A ‘CAPITAL’ ENCOUNTER: 7 DAYS IN JAPAN’S CULTURAL CITIES

Discover culture, history and stunning beauty on a 7-day tour of Japan’s capitals, from the ancient court of Nara to cosmopolitan Tokyo

7 Days, 6 Nights     FROM JPY 229,705 / PERSON

This unique 7-day Japan tour through Japan’s elegant capitals introduces you to some of the nation’s most culturally and historically rich cities.

You’ll travel from the exciting urban jungle of Tokyo to the seaside 12th-century capital of Kamakura. Then, you’ll continue in style on the world-famous bullet train to the breathtaking beauty of Kyoto, which is renowned as the cultural capital of Japan. You’ll also be treated to a daytrip to the timeless landscapes of ancient Nara before your Japanese capitals tour is over.

It doesn’t get more exciting and worldly than Tokyo, one of the most stylish and cosmopolitan capitals in the world! After taking a privately guided, full-day tour in this lively city of warrens jam-packed with hidden gems, you’ll venture to the coast and discover the wonderful history of Kamakura with your own private guide. Here, you’ll hear the lulling call of the waves and explore the rustic charms of the seaside town and former capital.

Then it’s on to a major highlight of your 7-day Japan tour: the mesmerizing city of Kyoto. To get there, you’ll relax and enjoy the scenic ride on a bullet train. When you arrive in Japan’s cultural capital, you’ll have the chance to indulge in a meandering exploration of the famous Nishiki Market, as well as the opportunity to take part in a unique cooking class in a machiya, or traditional Kyoto townhouse.

After exploring some of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a private guide, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the ancient, 8th-century capital of Nara at your own pace. After meeting the tame deer at Nara Park and paying a visit to the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world, you’ll be transferred to Kansai International Airport for your onward journey.

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“Japan’s former capitals are jam-packed with history and beauty. This 7-day Japan tour is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the essence of Japan.”

Matthias, Backyard Travel Japan Specialist

UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES

Take a Japanese cooking class in a traditional Kyoto townhouse, or machiya
Meet the tame deer who inhabit the ancient capital of Nara
Take a privately guided tour of seaside Kamakura, the enchanting former capital of Japan
Enjoy a river cruise on the Sumida River for a different perspective of Tokyo

Daily Itinerary

A ‘CAPITAL’ ENCOUNTER: 7 DAYS IN JAPAN’S CULTURAL CITIES

  • Daily Itinerary
  • Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo

    Welcome to cosmopolitan Tokyo, where you’ll begin your 7-day Japan tour!

    Upon arrival at either Narita or Haneda International Airport, we’ll meet you and assist you onto the right train or shared shuttle to your hotel.

    Spend the rest of the day in one of the world’s most lively capitals at your leisure.

    Overnight in Tokyo

    No meals included on this day.

    tokyo by night, one of the highlights of a japan honeymoon tour - Backyard Travelasiatic friends togetheron a 7-day japan tour, in tokyo by night - Backyard Travel
  • Day 2: Tokyo

    Today your 7-day Japan tour will take you on a full-day exploration of Tokyo’s many highlights with a private guide. To get around town, you’ll use Tokyo’s convenient, hyper-efficient train system.

    Start the day with a visit to Hamarikyu Gardens, a delightful oasis surrounded by a sea of skyscrapers. This former private garden of an Edo Period lord features a lake with a teahouse set on a tiny island. Here you’ll witness a short tea ceremony and try a taste of matcha, Japanese green powder tea.

    Following this quintessentially Japanese experience, you’ll take a boat cruise down the Sumida River to see Tokyo from a different perspective.

    Asakusa, the city’s oldest Geisha quarters, will be your next stop. This atmospheric neighborhood is a part of Tokyo’s shitamachi (or “old town”), and is also home to Senso-ji, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The narrow streets and alleys around Senso-ji are full of little shops that sell traditional Japanese handicrafts and souvenirs.

    In the afternoon, take a walk down “Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees,” Omotesando. This broad, tree-lined avenue is filled with flagship designer shops and boutiques. Then, to wrap up your city tour, go on an exploration of Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous shrine. Dedicated to the spirit of the late Emperor Meiji, the shrine is a popular site for Japanese weddings and, if you’re lucky, you may see a happy couple here dressed in traditional Shinto garments to celebrate their wedding.

    Please note: The order of activities in this itinerary may change depending on the location of your hotel.

    Overnight in Tokyo

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    map-intro-tokyojapanese lanterns on cherry blossom tree that you can see on a japan honeymoon tourasakusa in tokyo - backyard travelSerenity Now
  • Day 3: Tokyo, Day Trip to Kamakura

    Today you will visit the seaside town of Kamakura, the former capital of Japan during the 12th to 14th centuries.

    After breakfast, your expert guide will pick you up from your hotel to show you some of Kamakura’s most impressive attractions.

    From the JR Tokyo Station, it’s a 1-hour train journey to JR Kita-Kamakura Station. When you arrive, you’ll head first to Engaku-ji Temple, one of the five famous Zen temples in Kamakura. The temple is replete with historical artifacts and also houses a Japanese teahouse where you can sip green tea or amazake (sweet sake), or nibble on some Japanese confectioneries.

    The next stop is Kotoku-in Temple to visit the second-tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, known as the Daibutsu. This massive work of art was created in 1252 and stands 13 meters tall. If you go inside the statue, you can learn more about the construction of this great Buddha.

