Japan Package Tours

Tours from Tokyo

1 Month-Long Japan Tour

This Tour enjoyed the biggest spike in sales in 2023 as our clients showed a desire to travel for longer.

Experience Japan's main island to the fullest with our One Month Long Tour of Honshu. Explore the north, south and everywhere in between on this wonderful adventure. This tour also includes a number of rest days which provides a perfect opportunity to take a break and immerse yourself in the local culture.

*inclusions shown in the bullet points - package does not include airfares

Single Package:
Twin Package:
Triple Package:
  • Tokyo
  • Hakone
  • Takayama
  • Kanazawa
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Kyoto
  • Nikko
  • Sendai
  • Hirosaki

Package Includes:

  • 2 x 14 Day Japan Rail Passes
  • JPY 1,500 Pasmo Card for use on the non JR trains
  • Tokyo Full Day Guided Tour including lunch
  • Shirakawago and Ainokura Day Tour
  • Kyoto Half Day Guided Morning Tour
  • 6 nights at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel - Tokyo
  • 2 nights at the Hakone Hotel inc. breakfast - Hakone
  • 2 nights at the Hida Hotel Plaza inc. breakfast - Takayama
  • 2 nights at the Hotel Mystays Premier Hotel - Kanazawa
  • 3 nights at the Hotel Granvia - Okayama
  • 2 nights at the Hotel Granvia - Hiroshima
  • 5 nights at the Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - Kyoto
  • 2 nights at the Nikko Station Hotel Classic inc. breakfast - Nikko
  • 3 nights at the Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East - Sendai
  • 2 nights at the Art Hotel - Hirosaki

Day 01 - Arrive Tokyo

Welcome to Japan! Upon arrival at Narita International Airport clear customs with your luggage and make your way to the Arrivals Lobby.

Take the escalator downstairs to the train station and at the JR East Travel Service Centre (06:30 - 21:45) issue your Japan Rail Pass.

Board the Narita Express train from Narita Airport to Shinagawa Station. (65 min) Your accommodation at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel is a two minute walk across the road from the Takanawa Exit of Shinagawa Station. Shinagawa is the ideal place to stay for its convenient access to wide range of restaurants and shops. Shinagawa Station is a major stop on the JR Yamanote Line loop system which circumnavigates Tokyo.

Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 1/3

Day 02 - Tokyo

This morning board a JR Yamanote Line train from Shinagawa Station to Shinjuku Station. (21 mins) At Shinjuku Station, take the East Exit and follow the signs to a 2nd Exit named Kabuki Cho. The Hato Bus parking bay is located on the opposite side of the Studio Alta Building. Easy to navigate maps with photos and directions will be provided.

This is the meeting location for your 1-Day Tokyo Tour including lunch. Please be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the tour's departure time and allow yourself plenty of time to find the pick-up spot.

At 09:10 you will be collected for your 1 Day Tour of Tokyo operated by Hato Bus with an English-speaking guide and transported by coach to the following sites:
Imperial Palace (Nijubashi Bridge) - Once home to Edo Castle, the centre of development of Edo-Tokyo, this is now where you can find the Imperial Palace
Asakusa Kannon Temple & Nakamise Shopping Street - Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest temple, offers plenty to see including the bright red Kaminarimon Gate, a statue of the god of thunder, and a five-story pagoda. The bustling street known as "Nakamise" stretches for about 250m from Kaminarimon Gate to Senso-ji Temple and is filled with a variety of souvenir shops.

Your Tour will next drive past the Kabuki Theatre, Tokyo Station and the Ginza which is famous for upmarket boutiques and magnificent department stores.

(Lunch) at the Toshi Center Hotel

Visit Tokyo Tower and enjoy a panoramic view of the famous Tokyo skyline from the main observation platform.

Drive over the Rainbow bridge and past Odaiba and the Toyosu Market.
Visit the Hamarikyu Garden. Take a step into the magnificent Edo period garden (1603 - 1867) with a teahouse built to look as if it were floating on the water.
Your Tour will disband at Tokyo Station at around 5pm.

Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 2/3

Day 03 - Tokyo - Kamakura - Tokyo

Take a day trip to the seaside town called Kamakura. Located just 45 minutes from Shinagawa Station on the JR Yokosuka Line, Kamakura is one of Japan's most popular sightseeing destinations, famous for a number of temples, shrines and beautiful Japanese gardens.

Surrounded by wooded mountains on three sides and Sagami Bay on the south, Kamakura was once the capital of Japan from 1192 to 1333.

