iLoveJapanTours is a leading tour operator specializing in private tours in Japan.

 

Look at that altitude! Mt. Fuji 5th station

Sannomachi Old Town, Takayama, full of preserved merchant houses

Aesthetically superb sushi in an equally aesthetic restaurant

Old samurai residence (Buke Yashiki) in the Naga-machi district

Golden Ring

11 days

TokyoKawaguchikoKyotoNagoyaMagomeTsumago-jukuTakayamaShirakawa-goKanazawaTokyo

A side trip to the vicinity of Mt. Fuji

A cozy ryokan with amazing dinner and hot spring baths

Senso-ji and the illustrious pagoda in Asakusa

Another atmospheric old post town to explore

Kyoto-style lunch in an atmospheric restaurant

Hokuriku bullet train, taking you from Kanazawa to Tokyo

Does this restaurant look familiar? Hint: Kill Bill

Authentic atmosphere at the reconstructed post town of Magome-juku

Historic Village of Shirakawa-go, a remote village in the mountains

Kanazawa Castle, seat of the powerful Maeda Clan of Kaga Province

Sushi in Ginza. Classy place, classy meal!

Dry landscape in a Zen temple. Can you spot all the rocks?

Walk through the slopes of Higashiyama, Kyoto, Day 4

Welcome to your hotel in Tokyo!

Oyaki buns from a local bakery

Local cuisine featuring the rare matsutake mushrooms

Quality Hida beef, a kind of wagyu local to the Takayama region

The iconic facade of the Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji

Staying in a local family guesthouse (minshuku) -- authentic!

Welcome to your hotel in Tokyo!
Senso-ji and the illustrious pagoda in Asakusa
Sushi in Ginza. Classy place, classy meal!
A side trip to the vicinity of Mt. Fuji
Look at that altitude! Mt. Fuji 5th station
Local cuisine featuring the rare matsutake mushrooms
Kyoto-style lunch in an atmospheric restaurant
Walk through the slopes of Higashiyama, Kyoto, Day 4
The iconic facade of the Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji
Dry landscape in a Zen temple. Can you spot all the rocks?
Aesthetically superb sushi in an equally aesthetic restaurant
Authentic atmosphere at the reconstructed post town of Magome-juku
Oyaki buns from a local bakery
Another atmospheric old post town to explore
Staying in a local family guesthouse (minshuku) -- authentic!
Sannomachi Old Town, Takayama, full of preserved merchant houses
Quality Hida beef, a kind of wagyu local to the Takayama region
A cozy ryokan with amazing dinner and hot spring baths
Historic Village of Shirakawa-go, a remote village in the mountains
Kanazawa Castle, seat of the powerful Maeda Clan of Kaga Province
Old samurai residence (Buke Yashiki) in the Naga-machi district
Hokuriku bullet train, taking you from Kanazawa to Tokyo
Does this restaurant look familiar? Hint: Kill Bill
Tour code: CJ-04-EN
Golden Ring
Travel style: Active

