Arrive Tokyo, Japan
Arrive in Tokyo, Japan’s exciting capital. Transfer to your hotel, located in the upscale Ginza district.
Tokyo | The Shrine of Meiji-Jingu
Visit the Imperial Palace Plaza and stroll the grounds of Meiji-Jingu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife. Proceed to Asakusa Kannon Temple, also known as Sensō-ji, to admire its pagoda-style architecture and learn about its history, which dates to the seventh century. Later, pause in the tiny shops of Nakamise-dori.
Tokyo | Wonderful Nikko National Park
The Japanese have a saying: “Don’t say kekko (wonderful) without seeing Nikko.” Today, travel overland to Nikko National Park in the mountains north of Tokyo and discover this lovely region. Visit the magnificently carved 17th-century Toshogu Shrine. Then, explore the beauty of Lake Chuzenji in the mountains above Nikko, before proceeding to Kegon Waterfall.
Hakone | Traditional Ryokan
Travel to Hakone, among Japan’s most popular hot-spring resorts, and view the forested slopes of Hakone National Park. Cruise Lake Ashi and board a cable car on the Komagatake Ropeway for a spectacular view of Mount Fuji. Tonight, enjoy unparalleled service at Gôra Kadan, an exclusive ryokan (traditional inn).
Osaka | Bullet Train Ride and Medieval Castle
Board a 186-mph bullet train to Osaka, the second-largest city in Japan. This afternoon, stroll through the lovely grounds of Osaka Castle, which played a key role in the unification of Japan in the 16th century. Travel to the top of the 40-story Umeda Sky Building for breathtaking views of the city from an open-air observation deck.
Nara | Bronze Buddha
Travel early this morning to visit ancient Nara, Japan’s first capital. Wander through Nara Park, home to over a thousand tame deer. Continue to eighth-century Todai-ji, a temple complex that contains the world’s largest wooden structure and the largest bronze Buddha in Japan. Known as a Daibutsu in Japanese, the giant Buddha is nearly 50 feet high. Later, return to Osaka.
Kyoto | Gardens, Pavilions & Temples
Start early this morning to contemplate the iconic Zen rock garden at Ryoan-ji and glittering Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). Covered in gold leaf that casts a shimmering reflection in the pond before it, the temple exhibits three different styles of architecture — shinden, samurai and zen — one on each floor. Later, explore the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a lush oasis formed from towering stalks of bamboo. Transfer to your hotel this afternoon for an evening at leisure.
Kyoto | Japanese Mingei Folk Art
This morning, visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple and stand on its massive veranda for stunning city views. Then, stroll along Gojozaka Hills, an area known for its many pottery studios, on your way to the home and studio of the late Kawai Kanjiro, one of Kyoto’s most famous potters, and one of the first to combine modern manufacturing methods with traditional Japanese and English designs. Kanjiro’s beautiful, unusual home — redesigned to resemble a country house — is filled with his own creations and his personal collection.
Transfer to Kansai or Itami Airport, both located just outside of Osaka, for your international flight home.