Your dream vacation is just around the corner with a custom iterneary!

The sea of Japan with a temple gate in the distance

Lynette and Jesse’s Japan Getaway

Friday, Nov 17

Depart from Houston

Saturday, Nov 18

In Toyko

Upon your arrival into Narita, you will have a shared transfer from the airport to your hotel in Tokyo. The transfer allows you to have 1 checked suitcase and 1 carry-on bag.

Park Hotel – King Bed
Check-in: Nov 18 Check out: Nov 21

Featuring stunning views of Tokyo and a convenient location just steps from Shiodome subway station, Park Hotel Tokyo offers stylish accommodations with large picture windows.Park Hotel Tokyo is only a 10-minute walk to Hamarikyu Gardens. Shinbashi Train Station is 950 feet away, and Tsukiji Fish Market and the Ginza shopping area are both just a 5-minute taxi ride from the hotel.

Notes for Tokyo:

  • Asakusa Sensoji Temple – Asakusa is attached to Nakamise. You can’t miss it!
  • Tokyo Sky Tree – Must do! It is near Asakusa. There is a fast track line for tourists, there is lots of great food and shopping.
  • Don Quijote is a discount chain store
  • Ramen is a chain all over Tokyo
  • Tokyo Station has lots of shopping. There is no Tokyu Hands. Tokyu Hands is a fantastic department store and the best one is in Shibuya.
  • Kappabashi-dori is a good spot between Asakusa and Ueno. Ueno has a nice little park and zoo.
  • Abkiba station is awesome. Recommend checking out the Yodabshi Camera in the station and their food court is phenomenal on the 2nd to top floor. The top floor is a putting range.
  • Tokudaji Temple is an OK temple to visit near Kapabashi.
  • Robot Restaurant – a must do! Get reservations in advance.
  • Diver City – is actually Odaiba – Daiba. The main attraction is a mall with a Gundam. They also have a hot spring theme park that is pretty neat if you are down with public bathing and great views of the city at night.
  • Tsukiji Fish Market – This is a must visit. It opens early. Get an egg on a stick from a vendor and head to any restaurant for fantastic tuna
  • Yoyogi Park – Between Harajuki and Shibuya (lots of cosplayers and people picnicking)

Notes for Yokohama

  • There are 2 Ramen Museums.
    • Shinyokomama (not in Yokohama) which is a gathering of a bunch of different types of ramen.
    • Cup Noodle Museum- In downtown Yokohama, where you can make your own instant ramen. Need to get tickets in Advance or be prepared to wait and wander around.

Sunday, Nov 19

Enjoy Tokyo on your own:

Build your itinerary around the neighborhoods you visit- Check out all things near Shibuya one day, Asakusa another day. Imagine it like New York City. Each neighborhood has its own personality.

Monday, Nov 20

Enjoy Tokyo on your own

Tuesday, Nov 21

On to Hakone!

Gora Sounkaku
Check-in: Nov 21 Check out: Nov 22

Gora Hanaougi Sounkaku is just a 2-minute walk from Sounzan Train Station. This non-smoking property provides public baths, an onsen (hot-spring bath) and Japanese-style rooms. The hotel is only 1.9 miles from the Hakone Open-Air Museum and about 6.5 miles from Hakone Jinja Shrine.

  • Hanaougi Sounkaku allows guests a choice of either an indoor or outdoor public bath, with separate baths for men and women. An open-air hot spring bath offers scenic views of the natural surroundings.
  • A Japanese set menu is available for breakfast, while a kaiseki meal (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner) is served in the dining room in the evening.

Notes for Hakone:

  • Hakone, one of Japan’s most famous hot spring (onsen) areas and rich in unspoiled nature, is within easy traveling distance of Tokyo.
  • The Hakone Freepass is a discount excursion ticket offering full coverage of the popular sightseeing destinations in Hakone. It allows you to get on and off freely within a specified area, as well as providing discount admission to various attractions in the area, and also includes return transportation on the Odakyu Line. Validity is for 2 or 3 days. With Hakone Freepass, you can also ride on 8 different types of transport in the area, such as the Hakone Tozan Line and the Hakone Ropeway, allowing you the freedom to thoroughly explore Hakone. Enjoy your trip to Hakone with the convenient and economical Hakone Freepass.
  • With the Freepass, you can also ride on 8 different types of transport in the area, such as the Hakone Tozan Line and the Hakone Ropeway, allowing you the freedom to thoroughly explore Hakone.

Wednesday, Nov 22

To Kyoto!