11 days

TokyoKawaguchikoKyotoNagoyaMagomeTsumago-jukuTakayamaShirakawa-goKanazawaTokyo

Theme: Classic Japan
Availability: All year round

Arrival date
    
Group size
    • From¥ 1,082,000 2,164,000 JPY

    • From$ 9,832 19,664 USD

    • From 8,468 16,936 EUR

    • From£ 7,419 14,838 GBP

    • From$ 13,322 26,644 AUD

    • From฿ 323,273 646,545 THB

    • FromRp 138,590,382 277,180,765 IDR

    • From¥ 816,000 2,448,000 JPY

    • From$ 7,415 22,244 USD

    • From 6,386 19,159 EUR

    • From£ 5,595 16,785 GBP

    • From$ 10,047 30,141 AUD

    • From฿ 243,799 731,397 THB

    • FromRp 104,519,179 313,557,538 IDR

    • From¥ 684,000 2,736,000 JPY

    • From$ 6,215 24,861 USD

    • From 5,353 21,413 EUR

    • From£ 4,690 18,760 GBP

    • From$ 8,422 33,687 AUD

    • From฿ 204,361 817,443 THB

    • FromRp 87,611,665 350,446,660 IDR

    • From¥ 604,000 3,020,000 JPY

    • From$ 5,488 27,442 USD

    • From 4,727 23,636 EUR

    • From£ 4,141 20,707 GBP

    • From$ 7,437 37,184 AUD

    • From฿ 180,459 902,295 THB

    • FromRp 77,364,687 386,823,433 IDR

    • From¥ 551,000 3,306,000 JPY

    • From$ 5,007 30,041 USD

    • From 4,312 25,874 EUR

    • From£ 3,778 22,668 GBP

    • From$ 6,784 40,705 AUD

    • From฿ 164,624 987,744 THB

    • FromRp 70,576,063 423,456,381 IDR

    • From¥ 530,000 3,710,000 JPY

    • From$ 4,816 33,712 USD

    • From 4,148 29,036 EUR

    • From£ 3,634 25,438 GBP

    • From$ 6,526 45,679 AUD

    • From฿ 158,350 1,108,449 THB

    • FromRp 67,886,232 475,203,621 IDR

    • From¥ 499,000 3,992,000 JPY

    • From$ 4,534 36,274 USD

    • From 3,905 31,243 EUR

    • From£ 3,421 27,372 GBP

    • From$ 6,144 49,152 AUD

    • From฿ 149,088 1,192,703 THB

    • FromRp 63,915,528 511,324,220 IDR

Interactive Map (click me!)

Overview

One of the most important aspects of traveling is to behold and experience the local tradition and culture of your destination. To emphasize this aspect while maintaining variety and comfort, we at ILJT have perfected an 11-day itinerary that covers some of the best Honshu destinations, both renowned and obscure, in a circular route that starts and ends in Tokyo.

The adventure starts with Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, and Kyoto, three of the must-visits for any traveler to Japan. Afterward, you will make a trip to the north starting from Nagoya, and finally back south to Tokyo once you have reached Kanazawa, forming a loop that we like to call the “Golden Ring” due to the variety of unique Japanese experiences that you can enjoy by following this route.

Woven into the early parts of this adventure are renowned Japanese activities, such as a tea ceremony, a geisha performance, or a visit to a kimono museum. Around halfway through, you will experience the zeitgeist of Edo Japan in rural settings. Near the end, you will study fine surviving examples of the samurai culture, before wrapping it up with a final stop in Tokyo. Indeed, this is a classic Japan tour in every sense of the word!

You might be also interested in

Trip name days From  
Silver Ring Tokyo to Tokyo 7 On request
Japan Express Tokyo to Osaka 8 On request
Japan Classics Tokyo to Osaka 15 On request

Overview

One of the most important aspects of traveling is to behold and experience the local tradition and culture of your destination. To emphasize this aspect while maintaining variety and comfort, we at ILJT have perfected an 11-day itinerary that covers some of the best Honshu destinations, both renowned and obscure, in a circular route that starts and ends in Tokyo.

The adventure starts with Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, and Kyoto, three of the must-visits for any traveler to Japan. Afterward, you will make a trip to the north starting from Nagoya, and finally back south to Tokyo once you have reached Kanazawa, forming a loop that we like to call the “Golden Ring” due to the variety of unique Japanese experiences that you can enjoy by following this route.

Woven into the early parts of this adventure are renowned Japanese activities, such as a tea ceremony, a geisha performance, or a visit to a kimono museum. Around halfway through, you will experience the zeitgeist of Edo Japan in rural settings. Near the end, you will study fine surviving examples of the samurai culture, before wrapping it up with a final stop in Tokyo. Indeed, this is a classic Japan tour in every sense of the word!

Highlights

Outline

Day 1 Arriving to TokyoTokyo

Arrive in Tokyo. Adventure is about to start!

Day 2 Tokyo City TourTokyo

Explore Tokyo, a modern metropolis with a rich and exciting tradition

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 3 Mt. Fuji TourKawaguchiko

Explore the scenic beauty of Mt. Fuji and a remarkable kimono museum nearby

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 4 Kyoto City TourKyoto

Explore the old town and geisha district of Kyoto, and learn the art of tea ceremony

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 5: Kyoto City TourKyoto › Nagoya

Explore two temples and a castle in Kyoto before moving to Nagoya in the evening

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 6 MagomeMagome › Tsumago-juku

Explore Magome and Tsumago, two preserved post towns of an old trade route

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 7 TakayamaTakayama

Explore Takayama, an antiquated city full of traditional Japanese appeal

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 8 Shirakawa-go TourShirakawa-go › Kanazawa

Explore the Historic Village of Shirakawa-go, a remote mountain settlement

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 9 Kanazawa City TourKanazawa

Explore Kanazawa and the legacy of its samurai culture

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 10 Return to TokyoTokyo

Return to Tokyo, and celebrate the completion of Golden Ring with a great lunch

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 11 Leaving JapanTokyo

Leave Japan, and bring home many wonderful memories!

Meals included : Breakfast

Hotels

What is included?

