country

Classic Highlights Of Japan

Spend two weeks immersed in Japanese culture—from gastronomy to history, art to street style, temples to shrines, and everything in between. 

Destinations Explored

1

Tokyo

2

Hakone

3

Kyoto

4

Osaka

5

Hiroshima

Explore Japan’s highlights by bullet train on a 13-day trip following the country’s first and busiest high-speed rail line. From the neon metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka to the mountainside hot springs in Hakone and war history in Hiroshima, you’ll experience Japan old and new—all while eating the best food the country has to offer.

Key Highlights

Behind-the-scenes tour of Toyosu Market, the world's largest fish market

Gorge on Osaka's signature street foods

Hike through the orange torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha

Pay homage at the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

Best Times to Visit

March - April

October - Early December

Sample Trip Itinerary

Day 1-4

Tokyo

Arrival at Narita or Haneda airport — either works.

Accommodation in Tokyo

Suggested options (actual bookings will vary based on pricing and availability)

See the famous Shibuya Crossing

Made famous by the 2003 movie "Lost in Translation," Shibuya Crossing is a must-visit for anyone traveling to the capital. Experience the pedestrian lights all turning green at the same time and cross the intersection amongst everyone else, taking in the organized chaos. 

Shibuya is one of Tokyo's trendiest neighborhoods, full of young Japanese creatives. The area has a dizzying array of quirky shops, restaurants, and bars.

Go behind the scenes at Toyosu Market's tuna auction

Witness the early morning tuna auction at Toyosu Market alongside an expert guide. You'll then have a chance to tour the wholesale area of the market and meet the local fishmongers – an inside look granted to very few visitors. 

From there, you'll travel by luxury van to a private cooking studio for a tuna tasting breakfast with a sushi master. 

Tour Akihabara, Tokyo's electronics and anime district, with a pop culture expert

Explore Akihabara's arcades, themed cafes, and electronics superstores on a three-hour guided tour. This neighborhood is the mecca for all things otaku, a term for anime and manga devotees. With the help of a pop culture expert, you'll come away with a better understanding of this iconic subculture. 

Stroll Asakusa and Senso-ji Temple with a local historian

Stroll Asakusa, the city's former geisha district, on a two-hour tour with a local historian. The highlights are Asakusa Shrine and Senso-ji Temple, but there's so much more to this long-standing neighborhood and the role it played in Tokyo's growth. 

Immerse yourself in the interactive exhibits at teamLab Borderless Digital Arts Museum

Upon opening in 2018, teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum quickly became one of the most exciting additions to Tokyo's art scene. With over 10,000 square meters of digital postmodern art, the museum is an amazing example of how light and color can create an immersive experience for visitors.

Tour Tokyo old and new, from Meiji Shrine through Harajuku

Alongside a private guide, tour some of Tokyo's most iconic sights and neighborhoods. You'll start at Meiji Shrine, located in a serene swath of green space adjacent to Yoyogi Park. Upon emerging, you'll be right at Takeshita Street, Harajuku District's main thoroughfare. For many visitors to Japan, Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Girls was their first introduction to this neighborhood — an impression that's not altogether incorrect. As Tokyo's street style and youth culture hub, it's saturated with rainbow desserts and accessories, Lolita clothing stores, and cute character cafes. Continue just a bit further on and you'll find pretty backstreets lined with trendy boutiques and modern, minimalist cafes.

See the eclectic Robot Show complete with robotic monsters, dancers, & lasers

Located in Tokyo's Kabukichō red-light district, the Robot Restaurant Show was Anthony Bourdain's first stop on his "Parts Unknown" Tokyo episode.

Bourdain called this "the greatest show on earth!"—and that's exactly what it is. The show, the setting, the decor, the concept, and the costumes are all things that could only exist in Japan. To give you an idea of the extravagance here, the restaurant itself cost over $100M USD to build.

In this one-hour spectacle, you'll see flashing lights, taiko drums, techno music, scantily clad girls, neon tanks, and, you guessed it, giant robots. This is more a cabaret than a restaurant (you'll get handed a bento box of food when you arrive, but the food is definitely not the reason to come here).

Day 5

Hakone

90 minutes from Tokyo.

Accommodation in Hakone

Suggested options (actual bookings will vary based on pricing and availability)

See Hakone's top sights on a full-day private guided tour

Upon disembarking at Hakone-Yumoto Station, your guide will meet you to begin a full day's exploration of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. They'll assist with transferring your bags directly onward to your ryokan, and then you'll set off for Hakone Shrine along the shores of Lake Ashi. 

Day 6-9

Kyoto

2.5 hours from Hakone.

