Classic Japan

12 Days, from AU $5,654

Experience the must-see attractions on your classic trip of Japan. Start in the buzzing capital city, Tokyo, with its Imperial Palace, famous shopping districts and immense cityscape. Visit spectacular Mount Fuji and the volcanic hot springs in Hakone, before heading to historic Takayama. Step back to the time of the samurai in the castle town of Kanazawa, where you partake in a traditional tea ceremony and experience a little Buddhist Zen. Visit the old Geisha district and tour a sake brewery, before wandering the  streets of Japan's former imperial capital Kyoto, with its prominent castle, Kiyomizu Temple and ornamental gardens.

Our Classic itineraries cover the key attractions with carefully selected experiences to ensure you get the most out of your holiday. Classic itineraries include time for relaxation or for adding extra activities. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo.

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Japan and Tokyo, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Tokyo is Japan's capital city and has a population of 12 million people. Tokyo offers history and culture, cutting edge fashion, loads of entertainment, great shopping, and endless people-watching opportunities.

Tokyo has many great restaurants and bars and it's easy to get around. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.

Day 2: Tokyo.

Today you will rub shoulders with the locals of Tokyo as your guide leads you through the city's many highlights, on foot, road and river. Sites include the Imperial Palace which is still home to the Emperor of Japan, beautiful Meiji Jingu Shrine, colourful Nakamise shopping street, and seventh century Asakusa Kannon temple.

You will cruise up the Sumida River, and view the sprawling cityscape of Tokyo from atop one of the city's tallest buildings. Visit the Harajuku area and witness the wacky cutting edge fashions that the Tokyo youths parade through the street here.

The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Tokyo. Your guide can provide you with a long list of personal suggestions for attractions and restaurants.

Day 3: Tokyo.

Today is free to explore this amazing city. Perhaps go window shopping in the Ginza district with its glitzy shopping galleries, or consider the other options provided by your guide.

Itinerary Option: Consider a guided tour of the frantic Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest fish market in the world.

Day 4: Hakone.

Today you travel with your guide out of Tokyo towards iconic snow capped Mount Fuji. First stop is the Mount Fuji Visitors Centre and then you proceed to fifth station.

After you've finished at Mount Fuji you travel to Hakone and embark on a cruise across Lake Ashinoko followed by a ride in one of the longest gondolas in the world. Your gondola ride ends at Mount Owakudani with its volcanic hot springs, a legacy to the last eruption of the mountain some 3,000 years ago. The Japanese believe that eating a hardboiled egg cooked in the mountains sulphuric hot springs increases longevity. Partake in this ritual and find out for yourself.

For lunch, your guide will accompany you to a traditional Japanese meal and introduce you to some of the many different Japanese cuisines.

Day 5: Takayama.

Today you'll embark on an express train journey to the charming mountain town of Takayama. With your guide, step back in time and walk the narrow streets admiring the well preserved seventeenth century merchant houses and traditional wooden Japanese homes, passing shrines and sake stalls.

Day 6: Takayama.

Enjoy a free day to further explore the town or take a local train to visit a neighbouring village. Walk through markets, visit local folk and festival museums as you learn more about the traditional Japanese culture. Your guide will provide you with a number of suggestions to ensure you experience the highlights of Takayama.

Day 7: Kanazawa.

Visit UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago mountain village with its traditional thatched roof farmhouses, some of which are several hundred years old. Partake in an exercise to make traditional washi, a thick, fibrous paper, from mulberry, cedar, and maple bark.

Later you arrive in Kanazawa, which was a notorious castle town and headquarters to many samurai nobles between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Today the town is famous for Kenrokuen, the amazing Japanese gardens that were opened to the public in 1875. Partake in a formal and traditional tea ceremony surrounded by the ornamental Japanese gardens.

The ceremony is a traditional art form that exhibits the Buddhist Zen ideals of the beauty of simplicity and mindfulness of movement. An integral part of the ceremony is the appreciation of the aesthetics of your surroundings where the tea is prepared and enjoyed. The ceremony is given special meaning by the deep sincerity with which the host prepares the tea. You will sense the hospitality and warmth emanating from the host’s preparations and choice of elegant decorations.

