July 8 - Depart the United States for Japan in your overnight flight
July 9 - Arrive in dynamic Tokyo and transfer to the hotel. Time to settle in and rest before tonight’s Welcome Dinner and orientation meeting with your Tour Manager and travel companions. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 4 pm, or earlier if possible in order to attend the orientation meeting and welcome dinner. Dinner included. Overnight at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo
July 10 - On today’s tour of Tokyo, witness the contrast of this city of ancient traditions coupled with state-of-the-art technology. The tour begins at the Imperial Palace, a huge parkland with magnificent gardens, residence of Japan’s Imperial family. Continue to Asakusa, once Tokyo’s leading entertainment district. Here, enter the massive gates to the ancient Buddhist temple of Sensoji built in the 7th century and the Kannon Temple, one of the most visited spiritual sites in the world. Stroll along bustling Nakamise Street; see endless rows of traditional local snacks and souvenirs. Make a photo stop at the impressive Tokyo Tower, the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower, symbol of Japan's post-war rebirth. Continue through trendy Omotesando to the serene Meiji Shrine, nestled in a beautiful forested area that honors the first Emperor of modern Japan and his Empress. Next, to the frenetic Ginza district, Tokyo's celebrated shopping, dining and amusement area – time to linger and discover on your own. Breakfast included. Overnight Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo
July 11 - Spend the day at leisure to explore all of the delights of Tokyo on your own, or, participate in the OPTIONAL full day tour to Mt. Fuji and Hakone* that promises a day of breathtaking natural scenery. Upon arrival, ascend to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji, located at an elevation of 7,545 feet pausing to admire the gorgeous panorama of the park and lake. After lunch, enjoy a picturesque boat cruise around pristine Lake Ashi. Later, take off to the summit by cable car to marvel at the sweeping views of Hakone National Park. Spend time at leisure to explore the surrounding area on your own. Afterwards, return to Tokyo. Breakfast included. Overnight at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo
July 12 - At the Shinagawa Station, board the world-famous Shinkansen, or “bullet train” that whisks you to Osaka – a unique experience! Upon arrival, your sightseeing of Osaka begins with a visit to dramatic Osaka Castle built as a display of power in the 16th century, strategically looming over the surrounding park and moat. Inside, see an excellent collection of art, armor and collectibles. A quick photo stop at Umeda sky building, a strikingly unique high-rise structure, before continuing to the Kuromon Market, an Osaka landmark, with vendors selling fresh food and fast-food Japanese-style. Stop for lunch, or just try the tasty snacks. Then, free time to wander along the Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori shopping streets with an array of fabulous selection of fashionable boutiques. Continue to the hotel in Osaka for overnight. Breakfast included. Overnight at Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka Station
July 13 - Time to discover Osaka on your own, or, join the fascinating OPTIONAL tour to Hiroshima and Miyajima Island. After arriving by train, a tram or bus takes you to the Peace Memorial, a historical site near where the atomic bomb exploded, dedicated to the many lives lost in Hiroshima. The burning flame that marks these graves “will only be extinguished when all nuclear weapons in the world are destroyed!” This park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. After this solemn visit, a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island, not far from the coast. Enjoy views of the striking Itsukushima Shrine best known for its "floating" Torii Gate, dating back to the 6th century. Spend free time on the island with its many shrines and temples before boarding the train back to Osaka. Breakfast included. Overnight at the Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka Station
Julyl 14 - Journey today to historic Kyoto, founded in the 7th century, one of the early capitals of Japan and home of the country’s most treasured remnants of Japanese imperial life. Here, start with a stop at the hillside Kiyomizu Temple for astonishing views over the city of Kyoto. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional Tea Ceremony, where you participate in the ritualized art of preparing and serving tea, savoring several different varieties. Later, visit the celebrated gold-gilded Kinkakuji Temple, known as the “Golden Pavilion’ surrounded by trees and nestled on a reflective pond. Next, to the Kitano Shrine, one of the greatest shrines of Kyoto. End the day with a walk in Gion, Kyoto's most famous Geisha district; visit the shops, restaurants and tea houses where Geisha entertain. Breakfast included. Overnight at the Kyoto Century Hotel.
July 15 - The morning is at leisure for personal pursuits. In the afternoon, enjoy this stunning city on your own, or, embark on the OPTIONAL tour to the 8th century Imperial capital of Nara. In this repository of Japan’s cultural heritage, there are eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a wealth of historic treasures including some of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples. Arrive at the exquisite wooden Todai-ji Temple, home of the impressive Daibutsu (Great Buddha) bronze statue, rising over 50 feet high and visit the famous and beautiful Kasuga Grand Shrine displaying over 3,000 antique hanging bronze and stone lanterns. Continue to Nara Park to see the over 1,000 tame deer roaming freely in the peaceful park. Tonight, gather together for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. Breakfast and Dinner included. Overnight at the Kyoto Century Hotel
July 16 - Say farewell to this amazing country and transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Breakfast included.
Price per person is $2149. Deposit of $400 pp is required to book. Payment plans are available and final payment is due no later than May 1, 2020. Please see below for map and what's included. NOT included is: round trip flights from the United States, meals unless noted, gratuities, insurance and optional tours.