Tour Accommodation

Western hotel: 8 nights -- Japanese ryokan: 1 night -- Local minshuku: 1 night

Meals

10 breakfasts -- 9 lunches -- 2 dinners

Transport

Airport pickup -- Private car: 9 days -- Bullet train: 3 times (Tokyo - Kyoto, Kyoto - Nagoya, Kanazawa - Tokyo)

Tour guide

Airport pickup -- Guided tour: 9 days

Included activities

Tickets for attractions and rides as defined in the itinerary, where necessary

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the tour

International flights are not included in the tour price, and should be independently arranged by the traveler. This particular itinerary starts and ends in Tokyo. Please book flights to/from either Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND). It should be noted that we can arrange the included airport pickup service only if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). We recommend flights that arrive around/after noon, as you can only check into your hotel starting at 3 PM.
An English-speaking guide will accompany you on Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. The guide will be at your service during the designated tour hours. Please note that the guide will be staying at the same hotel as you on Days 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 for logistical reasons. The guide will also pick you up at the airport if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). In the event that your flight arrives early, we can arrange a half-day tour on the day of arrival at an additional cost.
The tour price includes eight nights in 3- or 4-star hotels, one night in a predesignated ryokan (Japanese-style inn), and one night in a minshuku (family guesthouse). Breakfast is included for each night’s stay in a hotel, whereas both dinner and breakfast are included for every night in a ryokan and minshuku unless otherwise specified in the itinerary. Lunch is provided on every guided day, but not on days of arrival or departure. As you can only check into your hotel starting at 3 PM, in the event that your flight arrives early, we can arrange lunch on the day of arrival at an additional cost.
The tour price includes the service of a driver and a private car on every guided day. It also includes scheduled bullet train transfers between Tokyo and Kyoto on Day 4, Kyoto and Nagoya on Day 5, and Kanazawa and Tokyo on Day 10. The driver and car will be available only during the designated tour hours, and only for the included destinations. Please note that the driver will be staying at the same hotel as you on Day 6 for logistical reasons. Airport pickup is also included if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). In the event that your flight arrives early, we can extend the use of the private car for the purposes of lunch or a half-day tour at an additional cost. Please note that airport transfer for departure is not included.
All entrance tickets for destinations defined in the schedule are included in the tour price. Some tickets cannot be pre-booked, and it may be necessary for the guide to procure them on the spot. Please note that some attractions require strict compliance to pre-booked entrance times, and may void the booking if the schedule is not observed. As such, please complete your preparations to leave the hotel by the designated start time of the day.

You might be also interested in

Trip name days Price
Silver Ring Tokyo to Tokyo 7 On request
Japan Highlights Tokyo to Osaka 11 On request
Japan Express Tokyo to Osaka 8 On request

Day 1 Arriving to Tokyo

  Tokyo
Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western

Activities

The first day is a standard affair. Your guide will pick you up at the airport and assist you with preparations for the tour. A private coach will take you to your hotel in the heart of the city. After the check-in procedures are completed, you will have the rest of the day to yourselves

Day 2 Tokyo City Tour

  Tokyo
Breakfast / Lunch Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Transfer to Asakusa
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Asakusa and Senso-ji
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Transfer to Tsukiji
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Sushi lunch
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Transfer to Tokyo Imperial Palace
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Tokyo Imperial Palace (East Garden)
  • 15:00 - 15:30 Transfer to Harajuku
  • 15:30 - 16:30 Meiji Jingu
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Return to hotel

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Sushi set in an upscale restaurant in Ginza

Activities

The current capital of Japan is your starting point for this tour. Despite its modern appearance and infrastructure, Tokyo is a city of rich tradition and culture. Your day tour in this metropolis will feature mainly the traditional side of Tokyo. The attractions chosen are therefore: its oldest and most famous Buddhist temple, its largest and most significant Shinto shrine, and the current residence of the Japanese Emperor.

During your time at each attraction you will observe and mingle with the local visitors, witness their customs and actions in places of worship, and experience different aspects of Japanese beliefs. Try rubbing the smoke of Senso-ji’s incense burner on your head, getting your fortune told, or writing your wish down on an “ema” in Meiji Jingu. You will also enjoy the freshest sushi, the signature Japanese dish, at Tsukiji Fish Market.

Day 3 Mt. Fuji Tour

  Kawaguchiko
Breakfast / Lunch Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:30 Transfer to Fuji Five Lakes
  • 11:30 - 13:00 Mt. Fuji 5th station (summer/autumn) / Kachi Kachi Ropeway (winter/spring)
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Local cuisine lunch
  • 14:30 - 15:00 Transfer to Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
  • 15:00 - 16:30 Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
  • 16:30 - 18:30 Return to Tokyo hotel

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Course of local cuisine featuring the rare matsutake mushrooms

Activities

Going on an excursion to Mt. Fuji today, you will witness the majestic mountain both as a natural wonder and as a form of art. In the morning, you will head to some of the best spots of the season to experience the beauty of Fuji, either directly on its slope where unique plants grow due to the elevation, or atop another mountain you can reach on a ropeway when Fuji itself is not accessible. Both places have a Japanese folk tale associated with them.

