Gion Catch a Glimpse of Geishas
Shinkansen Take the Bullet Train from Tokyo to Osaka
Kobe Taste Authentic Kobe Beef
Hozugawa River Ride the Sagano Romantic Train
Kyoto Enjoy a Traditional Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
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- We design our itineraries to balance sightseeing and free time while neglecting the tourist traps.
- Let the high speed Shinkansen (Bullet Train) take you from Tokyo to Kyoto in just 2 hours and 20 minutes.
- Kyoto: Enjoy its timeless antiquity and the beautiful distinction of each of the four seasons.
- Ride the Sagano Romantic Train along the colorful Hozugawa River.
- Kobe: Visit this cosmopolitan port city synonymous with its famous namesake, Kobe beef.
- "Eat till you drop" in Osaka's Dotonbori restaurant district, known as the “Kitchen of Japan.”
- Tokyo: Imperial Hotel Tokyo – Iconic, luxurious, and walking distance to the famous Ginza district and Imperial Palace.
- Osaka: Imperial Osaka or Westin Osaka – Exquisite luxury located in the heart of Osaka.
- Hanakaido Hotel –Magnificient outdoor onsen with lakeside views with Kyoto style Kaiseki banquet dinner.
- Kyoto Hotel Okura – Local favorite and walking distance to Gion district and shopping.
- Arranging great culinary experiences is a specialty we are very proud of. Before a restaurant is selected for our itinerary, our development team spends countless hours sampling dozens of restaurants for comparison. On this trip, you will have a chance to taste Japanese delicacies including Kobe beef, Shabu Shabu, and traditional Kaiseki banquet dinner.
- Charismatic and knowledgeable Super Value trained guides.
- A comprehensive travel insurance plan. Details
- High quality headsets to hear our tour guide's presentation clearly.
- Porterage service is provided at most hotels.
Super Value Standard
Depart North America for Tokyo, Japan
- Depart from your home airport, have a great flight!
Arrive in Narita, Tokyo 【Dinner】
DinnerLocal SpecialtyHotelImperial Hotel Tokyo (Ginza District) or Keio Plaza Hotel (Shinjuku District)
- "Yokoso" or "Welcome" to Japan! A Super Value Tours Representative will meet you at the arrivals gate and escort you to the hotel. Airport transfer is available for flights arriving between 12:30-7:15pm.
- For guests arriving after 6pm, we will refund 2,000 JPY per person for dinner.
- Due to limited luggage space on the Shinkansen (bullet train) tomorrow, please prepare a carry-on bag with belongings for 2 days & 1 night use. Your tour guide will arrange the transfer of your large suitcases to our hotel in Kyoto.
Tokyo Shinkansen (Bullet Train) - Kyoto Biwako 【3 meals】
- Shinkansen: Experience a true modern marvel by riding the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto Station (2 hours and 20 minutes).
- Miho Museum: See an incredible collection of antiques from Asia and Europe at the Miho Museum, designed by I.M. Pei. (If Miho Museum is closed between exhibitions, we will visit Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts.)
- Unwind in a magnificent outdoor onsen (hot spring) at a Ryokan style hotel.
- Roll up your Yukata sleeves and indulge in a traditional Kyoto-style Kaiseki banquet dinner.
BreakfastWestern or Japanese BuffetLunchJapanese Lunch SetDinnerKaiseki BanquetHotelHanakaido Ryokan or Equivalent
Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
Kyoto Gion 【3 meals】
- Kyoto: See the best of Kyoto! Explore old alleyways of Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka and climb to the top of Kiyomizu temple for a spectacular view of Kyoto.
- Nijo Castle: Relive the days of the Shogunate in Nijo Castle.
- Participate in Yuzen- traditional stencil dyeing.
- Gion: With only about 100 Geishas remaining, Gion is the only place you might catch a glimpse of these elusive figures.
- Journey off the beaten path and explore Kyoto during free time with our guide recommendations.
