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Sample Japan Itinerary

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Come discover the Japan you’ve always dreamed about. Our tailor-made Custom Journeys to Japan allow you to craft an itinerary that includes all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that inspire you most.

From walks in the scenic countryside to tours of ancient temples to the buzzing energy of cosmopolitan Tokyo, our Iconic Japan sample itinerary provides a glimpse of what your Custom Journey to Japan might resemble. Prefer to start from scratch? We create custom vacations to Japan that suit your timeline, interests, budget, pace and travel style. If planning isn’t your style, simply come along for the ride on a pre-planned Small Group Trip.

Iconic Japan | 15 Days

Day 1-2

Get acquainted with the singular islands of Japan when you touch down in vibrant Tokyo. Revive yourself from the flight with a glass of warm sake or feel the pulse of urban Japan with a stroll downtown.

Day 3

No trip to Tokyo would be complete without visiting the enormous Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest in the world. Then leave the crowds behind and make your way to the ancient Buddhist temple of Senso-ji in the historic district of Asakusa, known for its colorful festivals and shrines. Spend the afternoon viewing kabuki (classical Japanese dance-drama) artifacts and more at the Edo History Museum. Then enjoy a traditional tempura dinner before returning to your hotel.

Day 4

Begin the day at the Japanese Imperial Palace, a stunning remnant of old Japan amid modern Tokyo. Then treat yourself to one of the most luxurious shopping experiences in the world as you stroll through the legendary Ginza shopping district. Round out another spectacular Tokyo day with a kabuki performance and a quintessential bento dinner.

Day 5

Climb aboard one of Japan’s sleek, modern trains for the short journey to Harajuku. View the renowned Meiji shrine, take in the vibrant shopping and cultural districts and explore the area’s many art galleries. Then return to Tokyo for the evening.

Day 6

Get an early start for the short day trip to the scenic mountain city of Nikko. The embodiment of peacefulness, you may never want to leave its mossy forests, meandering bridges, historic temples and sacred shrines.

Day 7

The morning’s train journey to Hakone is almost as beautiful as panoramic Mt. Fuji itself. In Hakone, take advantage of a variety of photo ops of the iconic mountain, tour the sculpture gardens and explore Mt. Fuji National Park. Spend the night in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) with natural hot spring-fed onsen (baths).

Day 8

See a different side of Mt. Fuji on a cable car tour culminating at the unforgettable Owakudani Crater. Then relax on a boat trip around Lake Ashi and a ride down the Avenue of the Cedars. Board the train north to Takayama, your home base for the night.

Day 9

Take in Takayama with a bicycle tour of the traditional Japanese merchant district of Sanmachi Suji. Visit a toy-making center on your way to the Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum where you’ll see ancient Japanese artifacts, lacquered bowls and intricate woodcarvings.

Day 10

Breeze through scenic bamboo groves aboard your train to the evocative, historic city of Kyoto. Visit ancient temples, some of the city’s oldest shrines and the surreal Moss Gardens of Saiho-ji. Savor a signature sushi dinner before heading retiring to your hotel.

Day 11

Explore the best of Kyoto’s majestic sites today. Walk through the gardens of the Silver Pavilion, stroll beneath cherry blossoms on the Philosopher’s Walk and admire classical Japanese design at the Temple of the Golden Pavilion.

Day 12

Board a suburban train this morning to reach Rengei-ji Temple, one of the area’s most unforgettable historic sites. Learn to appreciate the tranquil ambiance and sophisticated planning process of traditional Zen rock gardens.

Day 13

Spend a quiet morning at Daikoku-ji Zen monastery before learning about traditional Japanese garden design at Zuiho-in. After a lunch of udon noddles, visit the studio of an indigo dyer on your way to the Gion district, one of Kyoto’s oldest and most charming neighborhoods.

Day 14

Admire the ancient Buddhist statuary at Sanjusangen-do before visiting the architectural wonder that is the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Pick up souvenirs from the Kawai Kanjiro museum’s pottery studio this afternoon and take time to visit any Kyoto highlights you might have missed.

Day 15

Enjoy one last morning in Kyoto before heading to Tokyo for your flight home.

Plan Your Journey

Every trip begins by us wanting to know you better. For starters we'll want to know who you're traveling with, your travel dates, any special interests you may have and what types of hotels you prefer. You may not know the answer to all the questions—don't worry, that's where we come in.

Traveler Questionnaire

Use the following questions to help you think about your ideal journey - better yet copy and paste them into an email and send them off our our knowledgable Travel Specialists who can then provide some suggestions.

  1. Will you be traveling with family or friends? How many people are in your group?
  2. Do you have specific dates in mind?
  3. About how many days do you expect the trip to last?
  4. Which destinations are you interested in?
  5. Do you have specific interests that you would like to concentrate on such as art, architecture, archaeology, wildlife, spas, cuisine, textiles, religion, sports, schools or nature?
  6. Do you like to have activities planned sun up to sun down, or do you prefer some downtime?
  7. Do you have an interest in active travel (hiking, biking, kayaking, etc.)?
  8. If you are of active disposition, do you consider 2 hours of hiking enough or do you like to go all day?
  9. On trips past, what were some of the activities or specific things that you most enjoyed?
  10. What type of accommodations do you generally prefer? Only five-star? Small, boutique properties? Nice, but not over the top?
  11. Do you have an approximate budget in mind for the trip?
  12. Are you celebrating a special occasion on this journey?
  13. Do you plan to use frequent flyer miles or reward points for international travel?
  14. Do you plan to book your own air or use our company's in-house air department?