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The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled
Never more than 10-16 travelers—guaranteed!

2017 Japan's Cultural Treasures

Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Kanazawa, Kyoto

79% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

14 Days from only $4695 including international airfare

©2009 The New York Times
Frugal Traveler: Kyoto, Japan

Follow a frugal traveler as he goes in search of hidden charms in Japan’s ancient Imperial capital.

Courtesy of Fritz Schumann

Get to know the Houshi family who have run a ryokan (or Japanese inn) for over 1,000 years.

Courtesy Kathy Monk
Japan: The Contemporary and the Ancient

Follow the Grannies on Safari in Japan and watch as they attend a tea ceremony, belt out some karaoke tunes, and more

Courtesy of Dylan Thuras
100 Wonders: The Cat Islands of Japan

Journey to Tashirojima, or Cat Island, where cats outnumber humans.

Courtesy of Penn Museum
Travelogue: Kyoto, Japan 1965

Turn back the clock to 1960s-era Kyoto, Japan, and stroll along garden paths lined with stone lanterns and centuries-old shrines.

including international airfare
13 DAYS FROM $3595 Small Group Adventure Only
Extend Your Trip

A solo traveler favorite
More than one in three travelers take Japan’s Cultural Treasures solo.


Discover Japan with our NEW
Destination Page—compare trips,
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Get a fresh start in Tokyo
before your adventure begins.
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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Post-trip: Hiroshima

3 nights from: $1245 Single Supplement: FREE

Trip Extension: Hiroshima, Japan

Dive into the history, resilience, and natural beauty of Hiroshima on our optional trip extension.

Built on an island chain in the Ota River Delta, Hiroshima will always be remembered for the events of August 6, 1945. But in the years since, the city has rebuilt, grown, and created the Peace Memorial Park. Extend your Japanese adventure and get to know this lively international city.

It's Included:
Bullet train transfer from Kyoto to Hiroshima
Accommodations for 3 nights in Hiroshima
6 meals—3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners
3 small group activities
Services of a local O.A.T. Trip Leader
Gratuities for local guides, drivers, and luggage porters
All transfers (by public transportation)
  • As our main journey ends, we board a bullet train for our ride from Kyoto to Hiroshima. Upon arrival, we take an orientation walk around the neighborhood before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant.

    During the afternoon we tour historic Hiroshima, rebuilt after the devastation of August 6, 1945, and now a thriving, healthy city. As we tour Peace Memorial Park, near the very center of the area of the A-bomb blast, you will see memorials commemorating the victims of that fearful day and the ruins of a building that was less than 600 feet from the detonation. The famous A-Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome) was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The Peace Memorial Museum displays remnants of the bombing day and accounts of survivors, but in this park you will also see manifestations of the hope for world peace. At the Children's Peace Memorial, people from all over the world have placed folded paper cranes as offerings for harmony on our planet.

    The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Later, we'll regroup for an included dinner at a local restaurant.

  • After breakfast, explore Hiroshima on your own, visiting sites that have particular interest for you, or learning more about the city. You can walk through the Hiroshima Castle on the Ota River delta, spend time in the Hiroshima Museum of Art, or simply relax at the Hiroshima Botanical Garden or Shukkeien Garden.

    Or join us for an optional excursion to the Islands of the Inland Sea. The islands of the Inland Sea—the body of water separating the main Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu—are cherished by the Japanese because of their beauty and the traditions they have maintained. And we enjoy a closer look at these islands today, delighting in spectacular views from the bridges that have only recently (since the 1980s) linked them to the mainland as we drive to Omishima Island, where we'll visit Tatara Shimanami Park and enjoy a magnificent view of the Inland Sea.

    Then, we'll continue to Ikuchijima Island. Here we visit the Ikuo Hirayama Museum of Art, which displays many works by world-famous Japanese painter Ikuo Hirayama, who was born and spent his boyhood on this island. Having experienced the tragedy of the A-bomb at Hiroshima, Hirayama created many works on the theme of peace. We also see the dazzling architecture of the Kosanji Temple, which was built by the Buddhist priest Kozo Kosanji (1891-1970) to honor his mother, and took more than 30 years to build. On the hill above the temple area is Miraishin no Oka (The Heights of Eternal Hope for the Future). This white marble sculpture garden, created by world-renowned artist Kazuto Kuetani, caps the entire hill. We’ll depart for Mihara by hydrofoil, and then take a return train to Hiroshima. We'll arrive back at our hotel in the early evening.

    Dinner is on your own this evening.

  • After breakfast we journey first on a local train and then by ferry to Miyajima, an island that was once worshiped for its spirituality. Here Mount Misen—whose primeval forests are home to wild monkeys and deer—climbs to more than 1,700 feet and overlooks the beautiful Seto Inland Sea.

    We see firsthand the grandeur of the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, which was founded in AD 593 and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is considered one of the finest examples in Japan of the unique Shinden architecture. The famed gate to the shrine, the otorii, rises from the seawater, its vermillion-colored pillars extending more than 40 feet above the seabed. The elegant inner shrine includes 37 buildings, while the outer shrine along the shoreline consists of 19 structures, all blending with the compelling natural beauty of the site.

    After lunch on your own, we take the ferry and train back to Hiroshima. After returning to our hotel, the rest of the afternoon is yours to make your own discoveries. Tonight we’ll gather for a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to the Hiroshima airport for our flight to Tokyo and then home this afternoon. We cross the International Date Line during flight, arriving back in the U.S. on the same day.

Please note: This extension may not be available on all departures. Ask our Adventure Specialists for details. Call 1-800-955-1925.

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Japan's Cultural Treasures

Read Travel Planning Guide

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