Japan Express

12 days starting at $4,402
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Price is valid on specific departure date and standard rooming.

Change and cancellation fees of up to the total price may apply.

Applicable airline baggage fees are not included and can be found at efcollegebreak.com/baggage.

Prices may be subject to change.

  • FLIGHT 1 NIGHT

  • Day 1

    Overnight flight

    Overnight flight
    Board your overnight flight, bound for Japan.
  • OSAKA 1 NIGHT

  • Day 2

    Arrive in Osaka

    Okonomiyaki dinner

    Arrive in Osaka
    Welcome to Japan! After clearing customs, you’ll meet your full-time tour director and the rest of your group. Osaka is famous for its friendly locals and hearty traditional cuisine.

    Okonomiyaki dinner
    Get to know the other travelers in your group over a welcome dinner. You’ll eat a Japanese specialty called okonomiyaki, a savory pancake cooked with any number of ingredients, from cabbage to pork to shrimp.
  • HIROSHIMA 2 NIGHTS

  • Day 3

    Travel via Himeji Castle

    Arrive in Hiroshima

    Travel via Himeji Castle
    En route to Hiroshima, stop for a visit to Himeji Castle, called the “White Herron” castle because of its white plaster walls. The white plaster protects the castle from fire damage, and it has done a good job—Himeji Castle has never been destroyed by fires and looks much like it did when it was built in 1609. Himeji Castle was featured in You Only Live Twice and The Last Samurai.

    Arrive in Hiroshima
    Continue on to Hiroshima, the largest city in western Honshu (Japan’s biggest island). While Hiroshima will always be associated with the tragedy of the atomic bomb attack in 1945, today it is a vibrant, culturally-rich city. There’s a lot to do and plenty of fun to be had.
  • Day 4

    Excursion to Miyajima Park

    Sightseeing tour of Hiroshima (local guide)

    Excursion to Miyajima Park
    Explore the amazing Miyajima, or Shrine Island. It is most famous for its floating torii. This gate guards the entrance to the Istukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to the god who protects against sea disasters and war. The park is also home to hundreds of deer, a five-story pagoda dating from 1407, and many Shinto temples.

    Sightseeing tour of Hiroshima (local guide)
    A local guide will introduce you to Hiroshima, where the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. Visit Peace Memorial Park and see the Atomic Bomb Dome, all that remains of the Industrial Promotion Hall after the near-direct hit by the bomb. Also visit the Peace Memorial Museum, which focuses on the devastation of the nuclear attack and its toll on the community.
  • KYOTO 3 NIGHTS

  • Day 5

    Travel to Kyoto

    Free time in Kyoto (day)

    Travel to Kyoto
    Your trip continues in Kyoto, which was the national capital for more than a thousand years. Kyoto is sort of the cultural center of Japan, brimming with Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and World Heritage sites.

    Free time in Kyoto (day)
    Top 5 free time suggestions:
    1. Tanzan Shuzo – This sake brewery is famous for having the first woman sake master brewer in Japan; visit its cave and sample the sake.
    2. Kyoto Craft Center – Check out paper, pottery, glass, wood and more at this gallery exhibiting products of more than 100 workshops.
    3. Nishiki-köji Market – Browse the vast array of strange and often delicious foods used in Kyoto cuisine.
    4. Funaoka Onsen – Take a bath at the best bath house in Kyoto.
    5. Kyoto Station – More than just a train station, this steel and glass behemoth has many levels to explore and an observation deck on the 15th floor.
  • Day 6

    Sightseeing tour of Kyoto (local guide)

    Sightseeing tour of Kyoto (local guide)
    Learn all about Kyoto's past and present with a local guide. Visit the Inari Taisha Shrine, which honors the Shinto god of rice, sake and fertility. Then continue to the amazing Kiyomizu Temple, originally dating back to 798. Check out the waterfall inside the complex—the name Kiyomizu means “pure water.” Finally, visit the much-photographed Gold Pavilion, a temple whose second and third stories are covered in gold leaf.
  • Day 7

    Optional excursion to Nara (extra cost)

    Optional excursion to Nara (extra cost)
    Take a trip to Nara, one of Japan’s ancient capitals. Visit the Todaiji Temple and see the Daibutsu, the world’s largest bronze Buddha. Then walk through the wooded Nara Park, a.k.a. “Deer Park”, where you can mingle with the resident deer population. Just outside the park, you’ll visit Kasuga Shrine, one of the most famous Shinto shrines in the country. Twice a year, some 3,000 lanterns are lit simultaneously at the shrine in celebration of the Lantern Festival.
  • HAKONE 1 NIGHT

  • Day 8

    Bullet train to Hakone

    Tour of Hakone National Park

    Bullet train to Hakone
    Ride the famed shinkansen at speeds of up to 180 mph. Arrive in Hakone, one of Japan's most popular inland resort cities.