BreakfastJapanese Breakfast SetLunchJapanese-Italian CuisineDinnerTonkatsuHotelKyoto Hotel Okura or Grand Prince Kyoto
Geisha in Gion
Kyoto Osaka 【2 meals】
- Sagano Romantic Train: Take a scenic ride through the tranquil Hozagawa River Valley.
- Arashiyama: Walk through the flourishing bamboo forest and discover the alluring beauty of the surroundings.
- Kinkakuji Temple: Visit the icon of Kyoto, the "Golden Pavilion," covered with gold foil.
- Shinsaibashi: We built in free time so you may freely roam through Osaka's largest shopping district and get to know the city at your own pace.
- For dinner, "eat till you drop" in the Dotonbori restaurant district, known as the "Kitchen of Japan." Be sure to try local specialties such as Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Hakozushi, and Kitsune Udon. Suggestions and maps will be provided to help you navigate the bustling district.
BreakfastWestern and Japanese BuffetLunchYakiniku-Japanese BarbequeDinnerDinner is Not Included: Explore Dotonbori Restaurant District with our RecommendationsHotelImperial Osaka or Westin Osaka Equivalent
Sagano Romantic Train
Street Vendor in Dotonbori
Nara Nada Kobe Osaka 【3 meals】
- Todaiji Temple: Stand in the presence of one of Japan's largest bronze Buddha statues- Daibutsu and interact with temple deers.
- Nada Sake Brewery: Tour a local sake brewery, enjoy complimentary tasting while learning about traditional craft of sake brewing.
- Osaka Castle Park: Explore the largest castle in Japan filled with historical and cultural significance.
- Explore the seaside city of Kobe including the Meriken Park, Moto Machi, and China Town.
- Satisfy your taste buds by feasting on an authentic and succulent Kobe beef dinner.
BreakfastWestern and Japanese BuffetLunchJapanese Lunch SetDinnerKobe BeefHotelImperial Osaka or Westin Osaka or Equivalent
Deer in Todaiji Temple
Nada Sake Brewery
Authentic Kobe Beef
Osaka (KIX) or (ITM) Next Destination 【Breakfast】
- "Sayonara!" or "Goodbye!" After breakfast, guests with morning flights will be directed to take the shuttle bus bound for Itami or Kansai airport.
- For guests with afternoon flights, your morning is free and our tour guide will provide directions for you to explore Osaka city for last-minute shopping or sightseeing. Based on your departure time, the tour guide will direct you to take the airport shuttle bus.
*Airport send off available from 9:30am-7:00pm (KIX) or 7:55am-2:45pm (ITM).BreakfastWestern and Japanese Buffet
Enclosed by mountainous terrain on three sides and the crescent-shaped Osaka Bay to its west, the Osaka region is located in the outskirts of Japan’s Midwest. The area was fueled by a network of transportation channels by land and sea and also its close proximity to two ancient capitals, Kyoto and Nara. Consequently, by the 9th century, Osaka had grown into the largest commercial center in Japan and is still well-known for its savvy merchants today.
Kobe was the hub of a thriving trade with China during the Southern Sung Dynasty. In 1867, the Tokugawa Shogunate signed the An-zheng Treaty with the United States fleet, thus forcing Kobe to open its trade with the west. For over a hundred years thereafter, Western and Japanese civilization blended in Kobe, resulting in a now highly graceful and charming culture intertwined of diversity. Neither Europeans nor Americans ever imagined that the people of Kobe, who used to be the ones to imitate practices of drinking coffee, eating steak, and baking pastry would now be the ones setting the par that others now imitate. The steaks, coffee, and pastry of Kobe have risen to worldwide prominence.
- Nada Sake Brewery Museum
The district of Nada in Kobe City boasts fine quality (shrine) water, perfect for brewing sake. When the transport of cargo by sea became widely available in 18th century, the area thrived on sake production and today, Nada sake is now highly reputed across Japan.
