Travel Notices

Japan Panorama

Tokyo, Japan's modern heart, iconic Mt. Fuji, the world heritage temples & gardens of Kyoto, Nara & Osaka; stay in deluxe 4 & 5 star hotels


This package is currently unavailable.
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. (Some exceptions, including special promotional packaged, may accommodate up to 24.) More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 16 travelers max
Themes History & CultureGrand Tours
Activity Level Recreational
What to Expect This moderately-paced, locally hosted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
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Japan is a wonderful and fascinating destination that can tend to be very expensive—unless you're traveling with Friendly Planet! Our affordable Japan tour package lets you explore this ancient yet modern country for a truly remarkable price without compromising on quality. Fly to Japan via Singapore Airlines, voted the world's #1 airline for safety, comfort and service. Stay at beautiful and well-located 4- & 5-star hotels throughout the country, enjoying a lavish daily breakfast.

Visit Tokyo, Japan's modern capital, Kyoto, ancient capital for over 1000 years, and Osaka, considered Japan's spiritual heartland, plus lots of other sites in between on this exceptional 10-day tour of Japan.


Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round trip flights from Los Angeles via Singapore Airlines non-stop jet service including taxes & fees
  • All intra-Japan ground transportation
  • 8 nights Deluxe and superior first class hotels with private bath
  • 11 Meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 1 dinner
  • Comprehensive, fully escorted touring program including entrance fees
  • Professional English-speaking local guides
  • Added-Value: ¥2,000 pre-paid Suica transit/e-money card

Optional add-ons

  • Kamakura & Enoshima Bay with lunch
  • Hiroshima & Miyajima

Why you'll love it

  • Enjoy a breathtaking view of the city from Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world.
  • Wander through the alluring East Gardens of the historic Imperial Palace, admiring the ancient castle walls and ruins.
  • Waft incense over your body for improved health at Sensoji Temple, Tokyo's oldest and most significant temple.
  • View the 12,000 foot high Mt. Fuji, recognized around the world as a symbol of Japan.
  • Ascend Mt. Komagatake via the Komagatake Ropeway and enjoy sweeping views of Hakone National Park and Mt. Fuji.
  • Zoom past Japan’s rolling countryside on a high-speed journey to Kyoto aboard the Shinkansen.
  • Marvel at the Golden Pavilion whose three stories each reflect a different architectural style and are covered in gold leaf.
  • Visit Osaka Castle, an impressive fortification that played a major role in the unification of the country during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period
  • Indulge a special farewell dinner in Osaka with your fellow travelers.

Itinerary at a Glance

Japan Panorama map


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA

  • Depart on your overnight flight to Tokyo

Day 2 Arrive Tokyo, Japan

  • Arrive in Tokyo, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel

Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Full Day Itinerary
Shinjuku, Tokyo

Arrive early this evening in Tokyo, one of the world's main economic centers and Japan's modern capital, as well as its largest city. Your tour host will meet you upon arrival and escort you to your deluxe, centrally located hotel. En route, you'll have your first glimpse of the stunning, modern skyline and glittering neon-lit streets that are quintessential Tokyo. You'll also receive a short briefing about details of your tour of Japan.

Day 3 Tokyo

  • City tour of Tokyo including Tokyo Skytree, Asakusa Kannon, Edo Museum and the Imperial Palace's East Garden
  • Afternoon at leisure

Imperial Hotel Tokyo Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Sensoji Temple, Tokyo

After breakfast, set out on a guided tour to explore some of Tokyo's main sites. Begin at the Tokyo Skytree, from which you'll enjoy a wonderful view of the city. Continue to Sensoji, or Asakusa Kannon, dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy and compassion. Sensoji is one of the most popular sights in Tokyo, yet it's delightfully serene. Smoke from its incense cauldron is said to be beneficial to health, especially the part of the body onto which it is rubbed, and you will see many people doing this before going to pray.

Then, stroll Nakamise shopping street, which stretches over approximately 250 meters from the main grounds of Sensoji Temple. It is lined with more than 50 shops, which offer local specialties and souvenirs. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional lunch at a local restaurant.

Later, visit the Edo Museum and learn about the culture and history of Japan. Proceed to the historic Imperial Palace, which dates back to the 15th century and is the former site of Edo Castle and the present residence of the Emperor of Japan. Visitors are not permitted inside this very private residence of royalty, but you will enjoy a walk through the beautiful East Gardens, with views of the ancient castle walls and ruins.

This afternoon is free for independent touring. We suggest a visit to the The Ginza, Tokyo's most famous up-market shopping, dining and entertainment district, featuring numerous department stores, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, night clubs, cafes and Kabuki Theater.

