A truly fascinating land of rich traditions and dizzying modernity is revealed on this well-crafted 13-day small group tour.
August 26- September 7, 2023
See Tokyo and Kyoto’s highlights, engage in local life, and head off the beaten path to alluring historic destinations. Begin in amazing Tokyo, where sightseeing includes the imposing Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine, and a calligrapher’s gallery. Then encounter magnificent Mt. Fuji and cruise on scenic Ashi Lake. After overnighting in a traditional ryokan inn, travel by express train to lovely Takayama in the Japanese Alps. A traditional tea ceremony and a cooking class offer opportunities to experience Japanese culture firsthand. In culturally rich Kanazawa, visit famed Kenrokuen Garden and a gold leaf museum. Touring of Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto, includes the beloved Golden Pavilion temple, the extravagant Nijo-jo Castle, and the important Fushimi Inari shrine.
Discover cosmopolitan Hiroshima, reborn from its atomic destruction, with an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension.
Now accepting reservations! To reserve your place, please call Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. toll-free at (888) 370-6765.
Prices include int’l airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees.
- Seattle: $6,784
- Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle: $7,084
- Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York, Philadelphia: $7,284
- Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Washington, DC: $7,384
- Land Only (transfers not included): $5,895
Please call if your city is not listed. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $389, which are subject to change until final payment is made.
Single travelers please add $1,695. Your $500 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.
Please note: This trip involves full days of sightseeing and significant amounts of walking on stairs and uneven surfaces. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.
For reservations and information, please call Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. toll-free: 888-370-6765 Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–7:00 PM, Eastern Time
- Round-trip airfare from select cities
- 11 nights' accommodations (Deluxe and First Class Hotels along with 1 night in a traditional Japanese ryokan)
- 19 meals (11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners)
- Extensive sightseeing and entrance fees
- Private motor coach transportation
- Gratuities for local guides/dining room servers/porters/drivers
- Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director.
Post-Tour Extension: Hiroshima: City of Peace
September 7-9, 2023
Discover the city reborn from the atomic destruction of World War II, a modern and cosmopolitan urban center whose residents warmly welcome American visitors.
3 days/2 nights for $1,195/person
Single supplement: $155
Extension Pricing Includes:
- Rail transportation Kyoto/Hiroshima, Hiroshima/Osaka
- 2 night's accommodations at Hotel Granvia Hiroshima (First Class)
- 3 meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch
- Extensive sightseeing including: 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 and airport and hotel porters
Leave your home city for 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.
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 pre-eminent 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.
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.
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.
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 16th-century 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.
We pay an early visit to the river-side 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).
We leave Takayama this morning for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago Gassho-zukuri Village. Comprising buildings re-located 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 import- ant 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.
This morning we travel by motor coach to Osaka, where we board our return flight to the United States.