Discover Japan

Japan is a country of captivating contrasts, where ancient gods rub shoulders with modern technology, skyscrapers give way to lush paddy fields and bustling crowds disperse into the tranquillity of a classical garden. This tour is the perfect introduction to this fascinating archipelago.

Places Visited

US - Tokyo (3N) - Yatsugatake (1N) - Takayama (2N) - Kanazawa (1N) - Kyoto (3N) - Nara - Koya - Wakayama (1N) - Osaka (1N) - US

Days 1-2 Fly to Tokyo
Fly overnight to the neon-lit metropolis of Tokyo, Japan's capital city.
Days 1-2 Fly to Tokyo
Day 3 Sensoji Temple
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you’ll find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Head to the top of the Tokyo Skytree for panoramic views over the city before taking a wander through the districts of Asakusa and Nakamise. Stop at Sensoji Temple and the Imperial Palace and later stroll through Hamarikyu Gardens. Enjoy your evening meal whilst cruising along Tokyo Bay.
Day 3 Sensoji Temple
Day 4 Mt Fuji
Take the speedy bullet train to Odawara and cruise on Lake Ashi before taking the Komagatake cable car for spectacular views of the lake below. Head up to Mount Fuji's 5th Station to enjoy the amazing views. Continue to Yatsugatake for an overnight stay.
Day 4 Mt Fuji
Day 5 Matsumoto Castle
Head to Nagano where we will explore the formidable 16th century Matsumoto Castle. Stop at a wasabi farm where you can try your hand at making pickled wasabi vegetables before travelling to Takayama, nestled high in the mountainous Hida region.
Day 5 Matsumoto Castle
Day 6 Explore Takayama
Head to the Miyagawa Morning Market and sample some of the delicious local fruits and vegetables. Later take a wander round the traditional houses of the area and visit the local museums – Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, Kusakabe Folk Museum and Takayama Jinya.
Day 6 Explore Takayama
Day 7 Travel to Kanazawa
Journey to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago, famous for its gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are over 250 years old. Continue to Kanazawa and visit the Nomura Samurai House, followed by a stroll through the Old District.
Day 7 Travel to Kanazawa
Day 8 Kenroku-en Garden
This morning wander through the beautiful Kenrokuen, one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’. Visit the 21st century Museum of Contemporary Art. After lunch, drive to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital.
Day 8 Kenroku-en Garden
Day 9 Explore Kyoto
Start the day with a visit to Ryoanji, a Zen temple with an excellent example of a dry landscape garden. Visit the Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, due to its gold-like exterior before learning the traditional Japanese art of origami and enjoying a tea ceremony.
Day 9 Explore Kyoto
Day 10 Discover Nara
Drive to Nara, the former imperial capital, and visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden structure and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Also visit Isuein Gardens, known for its natural ponds, before returning to Kyoto, stopping en route at the mesmerising Fushimi Inari Shrine.
Day 10 Discover Nara
Day 11 Koya-San
This morning, drive to Koya-San, the centre of Shingon Buddhism. Visit the Kongobuji Temple and Garan temple complex. Next see Okunoin, Japan’s largest cemetery and is home to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism. This evening, transfer to Wakayama for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 11 Koya-San
Day 12 Travel to Osaka
This morning drive to Osaka, Japan’s third largest city. See the spectacular Osaka Castle and explore the Dotonbori district, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample Osaka’s plethora of mouth-watering bites. Take a cruise on the Yodogawa River before a farewell dinner tonight.
Day 12 Travel to Osaka
Day 13 Fly Osaka to USA
Fly to the USA, arriving home the same or following day.
Day 13 Fly Osaka to USA

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

Customize Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to one of our Destination Specialists who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us at 877 993 6399 and we'll help plan your dream vacation.

The below prices include international flights. If you have your own flights, we also offer land-only packages.

