NOTE: Only Available for Mid 2024 Onwards
8D/7N: Tokyo → Hakone→ Kyoto →Osaka
• Explore Tokyo from ancient shrines to ultramodern architecture
• Take a dip in a private hot spring in the foothills of Mt. Fuji
• Enjoy a formal welcome to the country through a private tea ceremony
• Get lost among Arashiyama's towering bamboo groves
• Stay at a handpicked selection of premium accommodations.
DAY 1: TOKYO
The Adventure Begins
Welcome to Tokyo! Meet & Greet by an English speaking assistant – Private transfer to the hotel.
DAY 2: TOKYO
A Healthy Dose of History
Today's private-guided touring will give you a proper introduction to the imperial side of Tokyo - Visit to Meiji Shrine - Next, head to the Imperial Palace, located on the former site of Edo Castle -Enjoy traditional shopping in the original stores of some of Japan's most famous traditional food purveyors in Nihonbashi - Try delicious senbei (Japanese rice crackers), or sample green tea and high-grade nori at Yamamotoyama–Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY 3: TOKYO
Live Like a Local
Morning at leisure - Wander the country's best shopping districts, Ginza, perfect for once-in-a-lifetime retail therapy - Afternoon guided exploration in three of Tokyo’s most vibrant, youthful centers for fashion and pop culture - Visit Shibuya, a bustling shopping district famous for its cutting edge fashion and accessories - Head to Harajuku and the famous Takeshita dori (Cat Street) - Arrive next at Akihabara, otherwise known as ‘Electric Town’, which originally gained its fame from its many electronic shops that began popping up in 1970s Tokyo - Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY 4: TOKYO TO HAKONE
Hakone Kowakien Ten Yu
Lace Up for Some Fresh Air
Guided private transfer to Hakone National Park for a day of fresh air and sightseeing in the foothills of Mt. Fuji -Start with a ride in a cable-car to the Hakone Ropeway - Soar above the active volcanic site, Owakudani, (Great Boiling Valley) – Try kuro-tamago, or a 'black egg', boiled in the sulfuric hot springs - Descend the mountain via ropeway where you’ll board (in true Japanese-kitsch fashion) a pirate ship and sail across famous Lake Ashi - After a stop in Hakone town, board a local bus with your guide back to your Gora area accommodations.
DAY 5: HAKONE TO KYOTO
Meet your private English-speaking driver for a train station transfer - Board a train from Odawara Station to Kyoto - Transfer to the nearby Granvia hotel, a short 4-5 minute walk away - Start the day with a stroll through Miyagawa-cho, one of Kyoto’s five active ‘Hanamachi’ (lit. flower town) - Continue to Hanamikoji Street, the main street of Gion, and enjoy the aroma from the many traditional restaurants and ‘Ochayas’ or, Japanese tea rooms - Reach Kennin-ji temple and visit the city’s oldest Zen temple, founded in 1202 - Explore its beautiful ‘Karesansui’, Japanese rock garden, and admire the famous artwork of ‘Fujin-Raijin-zu’- End this tour of Gion at the venerated Yasaka Shrine - At the end of this tour you can choose to stay at the shops and cafes of Higashiyama or return back to your hotel with the help of your guide.
DAY 6: KYOTO
Sights and Insights
Today, check off some 'must-have' experiences while taking to the calmer, introspective side of Kyoto - Meet your private guide at your hotel and head to Yasaka Shrine by public transportation -Explore Ninenzaka which is a preserved area with restored shop houses where you can imagine what Kyoto looked like in pre-modern times - Next you will visit Kodaiji Temple - Feeling refreshed and 'Zened-out,' you will have the option to remain in the Zen gardens or be accompanied back to your hotel – Afternoon at leisure – Overnight stay at the hotel.
Options abound with time on your own in a city like Kyoto. This evening, consider walking the Philosopher's Path up to Higashiyama: This 30-minute (leisurely) walk takes you along one of the city's most iconic canals and is an ideal way to spend a languid afternoon. We recommend starting at the south end (unlike most city-guides) so that your outing ends in the historical Higashiyama neighborhood, replete with dozens of cute cafes or boisterous izakayas if your afternoon walk has left your whistle in need of whetting. We also recommend reservations* at one of Kyoto's 265 Michelin-starred restaurants tonight.
*Note: Please let your Destination Expert know ahead of time as reservations must often be made three or more months in advance and may come with a fee (just to reserve) which we can have waived on your behalf.
Nurtured by Nature
After meeting your guide at your hotel, take the city's efficient local transportation to Arashiyama, a pleasant hillside district in the western outskirts of Kyoto - Start at Okouchi Mountain Villa, the former villa of the popular, early 20th century, samurai film star OkouchiDenjiro - Next, take a walk through Arashiyama’s famous bamboo groves - See Tenryuji, the largest and most impressive temple in Arashiyama - You will also have time for a brief 'photo op' at Togetsu-kyo or "Moon Crossing bridge" one of the most famous bridges in Japan - At the end of the tour, your guide will accompany you back to your Kyoto-area hotel
DAY 8: KYOTO TO OSAKA
Enjoy a vehicle transfer with private driver from Kyoto to Osaka's Kansai Airport (KIX).
• All private transfers mentioned
• Accommodation in well-appointed rooms as mentioned above hotels or equivalent
• Assistance at the airport & Hotel check-in / check-out
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Services of English-speaking guide during sightseeing tours
• Drivers allowances, toll taxes and Govt. Service Tax
• Air tickets and airport taxes
• Optional activities are subject to availability. Charges additional.
• Items of personal nature like laundry, phone calls, tips to guides / drivers etc.