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Japan World Heritages Sites

15 Days | 14 Nights
SAVE 10 %

From $ 4,650

Japan
Tokyo - Nikko - Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - Kyoto - Nara - Wakayama & Mount Koya - Miyajima Island - Hiroshima - Osaka

Tour Highlights

Japan World Heritages Sites
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Itinerary in detail

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Welcome to Tokyo! Arrive into either Narita or Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, one of our representatives will be waiting to assist with transport to the hotel (boarding the train or finding the appropriate shuttle van).

The rest of the day is at leisure. New and old collide in Tokyo, Japan's capital city that never sleeps. As you discover the city you will find there is no actual centre to Tokyo but a collection of impressive districts, all full of attractions.

Overnight in Tokyo.
This morning, meet the guide at the hotel and head for Hama Rikyu, a Japanese garden that once served as a private villa of a powerful feudal lord during the Edo period. While its wide collection of seasonal flowers make it one of the most visited gardens in Tokyo, it is also known for its attractive teahouse called Nakajima-no-Chaya.

Take a break in the tea house 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 founded almost 1,400 years ago when Tokyo was nothing more than a fishing village. Leave the buzz of the city behind and go in search of a dose of zen at Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. Witness worshippers offering gifts to the Kannon, the goddess of compassion and walk around the contemplative garden. The streets around the Senso-ji temple 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 also home to 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.

Overnight in Tokyo.
MEALS
Breakfast
This morning, catch an express train (approximately 1 hour) and then a local train (approximately 1 hour) out of Tokyo towards mountains of Nikko, another prefecture that holds a couple of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll enjoy a pleasant ride, with beautiful views of the countryside. Upon arrival at JR Nikko Station, meet up with the local guide and head to some of the famous places in Nikko.

Visit the Toshu-gu Shrine, a resting place of a 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. The shrine contrasts with the traditional minimalist style commonly used throughout Japan. Instead, every corner of this monument is covered in intricate gold leaf, lacquer work, paintings and patterns.

Here you can also visit the Museum of Art at the back of the temple complex. This 1920s mansion has one of the country’s most beautiful collections of sliding doors and screens decorated by the best Japanese painters of the day. You can also pay a visit to the red-lacquered Shin-kyō bridge, one of the town’s most famous landmarks, and the Buddhist temple of Rinnō-ji, home to fearsome statues and an elegant garden.

Continue to Tamozawa Imperial Villa. This lovely villa once served as the summer house of the Imperial Family before WWII. Take note of the intricate interior design of the house, with some parts transferred all the way from Tokyo. There will also be a chance to walk through the gardens and see the house from the outside. The beauty of the garden does not disappoint, for it remains breath-taking no matter the season.

Later in the afternoon, return to Tokyo.

Overnight in Tokyo.
MEALS
Breakfast
Depart for the 4-hour journey by train to Takayama, a small town nestled high in the Hida Alpine region of Gifu Prefecture. You’ll reach speeds of 270 kilometres per hour and it will take around 4 hours to get there. Takayama is a charming Edo period town, famous for its traditional inns, sake breweries

Upon arrival, meet your local guide then opt to see the fascinating Hida Folk Village where more than 30 houses from across the Hida region have been rebuilt on a hillside overlooking the town. It is an outdoor museum where the traditional thatched-roof architecture unique to the area has been relocated in a delightful mountain setting as an effort to preserve traditional Japanese culture. Discover the techniques used to build farmhouses that could withstand fierce winters and long periods of isolation due to snow-closed roads. The thick thatching kept in warmth and the roofs were angled so as to minimise snow build-up. Each house is like it’s own self-contained museum, with displays of personal items and traditional tools.

Return to Takayama, you’ll then have free time to explore the many art galleries, local museums, or simply wander the streets of this delightful little town. Experience a stay in a ryokan, the traditional Japanese-style inn furnished with low tables and chairs, sliding shoji doors, and tatami flooring.

