Simply the best of the best. Be amazed by the highlights of Japan, from cosmopolitan Tokyo and historic Kyoto to the majesty of Mt. Fuji.

9 Days, 8 Nights     FROM JPY 174,685 PER PERS

Japan is a dream destination for travelers who love total immersion experiences. This tailored tour of the highlights of Japan takes you to the two main cities, the bustling capital of Tokyo and captivating Kyoto, allowing you the chance to see flipsides of Japan: the ultra-modern metropolis and the ancient capital evincing old-world charm. Between these two major highlights, you’ll view Mt. Fuji, Japan’s best-loved natural wonder.

Hitting all the highlights of Japan, you’ll investigate the best that Tokyo has to offer, including a guided visit to Meiji Shrine, a cruise on the Sumida River, and a walk through Asakusa, Tokyo’s oldest geisha district. You’ll stroll down Omote-sando, nicknamed “Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees,” and have the chance to witness the hustle and bustle of Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the biggest markets in the world.

Next, you can opt to take a day trip to coastal Kamakura or mountainous Nikko. You’ll continue to Hakone, a quaint village located next to the spectacular Mt. Fuji. The small fishing village offers numerous attractions based around the great mountain, providing a multitude of ways to appreciate the snow-capped natural wonder. Before being whisked away to Kyoto by the famous Bullet Train, take a moment to relax in your own private onsen at your old-fashioned ryokan inn—a typical Japanese experience believed to be very beneficial for your health.

In Kyoto you will glimpse Japan’s proud historical past. Narrow alleys and fascinating temples will give you an idea of traditional life here in the ancient capital. With something to see around almost every corner, Kyoto is home to an astounding 2,000 shrines and temples and 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our Highlights of Japan tour shows you the finest and most fascinating.


This tour of the highlights of Japan 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 our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,


Explore Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the world’s largest and most famous markets
Stay at a traditional ryokan and view majestic Mt. Fuji from your onsen bath in the scenic town of Hakone
Let the world-famous Bullet Train whisk you from rustic Hakone to historic Kyoto
Visit the brightest highlights of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites guided by a local expert

Daily Itinerary


  • Daily Itinerary
  • Day 1: Tokyo

    Welcome to your private tour of the highlights of Japan!

    Upon arrival in Tokyo, your local guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. The remainder of your day will be spent at your leisure.

    Feel free to ask your guide for recommendations on where to go and what to see around your hotel, or for tips on delicious local restaurants.

    Overnight in Tokyo.

    Meals included on this day: None.

    tokyo private tour of the best urban views in japan's capital
  • Day 2: Tokyo

    Begin your Highlights of Japan tour in earnest today with a full-day exploration of Tokyo’s most interesting districts and iconic sites. At 9:00, your guide will pick you up at your hotel and you’ll start the morning with a stroll through Hama-Rikyu Teien, the former private garden of an Edo Period lord. You’ll stop for a cup of matcha green tea at the Nakajima No Chaya teahouse, which appears to float in the middle of the park’s serene lake.

    Then, it’s on to a boat cruise on the Sumida River, where you’ll get to see Tokyo from a unique, riverine perspective. Your next stop will be Asakusa, a charming part of Tokyo’s shitamachi, or “low town.” Asakusa is home to Tokyo’s oldest geisha district, as well as Senso-ji, the oldest and most colorful of Tokyo’s Buddhist temples. The little alleyways surrounding Senso-ji are filled with shops selling delightful arts, crafts and regional knick-knacks.

    In the afternoon, we’ll head across town to Omote-sando, nicknamed “Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees.” The broad, tree-lined avenue boasts an array of flagship brand stores, some of which were designed by world-renowned architects.

    Your final stop on this day of highlights will be Meiji Shrine. Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. The park contains a forest made of approximately 120,000 trees of a varying species—a green lung in a jungle of concrete buildings and neon lights.

    Overnight in Tokyo.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast.

    tokyo asakusa 10-day itinerary in Japan - Backyard Traveltokyo by night, one of the highlights of japan - Backyard Travel
  • Day 3: Tokyo

    Today is free to explore Tokyo at your leisure or to participate in an optional day trip. If you choose to enjoy a self-guided day, we recommend visiting the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market, which deals in more than 2,000 tons of fish and seafood every day. It is one of the world’s largest markets and a fascinating sight. You may also want to wander through Akihabara, Tokyo’s “electronics district.” Here you’ll discover the latest gadgets and technology. Tokyo is also home to world-class museums and art galleries that can round out your day with a good dose of culture.

    OPTIONAL DAY TRIP 1: Kamakura
    Once an ancient capital of Japan, Kamakura has much to offer in history, culture, art, and architecture. This delightful seaside town is replete with ancient temples, shrines, and other sights, such as the famous Daibutsu, a massive bronze statue of a seated Buddha that stands 13 meters tall. On the JR train line, the journey from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station takes an hour.

    The city of Nikko lies just north of Tokyo in the mountainous Tochigi Prefecture. This beautiful region is famous for its national park. Some of the most popular attractions within the park include the Tamozawa Imperial Villa and the Toshogu Shrine complex. On the JR train line, the journey from Tokyo Station to Nikko Station takes roughly 2 hours.

    Please note: Return train tickets to Kamakura or Nikko must be arranged in advance at an additional fee.

    Overnight in Tokyo.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast.

  • Day 4: Tokyo – Hakone (Mt Fuji)

    After breakfast, it’s time to head to the next highlights of Japan: Hakone, a quaint, delightful countryside village that acts as a gateway to the spectacular Mt. Fuji. The region around the mountain is renowned for its natural hot springs, known as onsen in Japanese. A roughly 1.5-hour train ride from Shinjuku Station will bring you to Hakone-Yumoto Station.

