Japan Cultural Discovery

Prepare yourselves for the adventure of a lifetime, uncovering Japan's fascinating history and culture while also experiencing the quirkier side of this multifaceted destination! Your tailor-made trip showcases the splendors of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, and more. Wander through enchanting temples, chat with an apprentice geisha, and try your hand at traditional samurai sword techniques. Appreciate the zen and intricate details of stunning gardens and shrines, and lose yourself in the chaos of bustling back alleyways and game centers. Savor it all and you're sure to fall in love with Japan!

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo Arrival

Tokyo Arrival
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Narita Airport - Tokyo Hotel
  • Transportation: IC Transport Card
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon

Welcome to Japan! You will make your own way using the subway from Haneda Airport direct to Asakusa Station near your hotel. Journey time is around 40 minutes and the subway will cost 620 yen per person.

Please note that hotel check-in times are strict in Japan and you will not be allowed to your room until 3pm. However you can drop your luggage off at the hotel at any time and use the hotel lobby facilities. There are lots of interesting sights to see close to the hotel including Senso-ji Temple, as well as many cafes and restaurants. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance for the route, so are not included at this time.

You will be provided with Manaca cards today, Nagoya’s version of the IC card. You will be able to use this throughout your time in Japan for traveling on buses, subways, overground railways and in some places you will even be able to pay for taxis, buy drinks from vending machines and pay for your bento in a convenience store! Your card comes with 2,500 yen of credit and can be topped up in any major city at the automatic ticket machines at any station. And don't worry - instructions in English are provided! We are sure you will get great use out of this during your trip and can have that satisfying feeling of travelling like a local! All in all, an essential accessory for any visit to Japan.

We have also included for you the rental of a mobile wi-fi device which we will arrange to be delivered to your first hotel. This will mean that you can have wi-fi on the move and at all of your accommodation making staying in touch with friends or browsing the internet on your smartphone or laptop a breeze! The wi-fi can be shared between up to 10 devices. We have included full insurance for you in case of loss or damage. At the end of your stay simply return the device in the pre-paid envelope provided. The internet provider for your WiFi device is AU. This has wide coverage across Japan including most small islands and rural areas. There is unlimited data usage.

Tokyo

One quarter of all Japanese live in Tokyo or the near vicinity and with a population of over 12 million inhabitants, Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world. With its huge skyscrapers, underpasses, overpasses and crowds of pedestrians, Tokyo may not seem the most attractive city on the surface, but the city has a vibrant charm all of its own. The street level detail is what makes Tokyo such an incredibly interesting place to explore and at every turn you will be met with an array of sights, sounds and smells to enliven the senses. The city has many major sights to visit such as Senso-ji Temple in the old downtown area of Asakusa or the fashion hub of Shibuya from where all new trends are said to emanate. All in all a stay in Tokyo is to experience one of the world's most vibrant and interesting cities; a capital hurtling headlong into the future while maintaining its links with the traditions of ancient Japan.

Day 2: Tokyo

Tokyo
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Tokyo Full Day Guided Tour
  • Transportation: 14 Day Japan Rail Pass (Ordinary Class)
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon
  • Meals: B

Tokyo Full Day Guided Tour

Today, you will be taken on a full day private tour of the city with a local guide. In order to get a real feel for Japan's capital, you will travel by public transport, just like the locals. On this fascinating introduction to Tokyo, you will have the chance to explore the classic highlights and best kept secrets. Following in the footsteps of your expert guide, you will discover the exclusive features of Tokyo, known only to locals. You are free to set the pace of the day to be as busy or relaxed as you want, as you get to grips with the excellent transport network.

In addition to learning the history and culture of Tokyo, your guide will sure to include some pop culture sights related to Japan’s famed manga/anime industry, such as ultra- trendy Harajuku and Shibuya as well the electronics and anime district of Akihabara, which is home to lots of game centers where you can test your skill on a variety of games!

Your guide will meet you at the hotel around 9:00 AM this morning, or any other time you may prefer. Rather than making a fixed itinerary in advance, you will have full flexibility to select the attractions and activities that interest you. This means that you will need to pay for any entrance fees on the day of your tour, in addition to your transport costs. In order to make the most of this experience, please let us know if you have any specific areas of interest, and we will pass that on to your guide in advance. Around 5:00 PM, your tour will end either back to your hotel, or anywhere else in the city that you may wish to spend the evening. (This service is on a private basis.)

