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Highlights of Japan: Tokyo to Kyoto

with Osaka & Hiroshima extension
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Discover how centuries-old traditions coexist with cutting-edge culture.

The traditional tea ceremony is the embodiment of Japanese hospitality, representing harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility. You’ll experience this Zen aesthetic every day of your tour—and not only while drinking tea. Uncover ancient temples alongside futuristic cityscapes and witness how Japan’s art, architecture, and day-to-day culture continue to reflect its time-honored philosophies.

Your tour package includes
  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners
  • 1 lunch
  • 8 guided sightseeing tours
Included highlights
  • Meiji Shrine
  • Mount Fuji
  • Lake Ashi
  • Hakone Open-Air Museum
  • High-speed bullet train ride
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Day-by-day itinerary
Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Tokyo today.

Tokyo3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Tokyo
Included meal: Welcome lunch

Welcome to Japan! Get settled in to your hotel before meeting your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Tokyo
Included meal: Breakfast

Join a local guide and embark on your first tour of Japan’s bustling capital.

  • Make a photo stop and view the iconic Shibuya crossing from overhead as you drive through the central part of the city
  • Set off on a short walk from Yoyogi Park to the Meiji Shrine, final resting place of Emperor Meiji
  • Wander through the shrine’s Inner Garden, home to irises that bloom in springtime and the spiritually powerful Kiyomasa’s Well
  • Stroll through the colorful Harajuku neighborhood, where Tokyo’s history and present-day pop culture intertwine
  • Explore Tokyo’s old town, including the ancient Asakusa Kannon Temple, the city’s oldest and most sacred temple
  • Peruse a vibrant variety of handmade crafts and local fare at the centuries-old Nakamise Shopping Arcade

Enjoy a free afternoon in Tokyo or add an excursion.

Japanese Cooking Class & Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 4: Free day in Tokyo
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Tokyo or add an excursion.

Kamakura
Excursion (additional cost)
Hakone1 night
Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Tokyo, Mount Fuji photo stop & transfer to Hakone
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, follow your Tour Director on another guided sightseeing tour of vibrant Tokyo before continuing on to Hakone.

  • View the Imperial Palace and its impressive grounds
  • Head to the top of the Metropolitan Building to get a bird’s-eye view of the city

Later, make your way to Hakone, a resort town in the Owakudani Valley that’s known for its hot springs.

  • Make a photo stop at Mount Fuji, which stands an imposing 12,388 feet high
  • Take in panoramic views of nearby lakes and villages from the midway-point observatory

Sit down for an included dinner this evening followed by free time to relax in the hotel’s hot springs.

Kyoto4 nights
Day 6: Mount Komagatake, Lake Ashi & train to Kyoto
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, take a guided tour of Mount Komagatake and Lake Ashi.

  • Enjoy a ropeway ride up to the top of Mount Komagatake, admiring spectacular views from the cable car as you go
  • Embark on a cruise on Lake Ashi, formed after Mount Hakone erupted 3,000 years ago
  • Take in surreal views of Mount Fuji looming in the background
  • Pay a visit to the Hakone Open-Air Museum, with endless sculptures over its 17 acres and a gallery with more than 700 works by Picasso

This afternoon, board a high-speed bullet train to Kyoto.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Kyoto, Zen meditation class & Shunkoin Temple
Included meal: Breakfast

Join a local guide on a tour of Kyoto, the city that served as the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years—and is still considered its spiritual capital.

  • Tour the 17th-century Nijo Castle, which boasts intricate architecture and a unique alarm system: floors that sound like a nightingale when walked on
  • See one of Japan’s most famous temples, the glittering Golden Pavilion
  • Travel on to Ryoanji Temple, which houses the country’s finest Zen gardens
  • Meet an American-educated Vice Abbot who will lead you in a guided Zen meditation session inside Shunkoin Temple
  • Explore the temple on a tour following your meditation
  • Sit down to sip Matcha green tea alongside a traditional Japanese sweet

Please note: Today’s guided Zen meditation session may take place in the morning depending on the schedule.

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Nara
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Journey to the former capital city of Nara for a guided tour led by a local guide today.