In the afternoon, you will visit a kimono museum near Lake Kawaguchi. This place displays many meticulously made kimono, including a series depicting Mt. Fuji, and arguably Itchiku Kubota’s most famous work, the “Symphony of Light.” The hard work and attention to detail that gave birth to this exhibit will fully engross you. After a mesmerizing time in the museum, you will once more return to Tokyo.

Day 4 Kyoto City Tour

  Kyoto
Breakfast / Lunch Hearton Hotel Kyoto Western

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 12:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Kyoto by shinkansen
  • 12:00 - 12:30 Transfer to restaurant
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 15:30 - 15:45 Transfer to Higashiyama
  • 15:45 - 17:00 Higashiyama (tea ceremony)
  • 17:00 - 17:15 Transfer to Gion
  • 17:15 - 18:00 Sightseeing around Gion
  • 18:00 - 19:00 Gion Corner (subject to availability)
  • 19:00 - 19:30 Transfer to hotel >> check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Assorted washoku set in an atmospheric restaurant

Activities

Leaving Tokyo, you will take the famous shinkansen, which can cover more than 500 kilometers in just two hours. Arriving in Kyoto at noon, you will immediately enjoy a traditional taste of the city for lunch. Afterward, you will visit Higashiyama, Kyoto’s most famous old town district, and experience a Japanese tea ceremony.

In the evening, you will be sightseeing around the city’s most famous geisha district. The area is full of old wooden houses, shops, and teahouses. If you are lucky, you may be able to catch a glimpse of passing geiko and maiko. To give you a better picture of the geisha culture of Japan, you will watch a cultural show at Gion Corner, where you will learn about various forms of Japanese art performed by apprentice geisha.

Day 5: Kyoto City Tour

  Kyoto › Nagoya
Breakfast / Lunch Nagoya Crown Hotel Western

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Kinkaku-ji
  • 10:00 - 10:45 Kinkaku-ji
  • 10:45 - 12:00 Ryoan-ji
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Temari-zushi lunch
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Transfer to Nijo Castle
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Nijo Castle
  • 15:00 - 17:00 Transfer to Nagoya by shinkansen
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Transfer to hotel >> check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Temari-zushi, a special type of sushi where the rice is pressed smaller than usual, making for very attractive little sushi balls

Activities

After the old town and geisha aspects of Kyoto that you explored yesterday, you will be visiting the temples and castle that the city is renowned for today. Your first destination, Kinkaku-ji, is the Golden Pavilion Temple, known for its glittering reflection on the water. The second, Ryoan-ji, is known for its dry landscape, which arrange rocks and gravels into a profound scenery. After the two temples, you will enjoy a delicious temari-zushi lunch in a restaurant nearby.

In the afternoon, you will visit the well-preserved Nijo Castle, a symbol of the shogun’s power during the Edo period. The palace building is known for its squeaking nightingale floors and beautifully decorated interior. Afterward, you will leave Kyoto and take the bullet train to Nagoya to stay the night. Nagoya is famous for its chicken wings and miso katsu, which you may want to try for dinner!

Day 6 Magome

  Magome › Tsumago-juku
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Matsushiroya Inn Family inn

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Magome
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Sightseeing around Magome-juku
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 16:00 Nakasendo Hiking Trail
  • 16:00 - 18:00 Sightseeing around Tsumago-juku >> minshuku check-in, free time
  • 18:00 - 19:30 Home-made dinner

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Oyaki (baked buns with various fillings) from a local bakery
Dinner
Home-made dinner

Activities

It is time to start the loop back to Tokyo! You will be going north from Nagoya today, starting from the antiquated post towns of the old Nakasendo Road. Checking out of Nagoya, you will be transferred to Magome-juku, one of the many stations of the mountainous trade route. After a brief sightseeing session and a simple soba lunch, you will go on the 7-km long Nakasendo Hiking Trail to reach Tsumago-juku.

At the end of the exciting hike, you will check into your minshuku (family guesthouse) in Tsumago, where you will experience life in a traditional Japanese home. After checking in, you can continue sightseeing around this post town until dinnertime. Tsumago has many local shops and small shrines and temples to visit, so try to take in as much of the atmosphere as you can. Enjoy your stay in this quiet, rural area of Japan.

