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Sample Itinerary

The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.

Osaka

Today your airport pick up will meet you at Kansai International Airport (assuming your flight arrives after 8:00am and before 21:30) and taken to your hotel in Osaka by public transportation.
They will give you an orientation, hand you your transportation tickets, check you into your hotel, and answer any of your questions. The train from Kansai Airport to Namba Station in Osaka will take about 45 minutes. You will be on your own for dinner but your airport pick up will make a few suggestions.

Osaka

Today you will have the day to recover from jet lag and explore Osaka by yourself. The city is most famous for its inhabitants and local cuisine. The people of Osaka are widely known for their outgoing spirit and friendliness and the local dialect has been adapted as the standard for stand-up comedians and actors. Osaka’s regional cuisine is thought to be the best in Japan. Dishes include okonomiyaki (a pancake-based dish containing vegetables, meat, and/or seafood), takoyaki (octopus dumplings) and udon noodles. Possible sights in Osaka include Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, Doguyasuji, Shinsaibashi, Tsutenkaku and many others.

Koyasan

After breakfast in Osaka you will head to the holy temple complex of Koyasan located on a mountain top surrounded by cedar trees and mountain peaks. Koyasan or Mt Koya is the center of Shingon Buddhism and one of the most important spiritual centers in Japan, with over one hundred temples. You will be staying at a Buddhist temple for the night which offers an excellent chance to get a taste of the simple, traditional lifestyle of Buddhist monks. As a guest you will also be invited to participate in morning prayers which typically start around 6:00am, last for about 30-45 minutes and are followed by breakfast around 7:00. Another highlight in Koyasan is walking through the Okunoin Cemetery. This cemetery lies in the middle of a forest of majestic cedar trees, and the roughly 200,000 graves contain some of the most famous figures in Japanese history. At night the roughly 1 mile path through the cemetery is lit by overhead lights and stone lanterns, and it makes for a wonderful evening stroll. All meals will be vegetarian shojin ryori which is the same that the monks eat. The trip from Namba Station to Koyasan Station will take about 1 hour and 55 minutes. In the evening the monks will serve you dinner and then you can take a stroll that was mentioned above.

Kyoto

In the morning you will observe the monks’ morning prayers before having breakfast and head to Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan. Today, it is in this city that the traditional Japanese ‘high arts’ flourished. Tea ceremony, calligraphy, poetry, philosophy or religion, Kyoto is the number one place to visit. Numerous temples and shrines are located throughout the city and walking along canals, next to traditional wooden houses and through the small streets really gives you an idea of the ancient Japanese imperial culture. Kyoto is also famous for its crafts: textile, kimono and pottery. Although there is very much to see and do in Kyoto, even a short-time visitor can soon get an appreciation of what this ancient capital has to offer. The trip from Koyasan Station to Kyoto Station will take about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Rural Kyoto

Today you will take a short train ride from Kyoto Station to Kameoka Station in rural Kyoto. You will be met at Kameoka station by your home stay family and driven to their home in the rural Japan. After a break and time to explore your new surroundings you will have a chance to learn about Japanese cooking with your host family, or visit an antique shop. Then it is time to eat, talk and enjoy. In the evening you are free to wander about the neighborhood until your bath is ready. The trip from Kyoto Station to Kameoka Station will take about 30 minutes.

Rural Kyoto

You will wake up to the sound of nature and a home cooked breakfast. Ingredients are mostly from local farms so it should be super fresh. They will then take you around the village and introduce you to their friends many of which are local artisans. You will have access to a part of Japan that very few travelers can even dream of. You will have lunch at a local restaurant and then continue exploring with your host. In the evening you are in for a very special treat as your host will prepare a home cooked meal. In the evening you will have time to talk to your host who loves talking about Japanese culture. You may also chose to take a stroll.

Kyoto

After breakfast in Kameoka (rural Kyoto) you will come back to Kyoto where you will enjoy the day at your pace. The former imperial capital of Japan is really where the traditional Japanese ‘high arts’ flourished like tea ceremony, calligraphy, poetry, philosophy and religion. Numerous temples and shrines are located throughout the city and walking along canals, next to traditional wooden houses and through the small streets really gives you an idea of the ancient imperial culture. Kyoto is also famous for its crafts: textile, kimono and pottery. Possible sights include Zen Gardens, Arashiyama and its bamboo grove, Gion district, Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion), Kyomizudera,…

Kyoto

Your private local guide will meet you at your hotel and will show you the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto. Your guide will not work from a predetermined itinerary and will show you sights that are interesting to you. They are also very flexible and can make on the fly changes to fit your style, mood, weather and crowds. Possible sights in Kyoto include Higashiyama, Kiyomizudera, Gion, Nishiki Market, Kimono Museum, National Museum, Manga Museum, and many other possible temples, gardens, museums and so on. Only the best local guides can offer this kind of flexibility. Due to the flexible nature of your sightseeing, we do not include transportation, entry fees or meals while you are with your guide. If you have any specific sights you want to visit with your guide please let us know…

Nara

Today you will have a chance to explore some of the UNESCO sights in Nara with a day trip from Kyoto. Formerly known as Heijo-kyo, this city occupies an important position in the history of Japan as the first capital from 710 until 784. During this period, a large number of shrines and temples were erected under the protection of the imperial family and aristocrats. However, when the monks in the surrounding hills started gaining too much influence and eventually tried to seize power, it was decided to move the capital to Heian-kyo, nowadays known as Kyoto. Possible sights include Todai-ji, Horyuji temples, Kasuga Taisha, Nara Park,… Both Japanese and foreign tourists visit the city to see these temples, to walk among the free-roaming deer of Nara park or to visit some of the beautiful scenic mountains surrounding the city. The train from Kyoto Station to Nara Station will take about 45 minutes. In the evening you will return to Kyoto.

Today will be your last day in Japan and your last chance for sightseeing and shopping. Please make sure you arrive at Kansai Airport or Itami Airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled flight.

What Our Customers Have To Say

The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.

John Moawad

Classical Japan Tour

It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...

Marina Boyer

North Central Exploration

Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...

Edan Ecker

Shoguns and Samurai

I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you for the marvelous vacation we recently enjoyed in Japan. The entire experience exceeded...

Our Team Of Local Experts

Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.

Jeff Aasgaard


Tour Sales Director

Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.

Michiyo Kakiuchi

Tour Arrangement Manager

Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.

Izumi Yamauchi

Tour Arrangement team

Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.

Why Rediscover Tours

Great trips don't just happen; it takes expert knowledge and years of experience to create a truly memorable holiday. You can rely on Rediscover Tours to make your perfect Japanese experience. Our dedication to excellence makes the difference.

Trips Made for You


Your Japan travel expert will create your trip just for you


Your interests and travel style will be front and center when designing your tour


Accommodations will be selected based on your style and we will inform them of all your special meal and physical requirements


Japan Experts


Your Japan expert has lived in Japan or is Japanese


They know the hidden treasures of Japan that you will love and most tourists miss


Most of our team lives in Japan giving them first hand knowledge of the latest trends and experiences for you to enjoy


Finest Guides


Private local guides add a whole new depth to your Japanese tour


We only hire the best guides and review each trip with them insuring excellent experience


Your private guide will listen to you, show you sights of interest and will make on the fly changes to match the weather and crowds


With Confidence


Our office in Japan is here to assist and support you


Rediscover Tours has been organizing travel to Japan since 2000


You will arrive comfortable in the knowledge that all details are taken care of and that our Japan office is just a call away