The Blazing Autumn Tour follows the historic Tokaido road from Tokyo to Kyoto. It is a fantastic opportunity for first time travelers to experience all of the classic and iconic destinations found in Japan. But we don’t stop there, we dive deep into the culture and cities at each location, experiencing the country just as the locals do!
This tour is designed to show off the beautiful fall colors that millions of Japanese enjoy every year. As we travel, you’ll see trees ablaze with yellow, red and orange leaves around the countryside.
Don’t miss this opportunity to see Japan at one of it’s best times of year!
Finally! You have arrived in Japan! Check into your hotel and get settled, then join the guide for a Introduction Tour of Japan. Walking the streets of Tokyo will give you your first real taste of the country. We will use this time to help familiarize you with the transportation system, customs, and maybe teach you a few useful interactions!
From there enjoy a Welcome Dinner and get to know your fellow travelers!
Walking: Light // Included Meals: Dinner
Take the morning to explore the famous Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Shrine! This park is an integral part of local life in Tokyo.
Enjoy the latest cutting-edge fashion by exploring Harajuku, out-there outfits, crazy socks, and good food can be found there. Sometimes you’ll even see local fashionistas dressed to kill in these fantastic outfits.
Finish the day with Shibuya, the Time Square of Tokyo. Always awake and brightly lit, Shibuya boasts of many shops and eateries worth your time! The scramble crosswalk, Hachiko the dog, and the many shops such as Tokyu Hands, Mega Donki, Disney Store, Marui and more leave you with more than you could possibly do in one night!
Walking: Medium // Included Meals: None
Shinjuku Station is the busiest train station in the world, servicing 3.5 million passengers a day! Join us for an early morning as we explore the maze of shops that stretch through the station (we’ll probably even find some good breakfast!).
Then, riding the fabled Odakyu Romancecar, enjoy a scenic ride into the Hakone mountains. Enjoy lunch on the mountainside and explore the shops before continuing on to the delightful Ryokan where we will be staying. This guest house has Onsen, hot spring baths where you can soak and relax from the long travels that started off this trip.
Finish off the day with a traditional Kaiseki meal in your room!
Walking: Medium // Included Meals: Dinner
Enjoy a traditional breakfast served at the Ryokan and check your bags at the front desk for the “Hakone Carry Service”; they will take your bags to the train station for you so you can explore Hakone bag free!
Travel along the ropeway across the mountain peaks and catch a magnificent view of Fuji (weather permitting). Stop to try the black eggs cooked in the naturally boiling hot springs. Sail across Lake Hakone in a pirate ship and walk the ancient Tokaido trade route through a path lined with giant cedar trees.
Discover the beautiful Hakone Shrine and enjoy lunch before heading back to the train station by bus!
Then ride the famous shinkansen (bullet train) to Osaka!
Once you are checked into Osaka, explore Dotonbori for dinner! We stay near this exciting area full of night life so that you have many options each night for food and activities.
Walking: Heavy // Included Meals: Breakfast
Begin your discovery of Kyoto by walking it’s streets to the famous Kiyomizu-dera temple. Peruse the temple grounds, see the great stage that towers above the trees, and even make a wish at the Otowa Waterfall.
Continue down the hill to the historic streets of Higashiyama, Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka. These areas are known for the shops, cafes, restaurants, and preserved homes! You can feel the ancient history of Japan gushing from every crack and crevice!
Finish the walking tour at Maruyama Park and it’s majestic autumn views of reds and yellows!
As the sun begins to set, explore the nearby streets of Gion! Full of ancient history and traditions, Gion is at the center of the modern day Geisha. Maybe you’ll even spot one!
Walking: Heavy // Included Meals: None
Take an early morning bullet train to Hiroshima and reflect on our shared history with Japan in Peace Park. See the Dome that survived the atomic blast and is still standing! Ring the Peace Bell and see the thousands of origami cranes (and even leave one yourself!) This is a time to reflect on a sobering history and appreciate our newfound friendship with Japan
Have a delicious lunch of the famous Hiroshima Okonomiyaki before heading to the sacred island of Miyajima. Explore the island, and the many deer contained on it! See the shrine and the Great Torii jutting out of the water. Tide permitting, you can even walk out to it!
As it gets dark, head back to Hiroshima for some dinner before traveling back to Osaka!
Walking: Moderate// Included Meals: None
Back in Kyoto again, find yourself at the infamous Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. Reflect as you walk through the seemingly endless torii gates that carve a path through the forest. Enjoy the street food that is regularly available near the entrance of the shrine, tasting the rich culture of Japan.
If available for your tour, enjoy a tour of the Fushimi sake breweries and taste various local sakes from the area!
Continue your day to the local Tofukji Temple! This temple comes alive with color in the fall and is an amazing place to explore!
Walking: Heavy // Included Meals: None
Before we leave Kyoto, let’s see one more thing! With a variety to choose from, we’ll make our choice that day! Nothing should be set in stone, we’ll go with the flow!
Now we ride for Tokyo! Once settled we’ll spend our time in Akihabara! This is anime culture central! (Also a great place to find electronics for sale!)
Walking: Light // Included Meals: None
Time to really explore Asakusa. Start at Sensoji temple before the shops open and immerse yourself in Japanese religion and culture. Once it hits 10 am, hit up Nakamise and let the shopping begin! This is a great time to find souvenirs for those at home or a great hat or fan for yourself!
Now head to the beautiful Ueno Park to do some exploring! The fall colors there are brilliant and captivating. A lake, food stalls, a shrine, what more could you ask for?
From the park we will walk through a large, picturesque cemetery with traditional headstones and beautiful fall trees lining the roads. This large cemetery houses famous artists, actors, and politicians from many eras!
From the cemetery we’ll venture into Yanaka Ginza, a traditional 1950s shopping street with original architecture and stores! There we can shop, snack and explore until dinner!
Walking: Heavy // Included Meals: None
This is a more relaxing day because we don’t have to start early! Spend the first part of your day in Kamakura. Just an hour away from the big city, Kamakura offers a deep spiritual experience just waiting to be discovered. The great bronze Buddha statue, towering nearly 40 feet tall looks out over a beautiful costal town.
A dinner surprise on the way the back will sure leave you stuffed and the late evening is yours!
Walking: Moderate // Included Meals: None
Continuing where we left off from Yanakaginza, we continue to circle Tokyo! It is autumn after all, so we’ll start at the Rikugien garden to get glorious views of the foliage. This garden has wonderful paths to walk, especially at this time of year!
From there, we’ll head to Ikebukuro, an up and coming area of Tokyo that features arcades, anime, and other nerd culture highlights!
Finally, we’ll land in Shinjuku, a bustling part of Tokyo, known for it’s alleys and bars. A great place to to have our farewell dinner. For tomorrow is our last day!
Walking: Heavy // Included Meals: Dinner
This is your final day and it is yours! This is an open day so you can visit any remaining sites, shrines, stores, or just walk aimlessly through the streets of Tokyo.
If you are leaving Japan on this day, ensure that you arrive early at the airport so that you don’t miss your flight!