AJ Travel Bureau ToursEssentail Japan

Essential Japan

This is a charter bus and bullet train tour developed with the first time traveller to Japan in mind. See all the essential sights of Japan in this tour. Visit the 'must see' places on the one tour, including Tokyo's Ginza and Asakusa Temple, Kenroku Garden, Mount Fuji and Koya-san, Himeji Castle, Hiroshima Castle, Hiroshima Atomic Dome, Peach Park and museum, Kintaikyo Bridge and Iwakuni Castle.

Every day begins with a buffet breakfast at your hotel. While you will provide most of your lunches, the tour will stop at a convenient location where you can make your own selection subject to the restaurant's choices available. Keep an eye out for some of the optional extra dining experiences and additional tour experiences available to you on this tour. Hover over the points on the map to the right to see the locations of the major cities included in this tour.

Day 1 - Arrival in Tokyo

Arrive at our designated hotel in Tokyo. We'll meet in the lobby of our hotel before heading out to our welcoming dinner. Meet your fellow travellers and enjoy dinner and show at a restaurant in Ginza.

More info

Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

  • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
  • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
  • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


Day 2 - Tokyo Day Tour

  • Coach Hotel pick-up
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine & Harajuku
  • Tsukiji Market (free time for lunch)
  • Imperial Palace
  • Asakusa (Sensoji Temple & Nakamise Street)
  • Sky Tree
  • Hotel drop-off
  • Lunch: Tsukiji market
  • Dinner: TBA - Mugen-Ryu Restaurant?
  • More info

    Refer to the following blog posts for information on:

    • Meiji Jingu;
    • Harakajuku;
    • Tsukiji Markets;
    • Skytree;
    • Sosenji Temple;
    • Nakamise Market Street.


    Day 3 - Hokone Mt Fuji Day Trip

    • Day trip to Mt Fuji and return to the hotel in Tokyo;
    • Romance Car to Hakone Yumoto;
    • Hakone Tozan Train to Gora;
    • Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Owakunidani;
    • Gondola to Gotemba and views of Mt Fuji (if weather is clear);
    • Gondola to Togendai Station;
    • Lake Ashinoko cruise to Hakone-machi;
    • Coach to Gotemba Shopping Outlet;

    More info

    Refer to the following posts for more information on:

    • Mt Fuji Day Trip


    Day 4 - Bullet Train to Kanazawa

    • Morning free in Tokyo;
    • Luggage transfer to hotel in Kanazawa;
    • Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kanazawa;
    • Check-in Kanazawa hotel;
    • Evening free or sushi restaurant dinner (add-on tour option)

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 5 - Kanazawa Sight Seeing

    • Genroku-en - one of the three most famous gardens in Japan;
    • Kanazawa Castle;
    • Zen Museum;
    • Ninja Temple or Nagamachi Samurai District;
    • Drop-off Kanazawa Hotel; and
    • (Transfer luggage from Kanazawa to Kyoto hotel);
    • Evening free

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 6 - Shirakawa-go and Kyoto

    Travel by coach to Shirakawa-go. You will have a couple of hours to explore this interesting village that showcases traditional Japanese farmhouses, museums and street foods before meeting at the observation area for lunch.

    After lunch we will continue by coach to Nagoya, where we will change to the shinkansen (bullet train) and head for the ancient capital Kyoto.

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 7 - Kyoto Sightseeing - Three Days

    You will visit the following tour attractions using a combination of coach travel and walking:

    • Arashiyama - walk through the bamboo forest of Arashiyama;
    • Togetsukyo Bridge;
    • Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama;
    • Ryoanji Zen Temple;
    • Golden Pavilion;
    • Drop-off at hotel; and
    • Geisha Experience (add-on experience)

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 8 - Kyoto

    • Zen monastery experience;
    • Tea Ceremony;
    • Sake Museum;
    • Kaiseki (multi-course meal) Restaurant Lunch (add-on option);
    • Evening free

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 9 - Mt Koya and Temple Stay

    • Transfer to Koya-san by coach;
    • Explore Koya-san;
    • Mt Koya Temple Stay;
    • (Luggage on coach)

    More info

    Read our following posts for more information on:

    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 10 - Mt Koya to Osaka

    • Transfer to Osaka;
    • Osaka Castle;
    • Dotonbori (Shopping & Lunch);
    • Shitenoji;
    • Floating Garden;
    • Hotel drop-off;
    • (Luggage transferred via coach)

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 11 - Hiroshima via Himeji Castle

    • Shinkansen from Osaka to Himeji;
    • Explore Himeji Castle and surrounding shops;
    • Shinkansen to Hiroshima; and
    • Dinner out in Hiroshima - okynomiyaki (add-on experience)

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 12 - Hiroshima

    Explore the following attractions by coach and walking.

    • Atomic Dome;
    • Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum;
    • Miyajima Island; then
    • Return to hotel

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 13 - Hiroshima

    Coach to Iwakuni and Shin-Iwakuni
    Shinkansen from Shin-Iwakuni to Fukuoaka/Hakata

    • Coach to Iwakuni;
    • Explore Kintaikyo and Iwakuni;
    • Lunch in Kintaikyo;
    • Shinkansen to Fukuoaka;
    • (Transfer luggage to Fukuoaka hotel)

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 14 - Arita Pottery Village and Farewell Dinner

    • Coach to Arita Pottery Village
    • Try your hand at making your own piece of pottery
    • Walk through the village to the station – shop for pottery etc.
    • Coach to restaurant and Farewell Dinner and offical end of tour.

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).


    Day 15 - Return to Tokyo

    • Breakfast in hotel;
    • Coach transfer to Hakata Airport; and
    • Return to Tokyo by aeroplane

    More info

    Refer to our following blog articles for more information on:

    • Nanzenji temple (coming soon);
    • Sanmon-Gate (coming soon);
    • Castle Towns (about castles & castle towns on the nakasendo).

    Tour Dates


    Tour Dates TBA

    Tour Inclusions


    • 12 nights accommodation
    • 11 Breakfasts
    • 9 Dinners
    • Train travel as per itinerary
    • Bilingual Tour Leader

    Tour Exclusions


    • International airfares
    • Travel Insurance
    • Lunches
    • Alcohol beverages
    • No water supplied

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