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11-Day Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Hiroshima Tour

11-Day Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Hiroshima Tour

By Mike HoUpdated Jan. 4, 2024
A Trip to Immerse in Japan's Cultural Riches and Historic Landscapes

Start in Tokyo, a bustling metropolis, and explore the historic charm of Takayama. Delve into Kanazawa's timeless traditions, visit Kyoto's cultural treasures, and pay your respects in Hiroshima. This well-curated itinerary offers the perfect blend of history, culture, and modernity, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking to explore the highlights of Japan. Book now for an unforgettable journey through Tokyo's dynamic energy, the picturesque landscapes of Takayama and Kanazawa, and the profound history of Kyoto and Hiroshima.

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:From US$4,499p/p, (2 per room)*

*The price is based on a private tour for 2 people.

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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

Meander around the beautifully preserved old town of Takayama.

Takayama old town after snow

Experience hands-on in Kyoto a few crafts such as pot-making and Yuzen-dying.

pot making
the tag of ah hand picked

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

Meiji Jingu Shrine: Amid Tokyo's urban buzz, Meiji Jingu Shrine's tranquil grounds offer serene walks. Explore Shinto traditions like making offerings and experiencing charming wedding processions on Sunday mornings.

Sensoji Asakusa: Visit Tokyo's oldest temple, Sensoji, housing the goddess of mercy. Enjoy vibrant market stalls, holy smoke, and fortune-telling for a unique cultural experience.

Omotesando: Omotesando is the chic district, known for high-end fashion boutiques, innovative design houses, and stylish cafes. A must for sophisticated shoppers and coffee enthusiasts.

Hama-rikyu Gardens: Escape the city's skyscrapers at Hama-rikyu Gardens, a serene oasis in downtown Tokyo. Don't miss the traditional tea experience at the floating teahouse for a quintessential Japanese treat.

Day 3
Tokyo to Kawaguchi | Lake Kawaguchi

Scenic Boat Ride on the Appare Sightseeing Boat: Begin your adventure with a picturesque 20-minute boat ride aboard the Appare Sightseeing Boat. As you glide across the serene waters, soak in the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. It's a perfect way to start your journey with a touch of tranquility and natural beauty.

Itchiku Kubota Art Museum: Next, venture into the world of Japanese art at the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. This hidden gem showcases the breathtaking creations of Itchiku Kubota, a renowned artist known for his exquisite kimono art. You'll be captivated by his intricate dyeing techniques and the rich cultural heritage they represent.

Kawaguchiko Art Museum: Continue your artistic exploration at the Kawaguchiko Art Museum. This museum is a gateway to contemporary and traditional Japanese art, offering a diverse range of exhibits that will pique your interest. It's an excellent opportunity to appreciate the region's vibrant art scene.

Lake Kawaguchi: After immersing yourself in the art world, take a moment to appreciate the natural wonders of Lake Kawaguchi. Stroll along the tranquil shores, savoring the fresh mountain air, and capture postcard-worthy views of Mount Fuji. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also rent a paddleboat to explore the lake at your own pace.

Day 4
Kawaguchi to Takayama | Miyagawa Market

Experience the rich history and stunning landscapes of Takayama and Shirakawa-go on this guided tour. Discover the well-preserved old town of Takayama and the UNESCO-listed Shirakawa-go village.

Miyagawa Market: Begin your day with a visit to the bustling Miyagawa Market along the picturesque Miyagawa River. Here, you'll find a delightful array of local crafts and farm products, including fresh vegetables, pickles, and beautiful flowers.

San-machi Suji: Explore the enchanting San-machi Suji district, a time capsule of Takayama's history. This area, once home to Takayama merchants and sake brewers, has been lovingly preserved for centuries. Wander among historic inns, shops, and taverns that have stood the test of time.

Takayama Jinya: Step into the past at the Takayama Jinya, a historical government office. Learn about the region's unique connection with the Tokugawa Shogunate and discover the intricacies of this well-preserved complex. It's like a journey back in time.

Sake Tasting: Delight your taste buds at a local sake brewery. Taste Takayama's renowned sake, made famous by the pristine waters of the surrounding area. Savor the flavors of Japan's national tipple.

Day 5
Takayama to Kanazawa | Shirakawa-go

Venture to the breathtaking Shirakawa-go region. Your guide will lead you through this charming village, celebrated for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Some of these architectural marvels have stood for over 250 years, and their steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks joined in prayer, designed to withstand the region's heavy snowfall.

After your visit to Shirakawa-go, bid farewell to your guide as you continue your journey to Kanazawa. Rest assured, transportation is included, although this part of the trip will be unaccompanied. This allows you to savor the memories of the day at your own pace.Textexaam.

Day 6
Kanazawa Discovery | Kenroku-en Garden

Experience the best of Kanazawa on a full-day adventure with a knowledgeable local guide. Your journey is packed with cultural gems and natural beauty, offering a deep dive into the heart of this captivating city.

Kenroku-en Garden: Your day begins at the enchanting Kenroku-en Garden, a masterpiece of natural beauty that ranks among Japan's top three gardens. Its allure is timeless, and its seasonal transformations promise a feast for the eyes.