Tonight you'll sample some more of Takayama's signature dishes at a local restaurant, or queue for the famous Hida beef sushi in one of the special food stalls.

Overnight in Takayama.
MEALS
Breakfast, Dinner
The Gifu prefecture is known to produce excellent high altitude vegetables. Explore the morning markets that date back 600 years and browse the stalls of seasonal produce brought in from the surrounding countryside. Stalls are set up by local farm women from 6am every morning. Look out for the unique local style of pickles, the bags of miso wrapped in leaves, Genkotsu ame (soy bean candy), preserved fish, spices, and the delicious marshmallow treat of owara tamaten.

After that, take the 1-hour bus to Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer," which is represented through the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs. This architectural style developed over many generations – the roofs were constructed without any nails and are intricately designed to withstand large amounts of snow. These houses are private homes of the locals but some are open to the public, such as Wada House, a legacy left behind by the Wada Family who used to be the richest family and village leader in Ogimachi. After that, we go for a short hike to one of the viewpoints for awe inspiring views of the valley.

While in Shirakawago, experience a stay in a minshuku, the traditional Japanese-style inn usually owned and run by families. The amenities are basic but the experience is sure to be one of a kind.

Overnight in Shirakawago.
MEALS
Breakfast, Dinner
Start early and hop on the 75-minute bus to Kanazawa, the castle town that thrived as the center for culture and the arts in the 17th century.

Start with the pristine Kenroku-en Garden, which is ranked as one of Japan’s top three gardens. Once part of the feudal lord's garden, Kenroku-en is regarded as one of the best places to see the country's famous cherry blossoms - hopefully in full bloom. In Kanazawa the cherry blossom trees are due to bloom in late March/early April. When in bloom, these delicate soft pink flowers can be seen lining the streets and filling the parks and gardens all over the city.

Adjacent to the garden is Kanazawa Castle, easily accessed through the Ishikawa-mon Gate, a designated Important National Cultural Asset. Enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants in Omicho Market, known throughout Japan for its fresh seafood and fine sushi.

We’ll also visit the Higashi Chaya district, to visit the traditional Chaya’s (traditional teahouses, where geishas entertain guests with playing traditional music and dancing) which have been here as far back as the Edo period. To end our sightseeing tour, we cycle through the former samurai district passing the remaining houses, narrow lanes and water canals. If time permits, make an excursion to the Ninja Temple, formally known as Myoryu-ji Temple and not actually associated with Ninja but rather for the its deceptive defences and escape routes.

Overnight in ryokan in Kanazawa
MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch
Take one last soak in the onsen at the ryokan before starting the 4-hour journey by train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital and home to around 2,000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The beautiful city was originally founded as Heian-kyo (literally “tranquillity and peace capital”) by Emperor Kammu in 794 and had its golden age during the imperial court's heyday from 794 to 1185.

We spend the afternoon wandering through the quaint hillside streets before reaching the Kiyomzu Temple, one of the most celebrated temples in the country. Take time to admire the structure of the wooden stage, built without the use of nails and home to the eleven faced, thousand-armed Kannon statue.

Optional: This evening, attend a live geisha performance in the famous Gion district before spending the rest of the evening at leisure. Walk down the dimly lit Pontocho alley, and sup on some sake in one of the bars overlooking the river and watch the world go by.

Spend the rest of the day at your own exploration.

Overnight in Kyoto.
MEALS
Breakfast
Today’s tour starts with a visit to Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle that was originally built to serve as the private villa of a powerful feudal lord. The main building was completed in early 1600s and has since then been known for its Momoyama-style architecture, decorated sliding doors, and “chirping nightingale” floors.

Next on the list is the serene Ryoan-ji Temple, which is famous for its well-maintained rock garden and is home to the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai Buddhist sect. Just a short distance from the Ryoan-ji is the stunning golden pavilion collectively known as Kinkaku-ji Temple. The temple grounds are relatively smaller than that of most temples and shrines in Kyoto, but what is undoubtedly impressive is the pavilion that is completely covered in handmade gold leaves.

A visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple follows later in the day. The view from the 13-meter high building is indeed breathtaking and the fact that this veranda was built without using any nails or joiners is quite unbelievable. The tour ends with a stroll along the busy streets of Higashiyama district, a collection of narrow alleyways lined with local stores, souvenir shops, small eateries, and even pottery centers.

Overnight in Kyoto.
MEALS
Breakfast
Today we soak up Kyoto’s stunning landscapes in traditional wooden rafts along the Hozugawa River, which was originally used to transport many of the supplies that built many of Osaka and Kyoto’s famous temples and castles. We then hike through a maze of bamboo paths in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, until we reach monkey park where we have the opportunity to feed these amazing creatures from the safety of our own cage while they roam free in their natural environment.

Our afternoon finds us visiting the Tenryu-ji Temple, the most important of the city’s five zen temples. The buildings themselves were lost in fires and wars over centuries, whereas the gardens survived and have remained in pristine condition and in their original form. Take some time to walk around the central pond surrounded by the Arashiyama forest or visit the Dharma Hall and marvel at the dragon’s eyes on the ceiling that follow you everywhere.

The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to continue exploring Kyoto. You may be interested in heading to the Noshiki Market and stroll through ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’. It’s the perfect introduction to Kyoto's regional specialties – from pickled vegetables hidden beneath layers of fermented rice to delicious and ornate Kyo-wagashi (Kyoto sweets), and other local produce.

Overnight in Kyoto.
MEALS
Breakfast
Today, you’ll head to one of the most photogenic spots in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. Famous for the thousands of scarlet torii (square archways) along the path, this shrine is dedicated to Inari – the god of rice. Because foxes do his bidding, there are also plenty of fox statues along the way, ranging from the cute to the creepy.

If you’re in a contemplative mood, the Path of Philosophy might have what you’re after. Stroll beside a stream under the dappled shade of blossoming trees that takes you past the Zen temple Ginkaku-ji, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion and Nanzen-ji Temple.

In the afternoon, head out of town and catch a 1-hour train, traveling to Nara with the Japan Rail Pass. 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. Nara is just a small town, with most of its main tourist spots located around Nara Park, which is home to a great number of tame deer. Visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha, or Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine.

Overnight in Kyoto.
MEALS
Breakfast
Start the Japan Tour today by taking the 4-hour train into Mount Koya, an important region for Shingon Buddhism. Founded in the 8th century by the Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi, Mount Koya has been a centre for religious activities for over 1,200 years. Mount Koya, and its vicinity, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. The journey to Mount Koya is one of the highlights of the visit. The final ascent of the journey via cable car offers one of the most scenic journeys in Japan, as it winds its way up to the mountains.

Meet the guide at Mount Koya Station and spend the afternoon exploring a couple of popular sites providing some insight to Japanese Buddhism. The most impressive sight on Mount Koya is the massive and mysterious Okunoin Cemetery, the resting place of many of Japan's most famous people. Some 200,000 stone statues, wooden totems and sometimes bizarre memorials lie throughout this moss-laden forest.

Visit Kongobuji Temple, the head temple of Shingon Buddhism and home to Japan’s largest rock garden. On rare occasions, guests might witness a small group of worshippers led by a monk chanting some scripts in front of the temple.

Afterwards, the guide will provide an escort to the shukubo (temple lodge), where famous Buddhist cuisine is served.

Overnight at the temple in Mount Koya.
MEALS
Breakfast, Dinner
To have a complete experience of Mount Koya, joining the morning prayer, which usually starts at 06:00, is highly recommended. Be immersed in the calming chants of the monks inside the prayer hall. Please note, prayers are only in Japanese but some priests provide a simple explanation in English at the end of the ceremony. Afterwards, proceed to the dining room for a shojin ryori breakfast.

