Tokyo, Japan: Historical City with a Modern Skyline
Tokyo is home to an almost endless array of neon boulevards lined with ultramodern buildings, shopping centers, and restaurants. But there’s a historic side to the city as well: a number of museums, temples, and centuries-old gardens can be found within its glittering skyline. On this seven-day, five-night Tokyo vacation from Friendly Planet Travel, you’ll see both sides of the city on guided, self-guided, and optional excursions. The trip includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, a guided tour of Tokyo, a five-night stay at the 4-star Keio Plaza Hotel, airport transfers in Tokyo, and daily breakfast.
For the full itinerary and more details about optional excursions, click here.
Tokyo City Tour
On your first full day in Tokyo, you’ll take a guided city tour that visits some of Tokyo’s most famous sites, including Meiji Shrine and Tokyo Tower, a red-and-white tower that’s modeled after the Eiffel Tower. Next is the Imperial Palace, where the Emperor of Japan currently resides. Visitors are not allowed inside, but you can still wander through the gardens and see the remains of the 15th-century Edo Castle, once home to samurai warriors. Your tour concludes in Ginza, a popular shopping and entertainment district, where you’ll have plenty of time to browse boutiques and grab dinner before making your own way back to the hotel.
The next three days are yours to explore Tokyo at your leisure. The Keio Plaza Hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from the Shinjuku train station, an easier way to get around the city than hiring a sumo wrestler to carry you on piggyback. You can also sign up for optional excursions (extra fees) on days 4, 5, and 6 to learn more about Tokyo and its surrounding areas. All excursions begin and end at your hotel.
Day 4: Take a guided walking tour of Tokyo’s modern Shinjuku neighborhood, a business district home to many skyscrapers. On this excursion, you’ll stop at a stylish shopping center, a Japanese comic-book store, and a karaoke bar.
Day 5: On a full-day tour of Mount Fuji and Hakone, the group drives part of the way up Japan’s iconic volcano to a lookout station with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Hakone is your next stop—a town famous for its natural hot springs. Break for a quick lunch (provided) before taking a scenic sky gondola ride and a cruise on Lake Ashi, with Mount Fuji looming in the background.
Day 6: Today, you can learn more about Japanese history on a tour that visits Hama-Rikyu Garden, a traditional garden from the Edo period, with a boat ride from Hinode Pier to Asakusa and a stop at Asakusa Kannon Temple, which honors the Buddhist deity of mercy and compassion. The group will also stop at a local craft market to pick up souvenirs.