Japan’s Hidden Backstreets

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Japan’s Hidden Backstreets

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Tokyo – Kyoto – Osaka (6 Days/5 Nights)

Japan has so much to offer.  On this 6 day journey to three of its most acclaimed cities, you’ll get to experience the country at its very best.  Take in the living,  breathing metropolis that is Tokyo.  Enjoy eating , drinking, and talking to the friendly locals in Osaka, before discovering thousands of years of history and culture in the ancient capital of Kyoto.

With your local Tour Manager to point you in all the right directions, and plenty of time to explore the labyrinth of local life,  you’ll experience so much more than just the culture and charm of this fascinating country.

Start

Tokyo

Finish

Osaka

Ages

Min 20 

Group size

Min 2 / Max 6

Included

  • Bi-Lingual Tour Manager: (English/Japanese)
  • Accommodation: 5 x Nights in Western Style Hotels (3-4 Star)
  • Meals: Daily Breakfast & Dinner plus 4 x Lunches
  • All Transport: As Per Itinerary
  • All Entrance Fees: As Per Itinerary
  • Luggage Transfer From Tokyo to Kyoto (one item per person)

Not Included

  • International & Domestic Flights
  • Airport Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic Drinks
  • Personal Expenses
  • Gratuities
Highlights
  • Discover three of the most popular destinations in Japan, each with their own distinctive character, history, culture, and food.
  • Walking tours of vibrant local markets
  • Explore a labyrinth of narrow alleyways to soak up the distinctive atmosphere of each city.
  • Travel on the world famous “Shinkansen” bullet train.
  • “Two Streets Back” tours operate with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 passengers, ensuring you will receive premium attention from your friendly Tour Manager, and access to smaller hotels, sites and eating venues that reflect the true local character of each destination.
  • Centrally located 3-4 star hotels
  • Luggage forwarding service
Gallery
Itinerary

Day 1Tokyo

KONNICHIWA! ……… and Welcome to Japan!

Our adventure begins with the all important “Welcome Meeting”,  conveniently held at your Tokyo hotel from 5:00 pm (JST).   Here you will meet your local Tour Manager and fellow travellers.  Once the formalities are over and everyone is relaxed,  we will all enjoy a delicious “Welcome Dinner” while experiencing the buzz of a genuine “Izakaya” restaurant synonymous with downtown Tokyo.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (Tokyo)

Meal

  • Dinner

Activities

  • Welcome Meeting & Dinner

Special Information

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting your insurance detailsproof of Covid-19 vaccination, and next of kin information at this time.  Please ensure you bring these details with you to the meeting.  If you are going to be late please let your travel agent, hotel reception or your “Two Streets Back” Japan representative know. Please ask the reception staff or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Day 2Tokyo

This morning,  after forwarding your suitcases on to Kyoto, we head to Tsukiji Outer Market. The former site of Tokyo’s iconic seafood market, Tsukiji remains an important source for fresh seafood and produce and is a favourite among Tokyo’s top restauranteurs.  The various wholesale, retail shops and restaurants lining the narrow alleyways offer locals and office workers the freshest sushi and sashimi for lunch,  now a world famous cuisine born right here in Tokyo over 200 years ago. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION The wholesale fish market, previously located at Tsukiji, moved to a new location in Toyosu in late 2018. On this trip we continue to visit the old, atmospheric Tsukiji Outer Market, which still functions as a fresh fish and produce market for the public, but we do not visit the new wholesale market.

After a delicious seafood lunch we will make our way to the historic area of Asakusa to explore old Tokyo. We’ll marvel at the familiar Japanese woodblock prints by world-renowned artist “Hokusai” while visiting the “Sumida Hokusai Museum” in the neighbouring Ryogoku area.  This much loved art form was first created in the Edo era (1603 – 1868), and influenced many Impressionist artists of the time throughout Europe.

In the evening we’ll enjoy another famous Japanese cuisine “Tempura”. This delicious dish was introduced by the Portuguese during the Edo era, and is synonymous with Tokyo and its abundance of fresh seafood and vegetables, elevating it to a culinary art form.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (Tokyo)

Meals

  • Breakfast
  • Sushi Lunch (Tsukiji Outer Market)
  • Tempura Dinner 

Activities

  • Tsukiji Outer Market Walk
  • Old Tokyo Walking Tour (Asakusa Neighbourhood / Sensoji Temple)
  • Sumida Hokusai Museum

Day 3 Tokyo - Kyoto

After a hearty breakfast let’s head to the Tsukishima area famous for Tokyo’s local specialty “Monjayaki”, a delicious savoury pancake packed with various fillings.  These pancakes are a favourite of local Tokyoites and are thinner and pastier than the typical “Okonomiyaki” found in Osaka or Hiroshima.

