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Japan Adventure: Kyoto,...

Japan Adventure: Kyoto, the Japanese Alps & Tokyo

14 days |  18 days with Okinawa & Tokyo extension
Group size1022 travelers
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto Japan
Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto Japan
japanese paper lanterns
chef preparing sashimi in Japanese restaurant
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsHotels, flights & FAQ
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Discover a country home to ancient customs and modern-day innovations.

Find your Zen in the Japanese Alps and step inside shrines built by emperors in Kyoto. Savor dishes the Japanese have perfected—ramen and sushi, anyone?—and enjoy a guided meditation and tea tasting. Then, when you think things can’t get any more astounding, look to the horizon in Tokyo, where skyscrapers and iconic Mount Fuji anchor the skyline. Each day, you'll find a new reason to love the Land of the Rising Sun on this small group Adventure Tour.

Your tour package includes

  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 12 breakfasts
  • 5 dinners with beer or wine
  • 3 tastings
  • 1 liquor tasting
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Included highlights

  • Kuromon Market
  • Peace Memorial Park & Museum
  • Hiroshima legacy successor talk
  • Himeji Castle
  • Golden Pavilion
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Start planning today

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Talk to a Tour Consultant

Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Osaka today.

Osaka2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Osaka

Welcome to Japan! Get settled in to your hotel this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Osaka
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Welcome dinner

Join a local guide and set out to explore Osaka, the birthplace of many of Japan’s well-known arts, such as Kabuki theater and the tea ceremony.

  • Visit the massive Osaka Castle, which houses a museum dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the legendary leader who built it
  • Stroll through Kuromon Ichiba Market, famous for its selection of fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, and other Japanese specialties
  • Learn about the country’s culinary traditions and try takoyaki, a fried octopus ball
  • Walk to Dōtonbori, one of the most colorful areas in the city and a haven for food culture

This evening, sit down for a Yakiniku, family-style welcome dinner with your Tour Director and fellow travelers. You’ll enjoy grilled meats and veggies prepared at your table.

Hiroshima1 night
Day 4: Train ride to Hiroshima & sightseeing tour
Included meal: Breakfast

Board a high-speed bullet train and travel to Hiroshima. Then, get to know this renowned City of Peace alongside your Tour Director.

  • Visit Peace Memorial Park to see the ruined Atomic Bomb Dome, marking the exact location where the atomic bomb detonated during World War II
  • Meet a legacy successor, a local trained to pass on the stories of the Hiroshima bombing survivors
  • Hear their story and ask them questions about their work preserving the city’s history
  • Learn about the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing and the mission to create a world without nuclear weapons, during a visit to the Peace Memorial Museum
  • Take a short boat ride to Miyajima Island to view the 12th-century, UNESCO-listed Itsukushima Shrine

Please note: The order of the activities may change depending on the timing of the legacy successor talk.

Kyoto3 nights
Day 5: Kyoto via Himeji
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Make your way to Kyoto, stopping in the city of Himeji along the way.

  • Enjoy free time for lunch
  • Enter Himeji Castle, a UNESCO-listed wooden masterpiece comprised of over 80 buildings
  • Snap photos of the Otemon Gate as you enter and admire the castle’s white facade, elegant pinnacles, and striking 17th-century architecture
  • Round out your visit with free time to explore Kōko-en, a stunning garden that’s designed to be aesthetically pleasing through all four seasons

Continue on to Kyoto, where you’ll enjoy a traditional shabu-shabu (hot pot) dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6: Zen meditation class & sightseeing tour of Kyoto
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

This morning, visit a local Buddhist temple and immerse yourself in the spiritual traditions of Japan.

  • Tour the temple and tap in to your unconscious mind during a guided Zen meditation session
  • Sip matcha green tea alongside a traditional Japanese sweet

Then, a local guide leads a tour of Kyoto, the city that served as the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years—and is still considered its spiritual capital.

  • See one of Japan’s most famous temples, the glittering Golden Pavilion
  • See the country’s finest Zen gardens at Ryōan-ji Temple

Please note: The guided Zen meditation session may take place in the afternoon and the Arashiyama District & Nishiki Market excursion may take place in the morning.

Spend a free afternoon in Kyoto or add an excursion.

