Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
Travel back in time and explore Japanese history from the 3rd century to the present day, with our fascinating Historic Japan itinerary. These action-packed 11 days of luxury travel, including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kanazawa, Kamakura & Yokohama are sure to meet your cultural and adventurous traveling dreams. Explore ancient history in the morning at Tokyo’s 7th century temples before shopping for the highest quality of electronics in Omotesando Hills. Enjoy all the modern day luxuries as you peek into ancient times.
Learn about the Tumulus, Asuka and the Nara Period in Nara. This begins in the 3rd century and finishes in the 8th century. The Ishibutai Kofun is an impressive stone monument and tomb believed to be the final resting place of the 6th century leader, Soga Umako. Next, tour the Todaiji Temple - the largest wooden structure in the world. Here you’ll find the largest bronze statue of Buddha in existence. The Buddha looks brand new after being reconstructed post-earthquake on several different occasions. Enjoy traditional cuisine at a local restaurant for a midday break. Snap a picture of the beautiful pagoda at the Horyuji Temple. Finish off the day by wandering through the Heijokyo Palace Ruins and imagine imperial life in the 700’s.
Step back into the Heian Period (8th to the 12th century) when you visit the Kyoo Gokokuji (Toji) Temple. The temple was built in the late 700’s to protect the eastern side of Kyoto city. See the remains of Rashomon Gate, the massive gate that once protected the city and inspired the film Rashomon. Ponder the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine revering Sugawara Michizane, an unjustly exiled scholar and politician. Michanzane’s vengeful spirit is blamed for disasters in the area and the shrine was built as a peace offering to his revenge-seeking ghost. Learn about Heian style traditional costume and enjoy a private dinner with an exclusive showing of Imayo dance.
Move forward from the 12th to the 20th centuries as you take a day trip to Miyajima and Hiroshima. Learn about the Taira clan of samurais and glimpse the much sought-after heroic culture from the inside. Explore the Itsukushima Jinja Shrine on Miyajima Island. Next, see the site of the catastrophic atomic blast nearly 70 years later as you visit the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima.
Feel a sense of peace as you visit the Kinkakuji Temple, one of the five Zen temples in Kyoto. This temple is known as the Temple of the Golden Pavillion and also has several incredible traditional Japanese gardens. Continue your cultural experience in the Muromachi Period as you peruse Ginkaku Ji Temple, another Zen temple built along the eastern mountainside. Experience classical Japanese musical theater known as Noh. Wrap up the day as you treat your taste buds at a traditional tea-tasting ceremony.
Travel to Kanazawa (around 3.5 hours' drive) to experience history from the Azuchi Momoyama Period (16th to 17th century) to the Edo Period (17th to 19th century). Begin by visiting the Oyama Jinja Shrine, dedicated to Maeda Toshiie, the first lord of the powerful Maeda Clan during the 16th century. Stroll through the expansive grounds at Kanazawa Castle Park. Make a wish in the Kinjo Reitaku Well before smelling the fragrant flowers in the quaint Kenrokuen Garden and Seisonkaku Villa. Explore a beautifully-restored samurai residence, the Nomura House and Nagamachi Samurai District. Set in the beautiful neighboring spa town of Kaga, the charming chalet style Beniya Mukayu is the hot spot for relaxation and rest after a busy day of exploring. The Nikko Kanazawa is a more modern option, located in the city center and business district.
Learn about the Azuchi Momoyama Period (16th to 17th century) to the Edo Period (17th to the 19th century). Here, you’ll be shown silk dying in Kaga Yuzen’s prestigious studio. Learn about gold leaf and it’s importance in several area’s temples. Sample fresh, steaming hot rice wine known as sake and learn about the brewing process as you visit a sake brewery. This is the perfect nightcap - especially if you are in the city during the colder months.
It’s time for a trip to the country’s pristine and modern capital - Tokyo. We suggest either the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo or Peninsula Tokyo Hotel. Both options are centrally-located and abundant in every modern day convenience. Spend the day reflecting on the Edo Period as you take a leisurely walk through the Edo Castle and Imperial Palace. See how the royals lived during these ancient times. Next, catch a glimpse of rare pieces of art, including a replica of the Nihonbashi wooden bridge from the 1600’s. Continue on to view woodblock prints at the Ukiyoe Museum, one of the only museums in the world to display this type of work. End the day with a Kabuki performance - a three-part theatrical performance with roots in the Sengoku period.
The Kamakura, Edo and Meiji periods come to life as you take a day trip to Kamakura and Yokohama. Visit the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, one of the five Zen temples, and gain a sense of peace as you view numerous shrines underneath the cherry trees erected for the ancient ruling leader Yoritomo’s first born son. Tour the Kotokuin Temple and the larger-than-life stone Buddha statue, sitting in the perfect meditative position. Dive in to the Yokohama Archives of History and take ancient learning into your own hands. The day’s final stop is Hikawa Maru, a beautiful ship with old world charm that sailed its first journey in 1929.
Our final step back into Japanese history and culture delves in the Meiji Period and continues all the way to Tokyo’s modernism. There’s one last stop at a 7th century temple - Asakusa or Sensoji Temple - the most colorful and popular temple in the city. Revel in true Shinto architecture as you check out the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Rocket forward into modern times and shop the unique cutting-edge fashion at Omotesando Hills. Gain an incredible aerial view from the lookout of Tokyo Sky Tree Tower. When you come back down to earth, pay a visit to the Mori Art museum - housed in a contemporary building, containing contemporary pieces.