11-Nights Iconic Japan - National Geographic Journeys

11-Nights Iconic Japan - National Geographic Journeys
G Adventures
Vacation Offer ID 1500724
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G Adventures

Iconic Japan
In Japan, tradition and modernity are celebrated side-by-side in ways that often appear contradictory. Immerse yourself in this intriguing culture, beginning in sprawling Tokyo, one of the world’s most innovative cities. Then head by rail into the countryside to visit traditional villages and tranquil shrines. Explore quaint geisha districts and inspiring gardens; savour the fresh flavours of Japanese cuisine; and get a glimpse of the ancient soul of this fascinating, futuristic country.

Explore the modern and traditional sides of Japan, Relax at a traditional Inn, Ride a ferry to Miyajima to see the famous floating torii, Learn the art of meditation from a local monk

Hotels (10 nts), traditional Inn (1 nt, shared facilities).

Group Leader
CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout

Group Size Notes
Max 15, avg 12

Meals Included
11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

What's Included
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tsukiji Sushi Experience, Tokyo Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Zen Buddhist Meditation and Calligraphy, Kyoto Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kembu Masters, Kyoto Your Hands-On Moment: Chopstick and Gold Leaf Painting Experience, Kanazawa. Tour of Tokyo including Meiji Jingu Shrine and Asakusa and Harajuku districts. Walking tour of Tsumago Village and countryside. Kaiseki dinner. Visit Kanazawa samurai and geisha districts. Visit Nomura Family Samurai Residence and Myoryuji Ninja Temple. Visit Himeji Castle. Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Excursion to Miyajima Island. Zen meditation experience. Tour Kyoto and Nara including Fushimi Inari, Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Jan - Sep). Visit Gion Geisha district. Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Featured Destinations



Travel to Tsumago and you will slip back into the Edo Period of 300 years ago. Located in the Nagiso, Kiso District this village is plastered with wooden buildings, temples, shrines, and inns. Exaggerating the beauty of Tsumago is the panoramic view of the forested mountains. Visitors can walk through the Magome-toge Pass to O-tsumago, tour the Nagiso Museum of History, pray at the Rurisan Kotoku-ji Temple, or hike the demolished Tsumago Castle grounds.


If you can visit only one city in Japan, Kyoto is the one. This ancient city, 30 mi/50 km northeast of Osaka, was the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years and still is considered the country's spiritual capital. Thousands of shrines and temples dot the city, including more than a dozen on the UNESCO World Heritage list. That list is far from all-inclusive, and many excellent places that might be the star attractions of other cities crowd the streets of Kyoto. It is a center of Japanese Zen and has several huge monastery complexes where serious students still sit in meditation.

Kyoto is also the nation's capital of traditional arts. Whether your interest be in pottery, textiles, dance, the tea ceremony or any of the other innumerable arts, Kyoto has excellent galleries, museums, shops and tea houses. Japanese people from the countryside and foreign students flock there to learn under the great masters. Much of what is considered Japanese haute cuisine was developed there too, as an offshoot of the tea ceremony.

Kyoto is Japan's heartland of history. With 1,300 years of tumultuous existence, the city's past intrudes upon the present day as in few other Japanese cities. In Gion, you can spot a geisha (or geiko, as they are called in Kyoto), one of the last hundred or so in Japan, slipping down a side-street to entertain rich guests with witty conversation, dance or music. A shopping arcade may suddenly fill with discordant clanging music as a shrine festival passes among the shoppers, or you may hear the long chant as Zen monks pass through the neighborhood, calling for alms.

Kyoto is an understated city that might disappoint visitors at first (at first glance, it is a large city with modern buildings that might not align with one's original perception); its charm lies in small details, pocket gardens, tiny traditional restaurants and refined artwork.

Destination Guide


Hiroshima in southwestern Honshu has grown rapidly as a commercial city, and after 1868 it was developed as a military base. Every August 6 since 1947, thousands participate in multidenominational services in the Peace Memorial Park built on the site where the bomb exploded. After the war the city was largely rebuilt, and commercial activity gradually resumed. Visit the Peace Park but also explore Miyajima Island and its colourful shrines and mysterious forests.
Destination Guide


Kanazawa's importance grew in the 15th century, when the powerful and militant Ikko sect established its new headquarters there after being chased out of Kyoto by the monks of Mt.Hiei. During the Edo Period, Kanazawa was the seat of the Maeda clan, the second most powerful clan after the Tokugawa in terms of rice production and fief size. Accordingly, Kanazawa grew to become a town of great cultural achievements, rivaling Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo). In World War Two, Kanazawa was Japan's second largest city (after Kyoto) to escape destruction by air raids. Consequently, parts of the old castle town, such as samurai, temple and pleasure districts, have survived in pretty good condition. Kanazawa is capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, a prefecture along the Sea of Japan.
Destination Guide


Tokyo, Japan, presents a different view at every turn. It's one of the world's main economic centers and its most populous agglomeration. The business of Tokyo is business, but you can still find harmony and small-scale gardens on back streets. Around the corner from neon and concrete, you may find the bonsai-lined courtyard of a traditional inn.

Tokyo was nearly destroyed by bombs and fires during World War II, and by earthquakes at other times, but it has always rebuilt itself. As a result, there is little left of Old Japan in the city, but there's plenty of New Japan to take its place.

The streets are a confusing maze, so a map is essential. The transit system is excellent, however, and there are kobans (police boxes) throughout the metropolis, as well as a populace generally willing to answer questions.

Visitors to Tokyo represent both business and leisure travelers. And despite its past reputation, Tokyo is no longer fearsomely expensive. It's relatively easy to visit Tokyo on a budget.

Destination Guide

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Pricing is per person, land only, in US dollars and based on double occupancy. For specific validity dates, discount amount and tour information, please return to the promotion in question. Promotion valid on G Adventures small group tours excluding Independent, MS Expedition or National Geographic Journeys, unless otherwise stated. Promotion applicable to new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Does not apply to airfare (unless otherwise stated), pre-/post-accommodation, 'My Own Room' or 'My Own Tent', transfers, theme packs, insurance, polar kayaking & camping excursions or other in-country services. G Adventures reserves the right to withdraw this offer from sale at any time. Itinerary and map subject to change.  Please click here for a description of the travel style options provided by G Adventures. 

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