It’s a land of delicate art and bustling commerce; of rich traditions and dizzying modernity. This well-crafted 13-day tour with no more than 24 guests features the highlights of Tokyo and Kyoto, engages you in local life, and takes you off the beaten path to the lovely historic cities of Takayama, Kanazawa, and Nara.
- Your journey begins with a three-night stay in Tokyo, the nation’s heart, where, along with time to explore independently, your touring includes Shinto Meiji Shrine; historic Imperial Palace; Buddhist Asakusa Kannon, the city’s oldest temple; and Ginza, Tokyo’s famed entertainment district.
- Encounter magnificent Mt. Fuji at Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park then overnight in Hakone at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.
- Travel by express train to lovely Takayama in the Japanese Alps where you explore this historic town’s ancient sites, partake in a traditional tea ceremony, and enjoy a hands-on cooking class.
- In Kanazawa, tour famed Kenrokuen Garden, visit a museum celebrating the art of gold leaf technology, and see the Nagamachi Samurai district where samurai warriors lived.
- Conclude your journey in Kyoto, formerly Japan’s capital and now its cultural center. Visit Kyoto National Museum and a workshop specializing in prized Kiyomizu pottery.
- Spend an afternoon touring nearby Nara, Japan’s 8th-century capital, renowned for its shrines and deer that roam Nara Park. A final day in Kyoto is at leisure to enjoy as you wish.
- On an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension, discover cosmopolitan Hiroshima, the city reborn from World War II’s atomic destruction.