Destinations

Suggested Destinations

One Week ~ The Golden Route of Japan

With a short time in Japan it is best to concentrate on a few key places rather than trying to do too much. First time visitors to Japan like to explore what is known as “The Golden Route of Japan”. This renowned route follows the old Tokaido Road from Tokyo to Kyoto and is a great choice for people who have never visited Japan before. It takes in some of Japan’s most famous spots and destinations such as Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Hakone, Osaka, Nara and Kyoto. Tokyo offers you a contemporary experience while both Kyoto and Nara offer a more traditional experience.

A schedule could look something like this

Day 1,2,3 Tokyo
Day 4,5 Kyoto
Day 6 Nara
Day 7 Tokyo

Two Weeks ~ The Highlights of Japan

A longer time in Japan allows you to explore some more of what the country has to offer. For a two week stay I would recommend something like this

Day 1 Flight to Tokyo
Day 2,3 Tokyo
Day 4 Nikko
Day 5 Kamakura
Day 6,7 Takayama
Day 8,9 Hiroshima
Day 10,11 Kyoto
Day 12 Nara
Day 13 Osaka
Day 14 Tokyo Flight Home

The Dragon Route of Chubu in Central Japan

The Dragon Route offers beautiful natural landscapes as well as a taste of traditional Japanese culture and history. It consists of the following places in central Japan made up of Mie, Aichi, Gifu, Toyama and Ishikawa Prefectures

What to see and Do in Japan

Traditional Japan

  • Kyoto home to more than 2000 shrines and temples
  • Nara ancient capital and the birthplace of Japanese culture
  • Kanazawa with the best preserved samurai and geisha districts in Japan

Culinary Experience

  • Tokyo home to more Michelin star restaurants than any other city in the world
  • Osaka the culinary capital of Japan and home of okonomiyaki and takoyaki
  • Kyoto sample kaiseki ryori ~ traditional multi-course meals

Shopping

  • Tokyo has the widest selection of shops and department stores in Japan
  • Osaka has some great shopping areas like Namba and Shinsaibashi
  • Kyoto is the best for traditional goods, souvenirs and boutiques

Skiing and Snowboarding

  • Niseko in Hokkaido is one of the best resorts in Japan with soft powder snow
  • Hakuba in Nagano with its deep snow falls and snow laden peaks and valleys
  • Yuzawa in Niigata is very accessible & only a 80 minute train ride from Tokyo

Onsen (Hot Spring Resorts)

  • Gero Onsen an onsen resort in Gifu is famous for its beauty enhancing water
  • Beppu in Kyushu is Japan’s onsen capital with a large range of hot spring baths
  • Dogo Onsen in Shikoku is reagrded as Japan’s oldest and a must see

Hiking

  • The Japan Alps in Central Honshu near Takayama is called the roof of Japan
  • Hokkaido is famous for its wilderness and rugged hiking
  • Kumano Kodo in southern Kansai with its ancient pilgrimage path

Pop Culture

  • Akihabara in Tokyo is the home of anime and manga in Japan
  • Shibuya in Tokyo is a center for youth fashion and culture
  • Harajuku in Tokyo is home to Japanese street fashion and cosplay

What to do in Japan

  • Visit the Temples, Shrines and Gardens
  • Explore Samurai and Shogun history at Japanese Castles
  • Soak in an onsen (natural hot spring)
  • Enjoy the many and varied Japanese festivals
  • Sample Japanese cuisine
  • Stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn)
  • Hike the Japan Alps
  • Tour Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park and Museum
  • Watch Japan’s national sport sumo
  • Visit Japan’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site Mount Fuji
  • Ski or Snowboard in Niseko
  • See Tokyo’s modern architecture
  • Watch kabuki ~ Japan’s traditional stylized theater
  • See Osaka at night with Blade Runner nightscapes and neon lights
  • Visit the Great Buddha of Nara at Todaiji Temple
  • Ride on the famous high speed shinkansen (bullet train)
  • Go shopping in Tokyo