A temple on a mountainside in KyotoYou need to take the bullet train to Kyoto and make your way to your hotel, via taxi

Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa – Superior Room
Check-in: Nov 22 Check out: Nov 25

Notes for Kyoto:

  • This city of culture and former capital was the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868 and offers a plethora of temples, shrines, and other historically priceless structures.
  • Nishiki Market – closes at 5 pm
  • Fushimi Inari – The best shrine, get there before 10 am to avoid tourists.
  • Kimono Forest – In Arashiyama, west of Kyoto (known for bamboo forests and wild monkeys
  • Kinkakuji Golden Temple – Very cool temple, recommend seeing
  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple – Must see temple
  • Yamazaki Distillery – must purchase tickets in advance, tickets open up approximately 3 months in advance and you pay at the distillery
  • Capsule Hotels – Not really worth visiting unless you needed a room in a pinch.

Suggested Tours:

Best Day Ever – Kyoto Cycling Tour

  • Take a serene spin down the Path of Philosophy in historic Kyoto
  • Duration of tour: 3 hours
  • Includes: English speaking guide, bicycle, helmet
  • Total cost for 2 passengers – $226.50

The Tour

Discover the real Kyoto while cruising the streets of Japan’s cultural capital. Make like the locals and jump on a bike to discover it all. Start the day cycling along the Kamo River, taking in the views of the city’s downtown. Call by the Heian-Jingu Shrine, built in 1894 to commemorate the 1,100 anniversary of the foundation of the capital. Next, weave along the quaint canals to reach the impressive Nanzenji Temple. Admire the temple’s spacious grounds and gardens, with the Higashiyama Mountains as their impressive backdrop. This is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan. Cycle down the most popular walking path in Kyoto, the Path of Philosophy, shaded by hundreds of cherry trees. It’s also a great place to contemplate the tranquillity and beauty of the area. Cycle back towards Kyoto Station, stopping by the World Heritage listed Shimogamo Shrine en route to see its unique forested setting that was preserved during the modernization of the city.

Please note:

Please note that this tour covers about 15 kilometers by bicycle, and can be quite strenuous for travelers who are not used to cycling. We recommend this tour for guests who have at least a medium level of fitness. If you have your voucher then your tour is confirmed. If you need to contact us for any reason please telephone 81 (0)80-3550-8449 between 10:00 – 18:00. Please present your voucher to the local guide at the beginning of the tour. The tour terminates at Kyoto Station.

Nara Afternoon Excursion

  • This afternoon tour includes a visit to the Todaiji Temple, the Peaceful Deer Park, and the Kasuga Shrine.
  • Duration of tour: 5 hours 30 mins
  • Air-conditioned vehicles
  • Includes Transportation, Guide Service, entrance to Todaiji Temple, Deer Park and Kasuga Shrine.
  • Total cost for 2 passengers – $229.50

The Tour

This tour takes us to visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building, which houses a colossal image of Buddha. Next, we visit the Peaceful Deer Park, where many tame deer roam the grounds. Then the tour will proceed to the vermillion-hued Kasuga Shrine with its thousands of lanterns. Before going back to Kyoto, we will stop at Nara Nagomikan(souvenir shop).

Please note:

At Kasuga shrine, the tour does not include entrance to areas requiring admission. The tour may not visit Nara Nagomikan if it is closed or due to traffic conditions. One child five years of age or younger can join the tour in the company of an adult but will receive no services such as seats on transfer. If you choose AVANTI Sunrise Tour Desk as your meeting point, Please go to JR Kyoto Station and first find JR Hachijo East Exit at 1F and walk to the east side and go down to B1 Floor, then you can find Sunrise Tour Desk at AVANTI shopping store.

 Uji Walking and Tea Ceremony Tour

  • Walk around scenic Uji Bridge and visit world heritage site, Byodo-in Temple. Experience a tea ceremony in the famous tea town of Uji.
  • Duration of tour: 4 hours 25 mins
  • Air-conditioned vehicles
  • Includes English-speaking guide, other admission fees and transportation costs included in the tour. No drop-off service
  • No drop-off service
  • Total cost for two passengers: $276.00 

The Tour

Meet the guide at New Miyako Hotel lobby and walk to Kyoto Station, and take the train to Uji Station. Stroll along Ujibashi Bridge, Nakanoshima Park, enjoy 20-minutes tea ceremony at Taiho-an, and pay a visit to Byodo-in Temple, then finally walk to Uji Station and return to Kyoto Train, disbanding the tour.

Please note:

The Phoenix Hall at Byodo-in Temple may not be entered due to congestion, in which case JPY 300 will be refunded to participants on the day. Public transportation will be used. Seating may not be available.Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes as this tour will be on foot. It may not be possible to visit Nakanoshima Park due to river congestion.

Thursday, Nov 23 

Enjoy Kyoto On your own
Kyoto red gate

Friday, Nov 24

Enjoy Kyoto on your own
A statue covered in moss in Kyoto

Saturday, Nov 25

To Osaka!

