The Kansai Region (West Japan) was the political center of Japan in its early days (c. 300–1600), and now it has become a travel destination where you can see many well-preserved historical and cultural sites. We have combined this main element with many astonishing views of natural sights and tasty foods to enrich your journey.
Follow this itinerary and you won't feel bored in Kansai. Whether you enjoy natural scenery of the mountains and sea, the busy streets of Osaka, the storytelling history of Kyoto, or the different traditional Japanese building styles of Ine fishing village and Miyama's thatched village, there's something for everyone!
This is an ideal tour for first-time visitors and families. Sign up for your favorite part of the tour or simply treat the whole tour as inspiration, designing each element specially for you.
Merge yourself into the vibrant streets of Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi.
Step up onto Rokko Mountain and reward yourself with fresh air and a panorama of Kobe.
Taste the best-known Japanese beef — Kobe Wagyu, and a challenging delicacy — pufferfish.
Wander between different traditional and local building styles.
Cruise across Ine Bay, watch the seagulls, and be careful of the eagles!
Take a cable car up to Kasamatsu Park for the astonishing view of Amanohashidate — a stunning sandbar across a bay.
Experience a Japanese Tea Ceremony and have a short hike in Gion, Kyoto's old entertainment district.
Enjoy the local cultural highlights of Kyoto.
Enter the Japanese Buddhism universe at Koyasan.
Discover the coastline of Shirahama — try a glass-bottom boat cruise and/or its hot springs.
98.8% Positive Customer reviews among 10,000+
Sharon has been very helpful since the…
Sharon has been very helpful since the beginning coordinating our itinerary in order to accommodate everything we want to see, it been great working with herMore
May, Jul 2023
When I first book I was scared of what…
When I first book I was scared of what to expect, but oh my God! What an amazing experience this has been, from Sharon to all the guides Shawn and Mr. Ho, such amazing people! Their work is excellentMore
Saul Velez, Jul 2023
Albee was very helpful and responsive…
Albee was very helpful and responsive in helping me make plans for their 10 day Japanese tour.More
Bhavini Patel, Jul 2023
Alisa was a perfect tour consultant
Alisa responded to my numerous questions with efficiency and accuracy. She was constantly suggesting options to make the trip more enjoyableMore
Matha Goram, Jul 2023
I highly Recommend Asia Highlights
For our first guide Jun, he was amazing. Very accommodating. Kept in good communication & kept us on time for our activities. Reached out to me the night before to confirm meet times and locations. Our driver for this time was also so kind & driver was always on time. For our second Guide , Ho. He went above and beyond. He stayed in great communication. Stayed later with us on one of the days because we were worried about riding the train back alone but wanted to visit at the shopping center a littler longer, so he stayed with us and made sure we got off on the right stop! During our time with him he took pictures of us and sent them to us! He was very knowledgeable about every place we visited. He was kind and patient with our large group. He made our trip easy & memorable. The driver we had for this timeframe was also kind & always on time! We felt a bond with both guides given to us! If you want an easy going, stress free trip book with “Asia Highlights”!!!More
Jessalynn Flores, Jul 2023
Working to put together a custom trip…
Working to put together a custom trip with Alissa has been a great experienceMore
Marc, Jul 2023
Wonderful Service from Sharon!