Arashiyama District & Nishiki Market

From $155 per person

Day 7: Walking tour of Fushimi Inari Shrine & sake tasting
Included meals: Breakfast, Liquor tasting

Discover some of Kyoto’s sacred spots and traditional flavors alongside your Tour Director today.

  • Enter Fushimi Inari, a Shinto shrine famous for its thousands of red Torii gates
  • Walk up steps and follow the pathway of gates up the mountain to the Yotsutsuji intersection, and take in the panoramic views of Kyoto
  • Head to a local sake museum housed in an old sake distillery in the Fushimi District
  • Take a self-guided tour of the museum and try three types of the rice-based alcohol

Please note: The walk through Fushimi Inari Shrine is one-way. You must complete the walk once you enter.

Spend a free afternoon in Kyoto or add an excursion.

Nara: Traditions of Japan

From $99 per person

Japanese Alps2 nights
Day 8: Japanese Alps via Kanazawa
Included meal: Breakfast

Board a high-speed bullet train and travel to Kanazawa, a city bordered by the Sea of Japan to the west and the Japanese Alps to the east. You’ll take a guided tour of Kenroku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Enjoy free time to stroll through the park before continuing on to the Japanese Alps.

Enjoy free time to relax in the hotel’s natural hot springs, called onsens, this evening.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Takayama & the Alps
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the day uncovering the beauty of Takayama and the Japanese Alps.

  • Travel to the city of Takayama and stroll through the Old Town with your Tour Director
  • Walk through the Sanmachi Historic District, a neighborhood of preserved Edo-style homes dating back to the 17th century

Next, drive through the scenic mountain landscape to Chubu Sangaku National Park to visit Kamikōchi, one of the most beautiful areas in the Alps.

  • Hike along Taisho Pond, a picturesque mountain lake formed by a volcanic eruption
  • Enjoy views of the surrounding mountain landscape as you hike to Tashiro Pond
  • Cross Kappabashi, a suspension bridge with spectacular Alpine views
  • Enjoy free time to visit the Kamikochi Visitor Center

Please note: Kamikochi is closed from mid-November to mid-April. A sightseeing of the Shirakawa-go region, Ogimachi village, and Gassho-zukuri Minkaen open-air museum will be included during these months.

This evening, sit down with your group for a traditional Kaiseki dinner. This multi-course meal showcases a chef’s refined skills and talent. Then, enjoy free time to relax in the hotel’s natural hot springs, called onsens, after dinner.

Tokyo4 nights
Day 10: Train to Tokyo & tea ceremony
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

Return to Kanazawa this morning and board a high-speed bullet train to Tokyo.

This afternoon, sit down for a Japanese tea ceremony.

  • Join a tea master to learn about the customs of a traditional ceremony and why each utensil is essential to this ancient practice
  • Discover the meaning of the symbolic gestures you’ll make as you try matcha
  • Sip some tea and snack on wagashi, Japanese sweets often made from red beans, which balance the bitterness of the matcha
Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Tokyo & cooking class
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Dinner

Join a local guide and embark on an immersive tour of Tokyo.

  • Walk through Tsukiji fish market and learn about Japan’s seafood heritage
  • Visit a vendor’s stall to sample fresh sushi (vegetarian option available)
  • View the iconic Shibuya crossing as you drive through the central part of the city
  • Set off on a short walk from Yoyogi Park to the Meiji Shrine, final resting place of Emperor Meiji
  • Stroll through the colorful Harajuku neighborhood, where Tokyo’s history and present-day pop culture intertwine

Tonight, join an experienced chef at a local restaurant for a cooking lesson and dinner.

  • Grab your apron and watch as the chef demonstrates how to make traditional Japanese cuisine such as gyudon, miso soup, cucumber pickles, or a chicken teriyaki bento box
  • Try your hand at crafting your own authentic meal
  • Sit down to enjoy the cuisine for dinner
Day 12: Free day in Tokyo
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Tokyo or add an excursion.

Aokigahara Forest & Mount Fuji

From $110 per person

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Tokyo
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Set out with your Tour Director to see more of Tokyo’s iconic pagodas, temples, shrines, and markets.

  • See the pagodas and shrines in Ueno Park, as you hear the history and stories behind them
  • Walk to Ameya market and enjoy free time to visit many of the shops and open-air stalls
  • Peruse Kappabashi Street, or Kitchen Town, home to more than 170 shops specializing in high-quality kitchenware, such as chopsticks and knives
  • Enter Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Japan

Celebrate your trip during a farewell dinner this evening.

