Japan Essentials | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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Japan Essentials

PRIVATE/GROUP TOUR - 9 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM $6842+

Private/Group Tour Highlights

  • Explore one of the world's most cutting-edge capitals, Tokyo, a city of contrasts
  • Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples standing with skyscrapers
  • Quaint wooden houses, private gardens with meticulously clipped bonsai trees
  • Soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old
  • Steaming matcha and Japanese sweets in a tea house on a small island
  • Kamakura, a small, sleepy seaside town with numerous temples and shrines
  • Cruise a lake formed by a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago
  • Narrow alleyways where tea houses abound and kimono-clad geisha hurry from function to function
  • Go back in time to Japan's mysterious past
  • Ground zero for the Atomic Bomb on 6th August 1945
  • Stroll through the park and discover the many memorials, monuments and statues
  • The Floating Torii Gate, one of Japan's '3 Most Beautiful Views'
  • Sample local goodies like maple leaf shaped cakes before heading back to Kyoto.
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

This Japan Essentials tour is simply the trip when planning a visit to Japan. A modern Nation, Japan has grown exponentially with the developing of technology and the fast pace of globalization while firmly grasping its deep history and ever expanding culture. The presence of Japan’s appreciation for tradition can be seen in every city, from the Capital of Tokyo, to populous Kyoto, to the Phoenix like city of Hiroshima. Each destination of importance harbors a unique story to be experienced. Walk through the bustling streets while shopping in Tokyo, and sip green tea while admiring the Capitals lovely gardens and Shrines. While in Kyoto, or Japan of Old, visit the country’s longest wooden structure as well as other shrines and temples galore. When in Hakone, feel the warm waters of the nearby hot springs before a cruise along the Ashi River. Then learn of Hiroshima’s unfortunate demise with a visit to one of the few remaining original buildings of the city. With Yampu’s “Japan Essentials” visitors will not only see the key sites but will be able to submerse themselves into Japanese culture in a way unlike any other. Take part and enjoy your cultural experience of Japan.

Inclusions
Price includes domestic and regional flights within the itinerary; all hotel accommodations including daily continental or buffet breakfast and daily city tax; all transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling; guided tours in English including entrance fees.
Exclusions

International airfare (unless specifically included), airport departure taxes that must be paid on-site, gratuities, meals not mentioned, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with meals, early / late check-out, room service, visa fees/services and other personal items or services not mentioned.

Best Time to Travel
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JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

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Package Price: $6842
Pricing Details

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

Overnight Flight to Tokyo

Overnight International Flight to Tokyo

Overnight International Flight to Tokyo

Day
2

Welcome to Japan

On arrival at Narita Airport, be met in the arrival hall by a Yampu representative who will assist with the approximately 60 to 90-minute transfer to the hotel.
Enjoy the rest of the day free to explore one of the world's most cutting-edge capitals. Tokyo is a city of contrasts. Famous for its cutting edge modernity, neon-lit landscape and towering skyscrapers, it is also home to sprawling parkland, peaceful shrines and temples and lovingly tended gardens. Despite its love affair with manga pop culture, fashion, high-tech trends and conspicuous consumption, below the surface is a city that has its roots in an ancient heritage. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples stand close to skyscrapers as a reminder of a more contemplative time and at the heart of the hyperactive center lies the serene Imperial Palace, the home of the ruling emperor that provides a tangible link to the city's historical past.
Behind the shopping, entertainment and commercial emporia can be found quaint wooden houses, private gardens with meticulously clipped bonsai trees and the Zen-like calm of the Hamarikyu Gardens. The city's reputation as a mega-expensive metropolis is ill conceived and visitors can take advantage of inexpensive izakaya bars and neighborhood cafes that serve delicious noodles and rice dishes.
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tokyo-skyline
Day
3

Tokyo City Tour

Take a day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide, making use of Tokyo's comprehensive and user friendly public transport system. The day begins with a visit to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Take a walk down Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the world's top fashion brands.
Head across town to Asakusa, Tokyo's old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo's oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Take a boat cruise on the Sumida River passing under 12 bridges. Disembark in Hamarikyu garden, an Edo Period Japanese garden surrounded by the Shiodome district's futuristic skyscrapers, a great example of how Japan is the land of contrasts, where one will stop for a cup of steaming matcha and Japanese sweets in a tea house on a small island in the park's lake.
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matcha
Day
4

