(Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto)
You can almost see the ancient samurai ghosts amid the mist that blankets Kyoto as you take in sweeping views of the city from the incredible Kiyomizu Temple. Embark on this exploration of Japan's highlights, with the support of local guides, comfortable train transportation, and enough down time to truly get lost in the land of the rising sun.
This extensive tour of Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto presents quintessential Japan in all its rich contrasts of ancient spirituality and modern marvels of technology. You’ll enjoy a collection of premium accommodation that has been designed to showcase the height of contemporary sophistication and the warmth of traditional Japanese hospitality.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Welcome to Japan!
Meet your driver for a shared airport transfer.
Take a half day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide, making use of Tokyo’s comprehensive and user friendly public transport system. The day begins with a visit to the Imperial Palace, home of Japan’s Imperial Family. Next is Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of old Tokyo. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Take the subway across town to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. If time permits, you can take a walk down Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the world’s top fashion brands. The tour will finish in Harajuku/Omotesando. Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than travelling by private vehicle, you will make use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
We recommend hailing a local taxi for today's transfer, they are readily available, safe and affordable.
Transfer by train from Tokyo to Odawara. The train ride is approximately 30 minutes.
Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle.
Hakone is famous for its beautiful natural setting, hot springs, and of course the view of Mt Fuji. There are many things one can do independently while in Hakone, including shopping at local boutiques, enjoying some Japanese cuisine, or relaxing in a local onsen. We also recommend purchasing locally the "Hakone Free Pass", at roughly 4000JPY this gives you access to all buses, trains, cablecars and ropeways of the region. With this you may board a boat ride around Lake Ashi, or enjoy the mountain views while riding the 40 minute Tozan Train.
Transfer by train from Odawara to Kyoto. The train ride is approximately 2 hours.
The Granvia Kyoto is located directly above the Japan Rail train station. After exiting your train, please follow the below instructions to reach your hotel. This is a very short walk, and done easily on your own, so no guide service has been included.
When using the Shinkansen bullet train: Exit via the Shinkansen Main Exit, turn right and walk straight through Nanboku-Jiyu-Tsuro (North-to-South main corridor) until you reach the escalator to the hotel entrance on your right.
When using the Haruka Express from Kansai International Airport: Exit via the JR Chuo Main Exit and take the escalator on your right to the Lobby on the 2nd floor of the hotel.
Visit 3 of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this half day tour. Start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. Next is Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors. Finish the day with a visit to Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13 meter high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall you can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, while pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners. End the tour in the Kiyomizu area. Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than travelling by private vehicle, you will make use of Kyoto’s efficient local transit system.
Transfer from your hotel to Nara by train (45min) with a local guide. For 74 years during the 8th century Nara was Japan’s capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. Visit Todaiji temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns donated by worshipers. Shin-Yakushiji Temple was founded during the Nara Period (710-794) by an empress for the sake of the ailing emperor. It’s devoted to Yakushi Buddha, the patron of medicine in Japanese Buddhism. Inside the main hall there are life size statues of 12 guardian deities surrounding a two meter tall statue of a seated Yakushi Buddha, which are the temples main objects of worship. Wander through Nara Park, called Deer Park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer that live there. On the way back from Nara, visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which was used in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”. It is home to over 10,000 red tori gates, which form a path up the mountain behind the temple.
The Granvia Kyoto is located directly above the Japan Rail train station, and so departing by train is easily done independently. Simply make your way by foot to the appropriate platform as listed on your train tickets. No assistance is required, or included.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
Citadines Shinjuku Hotel is located within walking distance of the Shinjuku East area, one of Tokyo’s thriving urban centres. The hotel is a contemporary residence which enjoys a prime location close to the Marunouchi and Toei Shinjuku subway lines. At Citadines Shinjuku, you can look forward to a pleasant stay that combines the convenience of a hotel with the freedom and privacy of an apartment. The residence’s range of optional services are customized to suit your business and leisure needs, allowing you a choice of short or long term stays. The Citadine is conveniently situated near restaurants, supermarkets, shopping malls, the Shinjuku hospital and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
Gora Tensui is an inn located in Hakone Japan, designed and built in the Modern Japanese style. Upon arrival, you will be ushered into the Ashiyu Cafe to check-in while enjoying a complimentary drink. There are 14 guest rooms all of which have been completed in traditional Japanese style decor and most rooms boast a beautiful mountain view. Guests can choose from Japanese style or modern Japanese style bedrooms, which is a perfect blend of Japanese and Western style. Guests can enjoy delicious traditional multi-course dishes; Gora Tensui takes great pride in being careful and particular in the choosing of ingredients for your meals. Guests can also enjoy a hot spring bath at the Ashiyu Cafe. It's one if the few establishments in Japan where you can sit with your feet soaking in a hot spring bath.
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. With its elegant accommodations, including beautifully appointed guestrooms, there is simply no better place to stay in Kyoto. The inclusion of 12 restaurants and bars and fitness facilities makes Hotel Granvia Kyoto the premier destination for international travelers.
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
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