  • Tour UNESCO-listed Buddhist Todaiji Temple, site of the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue
  • Enter Kasuga-taisha to see the many bronze and stone lanterns in and around the Shinto shrine
  • Stroll through Nara Park, home to more than 1,200 wild deer considered sacred by locals
  • Enjoy an included lunch

Spend a free evening in Kyoto or add an excursion.

Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 9: Free day in Kyoto
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Enjoy a free day in Kyoto or add an excursion.

Tonight, join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner in Kyoto, where you’ll sample four kinds of sake and enjoy traditional shabu-shabu (hot pot).

Arashiyama District & Nishiki Market
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 10: Transfer to Osaka, sightseeing tour & departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Continue on to Osaka, the birthplace of many of Japan’s well-known arts, such as Kabuki theater and the tea ceremony. Today’s guided tour, led by your Tour Director, offers a look inside the city’s historic sights.

  • Make a photo stop at the massive Osaka Castle, which was built by legendary leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi
  • Stroll through Kuromon Ichiba Market, famous for its selection of fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, and other Japanese specialties

This afternoon, transfer to the airport to board your flight home or choose to continue your adventure with a visit to Hiroshima.

Please note: If you are joining the tour extension in Hiroshima and Osaka, you will spend the evening of day 10 in Osaka.

Extension to Osaka & Hiroshima

Round out your journey in Japan as you explore Osaka and Hiroshima, two dynamic destinations where palpable history mingles with present day. In Osaka, fill up on authentic food and get swept up in the whir of the city's bustling nightlife, when each avenue lights up in vibrant color. Then, step back in time in Hiroshima. This "City of Peace" has been rebuilt from the ground up but still shows moving signs of its infamous past.

Osaka1 night
Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Osaka
Included meal: Breakfast

Continue on to Osaka, the birthplace of many of Japan’s well-known arts, such as Kabuki theater and the tea ceremony. Today’s guided tour, led by your Tour Director, offers a look inside the city’s historic sights.

  • Make a photo stop at the massive Osaka Castle, which was built by legendary leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi
  • Stroll through Kuromon Ichiba Market, famous for its selection of fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, and other Japanese specialties
Hiroshima1 night
Day 11: Train to Hiroshima & sightseeing tour
Included meal: Breakfast

Board a high-speed bullet train to Hiroshima and get to know this world-renowned “City of Peace” on today’s guided sightseeing tour.

  • Visit Peace Memorial Park to see the Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome, which was the only structure to withstand the infamous atomic bombing of the city during World War II
  • Take short ferry ride to Miyajima Island to view the 12th-century, UNESCO-listed Itsukushima Shrine
Osaka1 night
Day 12: Osaka via Himeji
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel back to Osaka, stopping in the city of Himeji along the way.

  • Step inside the UNESCO-listed Himeji Castle, the largest castle in Japan
  • Walk through Otemon Gate and view the castle’s striking white architecture
  • Climb a series of narrow staircases to the top floor, which offers stunning views of the beautiful roofs, defensive walls, and the city below
  • Enjoy free time to explore the castle grounds and accompanying Koko-en Garden

Continue on to Osaka and spend a free evening in the city or add an excursion.

Osaka by Night: Cruise & Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 13: Free morning in Osaka & departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free morning in Osaka. Then, transfer to the airport to board your flight home.

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Reviews
4.3 average
Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
Hits the highlights but short on substance
by 2nd time traveler 

The tour certainly hit the "must see" tourist places. Accommodations were first class but many "on your own" meals parked us at what would be a nice food court at a mall. There were no hidden-gem types of places so we left feeling like there was a much more authentic Japan to see. English speakin...

Read more +
TOKYO -- KYOTO
by 2nd time traveler 

This is a trip of a lifetime. Our Guide, JUNKO, was very knowledgeable & patient, when needed. My roommate & I chose to stay on in Japan for 5 additional days in Osaka. Japan is such a marvelous modern country and the people are so polite & helpful. Would recommend this trip with GO-AHEAD to all.

Outstanding Tour
by 41st time traveler 

Our Tour Director, Junko I. , made this a perfect tour! Her organizational skills were outstanding. The only optional that I did not take was the Sushing Making at the beginning of the tour. Enjoyed the other options. Liked the experience of using pubic transportation. A highlight of tour was ...

