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13-Day Classic Japan Tour: Nikko, Hakone, Takayama, Hiroshima, and Kyoto from Tokyo

Taito City, Japan

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icon13 days  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Lose yourself in Japan’s majestic cultural tapestry on a 13-day tour of the country’s iconic locations from Tokyo. Alongside an expert guide, experience the luminescent streets of Tokyo, the poignant monuments of Hiroshima Peace Park, and the soothing hot springs of Hakone. Absorb the sacred atmosphere of the Toshogu Shrine, pleasure your palate with the street food of Takayama market, and spend 12-nights luxuriating in comfortable hotels and guest houses. Enjoy meals indicated by the itinerary, and receive personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to only 12 people.
  • 13-day tour of Japan from Tokyo to Kyoto
  • Travel by bullet train to Takayama in the Japanese Alps and stroll through the Hida Folk Village
  • Explore two UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples or shrines, such as Golden Pavilion Temple, and visit the geisha district of Gion in Kyoto
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 ensures a more personalized experience
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English-speaking guide
12-night accommodation in hotels and local guesthouses
Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Japan Rail Pass
Included Activities
JR Rail Pass Extension
Food and drinks, unless specified
Optional Activities

Departure Point

Agora Place Asakusa, 2-chōme-2-9 Kotobuki, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0042, Japan

Departure Time

6:00 PM

Return Details

Ryokan Heianbou, Japan, 〒600-8216 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Higashishiokōjichō, 725 | 京都駅 / 東本願寺 / ホテル / 旅館 / 宿泊 / 和室 / 一人 / 近く / おすすめ / 安い |
Gain fascinating insight into Japan's distinctive and dynamic culture on this 13-day journey through the Land of the Rising Sun. In addition to admission to Japan's premium attractions, enjoy 12 nights of accommodations in traditional guesthouses, Japanese inns, and a luxurious hotel. 

Enjoy a balanced combination of guided tours and relaxed free time, and relish the freedom to customize your itinerary according to your interests. Experience the exhilaration of activities, such as cable car rides, and delight in the tranquility of UNESCO-listed temples, such as the Golden Pavilion. 


Day 1: Tokyo 

Arrive at Kinuya Hotel in Tokyo at any time of day. As there are no planned activities aside from an introductory orientation and dinner (own expense) in the evening, you're free to spend the afternoon at your leisure. Your guide will leave a note for your small group at reception with specific information about the meeting time and place. (If it is likely that you will arrive after 6pm, please state so at the time of booking.)

With only one night in Tokyo, it's strongly recommend that you arrive a few days prior to your trip in order to explore the city on your own. Experience the bustling, neon-lit streets of central Tokyo, or catch the train to Ginza, known for its upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment. You can escape the modernity of Tokyo with a visit to peaceful Ueno Park with its iconic cherry blossom trees, as well as galleries and museums. You may wish to pass the afternoon at the serene Senso-ji Temple, or explore Hama Rikyu Garden, Shinjuku Garden, or the Edo Museum before meeting your guide and group.

Overnight: Kinuya Hotel in Tokyo

Day 2: Tokyo – Nikko 

With your morning free to explore Tokyo on your own, you can visit a museum, stroll the outer grounds of the Imperial Palace, enjoy world-class shopping, or simply discover neighborhood streets lined with restaurants and karaoke bars.

Your guide will let you know when it's time to catch the express train for an approximate one-hour trip, followed by another one-hour ride aboard a local train to Nikko. On these clean and efficient modern rails, enjoy scenic views of Japan’s classic countryside steeped in ancient traditions. When the food cart comes by, you can purchase a popular Japanese drink, such as cold green tea or Asahi, and buy lunch in a bento box — a compact tray containing tempura, sushi and other foods.