Accommodation in Kyoto

Suggested options (actual bookings will vary based on pricing and availability)

Tour Kiyomizu-Dera, Yasaka Shrine, & Gion on a Shintoism & Buddhism tour

Get introduced to Kyoto by way of the city's most famous temples and shrines on this afternoon tour with an expert in history and religion. The intermingling of Buddhism and Shintoism in Japanese society isn't always immediately apparent to visitors in Japan, but with the help of your guide, you'll gain a basic understanding to inform the rest of your time in Kyoto. 

Eat your way through Nishiki Market

Explore Kyoto's bustling Nishiki Market on a three-hour tour with one of Kyoto's culinary experts. Not only does this market offer ample opportunities for sampling, but it also provides a peek into the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine and culture. 

Hike Fushimi Inari Taisha's hidden pathways

Hike through the hidden trails leading to Fushimi Inari Taisha on an afternoon tour with a private guide. As one of Kyoto's most iconic sights, it has a reputation for crowds. But with the help of an in-the-know local, you'll bypass the hectic main route to the top, passing tiny alters and bamboo groves along the way.

Explore Arashiyama and the Golden Temple

Dive into the best sights of Kyoto's western side on a full-day tour of the Golden Temple and Arashiyama, the lush riverside district famous its bamboo grove and monkey park. 

Take a day trip to Nara, Japan's former capital

Alongside a private guide, you'll explore the quaint town of Nara. In addition to being an escape from Japan's bustling urban centers, it's notable for its temples, massive bronze Buddha, and friendly deer population. 

Day 10-11

Add-On - Osaka

Accommodation in Add-On - Osaka

Suggested options (actual bookings will vary based on pricing and availability)

Experience Osaka's street food scene

Eat your way through Osaka's signature street food scene—including okonomiyaki, kushikatsu, and takoyaki—alongside a guide with experience in Japan's food and beverage industry. 

Tour Osaka's Best Sights with a Private Guide

See the iconic Osaka Castle, massive Harukas building, and retro Shinsekai district on this private tour. 

Day 12-13

Add-On - Hiroshima

Accommodation in Add-On - Hiroshima

Suggested options (actual bookings will vary based on pricing and availability)

Learn about Hiroshima's history at the Peace Memorial Park

On an afternoon tour with a private guide, you'll head to the Peace Memorial Park to see the Atomic Bomb Dome itself and visit the Peace Memorial Museum to learn about the lasting impact of World War II on the city. 

Visit Miyajima Island's serene shrines

Miyajima Island is a tranquil island just off the coast of Hiroshima known for its friendly deer, floating torii gate, and views from Mt. Misen. Spend a full day exploring the sights here with a private guide. 

Ready to plan?

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Classic Japan

Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima

Prices start from $3135 per person.

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Testimonials

Journy helps thousands of travelers a year plan their dream trips to 75+ destinations around the world.

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Carol’s Family Trip to Japan

“The experience was out of this world! Anything that we requested or that we were interested in, Sarah was able to accommodate it for us.”

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Omar’s London & Paris Family Vacation with Kids

“We really enjoyed the mix of cultural, food and shopping experiences. Most of all, it was great to hit the ground with a plan for each day, but also improvise depending on how our kids were feeling.”

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Deborah & Lew’s 25th Wedding Anniversary in Italy

“Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I had some specific ideas about what to see—what art, what part of the countryside, etc. Elena (our trip designer) was very patient with me as we worked out just the right itinerary.”

Testimonial Profile Image

Carol’s Family Trip to Japan

“The experience was out of this world! Anything that we requested or that we were interested in, Sarah was able to accommodate it for us.”

Testimonial Profile Image

Omar’s London & Paris Family Vacation with Kids

“We really enjoyed the mix of cultural, food and shopping experiences. Most of all, it was great to hit the ground with a plan for each day, but also improvise depending on how our kids were feeling.”

Testimonial Profile Image

Deborah & Lew’s 25th Wedding Anniversary in Italy

“Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I had some specific ideas about what to see—what art, what part of the countryside, etc. Elena (our trip designer) was very patient with me as we worked out just the right itinerary.”

Testimonial Profile Image

Carol’s Family Trip to Japan

“The experience was out of this world! Anything that we requested or that we were interested in, Sarah was able to accommodate it for us.”

Testimonial Profile Image

Omar’s London & Paris Family Vacation with Kids

“We really enjoyed the mix of cultural, food and shopping experiences. Most of all, it was great to hit the ground with a plan for each day, but also improvise depending on how our kids were feeling.”

Testimonial Profile Image

Deborah & Lew’s 25th Wedding Anniversary in Italy

“Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I had some specific ideas about what to see—what art, what part of the countryside, etc. Elena (our trip designer) was very patient with me as we worked out just the right itinerary.”