Japan Highlights

8 days from $6,256 per person*
  • Discover the sites of Tokyo and Kyoto in the company of private guides.
  • Delve into the dazzling culture of Tokyo’s Shibuya, Harajuku, and Akihabara scenes.
  • Devote a full day to exploring the wonders of Mount Fuji National Park.
  • Explore the temples and shrines of Nara, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Stay at a handpicked selection of quality accommodations and traditional ryokans.
Request a Quote

Ancient temples, glittering skyscrapers, traditional culture, and tomorrow’s trends all meet in Japan, where the distant past and the near future intersect. From the neon-drenched streets of Tokyo to the foothills of Mount Fuji to Nara’s immaculately preserved Shinto shrines, this trip blends Japan’s very best experiences into a seamless, perfect whole.

First, get the lay of the land on a private half-day guided tour of Tokyo’s signature sights, including the Imperial Palace, the Meiji Shrine, Asakusa’s Senso Temple, and the stylish Omotesando high street. Next, stop in at Tsukiji, the world’s largest fish market, before learning how to make sushi from an expert in a local home. Later, brave the famous five-way scramble crossings of Shibuya, explore the dazzling street styles of Harajuku, and hunt for rare anime and manga in Akihabara on a whirlwind walking tour of Tokyo’s most colorful districts. From Tokyo, the scene shifts to Hakone, gateway to Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, where you’ll explore the famous hot springs and volcanic formations with majestic Mount Fuji dominating the distant horizon before settling in for the evening at a traditional Japanese ryokan.

After a scenic train ride and traditional tea ceremony, revisit the ancient past in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heartland. First, take a private tour of the city’s numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites (including Nijo Castle and Kinkaku Temple, the “Golden Pavilion”), then stroll the iconic 400-year-old Nishiki Market. The journey ends amid the pastoral confines of Nara, Japan’s eighth-century capital, where you’ll visit the stunning Todai Temple (home to the country’s largest Buddha), the Grand Shrine of Kasuga, and serene Nara Park.
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Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard.
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Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Japan - Welcome
    • Airport Meet & Assist - Meet & Greet-Narita 9:00-20:55
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Driver/Narita Airport
  • Day 2 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Private Tour - Half Day Tokyo Highlights Tour (4 hrs) - Guide/Public Transport
  • Day 3 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Private Tour - Tsukiji Fish Market Visit and Sushi Making Lesson at Local Home (4.5 hrs) - Guide/Public Transport
    • Private Tour - Afternoon Pop Culture in Shibuya, Harajuku and Akihabara (4hrs) - Guide/Public Transport
  • Day 4 Tokyo to Hakone
    Tokyo to Hakone
    • Private Transfer - Tokyo - Hakone [Full Day Hakone Mt. Fuji National Park Tour by Private Transportation (9 hrs)] - Guide/Vehicle
    Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 Hakone to Kyoto
    Hakone to Kyoto
    • Private Transfer - Train Station - Vehicle/Driver
    • Train - Hakone - Kyoto [(2hrs)] - 1st Class
    • Walk - Granvia Arrival from Train Station with Assistant - Assistant
    • Home Visit with Cultural Experiences: Tea Ceremony (2.5 hrs) - Guide/Taxi
    Breakfast
  • Day 6 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Private Tour - Half Day Kyoto Highlights by Taxi (4 hrs) - Guide/Taxi
    Breakfast
  • Day 7 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Private Tour - Full Day Nara and Fushimi Excursion by Taxi & Local Train (8 hrs) - Guide/Taxi
    Breakfast
  • Day 8 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Private Transfer - Kyoto - Osaka [Kansai Airport] - Vehicle/Driver
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Tokyo

Welcome to Japan!

For your added comfort, you will be welcomed by an English speaking assistant who will assist you upon arrival at the airport. Your assistant will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it.