Before 12:00, start the long 5-hour journey by train to Miyajima-guchi Station. Meet your local guide who will be pleased to assist you with a short 10-minute ferry trip to Miyajima Island, a small sacred island located in the Seto Inland Sea, famous for the giant torii gate which appears to float on water (when the tide is low the gate can be reached on foot).

Overnight in Miyajima.
MEALS
Breakfast, Dinner
Together with the guide, explore the island and sample some local delicacies such as oysters, saltwater eel and maple leaf-shaped cakes. Start with Itsukushima Shrine, declared as one of Japan’s three most beautiful views. The shrine is designed in a pier-like structure and dates back to the 6th century. Its huge vermillion o-torii gate seems to be floating in the water during high tide.

Walk towards the mountain to visit Daisho-in, the most visited Buddhist temple on the island. Along the stairs is a row of spinning sutras that lead up to the main hall. It is believed that anyone who spins these sutras will be blessed.

Early in the afternoon, head to Hiroshima. Hiroshima, the first place to be hit by one of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II. Make a stop at the Peace Memorial Museum where we uncover the devastation left behind by the world’s first atomic bomb, and how the city has become the standard bearer for a peaceful and nuclear free world. We’ll also see the iconic A-Bomb Dome, one of the very few buildings left standing after the blast and the Children’s Peace Monument.

Overnight in Hiroshima.
MEALS
Breakfast, Dinner
Take a 2-hour train to Osaka. From Namba Station, walk through Osaka’s liveliest and most colourful shopping and dining streets, starting with Doguyasuji. A unique market that sells anything related to food, Doguyasuji is known for its plastic food models, which are often used in restaurant displays.

Just nearby is Sennichimae, a lane filled with small eateries that serve all the Osakan delicacies such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki and the famed fugu (blowfish). Aside from the local restaurants, Sennichimae also hosts a couple of game centers and the vibrant Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater, the headquarters of the nationwide Japanese comedy brand, Yoshimoto.

Before reaching the end of Sennichimae, make a quick left turn in one of the narrow alleys to see Hozen-ji Temple, a small village temple dedicated to one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas. After offering coins, worshippers splash water on the statue of the deity before praying as a sign of respect.

Right outside the temple grounds and just across the humble yet historical Kamagata Ukiyo-e Museum is Hozenji Yokocho, a short, narrow lane lined with expensive restaurants.

From here, emerge to the very busy Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca which has long-been referred to as Osaka’s former entertainment and pleasure district. A short walk from this street leads to the touristy Ebisubashi with the famous billboard of the Glico Running Man and a view of Dotonbori River.

Overnight in Osaka
MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch
Your 2-week Japan Tour concludes after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Free at leisure until the departing flight from Kansai International Airport.
MEALS
Breakfast

Private Tour (02 Pax Up)

comfort package
comfort package
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superior package
superior package
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deluxe package
deluxe package
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Tour Price Includes