Day 8: Kanazawa.

While exploring the old town's narrow streets, your guide will point out former samurai houses still in use as residences today. Visit the Geisha district with its antique wooden structures, and the very busy three hundred year old market, known locally as Kanazawa’s Kitchen, selling fresh vegetables, fruit, and fish amongst other produce. Your guide will show you the ingredients used in the local cuisine including such things as Kaga lotus root and seaweed.

This afternoon visit a sake brewery and learn how sake is brewed in a similar manner to beer, but results in a much more potent drink. Sample the different sakes in a similar manner to wine, appreciating the subtle differences in styles.

Day 9: Kyoto.

UNESCO World Heritage listed Kyoto is Japan’s former imperial capital and today is an important cultural centre. Enjoy sightseeing with the first stop being Kyoto's famous castle. Nijo Castle is over four hundred years old. The castle, which resembles more of a royal estate than a military fortification, houses many temples and shrines, was a meeting place for the military warlords, or Shoguns.

Explore UNESCO World Heritage listed Kiyomizu Temple, known for its “leap of faith” veranda and wooden terraces once used for sacred dances. Resting at the foot of the Higashiyama Mountains, the temple offers a sweeping view of Kyoto.

Visit Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, famed for its gold leaf covered floors and World Heritage listed Ryoanji Temple or the Temple of the Peaceful Dragon.

Day 10: Kyoto.

Enjoy a free day to continue your exploration of Kyoto with hundreds of temples and shrines. Walk along the narrow streets and lanes of the Higashiyama district with its many local restaurants, bars and tea houses. With these streets changing little over the last thousand years, it is not hard to imagine that you have stepped back in time

Make your own path or navigate through the streets to visit the attractions suggested by your guide.

Day 11: Kyoto.

Take a scenic train ride to Arashiyama and meander through the beautiful Japanese gardens and giant bamboo groves. Visit Tenryuji Temple and the Rinzai school of Zen, originally established in 1339 although most of the current buildings are now less than a hundred years old. Explore the centuries old Zen garden with its ornamental pond, elevated rock groupings, and delicate cherry trees.

In the evening enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner with a cultural show.

Day 12: Kyoto.

On your last day enjoy free time until your departure transfer.

Personalise Your Trip

Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.

Ideas to extend your itinerary:

  • Kyoto: Visit Nara, a former Capital of Japan, with its famed Todaiji, the world's largest wooden building.
  • Extend your trip to visit Hiroshima & Osaka. For details refer to the suggested itinerary, Simply Hiroshima & Osaka.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Standard:from AU $5,654
Superior:from AU $6,471
Deluxe:from AU $8,760

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.

Inclusions:
  • All breakfasts at your hotel each morning.
  • All airport transfers.
  • All trains and transport on tour.
  • All itinerary attractions including fees or permits.
  • Professional tour guides for all airport pickups, day tours and activities.
  • Lunch and dinner as indicated on trip notes. We do not include lunch and dinner where it is practical for you to make your own choices, as we find that GetAboutAsia customers prefer the freedom of eating what they want, which is one the of joys of travelling.
Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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"My tour was splendid- excellent guide and everything was run like clockwork and great value for Summer tour in Japan. Love the culture. This was my fifth trip with Getaboutasia and Chimu Adventures and already planning next one in September Thanks for your work. " — Mr Bouman , Mullumbimby, June 2018

"I had a wonderful time first time to Japan with a great group of people. Loved the tea ceremony, geisha searching in Kyoto and quirkiness of Tokyo." — Ms Long, Maroochydore, May 2018

"We had a great time! Every day was a new adventure and we saw and did far more than we thought possible. Thank you so much for all your help in arranging! All the best for a wonderful Christmas and we'll certainly recommend GetAboutAsia to anyone we know who is looking for a trip/holiday in that region." — Mr and Mrs Keeble, Sydney, NSW, November 2015

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