Day 4 Mt. Fuji & Hakone

  • Enjoy a beautiful panoramic drive from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji
  • Drive to the 5th station and see gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside
  • Continue to Hakone for lunch and a scenic cruise on Lake Ashi
  • Board the Komagatake Ropeway and ascend Mt. Komagatake
  • Return to Tokyo late this afternoon

Imperial Hotel Tokyo Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Mt. Fuji

Today you'll enjoy a beautiful panoramic drive from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji, an almost perfectly conical volcano that is recognized around the world as a symbol of Japan. It stands over 12,000 feet high and is beautifully snow-capped in winter. Drive to the 5th station, a 5 to 6-hour trek from the summit for experienced hikers, where you'll enjoy gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. Continue to Hakone, a hot springs resort town located in the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, where you'll enjoy an included lunch. After lunch, take a scenic cruise on Lake Ashi, a slender body of water formed in the Hakone caldera some 400,000 years ago. Board the Komagatake Ropeway for an incredibly picturesque ascent up Mt. Komagatake and a sweeping view of Hakone National Park and Mt. Fuji. Return to Tokyo late this afternoon.

Day 5 Tokyo or Kamakura & Enoshima Bay excursion with lunch

  • Full day at leisure in Tokyo

Imperial Hotel Tokyo Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore Tokyo on your own. Your hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo, adjacent to the Tokyo Tower and historical Zojo-ji temple and within easy access to the fashionable shopping districts of Ginza and Roppongi.

Optional Excursion: Full Day Kamakura & Enoshima Bay with Lunch, $180
Lighthouse, Enoshima Island

You'll depart after breakfast from your hotel to the Hamamatsucho bus terminal. Start your tour by tasting some of Japan's famous powdered matcha green tea and confectionery in the Jomyo-ji Temple. You will enjoy the view of the temple's Japanese rock garden in the highly refined and tranquil tea room that was constructed over 400 years ago. Walk through the grounds of Hokoku-ji Temple, known as the bamboo temple for its beautiful bamboo grove. Visit Kotoku-in Temple which houses a towering, 43 foot tall Buddha statue known as one of the three Great Buddha statues in Japan. Lunch will be a Japanese-style meal. Visit Enoshima, a getaway island popular year-round for its cool ocean breezes. Cross over the 2,000 foot long bridge that connects the island of Enoshima with the mainland and walk along Benzaiten Nakamise Street which is lined with intriguing shops. Afterward, take the Enoshima Escar (outdoor escalator, ascending only) which will whisk you easily up to Enoshima Shrine. Enjoy the beautiful ocean views from the Enoshima Shrine. The Enoshima Escar goes uphill only. There are no escalators to go down. Passengers who opt not to take the Enoshima Escar may explore Benzaiten Nakamise Street which is a lively street lined with restaurants and shops. This is a regularly-scheduled, English-speaking bus tour. Tour participants will arrive to the Hamamatcucho bus terminal where the tour begins. The tour ends in Tokyo at Shinjuku, where you have to make your own way back to the hotel or stay and experience some of Tokyo's famous nightlife.

Day 6 Tokyo & Kyoto

  • Travel to Kyoto aboard the Shinkansen, Japan's bullet train
  • Enjoy a walking/subway orientation tour of Kyoto
  • Balance of the day at leisure

Hotel Granvia Kyoto Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

Set out this morning on a high-speed adventure aboard the Shinkansen, Japan's bullet train. This fast, quiet train, itself a tourist draw, links the major cities in Japan efficiently, while reaching speeds of over 170 miles per hour. You'll arrive in Kyoto quickly and comfortably, ready to enjoy the beauty and fascination of this very special city.

Upon arrival, meet your guide and check into your hotel. After check-in, enjoy a walking/subway orientation tour of Kyoto. Visit the Nishiki Market, a 400 meter long street lined with small stands and shops; the Ponto-cho area which is the local restaurant district and Kyoto's underground department store. The balance of your day is at leisure to explore the temples, shrines, gardens and other beautiful sites located within walking distance of your hotel. Enjoy some shopping time at Kyoto's underground department store where you'll enjoy the sights and sounds of typical Japanese life.

Day 7 Kyoto

  • City tour of Kyoto including Kiyomizu Temple, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle and the Heian Jingu Shrine
  • Balance of the day at leisure

Hotel Granvia Kyoto Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Golden Pavilion, Kyoto

This ancient city, home to almost 1.5 million people, was the capital of Japan for more than a thousand years and still is considered the country's spiritual capital. On today's full day tour, you'll visit the main attractions of the city, beginning with Kiyomizu Temple. Located on a hillside at the east edge of the city and famous both for its waterfall and for the stunning view from its vast wooden terrace. The temple is particularly beautiful in April, when cherry blossoms abound, and in November, when maple leaves show their autumn colors.

Proceed to the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji Temple), which is covered in gold leaf and whose three stories each reflect a different architectural style. The small lake nearby adds to the glimmer, and while no one is allowed inside, you can take pictures that are sure to be among your favorite and most memorable images of Japan. The actual building is a perfect reconstruction, erected after a disaffected monk set fire to the original, centuries-old wooden structure in 1950.