Day 7 Takayama

  Takayama
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Takayama Ouan Western

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 12:00 Minshuku check-out >> transfer to Takayama
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Hida beef lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:00 Takayama Jinya
  • 15:00 - 16:30 Sake brewery and sightseeing around the Old Town
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Transfer to hotel >> check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Home-made breakfast
Lunch
Yakiniku set of Hida beef
Dinner
Japanese-style buffet

Activities

Leaving Tsumago, you will once again cross the Japanese Alps to continue your journey to the north. Your destination today is Takayama, one of the largest cities in Gifu Prefecture. This city is known for many things: its beautiful and expansive old town district, its well-preserved local government office, and its delicious regional beef.

Your activities today are designed to deliver as much of authentic Japan as possible. Try out various kinds of sake (rice wine) in a brewery in the Sannomachi old town. Browse for traditional Japanese tools and craft in the many shops that line the streets. Study the timberwork and samurai artifacts in Takayama Jinya and Kusakabe Heritage Museum. At the end of this active day, you will check into your hotel and get some rest.

Day 8 Shirakawa-go Tour

  Shirakawa-go › Kanazawa
Breakfast / Lunch HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa Castle Western

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:30 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Shirakawa-go
  • 10:30 - 12:30 Historic VIllage of Shirakawa-go
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 16:30 Drive through Hakusan White Road toward Hakusan (spring/summer/autumn)
  • 16:30 - 17:30 Transfer to Kanazawa >> hotel check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style buffet
Lunch
Teuchi (handmade) soba in Shirakawa-go

Activities

On your third day crossing the Japanese Alps, you will arrive at the renowned Shirakawa-go. This historic village, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for the lasting legacy of its gassho-zukuri architecture. Enjoy a walk around the farm houses, and the picturesque view from atop the observatory at one end of the village.

The traditional houses are especially beautiful in winter when the thick snow covers their thatched roofs. In other seasons, however, you can leave Shirakawa-go through the scenic Hakusan White Road, which passes by many waterfalls along the way. You will arrive in Kanazawa in the afternoon, where you will celebrate reaching the other coast of Japan by getting a well deserved rest.

Day 9 Kanazawa City Tour

  Kanazawa
Breakfast / Lunch HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa Castle Western

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Transfer to Kanazawa Castle
  • 10:00 - 12:00 Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en
  • 12:00 - 12:30 Transfer to Omi-cho
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Sushi lunch
  • 14:00 - 14:30 Transfer to Ninja-dera
  • 14:30 - 15:30 Ninja-dera
  • 15:30 - 16:00 Transfer to Naga-machi
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Buke Yashiki (samurai residence)
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Return to hotel

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Bowl of kaisen-don at Omi-cho Fish Market

Activities

The last major destination before returning to Tokyo is Kanazawa. This city has many remnants of the samurai culture, making it a fascinating study of Japanese tradition. In the morning, you will be strolling around the premises of Kanazawa Castle and the beautiful Kenroku-en garden, both built by the wealthy daimyo of the province. Afterward is a delicious lunch in the fish market.

In the afternoon, you will see another legacy of the samurai clan in the form of a temple. The Ninja-dera is so-named despite having no relation to the ninja due to the many tricks and traps hidden in this camouflaged samurai hideout. Finally, you will be exploring the Naga-machi district and the old homes of samurai families to learn about their way of life.

Day 10 Return to Tokyo

  Tokyo
Breakfast / Lunch Hotel Nikko Narita Western

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 12:30 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Tokyo by shinkansen
  • 12:30 - 13:00 Transfer to Roppongi
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Washoku lunch
  • 14:30 - 16:00 Transfer to Shinagawa/Chiba >> hotel check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Washoku course in the restaurant Gonpachi in Roppongi

Activities

The apex of the tour is over. Leaving Kanazawa in the morning, the bullet train will once again take you to the city of Tokyo. To celebrate the exciting week that you have spent in Japan, you will have an authentic Japanese meal in the iconic Kill Bill restaurant. Afterward, you will be brought to your hotel in Shinagawa/Chiba, where it will be convenient for you to reach your airport of departure. Prepare for your flight tomorrow, and enjoy your last night in Japan!

Day 11 Leaving Japan

  Tokyo
Breakfast

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet

Activities

You have completed the Golden Ring tour! We hope that you enjoyed your trip with ILJT! On the last day, you will check out of your hotel and conduct an independent transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight back home, and see you again soon!

