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Japan As You Like It
from $18,199 pp

  • Duration: 8 days
  • Countries: Japan
Tailor this suggested program to fit your individual style with our choice of deluxe and luxury hotels. Then join your private guide to pursue your own passions as you explore the myriad facets of Japanese life, history, culture and aesthetic.
Call to Book 1-800-222-7448
Additional Information

Day 1 – You can begin your journey in Kyoto

This suggested itinerary begins in Kyoto - the cultural and spiritual heart of the country. You’ll be warmly greeted upon arrival at Kansai International Airport and chauffeured to your choice of hotel in the heart of Kyoto. The rest of this day is yours to relax and enjoy at your own pace.

Day 2 – Private Sightseeing in Kyoto

You might spend your first day of touring with the city’s best known and most historic landmarks. At Nijo Castle, you can try to walk in stealth across the Nightingale Floor – ingeniously designed centuries ago to chirp in warning if would-be assassins penetrated the Shogun’s inner sanctum. Kinkaku-ji Temple, the oft-photographed Golden Pavilion, and the serene Zen garden at Ryoan-ji Temple are two other historical sites that we would recommend for this day. To get better acquainted with modern-day life in Japan, you might mingle with city residents in a downtown market and stroll with your guide in the historic Gion district, where you might even glimpse a Geisha as she hops into a taxi cab on her way to work. To enhance your exploration into Japanese culture, you might consider adding one of these available activities: Zen + The Art of Tea: An insider experience with a master of the Tea Ceremony, one of Japan’s most revered traditions. Dinner with a Geisha: Intimate, engaging conversation and a private dance performance offer rare insight into Geisha ways. Meals B

Day 3 – Arashiyama in Western Kyoto

Why not follow your guide a bit off the beaten path this morning to Arashiyama, a picturesque riverside district that has been popular since the Heian Period (794 to 1185) for its scenic beauty. Here on the western outskirts of Kyoto you’ll find serene temples renowned for their fine statuary and gardens and a storied wooden bridge that has become an iconic landmark. A stroll through the nearby bamboo groves is a favorite pastime for city residents and visitors alike. Arashiyama is also home to the Toei Movie Studio; open to visitors, you can visit this elaborately constructed Edo-era set that is used for more than 200 movies every year, from Shogun action films to period dramas set in centuries past. This afternoon, you might enjoy one of these available excursions: Cycling + Country Cooking: Experience enduring rural traditions in a mountain hamlet near scenic Lake Biwa, just a short train ride from downtown Kyoto. Art of Kanji – Japanese Calligraphy: The ancient characters of the Kanji alphabet are as much an art form as a means of written communication. Spend time with a master calligrapher for fascinating insight. Meals B

Day 4 – Bullet Train to Odawara + Hakone National Park

You’ll be chauffeured to the rail station today and assisted onto the Bullet Train. On arrival in Odawara, meet your driver and begin your privately-guided exploration of Hakone National Park and its deeply forested landscapes. On a clear day, a cruise on Lake Ashi offers captivating views of Mt. Fuji. Or you might visit the Hakone Open Air Museum where contemporary sculptures are displayed against a stunning natural backdrop of pine forests and rugged hills. Other guided activities can be tailored to your personal interests. Tonight, enjoy dinner and the soothing hot springs at your traditional ryokan inn. If you prefer western-style accommodations, the 5-star Hyatt Regency is one of the finest hotels in the Hakone region. Meals B+D

