Summary

The Guided Tour of Japan - Golden Route including Tokyo and Kyoto (10 days) showcases some of the very best attractions of Japan offering you the opportunity to immerse in the country’s magnificent heritage and discover its beautiful cities including Tokyo and Kyoto, two of Japan's most popular tourist destinations. The Golden Route is a popular path for first time visitors to Japan and will offer you a fascinating discovery of the Japanese history and culture. You will see such important attractions as Tokyo, the capital of Japan, Kanazawa city, known for one of the three most beautiful landscape garden - Kenrokuen Garden, Takayama city and the nearby Shirakawago village, a small, traditional village showcasing a building style known as gassho-zukuri. Since 1995, the village is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites together with Gokayama in Nanto. You will also discover Kyoto, considered the cultural capital of Japan, Nara and Osaka. During this guided tour in Japan, you will have unique experiences and enjoy a journey you will never forget.

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Yuki

Yuki

Local travel expert in Japan

Showing the cultural and natural wealth of Japan fascinates me. I represent a local tour operator in Japan that has over 10 years experience in the organization of travel. While elaborating a program, we focus on offering unique experiences to the tourists who wish to visit Japan.

Itinerary


On arrival at Narita International Airport, you will meet your local tour guide. You will be transferred to your accommodation in Tokyo and check in at the hotel.

After breakfast at the hotel, you will depart from the hotel and you will be guided to Meiji Shrine that is dedicated to deified spirits of Emperor Meiji. Emperor Meiji was the first emperor of modern Japan. He ascended to the throne in 1867 at the peak of the Meiji Restoration when Japan’s feudal era came to an end and the emperor was restored to power. The shrine is located about a ten-minute walk from both Harajuku Station and Yoyogi Station. Once you enter the shrine, the sights and sounds of the busy city are replaced by a massive forest.

After visiting Meiji Shrine, you will enjoy a walking street experience of Harajuku that is famous for street fashion and Japanese pop culture as well as luxury shopping experience of Omotesando.

In the afternoon, you will have free time for lunch.

You will continue your trip to the nest sightseeing spot - Tokyo Metropolitan Government more Building, which is popular among visitors because of free observation decks providing fantastic panoramic views of Tokyo. Under good weather conditions, famous landmarks such as Mount Fuji, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine and Tokyo Dome can be seen from the observatories.

Next, you will enjoy some free time before dinner at a local restaurant.

In the morning, you will discover Tokyo Imperial Palace East Garden, the residence of Japan’s imperial family, located in the former site of Edo Castle. From Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can see the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) due to its appearance. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge).

After the sightseeing of the Imperial Palace, you will be guided to Ginza district featuring many department stores, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs, cafes and so on.

In the afternoon, you will have free time for lunch.

Next, you will visit Asakusa area where Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Shopping arcade are located. When approaching the temple, visitors more first enter through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), the outer gate of Sensoji Temple and the symbol of Asakusa and the entire city of Tokyo.

A shopping street of over 200 meters, called Nakamise, leads from the outer gate to the temple’s second gate, the Hozomon. Together with typical Japanese souvenirs such as yukata and folding fans, various traditional local snacks from the Asakusa area are sold along the Nakamise.

You will also visit Tokyo Skytree, a television broadcasting tower and one of the most well-known landmark in Tokyo. It is the tallest structure in Japan (634 m) and the second tallest in the world after the Burj Khalifa. There are two observation decks at Tokyo Skytree providing spectacular views of Tokyo. The two decks are located at the heights of 350 m and 450 m that are the highest observation decks in Japan.
The tour will continue to Ameyoko, which is a short form for “Ameya Yokocho” (candy store alley) as candies were used to be sold there. It is a busy market street between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations. Along the street, various products such as clothes, bags, cosmetics, fresh fish, dried food and spices are sold.

Once you are done with shopping in Ameyoko, you will see Akihabara electronic town called Akiba, selling many electronic products. Recently, Akihabara has gained recognition as the centre of Japanese anime and manga culture.

After the guided tour, you will have dinner at a local restaurant in Tokyo.

In the morning you will check out from the hotel and you will be transferred to Tokyo Station from where you will take an Express Train to Kanazawa (the guide will not accompany you in the train).

When you arrive at Kanazawa station, your local tour guide will meet you and guide you to Omicho Market, which is Kanazawa’s largest fresh food market. Within the market, more than 200 shops and stalls can be seen and most of the shops specialize in local fresh seafood and fruits.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy the lunch on your own.

After lunch, you will visit Kenrokuen Garden, which has been selected as one of the three most beautiful landscape garden alongside Mito Kairakuen and Okayama Korakuen. There are a great variety of flowering trees in Kenrokuen Garden providing a different look every season.

After the walking tour of Kenrokuen Garden, you will continue the more tour to Higashi Chaya District, an area surrounded by restaurants where geisha hold song and dance performances.

In the evening, you will check in at the hotel and have dinner at a local restaurant.

After breakfast at the hotel, you will travel to Takayama and you will see the beautiful Shirakawago village, a small, traditional village showcasing a building style known as gassho-zukuri. Since 1995 it is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites together with Gokayama in Nanto. Gassho-zukuri is designed to withstand heavy snow in winter season.

You will continue your trip to Takayama Jinya, which used to be a local government office headed by the officials dispatched from Edo. The building was officially used until 1969 and it is now open to the public as a museum. It includes tatami rooms serving as offices, conference rooms, guest rooms and residential space. After the tour of Takayama Jinya, you will be then guided to Takayama old town called Sanmachi-suji, which has been preserved with old buildings such as homes, shops and coffee shops.

