As you sip steaming macha in a tea house on a small island on a serene lake within an intricate Edo Period Japanese garden, the 21st-century skyscrapers that rise from the neighboring Shiodome district seem like a far-off alien landscape.
This is the exciting contradiction of modern-day Japan, where the ultra-modern cityscapes of Tokyo and the busy contemporary lifestyles of its residents are juxtaposed with the country’s deep respect for its ancient cultural traditions and precise arts. Explore the ancient temples, shrines and charming traditional architecture of Tokyo’s old town, and reenter the 21st-century with a shopping tour of the flagship designer boutiques of Omotesando Street. In Kyoto, you’ll discover the many elaborate castles and Buddhist temples of the former imperial capital, including a visit to the Ginkakuji Zen temple in Kyoto’s stunning eastern mountains. Visit Nara, a temple found amongst bamboo forest, where the resident deer roam wild.
From the centuries-old traditions of Kyoto’s kimono-clad geishas to Tokyo’s trendy costume-obsessed teens, this tour provides an immersive experience that spans centuries of Japan’s cultural traditions. With well located, good-value hotels, shared airport transfers, bullet train, and private, guided touring.
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!
Upon arrival at Narita International Airport (NRT), simply proceed to the arrivals terminal. A professional and friendly shuttle service representative will be waiting for you with your name on the name board. No prior reconfirmation is required.
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 outside Imperial Palace, home of Japan’s Imperial Family. Next is Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. 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 brandsThe 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.
Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and assistant.
Transfer by train from Tokyo to Kyoto. The train ride is approximately 2.5 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 2 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 Nishiki Market. Known as Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, Nishiki is a narrow shopping street lined more than 100 shops, selling fresh seafood and vegetables, pickles, Japanese sweets and sushi. End the tour at the Nishiki 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 (45 minutes) 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 which have been donated by worshipers. Take a wander through Nara Park, called Deer Park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there.
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.
Transfer by train from Kyoto to Kansai Airport. The train ride is approximately 1.5 hours.
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.
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.
Maynard Fossum ,
December 12, 2014
"My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure. "
Craig Gelman ,
December 12, 2014
"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent. "
Ruth Reinhard ,
December 12, 2014
"The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience."
SixtoCastenada Jr. ,
December 12, 2014
"100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!"
December 12, 2014
"We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken."
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."
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