Japan: Tokyo & Beyond | EF Ultimate Break

Japan: Tokyo & Beyond

9 Days  •  4 Cities

Why Go?

Future. Past. Present. This trip is like A Christmas Carol, but less spooky, and the only lesson you learn is how many tuna rolls you can fit in your mouth at once. Between robot restaurants, the infinite bright lights of Ginza, trains that go 200 miles per hour, and the most mind-blowing feats of human engineering; you will see the future in Tokyo. In Kyoto, the past is alive and well, where Tokugawa-era traditions and ancient shrines meet modernity. All the while, live in the moment as you have your mind blown by cutting-edge fashion trends, monkeys, and sake. Say “sayonara” to who you are today, Japan is about to change your life.

What are the top highlights?

  • Overuse the phrase “sake to me” as you enjoy fresh-made sake
  • Walk across the world’s busiest crosswalk at Shibuya, the Times Square of Tokyo
  • Visit the trendy Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo
  • Align your inner Zen in the countryside
  • Gorge on ramen, sushi, sashimi, and other less well-known adventurous foods

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers
  • Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
  • Private deluxe motorcoach
  • 7 nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
  • Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
  • Metro passes in each major city

Accommodations

You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.


Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:


  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight Flight

Board your overnight flight to Tokyo, the capital of Japan, and the most populated metropolitan area in the world. Which means, that at any given time, chances are you’re not alone. (Cue spooky music.)

Day 2: Arrive in Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, where there are vending machines for everything, bright neon lights everywhere, and more Michelin-starred restaurants than the entire rest of the world combined. Soak it all in.


Today's Highlights:


  • Meet an EF representative at the airport.
  • Transfer to your accommodation and check in.
  • Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
  • Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.

In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!

Day 3: Explore Tokyo + Optional Robot Cabaret Show

As you take a bus tour of the city—with some walking sprinkled in—it might feel like Tokyo is New York City on steroids. Because it is. But this concrete jungle is more than your typical office space and apartment buildings. You can still find relics of ancient Tokyo sprinkled throughout the city, and a pop culture community that’s off the charts. (The giant plushie standing in the street should be a clear giveaway.) And today, you get to explore it all.


Today's Highlights:


  • Check out the latest fashion trends as you walk through the Harajuku neighborhood.
  • Keep pure thoughts as you enter the Sensoji Temple and Shrine.
  • Buy your way through the Nakamise shopping street.
  • Make a pit stop at the Imperial Palace Plaza.
  • Practice your Frogger skills in Shibuya crossing, the world’s busiest crosswalk.

Robot Cabaret Show & Dinner(extra cost)

Tokyo is known for some whacky stuff. Hence a Robot Cabaret show. But the best part? It’s actually freaking awesome. After dinner, you’ll be all set for the flashing lights, taiko drums, and techno music that await. As you grab a seat sit back and watch glitzy ladies dance with dinosaurs, ninjas, and (of course) robots.


Please note: This excursion must be booked at least 45 days prior to tour departure.

Day 4: Free Day in Tokyo + Hakone Day Trip

Think about what excites you. Perhaps a dog riding a jet ski? Now add a cool hat to the dog, and double how that makes you feel and that’s sort of approaching how crazy awesome Tokyo is. Get to know its many bustling neighborhoods, or spend the day in tranquil Hakone.


Today's Highlights:


  • Time to carpe that diem: think of today as one of those sushi bars with the conveyor belt. Pick and choose whatever comes your way that sounds appetizing to you!
  • Kick back in Koto, schmooze with the cool kids in Shimokitazawa, or learn to speak tuna in the fish markets of Tsukiji.
  • Bow to Mt. Fuji from afar as you head for the hills for an optional but totally worth it trip to Hakone.

Hakone Day Trip(extra cost)

Look but don’t touch these sacred spots—okay maybe squeeze your neighbor’s arm in excitement—as you audibly squeal on your way up the skyway cable car to the peak of Mt. Komagatake. Enjoy immaculate views of Mt. Fuji, Odawara, Yokohama, Ohshima Island, Sagami Bay and more. Come back down and round off your day trip with a cruise around Lake Ashi where you’ll see Mt. Fuji and all its volcanic glory again, this time from the water.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 5: Free Day in Tokyo + Sushi Making Experience

Today is your day to do as you wish. And if that includes being on the lookout for the unique Kit Kat flavors Japan is known for—from sweet potato to cinnamon to soy sauce to pancake—so be it.


Today's Highlights:


  • Use your time to explore the various districts of Tokyo.
  • Hit up some of the same spots that Shoshana did in Girls.
  • Keep a lookout for mochi ice cream, delicious little balls of ice cream wrapped in gummy rice. It tastes better than it sounds.
  • Eat all the ramen. All of it.