Many of the wonderful sites in Kamakura are within walking distance of Kamakura Station, so one can easily spend the day exploring the many temples, shrines, parks and gardens. Some of the sites you might like to visit include:

The Great Buddha, a giant bronze statue of Buddha which stands at 13.35m tall and is the second largest in Japan. The Buddha once was housed inside a temple, but late in the 15th century, a large tsunami washed away the wooden structure and the Buddha has remained outside ever since.

Komachi-dori St, leading out from Kamakura Station, is a strip of shops which has many great places to buy souvenirs and a number of good places to buy some snacks, from nuts and crackers, to cute little cakes and sweets.

Hasedera Temple, situated high on a hill, whose main temple has a fine view of the coastal city. The temple is home to a wooden statue of Kannon, the 11-headed goddess of mercy which stands at 9m high.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, whose iconic Shinto shrine is Kamakura's geographical and cultural centre and attracts many visitors with its beautiful peony gardens and two museums, the Museum of Modern Art and the Kamakura Museum of National Treasures.

Hokoku-ji Temple, the must-see Zen temple in Kamakura. Behind the temple is a magnificent bamboo garden which is tranquil escape. Towards the back of the bamboo garden is a small tea house where you can enjoy a special cup of green tea while taking in the beauty of the serene surroundings.

Return to Tokyo in the late afternoon.

Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 3/3

Day 04 - Tokyo - Hakone

Check out of the Shinagawa Prince Hotel and board a Kodama bullet train from Shinagawa Station to Odawara Station. (35 min)

At Odawara Station, purchase a 3 Day Hakone Free Pass which entitles the holder to 3 days of unlimited travel on a variety of local transport including the unique mountain railway, bus, cable car, ropeway and cruise boat. Use your pass to also gain discounted entry at the regions many hot springs, museums, galleries, gardens, temples and shrines.

From Odawara Station board the Hakone Tozan Bus for Hakone-machi and get off at Hakone Hotel-Mae bus stop (55 min). Your accommodation at the Hakone Hotel is right outside the bus stop. Make sure you visit the hotel's volcanic onsen (hot spring) which is a perfect way to relax after a busy travel schedule.

Located between Mount Fuji and lzu Peninsula, encircled by forested mountains and deep ravines, extraordinary views (weather permitting) from Hakone of Mount Fuji and the Japan Alps make this a magnificent scene to remember.

Spend the remainder of the day exploring the many sights of this spectacular resort town.

Stay: Hakone Hotel - 1/2

Day 05 - Hakone

Using your Hakone Free Pass and the provided tourist maps & brochures, explore the many sites of the Hakone region which includes:

Lake Ashi: The 400,000 year-old volcanic crater lake that never freezes! Lake Ashi is a popular place for fishing, boating and water sports. Use your "Hakone Pass" to cruise the lake by pirate ship. On a clear day you will be able to take pleasure in Mt. Fuji's inverted reflection in Lake Ashi.

Owakudani (Great Boiling Valley): Accessible by ropeway this entire gorge reeks of sulphurous fumes, spewing clouds of steam from crevasses among bubbling hot springs.

Ancient Cedar Avenue: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along this superb 2km flora-lined winding passage; once the pathway to Edo (Tokyo).

Stay: Hakone Hotel - 2/2

Day 06 - Hakone - Takayama

Check out of Hakone Hotel and board a Hakone Tozan bus to Odawara Station. (55 min) From Odawara Station board a Hikari bullet train to Nagoya. (70 mins) Change trains within Nagoya Station and board a Limited Express (Wide View) Hida train to Takayama. (150 mins)

This magnificent train journey through the Japanese Alps is often compared to the Alps of Europe. It may well be one of the highlights of your trip to Japan.

Takayama is a traditional medieval town located in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture. Most of the attractions are concentrated in the old part of town, within minutes of each other.

Your accommodation at the Hida Hotel Plaza 5 minute walk from the station. Make sure you try their rooftop and indoor Japanese-style onsen bath which is free for guests to use.

After check in, enjoy an afternoon stroll around this museum like town with a number of attractions including a variety of small museums devoted to traditional crafts embodying the town's long standing tradition of fine craftsmanship. Visit the old private houses that lie in the area between Miyagawa River and the famously lush and picturesque Shiroyama Park. This quiet, residential area has shops selling traditional wares, antique shops, Japanese-style inns, sake breweries and restaurants serving local specialties.