Our museum operated as a brewery long before being renovated. Here, we will learn fun facts about the brewing of sake and be introduced to the brewery equipment of the past. Complimentary tasting is included!
- Nara Park
The park not only showcases many important historical monuments of Nara (such as the Todaiji, the Kofukuji, the Nara Public Museum, and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine), but also keeps a number of spotted deer for the enjoyment of visitors. If you're feeling adventurous, you may purchase some crackers and treat the deer to some snacks!
Inside the Todai-ji is Nara Daibutsu, one of Japan's largest bronze Buddha statues. Visitors come from around the world to visit this humbling and immaculate figure in hopes of attaining a little extra luck.
- Nara Daibutsu
Standing 14.98 meters tall, weighing 380 tons, with a face that stretches 5.33 meters and a 2.56 meter long hand, the Nara Daibutsu is one of the largest bronze statue Buddhas in Japan. Rumor has it that you will get astounding results from your fortune telling drawings in the presence of this kind-faced Buddha. Try it and see for yourself!
- Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts
Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts is dedicated to preserving a variety of handicraft industries which has been passed down for over 1,000 years. The museum displays about 500 artifacts, all created by traditional craftsmen, including luxurious kimono, obi sashes, lacquerware and ceramics, allowing visitors to discover the traditional beauty and culture of ancient Kyoto.
Here, guests can enjoy a traditional Yuzen dyeing experience.
- Miho Museum
This hidden treasure is off the beaten path and seldom included in most tour itineraries, but the beauty and serenity makes the trip worthwhile. Designed by famed Chinese architect I.M Pei (Louvre Reception Hall in France, JFK Library in Mass., and Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong), the building houses the private collection of patron Mihoko Koyama which includes over two thousand pieces of painstakingly curated Asian and Western antiques.
Kyoto was the nation’s capitol for a period of 1075 years (from 794 to 1869 A.D.) and is now considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city draws its beauty from its sophisticated, unique art culture and its rich, glorious history. It is no surprise that Kyoto lays claim to 17 of the world’s landmarks which have been inducted into UNESCO’s World Heritage list (Kiyomizu Temple, Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle, Tenryuji Temple, etc.).
- Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizudera is a historic Buddhist temple established in 778. As a part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, an UNESCO World Heritage site, the temple is one of the most celebrated and iconic temples in Japan. The wooden stage affords visitors a spectacular view of the Kyoto city center. Twelve meters above the ground, the stage is supported by high keyaki (Japanese Zelkova) pillars assembled without a single nail. The temple is also the home of Otowa Waterfall. Spring water has been flowing here since the temple was built. The water flows down into three separate streams and visitors may drink the water for longevity, prosperity, and love.
Designated by Japan as an important historical architectural preservation district. The age of the district is evident where well-preserved streets emanate an air of the distant past. The shops that fill these streets sell local specialty goods of Kyoto such as Kiyomizu (pottery ware), Yusen-Zome (colorful and artisan tapestry), shichimiya (seven aromatic spices), otabe (sweet snack made of dough), tsukemono (pickled products), Kyogashi (assortment of sweets), traditional hand-held fans, incense, green tea, and more.
- Nijo Castle
Built in 1603, the Nijo Castle in Kyoto was the personal residence of the great Shogun Tokugawa. Apart from its splendid architecture, the castle has witnessed two major historical events within the last 400 years. The first when Toyotomi Hideyori formally surrendered to Tokugawa Ieyasu inside the castle, officially ending the civil war and the second when Tokugawa Yoshinobu announced inside this castle the return of sovereignty to the Meiji Emperor, officially ending Shogunate governance in Japan.
Gion was a red light district during the Edo period. Today, apart from the presence of many traditional shops, still hidden within the streets and alleys are many of the classic up-scale tea houses and restaurants. The art of Geishas entertaining guests with their dances still exists in this area. If you are lucky, you may run into a genuine, fully-costumed Geisha of Kyoto while roaming these streets.