Free Time Suggestions
Time for Tokyo: When it comes to all things Tokyo, the Tokyo National Museum has you covered. Japanese art. Antiques. History. (It’s the oldest museum in the country after all.) This is the place for you.
Park it here: The Shinjuku Gyoen park is one of Tokyo’s largest parks, and is very popular with Japanese families on a day out. It’s also a great day to see the cherry blossoms (when in season).

Tokyo Sushi Experience(extra cost)

Ever wonder how sushi is made? Now is your chance to not only see for yourself but also try it on your own. You’ll start by visiting the famous Tsukiji Outer Market, the world's largest fish market, to learn how the world’s most famous sushi chefs select their fresh marine ingredients from more than 400 types of seafood. After you've finished touring the market with a local guide, you'll apply the knowledge you picked up in a sushi-making class. Learn how to roll and assemble three types of traditional Japanese sushi (Nigiri, Temari, and Maki) from the experts. Once you've become a sushi master, enjoy what you made for lunch and indulge in a guided Sake tasting.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 6: Travel to Kyoto

Your trip continues to Kyoto. For you Japanese purists, Kyoto is traditional Japan, with the kimonos, tea ceremonies, geishas, and Zen temples to prove it. Learn all about Kyoto's past and present with a local guide. There are castles, shrines, temples, and one famous zen garden waiting for you.


Today's Highlights:


  • Travel to Kyoto, this is old-world Japan as you imagine in your head.
  • Enter warp speed as you blast through the countryside on a bullet train—up to 200 mph and never late.
  • Walk two steps, stop, take a picture, and repeat as you meander through the ancient city.
  • Visit the Kiyomizu Temple, dating back to 798 (and you thought things in the U.S. were old).

Day 7: Free Day in Kyoto + Explore Nishiki Market

The day is yours to continue getting to know Kyoto on your own. If you’re feeling like you’ve stepped back in time, it’s because you basically have (don’t worry, you won’t run into any of your exes from back in the day…unless they also happen to be exploring Kyoto). This is one of the best-preserved cities in Japan—prepare for a truly authentic experience.


Today's Highlights:


  • Put your sense of direction to the test as you wander the quaint streets of Kyoto.
  • Sample traditional Kyoto cuisine, and don’t be afraid to eat adventurously.
  • Explore the many bathhouses in Kyoto.
  • Wander through the four geisha districts and spot geisha women running to and from work (which is not prostitution contrary to popular belief).

Free Time Suggestions
Made in Japan: Head to the Kyoto Handicraft Center and check out paper, pottery, glass, wood and more at this gallery exhibiting products of more than 100 workshops. The craftsmanship is unreal. The products, on the other hand, are available for purchase.
Kyoto Clubbin': Party like it’s the 6th century (because that’s how old this city is). Let loose at a local bar or club in the city ranked 4th in nightlife for all of Japan. Make sure you’re well rested, because the party doesn’t stop till the early morning.

Explore Nishiki Market(extra cost)

Blink and 400 years goes by like THAT. That’s how long vendors have been wheeling and dealing delicacies to hungry customers in Nishiki Market, and believe us, 400 years is plenty of time to perfect the art of grilling squid or churning sesame ice cream. Take a guided deep dive into local treats and see why chefs call this place Kyoto’s Kitchen.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 8: Sightseeing in Osaka + Farewell Dinner

You’re off to Osaka, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan. Say goodbye to the tranquil Kyoto, and hello to the bright lights of Osaka. If you’re missing home, be sure to swing by Amerika-mura AKA America Town AKA where the Statue of Liberty goes for shrimp tempura.


Today's Highlights:


  • Sample octo-pops (a well-known street food that is exactly what it sounds like) on your way through Dotonbori, Nanba, and Hozenji Yokocho with your Tour Director.
  • Decide once and for all if ramen or sushi would win in a fight for your taste buds’ heart.
  • Make the moat of your trip with a visit to iconic Osaka Castle built in 1583 (get it? Moat?)
  • Enjoy an included farewell dinner with your fellow travelers and go out with a bang.

Free Time Suggestions
Fish are friends: Spend some time at the Kaiyukan Aquarium, and see why it’s considered one of the top aquariums in the world. There are over 30,000 animals living in the various exhibits, but no trip to this aquarium would be complete without stopping by the 4-story tank that houses Yuna the whale shark.
Blast from the past: Explore the retro vibes of Osaka’s Nakazakicho neighborhood, one of the only ones to survive WWII. Check out vintage clothes shops, boutiques, and cafes tucked away in grafittied-alleyways. It’s old meets older meets new visitors.


Farewell Dinner
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

Day 9: Fly Home

Sayonara, tomodachi
Translation: Goodbye friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?


–OR–


EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS


1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.


2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.


Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

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