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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.

Tokyo

Your airport guide will meet you at Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport (assuming your flight arrives after 8:00 am and before 21:30) and will take you to your hotel in Tokyo by public transportation. They will validate your 14 day JR Rail Passes ordinary class, make seat reservations, go through your itinerary, and answer any of your questions. They will also hand you your pocket internet device to use during your trip and your rechargeable transportation card to use on non-JR trains with an initial credit of 5,000 yen. Tokyo can be a bit overwhelming so your airport guide will also introduce a few restaurants and show you how to use the train system before parting ways.

Tokyo

Your private local guide will meet you at your hotel and will show you Tokyo and best sights for foodies for about 8 hours. Your guide will not work from a predetermined itinerary 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 Tokyo include Asakusa, Shibuya, Harajuku, Meiji Shrine, Omotesando, Roppongi, Akihabara, Tsukiji Outer Fish Market, and many others. 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 specific sights you want to visit with your guide please let me know. Tokyo is filled with some amazing restaurants including a number of Michelin starred ones. We will make dinner reservations for you (meals are not included).

Tokyo

Today you will have time to explore Tokyo on your own with recommendations from your guide on Day 2. Possible sights include: Tsukiji Outer Market where you can find great local restaurants, Ginza for a luxurious sweet & coffee set, Shibuya,….

Kamakura

Kamakura is a short train ride from Tokyo and well worth visiting. There are 65 Buddhist temples and 19 Shinto shrines in the area, and most were built hundreds of years ago. Kamakura was established as the location of a shogunate government in 1192, and the area was selected because it was surrounded by wooded hills and the sea and easy to defend against attack. Kamakura is a busy seaside resort today, and its old wooden homes, temples, and shrines make it a wonderful place to visit. Near Kamakura lies the sacred island of Enoshima. Here visitors can take in the various sights of the island and escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. The train from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station takes approximately 55 minutes.

Matsumoto

In the morning you will head to Matsumoto, a former castle town and now a city of culinary delight. The most famous sight is its stunning feudal era castle, which is a national treasure and one of the few original castles. It is a stunning sight with its black walls located atop a hill. Matsumoto is also well known for its delicious cuisine, which includes: Sanzokuyaki Fried Chicken, tasty Shinshu Soba noodles and locally grown wasabi. The train from Tokyo Station to Matsumoto Station will take approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Kamikochi

Today you will head to the Japanese Alps and the mountain pass town of Kamikochi where you will enjoy a traditional dinner. Kamikochi is part of Chubu Sangaku National Park. This area is only open to the public from April 15 to November 30 due to the heavy snowfall in the winter months. It has only been moderately developed and private cars are not allowed. The idea is to keep the natural beauty and to allow travelers to enjoy it. There are many hiking trails for you to explore. The bus from Matsumoto Station to Kamikochi will take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

Takayama

You will take a bus through the Hida Mountains to Takayama where a tasty dinner will be waiting for you. Takayama is often referred to as Little Kyoto as many of its temples and shrines were built by Takayama carpenters who apprenticed in Kyoto. Here you will explore the old Sannomachi Street and the neighborhood that surrounds it. Many of the old houses are museums so you can see how merchants lived in remote Japan. Takayama is well known for its delicious cuisine, which includes: Hida Beef, Hoba Miso (vegetables and mushrooms grilled with Miso paste), Midarashi Dango (Rice cakes with soy sauce),… The bus from Kamikochi to Takayama Station will take approximately 60 minutes.

Kyoto

This morning, after breakfast you will leave Takayama 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, and 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 a lot 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 trains from Takayama Station to Kyoto Station will take approximately 3 hours and 25 minutes. In the evening you will dine at a Kyo Kaiseki restaurant (meals are not included in the tour fee).

Kyoto

Your private local guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and will show you the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto. Your guide will not work from a predetermined itinerary 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 specific sights you want to visit with your guide please let me know. What to eat in Kyoto? The city is best known for: Tsukemono (Japanese pickles), Kaiseki, Tofu, Kyo Wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets),…

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.

Kyoto

Today you will travel to Arashiyama which is on the northwest side of Kyoto. You will take a 20-minute train to Sagaarashiyama Station where you will board the Sagano Scenic Railway to Kameoka. You will take a short bus ride to the Hozugawa River Boat Ride starting point and float down the beautiful river valley to Arashiyama. This area is best known for its bamboo forest, monkey park, and Okochi Sanso Villa which you will be able to visit after you arrive in Arashiyama.

Kyoto

Today is the perfect day to take some rest or explore Kyoto. If you are looking for a peaceful day, how about visiting the most beautiful Zen gardens? Or ride around Kyoto by bicycle? Let us know what would interest you and will give you suggestions.

Osaka

Your private guide will meet you at your hotel in Kyoto and will take you to Osaka and then introduce you to the wonderful world of food in Osaka. The people of Osaka are widely known for their outgoing spirit and friendliness. The local dialect, known as Osakaben, has been adopted as the standard for stand-up comedians. 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), kushikatsu (deep-fried skewered meats and vegetables) and udon noodles. Your guide will introduce a number of these foods to you while also showing you areas like Dotonbori Street, Doguyasuji Street for restaurant goods and other sights. You will notice that the culture in Osaka is very different from Tokyo and Kyoto. You will use your JR Rail Pass to travel to Osaka but other transportation, meals and entry fees while with your guide are not included, are with your guide.

Today you will take a train to Kansai Airport to fly home with memories that you will keep for the rest of your life.

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