Stay: Hida Hotel Plaza - 1/2

Day 07 - Takayama - Shirakawago - Takayama

Visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in one day!

From 08:00am meet at the Takayama Nohi Bus Terminal which is located next to Takayama Station. Present your reservation confirmation at the counter and receive your ticket. Board your Tour from Bus Stop #7 at 08:30am.

*Please note this Tour is conducted in Japanese, so smile and enjoy the magnificent scenery.

First stop is the remote Gokayama Ainokura Village which is home to approximately 20 thatched roof gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Stroll around these historic buildings which mostly remain private residences, but some have been converted into museums and cafe's. Ainokura was declared a UNESCO Site in 1995.

Next stop is Shirakawago, another UNESCO site with 114 gassho-zukuri traditional houses surrounded by rice fields and a river flowing through the town. Admission to the Museum and a shuttle bus ticket to the Observation Deck where a spectacular panoramic view of the valley and mountains can be enjoyed.

During your time in Shirakawago, stroll around and purchase your lunch from one of the many eateries and enjoy the fresh atmosphere and breathtaking scenery.
Depart Shirakawago at 3:00pm to arrive back in Takayama at 15:50.

Kobe beef is very famous, but for dinner tonight we recommend you explore Takayama and try one of the many restaurants which specialise in the local Japanese "hida beef" which is delicious in sukiyaki or grilled on a hotplate.

Stay: Hida Hotel Plaza - 2/2

Day 08 - Takayama - Kanazawa

Check out from your accommodation and from Takayama Station, board the Hida Wide View train to Toyama. (150 mins) Within Toyama Station change trains and board a Tsurugi bullet train to Kanazawa Station. (25 mins)

Your accommodation at the Hotel Mystays Premier Kanazawa is a five minute walk from the West Exit of Kanazawa Station.

Kanazawa, often referred to as "little Kyoto", is a lovely seaside town with a number of hidden treasures. After check in, spend the afternoon exploring the city of Kanazawa.

Your sightseeing should include a trip to the Omicho Market which is a 10 minute walk or 3 minute taxi or bus ride from Kanazawa Station. Omicho is the liveliest of all markets in Kanazawa and is popular with the residents of the city. many of the 170 shops specialise in fresh fish and vegetables. Lovers of seafood will delight in some of the surrounding sushi bars and restaurants that serve fresh seafood from off the coast of Kanazawa. For those who prefer their seafood cooked, tempura and grilled options are available.

For a rare look inside Japan's traditional entertainment culture, make a visit to Kanazawa's famous "Higashi Geisha District" where you can walk down the winding lanes which features rows of old geisha houses. Late in the afternoon and early evening you may see a geisha scampering between appointments in full traditional costume. Shima, a former geisha house, is open for public viewing (9am to 6pm) where you can also enjoy a cup of green tea and a traditional Japanese sweet.

Stay: Hotel Mystays Premier Kanazawa - 1/2

Day 09 - Kanazawa

Continue your exploration of Kanazawa today by visiting one of Japan's top three most beautiful gardens - Kenrokuen, which is a 15 minute bus ride from Kanazawa Station.

Kenrokuen is an exquisite garden constructed over 300 years ago and is said to be one of the three most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan along with Kairakuen in Mito and Korakuen in Okayama. The literal meaning of Kenrokuen is "The Garden of Six Sublimities" which refers to its spaciousness, seclusion, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water and broad views. It took 150 years to complete the ponds, streams, waterfalls, flowers and teahouses which are all truly breathtaking.

Surrounding Kenrokuen is a number of popular sightseeing sports including Kanazawa Castle Park, Kanazawa Museum of Art, 21st Century Museum of Modern Art and the Kanko Bussankan where local Ishikawa traditional crafts, confectionary and sake are sold.

In the evening make your way to the bright lights of Katamachi which is Kanazawa's lively entertainment district. The area's "Izakayas" (Japanese-style pubs) are a must to visit where cold drinks and inexpensive dishes are served.

Stay: Hotel Mystays Premier Kanazawa - 2/2

Day 10 - Kanazawa - Okayama

Check out of your accommodation and from Kanazawa Station, board the Thunderbird bullet train to Shin-Osaka Station. (160 min) Within the station, change trains to a Sakura bullet train to Okayama Station. (45 min)

Your accommodation at the Hotel Granvia Okayama is one minute walk, directly connected to the station.