 Tokyo
Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western

Activities

The first day is a standard affair. Your guide will pick you up at the airport and assist you with preparations for the tour. A private coach will take you to your hotel in the heart of the city. After the check-in procedures are completed, you will have the rest of the day to yourselves

 Tokyo

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Transfer to Asakusa
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Asakusa and Senso-ji
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Transfer to Tsukiji
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Sushi lunch
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Transfer to Tokyo Imperial Palace
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Tokyo Imperial Palace (East Garden)
  • 15:00 - 15:30 Transfer to Harajuku
  • 15:30 - 16:30 Meiji Jingu
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Return to hotel
Breakfast / Lunch Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western

Activities

The current capital of Japan is your starting point for this tour. Despite its modern appearance and infrastructure, Tokyo is a city of rich tradition and culture. Your day tour in this metropolis will feature mainly the traditional side of Tokyo. The attractions chosen are therefore: its oldest and most famous Buddhist temple, its largest and most significant Shinto shrine, and the current residence of the Japanese Emperor.

During your time at each attraction you will observe and mingle with the local visitors, witness their customs and actions in places of worship, and experience different aspects of Japanese beliefs. Try rubbing the smoke of Senso-ji’s incense burner on your head, getting your fortune told, or writing your wish down on an “ema” in Meiji Jingu. You will also enjoy the freshest sushi, the signature Japanese dish, at Tsukiji Fish Market.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Sushi set in an upscale restaurant in Ginza

Open previous day

 Kawaguchiko

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:30 Transfer to Fuji Five Lakes
  • 11:30 - 13:00 Mt. Fuji 5th station (summer/autumn) / Kachi Kachi Ropeway (winter/spring)
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Local cuisine lunch
  • 14:30 - 15:00 Transfer to Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
  • 15:00 - 16:30 Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
  • 16:30 - 18:30 Return to Tokyo hotel
Breakfast / Lunch Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western

Activities

Going on an excursion to Mt. Fuji today, you will witness the majestic mountain both as a natural wonder and as a form of art. In the morning, you will head to some of the best spots of the season to experience the beauty of Fuji, either directly on its slope where unique plants grow due to the elevation, or atop another mountain you can reach on a ropeway when Fuji itself is not accessible. Both places have a Japanese folk tale associated with them.

In the afternoon, you will visit a kimono museum near Lake Kawaguchi. This place displays many meticulously made kimono, including a series depicting Mt. Fuji, and arguably Itchiku Kubota’s most famous work, the “Symphony of Light.” The hard work and attention to detail that gave birth to this exhibit will fully engross you. After a mesmerizing time in the museum, you will once more return to Tokyo.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Course of local cuisine featuring the rare matsutake mushrooms

Open previous day

 Kyoto

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 12:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Kyoto by shinkansen
  • 12:00 - 12:30 Transfer to restaurant
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 15:30 - 15:45 Transfer to Higashiyama
  • 15:45 - 17:00 Higashiyama (tea ceremony)
  • 17:00 - 17:15 Transfer to Gion
  • 17:15 - 18:00 Sightseeing around Gion
  • 18:00 - 19:00 Gion Corner (subject to availability)
  • 19:00 - 19:30 Transfer to hotel >> check-in
Breakfast / Lunch Hearton Hotel Kyoto Western

Activities

Leaving Tokyo, you will take the famous shinkansen, which can cover more than 500 kilometers in just two hours. Arriving in Kyoto at noon, you will immediately enjoy a traditional taste of the city for lunch. Afterward, you will visit Higashiyama, Kyoto’s most famous old town district, and experience a Japanese tea ceremony.

In the evening, you will be sightseeing around the city’s most famous geisha district. The area is full of old wooden houses, shops, and teahouses. If you are lucky, you may be able to catch a glimpse of passing geiko and maiko. To give you a better picture of the geisha culture of Japan, you will watch a cultural show at Gion Corner, where you will learn about various forms of Japanese art performed by apprentice geisha.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Assorted washoku set in an atmospheric restaurant

Open previous day

 Kyoto › Nagoya

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Kinkaku-ji
  • 10:00 - 10:45 Kinkaku-ji
  • 10:45 - 12:00 Ryoan-ji
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Temari-zushi lunch
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Transfer to Nijo Castle
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Nijo Castle
  • 15:00 - 17:00 Transfer to Nagoya by shinkansen
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Transfer to hotel >> check-in
Breakfast / Lunch Nagoya Crown Hotel Western

Activities

After the old town and geisha aspects of Kyoto that you explored yesterday, you will be visiting the temples and castle that the city is renowned for today. Your first destination, Kinkaku-ji, is the Golden Pavilion Temple, known for its glittering reflection on the water. The second, Ryoan-ji, is known for its dry landscape, which arrange rocks and gravels into a profound scenery. After the two temples, you will enjoy a delicious temari-zushi lunch in a restaurant nearby.

