MAR 9 - MAR 16 2025
TOKYO IN / OSAKA OUT
2 DINNERS & 1 LUNCH
Japan Highlights, showcasing the very best of Japan
Have you always wanted to visit the Land of the Rising Sun but find it difficult to make the time? Have you thought of going to Japan but are put off by the expensive price tags of longer tour packages? Would you like to visit all the must see sights of Japan in a short amount of time and at a price that represents great value for money? If so, then the Japan Highlights Tour is the perfect tour for you!
The Japan Highlights Tour is the shortest and cheapest of our small group tours, making it perfect for people with limited time, or people who would like to enjoy Japan on a budget. It is also the perfect tour for people stopping over in Japan on their way to other destinations.
This exciting journey showcases the very best of Japan, including all the must see sights of this fascinating country's most popular cities - Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. Enjoy the perfect mix of the traditional and the ultramodern as we experience all the hustle and bustle of Japan's two largest cities -Tokyo and Osaka- as well as beautiful natural and cultural attractions in the ancient city of Kyoto. To top it all off you will also get to see majestic Mt Fuji in all its glory from some of the best vantage points around!
Join us on this fun filled 8-day journey and discover Japan's highlights for yourself!
・Experience all the excitement of Japan's two largest cities
・Enjoy a leisurely day trip to Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi
・Visit Himeji Castle, undoubtedly the best castle in Japan
・Enjoy lunch at a centuries old Japanese restaurant
・Visit the Golden Pavilion & Fushimi-Inari Shrine in Kyoto
・Enjoy a stop over in the beautiful port city of Kobe
・View Tokyo and Mt. Fuji from the Tokyo Sky Tree (350 m)
・Visit the world famous Chureito Pagoda in Yamanashi
Airport-hotel transfers in Japan
Transport and entry to all places described in the itinerary
7 nights accommodation in carefully selected hotels/inns
7 breakfasts and 1 lunch
2 dinners (welcome dinner and farewell dinner)
The services of Craig Campbell (tour guide/driver/interpreter)
*Please note that tour prices do not include airfares to and from Japan
DATE: March 9th, 2025 Tokyo
Travel to Tokyo by Sunday March 9th, 2025.
Arrive at Haneda International Airport (HND) by own arrangements.
Craig will meet you at the airport (flights arriving between 08:00 and 19:00) and assist you with the transfer to your hotel in central Tokyo.
Once you have checked in to your hotel you will have free time to relax, or enjoy some local sightseeing, shopping, dinner, etc.
DATE: March 10th, 2025 Tokyo
Enjoy a full day tour of Tokyo, taking in both the old and the new of one of the largest cities in the world.
First we will visit the old downtown area of Tokyo (Asakusa), where we will walk down the famous Nakamise Shopping Street to the Asakusa Kannon Temple (otherwise known as Sensoji Temple), the oldest and most visited Buddhist temple in Tokyo.
Next we will visit two of the most modern places in Tokyo, the Tokyo Sky Tree and Odaiba. The Tokyo Sky Tree was completed in 2012, and is the tallest building in Japan. We will go to the first observation deck (350 m) to
enjoy spectacular views of the Tokyo metropolis and Mt. Fuji.
We will finish the day by going to Odaiba, an ultramodern area on Tokyo Bay. Here you can enjoy pleasure cruising, shopping, and spectacular views of Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Bay, and the Tokyo skyline.
At night we will enjoy a lovely welcome dinner together at a local izakaya (Japanese-style restaurant/bar).
DATE: March 11th, 2025 Tokyo
Enjoy an unforgettable day trip to Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi by private vehicle.
Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi are located about 140 km southwest of Tokyo. Enjoy a relaxing drive taking in beautiful mountain scenery as we go.
Our first stop is the stunning Lake Kawaguchi, the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes in terms of surface area. You will not only take in amazing views of Mt. Fuji from the lake's northern shores, but also have plenty of free time to enjoy Lake Kawaguchi in your way. Enjoy a lakeside walk, a pleasure cruise out to the middle of the lake, or even a ride on the Lake Kawaguchi Mt. Tenjo Ropeway.
