“A contrast of traditional and modern Japan, unforgettable experiences and visits to some of Japan’s must-see UNESCO World Heritage Sites”.
If your dream is to see Japan’s highlights while experiencing some of its culture and popular destinations, then Japan Discovered two-week tour is the perfect choice for you. Glittering cities, rural towns & villages, history & heritage, gardens & wildlife, local festivals, cultural experiences, and a taste of real local foods; just some of the best bits on this trip!
Japan Discovered - Video Itinerary
Day 1: Welcome to Tokyo - 'Izakaya' Evening Welcome Dinner
Day 2: Tokyo City Sightseeing
Day 3: Jigokudani Snow Monkeys & Ryokan Retreat
Day 4: Matsumoto Castle & Traditional Takayama
Day 5 : Takayama
Your local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby after breakfast. Together, you will explore Takayama on foot, visiting:
- Takayama Morning Market
- Takayama Yatai Kaikan (Festival Float Hall)
- Takayama Jinya (preserved Government town hall)
You will have free time in the afternoon to walk through the streets by yourself, sampling the street food and visiting local artisans’ shops.
April & October Festival Tours will experience one of Japan’s most impressive Street Festivals. Takayama’s Spring & Autumn Festival ranks as one of Japan’s three most beautiful festivals. It is centered around the Hie Shrine and is held to pray for a good harvest. Festival highlights include a parade of magnificently carved yatai or giant wooden floats, and mechanical puppets in colourful costumes who play out an ancient drama from within the yatai in a spectacle not to be missed. Early booking is highly recommended on these tours as this is the towns busiest time of year.
During festival tours (April & October) this itinerary will be subject to our guide’s recommendations. The night-lights and entertainment during festival season brings great excitement to the tour. Highly recommended.
Day 6: Gokayama : Cultural Experience in Countryside
- Washi paper making workshop (approx. 1-hour)
- Soba noodle making followed by lunch where you will be sampling your own creation (subject to tour numbers) – if we have less than 6 people on the tour, you will not be able to make Soba. Instead we will introduce you to a really great Soba place for lunch!
- Wander through the 400 year-old gassho-zukkuri farmhouse villages of Suganuma
Day 7: Kanazawa Morning Tour / Kyoto evening free time
Day 8: Seasonal Sights of Kyoto
Kyoto Highlight: Afternoon Tea with Maiko (Geisha in training))
Day 9: Kyoto Free Day
Day 10: Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
Day 11: Fuji National Park at Hakone
Day 12: Lakeside Cruise, Hakone Open Air Museum, and back to Tokyo
Day 13: Tokyo Free Day
Day 14: Tour Ends
Japan Discovered comes to an end after breakfast today and you will be provided with an airport transfer service from your hotel. If you would like to stay longer in Tokyo, discuss some post-tour options with your travel consultant. Don’t forget to send us your flight details as soon as you know them. Transfers need to be booked early!
Dates and Prices
Tour Starts:October 05
Tour Ends:October 18, 2023 [SOLD OUT]
Tour Starts:November 08
Tour Ends:November 21, 2023 [Autumn Colours / Limited Availability] Book Now
Tour Starts:December 20 -
Tour Ends:January 02, 2024 [Christmas/New Years Special] Book Now
Tour Starts:January 08,
Tour Ends:January 21, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:February 10
Tour Ends:February 23, 2024
Prices:(Seasonal Discount -€200 p/person) Book Now
Tour Starts:March 24,
Tour Ends:April 6, 2024 [Limited Availability] Book Now
Tour Starts:April 10
Tour Ends:April 23, 2024 [Takayama Spring Festival] Book Now
Tour Starts:May 10,
Tour Ends:May 23, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:July 09
Tour Ends:July 22, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:September 06
Tour Ends:September 19, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:October 05
Tour Ends:October 18, 2024 [Takayama Autumn Festival] Book Now
Tour Starts:November 07
Tour Ends:November 20, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:December 27, 2024
Tour Ends:January 10, 2025 Book Now
Shibuya Excel Tokyu (or similar 4*)
Shibuya Tokyu Excel Hotel (or similar)
We will base you smack bang in the centre of the worlds busiest crossings in Shibuya for your first two nights. What better way to start your trip to Japan with great shopping, variety of restaurants and entertainment areas, impressive buildings and an atmosphere that says so many things about Tokyo. Vibrant, wacky, non-stop, crowded, busy, but serviced like no other city in the world! Conveniently accessed by many of the JR subway lines, it is one of the best places to be based for the duration of your stay in Tokyo.