Continue to the fascinating Handicraft Center, where you'll be greeted by five colorful floors offering for sale beautiful Japanese arts and handicrafts including pearls, lacquer ware, dolls, toys, kimono (including antique kimono), woodblock prints, pottery, paper products, swords, lanterns, silk and textile goods, painted scrolls, music boxes and much, much more. Next, make your way to the 17th century Nijo Castle. You can see the architecture change as you go from the most public spaces to the private chambers of the shogun, which were protected by a highly imaginative security system comprised of floorboards deliberately built to squeak when walked upon. Your last stop of the day is a visit to the Heian Jingu Shrine, a 5/8 scale reproduction of the Heian Palace, dedicated to the spirits of the first and last Emperors who reigned in the city of Kyoto. Here you'll have an opportunity to walk around the shrine's beautiful court and have a photo stop in front of the giant Torii Gate.

Day 8 Kyoto or optional Hiroshima & Miyajima excursion

  • Full day at leisure in Kyoto, or join an optional excursion to Hiroshima & Miyajima

Hotel Granvia Kyoto Breakfast

Optional Excursion: Full Day Hiroshima & Miyajima, $450
Torri Gate, Miyajima

You'll depart after breakfast and travel by bullet train to Hiroshima. Take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima, just off the coast from Hiroshima. Here, you'll visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Shrine of Itsukushima, one of the most photographed sites in Japan. Constructed in 593 to honor the fishing gods, the shrine sits on wooden piers over the water. The orange paint on the shrine's entrance gate provides for a stunning color contrast against the crystal blue waters of the bay. After touring the shrine of Itsukushima, you will have time for lunch on your own on Miyajima at a local restaurant before returning to Hiroshima by ferry. Afterward, visit the Hiroshima Bomb Dome, a skeleton of a building that survived the atomic bomb blast in 1945. Continue across the street to the Peace Memorial Park, where you'll find a moving memorial to the victims of the bomb as well as a museum that offers a compelling and important history of the horrors of war. You will have time to explore the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on your own before returning to Kyoto. This museum is a monument that celebrates the desire for long life and happiness. This is a regularly-scheduled, English-speaking bus tour. Tour participants must make their own way to the tour desk at Kyoto Station, a short walk from your hotel. (Note: The Shrine of Itsukushima's large torii gate will not be visible beginning in June 2019, due to renovations. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum's main building is currently being renovated through Spring 2019. The fully renovated, East building will be open to visitors and includes displays from the Main Building.)

Day 9 Kyoto, Nara & Osaka

  • Drive to Nara, one of the earliest capitals of Japan
  • Visit Todaiji Temple and the Kasuga Shrine
  • Continue to Osaka and see Osaka Castle and Dotonbori Street on an afternoon city tour
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner

Osaka Marriott Miyako Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary

After breakfast, drive to Nara, one of the earliest capitals of Japan. Visit Todaiji Temple, whose Buddha is the largest bronze statue in the world, and whose main structure is the world's largest wooden building. The temple sits in a huge park where small deer have free rein to mingle with visitors and beg for treats that you can buy from local vendors for a few yen. Another delight is Kasuga Shrine, festooned with thousands of paper lanterns.

This afternoon, continue your drive to Osaka, considered Japan's spiritual heartland. The site of one of the earliest capitals of the country, it remains a vital center for trade and entrepreneurial culture. On an afternoon city tour, visit Osaka Castle, one of Japan's most famous castles, which played a major role in the unification of the country during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. The castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one kilometer square and is a popular spot during festival seasons; especially when the cherry blossoms bloom and the sprawling castle grounds are covered with food vendors and taiko drummers.

Continue to Dotonbori Street, a former pleasure district now famous for its theatres, shops, and restaurants and the many colorful neon and mechanized signs, including snack/candy manufacturer Glico's giant electronic display of a runner crossing the finish line. Enjoy strolling the long street and take advantage of the opportunity to shop for last-minute souvenirs. Finally, join your fellow travelers for a special farewell dinner.

Day 10 Osaka & Depart Tokyo/Arrive USA

  • Board the bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo
  • Transfer to Narita Airport to board your return flight
  • Arrive in the USA later today



Imperial Hotel Tokyo
Imperial Hotel Tokyo

As a prestigious member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the 5-star Imperial Hotel Tokyo boasts an impressive historic pedigree. Centrally located just south of Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace grounds, the property has long drawn a high-profile clientele.  Rooms are situated in the main building or in the gleaming tower, and many look across 40-acre Hibiya Park, the Imperial Palace or the dazzling Ginza neighborhood. The hotel also features a number of health and beauty options including a barber, nail salon, cosmetic dentistry and luxurious spa treatments. The Imperial hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness center, pool and sauna facilities are available to hotel guests for a small daily usage charge.

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Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Hotel Granvia Kyoto is found within the unique architectural structure of the JR Kyoto Station Complex. Because the hotel is in the center of the world-renowned international tourist destination of Kyoto, it is within walking distance of many famous temples, castles, and gardens. In addition, there are several other tourist attractions you can get to just by taking a short ride on the multiple public transportation options available.

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Osaka Marriott Miyako
Osaka Marriott Miyako

Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel occupies the 38th to 57th floors in the tallest building complex in Osaka, Japan. The hotel’s location makes it easy to explore the exciting city; easy access to the every corner by subway and regional rail, and only 30 minutes from Kansai International Airport.The Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel also features a number of on-site shops for your convenience as well as complimentary access to a 24-hr fitness center.

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In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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