Welcome to Japan's capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Meet your Tour Director and travel companions prior to morning sightseeing in Tokyo. Your tour starts with a visit to Meiji Shrine, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest. Next, visit Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. Originally dating from the early 1600s, the garden was destroyed in World War II and reopened in 1949 as a public park. Today, it remains an immensely popular stop for locals and visitors alike. Last stop is the Asakusa Kannon Temple and the bustling Nakamise shopping arcade. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure. (B)
This morning, leave Tokyo and head south along the coast to the beautiful Five Lakes region. Here, take a cable-car ride (weather permitting) for panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchi and spectacular Mount Fuji, or Fujisan as the loca'sl call it, Japan's highest mountain. You'll also visit Chureito Pagoda for a chance to snap your own iconic image of the pagoda with Fujisan in the background! (B/L)
This morning, board one of Japan's famous bullet trains bound for Kyoto. Upon arrival, visit Sanjusajendo Temple, famous for its 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. After lunch, visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for the thousands of brightly coloured Torii Gates. Then, take a walking tour through Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district, and sample a local Japanese treat. This evening, you may choose to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan (additional fee). (B/L)
Your day begins with a visit to stunning Kinkakuji, the Temple of the Gold Pavillion, covered in shimmering gold leaf. Then walk through bustling Nishiki Market, a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Next, stop at the Samurai and Ninja Museum for a guided tour.
Along the way learn about their history and hear interesting stories. Exhibits include weapon's and tools used by ninja on their covert missions and authentic period-specific samurai swords, armour, and helmets (kabuto). You will even have the chance to have your picture taken wearing a helmet and armour! The afternoon is free for you to explore more of Kyoto's historic sites and shrines. (B)
This morning, drive south to Okayama and visit Koraku-en, one of the "Three Great Gardens of Japan." Covering some 30 acres, the garden features ponds, plum groves, and tea fields. A unique feature not typically found in Japanese gardens are the wide lawns which are said to help uplift the spirit and promote open mindedness. In Kurashiki, enjoy some free time in the Bikan Historical Quarter, once the political and commercial centre of the city. The canal-lined, white-washed, and stone streets reflect the Edo period (1603-1867) and are quintessentially Japanese. Continue to Hiroshima. (B)
Today's full day sightseeing includes two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Peace Memorial Park and Itsukushima Shrine. Start at Peace Memorial Park where you'll see the See the Peace Memorial, commonly referred to as the Atomic Bomb Dome, that has been preserved just as it was on August 6, 1945, immediately after the bombing. You will also visit the Memorial Museum and Memorial Hall, which commemorate the lives lost that day. Then, travel to Miyajima Island to visit Itsukushima Shrine, known for its beautiful floating Torii Gate. (B)
Drive north to Bizen, where you'll visit a traditional pottery workshop to learn more about Bizen-yaki, one of Japan's six ancient pottery styles dating back over 1,000 years. Stop in Himeji to visit Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture that combines function with elegance. Continue to Osaka and enjoy the evening at leisure. (B)
Your sightseeing tour starts at the Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farm Houses, where traditional thatched-roof farm houses dating from the Edo period have been restored. Be transported back in time as you explore the old architecture. Visit Osaka Castle then for lunch, experience the city's legendary dish, okonomiyaki, a Japanese-style savoury pancake.
Finish your sightseeing with a walking tour in Minami where the locals come for fun. Made up of Shinsaibashi, Namba, and Dotonbori this area is home to great dining and nightlife and some of the city's most fashionable shops and department stores. The late afternoon and evening is at your leisure. Perhaps return to Dotonbori this evening to sample some local cuisine and see the sparkling neon lights. (B/L)
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Adventure is knocking with everything you need for perfectly affordable touring. Cosmos includes hand-selected accommodations, guided sightseeing, and seamless transportation between destinations—with value-minded travel lovers in mind. Explore with expert Cosmos Tour Directors and Local Guides, and private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi.
There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general release dates for all destinations.