    Next up is nearby Hase-dera Temple, which is renowned for its wooden Kannon statue and hundreds of stone Jizo statues. The vast temple grounds is also home to a small cave believed to have been built by the legendary priest Kukai.

    A ride on the Enoden, a century-old railway, will bring you back to the city center at Kamakura Station. Continue to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine via the lively streets of Komachi-dori. The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, who is both patron saint of the founder of Kamakura and the Shinto god of the samurai.

    After your tour of Japan’s ancient capital of Kamakura, you can opt to have your guide escort you back to Tokyo or to explore the city further at your leisure.

    Overnight in Tokyo

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Kamakura-Daibutsu-Autumn-Kanagawa-Japana monk in Kamakura, Japan
  • Day 4: Tokyo – Kyoto

    Today, you’ll leave cosmopolitan Tokyo behind and travel to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital.

    This historical and atmospheric city is home to 2,000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. To get there, you’ll travel via the state-of-the-art Nozomi bullet train.

    Feel free to explore the city at your own pace and leisure until 14:30, when your scheduled cultural activity will begin.

    You’ll meet your guide at a predetermined spot in the mile-long Nishiki Market, which is a renowned haven for foodies. This stretch of more than 100 shops and stalls is known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen” and specializes in seasonal produce and all things food related. Your guide will show you all the interesting produce on display and help you pick out the right ingredients for your cooking class.

    After this, wander through the lanes and back streets of Kyoto to a former sake brewery, where you’ll receive a tour and try out the local brew. Next, head to a traditional wooden townhouse, or machiya, for your cooking class. You’ll learn how to make rolled sushi, salad and miso soup with a dessert of seasonal fruits.

    After devouring the fruits of your labor, explore Kyoto at your leisure. Feel free to inquire with your guide about popular places to go, or simply lose yourself in the charming lanes of the local neighborhoods.

    Overnight in Kyoto

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and dinner

    japan culinary tour - vendor preparing products for selling in the traditional market ,teramachi street of kyoto - Backyard Traveldiscover japanese cook in ramen restaurant during a kanazawa tour with Backyard Travel
  • Day 5: Kyoto

    After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be met by your local guide to embark on a privately guided tour of Kyoto. This former imperial capital of Japan is a trove of historical and cultural sites, all easily accessible through the local bus and subway network.

    First, you’ll head to the impressive edifice of Nijo Castle, famous for its Momoyama architecture, decorated sliding doors, “chirping” nightingale floors and stunning gardens. The building was completed in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

    Next up is Ryoan-ji Temple, home of Japan’s most famous rock garden. Although the complex was originally built as a royal villa during the Heian Period, in 1450 it was converted into a Zen Buddhist temple.

    Continue to the “Golden Pavilion,” or Kinkakuji, which was originally constructed to be the villa of a powerful statesman. The building was bought by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, but upon his death (and at his request) the villa was converted into a temple, as it still stands. Today it is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto.

    Next on the list is Kiyomizu-dera, also known as “Pure Water Temple.” This beautiful, sacred site is located on the steep face of Mount Otowa. Its veranda offers magnificent views of Kyoto. The temple is also noted for the fact that the veranda, along with the main hall, was constructed entirely without the use of nails or joiners. (Please note: Some parts of Kiyomizu-dera are currently undergoing renovations.)

    We’ll end the day with a stroll through the little lanes of Higashiyama, where warrens of traditional shops sell such souvenirs as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, pickles and sweets.

    Overnight in Kyoto

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Kyoto tour of Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion Zen templeTraditional streets of Kyoto to see Ryokans (japanese guesthouses): amazing place for a Japan Honeymoon tour and discovery
  • Day 6: Kyoto, Day Trip to Nara

    After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll embark on a self-guided tour of Nara, Japan’s ancient capital.

    Suggested Self-Guided Itinerary

    Your rail pass will allow you to travel round-trip from JR Kyoto Station to JR Nara Station. Lauded as one of Japan’s most historically rich cities, Nara was Japan’s capital for just 74 years during the 8th century. Many of the shrines and temples from that era still remain standing.

    Nara is a small, quaint town that is easy to navigate. Most of the major attractions are grouped around Nara Park, where you’re sure to encounter a great number of the tame deer who wander freely here. Visit Todaiji Temple, which is famed as the world’s largest wooden building. The enormous hall also houses the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue, which stands 15 meters tall. Continue to Kasuga-taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine), a Shinto shrine that was built in 768 AD. While at the shrine, which is Nara’s most celebrated, you’ll also have plenty of time to soak up the serene atmosphere of Nara Park.

    It’s just a 35-minute return journey via Limited Express train to Kyoto when you’re ready to head back.

    Overnight in Kyoto

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    deer-Nara-Japan-1000×600.jpg
  • Day 7: Departure from Kyoto

    On the final day of your 7-day Japan tour, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel. The rest of the day will be free to spend as you wish until it’s time for your scheduled transfer via shared van to Kansai International Airport.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Geisha woman in Kyoto that you can see on a japan luxury tour

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

This 7-day Japan tour can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles, where mentioned
Service of English speaking guides in every location, where mentioned
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)



Talk to us about Your Holiday

Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.


 

 

 

Why Backyard Travel?


Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Backyard Travel Head Office: Level 18, Park Ventures Ecoplex, 57 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Bangkok, Thailand 10330. Tel: +66 (0) 26339074

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What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.
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Start Planning your Trip!
What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.
Start Planning your Trip!
What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.
Start Planning your Trip!
What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.
Start Planning your Trip!
What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.