Japan's Inland Sea to the Alps | insightCuba

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Japan's Inland Sea to the Alps

11 Days / 10 Nights

  • Kyoto
  • Hiroshima & Mayajima
  • The Inland Sea
  • Nara & Kanazawa
  • Kanazawa
  • Shirakawago & Takayama
  • Tokyo & Mt. Fuji

Meet with Geishas | Tour a Zen Garden | Learn the Fine Points of Preparing Sushi | Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market Where World Class Tuna is Auctioned | Walk the Historic Streets of Kyoto | Visit Mount Fuji | 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

map of japan
From zen gardens and fine sake, to dining with a Geisha and touring the Tsukiji fish market, Japan will come alive on this intimate 11-day journey.
This is an adventure you won’t want to miss that promises to bring Japanese culture to life through colorful stories, traditional food and stunning landscapes. The journey begins in Kyoto, then continues to Miyajima, Hiroshima, Nara, Kanazawa and more, before finishing in the bustling capital of Tokyo. The itinerary includes five UNESCO World Heritage sites, visits to old farmhouses, sushi-making classes in Tokyo, and the ancient tenets of the Japanese landscape.
Geisha's in Kyoto, Japan
Day 1

Upon arrival at the Kansai International Airport, you’ll be met by our resident English-speaking staff and guided to the comfortable coach that will take you into the heart of Kyoto. Check in to the deluxe Granvia Hotel and take the rest of this day to relax and enjoy as you wish.

Senso-ji temple, Kyoto
Day 2

At Nijo Castle, you can try to walk in stealth across the Nightingale Floor, ingeniously designed centuries ago to chirp in warning if would-be assassins penetrated the Shogun’s inner sanctum! You’ll also visit often photographed Kinkaku-ji Temple, constructed in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100thanniversary of the establishment of Kyoto as the capital of Japan! Then sit down to lunch with a Maiko or young women in training to become Geisha, Then take a guided stroll through the historic Gion district, where Kabuki traditions began long ago, and tour the tranquil Zen meditation gardens of Kodai-ji Temple. Our last stop of the day will be at Sanjusangendo Shrine. Back at our deluxe hotel, you’ll have time to refresh before gathering for dinner.

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Floating gate of Itsukushima, Shrine, Miyajima
Hiroshima / Miyajima
Day 3

Traveling by rail from Kyoto and then by ferry, you’ll journey this morning across the island-dotted Seto Inland Sea to Miyajima Island, and marvel at Itsukushima Shrine, established in the 6th century. Just off shore, you will see the magnificent red Torii Gate rise majestically from the sea. Ride the ferry back to the main island of Honshu and continue to Hiroshima where you will visit Peace Memorial Park. The Memorial Museum stands as a sobering reminder of the destruction wrought by the Atomic bomb. After sightseeing, you’ll return to Kyoto by high-speed rail.

Meals | Breakfast

Todai-ji temple, Nara, Japan
Day 4

Discover the ancient capital of Nara, where Buddhism was first introduced to Japan nearly 1,500 years ago. You’ll visit Todai-ji Temple, one of the largest wooden structures in the world and home to an immense statue of Buddha. Stroll the peaceful lantern-lined forest paths of Kasuga Shrine before returning to Kyoto. Back in Kyoto, the rest of your afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy as you wish. Our in-the-know guide will be happy to assist with personal recommendations for dining, shopping and exploring at your own pace.

Meals | Breakfast

Kasumiga-ike Pond at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa
Day 5

Today you will travel by rail to Kanazawa and visit the Nomura Samurai Residence and Kutani Kosen Pottery Studio to see skilled artisans at work. While strolling through Kenrokuen, revered as one of Japan’s finest gardens, you’ll learn firsthand about the six elements of traditional landscape design that have been incorporated so perfectly here. Overnight will be at the deluxe Nikko Hotel.  

Meals | Breakfast

Historical Japanese Village - Shirakawago
Shirakawago / Takayama
Day 6

Travel to the mountain hamlet of Shirakawago, famous for its “Joined Hands” farmhouses. More than a century old, they derive their name from their steeply pitched roofs which look like hands joined together in prayer. Though many of these old farmhouses are now restaurants and guesthouses, your tour of a Gassho-zukuri will offer insight into long-ago daily life here in Japan’s scenic alpine region. Continue to the deluxe Associa Takayama Resort. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Traditional houses in old city area,Takayama
Day 7

Enjoy a a full day of sightseeing in Takayama. Mingle with city residents as they go about their daily shopping at the busy morning market; then admire perfectly-preserved buildings like Takayama Jinya, an imposing government hall of the Edo period. Enjoy a tasting of fine sake and tour the Folk Craft Museum. At the Festival Floats Exhibit Hall, you’ll see enormous parade floats dating back 400 years, many with cleverly engineered figures that can be animated when these floats are used in the town’s colorful spring and autumn festivals.