Meet your driver for an enjoyable airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Park Hotel Tokyo (4*)

Park Hotel Tokyo is a luxury business hotel ideally situated in Shiodome, a flourishing center of business and culture. The hotel succeeds in providing a superior level of service that satisfies the needs of all international clientele. Park Hotel Tokyo is a member of the design hotels TM group and offers an extraordinary level of service, paired with coordinated interior designs. Each room at the hotel is decorated with Monique Le Houelleur's natural artwork and features color coordinated curtains and bedcovers. The hotel is uniquely designed to stimulate the aesthetic senses of its guests and offers traditional Japanese hospitality. The atrium, restaurants, travel concept and art, set this hotel apart from the rest.

 

Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Tokyo
Tokyo
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Park Hotel Tokyo
Park Hotel Tokyo

Day 2: Tokyo

Spend a half day discovering Tokyo’s fascinating sites that juxtapose traditional temples and gardens with futuristic skyscrapers. With the help of your local guide, set out on the city’s comprehensive and user-friendly public transport system. Begin with a visit to the outside of the Imperial Palace, home of Japan’s Imperial Family. Head to Asakusa, the city’s old town area. Soak up the atmosphere of traditional Tokyo of yesteryear, exploring Tokyo’s oldest and most popular temple, Sensoji Temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple. Sensoji backs onto Nakamise, a shopping street that has provided temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and souvenirs for centuries.

Hop on the subway for a journey across the city to the Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Japan’s feudal era came to an end during the Meiji period, and the country found itself modernizing and westernizing during this time. If time permits, stroll along Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree-lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the world’s top fashion brands. brands. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Please note that this tour includes a private guide. However, rather than traveling by private vehicle, you will explore Tokyo by making use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.

Accommodation: Park Hotel Tokyo (4*)
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple

Day 3: Tokyo

The world’s largest fish market, Tsukiji Market handles about 2,888 tons of marine products a day worth about 2.8 billion yen (US$20million). Some 450 kinds of fish are received; from penny-per-piece sardines to golden brown dried sea slug caviar, a bargain at US$473 a pound. Some of the giant tuna go for well over 1,000,000 JPY each (US$8000). Take time to wander through this enormous market, exploring both the vegetable and fruit areas plus the impressive seafood section. There may also be an opportunity to see a complete tuna being cut and filleted. You will then visit a typical Japanese home. Your guide will answer all your questions about Japanese culture and everyday life in Tokyo during the transfer by public transportation. Learn to prepare maki sushi (rolled sushi), gunkan maki (sushi rice wrapped with a strip of seaweed and topped with soft ingredients), and nigiri sushi (sushi rice topped with a slice of raw fish). You will then get to enjoy your home made sushi for lunch.

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.

This afternoon, explore three of Tokyo's vibrant centers of youth fashion and pop culture with your private local guide. Begin in Shibuya, Tokyo's main center for youth fashion and culture. Its streets are the birthplace of many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends and the area is also home to the famous five-way "scramble crossing". The Shibuya Crossing is rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world. Next, travel to Harajuku and Takeshita-Dori (Cat Street). This famous street is lined with quirky fashion boutiques, cafes, and restaurants for your enjoyment. Harajuku caters to every imaginable style and is the epicenter of Japanese “kawaii”, the culture of cuteness. Continue to Akihabara, also known as Electric Town, an area that was originally famous for its many electronics shops. Akihabara is renowned as the center of Japan’s otaku culture, a culture of diehard fans in anime and manga fandom. Many shops and establishments devoted to anime and manga are now dispersed among the electronic stores in the district. The last stop at one of Tokyo’s famous pet cafes. Here you can enjoy a beverage and dessert and befriend a few of Tokyo’s cuddly creatures. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel. Rather than traveling by private vehicle, you will explore Tokyo by making use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.