Sharon at Asia Highlights has been a HUGE help in planning our trip to Japan later this year. From her initial contact to finalization of the plan, she has been very responsive, professional, patient, and knowledgeable. She was able to quickly propose an amazing itinerary and helped us customize it for our interests. She also made many great recommendations and gave us tips for the trip. I wasn’t familiar with Asia Highlights before I reached out, but after Sharon’s wonderful service, I have full confidence in them. I can’t wait for the trip and I hope it’s as awesome as Sharon’s service!!!More
Ali Tahir, Jul 2023
We had a wonderful time in Japan with guides Moni and Kazuko and with Jan in Singapore. Will always remember this trip!More
Happy Customer, Jun 2023
Just got to say
Just got to say, Monica was great in every way! So sweet and helpful with planning, itineraries, answering questions… would love to meet her in person! Thank you Monica!More
Teri, Jun 2023
Monica is fantastic
Monica is fantastic. She understood our needs, was very responsive and planned a perfect vacation for us. Highly recommend.More
Philip Sheldon, Jun 2023
Me and my son are traveling to Japan
Me and my son are traveling to Japan. Albee is magnificent. Extremely efficient, helpful, trustworthy. I am very happy she is helping us with my son's dreaming trip.More
Ana Letícia Urbanin, Jun 2023
A great way to plan a dream vacation
Due to circumstances, we had to delay our trip to Japan so this review is only about the process of designing the trip. Albee was always available, responsive to our goals, and competent. Based on how involved he was with our family trip, we know we will be back next year and resuming the plan he built. Really impressed with the quality and extent of resources we found through Albee and KimKim.More
KC, May 2023
Yeliz - Asia Highlights
Yeliz was extremely helpful and patient during our Japan trip planning and answered all my various questions. Really looking forward to our upcoming trip to Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Osaka!More
Cyndie, May 2023
Sharon’s was very patient and helpful…
Sharon’s was very patient and helpful when navigating me through the trip planning process. She helped me plan a very exciting and extravagant trip.More
Jonny Abad, May 2023
Wonderful 10 day trip in Japan!!!
Well planned trip by Alisa . Everything was well scheduled, guides and drivers were excellent!! The cars were extremely comfortable and the hotel she chose for us was beautiful!! Enjoyed planning with her she was very professional and always offered other choices.More
Lianne Stone, May 2023
11 days trip to Japan
I am planning my trip to Japan in November with Sharon's help and she has provided amazing customer service.She is very responsive and put together very quickly an incredible plan for 11 days in Japan. She provided recommendations and made changes based on our interests and budget. She also provided information about visa restrictions and the best way to get tickets for transportation services. Thanks so much Sharon, looking forward to this trip!More
LE, May 2023
Hi Cathy! I just want to thank you for making our Japan trip so much fun & memorable! We loved everything that you had scheduled for us! All the guides and drivers were great & punctual! We love Japan so much that we’re planning to go back next year to different part of Japan! We’ll definitely contact Asia Highlights for our trip again! SereneMore
Serene Storslett, May 2023
Quick, easy and detailed service
Alisa was our advisor from Asia highlights and she prepared for us a wonderful 28 day trip to Japan, taking into consideration our needs and desire not to be traveling everyday and to have a mixture of slow and busy days. We've not yet taken our trip, but very much looking forward to it Thank you Alisa for the quick response and wonderful itineraryMore
Lynette Whittle, Apr 2023
Sharon Huang did an excellent job in planningour 15 day Cherry Blossom Japan tour. Shewas available during our trip to answer our questions and readily agreed to the itinerary changes.Everything was arranged - accommodation,breakfast, guide, car, entrance fees and train tickets. The guides were knowledgeable, and managed the tour very efficiently. The drivers were punctual and very patient. We visited must see places in and near Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. We also got to experience Japanese Tea ceremony, Sushi making, Sake tasting, shopping etc.We highly recommend Asia Highlights for your travel needs.More
Madhu, Apr 2023
I organized a trip to Japan for my
I organized a trip to Japan for my parents who don’t speak English and Alisa was so amazing helping make an itinerary for them. They needed a Spanish guide and she coordinated everything so they wouldn’t have any trouble when they got there. She was so patient changing and adjusting the itinerary to their needs and wants, it’s been a total pleasure working with her and she always responds promptly to any question I have. I definitely recommend this company and if you can ask to work with Alisa.More
Luisa, Apr 2023
Itinerary in Detail
We arrange plenty of cultural activities to help create memorable experiences along the way. We also take time to admire the nature, and enjoy great foods. Of course, all of them are adjustable according to your ideas!
Welcome to Osaka — a charming, relaxed city, best known for its food and culture!
Arrive in Kansai International Airport (KIX) and travel to your hotel by private transfer. Catch the night atmosphere of Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Shopping Street and sample various local delicacies, if there is time available after arrival.
Witness the best of Kobe and taste its world-famous Wagyu beef and seafood:
- Step onto Akashi Strait Bridge, the suspension bridge across the Akashi Strait in west-central Japan. It was the world's longest suspension bridge when it opened on April 5, 1998.
