Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Insider's Japan tour

Insider's Japan

Odysseys Unlimited
5.0 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
13 days
From: $ 5,191 $ 399 / day
Checking price



  • Enjoy Tokyo touring, including Imperial Palace District and Meiji Shrine
  • Experience Stunning scenery of Mt. Fuji and Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
  • Takayama’s ancient streets and houses
  • Have a chance for Hands-on cooking class
  • Culturally rich Kanazawa
  • Tour of Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital
  • Excursion to historic Nara
  • Traditional tea ceremony

Short Description

It’s a land of delicate art and bustling commerce, of rich traditions and dizzying modernity; a jumble of sights, sounds, and tastes that for visitors are truly foreign – and truly fascinating. This well-crafted tour features the highlights of Tokyo and Kyoto, engages us in local life, and takes us off the beaten path to the lovely historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Tokyo
End City Kyoto

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 11 nights’ accommodations: 10 nights in Superior First Class and First Class hotels; 1 night in traditional Japanese ryokan
  • 19 meals: 11 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Train transportation as described
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next ­Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)

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Day 1

Depart U.S. for Tokyo, Japan

Day 2: Arrive Tokyo

After arriving in ­Japan’s financial, commercial, and political capital this evening, we transfer to our hotel where we learn about the journey ahead at a briefing with our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director.

Day 3: Tokyo

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

We spend the morning touring this amazing city that comprises 23 wards and covers a staggering 840 miles. We focus on a smaller area as we visit some of Tokyo’s top sights, including Shinto Meiji Shrine, a peaceful enclave of temples and gardens; and historic Imperial Palace, surrounded by moats and ramparts, and home of the Imperial Family. Next we visit Tokyo’s oldest temple, Bud­d­hist Asakusa Kannon, followed by the Nakamise Shopping arcade. This afternoon is at leisure; tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Tokyo

Meals: Breakfast

Today’s touring includes a visit to the gallery of preeminent calligrapher Koshun Masunaga, where we learn about this ancient art of artistic writing and browse the collection. Then we embark on a motorcoach tour of Ginza, Tokyo’s famed shopping, dining, and entertainment district boasting the most expensive real estate in all Japan. Our tour ends in Ginza, with the remainder of the day free to explore Ginza’s department stores, boutiques, and galleries as we wish; or to set off in a new direction, perhaps to a kabuki performance or judo demonstration. Our Tour Director will advise the best way to return to the hotel.

Day 5: Tokyo/Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park/Hakone

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Japan’s pastoral side is on tap as we leave Tokyo for Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Here sits imposing Mt. Fuji, a dormant volcano (it last erupted in 1707) with a perfectly ­symmetrical cone that rises to 12,388 feet. The mountain’s majesty is breathtaking, as artists and writers have attested for centuries. We take a coach ride where, weather permitting, we’ll enjoy breathtaking panoramic views; then we descend for a relaxing cruise on scenic Ashi Lake. Leaving the park, we travel to the town of Hakone where we spend the night at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn where we take off our shoes upon entering, enjoy a Japanese-style Kaiseki dinner, and sleep on a futon.

Day 6: Hakone/Takayama

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Today we travel first by bullet train then by Wide View Hida express train to lovely Takayama in the Japanese Alps, considered one of the country’s most attractive towns with its 16th- century castle and old-style buildings. Our explorations center on three narrow streets in the San-machi-suji district where, in feudal times, merchants lived amidst the authentically preserved small inns, teahouses, and sake breweries. This afternoon we attend a traditional Japanese tea ceremony here, an historic, ritualized ceremony of form, grace, and spirituality.

Day 7: Takayama

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

We pay an early visit to the riverside Miyagawa Morning Market, a blaze of dazzling colors and foodstuffs. Here we meet a local chef to gather ingredients for the lunch we will prepare together at a nearby site. After enjoying the fruits of our labors, we embark on a walking tour, visiting Takayama Jinya, an historic government house; the local sake brewery; and Takayama’s old town, whose well-preserved buildings and homes date to the Edo Period (1600-1868).

Day 8: ­Takayama/Shirakawago/Kanazawa

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

We leave Takayama this morning for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago Gassho-zukuri Village. Comprising buildings re­locat­ed from authentic villages nearby that were razed for a dam, the village is also a vibrant community whose residents work together to preserve the unique traditional architecture here known as Gassho style. Late this afternoon we reach the castle town of Kanazawa, an alluring coastal city that survived the ravages of World War II.

Day 9: Kanazawa

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Today’s tour of this culturally rich city features renowned Kenrokuen Garden, a national landmark whose origins date to 1676. We also see Ishikawa Gate, the only remaining section of the town’s original castle; Hakukokan, a museum celebrating the art and craft of gold leaf technology; and the Higashi Chayagai teahouse and geisha area. Our last stop is the Nagamachi Samurai district, where the ruling family’s samurai warriors lived.

Day 10: Kanazawa/Kyoto

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

We leave this morning by train for Kyoto, formerly Japan’s Imperial Capital and now the country’s cultural and artistic center. With more than 1,600 temples, hundreds of shrines, artful gardens, and historic architecture, Kyoto embodies Japan’s rich culture and complex history. Upon arrival we visit Kyoto National Museum, a premier institution featuring pre-modern Japanese and Asian art and artifacts, then continue on to Unrakugama, a workshop specializing in prized Kiyomizu pottery.