    Your accommodation in Hakone will be a ryokan, a Japanese inn with tatami mats, sliding doors made of rice paper and onsen baths. This is an authentic, traditional Japanese accommodation and a truly unique experience.

    In the evening you’ll have the chance to unwind and enjoy the beautiful kaiseki multi-course meal while dressed in yukata (a casual cotton kimono) before soaking in the onsen before bed.

    Overnight at a ryokan in Hakone.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and dinner.

    best time to visit Japan - Chureito pagoda during Spring time, with Mount Fuji in background - Bacjyard Travel
  • Day 5: Hakone (Mt Fuji)

    Today will be spent at your leisure, exploring the delightful region of Hakone on your included transport pass. Should you need any advice on where to go or what to do, feel free to ask your local Travel Specialist.

    There are many ways to see the magnificent Mt. Fuji, including a cable car ride up Mt. Owakudani, a mountain that provides spectacular views of its larger counterpart just a few kilometers away. From the Hakone Tozan cable car you’ll also be able to see many of the sulfuric hot springs from above, which are identifiable by their steam rising from the earth. While on Mt. Owakudani, we encourage foodies to try the kuro-tamago, a regional specialty. This egg hard-boiled in the sulfuric hot springs is said to add seven years to your life!

    From the mountain, a ropeway will bring you to Togendai where you can sail in a replica of a pirate ship that cruises along Ashinoko, a lake that was formed by a volcanic eruption that occurred more than 3,000 years ago.

    Hakone is also home to a wide array of museums and parks. For example, the sculptures exhibited against backdrops of the surrounding mountains and valleys strikes a harmonic balance of nature and art at the Hakone Open Air Museum. The museum features impressive indoor galleries, including the sizable Picasso Collection displaying some of Pablo Picasso’s paintings, prints, sculptures, and ceramics.

    Please note: Views of Mt. Fuji are dependent on weather conditions.

    Overnight in Hakone.

    Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

    http://www.dreamstime.com/-image19906696japan -autumn-landscape-japan_0.jpg
  • Day 6: Hakone – Kyoto

    Today, take a final soak in your onsen before being taking the famous Shinkasen (also known as the “Bullet Train”) on a 2-hour, 20-minute journey to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital. Unrivaled in its plethora of history and culture, Kyoto offers a stunning glimpse of Japan’s past and is certainly one of the main highlights of Japan.

    Once there, you’re free to enjoy a self-guided day at your own pace or to partake in one of the many cultural activities we offer in Kyoto. A tea ceremony, cooking class, or visit to a local sake brewery are just some of our options.

    To complete your first night in Kyoto we can also arrange a geisha performance to give you an insight into the traditional style of entertainment that has charmed audiences for centuries.

    Please note: Our Japan-based Travel Specialist will be happy to offer itinerary suggestions for a self-guided tour. All cultural experiences and performances must be arranged in advance at an additional cost.

    Overnight in Kyoto.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast.

    ryokan in JapanKyoto, Japan,  A geisha in traditional kimono walking in Gion Kyoto at night.
  • Day 7: Kyoto

    After breakfast, your expert guide will pick you up at your hotel for a full-day walking tour of Kyoto’s brightest gems. You’ll begin your exploration of Kyoto at Nijo Castle, built by the first shogun of the Edo Period, Tokugawa Ieyasu. The castle remained in the family until the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1867, at which time it began to be used as an imperial palace.

    The palace grounds now serve as the best example of the architecture of Japan’s feudal era. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 partly for its stunning gardens.

    Once you’ve explored the sliding doors, Momoyama architecture and painstakingly manicured gardens, you’ll continue on to Ryoan-ji, home to Japan’s most famous rock garden. Although the building complex started as a courtier’s villa built in the Heian Period, it was converted into a Buddhist temple in 1450. Today it belongs to the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism.

    Next, it’s on to Kinkaku-ji, one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. Entirely gilded in gold, this building was originally the retirement villa of the shogun. After his death, it became a Buddhist Temple at his request.

    You will continue on to the unforgettable Kiyomizu Temple, otherwise known as the Pure Water Temple. Here you’ll enjoy incredible views over Kyoto from a 13-meter-high veranda that juts out of a cliff face, which, like the temple itself, was amazingly built without nails.

    Your last stop today is a serene stroll through the atmospheric Higashiyama District, where lanes lined with quaint boutiques will spark your souvenir hunting instinct. Here you can shop for Kiyomizu-yaki pottery as well as locally grown pickles and sweets.

    Please note: Kiyomizu Temple is currently undergoing partial renovations.

    Overnight in Kyoto.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast.

  • Day 8: Kyoto - Nara

    Today is a self-guided day. You are welcome to choose between continuing to explore the scenic neighborhoods of Kyoto, or you may choose to go on a day trip to nearby Nara with your included train tickets.

    Nara, a former capital of Japan during the 8th century, occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, which borders Kyoto Prefecture. Although it is a small town, it is renowned for its well-preserved temples and shrines. Most attractions are located in Nara Park, where many tame deer roam. You may also choose to visit Todaiji Temple, which houses Japan’s largest Buddha and is known as the world’s largest wooden building, and Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine.
    Overnight in Kyoto.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast.

  • Day 9: Departure from Kyoto

    On the final day of your Highlights of Japan tour, you’re free to spend the day at your leisure until your scheduled transfer via shared van to Kansai International Airport for your onward journey or flight home. It’s roughly a 2-hour trip from Kyoto to the 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 tour of the highlights of Japan 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
Service of English speaking guides in every location
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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