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Overview

Encounter the essence of Japan with an in-depth exploration of Tokyo and its surroundings. Enjoy the capital’s rich melange of historic sites, tranquil gardens and vibrant modern neighbourhoods. See the ancient monuments that abound in neighbouring Nikko before relaxing in a traditional inn amid Hakone’s natural landscapes. 

Trip Highlights

Tokyo and Beyond

See Tokyo’s highlights

Explore the city with a local guide, visiting iconic sites including Hamarikyu garden, Meiji shrine and Asakusa’s geisha district.

Be charmed by historic Nikko

Take a day trip to the UNESCO-Heritage site of Nikko, exploring Edo-era monuments and ancient Buddhist shrines. 

Escape to Hakone’s natural surroundings

Gaze upon Mt. Fuji, take scenic nature walks and soak in hot springs while staying in a traditional Japanese inn. 

Itinerary

1

Arrival in Tokyo

Narita International Airport (NRT) to Central Tokyo: 1.5 h Haneda International Airport (HND) to Central Tokyo: 50 min

Upon arrival to Tokyo’s airport, our representative will be waiting to assist with transportation into the city (helping to board the right train or find the appropriate shuttle van). After reaching the hotel and checking in, the remainder of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Tokyo

2

Tokyo

Start (guided tour): 09:00 Duration: 8 h *including pick-up/drop-off and transit times

Meet up with the guide this morning at the hotel and depart for Hamarikyu, a Japanese garden that once served as a private villa of a powerful feudal lord during the Edo period. Its wide collection of seasonal flowers makes it one of the most visited gardens in Tokyo, however another of its biggest attractions is its teahouse, Nakajima-no-Ochaya.

Have a break in the teahouse and enjoy a cup of freshly made green tea while the guide shares interesting facts about chado (tea ceremony).

From the park, take the scenic river cruise to Asakusa, a part of Tokyo’s shitamachi or old town. Asakusa is the city’s oldest Geisha district and also home to Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. The streets around Senso-ji feature many traditional shops and are a delight to wander through.

The tour ends with a visit to Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and a popular venue for traditional Shinto weddings.

The shrine is surrounded by around 120,000 trees, making it easy to forget that just outside its grounds are two of the city’s popular shopping districts, Harajuku and Omotesando.

Note: The order of this itinerary may change depending on the location of the hotel.

Overnight in Tokyo

3

Tokyo, Day Trip to Nikko

Tokyo Station to Nikko Station: 2 h

Begin the day by journeying into the mountains of Nikko, another prefecture that houses a couple of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Our local guide will be waiting upon arrival at JR Nikko Station and will provide an escort to some of the most famous places in Nikko:

Toshogu Shrine Complex

The shrine which was built as a mausoleum for Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate who ruled Japan for over 250 years. This lavishly decorated shrine complex consists of more than a dozen Shinto and Buddhist buildings located in a beautiful forest setting.

Tamozawa Imperial Villa

This lovely villa once served as the summer house of the Imperial Family before WWII. Explore the intricate interior design of the house, with some parts transferred all the way from Tokyo. Enjoy a walk through the gardens and soaking in the beauty of the house from its exterior. The beauty of the garden does not disappoint and remains breathtaking regardless of the season.

After the visit, the guide will provide an escort to the station for the train back to Tokyo.

Note: Toshogu Shrine is currently undergoing partial renovations.

Overnight in Tokyo

Time:  Start (guided tour): before 11:00 at JR Nikko Sta.

Duration: 4 h

4

Tokyo, Optional Day Trip to Kamakura

Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station: 50 min

Today is a self-guided day.

Suggested Self-Guided Itinerary:

Spend the duration of the day exploring the city and its outlying areas. Visit the electronics district of Akihabara or discover some of Tokyo’s world-class museums and art galleries.

Alternatively, take a day trip outside Tokyo to Kamakura. One of Japan’s former capitals, Kamakura is a delightful seaside town home to many ancient shrines, temples, and other structures such as the Daibutsu, a giant bronze Buddha that stands at 13-meter tall.

Overnight in Tokyo

5

Tokyo - Hakone

Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station: 1.5 h

Today is a self-guided day.

Travel by train to Hakone, a popular hot spring destination from Tokyo frequented by most tourists who wish to get a sight of Mt. Fuji.

In Hakone, experience a stay in a ryokan, a classic Japanese-style inn furnished with futon beds, tatami flooring, paper sliding doors, and hot spring baths.

Enjoy a traditional multi-course meal for dinner, which usually includes small servings of sushi, sashimi, and tempura.

Overnight in Hakone

6

Hakone

Today is a self-guided day.

Suggested Self-Guided Itinerary:

Spend the whole day exploring Hakone with the included transport pass, which serves as a ticket to the numerous forms of transportation in the area.

Take the Hakone Tozan switchback train that zigzags through the mountains and offers views of the surrounding valleys. Afterwards, ride the Guinness World Record-holder ropeway all the way up to Mt. Owakudani, passing over sulfurous fumes and hot springs.

From the mountain, ride the ropeway bound for Togendai and board its replica pirate ship for a cruise across Ashinoko, a body of water that was formed after a volcanic eruption that occurred more than 3,000 years ago.

Hakone is also home to many museums and parks. One of the most famous is the Hakone Open Air Museum. The museum is famous for its harmonic balance between nature and art, and also for its excellent gallery featuring a sizable Picasso Collection.

Note: The ropeway that goes to Mt. Owakudani has resumed operations but for safety reasons, hiking on the mountain is still prohibited.

Suggested Alternative Itinerary:

Head to Togendai and board the aforementioned pirate ship for the cruise across the volcanically-formed Ashinoko lake.

Disembark at Hakone-machi and walk towards Hakone Shrine, the most photographed spot in Hakone for its iconic “floating” torii gate. The approach to the main shrine buildings is via a set of ninety-or-so stairs that go through the forested mountain.

From the shrine, continue the trek along the Preserved Old Tokaido Walking Trail. The next 40 minutes or so will lead to Amazake Chaya, a traditional house serving Japanese-style snacks accompanied by sweet rice wine (amazake).

Overnight in Hakone

7

Hakone – Tokyo

Today is a self-guided day.

Take one last soak in the onsen before returning to Tokyo.

The rest of the day is free at leisure. Explore Tokyo independently, engage in a cultural experience or do some last minute shopping in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku or in Ginza.

Note: Cultural activities in Tokyo depend on availability and must be booked in advance (supplementary charges apply).

Overnight in Tokyo

8

Departure from Tokyo

The rest of the day is at leisure until the scheduled transfer via train or shared shuttle back to Tokyo Airport.

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • English meet and greet at the airport and return transfers to the airport
  • PASMO Card for local transportation in Tokyo with 1,500 JPY worth of credits

(Note: Clients are free to further charge their card should they wish to make use of it during self-guided days).

  • Roundtrip train tickets to and from Nikko (reserved seats, ordinary class) for Day 3
  • 3-Day Hakone Free Pass from Day 5
  • Limited express train tickets for Days 5 and 7
  • English-speaking guides for tours on Days 2 and 3 (supplementary charges apply for other languages)
  • All entrance fees and public transportation fees as mentioned in the itinerary on Days 2 and 3
  • Self-guide app and customized travel documentation

Our Services Do Not Include:

  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately)
  • Some local transport
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone, and other expenditures of a personal nature)
  • Travel insurance (please see below)
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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