Flight Home
Day 14: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Naha, Okinawa.

Extension to Okinawa & Tokyo
Okinawa's white-sand beaches and turquoise water make it seem like a world away from mainland Japan—which makes it just the place to round out your trip. Leave mountains and skyscrapers behind as you fly to the tropical island, where local experts will show you the highlights.
Okinawa3 nights
Day 14: Flight to Naha
Included meal: Breakfast

Transfer to the airport this morning and board your flight to the city of Naha on the island of Okinawa, located to the southwest in the East China Sea.

Day 15: Sightseeing tour of Naha
Included meal: Breakfast

Join a local guide for a tour of Naha, Okinawa’s capital city.

  • Explore the UNESCO-listed Shikinaen Gardens, built in 1799 to entertain envoys of Chinese Emperors
  • Head north for a tour of the Hacksaw Ridge Battlefield, where one of the fiercest and bloodiest battles took place during the Pacific War
  • Walk up the escarpment to the top of Hacksaw Ridge

Spend a free afternoon in Naha or add an excursion.

Okinawa Blue Zone: Culinary Traditions & Dinner

From $125 per person

Day 16: Free day in Naha
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Naha or add an excursion.

Kerama Islands Sailing & Snorkeling

From $159 per person

Tokyo1 night
Day 17: Flight to Tokyo
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly back to Tokyo this morning and spend a free night in the city.

Flight Home
Day 18: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
Citadines Namba Osaka
Citadines Namba Osaka

This modern styled hotel is located in high-energy Namba district of Osaka. Guests enjoy comfortable rooms, fitness center and lounge. Nearby you’ll f...

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Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel
Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel

This modern hotel is located in the Wakakusacho neighborhood of Hiroshima. Guests enjoy restaurant options, a fitness center, and spa. Nearby you’ll f...

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The General Kyoto Bukkoji Fuyacho
The General Kyoto Bukkoji Fuyacho

This quiet boutique hotel is located in the Shimogyō Ward of Kyoto. Guests enjoy the escape from the bustle of the city, yoga classes, and complimenta...

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Takayama Ouan
Takayama Ouan

This traditional Japanese inn is located in the heart of Takayama. Guests enjoy the rooftop open-air hot springs, homemade breakfasts, and spa. Nearby...

Read more +
Pullman Tokyo Tamachi
Pullman Tokyo Tamachi

This colorful hotel is located in the Tamachi area of Tokyo. Guests enjoy the Kabuki themed design, rooftop bar with city views, and fitness center. N...

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Mercure Okinawa Naha
Mercure Okinawa Naha

This contemporary hotel is located in the Asahimachi neighborhood. Guests enjoy a restaurant, bar, and WiFi access. Nearby you’ll find Naha Fukushūen ...

Read more +


Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights

Local weather

Tokyo, Japan
Weather averages
High 69 °FLow 56 °F
Kanazawa, Japan
Weather averages
High 71 °FLow 58 °F
Higashi-Osaka, Japan
Weather averages
High 64 °FLow 56 °F
Kyoto, Japan
Weather averages
High 60 °FLow 53 °F


Print FAQ
Passport, visa & entry requirements
  • In order to enter Japan, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact Japan’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code JAG.
Tour pacing & mobility
  • You will walk for at least 3 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and gravel paths, with few hills. You may need to climb stairs when visiting temples.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains and ferries.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information 
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Osaka and depart from Tokyo. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • Train rides from Osaka to Hiroshima, Kyoto to Kanazawa, and Kanazawa to Tokyo are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes a round-trip flight between Tokyo and Okinawa.)
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance 
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
  • You will need a small overnight bag (such as your carry-on bag) for your stay in Hiroshima. Your luggage will be transferred for you from Osaka to Kyoto directly.
Clothing & packing tips 
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
Electricity & air conditioning 
  • Japan operates on 100 volts and uses a Type A plug, the same as in the U.S.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in Asian hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code JAG.
  • Most Japanese meals are based around rice or noodles with fish, meat, and vegetables flavored with soy sauce and miso. You may recognize popular dishes like sushi, tempura, and hot pot.
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones 
  • Japan is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 1am on the following day in Japan.
  • You will use the Japanese yen on tour.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour 
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.