Secrets of Japan

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Duration 14 Days
Group Size 12 (Maximum)
Tour Type Small Group
Trip Grading Moderate

Our Insider Experience

  • Discover Kappabashi Dori with its endless supply of stores selling everything from pots and pans to cooking utensils and chairs to restaurant operators. Some stores even sell plastic and wax food samples for window displays!
  • Lose yourself in the abundance of fabric stores in Tokyo’s Nippori Fabric Town where you’ll find everything from traditional silks to modern print cotton fabric.
  • Wander through Yanaka Old Town and take in the ‘shitamachi‘ or ‘downtown’ character of the area, a stark difference to the modernity of Tokyo.

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Day 1: Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo, transfer to your hotel and enjoy free time until your tour briefing. Stay the next three nights at Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyo (or similar)

Day 2: Tokyo

Spend the morning discovering Tokyo on a walking tour. Visit the city’s most famous Shinto shrine – Meiji Jingu. Walk to nearby Harajuku which showcases the Cosplay (costume play) subculture. Take the train to Shibuya and see the iconic pedestrian crossing in front of Shibuya train station. Sample some delicious food as you wander through the Tokyu Food Hall. Enjoy free time to explore. (B)

Day 3: Tokyo

Discover the oldest and most revered temple in Tokyo, Asakusa Temple. Stroll along Kappabashi Dori to see the endless array of specialised stores. Visit Yanaka Cemetery, one of Tokyo’s most famous graveyards which feels more like a park than a cemetery. Wander through Yanaka Old Town where the older buildings are re-purposed. (B)

Day 4: Tokyo to Hakone

Take the train to Hakone. Enjoy a short boat cruise on peaceful Lake Ashi and ride the ropeway for majestic views of Mt Fuji. This evening, enjoy a delicious meal and some free time to soak in the onsen at your traditional Japanese hotel. Overnight at Hakone Pax Yoshino (or similar) (BD)

Day 5: Hakone to Takayama

Travel by train to Takayama. Visit a historic, former government building, Takayama Jinya. Discover the beautifully preserved wooden houses as you wander along Kami Sannomachi Street. Stay the next two nights at Best Western Hotel Takayama (or similar) (B,L)

Day 6: Takayama

Start your day with a walking tour to see the fresh produce at Miyagawa morning market. Takayama Yatai Kaikan houses magnificent wooden floats which are paraded through the streets each year during the two Takayama Festivals. This afternoon you have the option to visit Hida no Sato, where 30 traditional houses are displayed in a scenice village setting. (B)

Day 7: Takayama to Osaksa

From Takayama, travel by train to vibrant Osaka. Drop your bags at the hotel, take a walking tour of the Dotonbori area known for it’s bright neon, street food and shopping. Stay two nights at Osaka Daiichi Hotel (or similar) (B,D)

Day 8: Osaka

Head to Umeda Sky Garden with it views of Osaka before a walk through Kuromon Ichiba Market, also known as “Osaka’s Kitchen.” In the afternoon to explore the city at your own pace. (B)

Day 9: Osaka to Hiroshima

Travel by train to Hiroshima and visit the Peace Memorial Museum, dedicated to the events of 1945 before seeing the sobering cenotaph of the Hiroshima bomb at Peace Memorial Park. Stay two nights at Mitsui Garden Hotel Hiroshima (or similar) (B)

Day 10: Hiroshima

Venture by ferry to peaceful Miyajima Island, home to Itsukushima Shrine. Hike or travel by ropeway to the summit of Mt Misen for spectacular views. Enjoy a traditional okonomiyaki pancake before returning by ferry to the mainland. Spend the evening at leisure. (B,L)

Day 11: Hiroshima to Kyoto

Travel by train to Himeji famous for it’s imposing hilltop castle before continuing to Kyoto. Take an evening walking tour along Ponto-cho and Hanami-koji Lane in the Gion district where you may see a Geisha walking between appointments. Stay three nights at Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo (or similar) (B)

Day 12: Kyoto

Discover Kyoto’s highlights on a walking tour. Begin at Kiyomizudera Temple, in the hills of east Kyoto. Wander along the shophouses of Ninenzaka Street before visiting Kyoto’s oldest Zen temple, Kenninji Temple. Learn the philosophy and art of serving tea at a traditional tea ceremony and finish the day with the golden pavillion at Kinkakuji, Kyoto’s most famous building. (B)

Day 13: Kyoto

Start the day with a visit to the one of Kyoto’s most iconic sights, Fushimi Inari, with it’s tunnels of vermillion torii gates. You have free time to further explore Kyoto or take an optional afternoon excursion to the bamboo forest at Arahiyama. End your tour with a farewell dinner where you will be entertained by a genuine Maiko or apprentice Geisha.

Day 14: Kyoto

Transfer to Kyoto Station for your onward journey.


What’s included

    • 14 Day Rail Pass
    • 12 nights hotel accommodation
    • 1 night Ryokan accommodation
    • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
    • High-speed trains
    • Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
    • Small group touring
    • Entrance fees
    • Luggage transport
    • English-speaking Tour Leader
    • Tipping (Tour Leader/drivers)
    • Meals as indicated(B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
    • Return transfers (conditions apply)


    • Meals other than those specified
    • Visa fees
    • Porters
    • Insurance and personal expenses such as laundry, mini-bar, telephone and drinks.


  • 2020
  • 2021

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Specification: Secrets of Japan


14 Days

Group Size

12 (Maximum)

Tour Type

Small Group

Trip Grading


Photos: Secrets of Japan

From $9,795

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