Arrive at any time. We highly recommend booking pre- or post-accommodation in Tokyo to take full advantage of this spectacular city.
Arrive in Kanazawa and explore the city's well-preserved geisha district. Take a short train ride to Kanazawa. In the 17th century, this beautifully preserved castle town was Japan's wealthiest, and it became a thriving center for culture and arts.
Stroll through Keroku-en, ranked one of the nation's top three gardens before exploring the historic Nagamachi samurai district. After strolling through the expansive gardens of Kenrokuen, opt to stop at the massive Kanazawa castle next door.
Kanazawa is also home to many interesting museums, opt to visit one or learn more about local crafts. Loving the food in the city? Take a trip to the local seafood market to see where some of the fresh, tasty ingredients come from.
Arrive in picturesque Takayama and relax in the traditional Japanese inn. Arrive in Takayama in the afternoon and begin taking in the beautiful scenery of this traditional city.
Explore the Hida No Sato traditional folk village, and walk the quaint streets of the old town – lined with sake breweries and craft shops. Enjoy the rest of the day to explore the area. Enjoy free time to explore this beautiful landscape. Discover traces of a feudal past in the thatched houses and rice fields. Opt to visit one of the markets or rent a bike and cycle out of the town centre and into the countryside.
Arrive in Hiroshima and visit the Peace Park and Museum to learn more about the tragic history of this city. The large Peace Park in the centre of the city is an extremely moving place dotted with memorials of those killed by the atomic bomb and others who subsequently died. The burning flame in the park will only be extinguished when all nuclear weapons in the world have been destroyed. Take a tram ride through the city to reach Peace Park.
Take a ferry to the sacred island of Miyajima to see the famous floating Torii Gate and meet the friendly local deer. Take a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island, not far from the coast.
Here, view one of the most photographed sights in Japan?? the floating Torii Gate. The shrine itself dates back to the 6th century and is designed in a pier-like structure.
Enjoy time to explore the island and its many shrines and temples. Sample local treats like maple leaf shaped cakes, and opt to hike up to the peak of the island, Mt Misen, to see spectacular views of the surrounding islands.
Travel to historic Kyoto. Explore the marvellous Fushimi Inari shrine and walk under thousands of torii gates. Continue on to Kyoto, the former imperial capital and home of the country's most treasured remnants of Japanese imperial life.
Walk around Gion and perhaps catch a glimpse of a geisha going from teahouse to teahouse.
Wander the impressive Nijo Castle and gardens before visiting Kyoto's iconic Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion.
Spend a full free day discovering the Zen gardens, huge wooden temples, pagodas and shrines of Kyoto. Opt to enjoy the Zen gardens of Ryoan-ji and the Silver Pavilion, and take a leisurely stroll down the lovely Philosopher's path to Nanzen-ji. Want to feel like a real Samurai? Pre-book the Samurai Spirit Full Kembu Lesson on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.
Visit Lake Kawaguchi and go for some optional walks. Enjoy an amazing multi-course Japanese kaiseki dinner and prepare for the next day's hike. Leave Kyoto and travel to Kawaguchiko arriving mid afternoon. Take the rest of the afternoon to visit the Onsen Spa before dinner.
Arrive at Station 5 and begin your ascent of this sacred mountain. To slow the pace and help with acclimatization, overnight at Station 8 and rest up before the final push to the summit in the morning. The total hike to the summit is about 5-6 hours, broken up with an overnight stay at Station 8. Accommodation on the mountain is a basic dormitory-style hut with few facilities.
Wake up early for the final stretch of the hike and reach Japan's tallest peak – 3,776m (12,388 ft) – in time for sunrise. Take in the views from the summit before hiking down. Later, travel by train to Tokyo for one final night in the city. After the arduous push to the summit, enjoy sunrise before hiking back down. Pick up your bags and travel by van to Kawaguchiko before a train to Tokyo.
Today you can take in some more sights, visit the museums and gardens or do some shopping. Meet with the group later tonight for our last dinner together.
Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this vibrant city.