In your package, we have included the 14 Day Rail Pass (Ordinary Car). This pass entitles you to unlimited travel on any trains in the extensive Japan Railways (JR) Network. This includes all of the famous Shinkansen "Bullet" Trains, with the exception of the Nozomi Shinkansen. You will receive an exchange voucher, which must be exchanged for the pass itself, once you have arrived in Japan. Full details of when and how to do this will be provided with your travel documents. You can also use your Rail Pass to make seat reservations for no extra charge. However, this cannot be done until you have exchanged the voucher.

Day 3: Tokyo

Tokyo
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Disneyland
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon
  • Meals: B

Disneyland

And now for Tokyo Disneyland! This was the first Disney park to be built outside the United States, and it's classic Disney, the same style as Disneyland in California and Florida's Magic Kingdom. Expect to find the famous Disney Castle and all your favorite Disney characters. The spacious park has seven themes zones: the World Bazaar, Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and for younger children Critter Country and Mickey's Toontown. Popular attractions include Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and the Western River Railroad. Seasonal performances and parkwide parades take place every day.

Day 4: Tokyo

Tokyo
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Tokyo Kitchen
  • Tour: Taiko Drumming Class
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon
  • Meals: B, L

Tokyo Kitchen

While eating Japanese cuisine is the highlight of any trip to Japan, it's nothing compared to learning how to cook it yourself. Today, you'll join local foodie Yoshimi for an in-depth lesson in everyday Japanese cooking. Yoshimi prides herself on using simple, fresh ingredients to prepare hearty food that you can recreate at home.

Step one of Yoshimi's classes is an introduction to Japanese seasonings such as soy sauce, miso, sake, and mirin. You'll learn how these are made, and the differences they can make to any Japanese dish. Next, Yoshimi will brief you on table manners so you'll soon be using chopsticks like a pro. Then the main bulk of your class is preparing an everyday Japanese dish. Following Yoshimi's demonstration, it'll be your turn to get hands-on in the kitchen and cook up a storm.

In today's cooking class, you'll be making tempura. You'll be shown simple tips to make perfectly light and crispy tempura batter. The tempura comes with two side dishes and miso soup. Classes have a maximum of six participants. Aprons are provided, and all food and drink, a complimentary dessert and recipe cards are included. (This service is on a group basis.)

Taiko Drumming Class

Today, we have arranged a unique cultural experience. You will need to make your own way to the Taiko Center in the historic Asakusa district of Tokyo, where you will have a one hour taiko drumming lesson with one of the local English-speaking drummers. The sound of a taiko drum is said to be the sound at the bottom of the soul and is the basis for human rhythm. During this class, you will learn that taiko is not only a musical instrument. The physical activity involved during the drumming has made it become a true form of relaxation, recreation and entertainment. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes, so that you can practice these wide movements.

Day 5: Tokyo

Tokyo
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Kabuki Theater
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon
  • Meals: B

Kabuki Theater

Kabuki is one of the stand out theatrical arts of Japan. Unlike Noh, which is a much older, stricter and serious art form, Kabuki is pure entertainment! It is a fabulous mix of outlandish costumes, dramatic stunts, high speed action and great story telling. Kabuki dates all the way back to the Edo period and has emphasized entertainment ever since. Today, you may wish to try for single act tickets prior to the show.

Following a complete rebuild, Tokyo's Kabuki-Za Theater reopened its doors in 2013. Back in its spiritual home, Kabuki-Za features a traditional design, modern facilities and the best venue from which to experience the entertainment. Performances last several hours and usually include four acts. Please note that an English captioning device can be purchased for a small fee of 500-1,000 yen, depending on the performance. We highly recommend it, so that you can understand the story line and join the audience in bursts of laughter!

*Single act tickets must be purchased on the day of the performance.

