Osaka . Mt Koya. Hiroshima . Kyoto . Mt Fuji . Tokyo
From the Buddhist monks of Koyasan to the high rollers of Tokyo, see the many faces of Japan on this condensed tour beginning in Osaka. Savour the region’s culinary delicacies and the beautiful views at Mt Fuji. You'll stay in a traditional ryokan and really soak up local culture in onsen hot springs. A great combination of the traditional and the contemporary, this adventure provides a taste of the rich culture of Japan.
per person sharing
DEPARTURES: Year round
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Japan Rail pass
Overnight in Mount Koya Buddhist Temple
Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum visit
Miyajima excursion with floating torii gate visit
Nijo Castle and gardens visit
Fushimi Inari shrine visit
Lake Ashino-ko boat ride
Traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) stay with kaiseki meal
Bilingual guide (small group departures only)
3 breakfasts, 2 Japanese dinners
International airfare; tipping; meals unless noted otherwise, personal expenses
Day 1: Osaka
Arrive at any time and make your way to your accommodation. A trip briefing will be held tonight (group departures only).
Day 2: Mt Koya
Depart early and travel to the center of Buddhism in Japan and sleep in a temple atop Mt Koya. Savor a traditional dinner of shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine). Watch the monks pray in the morning.
Journey to Mt Koya, a religious center founded in 816 by the Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi. The train ride up the mountain is possibly one of the finest rail journeys in Japan. For the final steep ascent, switch to funicular and then hop on a bus to reach the monastery. In the evening, dine on shojin-ryori, typical vegetarian cuisine, and relax in a yukata, a cotton kimono. (B,D)
Day 3: Hiroshima
Early morning offers the chance to observe the monks praying. Breathe in some fresh mountain air before a vegetarian breakfast, then start the journey back down the mountain via bus, train and funicular.
Later, board a train to Hiroshima, a historically significant city, marked by the explosion of the first atomic bomb in 1945. Walk through the Peace Park in the center of Hiroshima, a living memorial dedicated to the tens of thousands who died from the atomic bomb blast in 1945. Visit the statue of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died of leukemia as a result of the bomb blast, despite folding 1,000 origami paper cranes to appeal to the gods to make her well. See the frame of the Gembaku Dome, the sole building to withstand the explosion. Reflect, remember, and be reminded of the power we all hold to create peace. (B)
Day 4: Hiroshima // Miyajima
Take a trip to Miyajima Island, famed as one of Japan's most scenic spots, with a free afternoon to explore. See the famous floating Torii Gate, set out in the bay, which glows extraordinarily at sunset. The island is dotted with shrines and temples, populated by deer and monkeys, and traversed with hiking trails for those who want to get some exercise. There are also lanes full of souvenirs and tasty treats.
Day 5: Kyoto
Travel to Kyoto and start exploring. Visit the impressive Nijo Castle and gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening, explore the geisha district of Gion.
Day 6: Kyoto
Enjoy a visit to the beautiful Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine and walk under the bright torii gates. Opt to shop, stroll along the riverbank, or explore another of Kyoto's many temples with your free time.
Day 7: Hakone
Travel by bullet train to Hakone, a town in the hills famous for its onsens, or natural hot springs. Stay in a traditional inn, with its own private onsen. In the evening, enjoy the inn, savoring a multicourse meal of traditional Japanese foods, followed by a recommended soak in the onsen. (D)
Day 8: Tokyo
Head to Tokyo with time to do some last-minute shopping. Arrive before noon to Tokyo, with time to explore this energetic metropolis. Opt to visit Ueno Park, Akihabara for cutting edge electronics, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, walk the grounds of the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just stroll the streets, looking for the traditional life that still lies just under the modern surface. (B)
Day 9: Depart Tokyo
Depart at any time.