Kamakura

Today you will make a day trip to Kamakura (1hr), the former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate during the Kamakura Period (1185 - 1333). At that time Kamakura was the largest city in the world, however the Kamakura of today is a small, sleepy seaside town with numerous temples, shrines and other attractions.
With a local guide, visit Kotokuin Temple, home to the Daibutsu, a giant bronze Buddha that stands (or rather, sits) 13.35m high.
Hasedera Temple is a temple of the Jodo sect, which is most famous for its statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The statue shows Kannon with eleven heads, each representing a characteristic of the goddess. The 9.18 meter tall, gilded wooden statue is regarded as one of the largest wooden sculptures in Japan.
Dating from the 12th century, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is the spiritual heart of Kamakura and one of its most popular attractions. The shrine was originally founded by Minamoto Yoriyoshi in 1063, then enlarged and moved to its present site by Minamoto Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura government, in 1180. The shrine was dedicated to Hachiman, the Shinto god of war and patron of the Minamoto family.
The day will end with shopping for local souvenirs and delicacies in Komachi Street.
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kamakura-bamboo-Japan-woman
Day
5

Hakone & Mt Fuji

Today leave Tokyo behind to make the 90-minute journey to Hakone, the gateway to Mt Fuji and surrounding national park. The local guide for the day will accompany Yampu Travelers on the "Romance Car" express train from Tokyo's Shinjuku station.

To explore the National Park, one can take advantage of the numerous forms of transport on offer. A majestic replica pirate ship will sweep visitors across the Lake Ashinoko, a lake formed by a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago, and the Hakone Tozan 'switchback train' zig zags though the mountains, giving amazing views of the surrounding valleys. Visit Hakone Jinja, a delightful mountain Shinto sanctuary close to the lake, which is known for granting harmony in relationships.

Throughout the day there will be the chance to get a glimpse of Mt Fuji, however please keep in mind that she is a notoriously shy mountain and it needs to be a clear day.
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Day
6

Hakone - Kyoto

Be transferred from the hotel to Odawara Station from where one will take the bullet train, to Kyoto. Upon arrival, be transferred to the hotel.

Upon arrival, enjoy a day of Leisure in this must see destination in Japan. Kyoto is the nation's former capital and was the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868. It is Japan's seventh largest metropolis with a population of around 1.4 million and a city of culture that offers a plethora of temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures that still survive today. With 2,000 religious buildings, including 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, as well as palaces, gardens and associated architecture, it is one of the best preserved cities in Japan and has 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Kyoto represents the 'Japan of old' and beyond the high rise skyscrapers built as a monument to progress, the real monument to Japan's historical and cultural past can be found in the city's narrow alleyways where tea houses abound and kimono-clad geisha hurry from elegant function to function. This is a place to go back in time to Japan's mysterious past where echoes of the court nobility resonate at the Imperial Palace and the search for contemplation can be found in Ryoanji's Zen rock gardens. Kyoto was voted as the "Best City in Asia" in the Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards 2011. ...read less

japan-kyoto
Day
7

Kyoto Highlights

Today, explore the former imperial capital with a knowledgeable local guide, utilizing Kyoto's comprehensive bus system to visit some of Kyoto's World Heritage Sites. Start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto's most famous temples. Nijo Castle is an ornamental castle built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and 'chirping' nightingale floors.
Take a walk down Nishiki Market, a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi.
To end the day, Yampu Travelers have the choice of several activities. One may want to go to Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13m high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall, enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, whilst pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners; however, it is a steep walk uphill, and the temple is now under repair work, although it is still enjoyable and a Kyoto landmark.
One may decide, instead, to visit Sanjusangendo, a temple which is Japan's longest wooden structure (120m). It is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. In the center of the main hall sits a large, wooden statue of a 1000-armed Kannon that is flanked on each side by 500 statues of human sized 1000-armed Kannon standing in ten rows. Together they make for an awesome sight.
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japan-kyoto-kinkakuji-temple
Day
8

Hiroshima & Miyajima

This morning, make way to Kyoto Station to take the bullet train (1.5hr in standard class) to Hiroshima. The journey is unaccompanied. On arrival, be met by a local guide, and visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The area where the park now lies was ground zero for the Atomic Bomb on 6th August 1945. After the bombing the Memorial Park was created and dedicated to those who lost their lives in the attack. Stroll through the park and discover the many memorials, monuments and statues in the park before heading into the Museum itself.