When your small group arrives in Nikko, set amid a magnificent cedar forest along the shores of the Daiya River, settle in at your charming accommodation. Located next to the river, it has private facilities and a shared onsen. You’ll have the rest of your day free to enjoy as you wish — simply relaxing in the spring-fed baths, or exploring the beautiful town on your own.

Overnight: Hotori An Ryokan in Nikko

Day 3: Nikko

Home to some of Japan's most important shrines and temples since the mid-8th century, Nikko boasts several sacred sites, including Toshogu Shrine — housing the mausoleums of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tokugawa Shoguns.

Your guide will take your small group on a tour of the elaborately decorated mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, whose shogunate controlled Japan for 250 years. As you admire the ornate gold leaf, lacquer work, and multicolored carvings, learn about the elaborate architecture that differs from Japan’s minimalist style used throughout the country.

If you’d prefer, your guide will recommend several alternative activities (own expense). You can take a bus to Lake Chuzenji for a hike along the cedar-covered shores, or hop on a local bus to Nikko’s Tamozawa Imperial Villa.

Overnight: Hotori An Ryokan in Nikko

Days 4: Nikko – Hakone

Leaving Nikko with your guide and small group, hop aboard three consecutive trains — a local train plus two bullet trains — for an approximate 1-hour ride on each, followed by a 30-minute bus ride to the hot spring region of Hakone.

When you reach Hakone’s lakeside area, relax on a boat ride across Lake Ashi (Ashino-ko), viewing the picturesque lake and landscape. Then, embark on a cable car ride through the surrounding mountains with plenty of stunning panoramas. You might even catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji looming in the distance.

When you reach your accommodation, a lovely family-run guesthouse located in a quiet part of town, don't miss the chance to soak in one of the many outdoor onsen. No clothes or swimsuits are permitted in the hot springs, but there are separate baths for males and females. Relax in the soothing waters, or enjoy a variety of optional activities recommended by your guide.

Overnight: Fuji Hakone Guesthouse in Hakone

Day 5: Hakone

Your day is free to spend as you wish — soaking the hours away or choosing from a range of options, such as a visit to the Hakone Checkpoint Museum or the Open Air Museum.

Overnight: Fuji Hakone Guesthouse in Hakone

Days 6: Hakone – Takayama (D)

Descend from the mountains of Hakone by bus, and then travel by Shinkansen (bullet train), reaching speeds of up to 168 miles (270 km) per hour. The bullet train ride takes an approximate two hours, followed by a two-hour express train to Takayama.

Famous for its inns, sake breweries, food festivals, and local folk art, Takayama is a delightful town nestled among the Japanese Alps. Your small group will visit the Hida Folk Village, an outdoor museum, to see traditional regional architecture, such as thatched-roof houses and a collection of farmhouses. As you tour the village, learn from your guide about life among the artisans and snack on a delicious taiyaki — a fish-shaped cake filled with bean paste, custard, or cheese.

Afterward, check in to your ryokan, which features an irori (a traditional sunken hearth used for cooking food or heating tea). Within walking distance of the old town, you can easily access the many folk art galleries, local markets, and museums of Takayama.

Overnight: Asuanro Ryokan in Takayama

(Please note: During the Takayama Festival — April 14-15 or October 9 -10 — accommodation in Takayama may be multi-share. Depending on rooming configurations, couples may sometimes have to be split up for these nights.)

Day 7: Takayama (B, D)

In the morning, your guide will accompany your small group to the 600-year-old market to try out some of the unusual specialties that the local farmwomen sell early each day. During your free time, wander the streets of this lovely little town or stop by one of the many sake breweries for a tasting. Optional activities (own expense) include visiting the Merchant House or Festival Float Museum, or renting a bike for a ride around town.

