Essence of Japan Tauck Tours

Essence of Japan

This amazing 13 day Tauck tour is called Essence of Japan. You’ll experience so much of what Japan has to offer from storied temples to the bright lights and skyscrapers that showcase the industrial side of this cultural hotspot. From Hiroshima to Kyoto and Tokyo, you’ll stay in premiere hotels and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime excursions like tea ceremonies and even a sake brewing class.

This active tour of Japan from Tauck also takes you into the legendary worlds of the geisha and sumo wrestlers. You’ll build up a lifetime of travel stories while making the most of your time and visiting a large portion of this island nation. A sure highlight is the Lake Ashi cruise beneath Mt Fuji, a picturesque journey that you won’t soon forget. Book Tauck’s Essence of Japan tour now and fulfill your dream to truly explore what Japan has to offer.


13 Daysfr. $10,990

  • Multiple-night stays in premier hotels in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa & at a hot springs resort & spa in Hakone
  • Small group departures stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto nights 8 – 11
  • Overnight stay in a traditional ryokan in Matsumoto
  • Tokyo’s Edo-Tokyo Museum, Kagura dancing, taiko drums & sumo wrestling
  • In Kyoto, a private home visit with tea ceremony, explorations with a local Geisha expert, visits to Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple & Pure Water Temple (Kiyomizu Temple)
  • A cruise on Lake Ashi beneath Mt. Fuji
  • In Hakone, visit an open-air museum & a whisky distillery, and attend a flower arranging class
  • A lesson on sake brewing & a tasting at a local brewery in Takayama
  • A guided tour of Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan’s most revered landscaped gardens, and the Samurai legacy in Kanazawa
  • Essence of Japan is conducted by a Tauck Director who remains with the group throughout the tour. Your Tauck Director is a professional, fully trained employee of Tauck. In addition, a bilingual local guide assists in each city.
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • All customary gratuities for restaurant and hotel staff, and local guides are included.
  • The customary gratuity to the Tauck Director is not included. Gratuitites should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis and not as a group.
  • All items of a personal nature (room service, beverages, telephone charges, laundry, dry cleaning, special food requests, etc.) and meals not specified on the tour itinerary are not included and must be paid by the client.
  • Airline excess luggage charges, vaccinations, visa fees and services, airport arrival and departure taxes, individual train and airport transfers (when applicable), and other optional or incidental extras are not included.
  • All rates exclude airfare unless expressly noted.
  • 12 breakfasts
  • 10 lunches
  • 8 dinners
  • Park Hyatt Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan (3 nights)
  • Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa in Hakone, Japan (2 nights)
  • Tobira Onsen Myojinkan in Matsumoto, Japan (1 night)
  • Hotel Nikko Kanazawa in Kanazawa, Japan (2 nights)
  • Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto or The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto (small group departures) in Kyoto, Japan (4 nights)

Arrive Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Tauck's Japan trip begins at 6:30 PM at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. A transfer is included from Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport to the five-star Park Hyatt Tokyo, occupying the top 14 floors of a 52-story tower in the heart of Shinjuku, the city's vibrant business and entertainment district. This evening, please join us for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel.

Dinner

PARK HYATT TOKYO

Tokyo, Yesterday & Today

Tokyo, Japan

A drive through Tokyo this morning gives you an overview of one of the world’s most dynamic capital cities, touching on both history and modern life. Begin today's sightseeing in Japan's capital city with a visit to the Meiji Shrine – honoring the deified spirits of Japan's Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, who died in 1912 and 1914, respectively – and take in a live performance of traditional Shinto music and Kagura dancing.

Visit central Tokyo's renowned Tsukiji Market, the largest fish and seafood market in the world, for a walk around the outer market before heading to a local restaurant for a traditional yakitori (skewered chicken) lunch. This afternoon, explore the Edo-Tokyo Museum, whose exhibits focus on Tokyo’s history, culture, and development from its roots as a fishing village called Edo.

The rest of the day and evening are free for further exploring on your own. Many good restaurants can be found in the vicinity of your hotel, and your Tauck Director can make suggestions for places to try.

Breakfast, Lunch

PARK HYATT TOKYO

The Bullet Train, a Lake Cruise & a Culinary Experience

Hakone, Japan

This morning, board the renowned bullet train (shinkansen) in Tokyo for a short ride south to Odawara, and continue on to the scenic hot springs resort town of Hakone in Kanagawa. En route, enjoy a cruise on Lake Ashi; weather permitting, see views of Mt. Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, looming over the landscape.