- Sagano Romantic Train
The entire length of the train ride is 7.3 kilometers. It takes about 25 minutes to travel the entire distance one way. This romantic train route winds along the pleasant Hozugawa river valley. Cherry blossoms overwhelm this area during spring, lush greenery covers the landscape during summer, and crimson maple leaves color the entire mountain during autumn. Let this amazing natural scenery immerse you in joyful tranquility.
- Tenryuji Temple
Figuratively regarded as the first of five magnificent “mountains” in Kyoto (“mountain” in Japanese also means Buddhist sect). The temple's garden, designed by Muso Soseki, features a circular promenade around the Sogen Pond, creating a perfect blend of the elegance of nobility and profound tranquility of Zen Buddhism. Tenryuji's garden is one of the most famous gardens in Kyoto and is also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Landmark.
Sagano was a retreat destination used by ancient nobility for pleasure excursions. The scenery is sublime, especially when cherry blossoms surface in the spring and when maple leaves turn bright red in the fall. Thus, the area has been known for ageds as a prime location for observing these wonders of nature. Meanwhile, old town Arashiyama has kept intact many of its antiquated dwellings and temples. All of its residents maintain cherry trees and maple trees in their yards so this old town can express even more of its irresistible charm during the spring and autumn seasons.
- Togetsukyo Bridge
Serving as the center of the Arashiyama scenic area, the bridge of a timber surface stretches over the Oi-gawa River with its frame resting on steel pillars. Its antiquated beauty complements the pristine natural surroundings of Arashiyama.
- Bamboo Walking Path
A flourishing bamboo forest lies near the Arashiyama train station. The walking path runs between bamboo trees of cloud-reaching heights which sway with alluring beauty at the passing of a breeze. Take a stroll on a forest trail to discover hidden poetry within the engulfing serenity.
- Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
Built in 1397, the Golden Pavilion was originally a country chateau for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, later named Rokuonji and converted into a Buddhist temple. Because it is covered with gold foil, the temple is also known as Kinkakuji. Mishima Yukio, the Japanese novelist and political radical, used this place as a setting for his widely celebrated novel, “Kinkakuji”, making this scenic spot internationally known.
Here in the largest and most significant shopping district in Osaka, you will find a gathering of giant shopping malls, more traditional stores, and an endless array of tiny shops owned and run by the locals. There are also numerous eateries, among which you will not only find a wide variety of Japanese food, but also cuisines from all over the world.
Assembled within an area no more than 200 meters wide and 700 meters long, are the most popular restaurants of Osaka. The area also has the highest concentration of eateries serving Japanese delicacies. Osaka is reputed as “the kitchen of Japan” with Dotonbori as its culinary center.
- Imperial Hotel Tokyo
A truly historic icon of Tokyo, the Imperial Hotel even has its own wikipedia entry and lego set! Equally famous for its service, this hotel has been awarded the Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Award for luxury & service for several years in a row.
Our stay in the Imperial Hotel is just one more remarkable feature to make our time in the city a memorable experience.
- Keio Plaza
A sleek upscale hotel enveloped by skyscrapers and the vibrant Shinjuku district. Find yourself just a short walk from the world’s busiest rail hub, densely dotted with depachikas, underground shopping arcades, and the most popular restaurants, shops, and attractions in the heart of Tokyo.
- Biwako Hotel
This hot spring hotel is known for its comfortable fusion-style rooms, each offering a private lakeside balcony view of Lake Biwa. Enjoy an expertly-prepared Kyoto-style banquet dinner and fabulous service.
- Hanakaido Hotel
The Hanakaido Ryokan embodies the elegance Kyoto is so famous for. Featuring hot spring baths and lakeside views of Lake Biwa. Enjoy their indoor bath, outdoor onsen and a beautiful Kaiseki dinner in traditional Kyoto style.
- Yumoto Kan
Surrounded by tranquil mountains, the Yumoto Kan is a ryokan (Japanese-style hotel) featuring hot spring baths and stunning views of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. Ogoto Onsen, the local hot spring for the hotel, has been supplying natural mineral-rich water for 1200 years.
