January 22nd- 30th
$800USD all inclusive from TPE*
$1500USD all inclusive from NYC, LAX, and ORD*
With its intriguing intersection of ultra-modernity and time-honored tradition, Tokyo is a fascinating place to explore. Experience the city’s contrasts as you discover celebrated museums, temples, and historic neighborhoods. Sample the local cuisine, and get immersed in the colorful bustle of one of the world’s largest fish markets. Then venture north into the forested hills of Nikko, and spend a day exploring the exquisite shrines and temples of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Explore the snow-dappled forests and geothermal wonders of Hokkaido, and attend a dance performance at an Ainu cultural center.
- Get up close to rare and wonderful winter wildlife: splendid red-crowned cranes, vociferous whooper swans, snow monkeys, and more.
- Experience the time-honored tradition of the Japanese onsen, or hot spring bath.
*All inclusive is the total price that you would pay over time with the CP Travels payment plan option. It includes flights, room, ground transportation and tours.
**Full itinerary below
We start our itinerary in Tokyo. After a long flight, Tokyo makes for a great start for trying out some of the tasty Japanese cuisine, be it sushi, okonamiyaki or a fully stuffed bento box. It is easy to fill in the days staying in Tokyo to your own liking. Transport within the capital is very frequent and everything can be reached by public transport.
Day 1: Western Tokyo
Start the day in Harajuku, home of the more extreme Japanese youth fashion, Harajuku is famous for cosplay and the latest trends. Takeshita Dori is the main shopping street, here everything from the super cute to goth can be found.
Just behind Harajuku the entrance to the Meji Shrine can be found, surrounded by a beautiful small forest, the Meji Shrine is dedicated to the Meji emperor.
Also close to Harajuku is Omotesando, this uptown avenue caters mostly to the wealthy. Many top brand stores and exclusive restaurants can be found here. It’s also a great way walk from Harajuku to Shibuya, at the end of Omotesando turn right and you should reach Shibuya in about 10 minutes. Alternatively, return to Harajuku station and take the JR Yamanote line to Shibuya.
Almost the first thing that can be seen once exiting Shibuya station is the famous Shibuya crossing, the busiest in the world! Shibuya is the center of youth fashion in Tokyo, there are many huge department stores and it’s one of the top spots in Tokyo to shop.
The next and last stop of the day is Shinjuku, to get here take the Yamanote line from Shibuya. Shinjuku is the busiest station in Japan, this alone is worth experiencing. We also recommend a visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office for a grand view of the Tokyo skyline and the entertainment district of Kabukicho.
Day 2: Central Tokyo
Start the day with raw fish at Tsukiji fish market, here newly caught fish is auctioned. After auction breakfast can be had at many small shops, making for a Sashimi breakfast for champions. Close to Tsukiji fish market is Ginza, the 5th avenue of Tokyo here many leading cosmetic and clothing brands can be found here, in addition to the Apple and Sony stores, displaying their latest products. Close to Ginza and even closer to Tokyo station is the Imperial Palace, this is the last stop for today. The imperial palace, the palace gardens are open year round and make for a pleasant stroll, there’s also much of history value.
Day 3: Eastern Tokyo
Today we start in Akihabara, known as electric city, everything related to electronics, gadgets, and anime/manga can be found here. Akihabara is well worth a visit, to experience the Otaku atmosphere and maybe even enjoy a stay at a maid cafe. Only a few stops away from Akihabara on the Yamanote line is Ueno. Ueno Park just just outside of the station, here the Tokyo National Museum, National Science Museum and the Shitamachi Museum amongst others can be found. Ueno park also has different temples and Ueno Zoo is a fun visit if you travel with children. After Ueno the next stop is Asakusa, to get there take the Tokyo Metro Ginza line from Ueno to Asakusa station. Asakusa is where the old atmosphere of Edo Tokyo still remains, start with a visit to Kaminarimon followed by Sensoji Temple. There are also many small craft and souvenir shops to be found around here, well worth a visit!
The last visit for day 3 is the Tokyo Skytree, completed 2012 it is 634 tall and visitors and visit the Skywalk at 451 meter high.Tokyo Skytree is only 2 minutes away from Asakusa on the Tobu Skytree line, or about 30 minutes on foot.
Next, we head down to Kyoto. First make your way to Tokyo station, it is here where the Shinkansen departs from. Be sure to come a bit early as Tokyo station to buy an Eki Bento. The station is very big and it’s easy to get lost along the endless passengers, however keep following the signs with Tokaido Shinkansen and you’ll find trains departing south west to Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. Reserve your tickets and make your way to the platforms, now it’s time to ride the hyper fast bullet train!
Transport in Kyoto is mostly done by bus. One day tickets can be purchased for 500 yen, this can quickly help to make savings, as a normal bus ride costs 230yen.
Day 4: Western Kyoto
Start with the famous Zen gardens of Ryoanji Temple, we recommend coming early before the it gets busy with tourists, this way it is possible to experience the real Zen feeling. The next on our list is the iconic Golden pavilion, the tea gardens close to the pavilion are a good stop to unwind a little before moving on. The next stop is Arashiyama, it’s a beautiful area with bamboo groves and a small monkey park.
Day 5: Eastern Kyoto
Start at Kyomizu-dera, build on the side of a mountain overlooking Kyoto, Kyomizu-dera has a wonderful view over the Kyoto skyline. Just below Kyomizu-dera is are the small streets of the Higashiyama district. Higashiyama is historically well preserved and the it’s the place where old Kyoto comes to life. There there are many small shops selling small crafts such as pottery. Just a little up north from Higashiyama is the famous Geisha district of Gion, it’s a nice stop before traveling on to the next stop Nishiki Market. The atmosphere is pleasant and busy, many small stands sell all kinds of delicacies and cook wares. We recommend walking around the Shijō Kawaramachi area if there’s time left. This vibrant area is the center of Kyoto, it’s amazing for shopping and dining alike.
The next stop is Hiroshima, bullet trains depart directly from Kyoto to Hiroshima station.
Day 6: Hiroshima and Miyajima
For a day in Hiroshima we highly recommend a visit to the peace memorial museum and park, both leave a strong impression. The JR Pass is also valid on the Sight Seeing Loop bus and all great spots can be visited without additional charge.
Day 7: Miyajima
Miyajima, also known as Itsukushima, the Tori gate standing out in the sea during sunset, is one of the most iconic sights in Japan. From Hiroshima take a local train to Miyajima-guchi, from there the ferry departs to Miyajima island. Both are covered by the JR Pass. After Miyajima there’s most likely some time left and we suggest going to downtown Hiroshima to get a feel of the atmosphere and try out some of the local foods, the Hiroshima Ramen are especially good!