After enjoying all that Lake Kawaguchi has to offer, we will have a special lunch at "Sanrokuen", a centuries old Japanese restaurant which serves the local delicacies of "Robatayaki" and "Hoto Udon Noodles".
We finish the day with a visit to the world famous Chureito Pagoda. This majestic five storied pagoda is part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine, and offers spectacular views of Fujiyoshida City and Mt. Fuji off in the distance.
DATE: March 12th, 2025 Kyoto
Travel from Tokyo to Kyoto by shinkansen.
Once we arrive in Kyoto we will visit three of the city's most famous places - Fushimi-Inari Shrine, Gion (Geisha District) and the historic Yasaka Shrine.
We start our half day tour of Kyoto by visiting Fushimi-Inari Shrine, one of the most iconic places in Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of orange colored torii gates that straddle a network of trails behind the main shrine itself. The trails lead to the top of Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds. Although most tourists are attracted to the shrine by the beautiful scenery, Fushimi-Inari Shrine is actually the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues throughout the shrine grounds. Fushimi-Inari Shrine also has ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794 A.D.
Our next destination is Gion, where we will enjoy a leisurely stroll through the beautiful streets of Kyoto's world famous geisha district. If we are lucky we might even get to see a real geisha as we stroll through the streets.
Not far from Gion is the historic Yasaka Shrine, one of Kyoto's most famous Shinto shrines. This shrine is well known for hosting one of Japan's most famous festivals, the Gion Matsuri. This festival is held every year in July, and dates back over a thousand years.
DATE: March 13th, 2025 Kyoto
Spend the day taking in some of the most iconic sights of this traditional city. Today we will visit the historic Nijo Castle, the world famous Golden Pavilion, and the beautiful bamboo grove in Arashiyama.
Our first stop on our full half day tour of Kyoto is Nijo Castle. This historic castle was first constructed in 1603, and was the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867). The castle's buildings are widely considered to be the best surviving examples of castle palace architecture from Japan's feudal era.
Our next stop, the Golden Pavilion (otherwise known as "Kinkaku-ji), is one of the most famous and most recognizable buildings in all of Japan. Formally the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, it is now a magnificent Buddhist Zen Temple completely covered in gold leaf.
We finish the day by traveling out to Arashiyama, widely considered to be the second-most famous sightseeing district in Kyoto. The main attraction here is the picturesque Arashiyama bamboo grove. It is one of Kyoto’s top sights, and for good reason. Standing amid the soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world.
DATE: March 14th, 2025 Osaka
Travel from Kyoto to Osaka by limited express train.
Once we arrive in Osaka we will spend the day taking in some of the most famous sites of Japan's second largest city.
We start our day by visiting the majestic Osaka Castle. This castle was first built in 1583, and is one of Japan's most famous landmarks.
In the afternoon we explore "downtown" Osaka, including a leisurely stroll along Midosuji Avenue, Osaka's main shopping street. We will start in Namba and walk all the way down this bustling shopping arcade to Shinsaibashi, crossing over the famous Ebisubashi Bridge on the way.
DATE: March 15th, 2025 Osaka
Enjoy a beautiful day trip to Himeji stopping by Kobe (Meriken Park and China Town) on the way.
Meriken Park is a beautiful waterfront park located in Kobe's port area. It is home to some of Kobe's most iconic contemporary architecture, such as the red Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum. On the way to Meriken Park we will enjoy a stroll through Kobe's famous China Town, which is the second most famous China Town in Japan.
After enjoying some time in Kobe, we will then travel to Himeji by shinkansen. Once we arrive in Himeji we will visit the majestic Himeji Castle, which is widely regarded as the finest surviving example of prototypical Japanese castle architecture. Himeji Castle, also commonly known as White Heron Castle because of its elegant, white appearance, is one of Japan's original 12 castles, and is undoubtedly the most impressive and imposing castle in all of Japan.
At night we will enjoy a lovely farewell dinner together at a local izakaya (Japanese-style restaurant/bar).
DATE: March 16th, 2025
Relax in Osaka before transferring to Kansai International Airport (KIX) or Osaka International Airport (ITM) for your return flight. Depending on your flight time you may be able to enjoy some last minute local sightseeing or shopping in Osaka.