Best of Japan 2020
7 days with Monograms Rating:
NOTE: The following information is from the 2019 tour season and is subject to change once the 2020 tour season information becomes available.
Day 1 Arrive in Tokyo, Japan.
Welcome to Japan! Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 Tokyo.
Today, hop on Tokyo’s subway system for a PRIVATE GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of the city. First, stop at MEIJI SHRINE, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest. Next, stop at the SAMURAI MUSEUM to learn about their history and see authentic period-specific swords, armor, and helmets (kabuto). You will even have the chance to have your picture taken wearing a helmet and armor! You’ll also stop at SHINJUKU GYOEN GARDEN which dates back to the early 1600s. Lastly, visit bustling NAKAMISE SHOPPING ARCADE and ASAKUSA KANNON TEMPLE, the oldest of their kind in Tokyo. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B,L)
Day 3 Tokyo.
Today, enjoy a full day at your leisure. Your Local Host will have suggestions. (B)
Day 4 Tokyo–Kyoto.
Today, transfer to the train station and board your BULLET TRAIN to historic Kyoto, former capital of Japan. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 5 Kyoto.
This morning, your PRIVATE GUIDED SIGHTSEEING starts at stunning Kinkakuji, TEMPLE OF THE GOLD PAVILION, covered with shimmering gold leaf. Next, take a WALKING TOUR through Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, which is also known for its high concentration of machiya-style merchant houses. Continue on to SANJUSANGENDO TEMPLE, famous for 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Flanking the main statue are 1,000 life-sized statues, covered in gold leaf, with 40 arms said to have the power to save 25 worlds. Finish with a visit to FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE, renowned for the thousands of brightly colored Torii Gates. (B,L)
Day 6 Kyoto.
A full day at leisure to explore more of Kyoto’s historic temples and shrines. (B)
Day 7 Kyoto.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Homebound flights from Kansai International Airport in Osaka should not depart prior to 11 am. (B)
All This Included
You Only Live Twice...at least, that’s the title of the James Bond movie filmed in Japan. What if that’s true? What if you only live twice—or even just once? Well, then you shouldn’t waste your time dealing with the hassles of planning your vacation. Instead, let Monograms handle the details and logistics, so your time is spent planning what to pack, bragging to your friends about your vacation, and enjoying yourself! On this 7-day vacation, we’ve arranged hotel accommodations for three nights each in Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as private guided sightseeing in each city, breakfast daily, and a bullet train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto. Plus, in each city, an expert Local Host® is on hand and at your service to ensure your trip runs smoothly, to answer your questions, and to help you put your own personal stamp on your vacation.
Upon arrival, check into your hotel and say, “Konnichiwa” to your Local Host, who will greet you and provide valuable tools to help introduce you to Tokyo. A “prefecture” and capital of Japan, this is the world’s most populous metro area and home to unlimited choices—shopping, dining, entertainment, historic temples and sites, peaceful gardens, and excellent museums. After a restful night, rise and shine over a hearty breakfast. Afterward, embark on a private guided sightseeing tour using Tokyo’s famous subway system. You will see the Meiji Shrine, a 20th-century Shinto monument built within a man-made forest; the Samurai Museum, where you can learn about Japanese history and see authentic swords and armor; stop at Shinjuku Gyoen Garden, dating back to the 1600s; visit the bustling Nakamise Shopping Arcade; and one of the city’s most colorful temples, the Asakusa Kannon Temple.
Enjoy the evening and the following day at your leisure. Your Local Host will have suggestions about what to see and do during your stay. Perhaps take an excursion out of the city to Mount Fuji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most iconic landmarks. Here, you will cruise on Lake Ashi and take a cable-car ride for spectacular views of the Owakudani volcanic valley and majestic Mount Fuji. Or maybe do a bit of exploring on your own. For an unforgettable view, ascend the 2,080-foot-tall Tokyo Skytree tower and if you’re a tech enthusiast, spend some time in the Akihabara electronics district.
A highlight of the vacation is the Shinkansen (bullet train) ride from Tokyo to Kyoto. Between the nearly 200-mile-per-hour speeds and niceties like heated toilet seats, this is, by far, the most entertaining way to travel between cities. The “cradle” of Japan’s cultural heritage, Kyoto, the “City of Ten-Thousand Shrines,” was the country’s capital and residence of the emperor from the 8th until the 19th centuries. Monograms take you on a guided sightseeing tour that includes visits to Sanjusangendo Temple and the beautiful Temple of the Gold Pavilion. Built on a lake and surrounded by a thick forest, the image of the temple’s reflection in the water is a must-take photo. You’ll also walk through Gion and explore the thousands of Torii Gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine. In your free time, hop aboard a rickshaw for a ride through the Old Town, visit nearby Nara, join a Japanese cooking class, attend a sake tasting, or indulge in some of the country’s finest Japanese cuisine.
Between the transportation we’ve arranged, sightseeing we’ve included, and the hotels we’ve booked, the only thing left for you to do is pack your bags and enjoy! With all the time and hassles saved and the comfort of knowing you’ll have a Local Host to help you during your vacation, you’ve got one fantastic vacation!
Tokyo: Shiba Park Hotel
Kyoto: Karasuma Kyoto Hotel
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.