experience the serenity of a family inn
8 day tour of Japan , starts weekly in Tokyo
Tuesdays- April - Sep
ease your way into the very essence of Japan, through
encounters ranging from the mundane to the sublime. You'll experience
the serenity of a family inn, where you'll be greeted with slippers
at the door, and soak in the comfort of a steaming tub. You'll join
the Japanese as they get about by steam train, subway, taxi, and Bullet
Train, always with the orientation and guidance of our representative.
We'll even arrange for you to share real-life experiences and pastimes,
ranging from a campfire to a farm stay to gathering edible plants. And
of course, we won't pass up the perfect beauty of Mount Fuji. Language
and cultural differences often appear to stand in the way of an encounter
with the real Japan. Yet the rewards can be incomparable. Beyond the
stereotypes is a nation that lives fully in the modern world while honoring
traditional ways. You'll find that in Japan there are comparisons to
be made, experiences to treasure, and more than a few lessons to learn,
all accomplished with surprising facility in just a week through Travel
1 - ARRIVAL Tuesday
You'll land today at ultramodern Narita International Airport, after
your introduction to the serene ways of the Orient aboard your transpacific
flight. Of course, our Tokyo-based representative will be on hand to
greet you at the customs exit, and make sure that you get on the right
bus for your downtown hotel. Though Narita is a fair distance from Tokyo,
everything moves quickly and efficiently in Japan, and in only ninety
minutes, you'll be at your hotel (the New Takanawa Prince or a similar
establishment). After you settle in, you can have a look around, and
appreciate the small marvels of Japanese urban life: spotless streets,
a pace that's fast but always in control, bicycles left unlocked, vending
machines dispensing superb hot coffee in cans (or whiskey, if you wish),
and signs in English. Everything's the same, but a little bit different.
You'll be comfortable in, and fascinated by, Tokyo.
days, starts weekly in Tokyo on Tuesdays- April
DAY 2 - TOKYO Wed (BL)
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, with the option to please your palate
with Japanese specialties, as well as more familiar Western fare.
tour voucher will specify the time at which to meet your English-speaking
guide in your hotel lobby. Board the coach to get to know Tokyo, but
don't think that this is an ordinary bus tour! You'll see the essential
sights, including the sky-piercing Tokyo Tower, the extensive Imperial
Palace and its gardens, and the national legislature, the Diet.
But you'll also attend a traditional tea ceremony at Happoen Garden,
and gain an insight into the tranquil yet solid spiritual life of the
Japanese at the Asakusa Kannon Temple. The avant garde of Japanese products-many
not yet on sale elsewhere-will be found in the Nakamise shopping arcade.
Of course, you'll rub shoulders
with the locals on the streets of ultramodern Ginza, where restaurants
and boutiques offer services and wares from street level upward. Lunch
will be a Japanese-style barbecue (vegetarian food available)at the
Chinzanso Garden restaurant. We'll even manage to fit in a waterside
view of Tokyo from the Sumida River.
You'll glide under thirteen bridges, and feast on sights that include
the Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay, the Tsukiji fish market, a sumo stadium,
and other spots both interesting and offbeat. At dusk, we'll offer a
courtesy shuttle back to your hotel, though of course, you're free to
continue to explore, shop, and taste on your own, in one of the safest
3 - TOKYO, MOTEGI, TOCHIGI Thu (BLD)
Ride into the countryside alongside the locals today! We take pride
in affording you this experience, entirely by public transportation,
with orientation by our English-speaking representative. You'll get
to Tokyo station by subway or taxi, to board the futuristic Tohoku Shinkansen,
or Bullet Train.
Your 45-minute ride speeds you through an assortment of neat neighborhoods
with narrow streets, and onward through the countryside to Oyama, where
you'll transfer to a train for Shimonodate. . Now, it's time for a change
of pace, as you go back into time for a journey of more than an hour
aboard a vintage train with fully restored steam locomotive.