Day 6: Tokyo - Hakone

Tokyo - Hakone
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Tokyo - Odawara (Rail Pass)
  • Transportation: 3 Day Hakone Freepass
  • Transportation: Odawara - Hakone (Free Pass)
  • Accommodation: Hakone Yoshimatsu Ryokan
  • Meals: B, D

Today, you will take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Odawara Station, the gateway city for the Hakone National Park. You will use your Japan Rail Pass for this journey, which will take just 40 minutes.

For your time in Hakone, you will be provided with the 3 Day Hakone Freepass. This pass is valid for three days from today and entitles you to unlimited use of 6 different forms of transport in the Hakone region. These include the mountain buses and railway, one of the longest cable cars in Japan, a funicular railway and even a pirate ship that cruises across Lake Ashi! Between all of these different options, you will be able to easily explore the entire region and make the most of your stay. The pass also offers small discounts at many attractions in the area, so be sure to show your pass when purchasing any tickets!

From Odawara Station, you will use your Hakone Freepass to take the bus up into the mountains of Hakone. Admire the charming scenery, as the road winds through several small mountain villages towards your hotel.

Hakone

Hakone is a beautiful National Park region nestled beside Mount Fuji, Japan's most sacred peak. The area showcases a handful of small villages and hamlets, all connected by a variety of local transport routes that wind through the charming hillsides and valleys. Hakone offers plenty to see and do, from tasting eggs boiled in volcanic waters, to boarding a boat cruise across Lake Ashi. The outdoor sculpture park and Picasso gallery is a great place to spend a unique afternoon. An enticing dip in one of the famous therapeutic hot spring baths is always a good idea as well! However, it is Hakone's close proximity to the iconic Mount Fuji, that truly makes this destination so popular. With its near perfect symmetrical form, soaring through the sky above the surrounding hills, it is an attraction that makes a trip to Japan complete. From Hakone, you have one of the best chances to admire Mount Fuji's epic beauty, although she is a notoriously shy mountain!

Day 7: Hakone

Hakone
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: Hakone Yoshimatsu Ryokan
  • Meals: B, D

Sightseeing In Hakone

The Hakone region features an idyllic blend of scenery, culture and history. The classic circular sightseeing loop offers a great way to explore the area's best attractions, including beautiful Mount Fuji viewpoints, a scenic boat cruise on Lake Ashi and the Hakone checkpoint, which highlights the region's rich history.

You may also want to venture off the classic sightseeing route, to visit some of Hakone's fascinating museums and unique art displays. Or perhaps, you would rather treat yourself to a relaxing soak in one of the local hot-spring baths. Do like the Japanese do, and make the most of this natural attraction, enjoying a day of pampering yourself in the famous pristine waters!

Day 8: Hakone - Kyoto

Hakone - Kyoto
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Hakone - Odawara (Free Pass)
  • Transportation: Odawara - Kyoto (Rail Pass)
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa
  • Meals: B

Following a lovely stay in Hakone, you will use your Hakone Freepass to make the journey by bus down from the mountains to Odawara Station.

From Odawara Station, you will use your Japan Rail Pass to board the Shinkansen to Kyoto. This ride will take you on a 2 hour and 10 minute race down Japan's eastern seaboard.

Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the most culturally rich cities in all of Asia. Home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, this ancient city showcases the heart and soul of traditional Japan. Kyoto boasts a variety of world class gardens, majestic festivals and delicate cuisine, which collaborate into something truly beautiful. The colorful changing seasons, feature a different adventure in itself, during every time of year. At first glance, Kyoto appears to have its fair share of neon and concrete, typical of large Japanese cities. However, you will quickly be able to pick out Kyoto’s charming treasures - sacred shrines tucked between shopping arcades, time-honored tea houses nestled amidst modern businesses and mysterious geishas scuttling down backstreets between tourists.

Day 9: Kyoto

Kyoto
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Kyoto Full Day Guided Tour
  • Tour: Afternoon Tea with a Maiko
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa
  • Meals: B

Kyoto Full Day Guided Tour

Today, you will be taken on a full day tour of Kyoto by public transport. Learning through the eyes of a local guide offers the best way to discover this city, that is so rich in UNESCO World Heritage sites, it can be hard to know where to begin! Your guide can offer the insight of a local's perspective, to truly reveal the city's authentic culture, iconic highlights and best kept secrets.

