Japan’s Hidden Backstreets

Sample Itinerary
From¥288,000

Price per person for a group of 4 people.

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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.

The tour can be customized to your interest.

Indicated price is for one adult in a twin/double room based on a group of 4 people in a low season for this sample itinerary.  Please contact us for any inquiries.

 

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 / Nightly Dinner plus 4 x Lunches
  • All Transport: As Per Itinerary (Including Bullet Train)
  • All Entrance Fees: As Per Itinerary
  • Luggage Transfer From Tokyo to Kyoto (one item per person)
  • Tokyo – Tsukiji Outer Market Walk
  • Tokyo – Old Tokyo (Ryogoku & Asakusa) Walk
  • Tokyo – Sumida Hokusai Museum Visit
  • Tokyo – Sensoji Temple Visit (Asakusa)
  • Kyoto – Gion & Higashiyama Night Walk
  • Kyoto – Nanzenji Temple Visit
  • Kyoto – Sake Brewery Visit
  • Kyoto - Sake Tasting Experience
  • Kyoto – Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Walk
  • Kyoto – Okochi Sanso Villa Garden Tour (Arashiyama)
  • Osaka – Dotonbori Area Guided Walk
  • Osaka – Dotonbori River Cruise
  • Osaka - Kuromon Market Tour

Not Included

  • International & Domestic Flights
  • Airport Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic Drinks
  • Personal Expenses
  • Gratuities
Highlights
  • This fascinating 6 Day/5 Night journey will help you discover three of the most popular destinations in Japan, each with their own distinctive character, culture, history and food.
  • In Tokyo, explore the lively Tsukiji Outer Market and walk through the old downtown areas of Asakusa and Ryogoku, all while experiencing traditional food including “Tempura”, “Sushi” and “Yakitori". These culinary masterpieces were originally developed as "fast food" during the Edo era right here in Tokyo, but are now well-known and loved by many throughout the world.
  • In Kyoto, immerse yourself in the atmospheric Gion geisha district. Experience Zen culture at the awe-inspiring Nanzenji Temple. Wander at your own pace through the stunning Japanese garden surrounding the Okochi Sanso Villa. Marvel at the beauty of the world famous Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Sample the delights of some of Kyoto's traditional chefs while enjoying the cities signature cuisine, the impossibly beautiful “Kaiseki” dinner. Discover locally brewed Sake which is rarely found outside of Japan. It may very well change your perception of this national drink.
  • In Osaka, mingle with the friendly locals while exploring Osaka’s famous street food and standing bars in the lively Dotonbori and Kuromon Market areas. Relax and enjoy a short boat ride on the Dotonbori River taking in the fabulous food displays and endless illuminations which have helped to make this area unmissable.
  • Share your experience with a group of six or less fellow travellers
  • Wander through a labyrinth of narrow alleyways to soak up the distinctive atmosphere of each city.
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 “Yakitori” restaurant synonymous with downtown Tokyo.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (Tokyo)

Meal

  • “Yakitori” Dinner

Activities

  • Welcome Meeting

Special Information

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting your insurance details 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 ensuring your all important luggage is on its way to Kyoto, we head to the bustling Tsukiji Outer Market. This is the former site of Tokyo’s iconic seafood market,  but today remains an important source of fresh seafood and produce.  A firm favourite among Tokyo’s top restauranteurs.  The various wholesale stalls, retail shops and restaurants lining the narrow alleyways also offer locals and office workers the freshest sushi and sashimi in the whole of Tokyo. 

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 Toyosu market.

After a delicious seafood lunch we will make our way to the historic area of Ryogoku and Asakusa to explore the Tokyo of old. 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 including Monet & Manet.

In the evening we’ll enjoy another famous Japanese cuisine renowned throughout this city and indeed the world, “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 (Ryogoku and Asakusa Neighbourhood)
  • Sumida Hokusai Museum Visit
  • Sensoji Temple visit in Asakusa

Day 3 Tokyo - Kyoto

After a hearty breakfast we’ll 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 but are thinner and pastier than the typical “Okonomiyaki” found in Osaka or Hiroshima.

In the afternoon you can 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 
  • “Monja-yaki” Lunch (Tokyo) 
  • Traditional “Kaiseki” Dinner  (Kyoto)

Activities

  • Bullet Train Ride from Tokyo to Kyoto
  • Gion & Higashiyama Walk (Kyoto)

Day 4Kyoto

Our second day in Kyoto starts directly after breakfast with a visit to one of Japan’s national treasure sites, Nanzenji Temple. Although this grand 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 the respect heaped upon it not only by locals but all Japanese people.

After exploring such a fascinating historical complex, we are having a historic “Yudofu” lunch, originally created by the Buddhist monks from this very special temple. Our next stop is a genuine Japanese Sake Brewery, where we will learn all there is to know about Japan’s national drink. You’ll get to try flavours of sake you may never have experienced before. By the end of our experience, you will be able to find your favourite type of sake, confidently order at a restaurant or bar, or impress your friends by explaining different variations and characters of sake.

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
  • Sake Brewery Visit and Sake Tasting

Day 5Kyoto - Osaka

After a relaxing breakfast it’s time to make our way to one of Kyoto’s  and indeed Japan’s most popular sites.  The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove stands amid thousands of soaring bamboo stalks and is like being in another world.  Although it’s one of the most photographed sights in the city, no picture can capture the feeling of standing in the midst of this sprawling bamboo grove – the whole thing has a palpable sense of otherness that is quite unlike that of any normal forest we know of.

Even more spectacular,  and mostly off the beaten track for most tourists to the area is the beautifully serene Okochi Sanso Villa.  Formerly the estate of the famed film actor Okochi Denjiro (1898-1962), this sublime villa and surrounding gardens are now open to the public and are a perfect example of Japanese architecture and garden design.  After wandering through the various pathways we will enjoy a freshly brewed cup of matcha tea while soaking in the exquisite surroundings. 

Today’s lunch will be delicious hand made soba noodles at one of Arashiyama’s most famous noodle restaurants.

In the afternoon we board our train for the short journey to Osaka.  Japan’s third 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 its people. Together we’ll explore the city’s iconic Dotonbori area by cruising the canal and wandering through a labyrinth of neighbouring alleyways, eventually 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 
  • “Soba Noodle” Lunch (Arashiyama – Kyoto)
  • Dinner at a local Izakaya (Osaka)

Activities

  • Arashiyama Bamboo Forest walk (Arashiyama – Kyoto)
  • Okochi Sanso Villa visit (Arashiyama – Kyoto)
  • Dotonbori district and Kuromon Market walk (Osaka)
  • Dotonbori River Cruise (Osaka) 

Day 6Osaka

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
Map