Based on New York departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from $5,640 (Tokyo-Osaka)
Single room from $1,000

14-Mar > 26-Mar - $7,170 BOOK NOW
18-Mar > 30-Mar - $7,170 BOOK NOW
21-Mar > 02-Apr - $7,170 BOOK NOW
25-Mar > 06-Apr - $7,170 BOOK NOW
28-Mar > 09-Apr - $7,470 BOOK NOW
01-Apr > 13-Apr - $7,470 BOOK NOW
04-Apr > 16-Apr - $7,470 BOOK NOW
08-Apr > 20-Apr - $7,470 BOOK NOW
11-Apr > 23-Apr - $7,470 BOOK NOW
18-Apr > 30-Apr - $7,470 BOOK NOW
09-May > 21-May - $7,170 BOOK NOW
12-Sep > 24-Sep - $7,470 BOOK NOW
19-Sep > 01-Oct - $7,470 BOOK NOW
26-Sep > 08-Oct - $7,470 BOOK NOW
24-Oct > 05-Nov - $7,470 BOOK NOW
31-Oct > 12-Nov - $7,470 BOOK NOW
07-Nov > 19-Nov - $7,170 BOOK NOW

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Tokyo Sunshine Prince
Tokyo Sunshine Prince - Tokyo (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

The Sunshine Prince is located in Sunshine City, a shopping and entertainment hub of Tokyo and close to Ikebukuro Station, providing convenient transport links to the rest of the city. The hotel's en-suite rooms are simple, comfortable and traditionally furnished with a television, electric kettle, a mini fridge and a safety deposit box. Facilities in the hotel include on-site restaurants serving Japanese, Cantonese and Western cuisines, a cafe and bar and a 24 hour convenience store.

Ryu Resort Takayama
Ryu Resort Takayama - Takayama (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

The Ryu Resort allows guests to appreciate the natural scenery of the area. Facilities include a swimming pool, tennis courts, a bar and a relaxing onsen. Each of its Japanese-western style rooms have an en suite bathroom, tea making facilities and a satellite TV. There are three on site restaurants serving excellent local cuisine.

Kanazawa Miyako
Kanazawa Miyako - Kanazawa (1 Nights)
hotel star rating

Conveniently located next to Kanazawa Station, the Kanazawa Miyako offers modern air conditioned rooms with tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV. The hotel has two on site restaurants serving a mixture of French and local cuisine. Other facilities include a bar and lounge, a convenience store and free internet access in the hotel lobby.

Karasuma Kyoto Hotel
Karasuma Kyoto Hotel - Kyoto (3 Nights)
hotel star rating

Located in the downtown area of Kyoto, the Karasuma hotel has good access to the popular sightseeing spots. The stylish, simple rooms all have en suite bathrooms and free internet access. The bar offers a menu of seasonal cocktails and guests can dine at the hotel's two restaurants serving Japanese and Chinese cuisine.

Granvia Hotel
Granvia Hotel - Wakayama (1 Nights)
hotel star rating

Hotel Granvia is conveniently located next to Wakayama train station. The 134 modern guest rooms are sound proofed and feature air conditioning, free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. The hotel has a bar/lounge, a coffee shop and two restaurants, where guests can feast on delicious dishes made with seasonal local products.

Hotel Plaza
Hotel Plaza - Osaka (1 Nights)
hotel star rating

The hotel boasts a central location in the city. It has four restaurants, offering a mixture of western and Japanese cuisine, a cafe and a bar. Other hotel facilities include a gift shop, a hair salon, a swimming pool and a fitness center. All guest rooms are air conditioned and feature a TV, electric kettle and a mini fridge. WiFi access is available throughout the hotel.

Himeji Extension - 2D/1N

Himeji Extension - 2D/1N

tour duration 2 Days from tour price 260pp
Hiroshima Extension - 3D/2N

Hiroshima Extension - 3D/2N

tour duration 3 Days from tour price 860pp

A Visa is not required for Japan for US and Canadian passport holders.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the US the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 1, then the local area code, then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 1 212 868 5800.
Mobile Phones
Cell phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however text and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your cell phone provider if you intend to use international roaming during your vacationand ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the US.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping in Japan is not compulsory, nor expected. Any tipping provided for services on tour in Japan should be provided discreetly inside a small envelope. 

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.

Why Book This Tour?

This adventure is ideal for travelers with a reasonable amount of time to spend and who want to see the very best bits of Japan. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights of Japan and have incorporated travel by road to give the opportunity to see the beautiful Japanese countryside.

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USA's Asia Specialist

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