Day 5 – Onward to Tokyo

Leave the majestic beauty of Hakone National Park behind you and travel with your chauffeur and guide to Tokyo, the sophisticated and energetic capital of Japan. On arrival, you can begin your touring as you wish – maybe along the streets of the Ginza, home to internationally-recognized brand name stores and striking 21st century architecture. Or you might learn about Japan’s Royal Family as you gaze upon the impressive moat and formidable walls of the Imperial Palace. On Odaiba, a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, you’ll find the futuristic Fuji TV Building as well as numerous shops, restaurants and other attractions that draw city residents. Enjoy two nights here in Tokyo at the deluxe or luxury city-center hotel of your choice. If you want to experience Tokyo nightlife like an insider, you can add our available evening excursion: Bars of Shinjuku: Vibrant by day, the Shinjuku district of Tokyo becomes even more energetic when the sun sets. There are hundreds of bars here, many of them tucked away down narrow alleys or hidden from view above or below street level. Most of them are quite small, some with seating for no more than a dozen guests. Get an insider’s view of the city’s nightlife as you follow our engaging in-the-know Tokyo native into some of their favorite night spots – meeting bar tenders and patrons along the way. Meals B

Day 6 – Out and About in Tokyo

With your personal guide leading the way, you’ll spend this day exploring Tokyo’s history, culture and life as you get around town on the efficient, clean and modern subway system. Tailored to your personal interests, you might begin by exploring the city’s history at the Edo Tokyo Museum. Set in a striking 20th-century white-clad building, this museum offers a look into one of Japan’s most important historical eras. There are fascinating scale-models of towns during the Edo period, interactive exhibits and life-sized figures to illustrate the architecture, politics, commerce and daily life during the Edo Period from 1603 to 1867. Another must-see site in Tokyo is the bustling Asakusa district, home to Asakusa Kannon Temple. Founded in the 7th century to honor Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, this is the oldest temple in the city. The outer entrance to this Buddhist temple is through the 1,000-year-old Kaminari-mon, or Thunder Gate. Once inside, you can take your time getting to the actual temple by strolling along the Nakamise Arcade where a bewildering number of shops and merchant stalls sell traditional sweets, savory snacks, colorful handicrafts and souvenirs. The Akihabara district, home to numerous electronics shops and stores devoted to anime and manga culture, or the lively street theater of Yoyogi Park are other facets of Tokyo life which you might explore today with your private guide. Meals B

Day 7 – Tokyo on your own

This day is yours to enjoy and explore as you wish. A variety of available excursions can be booked if you prefer additional guided activities: Shinto Rituals of Sumo: A morning practice offers deep insight into this 1,500-year-old tradition. These athletes are preparing for their next tournament and speaking inside the training room is not allowed. Before entering, however, your private guide will share insights and information so that you will better understand and appreciate this rare look into the world of the Sumo wrestler. Inside the Tsukiji Fish Market: A seasoned resident will take you behind the scenes at Japan’s largest fish market, where ordinary citizens and the city’s chefs come to procure the finest and freshest seafood. Art Galleries + Studios: Tailored to your personal artistic preferences, a local art connoisseur will take you to vibrant city districts and down quiet backstreets to meet with established and emerging artists in their galleries and studios. Tokyo with an Architect: Japan’s capital presents one of the world’s most remarkable cityscapes where expansive parks, narrow alleys, wide city boulevards and eye-popping futuristic skyscrapers exist in harmony. This exclusive private tour of Tokyo takes you out and about with a professional architect for unique insight into the city - from its most historic landmarks to its newest icons. Meals B

Day 8 – Depart Tokyo

Our suggested itinerary ends today with a chauffeured transfer to Narita Airport for your onward flight. Meals B

Departure Dates
Start: July 17, 2018
End: July 24, 2018
Price: $18,199 pp
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Start: July 17, 2018
End: July 24, 2018
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Start: August 17, 2018
End: August 24, 2018
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Start: August 17, 2018
End: August 24, 2018
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Start: December 10, 2018
End: December 17, 2018
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Start: December 10, 2018
End: December 17, 2018
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Start: January 5, 2019
End: January 12, 2019
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Start: January 5, 2019
End: January 12, 2019
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Start: February 5, 2019
End: February 12, 2019
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Start: February 5, 2019
End: February 12, 2019
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Product Code: Alexander+Roberts-1071

General Disclaimer

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