Have lunch at a local restaurant on the shores of Lake Ashi, then continue on to your ideally located spa resort in Hakone . This afternoon, get your hands around an authentic Japanese culinary tradition during a private sushi and miso making demonstration; later, gather for a “homey” dinner at your resort.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

HYATT REGENCY HAKONE RESORT & SPA

Sculpture, Whisky & Flowers or Relaxation in Hakone

Hakone, Japan

Start the day off with an excursion to the Hakone Open Air Museum, the first open-air museum in Japan, renowned for its outdoor sculpture park with beautiful views of the mountain. The grounds are the permanent home of approximately 120 works by well-known international sculptors including Rodin, Bourdelle, Miro, and Moore.

Then you'll have a choice between staying at your resort to indulge in some pampering at the hotel’s spa – perhaps taking a dip in the healing hot springs (onsen) – or heading off to visit the Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery, for a tour and tasting at one of the largest whisky-making facilities in Japan.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you'll have an opportunity to learn the art of ikebana – Japanese flower arranging – from a teacher who gives a class and demonstration of this time-honored tradition. Dine on French or Japanese cuisine at one of your resort's restaurants this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

HYATT REGENCY HAKONE RESORT & SPA

Kubota Art, Matsumoto & the Japanese Alps

Kawaguchi, Japan

Today's exploration begins at the Itchiku Kubota Museum, set amidst magnificent views of majestic Mt. Fuji and serene Lake Kawaguchi. Itchiku Kubota (1917-2003) is considered one of the most important Japanese textile artists of the 20th century; he rediscovered, revived and subsequently modernized a traditional Japanese kimono dyeing technique, which was lost since the 15th century, creating exceptional artistic kimonos. The museum you'll visit today celebrates his art and legacy.

Matsumoto, Japan

Continue north through the forested mountain landscapes of the “Japanese Alps,” through winding valleys dotted with rice farms, lakes, rushing rivers, and small villages to the hot springs town of Matsumoto, where, after lunch, you’ll see 400-hundred-year-old Matsumoto Castle, Japan’s oldest castle and a national treasure, also known as the “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior.

Arrive this afternoon at your onsen (hot springs) hotel, combining the authenticity of a traditional Japanese ryokan with the comforts of a contemporary hotel, including western-style and Japanese rooms. Your Tauck Exclusive dinner tonight is Japanese kaiseki style, yukatas and slippers on, in a private room with musical entertainment.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

TOBIRA ONSEN MYOJINKAN HOTEL

Old Takayama and a Sake Brewery

Takayama, Japan

Depart Matsumoto this morning and head for Takayama, a mountain city long famed for its artisans and woodworkers. Do some sightseeing along the narrow lanes of its historic center, and have lunch at a local restaurant known for its Hida beef.

Kanazawa, Japan

Following a lesson in sake making and a tasting at a local brewery in Takayama, continue on to Kanazawa, just inland from the Sea of Japan. Arriving here marks your having crossed all the way from one side of Japan’s main island of Honshu to the other. Enjoy an included dinner at your choice of your hotel's restaurants either tonight or tomorrow.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

HOTEL NIKKO KANAZAWA

Gardens, the Samurai Legacy & more in Kanazawa

Kanazawa, Japan

A full day’s sightseeing in Kanazawa includes: a guided stroll through celebrated Kenroku-en Gardens, considered among the country’s top three landscaped gardens; time exploring the historic Samurai District, where samurai homes are tucked among narrow lanes and canals behind earthen walls and private entrance gates, with a visit to the restored Nomura Samurai Family Residence for a look at the lifestyle of the samurai during feudal times, when they were prosperous.

Lunch at a Paul Bocuse restaurant; and an afternoon visit to Higashi Chaya, Kanazawa's geisha district. Cap the day with a Tauck Exclusive, private Samurai show at a local temple, then spend the rest of the evening as you please at your hotel or exploring on your own in Kanazawa.

Breakfast, Lunch

HOTEL NIKKO KANAZAWA

A Train Ride to Beautiful Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan

Depart Kanazawa by train for Kyoto, arriving midday for a four-night stay at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto; small group departures will stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. Have lunch and begin your exploration of the city considered one of Japan’s most beautiful.