Your guide will meet you at the hotel around 9:00 AM, or any other time you choose this morning, from where you will begin your tour by public transport. Although Kyoto does offer an extensive bus route, we recommend taking a few taxis along the way as well, in order to speed things up and make the most of this experience. Please note that you will need to pay for your own lunch, transport costs and entrance fees on the day of your tour. It will be time to say goodbye to your guide around 5:00 PM, either back at your hotel, or anywhere else in the city you may wish to spend the evening. (This service is on a private basis.)

Afternoon Tea with a Maiko

For many people, the quintessential image of Japan is a graceful geisha in an exquisite kimono, darting through a sliding screen door into a traditional tea house. It’s a scene that embodies both the geisha’s beauty and mystery, as the geisha and their maiko apprentices move almost in secret, through a world largely hidden behind closed doors. Often misunderstood in the West, geisha are essentially artists. They are highly skilled in traditional arts and are masters of wordplay and social etiquette. Although geisha numbers have dropped dramatically since their heyday in the 1920's, in modern day Japan, they are also the caretakers of these traditions, making sure time-honored Japanese arts and crafts are not lost.

The majority of geisha live and work in Kyoto and are known as geiko in the local dialect. Gion is Kyoto’s most famous geisha district with a large concentration of ochaya tea houses, where the geiko entertain guests most evenings. Not just anyone can enter an ochaya however; in traditional Japanese society, hierarchy and social connections are everything, and most Japanese will never have the honor of an official invitation.

Fortunately, we have solidified a strong link with one ochaya run by a very hospitable hostess, who speaks good English. We will arrange a 45 minute visit for you, to receive a fascinating glimpse into the geisha world. Over a cup of green tea and a Japanese cake, you'll be entertained by a geisha or maiko, who will perform a traditional dance for you. An introduction to the life of a Geisha in Kyoto will be given in English, and you will also be able to take photos and ask any questions you may have. Please note that a visit to such a special tea house is subject to availability, and cannot be arranged at short notice. Date or time changes are also unlikely to be accommodated. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 10: Kyoto

Kyoto
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa
  • Meals: B

Optional Day Trip to Nara

Today, you might like to take advantage of your Japan Rail Pass, by taking a day trip to Nara. This city lies just 40 minutes by local train from Kyoto and is renowned for the wealth of its Buddhist and Shinto heritage. Formerly, Nara was the end of the Silk Road, making it the first area to see Buddhist teaching transition across the ocean from China and into Japan. In 710, Nara became the first permanent capital of Japan, during which time the large monasteries rapidly gained in political power and influence. This resulted in frequent bloodshed, as the different sects fought for supremacy and power. It was because of this, that in 784 the capital was moved away from Nara, in order to protect the position of the Emperor and the central government.

Today, Nara retains many dramatic attractions as reminders of its former power and influence. The huge wooden structure that houses the Big Buddha, is the world's largest wooden building, despite the current structure being even a third smaller than the original! The myriad of shrines and temples are set against a beautiful backdrop of low lying mountains. In the midst of the Nara Park, which is famously home to a vast population of pesky deer, you will find these furry friends wandering about town, completely unfazed by tourists. Although given the chance, they will gladly munch on anything can get their noses into, so beware! Trains run regularly between Kyoto and Nara starting shortly after 5:00 AM and continuing until late in the evening.

Day 11: Kyoto

Kyoto
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa
  • Meals: B

Suggested Day Trip to Arashiyama

Literally meaning "Storm Mountain", Arashiyama is a charming district in the northwest city of Kyoto. Although it is technically part of the city, Arashiyama feels more like a small town, with its quiet backstreets, cozy cafes and peaceful atmosphere. The main temple, Tenryu-ji, is one of Kyoto's finest Zen Temples. Behind it, you will find a winding pathway that leads through the enchanting bamboo groves towards the surrounding hillsides. The focal point of this area is the Kogetsukyo Bridge across the Hozugawa River, that runs through a picturesque gorge on its way to central Kyoto.