- Grand Prince Hotel
Designed by the late architect Togo Murano, the Prince Hotel Kyoto offers luxurious and spacious rooms. This hotel is uniquely-styled to blend with the natural environment and beauty of Kyoto.
- Kyoto Hotel Okura
Centrally-located in Kyoto city, the Okura is within walking distance from Gion, popular restaurants, and exciting shopping areas. The Kyoto Okura is a Kyoto icon and has long been regarded by locals as one of the best places to stay in the city.
- Nikko Hotel Osaka
Hotel Nikko Osaka is a high-end hotel located in a prime area of central Osaka. The hotel faces the famous tree-lined Mido-suji Avenue, the city's main boulevard which is home to the headquarters of major corporations and the city’s main shopping and leisure district.
Our inclusion of the Nikko Osaka ensures we always have easy access to fun shopping districts and the delicous restaurants Osaka is so famous for.
- Imperial Hotel Osaka
Known as one of Osaka's best luxury hotels, the Imperial is located near Osaka Castle on the cherry tree-lined Okawa River in a relaxing, resortlike setting. Free shuttle service to Osaka Station is available as well as complimentary bikes to explore the area (10-min. ride to Osaka Castle).
- Westin Osaka
This luxury hotel is located in the heart of Osaka and is within walking distance to the Floating Garden Observatory. The hotel also received TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence 2014.
- Kaiseki (traditional Japanese banquet dinner) with Karaoke
- Japanese-Italian cuisine
- Kobe Teppanyaki beef
- Yakiniku(Japanese-Korean barbeque)
- Udon & Tempura Set
Taylor W. (Irvine, CA)
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Another wonderful experience traveling with Super Value. Excellent choice of points of visit, restaurants, and hotels. Above all, an excellent tour guide.
Sarah L. (New York, NY)
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Maiko was an excellent tour guide. Very organized, helpful, knowledgeable, and polite. We really enjoyed her. Everything was very organized, clean, and thoughtful. Hotels were nice and food was pretty good.
Doris C. (Mercer Island)
( SN3621KE )
Very impressed with Maiko and her organization. Wonderful personal stories and interesting stories about Japanese life.
Thomas H. (Cupertino, CA)
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Excellent tour. This is the second time for my family on this same tour package. Maiko was excellent!
Yaeko S. (Cupertino, CA)
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Maiko was professional, well informed, pleasant, polite and made the tour excellent experience for the guests.
Candace L. (Mission Viejo, CA)
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Junko was fantastic! We were fortunate to have her as our tour guide. I hope I can join another tour with her some day! We are very pleased with everything. You have a great product, excellent service, and wonderful personnel!
Nicole H. (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)
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Junko was kind, patient, funny, generous, caring, and thoughtful of our personal interests! She was willing to go out of her way to find something special for us and our specific interests. Thank you for sharing and teaching us your culture and customs—beautiful country!
Nancy Y. (Los Angeles, CA)
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I really liked how the size of the group was small. Akira was an excellent tour guide! He was very professional. He made sure everyone was taken care of. He was very personable.
Emily C. (Covina, CA)
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Our tour guide May Ueda was extremely attentive, and completely took care of the need of every one. Completely satisfied!!!
Cathleen (Vancouver, BC)
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I have several food allergies and J made a point of confirming with all the restaurants, so that I could eat. She even walked with me to a restaurant during “free time” in Gion! I was so happy!
Pauline F. (Whittier, CA)
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Maiko was the perfect tour guide, organized but flexible, helpful, gracious but with a funny sense of humor. Lots of interesting info on Japan. Thank you for a wonderful tour.
Ngoc D. (San Jose, CA)
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We truly enjoyed our Japan trip. Our tour guide Akira did an amazing job.
John P. (Vail, AZ)
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Maiko was an excellent tour guide. Informative, personable, and humorous. Outstanding guide.