After check-in, commence exploring the city of Okayama. Okayama is home to the magnificent landscape garden of Korakuen - another of Japan's three most beautiful gardens. The garden, covering about 14 ha., was completed in 1700. It contains rustic tea arbours, extensive lawns, lovely ponds, graceful groves, and peaceful hills, lanes and streams. All are tastefully arranged to harmonize with the surrounding hill and mountain. The maple trees, cherry and Japanese apricot groves offer beautiful seasonal contrasts.

Okayama Castle is a 3 minute walk from the south exit of Korakuen Garden, and was originally constructed in the 16th century. The four-storied donjon was rebuilt in 1966, which displays many relics of local history. Okayama Castle is sometimes referred to as the Crow Castle due to its black exterior.

You might also want to visit the Hayashibara Museum of Art, a 5 minute walk from Okayama Castle, exhibits over 10,000 works of swords, armour, fine arts and calligraphy. The museum was established in 1964.

Stay: Hotel Granvia Okayama - 1/3

Day 11 - Okayama - Himeji - Okayama

Today take a daytrip to the famous Himeji Castle, which is only a 20 min train ride away from Okayama Station. From Okayama Station board the Hikari bullet train to Himeji Station. (20 min)

Himeji Castle is the star attraction as one of Japan's most magnificent castles. History has been kind as it is one of the few castles that has never been destroyed by wars, fire or earthquake. Himeji Castle, known as the "White Heron" due to its white plaster fireproof walls, is a national treasure and a World Heritage site.

A free tour of Himeji Castle is available for English speaking visitors. Please note that reservations are not accepted for this service. Inquire when you purchase your admission tickets. Allow about 1 hour and a half for the tour.

From the station, the castle is either a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute local bus ride. It is open daily from 9am - 4pm and an entrance fee of JPY600 applies.

In the evening, from Himeji Station board the Hikari bullet train back to Okayama Station.

Stay: Hotel Granvia Okayama - 2/3

Day 12 - Okayama

Enjoy a rest day in the laid-back city of Okayama.

For those keen to keep exploring, the historic town of Kurashiki just 40 minutes from Okayama is a quaint canal town with preservation districts lined with traditional shops and galleries.

Alternatively, board a train across the Seto Ohashi Bridge to Takamatsu for the charming Ritsurin Gardens and the surrounding art islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

Stay: Hotel Granvia Okayama - 3/3

Day 13 - Okayama - Hiroshima

Check out of your accommodation and return to JR Okayama Station to board a Hikari or Kodama bullet train to Hiroshima Station. (40 min)

Your accommodation at the Hotel Granvia Hiroshima is a two minute walk from JR Hiroshima Station.

Hiroshima was a city left in ashes after the Atomic bomb was dropped. Hiroshima has made a remarkable recovery and has been rebuilt as a modern thriving city. The area which felt the full force of the bomb has been transformed into a Peace Memorial Park with gardens of great beauty and nearly forty memorials to the victims of the atomic explosion. Hiroshima is now known as the "International City of Peace" dedicated to a total ban on the use of Atomic weapons. A visit to the Peace Memorial Park should be included in every Hiroshima itinerary.

To visit the Park, board a tram in front of Hiroshima Station and get off at Genbaku Dome-mae (Atomic Bomb Dome) stop. (15 mins)

Using your tour map, visit a number of exhibits including the Atomic Bomb Dome: Positioned below the epicentre, this skeleton of melted steel and concrete has been left as it was after the bomb was dropped. It stands as a stark reminder of the city's bombing on August 6, 1945.

The highlight of the Park is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This state of the art museum focuses on Hiroshima both before and after the explosion. It also tells the story of Hiroshima's rapid rebuild into the beautiful city it is today.

On the way back to station, make sure you visit Hiroshima Castle. This castle was first built in 1589 until its destruction in 1945. Having been rebuilt in all its glory, it is now used to exhibit historic artefacts from Japan's feudal past

Stay: Hotel Granvia Hiroshima - 1/2

Day 14 - Hiroshima / Miyajima Island

Enjoy a day of exploration upon the sacred earth of Miyajima Island (Shrine Island).

From Hiroshima Station board the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (26 min). Miyajima is reached by JR ferryboat (10 min / using your JR Pass) from Miyajimaguchi Pier, a few minutes' walk from Miyajimaguchi Station.

The entire 30 sq. km. island is designated by the Japanese government as a Special Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty. The must see Itsukushima Shrine, built in the sixth century, is dedicated to the maritime guardian goddesses. The shrine buildings are connected by corridors which stretch out over the water giving it the appearance of floating on the sea at high tide. The giant red wooden O-Torii (Grand Gate) is the most noted symbol of Miyajima.

