Arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport. Transfer by coach to the hotel in Tokyo.
In the late afternoon, meet the tour guide and the other members of the group. Travel by metro to the Shinjuku area of Tokyo. Climb to the top of the Metropolitan Government Building (included) for great views of the city and Mt.Fuji beyond (weather permitting). Shinjuku is an area with lively nightlife and plenty of restaurants. Dinner is included this evening before returning to the hotel.
A full morning’s sightseeing of Tokyo with a local guide. Pass near the walls and gardens of the Imperial Palace and visit the Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife. Visit the Yasukuni Shrine, built in remembrance of the 2.5 million Japanese who lost their lives in World War II. Pass through Akihabara, the “electric town” full of electronics, anime and manga merchandise, and Kokugikan, the sumo stadium. Visit the Asakusa Kannon Temple (Sensoji Temple) and the shops of the Nakamise Arcade.
Lunch is included.
Board the coach to leave Tokyo for the beautiful region of Mt.Fuji. On arrival at the pretty town of Kawaguchiko, visit the Fuji Sengen Shrine, the starting point for the traditional pilgrimage to the mountain. The trip includes a cablecar ride to Mt. Tenjo for wonderful views of the nearby lakes and Mt.Fuji. Take a boat trip on Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko) and take in the spectacular scenery. After lunch, drive up to the “5th station” halfway up Mt.Fuji (if winter snow makes the route impossible, the coach will proceed to the highest possible point.) Return to Kawaguchiko to your ryokan (Japanese inn) so that you can enjoy its onsen (public hot spring bath) and Japanese dinner.
Drive along the lake roads to Iyashinosato Nenba, a small town that was devastated by a landslide during a typhoon in 1966 and then rebuilt as a traditional outdoor highland museum town. Its typical thatched houses have been converted into craft workshops, restaurants and museums. After, visit Shiraito Falls that have a waterfall height of 150m. A short stop for lunch (included) and then on to Nagoya. A visit to the Toyota Museum is included, a must-see for motor-lovers.
From April 2020, after the Toyota Museum, the tour will continue on to Kyoto. Check into your Kyoto accommodation.
Until March 2020: Leave early today for the drive to Kyoto (130km).
Join a full-day tour of the city. Kyoto was the country’s capital from 794 to 1868, and because it escaped bombing during WW2, historic buildings are preserved. Many temples and shrines in the city are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. With the local guide visit Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari and the Imperial Palace. Visit the Gion area of Kyoto, well-known for its traditional streets and sights of maiko (apprentice geisha).
After breakfast at the hotel, continue to Tsumago, a small town on the “Nakasendo” – a route between Kyoto and Edo (present-day Tokyo). It is known today as one of the best preserved post towns in Japan. The town and its residents go to great lengths to recreate the ambiance of the Edo Period. Lunch is included with free time to explore. Continue to Matsumoto, and visit its impressive 16th-century castle. End at Nagano for overnight accommodation.
In Nagano, see the Zenko-ji, a place of pilgrimage with the first Buddhist image in Japan.
Traverse on to the Japan Alps and the Jigokudani Monkey Park for lunch and a stroll in the forest with its rivers and natural springs where colonies of Japanese macaques live and bathe. Travel through high mountain scenery to Kusatsu, an attractive spa town, and attend a Yumomi show, with performers singing about the traditional method used to cool the spa waters.
Continue onto Ikaho, a picturesque spa town with stepped streets. Stay in a Ryokan, with Japanese dinner included. (Some rooms are Japanese style with tatami floor, some are western style)
Continue to Nikko, and visit the impressive Nikko-Toshogu Shrine. After, take a stroll by the river in Kanmangafuchi and view its numerous stone statues of Jizo – a Bodhisattva who cares for the deceased. Arrive in Tokyo at around 19:00 where the tour ends.
“If your group consists of more than 10 people, please contact us at info@japanspecialist directly.”