This in-depth Japanese journey takes you to the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima, as well as the less-visited areas of the Kiso Valley and Japan’s smallest main island, Shikoku. Ancient castle towns and shrines await you in the mountainous Japanese Alps and the old capital of Nara, while modern Japanese history can be glimpsed at the deeply moving Peace Monument Park and Museum in Hiroshima. It’s a journey of discovery that immerses you in local culture as you travel over 2 weeks by land and by sea.
In Tokyo, gain a different perspective on this world-class metropolis on a boat cruise down the Sumida Gawa River. And, in the heart of the city, get acquainted with Japanese tradition and culture at a short tea ceremony.
You’ll leave the bustle of Tokyo for the stunning Kiso Valley region, also called the “Japanese Alps,” and stay in a traditional Japanese minshuku and ryokan in the beautifully preserved, historical mountain towns of Tsumago, Takayama and Kanazawa. After hiking through the countryside on the ancient Nakasendo trade route, you’ll enjoy another train ride through beautiful scenery to Hiroshima. Be welcomed by the friendly people here and tour the vibrant city with a thriving arts scene, as well as historical memorials for the victims of World War II. A short ferry ride over the Inland Sea will bring you face to face with the remarkable Floating Torii Gate of Miyajima Island, one of Japan’s three most beautiful structures.
In Kyoto, you’ll be immersed in the beauty and elegance of the cultural capital of Japan. You’ll have the chance to join a cooking class in a traditional wooden townhouse, called machiya. Before heading home, you’ll also journey to the 8th-century capital of Japan, Nara, and stroll amidst tame deer to see some of the oldest and most astounding shrines and buildings of this fascinating nation.