Arrive to Tokyo Airport on day 1 and take a transfer to your accommodation. Enjoy free time on your own for the rest of the day. Take a bullet train on your own to Hakone with free time to explore on day 2. On day 3 transfer to Kyoto with free time and overnight. On day 4, take a self-guided day trip to Nara and explore this ancient town on your own. Transfer from Kyoto to Tokyo on Day 5 where your trip will come to an end.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Meet & Greet at the Tokyo Airport
Today you will be met by our representative at the Tokyo Airport upon arrival who will assist you with boarding a shared shuttle to your accommodation. After checking-in, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure and overnight.
Day 2: Tokyo – Mt Fuji/Hakone
Have breakfast at your accommodation this morning and then check-out. You will depart Tokyo early today on your own and take a train to reach Hakone Area, the gateway to Mt. Fuji and its surrounding national park, famous for its wonderful onsen (natural hot springs) and beautiful natural landscapes.
Upon arrival you will have free time to explore the Hakone area on your own. You will have an included Hakone Transport Pass that provides you with numerous forms of transportation throughout the area so you can choose where to go and what to do. You may choose to go on the Volcanic Owakudani Ropeway passing over hot springs and sulphurous fumaroles (operations close intermittently during volcanic activity). Glide across 3,000-year-old Ashinoko Lake on a majestic pirate ship or take the Hakone Tozan Switchback Train that zigzags through the mountains with stunning views of the surrounding valleys. Keep your eyes open for a glimpse of Mt. Fuji throughout the day, although chances may be slim if there are cloudy or overcast skies. Check in to a natural onsen resort in Hakone. Have dinner on your own. Overnight in Hakone.
Day 3: Hakone - Kyoto
Have breakfast at your accommodation this morning and then check-out. You will depart Hakone today on your own via bullet train en route to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital with more than 2,000 shrines and temples. Have lunch on your own upon arrival and get checked in to your accommodation. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Kyoto and do some sightseeing. We recommend visiting the Kinkaku-ji golden pavilion, Fushimi Inari shrine with vermillion torii gates and the Kyomizu-dera water temple. Your trip includes a transport pass that you can use to ride designated Kyoto buses and subway lines. Have dinner on your own and overnight in Kyoto.
Day 4: Kyoto Free Day or Self-Guided Day Trip to Nara
Have an early breakfast this morning at your accommodation and then start your self-guided day trip by boarding the limited express train from Kyoto to Nara. You can can choose to explore this ancient capital on foot or take the convenient local bus around town. Nara was the 8th century capital city of Japan, ruling for more than 70 years. Numerous Buddhist temples and shrines were built, many of which remain intact today.
Visit the best highlights of the city starting with Isui Garden, one of the most charming in the city of Nara. Meaning “a garden founded on water”, the ponds here are filled by water from the nearby Yoshikigawa River and the stunning landscapes are set against a beautiful backdrop of Mt. Wakakusayama and the Todai-ji Temple.
The Todai-ji Temple dates from the 8th century and was once the most important Buddhist temple in Japan. It houses the world’s largest wooden building, Daibutsu-den, and a 15-metre high bronze Buddha statue. Located nearby Nara Park, you may also glimpse deer grazing in the park.
Don’t miss the Kasuga Taisha Shinto shrine, famous for its stone and bronze lanterns which have been donated to the shrine by its devoted worshippers. These lanterns are lit only two times a year in February during the Lantern Festival and in August.
Walk along the streets of Naramachi in Nara’s old district and immerse yourself in local culture as you peek inside shops to buy souvenirs and a refreshing snack. Return to Kyoto by train on your own and overnight.
*Note: Today is a free day, you have the choice of spending a free day in Kyoto or going on a self-guided day trip to Nara. The transportation to and from Nara is included in the price of your JR pass, but it may be full if you do not book in advance.
Day 5: Kyoto - Tokyo
Have breakfast at your accommodation this morning and then check-out. Enjoy the morning at leisure until it is time to take your scheduled bullet train to Tokyo, where your trip will come to an end. We wish you a safe journey for your onward travels!