Be sure to take the 1.7km ropeway (JPY 1,800 round trip) to Mount Misen's summit to absorb one of the three most spectacular panoramic views in Japan. Keep your eye on the summit's mischievous monkeys before descending on a peaceful walk through the ancient forest.

Return to Hiroshima early evening to feast upon the city's popular delicacy Okonomiyaki - a savoury, layered noodle pancake cooked on an iron hotplate at your table. The locals are very proud of their contribution to Japanese cuisine!

Stay: Hotel Granvia Hiroshima - 2/2

Day 15 - Hiroshima - Kyoto

Check out of the Hotel Granvia Hiroshima and board a bullet train to Kyoto Station. (2hrs) You may need to change trains at Shin-Osaka on the way.

Your accommodation at the Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo is a 2 minute walk from Kyoto Station.

After check in, commence exploring the sights of Japan's old capital and board a Subway Karasuma Line train 2 stops to Shijo Station, the busiest shopping district in Kyoto. There are a number of cafes, restaurants and shops to explore. From Shijo Station, walk down to Nishiki Food Market. (10 min) Here you can try various Japanese food from traditional sweets to fresh seafood.

In the late afternoon walk towards Gion, Kyoto's famous geisha district. Gion is the one place in Japan where you may see a Maiko or Geisha walking between appointments. As darkness falls watch the traditional lanterns gradually come to life and wander down the tiny alleys exploring the many restaurants and bars offering a variety of tempting cuisines.

Stay: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - 1/5

Day 16 - Kyoto

Today you will be collected by your tour guide, to commence your exploration of the ancient city of Kyoto.

Please make your way to the Sunrise Tours Desk (B1F) within the Avanti shopping complex and arrive 10 minutes prior to the official pick up time. The Avanti shopping complex is directly opposite the Hachijo East Exit of Kyoto Station. At 08:30am, you will be collected to join your Kyoto Morning Tour operated by Sunrise Tours. Your English-speaking local guide will take you by bus to Nijo Castle, the Golden Pavilion and the Kyoto Imperial Palace (on Mon., or Tue. if Monday is a public holiday, May 14-17, late Dec.-early Jan., visit Higashi Honganji Temple instead). The tour will disband at approximately 1:30pm.

In the afternoon, board a local bus to the base of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Walk up this attractive winding road lined with colourful souvenir and craft shops. Kiyomizu-dera is famous for its giant wooden stage overlooking panoramic views of Kyoto and its main hall purely constructed of wood and sustained by huge columns and beams without the use of a single nail, screw or bolt.

Be sure to visit the Sky Plaza Observation Deck on top of Kyoto Station for a free panoramic view of the surrounding area of Kyoto. This modern station also contains a large shopping mall, specialty shops and restaurants.

Stay: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - 2/5

Day 17 - Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto

A full day of sightseeing awaits you in Nara. But first, take a trip to visit Kyoto's famous Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. Anyone who has seen Memoirs of a Geisha will be familiar with the thousands of red torii gates which stretch towards Mt Inari.

From Kyoto Station, board the JR Nara Line to Inari Station. (5 min) Follow the signs and the walking path leading up to the shrine. It is one of the oldest Shinto Shrines in Kyoto and is famous for its thousand red torii gates which lead up the mountain. The shrine is dedicated to Inari - the Shinto god of rice, commerce and business. Each of the torii gates have been donated by different Japanese businesses.

From Inari Station continue on to Nara. (70 min) Here, you can find peace of mind and natural beauty as you uncover the many treasures of Japans former capital (710-784AD).

From Nara Station all of the sightseeing is within comfortable walking distance. Walk through the town towards Nara Park. Should the weather be kind you may like to have your lunch in the picturesque Nara Park amongst the many tame deer that roam the area. At the end of the Park is the World Heritage listed cultural asset Todaiji Temple - the worlds largest wooden building, which houses the Giant Buddha that soars 16 meters in height. Return to Nara Station via Nara-machi, an old precinct full of traditional houses, shops and tearooms in calm and pleasant surroundings, giving a good contrast to the great temples and old burial mounds.

Board a JR Nara Line train back to Kyoto Station in the evening.

Stay: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - 3/5

Day 18 - Kyoto

Today, make a trip out to the Arashiyama area.