In the afternoon, you will visit the well-preserved Nijo Castle, a symbol of the shogun’s power during the Edo period. The palace building is known for its squeaking nightingale floors and beautifully decorated interior. Afterward, you will leave Kyoto and take the bullet train to Nagoya to stay the night. Nagoya is famous for its chicken wings and miso katsu, which you may want to try for dinner!

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Temari-zushi, a special type of sushi where the rice is pressed smaller than usual, making for very attractive little sushi balls

Open previous day

 Magome › Tsumago-juku

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Magome
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Sightseeing around Magome-juku
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 16:00 Nakasendo Hiking Trail
  • 16:00 - 18:00 Sightseeing around Tsumago-juku >> minshuku check-in, free time
  • 18:00 - 19:30 Home-made dinner
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Matsushiroya Inn Family inn

Activities

It is time to start the loop back to Tokyo! You will be going north from Nagoya today, starting from the antiquated post towns of the old Nakasendo Road. Checking out of Nagoya, you will be transferred to Magome-juku, one of the many stations of the mountainous trade route. After a brief sightseeing session and a simple soba lunch, you will go on the 7-km long Nakasendo Hiking Trail to reach Tsumago-juku.

At the end of the exciting hike, you will check into your minshuku (family guesthouse) in Tsumago, where you will experience life in a traditional Japanese home. After checking in, you can continue sightseeing around this post town until dinnertime. Tsumago has many local shops and small shrines and temples to visit, so try to take in as much of the atmosphere as you can. Enjoy your stay in this quiet, rural area of Japan.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Oyaki (baked buns with various fillings) from a local bakery
Dinner
Home-made dinner

Open previous day

 Takayama

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 12:00 Minshuku check-out >> transfer to Takayama
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Hida beef lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:00 Takayama Jinya
  • 15:00 - 16:30 Sake brewery and sightseeing around the Old Town
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Transfer to hotel >> check-in
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Takayama Ouan Western

Activities

Leaving Tsumago, you will once again cross the Japanese Alps to continue your journey to the north. Your destination today is Takayama, one of the largest cities in Gifu Prefecture. This city is known for many things: its beautiful and expansive old town district, its well-preserved local government office, and its delicious regional beef.

Your activities today are designed to deliver as much of authentic Japan as possible. Try out various kinds of sake (rice wine) in a brewery in the Sannomachi old town. Browse for traditional Japanese tools and craft in the many shops that line the streets. Study the timberwork and samurai artifacts in Takayama Jinya and Kusakabe Heritage Museum. At the end of this active day, you will check into your hotel and get some rest.

Meals

Breakfast
Home-made breakfast
Lunch
Yakiniku set of Hida beef
Dinner
Japanese-style buffet

Open previous day

 Shirakawa-go › Kanazawa

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:30 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Shirakawa-go
  • 10:30 - 12:30 Historic VIllage of Shirakawa-go
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 16:30 Drive through Hakusan White Road toward Hakusan (spring/summer/autumn)
  • 16:30 - 17:30 Transfer to Kanazawa >> hotel check-in
Breakfast / Lunch HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa Castle Western

Activities

On your third day crossing the Japanese Alps, you will arrive at the renowned Shirakawa-go. This historic village, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for the lasting legacy of its gassho-zukuri architecture. Enjoy a walk around the farm houses, and the picturesque view from atop the observatory at one end of the village.

The traditional houses are especially beautiful in winter when the thick snow covers their thatched roofs. In other seasons, however, you can leave Shirakawa-go through the scenic Hakusan White Road, which passes by many waterfalls along the way. You will arrive in Kanazawa in the afternoon, where you will celebrate reaching the other coast of Japan by getting a well deserved rest.

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style buffet
Lunch
Teuchi (handmade) soba in Shirakawa-go

Open previous day

 Kanazawa

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Transfer to Kanazawa Castle
  • 10:00 - 12:00 Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en
  • 12:00 - 12:30 Transfer to Omi-cho
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Sushi lunch
  • 14:00 - 14:30 Transfer to Ninja-dera
  • 14:30 - 15:30 Ninja-dera
  • 15:30 - 16:00 Transfer to Naga-machi
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Buke Yashiki (samurai residence)
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Return to hotel
Breakfast / Lunch HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa Castle Western

Activities

The last major destination before returning to Tokyo is Kanazawa. This city has many remnants of the samurai culture, making it a fascinating study of Japanese tradition. In the morning, you will be strolling around the premises of Kanazawa Castle and the beautiful Kenroku-en garden, both built by the wealthy daimyo of the province. Afterward is a delicious lunch in the fish market.

