Arrive on Day two in Tokyo, the vibrant capital city of Japan. Known as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is a country where the past meets the future. We are arriving one day before the tour begins to rest or explore on your own. Day three is at leisure until you join your fellow travelers at a festive welcome dinner. Day four begin the day with a magnificent view of the city from above at Tokyo Tower, the iconic symbol of Tokyo. Next, enjoy a morning stroll through the outside grounds of the Imperial Palace, the Kokyo Gaien National Gardens, and see the Niju Bridge and Sakurada Gate, the well-known symbols of the Imperial Palace. Later, amid a lush forest outside of Tokyo, visit the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Day five explore Asakusa, Tokyo’s oldest Geisha district. Visit the famous Buddhist temple, Senso-ji, the colorful temple famous for the red chochin (Lantern) hanging at the entrance gate. Experience the long standing tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony, dating back to the 15th century. During leisure time, explore the Nakamise Shopping Arcade and fee the energy of the oldest shopping street in Japan. Day six journey to the lakeside resort of Hakone, renowned for its hot springs. In the shadow of Mt. Fuji (UNESCO), this scenic town hugs the shorelines of Lake Ashi. Make a stop at Owakudani, located in an active volcanic zone. Climb aboard the Hakone Ropeway, an aerial cable car, descending from Owakundani for a breathtaking view (weather permitting) of Mt. Fuji. Next, cruise the deep-blue waters of Lake Ashi where you’ll see views of the local mountains before stopping in the charming town of Moto-Hakone. Day seven begins at Matsumoto Castle, known as the “Crow Castle” because of its striking black exterior. Enjoy the local cuisine as we stop for lunch at a Soba noodle shop. Later, in Takayama,, visit one of Japan’s 200 year-old sake breweries. Afterward, experience a true Japanese epicurean treat – traditional rice wine paired with a special Hida beef dinner. Day eight enjoy a walk through Takayama’s historic district. See the 19th-century Jinya government building. Stroll through the morning market along the Miyagawa River, a 600-year-old open-air market with locally grown and produced products. The afternoon is at leisure. Day nine visit Shirakawa-go. Hidden away in the mountain, this village is famous for its gassho-zukuri style houses – thatched rooftops designed to resemble two hands joined in prayer. Journey to Kanazawa, the origin of gold leaf making since the 16th century. Visit the Samurai district where you’ll enter the former home of the Nomuras, a wealthy samurai family who served the ruling Maeda family. Then, travel to the Geisha quarters of Kanazawa, the Higashi Tea district. Day ten More than 25 acres of beauty awaits you today at Kenroku-En – Garden of Six Qualities. Next, a hands-on lesson in the ancient craft of gold leaf making awaits you as you decorate your own lacquer box at Kanazawa Katani! The afternoon is at leisure. Day eleven Kyoto awaits! The former Imperial capital of Japan is now one of the nation’s top cosmopolitan cities. Visit Kinkakuji (UNESCO), the Golden Pavilion, a zen temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Then, stroll through the Gion district where you may spot women in traditional dress along the narrow lanes of teahouses. Day twelve board the Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima. Upon arrival, board a ferry for the short trip to Miyajima Island where the iconic Torii Gate and the Itsukushima Shrine appear to float on water. After lunch, head into Hiroshima City to visit the Peace Memorial Park, and pause to see the ruined Atomic Dome (UNESCO). Later, return to Kyoto by the Shinkansen bullet train. Day thirteen explore Fushimi Inari Taisha four a tour of the most revered shrine of Inari. Move on to the home of the first Shogun, Nijo Castle (UNESCO), and see intricate woodcarvings, wall paintings, and the Ninomaru Garden. Next, visit Marumasu Nishumuraya for a lesson in the art of stenciling at a traditional Kyoto townhouse. Day fourteen spend time relaxing or explore Kyoto on your own. Tonight enjoy a special kaiseki farewell dinner and Geisha show. Day fifteen the tour ends and you head home with incredible memories.