This fascinating nine-night journey blends Japan’s traditional beauty and ultra-modernity. It takes you from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji, and to the ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara, then to Osaka Castle, and finally to Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima with its iconic floating torii gate.
Your adventures in Japan get underway when you arrive at Tokyo Narita International Airport and meet your BOUTIQUE JTB assistant just outside the customs exit, making for a smooth and relaxing transfer to your accommodation in Tokyo. Overnight at a select hotel.
Start your day by venturing out to the Harajuku/Omotesando district, Tokyo’s cradle of youth culture and fashion. Then travel onward to Roppongi Hills, a complex featuring shops, restaurants, a hotel, a museum, and Tokyo City View, an observation deck offering breathtaking 360 degrees views of the city’s skyline. Finish your day in style in Ginza, the most exclusive and refined streets in Tokyo.
Overnight at a select hotel.
After a leisurely breakfast, explore the shitamachi neighborhoods that preserve the spirit of the capital’s past. After visiting the EdoTokyo Museum to learn all about shitamachi, soak up the atmosphere at Asakusa's Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Nakamise shopping arcade, where visitors can still glimpse traces of the Edo period (1603?1868). Return to your hotel after a brief stop at the Imperial Palace Plaza for the iconic Nijubashi Bridge that streches over the moat.
Trade the bustle of Tokyo for Hakone to discover one of the most astonishingly beautiful landscapes anywhere. Take in views of Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi and ride the Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani. After a day of wonderment, stay in one of the most elegant ryokan. Enveloped in the warmth of onsen water, feel your mind go blank.
Take the Shinkansen bullet train to transfer to Kyoto. Upon arrival, start off your half day tour of Kyoto with stunning 410-year-old Nijo Castle, the site of two lavish palaces and several beautiful gardens. Continue on to Kinkaku-ji, or the Golden Pavilion. Originally built in 1394, this magnificent villa was once a residence of a court noble, but destroyed by fire in 1950. Today’s pavilion was reconstructed in 1955. Overnight at a hotel or ryokan.
Kick off your full day tour of Kyoto with Sanjusangendo Buddhist Hall. Dating back to 1266, this long and narrow hall houses 1,001 statues of thousand-armed Kannon Bodhisattva?the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The hall and the Kannons are designated as national treasures.
Next, separating the sacred shrine from the profane world, a massive orange torii gate awaits you at Heian Shrine. The shrine was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto as Japan’s capital. Ryoan-ji is a can’t-miss temple with its famed Zen garden. To conclude a day of cultural immersion, enjoy an idle stroll along the streets of Gion, Japan’s most famous geisha district. Overnight at a hotel or ryokan.
Transfer to Nara. With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, Nara is a rewarding destination second only to Kyoto in terms of cultural legacy. Nara’s centerpiece is the 16-metre-tall Great Buddha, which rivals Mt. Fuji and Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji as Japan’s single most impressive sight. The Great Buddha is the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha and is housed in Todai-ji, a soaring temple presiding over Nara Park. The sight of Kasuga Shrine, lined with 3,000 lanterns, is perhaps unmatched by any other shrines. Return to Kyoto and explore more of the historic city at leisure. Overnight at a hotel or ryokan.
Transfer to Osaka. Keep your eyes peeled for Osaka Castle. The castle was built as a display of power by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who ordered it to be the strongest and most beautiful castle in Japan. The work was completed in 1583. Today’s structure is a 1931 concrete reconstruction of the original, affording an extensive view of the city. Stop at the Cupnoodles Museum, the birthplace of the world’s first instant noodles. The Shinkansen bullet train will take you from Osaka to Hiroshima in just under two hours. The remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at a hotel or ryokan.
Full day tour of Hiroshima starts with a stroll around the historic monuments of the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Transfer to the western region of Hiroshima, board a ferry to Miyajima, home to Itsukushima Shrine. Famed for its iconic floating torii gate, the shrine was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. Overnight at a hotel or ryokan.
The final day of your epic journey of discovery is upon you. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel. After checkout, you will be escorted by your BOUTIQUE JTB assistant to transfer to Kansai International Airport by the Shinkansen.