By now, you'll have mastered the polite bow of greeting, and will find
that many Japanese are eager to practice their English-especially with
someone who has wandered off the standard tourist routes! At Motegi-Cho
station, you'll be warmly greeted and invited to lunch at the family
inn (minshuku tabata)
that will be your home and base for the next few days. You'll appreciate
your unusual accommodations, along with the rural setting of small farms,
and a steady, slow pace. To enhance your experience, Travel in Style
offers a range of activities that may include a tea ceremony, harvesting
garden-fresh vegetables, preparing a traditional barbecue dinner, a
campfire, and stargazing. Take advantage of this unusual chance to experience
Japanese country life!
4 - TOCHIGI Fri (BLD)
After a farm-style breakfast in Japanese style, it's time for still
more traditional experiences. Depending on the season, you might take
part in the harvest of rice. Or join the locals in identifying and picking
edible wild plants for your lunch, or making buckwheat noodles by hand.
For a change of pace, we'll take time in the afternoon to visit Honda's
twin racing oval, the largest in the world, and the adjacent museum,
before returning to dinner at your family inn.
5 - TOCHIGI, TOKYO Sat
After breakfast, you'll be seen from your family inn to the Motegi-Cho
station, where you'll be briefed for your return trip to Tokyo with
a change of train at Oyama. Our Tokyo representative will be on hand
to greet you on the platform, and escort you to your hotel taxi. You'll
have time to continue your explorations of Tokyo on your own. Take a
walk through the exciting Ginza district where the street action never
ceases, or wonder at consumer electronic marvels in Akihabara.
DAY 6 - TOKYO, MOUNT FUJI, HAKONE Sun (BL)
We'll depart in the morning by motor coach, passing through Tokyo's
orderly outlying communities and, later, carefully tended fields and
orchards. Majestic Mount Fuji will come into view, increasingly imposing
as we approach. We'll ascend all the way to the 2300-meter level mountain
for both an unsurpassed experience of the perfect mountain and an appreciation
of the countryside. Surrounded by ordered beauty, we'll proceed to lunch
at a Western-style resort in Hakone, followed by a cruise on placid
Lake Ashi and a visit to the Owakudani Valley, a remnant volcanic crater.
Evening will see your departure by rail for Tokyo station. With instructions
from your guide, you'll find that you can make it back to your hotel
entirely on your own.
DAY 7 - TOKYO Mon (B)
You've learned many of the ropes during your stay in Japan up to now-how
to manage the public transport system, ordering food, greeting people
and communicating with just a very few words and gestures. Now you're
ready for a day exploring on your own! With guidebook in hand, you'll
visit shopping areas filled with items both familiar and marvelous.
You'll explore the parks of Tokyo, or perhaps ascend the Tokyo Tower
for a farewell view, or visit shrines, or charming slow-paced neighborhoods
surprisingly close to the city center. We also offer a range of optional
tours to take advantage of your time exactly in the way you choose.
8 - TOKYO, DEPARTURE Tue (B)
It's sayonara today! After breakfast, you'll have time for last-minute
shopping and sightseeing, until you board your coach for Narita International
Airport, where you'll embark with new insights and pleasant memories
of eternal Japan.
per person in double $ 2599
with tax and service charges in Tokyo and at minshuku
ground transportation in Japan as mentioned, including transfer to
and from airport, train tickets, and taxis
coach tours and tours outside Tokyo as mentioned, including all entrance
of English-speaking guides and representatives on tours and to assist
with transportation as listed.
specifically mentioned with pre-set menu (B = breakfast, L = lunch,
D = dinner)
your stay and Upgrade to a Ryokan -Japanese Inn
air fare from your home to Tokyo. We will be pleased to help you obtain
the best air fare. If you travel on your own, please advise us of
ticket taxes and airport fee in Japan.
interruption and cancellation insurance
except as specifically mentioned, personal expenses, and beverages
(except coffee or tea at breakfast)
note: This tour includes a rural experience. If you are allergic
or sensitive to plants, animals, or insects, please consult your health
professional for advice on whether this itinerary is suitable for you.