Accommodation: Park Hotel Tokyo (4*)
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Pop Culture
Pop Culture

Day 4: Tokyo - Hakone

Leave behind the hustle and bustle of Tokyo in favor of a day in Hakone, the gateway to Japan’s tallest mountain Mt. Fuji and the surrounding national park. Your local guide will meet you at your hotel this morning and accompany you on your private drive from Tokyo. Spend the day exploring Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, making use of your private vehicle as well as Hakone’s experiential forms of transport. Ride the world’s second longest cable car up Mt. Owakudani, passing over sulfurous fumes, hot springs and hot rivers in this active volcanic area. Sample Hakone’s famous local treat, the black eggs of Owakudani. The eggs are hard boiled in Hakone’s well known sulfuric hot springs, and local legend has it that eating one of these eggs will add seven years to your life. Board a majestic pirate ship and sail across Lake Ashinoko, a lake formed by a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago. Marvel at the stunning vistas from the Hakone Tozan “switchback train”, as it zigzags through the mountains, revealing amazing views of the surrounding valleys. Throughout the day there is a chance to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji, however, please keep in mind that she is a notoriously shy mountain and it needs to be a clear day.  

Accommodation: Gora Tensui (4*)

Gora Tensui is a traditional Japanese Ryokan, and is said to be the oldest type of hotel in the world. Conveniently located only 1300 feet from Hakone Gora Park, the property is designed and built in a modern Japanese style and has each guest room radiating style, luxury, and tradition. A true highlight for foodies - guests can enjoy delicious traditional multi-course dishes in the Kaiseki style; Gora Tensui takes great pride in picking out the best ingredient of the season and provide you a wondrous display of delicious Japanese course in front of you. To help you start a fresh morning, Gora Tensui also offer delightful traditional Japanese breakfast as well. The hot spring onsen is a must and while relaxing in an onsen, guest can enjoy the panoramic view of the Hakone mountains with its changing color every season. At the public onsen, guest will experience the true natural hot spring water from Owakudani, an active volcanic mountain which is a landmark of Hakone.

Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Hakone
Hakone
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Gora Tensui
Gora Tensui

Day 5: Hakone - Kyoto

Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle.

Relax on the scenic train from Hakone's Odawara station to Kyoto. The train ride is approximately 2 hours.

The Hotel Granvia Kyoto is located directly above the Japan Rail Kyoto Station. The walk from the train to your hotel is quite short and simple, but for your added comfort, an assistant will greet you at the station and help you find the entrance to the hotel.

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.

Japan is world-renowned for a thriving traditional arts scene, and many of these crafts are meticulously practiced in the privacy of a Traditional Arts Instructor’s home. This afternoon, a local guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you to the Traditional Arts Instructor’s home to learn about the Japanese tea ceremony. The guide will assist in translating for the professional instructor, as you learn about the various types of tea and the different instruments used to prepare it. Each movement and gesture are steeped with specific meaning in the tea ceremony and serving tea to guests is deeply meaningful in Japan. At the end of the cultural experience, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Granvia Kyoto (4*)

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 Hotel Granvia Kyoto features 12 restaurants and bars, and key fitness facilities that deem this hotel a premier destination for international travelers.

Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Kyoto
Kyoto
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Day 6: Kyoto

Kyoto is home to an impressive 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and two of the most memorable ones are Kinkakuji Temple and Nijo Castle. Meet your local guide in your hotel lobby for a half day tour of Kyoto, traveling by taxi.  Start with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death in 1408, it became a Buddhist Temple as per the Shogun’s final wishes and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples.

Next is Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle that was 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. The castle served as an imperial palace briefly during the 19th century. Next, take a walk through Nishiki Market, a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood, and sushi. You may wish to stop for lunch in this area (not included). At the end of the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Granvia Kyoto (4*)
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Kinkakuji Temple
Kinkakuji Temple

Day 7: Kyoto

Leave behind the city and journey approximately 45 minutes to Nara with your local guide, traveling by taxi and local train. Nara served as Japan’s capital for 74 years during the 8th century 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 stroll through Nara Park, called Deer Park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there. On the way back from Nara, visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which was used in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”.  The 10,000 red tori gates form a path up the mountain behind the temple, and they are an iconic image of Japan. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Accommodation: Granvia Kyoto (4*)
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine

Day 8: Kyoto

Enjoy a transfer with a private driver from Kyoto to Osaka Kansai International Airport.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Park Hotel Tokyo (4*): Tokyo

Park Hotel Tokyo is a luxury business hotel ideally situated in Shiodome, a flourishing center of business and culture. The hotel succeeds in providing a superior level of service that satisfies the needs of all international clientele. Park Hotel Tokyo is a member of the design hotels TM group and offers an extraordinary level of service, paired with coordinated interior designs. Each room at the hotel is decorated with Monique Le Houelleur's natural artwork and features color coordinated curtains and bedcovers. The hotel is uniquely designed to stimulate the aesthetic senses of its guests and offers traditional Japanese hospitality. The atrium, restaurants, travel concept and art, set this hotel apart from the rest.

 

Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Park Hotel Tokyo
Park Hotel Tokyo

Gora Tensui (4*): Hakone

Gora Tensui is a traditional Japanese Ryokan, and is said to be the oldest type of hotel in the world. Conveniently located only 1300 feet from Hakone Gora Park, the property is designed and built in a modern Japanese style and has each guest room radiating style, luxury, and tradition. A true highlight for foodies - guests can enjoy delicious traditional multi-course dishes in the Kaiseki style; Gora Tensui takes great pride in picking out the best ingredient of the season and provide you a wondrous display of delicious Japanese course in front of you. To help you start a fresh morning, Gora Tensui also offer delightful traditional Japanese breakfast as well. The hot spring onsen is a must and while relaxing in an onsen, guest can enjoy the panoramic view of the Hakone mountains with its changing color every season. At the public onsen, guest will experience the true natural hot spring water from Owakudani, an active volcanic mountain which is a landmark of Hakone.

Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Gora Tensui
Gora Tensui
Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Ashiyu Cafe & Bar
Ashiyu Cafe & Bar

Granvia Kyoto (4*): 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. With its elegant accommodations, including beautifully appointed guestrooms, there is simply no better place to stay in Kyoto. The Hotel Granvia Kyoto features 12 restaurants and bars, and key fitness facilities that deem this hotel a premier destination for international travelers.

Japan Highlights Tours 2018 - 2019 -  Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard): Global Location

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Richard F. — May 15, 2018 — Asia

    I am at a loss in describing how perfect our trip was! Every single detail was taken care of and the activities were amazing!

  • Derrick D. — May 22, 2018 — Asia

    Everything about this trip was AMAZING! From start to finish, Jennifer and her team responded promptly, and suggestions that catered to my ideal Bali trip.

  • Frances B. — April 11, 2018 — Asia

    Our trip to Japan was awesome! We learned so much about the customs, food and spiritual life. We never had any concerns about where we needed to be or when, even with quite a few transfers.

  • Steven C. — February 10, 2018 — Asia

    I have traveled all over the world with various travel companies. Kensington is ranked right at the top! Honestly could not have expected more than they provided.

  • Kimberley E. — February 13, 2018 — Asia

    Extraordinary Experience! From beginning to end, we were well taken care of. Thank you so very much. A very memorable trip indeed!

  • Andrew C. — January 06, 2018 — Asia

    We had a fantastic time on our Honeymoon! The level of service that Kensington provided from the time we started planning the trip to the plane ride home was second to none. I would not book a trip using any other agency!

  • Jeffrey C — October 06, 2017 — Asia

    Bella in Bhutan was wonderful. Her English was impeccable and she took very good care of us. We had an incredible trip.

  • Amber M — October 06, 2017 — Asia

    Our tour guides in Beijing and Chengdu (Jerry and Rebecca) went above and beyond in their duties- very knowledgeable and awesome!

  • Albert H — October 06, 2017 — Asia

    Our guide, Thomas was fabulous. He was knowledgeable, considerate and we very much enjoyed touring around the region with him. He is a gem.

  • Katherine K — October 23, 2017 — Asia

    The ground operator was outstanding. Jolene Plant was quick to respond and accommodate. Kudos to her!

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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