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2023 Tour Details
This Japan tour is a must for value-minded travel lovers who enjoy history, beautiful settings, and fascinating architecture. You’ll start in Tokyo, end in Osaka, and overnight along the way in the Mount Fuji area, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. Highlights of this tour through Japan are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites you’ll visit. Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, has long been worshipped as a sacred mountain; you’ll enjoy views of majestic Mount Fiji and Lake Kawaguchi during your cable-car ride (weather permitting). In Kyoto, the Temple of the Gold Pavilion, a Buddhist temple overlooking a large pond and covered in beautiful gold leaf. In Hiroshima, visit Peace Memorial Park and see the only remaining structure—the Atomic Bomb Dome—that predates the 1945 atomic blast. An excursion from Hiroshima takes you to Miyajima Island and the Itsukushima Shrine, built over water and known for its iconic floating Torii gate. In addition to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, famous shrines, and other historic sites, this Japan tour also includes visits to two of Japan’s beautiful gardens: Koraku-En, dating to 1686 and considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens, and Shinjuku Gyoen, dating to 1603 when it was a feudal lord’s home. You’ll enjoy a local lunch and taste the “Japanese pizza” of Osaka: the legendary okonomiyaki dish. Plus, you’ll ride on the famous bullet train or shinkansen. History, scenery, and fun experiences…this Japan vacation has it all!
To know more about the visas for this vacation, click here
*Book a select 2023 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive $750 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. Booking must be made, under deposit and discount applied between August 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 for travel in 2023. Promotional discount will apply to Groups of 8 or more who provide their Group Block Deposit within the promotion's booking dates and will apply to all individual members of the Group until the due date of the passenger names/non-refundable individual deposits. Not applicable on TBA space. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Offer combinable only with Welcome Back Credit. Applies to new 2023 bookings only and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. May be withdrawn at any time. Offer applies to participating GFOB offices only. PRMW0992
Private, deluxe, air-conditioned motorcoach while touring; bullet train from Mount Fuji area to Kyoto
9 breakfasts, 3 lunches
TOKYO, JAPAN Welcome to Japan’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
TOKYO Meet your Tour Director and travel companions prior to morning sightseeing in Tokyo. Your tour starts with a visit to Meiji Shrine, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest. Next, visit Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. Originally dating from the early 1600s, the garden was destroyed in World War II and reopened in 1949 as a public park. Today, it remains an immensely popular stop for locals and visitors alike. Last stop is the Asakusa Kannon Temple and the bustling Nakamise shopping arcade. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure.
TOKYO–MOUNT FUJI AREA This morning, leave Tokyo and head south along the coast to the beautiful Five Lakes region. Here, take a cable-car ride (weather permitting) for panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchi and spectacular Mount Fuji, or Fujisan as the locals call it, Japan’s highest mountain. You’ll also visit Chureito Pagoda for a chance to snap your own iconic image of the pagoda with Fujisan in the background!
MOUNT FUJI AREA–KYOTO This morning, board one of Japan’s famous bullet trains bound for Kyoto. Upon arrival, visit Sanjusajendo Temple, famous for its 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. After lunch, visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for the thousands of brightly colored Torii Gates. Then, take a walking tour through Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, and sample a local Japanese treat. This evening, you may choose to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan (additional fee).
KYOTO Your day begins with a visit to stunning Kinkakuji, the Temple of the Gold Pavillion, covered in shimmering gold leaf. Then walk through bustling Nishiki Market, a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Next, stop at the Samurai and Ninja Museum for a guided tour. Along the way learn about their history and hear interesting stories. Exhibits include weapons and tools used by ninja on their covert missions and authentic period-specific samurai swords, armor, and helmets (kabuto). You will even have the chance to have your picture taken wearing a helmet and armor! The afternoon is free for you to explore more of Kyoto’s historic sites and shrines.
KYOTO–OKAYAMA–KURASHIKI–HIROSHIMA This morning, drive south to Okayama and visit Koraku-en, one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan.” Covering some 30 acres, the garden features ponds, plum groves, and tea fields. A unique feature not typically found in Japanese gardens are the wide lawns which are said to help uplift the spirit and promote open mindedness. In Kurashiki, enjoy some free time in the Bikan Historical Quarter, once the political and commercial center of the city. The canal-lined, white-washed, and stone streets reflect the Edo period (1603-1867) and are quintessentially Japanese. Continue to Hiroshima.
HIROSHIMA Today’s full day sightseeing includes two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Peace Memorial Park and Itsukushima Shrine. Start at Peace Memorial Park where you’ll see the Peace Memorial, commonly referred to as the Atomic Bomb Dome, that has been preserved just as it was on August 6, 1945, immediately after the bombing. You will also visit the Memorial Museum and Memorial Hall, which commemorate the lives lost that day. Then, travel to Miyajima Island to visit Itsukushima Shrine, known for its beautiful floating Torii Gate.
HIROSHIMA–BIZEN–HIMEJI–OSAKA Drive north to Bizen, where you’ll visit a traditional pottery workshop to learn more about Bizen-yaki, one of Japan’s six ancient pottery styles dating back over 1,000 years. Stop in Himeji to visit Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture that combines function with elegance. Continue to Osaka and enjoy the evening at leisure.
OSAKA Your sightseeing tour starts at the Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farm Houses, where traditional thatched-roof farm houses dating from the Edo period have been restored. Be transported back in time as you explore the old architecture. Visit Osaka Castle then for lunch, experience the city’s legendary dish, okonomiyaki, a Japanese-style savory pancake. Finish your sightseeing with a walking tour in Minami where the locals come for fun. Made up of Shinsaibashi, Namba, and Dotonbori this area is home to great dining and nightlife and some of the city’s most fashionable shops and department stores. The late afternoon and evening is at your leisure. Perhaps return to Dotonbori this evening to sample some local cuisine and see the sparkling neon lights.
OSAKA Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"My name is Laura. Japan is a very exciting country - so much more than just geishas, temples, shrines, and bullet trains. With so much to see and experience, my goal is to make sure each visitor returns home satisfied, with incredible stories to tell."
Escorting tours for more than 15 years
"Hello! My name is Aki. I've been a licensed guide since 2005 and I love my job. I am passionate about history, art, archeology, food and sumo. In Japan there is so much to see. Let me help you have a great experience in my country of unique culture!"
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"Hello! My name is Keiko. I've been a licensed guide since 2002. I love cooking, walking, Japanese history, and singing karaoke! In Japan there is so much to see. Let me help you have a great experience in my beautiful country of unique culture."