From Kyoto Station board a JR Sanin-Main Line (Sagano Line) train to JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. (15 min)

Arashiyama is particularly famous for its beautiful scenery. Visit Tenryuji-Temple (8:30am - 17:30pm/JPY500). The main attraction of the temple is the Zen garden dating back to the 14th century.

Leave Tenryuji-Temple to head down to the bamboo groves and peer up at the towering bamboo from the narrow pathway. The bamboo is used to manufacture many local products such as baskets, cups and boxes.

Other places of interest in the Arashiyama area include Togetsukyo Bridge and the Monkey Park atop Mt. Iwatayama (09:00 - 17:00/JPY550).

In the late afternoon, return to your accommodation by boarding a JR San-in Main Line (Sagano) train from Saga Arashiyama Station back to Kyoto. (16 mins)

Stay: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - 4/5

Day 19 - Kyoto

Take a rest day in the historic and cultural city of Kyoto.

For those interested in seeing more of Kyoto, the Fushimi sake district and the temples of the Higashiyama district are easy to access and offer more opportunity to explore.

Kyoto also boasts easy access to a wide range of day-trip destinations including bustling Osaka, the picturesque Kinosaki Onsen, mystic Mount Koya and the attractive harbor city of Kobe.

Stay: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - 5/5

Day 20 - Kyoto - Nikko

Check out of your accommodation and from Kyoto Station board a Hikari bullet train to Tokyo Station. (160 mins) Change trains and board a Yamabiko bullet train to Utsunomiya Station. (50 mins) From Utsunomiya Station board a JR Nikko Line train to Nikko Station. (45 mins)

Your accommodation at the Nikko Station Hotel Classic is a one minute walk from the station.

The city of Nikko lies at the foot of Mt. Nyoho and is renowned worldwide for the architectural facilities of Toshogu and Futarasan Shrines and Rinnoji Temple, each set gemlike in a perfect natural setting.

From Nikko Station board a Tobu Nikko Bus to Shinkyo bus stop (8 mins). Here you will find the lacquered Shinkyo (Sacred Bridge) which spans 28 metres across the Daiya River.

A five minute walk from the bridge is the famous and historic Rinnoji Temple, used to receive princes from the Imperial family as priests during the Kamakura period (1192-1333).

Continue walking along to Toshogo Shrine (6 mins) where you will find a synthesis of Buddhist and Shinto architecture featuring an impressive five-story pagoda. The Futarasan Jinja Shrine is the next stop and is said to bring happiness and marriage for those who visit. Legend has it that the Futara-Reisen, the sacred fountain there, has water that restores youth.

*Your stay at the Nikko Station Hotel Classic includes breakfast daily

Stay: Nikko Station Hotel Classic - 1/2

Day 21 - Nikko

Venture out to Lake Chuzenji by boarding a Tobu Nikko Bus from the Shinkyo bus stop to Chuzenji Onsen bus stop. (53 mins) From here you can walk to Kegon Falls and Fune-No-Eki cruise boat pier. Kegon Falls, 97 metres in height, is one of Japan's finest waterfalls (originating from Lake Chuzenji). Descend 100 metres by elevator through the bedrock to the lookout point at the base of the gorge to see the falls plummeting downward into Lake Chuzenji's beautiful indigo blue water.

To enjoy more of the lake's scenery a 50 minute sightseeing cruise is highly recommended. Regular boat service on the lake connects Fune-No-Eki with Shobugahama in 20 minutes.

Chuzenji Onsen, on the north-eastern shore of the lake, is the centre of the Lake Chuzenji area. There are many souvenir shops, restaurants and Japanese-style inn with hot spring baths.

Stay: Nikko Station Hotel Classic - 2/2

Day 22 - Nikko - Sendai

Check out of your accommodation and from Nikko Station board a JR Nikko Line train back to Utsunomiya Station. (45 mins) From Utsunomiya Station, board a Yamabiko bullet train to Sendai Station. (65 mins)

Your accommodation at the Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East is directly connected to the station.

A city sightseeing loop bus, the Loople Sendai, departs from JR Sendai Station (West Exit) bus stop #16 and does a one-hour loop around a number of major attractions. An all-day pass can be purchased for JPY620.

Board the bus to visit:

Zuihoden Mausoleum (09:00 - 16:30/JPY550) - the ornate Zuihoden Mausoleum features intricate, and brightly coloured woodwork, and is site where Date Masamune, one of the most powerful feudal lords during the Edo period, is entombed.