From Hiroshima, a short ferry ride will take visitors to Miyajima Island. A small sacred island located in the Inland Sea, it has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. Here, find perhaps the most photographed site in Japan - The Floating Torii Gate. Designated as one of Japan's '3 Most Beautiful Views', the shrine it belongs to dates back to the 6th century with the present structure dating back to the 12th century. The harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill, and have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mere 'commoners' were not allowed to set foot on this holy place, and even now it is forbidden to give birth or die on the island! There will be time to explore the island and its many shrines and temples, sample local goodies like maple leaf shaped cakes before heading back to Kyoto.
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Day
9

Flight Home

At the appropriate time, be met at the hotel and transferred to the airport in shared services. From Kyoto, take a flight to Narita (Tokyo) to check in for the continuing flight. Check-out at the hotel is at 12:00 pm. Late check-out may be available directly at the hotel subject to availability. One may store their luggage at the hotel until it is time to leave for the airport.

International Flight Home

At the appropriate time, be met at the hotel and transferred to the airport in shared services. From Kyoto, take a flight to Narita (Tokyo) to check in for the continuing flight. Check-out at the hotel is at 12:00 pm. Late check-out may be available directly at the hotel subject to availability. One may store their luggage at the hotel until it is time to leave for the airport.

International Flight Home

Tokyo, Japan

Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan

Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Miyajima Island, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan

Places You'll See

  • shibuya-crossing-tokyo-japan-asia

    Tokyo

    One of the World’s most cutting-edge capitals, Tokyo is a city of contrasts. Famous for its cutting edge modernity, neon-lit landscape and towering skyscrapers, it is also home to sprawling parkland, peaceful shrines and temples and lovingly tended gardens. Despite its love affair with manga pop culture, fashion, high-tech trends and conspicuous consumption, below the surface is a city that has its roots in an ancient heritage. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples stand close to skyscrapers as a reminder of a more contemplative time.

  • lake-ashi-mt-fuji-torii-red

    Hakone

    Part of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, Hakone is a prime holiday destination with a splendid view of the famous Mount Fuji, along with many other natural wonders, including 17 delightful hot springs. Walk around the open air museums, or relax and bath in the gorgeous springs and spas offered throughout the area. Explore the stunning area aboard a majestic replica pirate ship, sweeping across the volcanic Lake Ashi.

  • sea-japan-hiroshima-miyajima

    Hiroshima

    Hiroshima is notorious for its destruction when the first atomic bomb was dropped over the city during the Second World War in August 1945. The destructive power of the bomb obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometre radius. From this absolute annihilation, Hiroshima has emerged phoenix-like, and become a beacon of hope and peace for the rest of mankind. Destroyed monuments of the city’s historical heritage, such as the Shukkeien Garden and the Hiroshima Castle, have been rebuilt. The city centre boasts a large recreational area named Peace Memorial Park that reflects the aspirations of this re-born city.

  • japan-kyoto

    Kyoto

    Kyoto is the nation’s former capital, the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868, and is Japan’s seventh largest metropolis. With 2,000 religious buildings as well as palaces, gardens and associated architecture, it is one of the best preserved cities in Japan and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Kyoto represents the “Japan of old” and beyond the high rise skyscrapers built as a monument to progress, the real monument to Japan’s historical and cultural past can be found in the city’s narrow alleyways where tea houses abound and kimono-clad geisha hurry from elegant function to function.

Hotel Options

4 Star Properties

Tokyo : Villa Fontaine Shiodome

Hakone : Kajikaso Ryokan

Kyoto : Vista Premio Kyoto

5 Star Properties

Tokyo : Hilton Tokyo

Hakone : Gora Sounkaku Ryokan

Kyoto : Granvia Kyoto

Testimonials

Let Us Customize This Trip For You

Our World Experts offer full support and dedication to customizing this tour to fit your wishlist - We can mix and match experiences, hotels and highlights to fit your budget and taste.

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