ARRIVE TOKYO, JAPAN
Arrive in action-packed Tokyo, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
TOKYO | FROM A SEAFOOD MARKET TO THE TAIKO DRUMS
Start your day at Tsukiji Fish Market, a bustling hub of Japanese daily life where a dizzying array of seafood can be found. Continue to an exclusive local workshop that specializes in Japanese drum making, and try your hand at playing the taiko. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and then visit Asakusa Kannon Temple, pausing in the tiny shops of Nakamisedori. Stop in Akihabara, a colorful neighborhood filled with electronics shops and anime illustrations. Enjoy a welcome dinner with fellow guests this evening.
TOKYO | SAMURAI HERITAGE & HANDS-ON SUSHI LESSON
Begin today at the Samurai Museum to learn about the customs of this elite-warrior class while viewing samurai swords, armor and weaponry. Throughout hundreds of years of medieval and early modern history, the samurai served as everything from military rulers to court ambassadors, living by a code that set them apart from mainstream Japanese life. Afterward, enjoy a hands-on lesson in the art of crafting sushi dishes, enjoying your creations for lunch.
HAKONE | IN THE SHADOW OF MOUNT FUJI
Today, the great outdoors call your family to Hakone, a beautiful resort town known for its onsens (hot springs) and mountainous scenery. Hakone is set within Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and surrounds beautiful Lake Ashi. Enjoy a demonstration of a traditional Yosegi magic box, a functional and finely crafted puzzle built to perplex anyone who doesn’t know the secret to opening it. Then, ride a cable car for a spectacular view of Mount Fuji. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Okada Museum of Art to discover an extensive collection of art and artifacts from Japan, Korea and China, including delicately painted gold screens and exquisite pottery.
OSAKA | RIDING THE RAILS BY BULLET TRAIN
This morning, stroll the grassy hillsides of the Hakone Open Air Museum, taking in sculptures and artwork from the likes of Picasso and Henry Moore. After having lunch, Ride Like a Local by bullet train past Mount Fuji at speeds of up to 175 miles per hour. Arrive in Osaka, one of Japan’s largest cities and a renowned foodie hub. Next, set out on an adventure for the taste buds in the neon-lit Dotonbori Canal District, with the canal reflecting the dazzling façades of restaurants, where you may sample everything from takoyaki (ball-shaped octopus snacks) to okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), all part of a Family Foodie Experience.
NARA & OSAKA | THE ART OF SUMO WRESTLING
Travel this morning to Nara, Japan’s first capital. Explore Nara Park, home to thousands of tame deer believed to be messengers of the gods. See Todai-ji Temple and the country’s largest Buddha statue, the Kasuga Taisha Shrine with its many lanterns. Return to Osaka, stopping en route at Kehayaza Sumo Pavilion, where you observe a demonstration of this Japanese sport that culminates in a match between two amateur sumo wrestlers. You also have the opportunity to step into the ring and learn the tactics of the sport from an instructor.
KYOTO | BAMBOO FOREST & GOLDEN PAVILION
Travel to enchanting Kyoto, exploring Arashiyama, including the Garden of Tenryu-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and wander through the magical Bamboo Grove Forest. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the exquisite Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) and watch its reflection glitter on the surface of the reflecting pond. Then contemplate the iconic Zen rock garden at Ryoan-ji, the perfect spot for a meditative moment. End your day with a visit to the 400-year-old Nishiki Market, wandering its covered alleyways to discover a plethora of foods and desserts, all of Japan’s culinary delights in one vibrant place.
KYOTO | TRADITIONAL JAPAN COME TO LIFE
This morning, visit the 10,000 Torii Gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine. Then, enjoy the opportunity to dress up in a colorful kimono and receive a hands-on lesson in origami. Take the afternoon to explore Kyoto at your own pace, before gathering with your fellow travellers for a special farewell dinner featuring Izakaya fare.
Transfer to Kansai Airport or Itami Airport, both located just outside of Osaka, for your international flight home.