Japanese Adventure
by 11th time traveler 

This without a doubt was one of the best tours we have taken with Go Ahead. The food was challenging, but interesting. The hotels were fine. Being on the island off Tokyo was not a problem as transportation there is wonderful. We were fortunate to see Mt Fuji on a clear day. The Hakone Open-Air Mus...

Oh Japan!!!
by 13th time traveler 

Another amazing Go Ahead Tour! From the magnificent views of Tokyo from the hotel to the hustle and bustle of Kyoto's main train station; from the views of Mt. Fuji in Hakone to the uprising of Hiroshima, Japan is a fantastic country of tremendous energy and vibe. Our tour guide loves her country an...

Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.

Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

This comfortable hotel is located on Odaiba Island, Tokyo. Guests enjoy a fitness center, restaurant, and room service. Nearby, you'll find Pallete To...

Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel

This modern hotel is located in the Wakakusacho neighborhood. Guests enjoy restaurant options, a fitness center, and spa. Nearby you’ll find Shukkeien...

Hotel de Yama

This historic hotel is located on the banks of Lake Ashinoko. Guests enjoy a hot spring spa, garden, and restaurant options. Nearby you’ll find the Ha...

Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka

This fashionable hotel is located in the Tennoji Ward neighborhood. Guests enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, and a gift store. Nearby, you’ll find Os...

Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto

Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto is one of the most favored destinations of international travelers to the city of Kyoto, famed to be the most beautiful cit...

Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
Local weather
Koga, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 82°F Low 73°F
 / 
47°49°54°62°69°74°81°84°78°70°61°51°41°42°46°53°60°67°74°76°71°63°54°45°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Kyoto, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 87°F Low 71°F
 / 
42°44°51°61°72°77°84°86°78°68°57°46°31°31°35°43°52°60°70°71°64°54°44°35°
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Nara, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 91°F Low 74°F
 / 
42°45°52°62°72°77°84°86°78°68°58°47°31°32°36°44°53°61°70°71°64°54°44°35°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Osaka, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 81°F Low 58°F
 / 
42°44°50°59°69°74°81°83°76°67°57°47°35°36°40°47°55°63°71°73°66°57°49°40°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Tokyo, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 86°F Low 79°F
 / 
47°49°55°63°73°76°84°86°79°70°61°51°36°37°42°51°60°66°74°76°70°61°51°42°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
FAQ
Print FAQ
Passport & visa requirements
  • In order to enter Japan, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of return.
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact Japan's consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and gravel paths, with few hills. You may need to climb stairs when visiting temples.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains and small boats.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Tokyo and depart from Osaka. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • A high-speed train transfer from Hakone to Kyoto is included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes a high-speed train transfer from Osaka to Hiroshima.)
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
Health
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Japan.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
Cuisine
  • Most Japanese meals are based around rice or noodles with fish, meat, and vegetables flavored with soy sauce and miso. You may recognize popular dishes like sushi, tempura, and hot pot.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • Japan operates on 100 volts and uses a Type A plug, the same as in the U.S.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in Asian hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what one might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • Japan is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it's 1am on the following day in Japan.
Currency
  • You will use the Japanese yen in Japan.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
Tipping
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
Dates & prices
Choose your dates to start a quote
20202021
Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
2020
Thu
Apr 09
Sat
Apr 18
$3,849
$3,549
Hot deal
Extension
Thu
Apr 23
Sat
May 02
$3,849
$3,749
Sun
May 10
Tue
May 19
$3,849
$3,649
Extension
Thu
May 21
Sat
May 30
$3,799
$3,549
Only 9 spots left!
Extension
Thu
Jun 11
Sat
Jun 20
$3,799
$3,499
Hot deal
Extension
Thu
Jun 25
Sat
Jul 04
$3,799
$3,599
Extension
Thu
Jul 02
Sat
Jul 11
$3,799
$3,649
Thu
Aug 27
Sat
Sep 05
$3,799
$3,649
Extension
Thu
Sep 10
Sat
Sep 19
$3,899
$3,699
Thu
Sep 24
Sat
Oct 03
$3,849
$3,699
Extension
Thu
Oct 01
Sat
Oct 10
$3,849
$3,849
Thu
Oct 15
Sat
Oct 24
$3,849
$3,649
Hot deal
Extension
Thu
Nov 05
Sat
Nov 14
$3,599
$3,399
Thu
Dec 03
Sat
Dec 12
$3,849
$3,749

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