In the afternoon, you will see another legacy of the samurai clan in the form of a temple. The Ninja-dera is so-named despite having no relation to the ninja due to the many tricks and traps hidden in this camouflaged samurai hideout. Finally, you will be exploring the Naga-machi district and the old homes of samurai families to learn about their way of life.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Bowl of kaisen-don at Omi-cho Fish Market

Open previous day

 Tokyo

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 12:30 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Tokyo by shinkansen
  • 12:30 - 13:00 Transfer to Roppongi
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Washoku lunch
  • 14:30 - 16:00 Transfer to Shinagawa/Chiba >> hotel check-in
Breakfast / Lunch Hotel Nikko Narita Western

Activities

The apex of the tour is over. Leaving Kanazawa in the morning, the bullet train will once again take you to the city of Tokyo. To celebrate the exciting week that you have spent in Japan, you will have an authentic Japanese meal in the iconic Kill Bill restaurant. Afterward, you will be brought to your hotel in Shinagawa/Chiba, where it will be convenient for you to reach your airport of departure. Prepare for your flight tomorrow, and enjoy your last night in Japan!

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Washoku course in the restaurant Gonpachi in Roppongi

Open previous day

 Tokyo
Breakfast

Activities

You have completed the Golden Ring tour! We hope that you enjoyed your trip with ILJT! On the last day, you will check out of your hotel and conduct an independent transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight back home, and see you again soon!

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet

Open previous day

Prices And Dates

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Arrival date

    
  • May 2018

  • Jun 2018

  • Jul 2018

  • Aug 2018

  • Sep 2018

  • Oct 2018

  • Nov 2018

  • Dec 2018

  • Jan 2019

  • Feb 2019

  • Mar 2019

  • Apr 2019

  • May 2019

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What is included?

Tour Accommodation

Western hotel: 8 nights -- Japanese ryokan: 1 night -- Local minshuku: 1 night

Meals

10 breakfasts -- 9 lunches -- 2 dinners

Transport

Airport pickup -- Private car: 9 days -- Bullet train: 3 times (Tokyo - Kyoto, Kyoto - Nagoya, Kanazawa - Tokyo)

Tour guide

Airport pickup -- Guided tour: 9 days

Included activities

Tickets for attractions and rides as defined in the itinerary, where necessary

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the tour

International flights are not included in the tour price, and should be independently arranged by the traveler. This particular itinerary starts and ends in Tokyo. Please book flights to/from either Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND). It should be noted that we can arrange the included airport pickup service only if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). We recommend flights that arrive around/after noon, as you can only check into your hotel starting at 3 PM.
An English-speaking guide will accompany you on Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. The guide will be at your service during the designated tour hours. Please note that the guide will be staying at the same hotel as you on Days 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 for logistical reasons. The guide will also pick you up at the airport if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). In the event that your flight arrives early, we can arrange a half-day tour on the day of arrival at an additional cost.
The tour price includes eight nights in 3- or 4-star hotels, one night in a predesignated ryokan (Japanese-style inn), and one night in a minshuku (family guesthouse). Breakfast is included for each night’s stay in a hotel, whereas both dinner and breakfast are included for every night in a ryokan and minshuku unless otherwise specified in the itinerary. Lunch is provided on every guided day, but not on days of arrival or departure. As you can only check into your hotel starting at 3 PM, in the event that your flight arrives early, we can arrange lunch on the day of arrival at an additional cost.
The tour price includes the service of a driver and a private car on every guided day. It also includes scheduled bullet train transfers between Tokyo and Kyoto on Day 4, Kyoto and Nagoya on Day 5, and Kanazawa and Tokyo on Day 10. The driver and car will be available only during the designated tour hours, and only for the included destinations. Please note that the driver will be staying at the same hotel as you on Day 6 for logistical reasons. Airport pickup is also included if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). In the event that your flight arrives early, we can extend the use of the private car for the purposes of lunch or a half-day tour at an additional cost. Please note that airport transfer for departure is not included.
All entrance tickets for destinations defined in the schedule are included in the tour price. Some tickets cannot be pre-booked, and it may be necessary for the guide to procure them on the spot. Please note that some attractions require strict compliance to pre-booked entrance times, and may void the booking if the schedule is not observed. As such, please complete your preparations to leave the hotel by the designated start time of the day.

Who we are

iLoveJapanTours is a leading Japan tour operator. With more than 10 years of experience in handling inbound travel requests, our local team of professionals has served thousands of satisfied clients from around the world.

Why travel with us

We have extensive insider’s knowledge on Japan thanks to our experience. Our tour programs are designed to be different, thematic, flexible, and authentic. Specializing in private tours, we have a suitable itinerary for everyone.

Why private tour

A private tour is much more than just a dedicated car and personal guide. It means traveling on your terms in virtually any aspect of a tour, including the dates of travel, food preferences, room arrangements, and free time activities.