You may want to board the charming Romantic Train from Arashiyama, along a dramatic gorge, before returning by traditional Japanese boat. Another idea for nature lovers is to visit Iwatayama, known locally as "Monkey Mountain". In this inspiringly reverse world, humans stand in cages to feed the friendly monkeys, who roam free across the hillside!

Day 12: Kyoto

Kyoto
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Kyoto - Hiroshima (Rail Pass)
  • Tour: Full Day Guided Tour in Hiroshima & Miyajima
  • Transportation: Hiroshima - Kyoto (Rail Pass)
  • Accommodation: The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa
  • Meals: B

From Kyoto today, you will head down the eastern seaboard by Shinkansen en route to Hiroshima. This 400 kilometer journey will take around 2 hours, during which time the train passes through several major cities along the coast, including Kobe, famous for its top grade beef!

Full Day Guided Tour in Hiroshima & Miyajima

Today, you can enjoy the luxury of having a private English speaking guide be at your disposal today. As a local to Hiroshima, the guide can walk you through the city’s tragic past and explain how the city has emerged as a cultural hotspot with a lively food scene, as well as an industry hub, home to Mazda. Once you explore the city center, the guide can escort you across to the sacred shrine island of Miyajima.

Your guide will meet you at 10:00 AM (or any time you choose) upon your arrival to Hiroshima Station. Today’s tour will be by public transport. Hiroshima has a great tram network and there are regular ferries over to Miyajima. Please note you will need to pay for your transport, lunch and any entrance fees on the day. Your day of guiding will finish at 6:00 PM with the guide either dropping you back at the train station or anywhere else in the city you wish to continue exploring. (This service is on a private basis.)

You will board a Shinkansen train at Hiroshima Station and head east to Kyoto. Journey time is around 2 hours.

Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a city that needs little introduction. It is, of course, notorious as the site of one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of the Second World War. Despite its tragic past, Hiroshima is now a bustling and vibrant city, which has risen from the ashes. The Peace Park and Museum are a poignant reminder of the reason for Hiroshima's fame and everyone should spend an afternoon in this part of town. Other attractions in Hiroshima include the charming Hiroshima Castle, the pristine Shukkei-en Gardens and the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art. Make sure to sample the popular local food, "okonomiyaki", which literally means, "what you like". You select your own ingredients and cook the cabbage-based pancake-style dish yourself, over a hot plate at your table.

Miyajima

Miyajima Island, located just off the coast of Hiroshima, is one of Japan's most loved places with a charming rural atmosphere to match the beautiful surroundings. The island is perhaps best known for the red torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine which appears to be floating in the sea. In the evening this gate and the shrine behind it (as well as other traditional buildings in the area) are floodlit and the atmosphere is magical. A cable car takes you to fantastic views across the Inland Sea from Mount Misen, the highest point of the island.

There are many pleasant walks on Miyajima among the temples and along the bustling shopping street in the island's small village. You may also see some of the island's native fauna; the sacred deer are easy to spot as they roam freely, but you'll have to work a little harder to spot any of the resident monkey population; keep your eyes peeled! Miyajima is a wonderful place to slow down, unwind and relax, so take your time and let the magic of this island enchant you!

Day 13: Kyoto - Osaka

Kyoto - Osaka
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Kyoto - Osaka (Rail Pass)
  • Tour: Osaka Aquarium
  • Tour: Osaka Night Food Tour
  • Accommodation: Hotel Vista Osaka Namba
  • Meals: B, D

From Kyoto, you will take the JR Local line to Osaka station. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

Osaka Aquarium

Today, you may like to visit Osaka's Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of the largest aquariums in the world! This fantastic butterfly shaped building is home to a massive whale shark in the world's largest aquarium tank. After taking an elevator to the top of the aquarium, you will slowly wind your way down, through displays of life found on eight ocean levels. It's quite an eerie feeling, as you pass giant spider crabs and a wealth of other sea life in the ocean depths section. Some of the tanks stretch over several floors, making it possible to observe the marine life from a variety of depths and perspectives. The aquarium is open from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM and is a 20 minute subway ride from Osaka's Nanba Station.

*You can purchase tickets on the day.