In the afternoon let’s all unwind onboard the world renowned “Shinkansen” bullet train on our 2.5 hour journey to Kyoto, the ancient Japanese capital from 794 to 1869.   With such a silky smooth ride, it’s almost impossible to believe the scenery is flying by at up to 285km per hour!

After arriving at Kyoto station late in the afternoon,  join your Tour Manager for a stroll around the world-famous Gion “geisha” district.  Explore the stunning Higashiyama area lined with ancient temples while we try to spy an elusive Maiko-san on her way to an appointment in one of the centuries old tea houses dotted along the way. 

Our first day in Kyoto will end with a superb “Kaiseki” dinner, a highly elaborate and beautifully presented course-style meal of seasonal dishes and local ingredients.  This special style of cuisine grew out of 16th-century Buddhist tea ceremonies before being introduced to the Emperor’s court right here in Kyoto.  The presentation of each dish is truly spectacular, offering a very unique Kyoto experience.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (Kyoto)

 Meal

  • Breakfast 
  • Lunch (“Tokyo Monjayaki”) 
  • Traditional “Kaiseki” Dinner 

Activities

  • Bullet Train Ride to Kyoto
  • Kyoto Gion & Higashiyama Walk

Day 4Kyoto

Our second day in Kyoto starts directly after breakfast with a visit to the World Heritage listed Nanzenji Temple. Although the temple may not be on every foreign visitors itinerary, it is ranked the highest among all Zen temples in Japan.  With its impressive “samon” gate,  brick aqueduct,  and stunning zen garden, it truly deserves all the respect heaped upon it not only by locals but all Japanese people.

As a treat, today we will indulge in a  “Yudofu” vegetarian lunch,  originally created by the Buddhist monks from this very special temple. 

After our historic lunch, the afternoon is free for you to explore more of Kyoto, tick off some souvenir shopping,  or simply wander through the many shrines & temples at your own pace.  Of course your Tour Manager is there to give you helpful tips or destination advice as required.

Dinner tonight is all about relaxing.  Kyoto’s casual home style dining is commonly known as “Obanzai”, and is a great way to mix with the locals, sample some delicious Japanese home cooking in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (Kyoto)

Meal

  • Breakfast 
  • Traditional “Yudofu” Lunch
  • “Obanzai” Style Dinner 

Activities

  • Nanzenji Temple Visit
  • Free Time (Afternoon)

Day 5Kyoto - Osaka

After breakfast it’s time to check out of our hotel and make our way to a local Buddhist temple. Here we will have the rare opportunity to experience Zazen Meditation and learn all about its philosophy.

After we are totally relaxed and at peace with the world, let’s mix things up by attending a Sake class complete with matching food for our lunch. You will be amazed at the diversity of Japanese sake and the close relationship it has with different types of food.

In the afternoon we board our train for the short journey to Osaka.  Japan’s second largest city is a world away from the traditions of Kyoto.  This mega-city’s greatest charm is its down-to-earth attitude and the welcoming spirit of it’s people. Together we’ll explore the city’s iconic Dotonbori area by cruising the canal and wandering through a labyrinth of neighbouring alleyways, and tasting some of the street food Osaka is universally famous for.

In the evening, let’s celebrate the end of our adventure over dinner at a local Izakaya.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (Osaka) 

Meal

  • Breakfast 
  • Lunch (Sake Tasting With Matching Food ) 
  • “Izakaya” Dinner (Osaka)

Activities

  • Zen Meditation Session
  • Sake Tasting Class
  • Osaka River Cruise
  • Osaka City Walk 

DAY6Osaka

There are no activities planned for today, and you can depart the hotel at any time. Check out time is 10am, however if you’re departing later, we are happy to arrange luggage storage for you at the hotel. Your Tour Manager will be delighted to help plan your post-tour itinerary or advise you on your onward journey.

SAYONARA! ……. and safe travels.  Thank you for choosing to spend some of your vacation time with us, we truly hope you enjoy the remainder of your time in Japan, and look forward to welcoming you again when next you visit our country.

Meal

  • Breakfast (Osaka)
Map