Upon arriving at either Narita or Haneda Airport, you will be met in the arrival hall by your driver who will provide you with a private arrival transfer to your hotel. After arriving at your hotel and checking-in, the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Your first full day in Tokyo begins with a half day tour of the city with a private guide, making use of the city's comprehensive, clean, reliable, and user-friendly public transit system. The tour starts with a visit to the Imperial Palace Grounds before taking public transit to Asakusa, where the Tokyo of old is still alive. Visit Tokyo's oldest temple, Sensoji, wander down the popular Nakamise shopping street, and then take the subway to Omotesando where you'll explore this shopping district before venturing to the Meiji Shrine - an important shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji which is now a popular place for Japanese weddings. After the tour, the rest of the day is at your leisure.(Breakfast & Accommodations, Tokyo)
After breakfast, enjoy a free day in Tokyo, exploring its eclectic neighborhoods, eating at its delectable restaurants, and shopping at many stores of your choosing. Or - select one of our optional tours! We recommend the following:
Private Tokyo Local Gourmet Evening Tour:
Embark on a gastronomic exploration of one of Tokyo's many foodie hotspots near your hotel to discover the local specialties and culinary classics with a local guide. You'll be sure to try yakitori, grilled chicken skewers served with salt or tare that is a staple of street food. Depending on where you are in the city, you'll also have the chance to try sashimi, okonomiyaki, Japanese fried chicken, sushi, tempura, and so much more. Let your taste buds run wild and savor the unique flavors of the night!
After breakfast, leave Tokyo and venture onwards to Hakone - the gateway city to Mt. Fuji which is surrounded by the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. A local guide will accompany you on your rail journey from Tokyo to Hakone and along the Hakone Loop. The loop includes a journey to the town of hot-spring town of Gora where you'll ride the Hakone Ropeway to the awe-inspiring Owakudani Crater. Here you'll have a chance to taste the curiously tasty black eggs that are boiled in the water that bubbles up from the volcano! Afterwards you'll take a scenic cruise across the pristine Lake Ashi in a replica pirate ship painted in trademark vermillion colors. On clear days, you may be blessed with views of Mt. Fuji - although she is a notoriously shy mountain.
After completing the Hakone Loop, your guide will take you to your accommodations and will help you check in before leaving, allowing you to enjoy the on-site facilities of your ryokan or hotel..
Some of the attractions (ropeway, lake cruise) may stop operations in case of bad weather or volcanic activity. In this case the guide will point you to suitable alternative sights.
People with asthma and smoke allergies are advised to avoid Owakudani. If this is the case, you will not get off at the Owakudani station, but continue on immediately down to Togendai.
Please be advised that the order in which you visit attractions may depend on your Hakone accommodation and other conditions on the day.
IMPORTANT:Please pack your small carry on size for your stay in Hakone. You`ll use a baggage forwarding service from Tokyo to your destination after Hakone.
After breakfast, board the shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto! This train is capable of speeds up to 185mph and will take about 2 hours to reach Kyoto. After arriving at your hotel and checking-in, the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
See 2 of Kyoto's 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and pay a visit to a local market, on this half day tour. Start by visiting the Golden Pavilion, otherwise known as Kinkakuji Temple, which was originally constructed as a retirement villa that was bought by a shogun. After his death, it became a Buddhist Temple and is one of Kyoto's most famous temples and most popular tourist destinations. The top two floors of the temple are completely covered in gold leaf, overlooks a tranquil pond, and is set among graceful gardens. Next on the tour is Nijo Castle, built by the famous shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Surrounded by stunning gardens, this castle is famous for its elegant and innovative architecture, including ornamental sliding doors and the nightingale floors designed as a security measure that would "chirp" when being stepped upon. Finally, end the tour with a visit to Nishiki Market - lovingly known as Kyoto's Kitchen. This narrow shopping street is lined with over 100 shops that sell everything from fresh seafood to vegetables, sweets, sushi, and other street-food delicacies.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Kyoto)
After breakfast, enjoy a free day in Kyoto exploring this fascinating city of culture and spirituality. Or - select one of our optional tours! We recommend the following:
Private Nara and Fushimi Tour via Public Transportation:
Travel by train to the nearby city of Nara, Japan's ancient capital during the 8th century. Many of the temples and shrines of antiquity still remain here, including the legendary Todaiji Temple - the world`s largest wooden building and home to Japan's largest Buddha. Next, visit the Kasuga Taisha shrine which is famous for its hundreds of donated bronze and stone lanterns. Finally, take a stroll through Nara Park - often called Deer Park by locals due to the population of 1,000 friendly deer living there!
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Kyoto)
After breakfast, travel from your hotel in Kyoto to Osaka via private transfer. After checking-in at your hotel, enjoy an afternoon tour of Osaka with a private guide.
Start the day with a visit to the magnificent Osaka Castle, one of Japan's most famous castles that has been faithfully rebuilt after its destruction during World War II. Wander the grounds and visit the museum inside the castle that functions as a museum of Osaka's history. Next, visit the tallest building in Japan - Abeno Harukas. The building houses a department store, an art museum, a hotel, and an observation deck called the Floating Garden Observatory. The top three floors of the building are dedicated as an observation deck that offers panoramic views of the Osaka metropolis. The tour ends after visiting Abeno Harukas.(Breakfast, Kyoto; Accommodations, Osaka)