Overnight: Asuanro Ryokan in Takayama

Days 8-10: Takayama – Hiroshima (1B)

Take an approximate 5-hour train ride from Takayama to Hiroshima, a bustling metropolis with a vibrant energy that belies its tragic history. Check in to your comfortable accommodation (including Internet access), located within walking distance of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

During your three days in Hiroshima, you’ll have free time to explore the city at your leisure, including a visit to the peace park or a journey to the nearby island of Miyajima. Visit the ruins of the Atomic Bomb Dome building, one of 11 structures left partially standing after the atom bomb blast of 1945 as a memorial to the perils of nuclear war. Walk around the surrounding Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, including the Children's Peace Monument and Peace Memorial Museum, dedicated to Hiroshima and international peace.

Alternatively, take a tram with your guide to Miyajima with its famous 'floating’ Torii Gate and the grand Itsukushima Shrine. Keep an eye out for inquisitive and hungry deer that freely roam the streets of the island.

Overnight: Ikawa Ryokan in Hiroshima

Days 11-12: Hiroshima – Kyoto

Embark on a 1-hour train ride to either Himeji-jo Castle or Nijo-jo Castle (depending on the season) – both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Built in 1580 during Japan’s feudal period, the 5-story complex of Himeji-jo Castle includes 83 buildings and a highly developed defense system. Your guide will point out the castle’s architectural features, including the white exterior designed to resemble a heron taking flight. If you visit Nijo Castle, learn about the Tokugawa shoguns that resided there, and see the famous ‘nightingale’ floors, designed to squeak in order to warn the castle’s inhabitants of intruders.

Continue on with another 1-hour train ride to Kyoto, home to more than 2,000 stunning temples, shrines and gardens. During your three days in the ancient capital, explore this heart of Japanese culture with entry to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Kiyomizu Temple or the magnificent gold-plated Golden Pavilion Temple (Kinkaku-ji Temple) — depending on your guide’s choice. As you explore the grounds of each site, admire the classical Japanese gardens.

Spend your free time in Kyoto soaking up the magnificent atmosphere as you stroll the streets, including a meander through the historically preserved geisha district of Gion, established for travelers in the Middle Ages. Optional activities (own expense) include renting a bike, taking a class in Japanese home cooking, or the tea ceremony. Kyoto’s lively nightlife provides plenty of options for your final evening before you say good-bye to new friends made in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Overnight: Heianbo Ryokan in Kyoto

Day 13: Kyoto

With checkout time at noon, there are no activities planned for the day. If you depart at a later time, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. With so many things to do in and around Kyoto, you might even choose to extend your stay.

Note: Please see Additional Information for more trip details, including purchase of your JR Rail Pass (own expense) and additional items to bring on your tour.
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Booking must be made at least 21 days in advance
  • Minimum age is 15 years
  • Please note that on days in which no activities are planned, you are free to explore at your leisure; all activities and purchases will be at your own expense. You will have your tour guide's mobile number in case of emergency.
  • On this trip, you're expected to carry your own luggage for up to 30 minutes at a time. Train stations are quite complex and usually require a lot of stair climbing, especially when doing a quick transfer from train to train. Elevators aren't always available and cannot accommodate many people at a time, so if you are choosing to bring a suitcase, please ensure you are able to lift and carry it yourself without difficulty. A backpack is recommended for these reasons. Many inns don't allow suitcases with wheels into rooms with tatami mat floors. Japanese transportation is often quite small and cramped so it's best to pack as light as possible.
  • Accommodation: No single Supplements available.Twin Share Basis.
  • The following information is required of travelers upon booking:
  • Full name, nationality and current country of residence
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number, issue date and expiry date
  • E-mail address
  • Existing medical conditions or dietary requirements
  • Travel insurer name, contact number and policy number
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Intrepid Group

If you cancel at least 56 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 25 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel within 30 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel between 31 and 55 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during 13-Day Classic Japan Tour: Nikko, Hakone, Takayama, Hiroshima, and Kyoto from Tokyo?
This activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by 13-Day Classic Japan Tour: Nikko, Hakone, Takayama, Hiroshima, and Kyoto from Tokyo.

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Product code: 5912CJST

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