Classic Japan

Price From


11 Days

A tale of four iconic cities and two former capitals – your epic journey through Japan blends old and new, with soul-stirring visits to ancient centres and modern cities.
Locations Visited Tokyo, Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Osaka
Countries Visited Japan
Travel Style Country Explorer
Accomodations 10 Nights
Age Requirements Minimum age 5


Tokyo’s futuristic cityscape launches your journey through Japan’s modern centres and ancient capitals. On arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport, you’ll be transferred by airport shuttle to your hotel. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception drink with appetisers.
AccomodationNew Otani Garden Tower Tokyo
MealsWelcome Reception
Rub shoulders with the locals this morning as you Dive Into Culture and wander through Ameyoko Street Market, once a black market selling American goods after World War II. Continue to the old-time entertainment centre of Asakusa to visit the Sensoji Buddhist Temple, which has been rebuilt countless times since its founding in 628, making it Tokyo’s oldest temple site. Take a stroll down Nakamise shopping street with some free time for lunch, then join a Local Specialist and learn the mesmerising rhythmic art of Taiko drumming, one of Japan’s most popular cultural icons.
Board a cruise along the Sumida River to admire Tokyo’s modern skyline, the traditional neighbourhoods of old Edo and beautiful Hamarikyu Garden. Later, return to your hotel for time at leisure and dinner at a Sumo-themed izakaya restaurant.
AccomodationNew Otani Garden Tower Tokyo
MealsBreakfast, Dinner
The towering slopes of snow-capped Mt. Fuji loom in the distance as we journey from Tokyo to this celebrated UNESCO-listed site. Admire spectacular views of the surrounding countryside from its 5th station, a magnificent vantage point at 2,300 metres (weather permitting). After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll continue to Owakudani to see the volcanic activity. Consider sampling the local black eggs boiled in geysers, then head back to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

Optional Experience - Tokyo Illuminations and 'Izakaya' Dining Experience:As the sun sets, start the evening with a drive past the classic Tokyo Tower to see its colourful illuminations. Continue to the Roppongi Hills and a visit to Tokyo City View with its indoor and rooftop ‘Sky Deck’ observation decks for magnificent views of the city at night. Later join in for a different kind of Japanese dining experience in an izakaya, a casual Japanese pub where the food is shared by everyone at the table (similar to Spanish Tapas). The menu is seasonal and generally includes meat and vegetarian Japanese appetizers, sashimi, tempura, grilled chicken, steamed fish and miso soup followed by dessert. One glass of wine, beer or soft drink is also included. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.

*Optional Experiences are enhancements to your tour and can be booked through your Travel Director while on tour.
AccomodationNew Otani Garden Tower Tokyo
MealsBreakfast, Lunch
We leave Tokyo, travelling by high-speed bullet train to Kyoto, another former capital of Japan and the centre of Japanese culture for centuries. On arrival, we’ll embark on a walking tour of the Gion District, embracing the energy of Kawaramachi street. Enjoy some free time before we head to the UNESCO-listed Kinkakuji Temple, whose glittering golden pavilion is widely regarded as the symbol of Kyoto.
AccomodationThe Hotel Higashiyama
After a late start this morning, we’ll visit one of Kyoto’s highlights – the historic and scenic district of Arashiyama, renowned for its cherry blossom trees which bloom in the springtime and its beautiful landscapes that change dramatically from season to season. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the towering Bamboo groves and see its iconic Togetsukyo Bridge. Connect with nature in the Zen gardens of Tenryuji Temple, then return to Kyoto for some free time at Nishiki market, a traditional food market known by locals as “Kyoto’s Pantry”. Return to your hotel or consider joining an optional Japanese tea ceremony experience.
Optional Experience - Japanese Tea Ceremony Experience: Experience the ambience of a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony with a professional Tea Master who will have spent many years leaning his craft which is often presented in a ceremony influenced by Zen Buddhism. Learn about the history and culture of tea making in Japan and observe how the powdered green tea (matcha) is prepared by adding boiling water and mixing it with a bamboo whisk. There will also be an explanation on the Japanese way of making and drinking tea. Take the opportunity to try some Japanese sweets and afterwards, having observed the skill involved in making the tea, have a go at making your own! The price shown is in Japanese Yen.