On your introductory sightseeing tour, discover a city center of glass and steel skyscrapers ringed by hidden temples, shrines, and gardens that exude the tranquility and charm of Japan’s ancient culture. You may choose to dine at our selected local restaurant either tonight or tomorrow.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO

A Castle, a Temple & a Kyoto Geisha District

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto sightseeing today begins with a visit to the famous golden-topped Kinkaku-ji Temple (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), set in an ancient garden on the edge of a lake – a position symbolizing its place “between heaven and Earth.” Hear the story of how this 14th-century temple was burned to the ground by a young monk and then completely reconstructed.

Continue on to Nijo Castle, surrounded by stone walls and a moat; tour this 17th-century shogun’s residence and UNESCO World Heritage Site – and discover the secret of its “nightingale” floors. After lunch at a local restaurant, meet up with a geisha expert who leads an exploration of the back streets of one of Kyoto’s geisha districts, and shares insights on the “flower and willow” world of the geishas, past and present.

Breakfast, Lunch

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO

A Private Home Visit in Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan

Begin your day with a prayer at the Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) established in 778; the current buildings were rebuilt in the 17th century. Drink the water here in long-handled cups as you wish for longevity, success or love. Kyoto is known as the craft capital of Japan, and many traditional arts have been passed down through the generations.

Experience the revered customs of Japanese culture firsthand during a visit to a private home here; take your shoes off, come in, and your gracious hostess will demonstrate the very specific rituals of a Japanese tea ceremony, followed by a lesson in the paper art of Origami. Return to your hotel where the afternoon is free for you to enjoy Kyoto’s charms as you like. Join us for a special dinner tonight at a local restaurant.

Breakfast, Dinner

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO

By Bullet Train to Hiroshima & Back to Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan

From Kyoto, travel aboard a morning bullet train to Hiroshima for lunch followed by a sightseeing tour including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum, the A-Bomb Dome and other sites associated with the WWII atomic bomb blast that destroyed the city in August 1945. Return this afternoon by bullet train to Kyoto, where your evening is free to spend as you wish.

Breakfast

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO

More Traditions in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Travel by rail from Kyoto back to Tokyo, arriving for lunch at the celebrated restaurant Nobu. After lunch, enjoy a Tauck Exclusive – an exhilarating taiko drumming performance, including a hands-on instruction session and demonstration; try your hand at this time-honored tradition where rhythm, melody, and movement combine to create an extraordinary musical experience.

As your Japan trip draws to a close, return to your hotel before heading to yet another Tauck Exclusive: tonight's farewell reception and dinner at a local restaurant, where you’ll witness a larger-than-life demonstration by sumo wrestlers.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

PARK HYATT TOKYO

Journey Home

Tokyo, Japan

Tauck's comprehensive Japan journey ends at Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport. Fly home anytime. An airport transfer is included from the Park Hyatt Tokyo to Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport. Please allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.

