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This nine-day, self-guided trip takes travelers to the three must-see destinations in Japan. Start with Tokyo, the best place to catch the glimpse of modern Japan, and visit Kamakura, home to numerous Buddhist and Shinto shrines.Then take the bullet train to Osaka and explore the city at your leisure. Stay there for a night before heading off to the erstwhile Japanese capital city of Kyoto, the city of temples, shrines and gardens. Learn more about Japanese history and culture before the tour comes to an end.
We will provide you with a detailed tour organizer created specifically for this trip and a seven-day JR Rail pass. Plus, there will always be someone on the other end of the phone to answer your queries. For more details, please go through the itinerary below.
Narita International Airport
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Your airport pickup will meet you at Narita International Airport (assuming your flight arrives after 8:00 am and before 9:30 pm) and will take you to your hotel in Tokyo by public transportation. They will validate your seven-day JR Rail passes (ordinary class), make seat reservations, answer your questions and hand you your pocket internet device to use during your trip. They will also hand you a rechargeable transportation card to use on non-JR trains with 2,000 yen initial credit for each traveler. The train from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station takes approximately one hour. You are free after checking into your hotel.
Tokyo is home to approximately 12 million people and can be a bit overwhelming for first-time visitors. Beneath this surface lies a city of contradictions: ancient temples and shrines next to high-tech department stores; traditional festivals held in modern neighborhoods; and peaceful Japanese gardens below intelligent skyscrapers. For its size and sprawl, Tokyo is an incredibly safe, efficient city with a low crime rate and trains running on time. It is also a vibrant metropolis overflowing with many fascinating sights, sounds, and experiences for you to enjoy.
Kamakura is a short train ride from Tokyo. There are 65 Buddhist temples and 19 Shinto shrines in the area, most of which were built hundreds of years ago. Kamakura became the location of a shogun government in 1192 AD because it was surrounded by wooded hills and the sea, making it easy to defend against attack. Today, Kamakura is a busy seaside resort town and its old wooden houses, temples and shrines make it a wonderful place to visit. Near Kamakura lies the sacred island of Enoshima. Here visitors can take in the various sights of the island and escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. You will use your JR Rail pass for transportation to and from Kamakura but other transportation and entry fees are not included in the tour price. The train from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station take approximately 55 minutes.
Time to head for Osaka. The people of Osaka are widely known for their outgoing spirit and friendliness and the local dialect has been adapted as the standard by stand-up comedians and actors. Osaka’s regional cuisine is thought to be the best in Japan. The bullet train and subway journey from Tokyo to Namba Station in Osaka takes approximately two hours and 30 minutes.
Today you will travel to Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan. This is the city where the traditional Japanese ‘high arts’ flourished. Tea ceremony, calligraphy, poetry, philosophy or religion, Kyoto is the number one place to visit. Numerous temples and shrines are located throughout the city and walking along its canals, next to traditional wooden houses, and through the small streets really gives you an idea of the ancient Japanese imperial culture. Kyoto is also famous for its crafts: textile, kimono and pottery. Although there is very much to see and do in Kyoto, even a short-time visitor can begin to appreciate what this ancient capital has to offer. The trains from Namba Station in Osaka to Kyoto Station will take approximately 45 minutes.
You have a full day today to explore the many sights of Kyoto. Some sights that you may wish to visit include Fushimi Inari Dera Temple with its winding mountain pathway lined with red torii gates and kinkakuji (golden pavilions) with its golden centrepiece and gardens. There is so much to do an see in Kyoto that you will never get bored.
Nara is located in the central west of Honshu, the main Japanese island. Formerly known as Heijo-kyo, this city occupies an important position in the history of Japan as the first capital from 710 AD until 784 AD. During this period, a large number of shrines and temples were erected under the protection of the imperial family and aristocrats. However, when the monks in the surrounding hills started gaining too much influence and eventually tried to seize power, it was decided to move the capital to Heian-kyo, nowadays known as Kyoto. Many of the temples built at the height of Heijo-kyo, like Todai-ji and Horyuji temples, are currently registered as world heritage sites. Both Japanese and foreign tourists visit the city to see these temples, to walk among the free-roaming deer in Nara’s parks or to visit some of the beautiful scenic mountains surrounding the city. The train from Kyoto Station to Nara Station will take about 45 minutes.
Today you will take a bullet train past Mount Fuji back to Tokyo. On arrival in the Japanese capital city, you can visit some of the sights you missed during your first visit if you want to. Traveling to the top of Skytree would be a great way to take in the entire city.
Today is your final day in Japan. Your tour organizer booklet will let you know what train you need to take to catch your flight back home.