Yudanaka Onsen (1 night)
Kanbayashi Senjukaku (or similar / Japanese Style)
Founded in 1928, Senjukaku was a famous rural retreat of the Meiji Era and one of the earliest hotels to introduce a mix of Japanese and Western aesthetics. It has been the favorite of many cultural figures historically. During the post-War Occupation, it was also used as a resort by the American army. Rebuilt in 1989, with its wooden beams and family treasures on display, this expansive ryokan resort very much retains the same “modern” mood as the original. Senjukaku’s offerings include garden walks on site, indoor and outdoor hot spring baths and a massage service, as well as superb service from the staff and delicious and generous multi-course meals. In short, Senjukaku continues to uphold its proud tradition as a perfect country getaway.
Takayama (2 nights)
Wat Hotel & Spa Hida Takayama (or similar)
We choose this hotel for its location and facilities – walking distance to the station and town centre; a variety of onsens to choose from while staying here, including a family onsen which can be rented privately, if you prefer not to share! Rooms are modern and tastefully decorated. You will be within walking distance to restaurants and bars for local night life.
Kanazawa (1 night)
The Square Hotel Kanazawa (or similar)
The 3-star Square Hotel Kanazawa provides quick access to Omicho Market, with plenty of restaurants and shops on your doorstep. Kanazawa Castle Park is 700 metres walk, while Kenrokuen Garden is 1.1 km away.
Kyoto (3 nights)
Kyoto Okura Hotel (or similar)
Okura Hotels are Japan’s finest traditional hotels providing 5* service throughout. Kyoto Okura is centrally located, just a short walk from downtown.
Hiroshima (1 Night)
Hiroshima Sheraton Hotel (or similar)
Located next to Hiroshima station you will be conveniently located for our movements on this day and the next day. Walk from station to your hotel is just 3 minutes. Rooms are generous in size, nicely decorated, with great views towering the city. Bars, restaurants, shops, and trains are on your doorstep.
Hakone (1 night)
Setsugetsuka (or similar / Japanese style)
Setsugetsuka boasts a public hot spring bath with free flowing natural spring water, drawn from 2 different hot springs. The property operates 2 restaurants and a souvenir shop on site. Guests can try yukata robes offered for rental at the souvenir shop on site, or grab a drink anytime from the drink vending machines in the building. Hakone Open-Air Museum is 600 m from the property, while Pola Museum is 2.5 km away.
Tokyo (2 nights)
Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa (or similar)
Located about 150 metres from Shinagawa station, one of Tokyo’s main central Shinkansen Hubs, with plenty of local lines to get you around the city easily, this Prince hotel has all the facilities a 4 star hotel needs. A great place to be based for your last few days in Tokyo and easy access out of Tokyo to get to either Haneda and Narita Airport.
Our May Japan discovered holiday was absolutely fantastic. The accommodation, the variety of transport and activities and our amazing guide Sakura were outstandingly. Sakura was always there for us in a very friendly way and she helped us all to understand the customs and the people of Japan. Whats not to like about an onsen - getting naked and soaking in a beautiful hot spring with strangers. All good fun.
I would (and am) recommending Unique Japan tours to everyone who is thinking of a trip to Japan. The itinerary was excellent with the right amount of free time and interesting tours especially the soba noodle making and washi paper making. Lots of laughs.
We thank you for making our holiday so memorable.
Cheryl & Dennis
I cannot praise the Unique Japan Tours organisation skills enough! The itinerary is very detailed and your time in Japan is maximised to its full potential. They organise our transport, hotels, tickets etc. they even include Japanese messages for hotel staff when forwarding your luggage to different hotels (all hotel staff speak English, but it’s nice to have it confirmed in Japanese).
* The hotels are all 4 or 5 star with good breakfast arrangements and friendly staff. The ryokans are a unique experience and expect a 10 course dinner and breakfast (try the Japanese style breakfast), while wearing a yukata.
* The guides know their areas well and show you hidden gems such as restaurants and shops that are unique to the area you are in. I cannot praise the guides enough for their help and kindness. Especially Megumi who made a few phone calls or reservations for us.
It was an amazing holiday and experience and we are looking forward to our next trip with Unique Japan Tours! Thanks again!
I would just like to thank you for your efforts in organising our recent tour of Japan. We had a great time and saw and did the things we wanted. I would also like to pass on our satisfaction with all the local guides and especially Emiko. She did a little bit extra when she could and the entire trip was better because of her efforts. Our thanks to everyone involved.
Roger and Swee Lewis
|Accommodation||A combination of 3, 4 & 5* Western (12 nights) / Superior Ryokan (1 night) with hot springs & kaiseki dinner (total 13 nights)|
|English Speaking tour leader|
*If your tour has less than 6 people on it, we will arrange the tour on a semi-escorted basis. You will met in each area by our local assistants and guides on days you don’t have private guides).
|Private Tour Guides||Local English speaking tour guides in Tokyo, Kyoto, Gokayama, Kanazawa, Takayama, and Hiroshima & Miyajima Island|
|Transfers||All transfers included from arrival to departure airports|
|Entrance Fees||Included into all sights listed in itinerary|
|Meals||Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 4 evening meals|
|This package does not include:|