Breakfast

Departure Date
Price
Sat, Aug 24, 2019 – Wait-list
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Sat, Aug 31, 2019
$12,390.00
Sat, Sep 14, 2019
$12,890.00
Mon, Sep 16, 2019
$15,790.00
Mon, Sep 23, 2019
$15,790.00
Sat, Sep 28, 2019
$12,890.00
Mon, Sep 30, 2019
$15,790.00
Sat, Oct 05, 2019
$12,890.00
Thu, Oct 10, 2019 – Wait-list
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Sat, Oct 12, 2019
$12,890.00
Mon, Oct 14, 2019 – Wait-list
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Sat, Oct 19, 2019 – Wait-list
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Thu, Oct 24, 2019 – Wait-list
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Sat, Nov 02, 2019 – Wait-list
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Mon, Nov 04, 2019
$14,790.00
Sat, Nov 16, 2019 – Wait-list
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Mon, Mar 23, 2020
$12,390.00
Thu, Mar 26, 2020 – Wait-list
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Mon, Mar 30, 2020
$12,990.00
Thu, Apr 02, 2020 – Wait-list
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Mon, Apr 06, 2020
$12,990.00
Thu, Apr 09, 2020 – Wait-list
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Mon, Apr 13, 2020
$12,990.00
Mon, Apr 20, 2020 – Wait-list
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Thu, Apr 23, 2020
$14,290.00
Thu, Apr 30, 2020
$14,290.00
Mon, May 04, 2020
$12,990.00
Thu, May 07, 2020 – Wait-list
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Mon, May 11, 2020
$12,990.00
Thu, May 14, 2020
$14,290.00
Mon, May 18, 2020
$12,990.00
Mon, Jun 01, 2020
$12,990.00
Thu, Jun 04, 2020
$14,290.00
Mon, Jun 15, 2020
$12,990.00
Mon, Aug 24, 2020
$10,990.00
Thu, Aug 27, 2020
$13,290.00
Mon, Sep 21, 2020
$12,990.00
Thu, Sep 24, 2020
$14,290.00
Mon, Oct 05, 2020
$12,990.00
Thu, Oct 08, 2020 – Wait-list
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Mon, Oct 19, 2020
$12,990.00
Thu, Oct 22, 2020
$14,290.00
Mon, Nov 02, 2020
$12,390.00
Thu, Nov 05, 2020
$13,690.00
Mon, Nov 16, 2020
$10,990.00
Fri, Jan 15, 2021
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Mon, Mar 22, 2021
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Thu, Mar 25, 2021
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Thu, Apr 01, 2021
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Mon, Apr 05, 2021
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Thu, Apr 08, 2021
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Thu, Apr 15, 2021
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Mon, Apr 19, 2021
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Thu, Apr 22, 2021
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Thu, Apr 29, 2021
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Mon, May 03, 2021
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Thu, May 06, 2021
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Mon, May 17, 2021
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Thu, May 20, 2021
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Thu, Jun 03, 2021
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Mon, Jun 14, 2021
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Mon, Aug 23, 2021
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Thu, Aug 26, 2021
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Thu, Sep 09, 2021
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Mon, Sep 20, 2021
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Thu, Sep 23, 2021
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Mon, Oct 04, 2021
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Thu, Oct 07, 2021
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Mon, Oct 18, 2021
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Thu, Oct 21, 2021
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Mon, Nov 01, 2021
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Thu, Nov 04, 2021
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Important information:

  • All rates listed are per person based on double occupancy and are subject to change without notice. Your land package pricing will be confirmed and guaranteed once your deposit is received and applied to the booking, except where price increases may result from increases in government taxes or fees. Room configurations are subject to availability. Guests added to your party after the booking are priced at the prevailing rate at the time they are added.
  • Small Group Departures will stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto on nights 8 – 11.
  • Reserve your preferred 2020 departure date and we will advise you once the 2020 trip is finalized and priced. You will then have two weeks to cancel; should you cancel, you'll receive a full refund of your trip deposit and the cost of the Travel Protection Product (if purchased with Tauck Tours). If you are making your own air arrangements, do not book your flights until this trip is finalized as start and end cities may change.

ALL guests must carefully verify the existing identification requirements for their particular travel situation DIRECTLY WITH THEIR LOCAL CONSULATES OR EMBASSIES or with a visa service, as these requirements may change. Guests without proper documentation may be denied entry and will not be entitled to a refund
  • 60 days or more before departure: $600.00 per person
  • 59-8 days before departure: $1250.00 per person
  • 7-1 days before departure: $2000.00 per person
  • On departure day and later: 100% of total price
  • Any changes or cancellations to airline reservations made through Tauck either before or after departure are subject to the cancellation / change policies of the individual airlines. In n some instances these cancellation / change fees may be up to 100% of the ticket price.
  • Cancellation fees may also apply to any additional services, including extra night accommodations, independently supplied services, and optional excursions reserved prior to, during, and after the tour. If flight changes, including, but not limited to, flight cancellations or name changes, are requested after full land and air deposits are received, revision fees, change fees, or airline cancellation fees will apply.
  • All cancellations must be received in writing prior to tour departure. The cancellation policy will apply according to the date that the cancellation notification is received. The MINIMUM cancellation penalty is the deposit amount.
  • The purchase to trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
  • Land only “from price” is per person based on two people sharing a room together and does not include airfare unless expressly stated.
  • All prices are in US Dollars.
  • A $600 non-refundable, non-transferable, per-person, per-vacation deposit is required to reserve space for you. Payment of the deposit indicates you have read and accepted all Terms & Conditions. Your booking is not confirmed until the deposit payment is processed and you receive a confirmation invoice.
  • Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Within the final payment date, payment in full is required at time of booking to reserve space. Reservations (land, cruise, and air) are canceled if final payment is not received by the due date.
  • Additional deposits or payments are required for international air added to the start and/or end of your vacation.
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