Kanazawa Castle: Next, explore the imposing Kanazawa Castle, conveniently located near the garden. This historic fortress showcases the city's rich heritage and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Kagayuzen Kaikan: Immerse yourself in tradition at Kagayuzen Kaikan, where you'll witness demonstrations of Yuzen silk painting—a technique that has been practiced for centuries. This art form showcases the deep cultural roots of Kanazawa.

Nagamachi Samurai District: Step into the Nagamachi Samurai District, where history comes to life. Visit the Nomura Samurai House, a traditional Japanese residence that boasts a tea-ceremony room, a serene courtyard garden, and artifacts dating back to the Edo period. You'll gain a profound understanding of the samurai way of life.

Day 7
Kanazawa to Kyoto | Higashi Chaya District

Higashi Chaya District: Explore the captivating Higashi Chaya District, the largest and most intriguing of Kanazawa's Geisha Districts. Stroll along its central street, now home to charming cafes and shops. You'll feel like you've stepped back in time as you soak in the atmosphere.

Cultural Treasures: Discover the specialty of Kanazawa at Hakuza, a shop that showcases gold leaf products. Marvel at a kura warehouse-style room adorned entirely in gold leaf. It's a visual masterpiece. Then, venture into the Shima teahouse, a working tea house that graciously opens its doors to the public. Here, you can savor a cup of green tea, a soothing and fitting end to your day of exploration.

Day 8
Kyoto Discovery | Yuzen Gallery

Prepare for an immersive day in Kyoto, delving into the traditional crafts that define this enchanting city. This one-of-a-kind tour is packed with hands-on experiences and cultural discoveries that will leave a lasting impression.

Pottery Making: Your journey begins in the eastern part of Kyoto, a renowned pottery district. Here, you'll have the opportunity to get your hands dirty and craft your very own pot. The best part? Your masterpiece will be baked and sent directly to your home in the United States, ensuring a unique and tangible memento of your time in Kyoto.

Yuzen Gallery: Next, explore the fascinating world of Yuzen, the traditional dyeing method for Kimono. At the Yuzen Gallery, you can try your hand at Yuzen dying, creating your own work of art to take home as a cherished souvenir. It's a chance to connect with Kyoto's artistic heritage.

Nijo Castle: After a delightful traditional lunch, step back in time as you visit Nijo Castle, a 17th-century ornamental fortress built for a shogun. This UNESCO World Heritage site boasts stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. It's a window into Japan's rich history and cultural heritage.

Nishiki Food Market: Prepare to be captivated by the sights and smells of the Nishiki Food Market. This bustling market is a sensory delight, with numerous stalls offering traditional Japanese food ingredients. It's the perfect place to sample local flavors and shop for culinary treasures to take back home.

Gion: Conclude your day with a visit to Gion, Kyoto's iconic geisha district. Stroll along its historic streets, where, if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a geisha hurrying to her evening appointment. Gion's timeless charm and elegance provide a fitting end to your cultural journey.

Day 9
Kyoto to Hiroshima | Nonomiya Shrine and Bamboo Grove

Embark on a memorable day in Arashiyama, Kyoto, where you'll discover a harmonious blend of nature and history.

Nonomiya Shrine: Begin your journey at the enchanting Nonomiya Shrine, nestled within the breathtaking Arashiyama bamboo forest. This small shrine holds a significant place in Japanese history, having served as a temporary sanctuary for princesses. In ancient times, unmarried daughters of emperors spent one to three years here, purifying themselves before embarking on a procession to the Grand Shrine of Ise. You'll feel the sacred tranquility as you wander through this historic site, surrounded by towering bamboo.

Bamboo Grove: Next, lose yourself in the mesmerizing Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. One of Kyoto's most iconic attractions, this bamboo forest offers an immersive experience. As you stroll along the forest path, the dappled sunlight filtering through the bamboo leaves creates a truly magical atmosphere. The rustling of the bamboo in the breeze adds to the enchantment, leaving an indelible impression of Kyoto's natural beauty.

Tenryuji Temple: Your cultural exploration continues with a visit to Tenryuji Temple, founded in 1339. Once a grand temple complex with over a hundred sub-temples, it has evolved into a serene and picturesque destination. The primary draw here is the temple's exquisite garden, a magnificent example of traditional Japanese garden design. Explore the harmonious blend of aristocratic tradition and Zen culture as you meander through this lush oasis. The garden's design invites contemplation and a deeper connection to nature.

Day 10
Hiroshima to Tokyo | Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: Your day begins at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a place that stands as a testament to resilience and the pursuit of lasting world peace. This park, situated in the heart of Hiroshima City, holds a profound significance as it was built near the epicenter of the atomic bombing during WWII on August 6, 1945. It's a place of remembrance, reflection, and hope. The park is home to the iconic Atomic Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a powerful symbol of the city's resilience. Additionally, you'll find the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims, where the names of those who lost their lives are inscribed, and various other memorials. It's an opportunity to connect with history and honor those affected by the events of that fateful day.

Shukkeien Garden: Transition from history to tranquility as you explore Shukkeien, a garden with a rich history spanning over 400 years. Originally designed for a daimyo (feudal lord), the garden offers a serene escape from the bustling city. Wander through this meticulously planned garden, designed to resemble various landscapes. Stroll along meandering paths and charming bridges while soaking in the serene atmosphere. The garden transforms as you explore its variety of quaint structures, each providing a new perspective on nature's beauty.

Day 11
Tokyo Departure

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

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Our Service Includes:

11 days from
US$4,499 p/p
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-5

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