The port of OsakaTrain from Kyoto to Osaka – taxi to hotel

New Otani Hotel – Superior Room
Check-in: Nov. 25 Check out: Nov 27

Located right in front of Osaka Castle, the Hotel New Otani has spacious rooms and 13 dining options. Hotel New Otani Osaka is a 5-minute walk from Osaka Business Park subway station and a 10-minute walk from Kyobashi Station. Osaka Station is a mere 10-minute train ride away, and Kyoto and Nara can also be reached within 1 hour by train. The hotel is about a 75-minute train ride from Kansai International Airport and a 1-hour train ride from Itami Airport.

Osaka Notes:

  • Famous for its local cuisine, the 16th-century castle, bustling port, aquarium, underground shopping arcades, the oldest state temple in Japan, and its popular Universal Studios attraction.
  • Sumo – May have better luck in Tokyo – Nov tournament might be happening. You buy seats and are there ALL DAY.
  • Tsutenkaku Tower – If you are not tired of observation decks and shopping, you can certainly visit here. It is next to a park/zoo. I would recommend visiting Osaka Castle instead

Sunday, Nov 26

Enjoy Osaka on your ownOsaka Castle

Monday, Nov 27

To Hiroshima

Hiroshima with cherry blossomsTrain to Hiroshima, then a taxi to Sheraton Hiroshima

Sheraton Hiroshima
Check-in: Nov 27 – Check out: Nov 30

Sheraton Hiroshima Hotel is conveniently located in the city next to JR Hiroshima Station, with direct access to the bullet train and bus terminals. You`ll be in the middle of the energy and excitement of Hiroshima, along with its historic sites and architecture. Hiroshima Airport (HIJ) is located approximately 31 miles east of the city.

Hiroshima Notes:

  • The Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park are located next to each other.
  • Miyajima Island is a bit far off but a great place to see nature.

Suggested tours:

Sandankyo Valley Guided Day Tour from Hiroshima

  • Enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Private guide for a more personalized experience
  • Perfect for all ages and skill level
  • Total cost for 2 passengers: – $615.42

Make the most of your time in Hiroshima and enjoy nature at its best on this 9-hour guided tour. In a group of no more than six, travel by bus to the Sandankyo Valley, famed for its 8-mile-long (13-kilometer) ravine, which many claim is the most picturesque in Japan. Get off the beaten track in this peaceful valley; take a boat out on the water, stroll along the promenade and admire its five waterfalls and seasonally changing landscape.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima Island Tour from Hiroshima

  • Explore World Heritage sites in Hiroshima and Miyajima in one day! Miyajima is famous for its Itsukushima Jinja Shrine. Its red torii gate appears to be standing in the sea during high tide.
  • Walk through the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to promoting peace around the world.
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Comprehensive tour of the city
  • All entrance fees included
  • Travel by boat and see the sights from the water
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Total cost for 2 passengers – $285.20

The Tour

Miyajima (literally ‘shrine island’) has been celebrated as a sacred island and one of Japan’s three most scenic views. It is most famous for Itsukushima Shrine, which, together with its large wooden torii (gate), stands in the ocean during high tide. Deer move around the island freely, and so do monkeys on top of Misen, the island’s highest mountain.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was built to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and to promote a peaceful world. It is located in the area around the atomic explosion’s epicenter and houses the Peace Memorial Museum and many other related monuments.

The Peace Memorial Museum graphically displays the atomic bomb’s horrible effects on the city and its inhabitants. A visit is naturally depressing. In the museum’s east building, Hiroshima’s militarist past and the process leading to the dropping of the bomb are documented. Audio guides are available in more than a dozen languages.

The Atomic Bomb Dome is one of the few buildings around the explosion’s epicenter that partially survived the blast, and the city’s only remaining bomb damaged building.

Between the museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome stands the Memorial Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims. It contains a list of all the people who were killed by the explosion or died due to the bombing’s long-term effects such as cancer caused by radiation. The Statue of the A-Bomb Children and the Cenotaph for Korean Victims are some of many more monuments found in the park.

Tuesday, Nov 28

Enjoy Hiroshima on your own
Hiroshima dome

Wednesday, Nov 29

Enjoy Hiroshima on your own
Rainbow cranes at Hiroshima

Thursday, Nov 30

To Toyko

The Toyko skyline with the rainbow bridgeTrain to Toyko, taxi to  Park Hotel

Friday, Dec 1

To Houston

The skyline of Houston on a sunny dayTake the hotel transfer to the airport

Other notes:

  • It is considered rude to eat and drink while walking in Japan. You will get dirty looks if you do it.
  • Japan is a cash country. Bring at least $500 USD converted to yen. The 7/11’s will have American ATMs.
  • You can rent a WIFI hotspot at
  • Add everything you want to see to Google Maps so you can hit up more things in one area.
  • Get a suica card for the subways. Preload money and wave at the gate and use google maps or apple maps to navigate the subways