Sendai City Museum (09:00 - 16:15/JPY400) - features a number of exhibits relating to various aspects of Sendai's history. Here you will find the suit of armour belonging to Date Masamune, which is a Important Cultural Asset, on display.

Osaki Hachimangu Shrine - a beautiful shrine covered mostly in black lacquer and decorated with gold leaf. Designated as a National Treasure, it enshrines the guardian deity of the Date family.

For dinner tonight, visit one of the restaurants on Gyutan Dori (Beef Tongue Street) for Sendai's most popular delicacy. Most commonly grilled on a barbeque, many restaurants will also serve it on top of rice, in a curry or in a stew.

Stay: Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East - 1/3

Day 23 - Sendai - Matsushima - Sendai

From Sendai Station board a JR Senseki Line train to Matsushima Kaigan Station. (40 mins) From here it is a ten minute walk to Zuiganji Temple. (08:00 - 15:30/JPY700)

Originally established in 828AD, Zuiganji is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in northern Japan. Built at the end of a period of long, civil wars, the temple features a watchtower and nightingale alarm floors which are more commonly defence features found in castles. The temple is surrounded by small caves where monks once lived and prayed.

Next, visit Etsuin Temple (08:30 - 16:00/JPY300), a short walk from Zuiganji. Etsuin Temple is home to the mausoleum of samurai ruler, Date Masamune's grandson, who died mysteriously at age 19. The Mausoleum is decorated with western designs and symbols brought back from Europe on a trade mission sent by Date Masamune.

Enjoy a hot matcha green tea and Japanese sweet at the Kanrantei Tea House. (08:30 - 16:30/JPY150 entry; JPY300-700 for tea) *Place your tea and sweet orders at the ticket booth. The Kanrantei Tea House is the tea house of the ruling Date family and once served tea to samurai and royal guests. Now the tea house is open to the public and overlooks Matsushima Bay.

Take a sightseeing boat trip around Matsushima Bay and its 260 islands. A number of companies offer 50 minute cruises that depart from the pier next to the rest house. (departs hourly 09:00 - 15:00/JPY1,500)

Return to Sendai in the late afternoon.

Stay: Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East - 2/3

Day 24 - Sendai

Enjoy a rest day in Sendai.

Browse the shops in town, or visit the outlet malls for a bargain.

Or, to experience some of northern Japan's beautiful countryside, board a JR Senzan Line train from Sendai Station to Yamadera Station. (62 mins/JPY840)

Officially known as Risshakuji Temple (08:00-17:00/JPY300), Yamadera (its common name, meaning "Temple Mountain") is a temple sprawled across a mountainside, designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty. A hike up 1,000 stone steps will take you to the upper part of the temple grounds which offers spectacular views.

Stay: Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East - 3/3

Day 25 - Sendai - Hirosaki

Check-out of the Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East and from Sendai Station board a Hayabusa bullet train to Shin-Aomori Station. (90 mins) Change trains and board a Limited Express Tsugaru train to Hirosaki Station. (30 mins)

Your accommodation at the Art Hotel Hirosaki City is a one minute walk from the station.

Hirosaki is a small castle town in Aomori with a varied architectural heritage featuring temples, samurai residences and a castle from the Edo period, and churches, libraries and civic buildings from the Meiji Period when many foreign scholars were invited to Hirosaki.

With Aomori producing more than half of the nation's apples, and being the birthplace of the Fuji apple, you will find apple-incorporated sweets throughout Hirosaki. A Hirosaki Pie Guide Map will direct you to 47 of the best apple pies around.

After check-in, commence your exploration of Hirosaki by boarding a Dote-Machi city sightseeing loop bus from in front of Hirosaki Station to Shiyakusho-mae bus stop. (15 mins) From here it is a two minute walk to the Otemon Gate of Hirosaki Castle (09:00 - 17:00/JPY310). Built in 1611, this castle of the Tsugaru Clan is one of the 12 remaining original castles in Japan.

Visit the Tsugaru-han Neputa Village (09:00 - 17:00/JPY550) where you can watch as artists create traditional crafts, and enjoy a performance of the Tsugaru-jamisen, a three-stringed folk instrument.

A short walk from here is the Nakacho Traditional Buildings Preservation District where the traditional townscape has been maintained. Visit the Kawasaki Dyeing Plant where the traditional art of natural indigo dyeing is still carried out.