Osaka Night Food Tour

This evening, you will join an English-speaking guide on a street food safari of Osaka’s famous Dotonbori area! Running alongside the beautiful canal, this brightly lit street is packed with restaurants and food stalls, serving up some of Osaka’s tastiest cuisine. This foodie’s paradise makes for the perfect culinary adventure for the senses!

Dotonbori is typically crowded with visitors and locals vying for entry to the city's best restaurants. On this 3 hour tour, you will venture off the beaten path, to uncover hidden izakayas and bars, known only to locals. Enjoy a sample of Osaka's finest specialties, including octopus dumplings and kushikatsu fried skewers. This tour offers the chance to experience Osaka’s nightlife as a true, fun loving local, rather than as a tourist. At the end of your excursion, you can either continue to explore the vibrant Dotonbori and Nanba areas on your own, or return to your hotel. Please note that your tour includes street food, sit down restaurant food, a drink, and dessert. You are welcome to order more of anything that you wish, however it will be on your own account. Your tour group will consist of no more than 10 people, promising an intimate and personalized experience. (This service is on a group basis.)

Osaka

Osaka is an extremely vibrant and lively place to stay in Japan. There may not be any real 'tourist' sights but it is just the life on the streets that makes Osaka such a fascinating city to visit. Osaka people work hard and play hard and it really shows with the vast number of restaurants, bars and all round entertainment available. The city aquarium is world class and you cannot stay in Osaka without taking a ride on one of the city's several giant big wheels, perhaps the most dramatic of which is perched on top of the Hep 5 department store in the Umeda district of the city - just don't look down if you are afraid of heights!

Osaka Castle is well worth a visit, despite being a reconstruction, as the original was burnt down during the firebombing at the end of World War II and you will find a variety of very interesting museums scattered throughout the city. After dark, Osaka really comes alive, and a walk through the bright lights of the Namba district is a great way to take in the atmosphere, with some great people-watching opportunities. With literally thousands of restaurants, bars and entertainment spots to choose from, Osaka is perfect for a big night out, some hearty local food and the chance to let your hair down. Osaka really is one of Japan's truly all action cities and a stay here is a chance to experience what life in modern day urban Japan is really like.

Day 14: Osaka

Osaka
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Universal Studios
  • Accommodation: Hotel Vista Osaka Namba
  • Meals: B

Universal Studios

In your package, we have included one day passes for Universal Studio's Japan! This fantastic theme park guarantees a day of fun for everyone. Come face to face with the Terminator, experience the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, and relive many famous movies in a variety of exciting entertainment, shows, and rides. The park consists of 10 different areas, Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Minion Park, Jurassic Park, WaterWorld, Amity Village, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Wonderland, and the brand new Super Nintendo World.

Various Express Passes can be purchased on the day of your visit inside of the park, which offers access to shorter waiting times for specific attractions.

Day 15: Osaka - Tokyo

Osaka - Tokyo
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Osaka - Tokyo (Rail Pass)
  • Accommodation: Hotel Century Southern Tower
  • Meals: B

Today you will travel to Tokyo where you will be spending your final night in the bright lights of the Shinjuku district. You will first use your Japan Rail Pass to board the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka station to Shinagawa Station in Tokyo. This journey will take just under 3 hours. You will then use the Rail Pass to hop on the JR Yamanote Line for roughly 20 minutes until you reach Shinjuku Station. Full instructions will be in your Info-Pack.

Day 16: Tokyo Departure

Tokyo Departure
Daily Summary
  • Tour: teamLab Borderless
  • Transportation: Tokyo Hotel - Narita Airport
  • Meals: B

teamLab Borderless

Tokyo’s man-made island of Odaiba is now the proud home of the world’s first digital art museum, designed by the ultra-technologist art group teamLab. “teamLab Borderless” features almost 50 immersive, three-dimensional digital works spread over five distinct sections, with themes of nature and interaction, such as the ‘Athletic Forest’ which invites you to understand the world by bouncing, moving, and swinging your way through the art; and the stunning ‘Forest of Lamps’, full of resonating Venetian glass lamps that change color as you approach them. The entire museum is a breath-taking, interactive, multi-sensory experience that encourages you to be at the center of the art and appreciate how the exhibits change around you, rather than simply observing it from a single vantage point.

