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Independent Treasures of Japan

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
11 days From $6,419 per person

Eleven days of temples, architectural wonders and stories that span the ages lie ahead on this locally-hosted Japan rail vacation.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2024 Tour code: MG-BJOS-24

About the tour

Japan is a place unlike any other; a country of contrasts, where centuries of tradition seamlessly collide with modern innovation and great adventures sit aside peace and tranquility. Your time is spread between four exciting destinations-Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima-each with its own stories to tell. This carefully curated rail expedition includes an enticing mixture of guided touring and leisure time, the combination of which offers a total immersion into the local culture. Ultra-modern Tokyo sets the tone for your vacation. Venture to important landmarks, some of which are more than 400 years old, aboard the city's highly efficient subway system. From Tokyo, travel at speeds of up to 199 miles per hour aboard the Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. The former capital of Japan is absolutely stunning with its shrines, temples, and traditional houses. A guided tour explores all these elements and ventures to the famous Geisha district, where even today, you may catch a glimpse of these beautiful women in traditional attire. Osaka offers yet another glimpse at Japan's juxtapositions with its booming entertainment district, brimming with street food, and its ancient castle and Edo-period farmhouses. An expert-led tour introduces both sides of this dynamic city. A high-speed bullet train takes you to your final destination, Hiroshima. Presenting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, time-honored landmarks related to WWII, Hiroshima has much to offer its visitors. Few places compare to the timeless beauty and rich culture of Japan.


What’s included


Day 1 - Arrive in Tokyo

Welcome to Japan! Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2 - Tokyo

Today, hop on Tokyo's subway system for a private guided sightseeing tour of the city. First, stop at Meiji Shrine, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest.  You'll also stop at Shinjuku Gyoen Garden which dates back to the early 1600s. Lastly, visit bustling Nakamise shopping arcade and Asakusa Kannon Temple, the oldest of their kind in Tokyo. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

NOTE:  Shinjuku Gyoen Garden is closed on Mondays and some holidays. In these instances, Koishikawa Gardens will be visited.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 - Tokyo

Today, enjoy a full day at your leisure. Your Local Host will have suggestions.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Bullet train to Kyoto

Today, transfer to the train station and board your bullet train to historic Kyoto, former capital of Japan. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Kyoto

This morning, your private guided sightseeing tour starts at stunning Kinkakuji, Temple of the Gold Pavillion, covered with shimmering gold leaf. You also have the chance to tour the Samurai and Ninja Museum for a hands-on history lesson of Japan's famous warriors, including the armor, weapons, and swords from the Medieval era. Next, take a walking tour through Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district, which is also known for its high concentration of machiya-style merchant houses. Continue on to Sanjusangendo Temple, famous for 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Flanking the main statue are 1,000 life-sized statues, covered in gold leaf, with 40 arms said to have the power to save 25 worlds. Finish with a visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for the thousands of brightly colored Torii Gates.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Kyoto

A full day at leisure to explore more of Kyoto's historic temples and shrines.

  • Breakfast
Day 7 - To Hiroshima

Today, travel by shinkansen (bullet train) to Hiroshima. Upon arrival, visit Shukkei-en Garden, where natural landscapes are represented in miniature form. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Hiroshima

Start your private guided sightseeing at Peace Memorial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the Memorial Museum and Memorial Hall, which commemorate the lives lost in the WWII atomic bombing. Later, travel to Miyajima Island to visit Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its floating Torii Gate.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 - To Osaka

Today, board one of Japan's famous Bullet Trains bound for Osaka.  Your sightseeing tour starts at the Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farm Houses, where traditional thatched-roof farmhouses dating from the Edo Period have been restored. See the old architecture and be transported back in time. Next, visit Osaka Castle and take a walking tour in Dotonbori, the city's most famous entertainment district. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Perhaps return to Dotonbori this evening to sample some local cuisine and see the sparkling neon lights.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 10 - Osaka

Enjoy a full day at your leisure.

  • Breakfast
Day 11 - Tour Conclusion

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Bullet Trains