*Your stay at the Art Hotel Hirosaki City includes breakfast daily

Stay: Art Hotel Hirosaki City - 1/2

Day 26 - Hirosaki

Start today by boarding a Konan Railway Konan Line train from Hirosaki Station to Tambo Art Station. (23 mins/JPY430)

From here it is a short walk to one of the two famous Rice Paddy Art sites, for which the prefecture of Aomori is famous for. Since 1993, the small town of Inakadate has been creating images in their rice paddy fields by carefully planting rice of varying colour. In their first year, they used two colours, yellow and purple, to create a simple image of Mt. Iwaki. Each following year, the designs become more elaborate and now consist of 7 colours and 11 variety of rice. The images can be seen from June to mid-October, but are best from mid-July to mid-August. Entry to the viewing platform is JPY300.

A courtesy shuttle bus departs every 30 mins from this art site and will take you to the second site. (10 mins)


From Hirosaki Station board a Limited Express Tsugaru train to Aomori Station. (33 mins)

Visit Nebuta Warasse (09:00 - 19:00/JPY600) which is a one minute walk from the station, to view the large, glowing floats used in Aomori's Nebuta Festival. Get a taste of the lively festival atmosphere and learn about the history and traditions of one of Tohoku's 'Big Three Summer Festivals'.

For lunch, visit the Furukawa Fish Market (07:00 - 16:00) where you can create your own nokkedon, or bowl of rice topped with fresh seafood. Purchase tickets in sets of five (JPY540) or ten (JPY1,080) which are exchanged for rice and various seafood toppings sold in the market.

Return to Hirosaki in the afternoon. For dinner tonight you may like to visit one of the izakaya where local specialties are served, and Tsugaru folksongs are performed.

Stay: Art Hotel Hirosaki City - 2/2

Day 27 - Hirosaki - Tokyo

Check-out of your accommodation and from Hirosaki Station board a JR Ou Line train to Shin-Aomori Station. (40 mins) Transfer to the shinkansen lines and board a Hayabusa bullet train to Tokyo Station. (190 mins) Change trains and board a Hikari bullet train to Shinagawa Station. (5 mins)

Check-in for your second stay at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel.

Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 1/3

Day 28 - Tokyo

Take a rest day in the modern city of Tokyo.

Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 2/3

Day 29 - Tokyo

Continue your exploration of Tokyo with a trip to Odaiba - the huge amusement zone where you can enjoy shopping, delicious food, entertainment, and a view of Tokyo Bay simultaneously.

From Shinagawa Station board a JR Yamanote Line train to Shimbashi Station. (7 mins) At Shimbashi Station, board the Yurikamome Line unmanned monorail across the 918 metre span Rainbow Bridge to Daiba Station. (14 min)

Odaiba was built on reclaimed land in the Tokyo Bay in the southeast of Tokyo. This ultra-modern island is home to the Fuji TV Studio, Toyota Motor Company Showcase, Palette Town, Giant Ferris Wheel, the Museum of Maritime Science, Odaiba Marine Park, and the Sega Game Centre. A visit to the Oedo Onsen Monogatari volcanic hot springs (JPY2,700) is an excellent way to soak away the stresses of exhilarating travel. Luxuriate in open air, foot, sand and steam baths, tatami rooms and massage salons. The hot water spouts up naturally from 1400 meters below the surface.

Later in the day, return to Shimbashi Station and board the JR Yamanote Line train to Shinjuku Station - the busiest train station in Japan. Take time to explore some of the great shopping that surrounds the station. A walk to Takashimaya Times Square and an exploration of a shop called Tokyu Hands which sells a range of unique gadgets is recommended.

From the West Exit of Shinjuku Station walk 10 minutes through the high-rise business district to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building to view the city skyline which is best seen at night. (9:30am-10:30pm / free entry)

Return to Shinagawa from Shinjuku on the JR Yamanote Line. (20 mins)

Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 3/3

Day 30 - Depart Tokyo

Check out of the Shinagawa Prince Hotel and store your luggage at the porter's desk.

Spend your last day in Tokyo completing any final sightseeing or shopping.

For those departing from Narita, from Shinagawa Station board the Narita Express train to Narita International Airport. (80 min) All seats on this train are reserved, so make sure you book your seat in advance.

For those departing from Haneda, using your Pasmo Card, board a Keikyu Airport Express train from Shinagawa Station to Haneda Airport. (16 mins) Be sure to check in for your scheduled flight at least 2 hours prior to its departure.

Japan Package Tours will be happy to prepare you a personalised itinerary to suit your budget and preferences.
Contact us now for a no-obligation quotation.

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