Tour Price Excludes


When to Go

See estimated monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC





Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
9ºC
47mm

Nikko
5ºC
49mm

Takayama
2ºC
112mm

Shirakawago
6ºC
84mm

Kanazawa
5ºC
291mm

Kyoto
8ºC
76mm

Nara
8ºC
64mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
3ºC
74mm

Miyajima Island
7ºC
71mm

Hiroshima
7ºC
71mm

Osaka
8ºC
67mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
10ºC
62mm

Nikko
6ºC
56mm

Takayama
3ºC
93mm

Shirakawago
8ºC
88mm

Kanazawa
6ºC
193mm

Kyoto
8ºC
82mm

Nara
9ºC
65mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
4ºC
84mm

Miyajima Island
8ºC
82mm

Hiroshima
8ºC
82mm

Osaka
9ºC
72mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
13ºC
101mm

Nikko
9ºC
81mm

Takayama
8ºC
120mm

Shirakawago
12ºC
144mm

Kanazawa
10ºC
159mm

Kyoto
12ºC
118mm

Nara
12ºC
106mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
8ºC
150mm

Miyajima Island
11ºC
114mm

Hiroshima
11ºC
114mm

Osaka
12ºC
105mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
18ºC
122mm

Nikko
15ºC
107mm

Takayama
15ºC
138mm

Shirakawago
18ºC
189mm

Kanazawa
17ºC
148mm

Kyoto
18ºC
146mm

Nara
19ºC
144mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
14ºC
208mm

Miyajima Island
17ºC
155mm

Hiroshima
17ºC
155mm

Osaka
18ºC
132mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
22ºC
139mm

Nikko
20ºC
135mm

Takayama
21ºC
137mm

Shirakawago
23ºC
187mm

Kanazawa
21ºC
149mm

Kyoto
23ºC
159mm

Nara
23ºC
146mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
18ºC
222mm

Miyajima Island
21ºC
150mm

Hiroshima
21ºC
150mm

Osaka
23ºC
132mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
25ºC
185mm

Nikko
23ºC
197mm

Takayama
24ºC
240mm

Shirakawago
26ºC
282mm

Kanazawa
24ºC
205mm

Kyoto
26ºC
240mm

Nara
26ºC
218mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
21ºC
337mm

Miyajima Island
25ºC
258mm

Hiroshima
25ºC
258mm

Osaka
26ºC
198mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
28ºC
132mm

Nikko
26ºC
236mm

Takayama
28ºC
242mm

Shirakawago
30ºC
297mm

Kanazawa
29ºC
246mm

Kyoto
30ºC
243mm

Nara
30ºC
189mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
24ºC
294mm

Miyajima Island
28ºC
250mm

Hiroshima
28ºC
250mm

Osaka
30ºC
169mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
30ºC
148mm

Nikko
28ºC
272mm

Takayama
29ºC
177mm

Shirakawago
31ºC
250mm

Kanazawa
30ºC
173mm

Kyoto
32ºC
181mm

Nara
32ºC
140mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
26ºC
253mm

Miyajima Island
30ºC
125mm

Hiroshima
30ºC
125mm

Osaka
32ºC
108mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
26ºC
185mm

Nikko
23ºC
244mm

Takayama
24ºC
233mm

Shirakawago
27ºC
286mm

Kanazawa
26ºC
249mm

Kyoto
27ºC
209mm

Nara
28ºC
186mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
22ºC
299mm

Miyajima Island
26ºC
200mm

Hiroshima
26ºC
200mm

Osaka
27ºC
184mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
21ºC
174mm

Nikko
18ºC
164mm

Takayama
18ºC
147mm

Shirakawago
21ºC
151mm

Kanazawa
20ºC
192mm

Kyoto
21ºC
123mm

Nara
22ºC
136mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
17ºC
190mm

Miyajima Island
21ºC
106mm

Hiroshima
21ºC
106mm

Osaka
22ºC
126mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
16ºC
90mm

Nikko
13ºC
73mm

Takayama
12ºC
98mm

Shirakawago
15ºC
99mm

Kanazawa
15ºC
235mm

Kyoto
16ºC
86mm

Nara
16ºC
85mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
12ºC
115mm

Miyajima Island
15ºC
74mm

Hiroshima
15ºC
74mm

Osaka
16ºC
86mm
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Tokyo
11ºC
50mm

Nikko
8ºC
56mm

Takayama
5ºC
103mm

Shirakawago
9ºC
84mm

Kanazawa
9ºC
304mm

Kyoto
11ºC
67mm

Nara
11ºC
58mm

Wakayama & Mount Koya
6ºC
66mm

Miyajima Island
10ºC
55mm

Hiroshima
10ºC
55mm

Osaka
11ºC
65mm

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