Day 11: Kyoto/Nara

Meals: Breakfast

A morning tour reveals the highlights of Kyoto, which was spared destruction during World War II. We visit Kinkaku-ji, the lake- side Temple of the Golden Pavilion set on pillars suspended over the water. We also visit ostentatious Nijo Castle (c. 1603), where the shogun asserted control over the city and its people. This afternoon we visit Nara, Japan’s 8th century capital, renowned for its shrines, temples, and deer that roam Nara Park.

Day 12: Kyoto

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Today is at leisure to enjoy Kyoto as we wish or participate in an optional cycling tour to visit the important Heian Jingu Shinto shrine; Nishiki Market, “Kyoto’s kitchen” selling provisions of all kinds; and the Gion district where the geishas gather. Tonight we celebrate our journey over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 13: Depart Kyoto for U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

This morning we travel by motorcoach to Osaka, where we board our return flight to the United States.


Checking price
Price From $ 5,191
Price Per Day: $ 399 per day
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Checking price
  • Deposit Price: $ 375
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,195

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Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Insider's Japan

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Company Reviews

Managed well.

The small group concept works extremely well. Big buses but only one to a seat if you want to stretch out. Unique and upscale hotels, good food, and personable guides. The pace is not rushed and you will see places "off the beaten path." The only dilemma, which tour do we choose next?
Read more

GREAT tour company!!!

Top notch and everything was taken care of. I finally learned to truly live in the moment ... Loved every minute.

worth going again to see more of this awesome country and five star service

Fascinating country that you must visit using Odyssey Travel as they truly have amazing tour guides, fantastic hotels, courteous and safe bus drivers, and great itineraries .
Read more


Optional Activities

Post-Tour Extension

Hiroshima: City of Peace

3 days/2 nights for $995 total price

Single Supplement: $155

Discover the city reborn from the atomic destruction of World War II, a modern and cosmopolitan urban center whose residents warmly welcome American visitors.

Your Tour Price Includes

  • Rail transportation Kyoto/Hiroshima, Hiroshima/Osaka
  • 2 nights’ accommodations at Hotel Granvia Hiroshima (First Class)
  • 3 meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch
  • Extensive included sightseeing: Itsukushima Shrine; Mt. Misen Ropeway; Hiroshima touring by local “Hiroden” train; visit to Peace Memorial Park and Museum; Atomic Bomb Dome
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, hotel porters, and all drivers

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 24

Tour membership limited to 12-24 guests


Park Hotel Tokyo , Tokyo / Days 2-4 / Superior First Class

Built in 2003, this 273-room hotel in Tokyo’s Shiodome culture and business district offers a peaceful oasis from the busy city. Hotel facilities and amenities include several restaurants, bars, and lounges; laundry and dry cleaning services; Internet access; and professional “pillow fitters” to help guests achieve a restful night’s sleep. Serenely decorated guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, air-conditioning, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.


Aura Tachibana , Hakone / Day 5 / Not rated

Located in the small hot springs resort of Hakone, the Aura Tachibana offers a traditional Japanese-style lodging experience.  Guests can enjoy a dip in the public outdoor onsen bath; dine upon fresh, local Japanese food at dinner; and experience sleeping on a futon in a Japanese-style room with private bathroom.  Per Japanese tradition, shoes must be removed in bedrooms at this ryokan.


Hida Hotel Plaza , Takayama / Day 6 / First Class

Centrally located near the railway station and a five-minute walk from Miyagawa morning market, the 232-room Hida Hotel Plaza features several restaurants, lounges, and a sake bar; beauty salon; gift shop; indoor swimming pool, spa, and sauna; Internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; and a roof-top pool with commanding views of the northern Japanese Alps. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, refrigerator, TV, and phone.


Hotel Nikko Kanazawa , Kanazawa / Days 7-8 / First Class

Conveniently located within walking distance of some of Kanazawa’s most popular sights, the 254-room Hotel Nikko Kanazawa combines a refined European atmosphere with the beauty of the four seasons. Hotel amenities include several restaurants, lounges, and bars; Internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; and an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, and Jacuzzi. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone.


ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto Hotel (formerly ANA Kyoto Hotel) , Kyoto / Days 9-12 / First Class

Contemporary on the exterior, the ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto Hotel offers guests traditional Japanese hospitality within. The 298-room hotel, well located across from Nijo Castle, has several restaurants and a bar; a health club with indoor pool, spa tub, and sauna; internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; beauty salon; and gift shop. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe; mini-bar, TV, and phone.


Hotel Granvia Hiroshima , Hiroshima / Extension / First Class

Connected to JR Hiroshima Station, the Hotel Granvia Hiroshima offers direct access to several of Hiroshima’s most popular sites, including Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima Island. The hotel offers five restaurants, bar, and lounge; dry cleaning and laundry services; hair salon; gift shop; Internet access; and safe deposit boxes. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations and Refunds

You will receive a full refund for any cancellations made up to 95 days before departure (125 days for In the Wake of Lewis and Clark). If you must cancel your tour, the effective date of can­cellation will be upon our receipt of your notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges:

For all tours (except as noted)

Prior to departure


95 days or more

Full refund

94–65 days

25% of tour price

64–45 days

50% of tour price

44–30 days

75% of tour price

29–0 days

No refund

Additional Information:

Please note:  This trip involves full days of sightseeing and significant amounts of walking on stairs and uneven surfaces.  You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

Trip ID#:


Meals Included:

11 Breakfasts, 2 Lunch and 6 Dinners

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