Meals | Breakfast

Sensou-ji temple, Tokyo Japan
Day 8

Journey by rail to Tokyo and transfer to the Keio Plaza Hotel, ideally located in vibrant Shinjuku. After time to refresh in your spacious Plaza Premier Room, join your expert native guide for a walking tour in this modern city-center district. The area is popular with Tokyo residents for shopping, dining and entertainment. 

Meals | Breakfast

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo
Day 9

Early this morning, we take you on a special visit to the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market, where the city’s best chefs come daily to procure the freshest seafood. Then, join one such master chef to learn the art of preparing restaurant-quality sushi. Enjoy the fruits of your labor for lunch before ascending the Tokyo Observatory for breathtaking views across the capital. Next, stroll along the bustling Nakamise Arcade, home to colorful merchant stalls selling traditional Japanese snacks and handicrafts. End your sightseeing at the colorful Asakusa Kannon Temple, the oldest in the city that dates back to the 7th century. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Mt. Fuji, Japan
Tokyo / Mt. Fuji
Day 10

Travel to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji and continue to beautiful Hakone National Park, beloved for its pine forests and lovely views of Mt. Fuji. Enjoy a cruise across the placid waters of picturesque Lake Ashi and ascend Mt. Komagatake by cable car for sweeping views over the forested mountains. Return to Tokyo with time to refresh before tonight’s farewell dinner.

Meals | Breakfast, Dinner

Tokyo skyline
Day 11

Step aboard the comfortable airport limousine for your trip to the airport.

Meals | Breakfast

Activities in this itinerary should be considered a sample only. Final itineraries are sent to guests one to two weeks prior to departure.

Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Hotel Granvia Kyoto is an integral part of the JR Kyoto Station Building, the visually striking architectural masterpiece which also includes a department store, museum, musical theater, and a vast underground shopping mall. From this convenient location, hotel guests have direct and easy access to and from Kansai International Airport and major metropolitan destinations across Japan including Osaka, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.

Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

The Hotel Nikko Kanazawa offers guests a combination of European and Japanese comfort. The hotel is within walking distance of some of the most famous tourist spots in Kanazawa. The hotel offers a choice of five restaurants, bar, lounge, and the fitness club. The fitness club includes the indoor pool, fitness room, Jacuzzi, and sauna.

Associa Hotel Takayama

The Associa Hotel is located in the Takayama Highlands, surrounded by deep forests and mountains. All 290 guest rooms have a superb view of the Japan Alps, comfortable beds, and climate control. An entire wing of the hotel is dedicated to hot spring baths, and guests can enjoy this as well as many other spa activities.

Keio Plaza Hotel

The Keio Plaza Hotel is located in the Shinjuku district of bustling Tokyo, walking distance from shopping, cultural experiences, and other events. The hotel plays host to 29 separate restaurants, each with a different atmosphere and dining opportunity. All 1450 rooms are equipped with television, internet access, mini-bar, and a spectacular view of the city. Other hotel amenities include the swimming pool, gymnasium, drugstore, sauna, photo studio and beauty salon.

  • Exclusively escorted sightseeing

  • Expert native guide

  • 10 nights in handpicked deluxe hotels

  • 15 meals, including 10 buffet breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners

  • Small group size, never more than 16 guests

  • All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events

  • All on-tour transportation including airport transfers and the world-famous Bullet Train

  • Luggage handling, hotel taxes and service charges 

  • 24-hour emergency customer service hotline

*Trip-cancellation coverage available for an additional fee through Allianz.

DateDouble Occupancy
(per person)
Single Occupancy
Mar 24 – Apr 3, 2019$7,599$10,499 SpecialCherry Blossom Season
Mar 31 – Apr 10, 2019$7,599$10,499 SpecialCherry Blossom Season
Apr 2 – Apr 12, 2019$7,599$10,199 SpecialCherry Blossom Season
Apr 4 – Apr 14, 2019$7,599$10,499 SpecialCherry Blossom Season
Apr 7 – Apr 17, 2019$7,599$10,499 SpecialCherry Blossom Season
Apr 9 – Apr 19, 2019$7,599$10,499  
Apr 11 – Apr 21, 2019$7,599$10,499  

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: For single-occupancy pricing, for Mar 25-Apr 22, 2018, add $2800.

For May 13-May 23, 2018, Jul 15-Oct 3, 2018, Oct 28-Nov 7, 2018, and Mar 24-Apr 3, 2019 add $2400.

For Jun 10-Jun 27, 2018, add $2200.

For Oct 4-Oct 14, 2018, and Mar 31-Apr 21, 2019 add $2900.

SAVE $600 per couple + $300 solo on this tour when you pay-in-full at the time of booking.

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