You could easily spend a whole morning or afternoon exploring the museum, and if you ever need a pick-me-up, you can head to the ‘En’ tea house to enjoy a cup of green tea in which a digital flower blooms as you drink it!

Unfortunately, your journey through Japan must come to an end today. You can utilize your Japan Rail Passes to take the Narita Express to the airport today.

We hope you had a wonderful trip and we wish you safe and happy travels home!

Accommodation

The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon

The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon

Only 15 minutes from the new Tokyo Sky Tree, The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon is located on Kaminarimon-street, in the traditional Asakusa district of modern Tokyo. Enjoy the modernity of Tokyo and the tradition of Edo (Old Tokyo). The brand-new Gate Hotel Kaminarimon is located just 2 minutes walking from the highly convenient Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Asakusa Station. The hotel is housed on floors 3 through 14 with upper floors offering fantastic views. It features 137 rooms and boasts a restaurant, bar, and rooftop terrace.

Hakone Yoshimatsu Ryokan

Hakone Yoshimatsu Ryokan

In Hakone you will stay at the Yoshimatsu, a wonderful traditional ryokan in a quiet location close to the banks of Lake Ashi. Your stay here will be the quintessential Japanese hospitality experience; beautiful Japanese-style guestrooms (ensuite), fine seasonal local cuisine served in the comfort of your room; attentive service from polite and caring staff, with some English spoken. The ryokan offers a range of natural hot-spring baths to enjoy, including a bath available for private use. The ryokan looks out across Lake Ashi, and as far as the peak of Mt Fuji, when the weather obliges! The Yoshimatsu is the perfect place for a relaxing stay in the Hakone region, and a true experience of traditional Japanese service. Your stay includes breakfast and dinner.

The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa

The Gate Hotel Kyoto Takasegawa

Located in the middle of Kyoto by the Takase River, the hotel aims for time to slow down for each guest. This is a place with a lot local sentiment and history. During the Edo period, this site was the location of many of the old domain residences of the Kyoto clan. The location of Japan’s first successful movie preview experiment. The former Rissei Elementary school building was built through the efforts and donations of the local residents. We chose this place as our gate to KYOTO with our purpose being to coexist within the richness of the city.

Hotel Vista Osaka Namba

Hotel Vista Osaka Namba

Hotel Century Southern Tower

Hotel Century Southern Tower

Located just a 5 minute walk from Shinjuku Station, the lovely Hotel Century Southern Tower makes for the perfect base from which to explore not only Shinjuku, but the whole of central Tokyo and beyond. The hotel lobby, which sits on the 20th floor, features spectacular views of the city and on clear days, you may even be able to spot Mount Fuji towering in the distance! All rooms are stylishly decorated with quality amenities and the bathrooms offer a range of beauty products for your convenience. In the evenings, you can enjoy a variety of dining options in the hotel, from Chinese and French influences, to even a superb Teppanyaki restaurant.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 5,032 per person

*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.

Price Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

Price Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Taxes and fees

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While we have sample itineraries to help you create the perfect trip, we encourage you to travel at your own pace with a custom itinerary ‐ or simply book accommodation and excursions to travel with full flexibility. We also give you access to an amazing product line that would be very difficult to find otherwise.
Social Responsibility
Our trips directly benefit local communities through a variety of educational, environmental, and cultural initiatives. Additionally, all of our partners have been qualified as upholding a level of service that we truly stand behind. We strive to work exclusively with like‐minded partners who are committed to making sure tourism does not have a negative impact on destinations.

Request Free Quote

Our entire team is dedicated to making this custom journey come true. Request a free quote by filling out the form and please share any details to help us customize this perfect trip just for you.

Can’t wait another minute? We understand, call us directly at (866) 577-2462 and speak with one of our extraordinary travel specialists.

Clients Love Us

  • National Geographic
  • Union Tribune
  • CNBC
  • ATTA
  • APTA
  • IATA
  • STI
  • TIES
This is just one of many authentic travel experiences offered by Global Basecamps. If you are interested in more unique destinations to Japan with unprecedented planning and extraordinary service visit our main Japan tours page to browse other sample trips.
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