- Visit Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest temple
- See views of Mount Fuji by cable car
- Explore Gion, Kyoto's geisha district
- Enjoy a walking tour of Nara, famous for its deer park
|Day 1||Arrive in Tokyo, Explore||Tokyo|
|Day 2||Modernity & Tradition Tour||Tokyo|
|Day 3||Day Trip to Lake Kawaguchiko for Mount Fuji Views||Tokyo|
|Day 4||Train to Kyoto, Explore & Optional Tea Ceremony||Kyoto|
|Day 5||Day Trip to Nara Day||Kyoto|
|Day 6||Train to Tokyo, Depart Japan|
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo, ExploreWelcome to Japan! Upon landing at one of Tokyo's airports, make your way to your hotel via private transfer. Then, spend the rest of your day getting to know the city. Foodies may want to start in Shinjuku Golden Gai, a neighborhood of narrow alleyways that's the perfect spot to have some drinks and visit small, locally-owned bars. Or, if you're looking for some karaoke fun, head to a bar in Kabukicho. The Japanese karaoke concept is unique: you'll rent a small private room, where you'll find a screen with microphones and a menu of songs to choose from.
Later, you can visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, where you can observe the cityscape as you watch the sunset. This building has two free observatory decks to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view from the 51st floor.
Day 2: Modernity & Tradition Tour
Meet your guide in your hotel lobby, and head off on a tour of Tokyo via public transit. Your first stop will be Asakusa, where you can experience the atmosphere of Old Tokyo. Here you'll see the famous Sensō-ji, Tokyo's oldest temple. Beside it, you'll find a five-story pagoda and Asakusa's Shinto shrine. The Nakamise-dōri shopping street, located right in front of the temple, is home to 90 shops selling souvenirs, crafts, and traditional goods. If you want to buy traditional knives and katanas, the historic Kappabashi street is located just in front of the temple and shrine grounds.
Later, return to your hotel for a rest before heading to Tokyo SkyTree to admire a nighttime view of the city. This tower offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in Tokyo. It became the tallest tower in Japan in 2010 and is 2,080 feet (853 m) tall, offering two observatory decks with a section of glass flooring in the tallest one. Standing atop the tower is a scary but thrilling experience!
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Day Trip to Lake Kawaguchiko for Mount Fuji Views
Today, you'll make a day trip to Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes. Reach the lake by direct train from Tokyo, which will arrive at your destination in about two hours.
Admire Mount Fuji and the lake from above by taking the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway (also known as the Kachi Kachi cable car), which takes you to the top of Mount Tenjō. Afterward, move on to the five-story Chureito Pagoda, located on a hill from which you have a spectacular view of Mount Fuji. The pagoda is part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine and was built in 1963 as a peace monument. Walk in the surrounding park and enjoy nature before returning to Tokyo at the end of the day.
Day 4: Train to Kyoto, Explore & Optional Tea CeremonyTake the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. Depending on your arrival time, start by exploring the ancient streets with a private guide or on a self-guided tour. In the Gion neighborhood, you'll find many shops selling sweets, souvenirs, and Japanese crafts, as well as restaurants ideal for your first dinner in Kyoto. You can also visit the Yasaka Pagoda for a beautiful view. Enjoy a traditional geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) performance near this shrine—the best way to start your journey in Kyoto!
Later, you can participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Step inside the refined world of matcha and enter a traditional machiya (wooden townhouse), where you'll discover the intricacies and delicate process of the tea ceremony and tea making while enjoying seasonal sweets. An expert will guide you in this precious art form and provide historical details and context for a fully immersive experience.
Day 5: Day Trip to Nara
Nara is perfect for a day trip from Kyoto, and today you'll explore this ancient, dynamic Japanese city on a full-day guided walking tour. Start with a visit to Tōdai-ji Temple, a Buddhist complex that hosts a number of awe-inspiring structures. The temple's Great Buddha Hall is known for being the largest wooden structure in the world. It was burned down several times and reconstructed in the Edo Period. This temple hosts the Kegon school of Buddhism. It is also one of the Seven Great Temples of Nara and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another of Nara's iconic spots is Nara Park, a famous deer haven. Hundreds of deer roam freely throughout the park. You can buy rice crackers at one of the many stalls selling paper-tied packs and feed them to the deer. If you're looking for the perfect souvenir, head to the Nandaimon Gate, where you'll find many little omiyage (gift/souvenir) shops. Here, you can shop for deer-themed omiyage while picking up some tasty snacks.