- Have a walk on the Maiko Marine Promenade — suspended 47 meters above the sea, it has a total length of 317 meters overlooking the Akashi Strait.
- Visit the Awaji Yumebutai hillside complex that is designed for you to feel as many natural elements as possible, such as water, wind, light, shade, mountains, gardens, sky, and ocean, which you might need more of if your daily lives lack them.
- Finish the day with the incredible panorama of Kobe see from the Mt. Rokko Observatory — selected as one of the "Three Major Night Views of Japan".
- Have some famous Kobe Wagyu ('Japanese beef') for lunch and a seafood buffet for dinner.
On day 3, we would travel from Kobe to northern Kyoto:
- Visit various Western-style buildings that were built during the Meiji and Taisho eras (1868–1926) at Kobe Kitano Ijinkan Gai — the old foreign settlement quarter.
- Moving to northern Kyoto, explore Ine Fishing Village with a cruise for an overall view of the charming village — the distinctive boathouses that line the bay offer an interesting historical perspective.
- Back to Kyoto, take a cable car up to Kasamatsu Park Observatory for a superb hillside view of Amanohashidate — a pine-covered sandbar famous as one of "Japan's Three Scenic Views".
This is a special day for experiencing the local cultural and traditional elements of Kyoto:
- Walk around Miyama's Thatched Village and enjoy the atmosphere and charming views of its tall thatched roofs mirroring a mountain backdrop.
- Back in Kyoto, have a local tea ceremony and pastries for a restful interlude.
- Then, have a short walk in Gion — a district of Kyoto in front of Gion Shrine. Originating as an entertainment district in the Sengoku Period (1467–1573), it eventually evolved to become one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan.
On day 5, we would visit the top highlights of Kyoto:
- See the impressive shining Zen temple — the Golden Pavilion — a structure built overlooking a large pond, its top two floors completely covered in gold leaf.
- Then, enter the pleasant area of Arashiyama, a popular destination since the Heian Period (794–1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting.
- Get some great photos at Fushimi Inari Shrine — an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto, famous for its thousands of vermillion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings.
Looking for something different? On day 6, we would head to Koyasan and immerse ourselves in Shingon Buddhism:
- Drive to Koyasan in the morning from Kyoto, and spend the whole day and night getting a taste of a monk's lifestyle, eating vegetarian monk's cuisine, and attending the morning prayers there.
- Free at leisure and feel the Zen atmosphere.
The day is mainly for relaxing after 5 days of travel and discovery:
- Back at the seaside, check out Senjojiki — 'One Thousand Tatami Mats'. A relaxing walk on its smooth stone formations would be fun!
- Enjoy a sunbathe or swim at Shirarahama Beach — the best beach in Kansai.
- Take a glass-bottom boat to discover the wonders of the clear sea, or simply have a hot spring bath at Shirahama Onsen — Japan's oldest hot spring resort.
- Enjoy fugu ryori (a Japanese pufferfish delicacy) after the daytrip.
- We hope the journey home provides a happy ending to your west Japan experience!
- An Osaka Kansai Airport private transfer would be arranged.
We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.
Traditional Temple Lodging in Koyasan
Hotel with convenient location in Kobe
Great hotel for leisure in Miyazu, Kyoto
Unique hotel with fine location in Kyoto
Our Service Includes:
- Private transport and personal English-speaking tour guide
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels
- Governmental taxes
Tour code: ah-jp-14
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
- Japan Weather in January 2024: Quiet Winter Month
- Japan Weather in February 2024, Where to Go & Costs
- Japan Weather in March 2024, Travel Tips (for First-Timers)
- Japan Weather in April 2024: Best for Cherry Blossoms
- Japan Weather in May 2024, Where to Go and Costs
- Japan Weather in June 2023: Coolest Summer Month, Travel Tips
- Japan Weather in July 2023: Best for Festivals, Travel Tips
- Japan Weather in August 2023, Travel Tips (for First-Timers)
- Japan Weather in September 2023, Travel Tips (for First-Timers)
- Japan Weather in October 2023, Where to Go & Costs
- Japan Weather in November 2023: Best Autumn Month, Travel Tips
- Japan Weather in December 2023, Travel Tips (for First-Timers)
Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.