2023
Fabulous tour and guide in Cambodia
We have been touring Cambodia, guided by Borin ( and driver 007) for the last 2 days. What a fabulous experience! Borin has been a wonderful guide, the best so far in Southeast Asia, explaining the history and culture of Cambodia through his tours of the temples in and around Angkor, as well as the Landmine museum. He has answered all our questions, made sure we were comfortable, and that we have had great food. 007 made sure we always had enough water and cool towels for our face/neck.We highly recommend Borin as a tour guide for Cambodia!!More
Monica, Mar 2023
Best Travel Service for Asia Travel
Alisa Liu was in charge of making the arrangements and she helped us from the start to make all of the arrangements and also helped us when we had questions and requested some adjustments. Her service is of the highest professional level. We are 100% confident that our trip will be perfect. We’re also 100% confident that, if anything comes up during our trip, that Alisa will be there to guide us through and take care of us. We won’t even consider using another agency for travel around Asia and we would like to have Alisa work for us again.More
Leo Pospichal, Mar 2023
Itinerary in Detail
Tokyo is one of the liveliest places on the planet. Contrary to its popular image, it is not simply a city of neon signs - it is also rooted deeply in traditional culture.
This truly enchanting metropolis has something for everyone, whether experiencing traditional Japanese craftsmanship or tea ceremonies, being surrounded by lively streets with a mix of trendy boutiques and fashionable department stores, or exploring other facets of local culture. Tokyo is a must-see when passing through Japan.
Welcome to Tokyo, one of the world's most thriving, exciting and energizing cities.
In 1603, as the fishing village of Edo, it became the shogunate's center of power, and in 1868 it was renamed Tokyo and made the country's capital. On the surface, it is a mix of digital trends and conspicuous consumption, but dig deeper and you will find a city rooted deeply in traditional culture.
You will be met on arrival at Narita International Airport and share a transfer to your accommodation. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your leisure.
A late-afternoon stroll as the neon starts to light up will take in both sides of this fascinating, bustling area. Shinjuku has several huge department stores, music stores, and electronics stores, along with hundreds of bars and restaurants catering to every taste.
Take a day-tour with a local guide to explore Tokyo. The day begins with a visit to the Imperial Palace, where the emperor and his family still live in the western part of the grounds.
The palace is located on the former site of Edo Castle, with a large park area bounded by moats and massive stone walls. Although the palace itself is not open to the public, you can view its most famous landmark, Nijubashi, a double-arched stone bridge, from Kokyo Gaien.
Public access to the palace is only permitted twice a year, at New Year and on the emperor's birthday.
Next, you will have the unforgettable opportunity to participate in an authentic Japanese tea ceremony. Sample freshly made green tea in a Japanese-style tearoom. The tea masters are always willing to instruct newcomers on the finer points of tea-drinking.
A wide graveled road under a huge torii gate and shaded by cedars leads into the grounds of the Meiji Shrine, where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken are enshrined. During New Year's holidays, the shrine is the most-visited place in Japan, with millions of people worshiping and buying good-luck charms there. It's also a popular site for Japanese weddings.
Take a walk through Omotesando, commonly referred to as Tokyo's Champs-Elysees. This broad, tree-lined avenue features within a short distance a multitude of fashion flagship stores, designed by internationally renowned architects.
End the day in Shinjuku at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, one of Tokyo's tallest and most distinctive skyscrapers.
The Tea Ceremony
The tea ceremony is a series of events, most of which are symbolic.
The ritual involves greeting your fellow guests, washing your hands to purify yourself, waiting for your host's summons, entering the tea room and sitting on the tatami, admiring the room and tea utensils, watching the tea being prepared, bowing, drinking the tea, and then complimenting the host.
The last part of the ceremony is more informal; guests chat casually and drink weak tea. When the ceremony is over, the host cleans everything and shows guests the utensils.
Many traditional crafts in Tokyo have been passed down from generation to generation, ever since the Edo Shogunate period (1603-1868). The spirit of Edo culture and craftsmanship lives on. Today you will learn how to make traditional Japanese handicrafts.
Cutting Edo 'Kiriko' glass is one of the original Japanese crafts founded during the Edo period. The geometric patterns of Edo Kiriko cut glass are renowned for their beauty. Today you will etch some such strikingly beautiful, traditional patterns on glass, in a color of your choice.
In the afternoon, transfer with your guide to Asakusa, to learn more about the old Edo craft culture via a visit to the Edo Shitamachi Traditional Craft Museum. Stroll through Asakusa town, where remnants of Edo culture are still visible, though surrounded by modernity.
Visit the workshop of Mr. Tanaka, a craftsman of Edo-style bamboo blinds. Here, you will learn how to make your own table mat.
Please note that craft experiences are subject to artisans' availability and the order of the itinerary might change depending on the artisans' schedules. Each craft experience will take 1.5 to 2 hours.
If you are more interested in food, cooking and lively local markets, we recommend a visit to Tsukiji Outer Market and a sushi-making lesson at a local home instead.
This alternative tour starts in the early morning with a visit to the lively outer market, packed with many restaurants and shops. You will see many unusual varieties of freshly caught fish, vegetables and other foods, and might sample some delicious finger foods - sushi, tempura and even curry.
You will then visit a typical Japanese home. As you transfer by public transport, your guide will answer any questions you have about Japanese culture or everyday life in Tokyo.
Learn to prepare maki sushi (rolled sushi), gunkan maki (sushi rice wrapped with a strip of seaweed and topped with soft ingredients), and nigiri sushi (sushi rice topped with a slice of raw fish). You will then get to enjoy your homemade sushi for lunch.
The whole experience will last about 4-5 hours and finishes at the station closest to your Japanese host's home.
Today you will make a day-trip to Kamakura (1 hour away), the former seat of the Shogunate during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) and the then de facto capital of Japan.
At that time Kamakura was the largest city in the world. Today, however, Kamakura is a small, sleepy seaside town with numerous temples, shrines and other attractions.
With your local guide, you will visit Kotokuin Temple, home to the Daibutsu, a giant bronze Buddha that stands (or rather, sits) 13.4 meters tall.
Hasedera Temple is a temple of the Jodo sect, which is best-known for its statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The statue depicts Kannon with eleven heads, each representing a characteristic of the goddess. The 9.2-meter-tall, gilded wooden statue is one of the largest wooden sculptures in Japan.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, dating from the 12th century, is the spiritual heart of Kamakura and one of its most popular attractions. It was dedicated to Hachiman, the Shinto god of war and patron of the Minamoto family.
Your day will end with shopping for local souvenirs and delicacies in Komachi Street.
We offer another three options on this day. Please let us know if you prefer any of them.
Option 1: Full-Day Nikko World Heritage Excursion from Tokyo
Option 2: Full-Day Mount Takao Hiking Excursion from Tokyo
Option 3: Full-Day Hakone Mount Fuji National Park Excursion from Tokyo
We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.
Hotel in Tokyo with great location
Hotel in Tokyo with Godzilla
Central located hotel in Tokyo
Hotel right in the city center
Our Service Includes:
- Private transport and personal English-speaking tour guide
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels
- Governmental taxes
Tour code: ah-34
Start planning your tailor-made tour now. Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
Get Inspired with Our Sample Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.