*Optional Experiences are enhancements to your tour and can be booked through your Travel Director while on tour.
AccomodationThe Hotel Higashiyama
Start the day off with a visit to Sumiyama Village and discover the stunning Kiyomizu Pottery which originated about 500 years ago in central Kyoto. Learn about the work of the craftsmen and about how they had to move out of the city and into a more rural area due to concerns from the local citizens about air pollution. Next 'Connect With Locals' over a 'Be My Guest' lunch with a local farmer at his home. Gain insights into the life of his family while sampling fresh tea and indulging in a delicious home-made meal, then visit his tea plantation.
This afternoon delve into the ancient history of Nara, the first permanent capital city of Japan. Here you’ll visit the landmark Todaiji Temple, one of the powerful Seven Great Temples and home to one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha. Take a stroll around Nara Park, home to hundreds of freely roaming tame deer before returning to Kyoto for an evening at leisure.
AccomodationHotel Nikko Princess Kyoto
MealsBreakfast, Be My Guest
This morning, we board a high-speed bullet train to Hiroshima, a lively city that celebrates peace in the shadow of the previous century’s devastation. Our first stop is to a local restaurant where we’ll join our Local Specialist for an Okonomiyaki making experience. Mix your ingredients to make your own savoury pancake and cook it on a hot plate before enjoying your creation for lunch. This afternoon, take the ferry to Miyajima Island to visit the famous UNESCO-listed Itsukushima Shrine and elaborate torii gate rising majestically out of the sea. Learn how to make Momiji Manjyu, one of the local specialities, shaping your steamed bun in the shape of a maple leaf and filling it with sweet red bean paste. You’ll have an opportunity to sample your work before returning to Hiroshima by ferry.
AccomodationRihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima
MealsBreakfast, Lunch
This morning, we head to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum and see the UNESCO-listed Peace Memorial, the only structure left standing when the first atomic bomb exploded in 1945. Take a moment to contemplate its symbolic expression of hope for world peace. Spend the afternoon at leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience.

Optional Experience - Shukei-en Garden and Orizuru Tower: Visit Shukei-en garden; an Edo style historic Japanese Garden located in the centre of Hiroshima. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and take a stroll around the gardens which are beautifully laid out with paths that meander around a lake with bridges and small islands. Later, visit Orizuru Tower, named after the folded paper crane (bird) it is a symbol of peace. Ascend to the rooftop observation deck for panoramic views of Hiroshima City and on a clear day, see as far as Miyajima Island. During your visit learn about the changes of Hiroshima townscape before and after the bombing and also how to make a traditional origami crane. The price shown is in Japanese Yen.

*Optional Experiences are enhancements to your tour and can be booked through your Travel Director while on tour.
AccomodationRihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima
Today take the high speed bullet train to Osaka. On arrival embark on an orientation drive of the city before checking in to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure.
AccomodationSheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka
Gain a different perspective of Osaka’s landmark city sights, starting your day with a cruise on the ‘aqua-bus’ along Okawa River. Sail past the Japan Mint, City Hall, Nakanoshima and Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most famous landmarks.
Visit the downtown district of Shinsekai to see the Tsutenkaku Tower, then continue to the Dotonbori Street area for some time at leisure. Delve into the star-crossed love story of Ohatsu and Tokubei during your visit to the Tusyunoten Shrine in Umeda, associated with the Edo-period play ‘The Love Suicides of Sonezaki, which tells of the tragic double suicide that took place at the shrine in 1703. To this day, visitors write their prayers for success in love on special wooden plaques called ema, many of which bear the image of Ohatsu and Tokubei. Admire the panoramic views of Osaka from the Floating Garden Observatory – an open-air viewing platform that straddles the two towers of the Umeda Sky Building. Later join your fellow guests and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant.
AccomodationSheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka
MealsBreakfast, Farewell Dinner
Your journey revealing Japan's past and present is at its end, take a transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight.


  • Explore Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka
  • Visit Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Gion District and Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto, the bamboo groves in Arashiyama, Nara Park and Todaiji Temple in Nara, Peace Memorial Park and Museum in Hiroshima, Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and Tusyunoten Shrine and Umeda Sky Building in Osaka
  • See the Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama
  • Scenic Cruise along the Sumida River in Tokyo and the Okawa River in Osaka

What's Included

  • 10 Breakfasts, 1 Welcome Reception, 1 Be My Guest, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner, 1 Farewell Dinner
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • All transport and transfers shown
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Optional Experiences and free time

Terms & Conditions

Please note that airfares are not included in price.

Updated on 15 November 2023 and may be subject to change. Full terms and conditions apply. Prices listed are per person, land only and based on double occupancy. Single room supplements are available upon booking. Deposit must be paid within 7 days of booking. GrownUps members offer may not be combinable with all offers. Pricing is in New Zealand dollars. Discount applies to land portion of your trip price. Trips and departures are subject to availability and can be withdrawn at any time. Other restrictions may apply; for full terms and conditions contact GrownUps Holidays on 0800 842 685.

*Last Minute Deals: For new bookings only. Subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices above are per person, based on double occupancy and are in New Zealand Dollars for above departure dates only. Deals are not combinable with Early Payment Discounts or any other promotional offers. Full payment due at time of booking. These deals are only available to travellers departing from New Zealand.