You will check in and have dinner at the more hotel during which you will enjoy Japanese traditional cuisine dishes.

In the morning, you will check out from the hotel and go to Takayama Station on foot. Once arriving at the station, you will depart from Takayama by taking the express train to Nagoya and when you arrive at Nagoya station, you will be assisted for the transfer to the express train to Kyoto.

You will meet the local guide at Kyoto station and will be transferred to Arashiyama Togetsu Bridge that is Arashiyama’s famous landmark and small shops, restaurants and attractions are found nearby. Also, you will visit Tenryuji temple which was selected as first-ranked among five great Zen temples and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The walking paths in the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove will give you a pleasant moment especially when there is a slight wind and bamboo stalks sway back and forth in the wind. When you finish enjoying the great moment of Bamboo Groves, you will be guided to Okochi more Sanso Garden located in the back of Arashiyama Bamboo Groves. There are several different gardens and buildings, including living quarters, tea houses and gates in the Okochi Sanso Garden. You will have a short break for tea and snack.

In the evening, you will check in at the hotel and have dinner at a local restaurant.

After breakfast at the hotel, you will depart to Kyoto Imperial Palace called as Kyoto Gosho used to be the residence of Japanese imperial family until 1868. It is located in the spacious Kyoto Imperial Park, which is a beautiful park in the centre of the city.

After visiting Kyoto Imperial Palace, you will be guided to Nijo Castle built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867). When the Tokugawa Shogunate was ended in 1867, Nijo Castle was replaced as an imperial palace for a while before being donated to the city and opened up to the public as a historic site. Gion district is one of the most well-known geisha district located around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the east and the Kamo River in the west. There are tons of shops, restaurants and tea houses, where geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) can more be seen in the area.

After the tour of Nijo Castle, you will have free time for lunch.

After lunch, you will discover Kiyomizudera Temple built in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto. Its name derives from the waterfall’s pure waters. The temple was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism, but formed its own Kita Hosso sect in 1965. In 1994, the temple was included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Next, you will take a tour of Sanjusangendo Temple which is the popular name for Rengeo-in, a temple in eastern Kyoto which is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The temple was founded in 1164 and rebuilt a century later following the original structure that had been destroyed in a fire.

In the evening, you will have dinner at the hotel.

In the morning, you will travel to Nara where you will visit Todaiji Temple, one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara. The temple was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan and grew so powerful that the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower the temple’s influence on government affairs.

When the tour of Todaiji Temple is finished, you will be guided to Nara Park, which is a large park in central Nara established in 1880. It is the location of many of Nara’s main attractions including Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji and the Nara National Museum. It is also home to hundreds of freely roaming and charming deer.

Then, you will visit Kasuga Taisha which is Nara’s most celebrated shrine. It was established at the same time as the capital and is dedicated to the deity more responsible for the protection of the city. Kasuga Taisha was also the tutelary shrine of the Fujiwara, Japan’s most powerful family clan during most of the Nara and Heian Periods.

In the afternoon, you will have free time for lunch.

After lunch, you will travel to Uji where you will see Byodoin Temple, which is a striking example of Buddhist Pure Land architecture. This temple was originally built in 998 in the Heian period as a rural villa of high-ranking courtier Minamoto no Shigenobu. Later, it was purchased by Fujiwara no Michinaga and it was turned into a temple by Michinaga’s son. He ordered the construction of its most spectacular feature, the Phoenix Hall. Being one of the World Heritage sites of Japan, the Byodoin Temple buildings and Buddha statues have a long history of about 1000 years.

Next, you will travel back to Kyoto where you will visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead to the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 m and belongs to the shrine grounds.

In the evening, you will have dinner at a local restaurant.

After breakfast, you will check out from the hotel and you will be transferred to Osaka. You will visit Osaka Castle, which is one of the most famous landmarks of Osaka. In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi started the construction of Osaka Castle on the former site of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, which had been destroyed by Oda Nobunaga thirteen years earlier. Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s intention was to make the castle become the centre of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule. It was the largest castle at that time.
When the tour of Osaka Castle is finished, you will enjoy shopping at Dotonbori filled with towering neon signs, clubs, bars, and restaurants serving local specialties.

After the half-day tour of Osaka, you will travel from Osaka to Tokyo by an express train and once you arrive at Tokyo station, you will be assisted to take a bus to the hotel.

You will check in at the hotel and more have dinner at a local restaurant in Tokyo.

On your departure day, you will check out and you will be transferred from the hotel to Narita International Airport. If your flight is in the afternoon, you will have the option to explore Tokyo for a while on your own in the morning and buy some souvenirs.

Prices

Travel dates

Upon request

Price per person in €

2 Pers.

6 Pers.

18 Pers.

3* Hotels

6522€

3262€

2362€

4* Hotels

6769€

3508€

2609€

Travel dates Accommodation Price per person in €
2 Pers. 6 Pers. 18 Pers.

Upon request

3* Hotels 6522€ 3262€ 2362€
4* Hotels 6769€ 3508€ 2609€

What's Included

  • 9 nights accommodation in a double (DBL) or twin (TWN) room at the hotels of your choice (3 or 4 stars);
  • Breakfast at the hotel;
  • Dinner on day 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of the itinerary;
  • Excursions on the entire itinerary;
  • Entrance fees according to the itinerary;
  • Transportation during the entire itinerary (transfer by minivan/bus, subway passes and train tickets);
  • English speaking guide.

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