This itinerary is preliminary and subject to change.

Day One

Sunday, October 15
Bound for Tokyo, we depart Dulles Airport aboard All Nippon Airways.


Day Two

Monday, October 16
We cross the International Date Line, arrive in Tokyo, and then travel by coach to our hotel in Tokyo. (D)


Day Three

Tuesday, October 17
Our day in Tokyo begins with two beautiful landscape gardens: Rikugi-en Garden and Koishikawa Korakuen Garden. Their serene natural beauty sets them apart. We next visit Hamarikyu Garden, another landscape garden located at the mouth of the Sumida River on Tokyo Bay. Our last visit of the day is Asakusa Kannonji Temple located near Nakamise shopping arcade. Lodging: Tokyo (B)


Day Four

Wednesday, October 18
Today is our day to experience traditional Japanese culture as we visit the bonsai museum and take part in Japanese flower arranging (Ikebana) along with a traditional tea ceremony.  After lunch we visit Ueno Park for museums and shopping. Lodging: Tokyo (B)


Day Five

Thursday, October 19
Our coach takes us on an excursion out of Tokyo into the hills to Nikko to see Toshogu Shrine, a lavishly decorated complex consisting of more than a dozen buildings set in a beautiful forest. Countless woodcarvings and extensive use of gold leaf decorate the buildings in a way not seen elsewhere in Japan. In Mito, we visit Kairaku en Park, ranked among Japan’s three finest landscape gardens. Lodging: Tokyo (B)

Day Six

Friday, October 20
This morning we drive to Kamakura, a fishing village girded on 3 sides by steep wooded hills. It was the seat of Japan’s first military government in the 12th century. There we see the phenomenal Great Buddha at Kotokuin Temple and the nearby Tsuruoka Hatimangu Shrine. Our lodging this evening is in a traditional Ryokan with Onsen in Hakone. (B)(D)


Day Seven

Saturday, October 21
In Hakone we visit the spectacular Open Air Museum, drive through the Owakudani Valley, and then take a boat cruise on Lake Ashi with its view of Mount Fuji. Departing Hakone, we travel to Kyoto by Bullet Train. Lodging: Kyoto. (B)(D)


Day Eight

Sunday, October 22
Our first day in Kyoto is filled with the wonderful gardens of the Golden Pavilion, Ryoanji Temple, followed by the Heian Shrine, and the Nijo Castle. It’s a full day of classic Japanese gardens. Lodging: Kyoto (B)


Day Nine

Monday, October 23
To begin the day, we visit Kiyomizu Temple, soaring high above Kyoto, Hakusasonso Villa (a small, intricate residential garden), and the Silver Pavilion Garden.  Lodging: Kyoto (B)


Day Ten

Tuesday, October 24
The city of Nara is our destination today where we visit Todaiji Temple (featuring the world’s largest wooden building), Kasuga Shrine, and the nearby Deer Park where deer roam freely. We also have a special visit to Isuien Garden, a beautiful stroll garden that features a museum devoted to traditional Japanese ceramics Lodging: Kyoto (B)


Day Eleven

Wednesday, October 25
Our morning begins with the famous Moss Garden, followed by a special afternoon performance at the world famous Kabuki Theater in the Gion District of Kyoto.  Lodging:  Kyoto (B)


Day Twelve

Wednesday, October 26
The entire day is free to explore and enjoy Kyoto on your own. This incredible city is considered to be the cleanest and safest in the world. This evening we have a farewell dinner together.  Lodging: Kyoto (B)(D)

Day Thirteen

Thursday, October 27
We say goodbye to Japan as we drive to Narita Airport to catch our return flight to Dulles, arriving around 11 in the morning. (B)

(B) = American breakfast
(D) = Dinner