    Tour of Hakone National Park
    Take a guided tour through one of the country's most-loved parks. See hot springs, lakes, historic sites and up-close views of Mount Fuji. Enjoy the beautiful scenery on a boat cruise of Lake Hakone, and ride a cable car up Mount Komagatake for incredible mountaintop vistas.
  • TOKYO 3 NIGHTS

  • Day 9

    Travel via Kamakura

    Arrive in Tokyo

    Asakusa Kannon Temple

    Travel via Kamakura
    Stop in this small town for a photo op at the Great Image of Buddha. This is the second largest statue of its kind, topping out at more than 37 feet tall.

    Arrive in Tokyo
    Continue on to Japan's capital city, home to 12 million residents. Tokyo is the busy modern heart of the country, and the source of most Japanese pop culture. Like any modern city with a rich history, you can find the more traditional stuff if you look for it.

    Asakusa Kannon Temple
    Dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, the 7th-century Asakusa Kannon Temple is a five-story pagoda surrounded by shops, restaurants, theaters, and cinemas.
  • Day 10

    Sightseeing tour of Tokyo (local guide)

    Free time in Tokyo (day)

    Sightseeing tour of Tokyo (local guide)
    Explore Japan’s largest city with a local guide. Stop at the Imperial Palace Plaza, and visit the Meiji Shinto Shrine, with its elaborate wooded Inner Garden. Then pass through trendy Harajaku, a district popular with young Tokyoites, and continue through the Shopping District.

    Free time in Tokyo (day)
    Top 5 free time suggestions:
    1. Tokyo National Museum – See a huge collection of Japanese art and antiques in the largest and oldest museum in the country.
    2. Shopping in Shibuya – Find the latest trendy and inexpensive fashions.
    3. Ueno Park – This large park, very popular with Japanese families on a day out, has museums, shrines, a zoo, and much more.
    4. NHK Broadcast Museum – Check out this unique museum, featuring high-def broadcast systems, earlier broadcast equipment, and an experience studio.
    5. Sensoji Temple – Visit the city's oldest and most popular temple, which, according to legend, was built to honor the Buddhist goddess of mercy and happiness.

    For more ideas and details, see our Lonely Planet city guide for Tokyo.
  • Day 11

    Optional excursion to Nikko (extra cost)

    Included tempura dinner

    Optional excursion to Nikko (extra cost)
    Travel to Nikko, a scenic national park of rivers, lakes and wooded highlands. Visit the five-story pagoda of Toshugo Shrine—be sure to check out the “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” monkeys. Then see the massive power of the 300-foot Kegon Waterfall, and make your way to the falls’ source—the deep blue waters of Lake Chuzenji. Finally, stop at the Bonsai Garden before returning to Tokyo.

    Included tempura dinner
    Get your fill of the traditional Japanese delicacy. Tempura is seafood and veggies dipped in batter and cooked in vegetable and sesame oil. Don’t be afraid to experiment—it can be anything from shrimp to squid to eggplant to sweet potato.
  • FLIGHT 1 NIGHT

  • Day 12

    Fly home

    Fly home
    It's time to say your goodbyes. Head to the airport for your flight back home.
Japan Express (2014)
Build your trip

Washington DC (BWI, IAD, DCA)
 
Departs
Returns
Alerts
07/01/14
07/12/14
--
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Hotels
  • Travel between cities
  • Welcome Mixer
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Breakfast daily
  • Full-time tour director
  • Sightseeing tours
  • Entrance to select attractions
  • NaraTake a trip to Nara, one of Japan’s ancient capitals. Visit the Todaiji Temple and see the Daibutsu, the world’s largest bronze Buddha. Then walk through the wooded Nara Park, a.k.a. “Deer Park”, where you can mingle with the resident deer population. Just outside the park, you’ll visit Kasuga Shrine, one of the most famous Shinto shrines in the country. Twice a year, some 3,000 lanterns are lit simultaneously at the shrine in celebration of the Lantern Festival.
  • NikkoTravel to Nikko, a scenic national park of rivers, lakes and wooded highlands. Visit the five-story pagoda of Toshugo Shrine—be sure to check out the “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” monkeys. Then see the massive power of the 300-foot Kegon Waterfall, and make your way to the falls’ source—the deep blue waters of Lake Chuzenji. Finally, stop at the Bonsai Garden before returning to Tokyo.
SIGHTS YOU'LL SEE:

Himeji Castle

Istukushima Shrine

Peace Memorial Museum

Inari Taisha Shrine

Kiyomizu Temple

Gold Pavilion

Cruise on Lake Hakone

Mount Komagatake

Asakusa Kannon Temple

Meiji Shinto Shrine

CITY GUIDES

Tokyo