8 Day Essential Japan
Air & Land
Optional tours and gratuities.
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
Hotel rooms in Japan cannot comfortably accommodate 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child; therefore, a double, plus a single room configuration should be purchased.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
Escorted Package Includes
- Flights Los Angeles-Tokyo, Osaka-Los Angeles
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- 6 nights First Class accommodations
- 3 nights Tokyo
- 1 night Hakone Area
- 2 nights Kyoto
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
- High-Speed Bullet Train: Mishima-Kyoto
- 7 meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 dinner
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Explore the Hakone Open-Air Museum's vast array of sculptures
- Discover Owakudani Valley’s extraordinary volcanic zone
- Embark on a cruise on Lake Ashi and admire the stunning scenery
- Board the famous Shinkansen, or “bullet train” that whisks you to Kyoto
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
Is This Trip Right for You?
This value program provides the comfort of an escorted tour, with the freedom to explore on your own. Minimal inclusions plus a variety of optional excursions allow maximum customization. This program is minimally active, unless all optional tours are selected. If so, this moderately active program covers a good amount of ground each day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Some tours require walking in the open air with no shade. Due to specific driving regulations, the set drop off and pick up points may result in extra walking to and from the sights. Please be aware that Japan is an expensive destination. Japan is a country of contrasts; one that is steeped in eastern tradition and yet embraces western ideals. Japanese culture reflects this complexity. Travelers from other countries, with their own cultural identities, may find some behaviors perplexing. The Japanese are very formal and polite, and use silence and body language to communicate. We believe that a little understanding will go a long way. This is a Value program. For more information, click here.
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
This first class hotel is located nearby the Ikebukuro train station.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is located in the city of Mishima, near Mishima Railway Station.Hotel Details
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Begin with a guided tour of the Budapest Opera House, a beautiful 19th century neo-Renaissance building. Its façade is decorated with statues of Puccini, Mozart, Liszt, Verdi and other famous composers. View the grand staircase along with the magnificent red and gold hall. Later, visit the Great Dohany Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe. Explore the grounds, view the Holocaust Tree of Life Memorial and learn about the Hungarian Holocaust.
Approximate tour duration is 2.5 hours.
|Day #3||01 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022||$70.00|
Today, travel to the historic city of Kamakura, home to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. The city was once the capital of Japan, that was established in 1192 by the Minamoto clan. Begin your tour with a visit to the Hokokuji Temple, located in the hills of eastern Kamakura, known for its beautiful bamboo grove found behind the main hall. A short walk leads you to Jomyoji Temple, ranked fifth among the five great Zen temples of Kamakura. Continue to Kotoku-in Temple, housing the famous 43 foot high Great Buddha bronze statue, one of the most iconic landmarks in Japan. Learn about its history and significance dating back to 1292. Afterward, spend free time to explore before returning to Tokyo.
Approximate tour duration is 6 hours.
|Day #4||01 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022||$127.00|
Begin with a visit to the celebrated gold-gilded Kinkakuji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the "Golden Pavilion" surrounded by trees and nestled on a reflective pond. The temple was constructed in the 14th century by the Ashikaga clan. Next, take a walk in Gion, Kyoto's most famous Geisha district; view the shops, restaurants and tea houses where Geisha entertain. Conclude the tour in Kawaramachi, the city's bustling center that is loaded with shops, restaurants, bars and clubs.
Pick up details to be advised locally. Drop-off at the hotel. Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.
|Day #6||01 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022||$67.00|
This morning, visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine located at the base of Inari mountain, that is famous for its thousands of vermilion colored torii gates. Afterward, travel via the Nara Keinawa expressway to the 8th century Imperial capital of Nara, repository of Japan's cultural heritage, with eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a wealth of historic treasures. Arrive at the exquisite Todai-ji Temple, one of the world’s largest wooden structures and home of the impressive Great Buddha bronze statue, rising over 50 feet high. You then continue to Nara Park to see the over 1,000 tame deer roaming freely in the peaceful park. The tour concludes with a visit to the famous and beautiful Kasuga Taisha Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, displaying over 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns.
Pick up details to be advised locally. Drop-off at the hotel. Approximate tour duration is 6 hours.
|Day #7||01 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022||$88.00|
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|Traveling with Friends or Family?|
|If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display. |
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Cell Phones & Calling Cards|
|You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|Japan - Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter: No shorts or short skirts, knees must be covered by long pants or a long skirt. No sleeveless tops, shoulders must be covered and a shawl or scarf is frequently not accepted as a cover. |
Japan Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#japan-weather
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|Book & Film Recommendations|
|Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations. |
|JAPAN: Books |
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka
Autumn Bridge by Takashi Matsuoka
Shogun by James Clavell
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by Rith Benedict
Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima
The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
Akira (manga) by Katsuhiro Otomo
Shall We Dance? (1996)
Lost in Translation (2003)
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|High Speed trains in Japan - Due to limited storage space on High Speed trains in Japan, only one small piece of luggage per passenger is permitted onboard for your personal belongings. For this reason, the night before your travel, you will be required to place your luggage outside your door and pack a small bag with essential items for 1 night, to carry with you on the train. Your luggage will be transported separately to Kyoto and therefore, won't be accessible to you until later in the evening on the day of arrival. |
|Day of Departure|
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|Japan Hotels - Hotels in Japan tend to have smaller rooms than those in the US but are cleverly designed to maximize the space. When staying at a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) for an authentic Japanese cultural experience, be advised that your room will feature a futon bed that lays directly on top of the tatami floor. Please be aware that the climate control system in some hotels cannot be adjusted individually. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: Escorted Tours|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $7 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $3 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
|Japan - Gratuities are not usually expected since a service charge is added to the bill at hotels and restaurants. Gratuities may be given when a visitor wishes to show particular appreciation for outstanding service. It can be considered improper to tip with loose bills directly from your wallet. Instead, we recommend to bring a few envelopes, similar to money-holder cards found in the United States, in which you can place the tip. The envelope should then be politely handed using both hands. |
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|Japan - The Japanese Yen is the currency of Japan. |
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|Japan - Japan leads the world in the area of consumer electronics. Gadgets, game systems, and hi-fi equipment are often released in Japan as much as a year before they are made available in the United States. For a more traditional memento, kites, silk kimonos, paper lanterns, and decorative fans are highly popular. With regard to fashion, Tokyo is in the league of Paris, Milan, London and New York, boasting flagship stores, top designers, high-end boutiques, and cutting edge designs. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|Japan - Japanese is the local language. Limited English is generally spoken in tourist areas. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|Japan - The voltage used is 100 volts. |
|Code of Conduct|
|Japan - Tradition and courtesy are highly valued. While bowing is the customary greeting, foreigners are generally not expected to practice this custom, as there are many subtleties involved. Shaking hands is becoming increasingly common, especially in business transactions. When entering a home, some restaurants, and temples or shrines, it is customary to remove your shoes. If possible, make an effort to use chopsticks rather than asking for a fork. For soup, if you are not provided a spoon, lift the bowl to your lips to drink the broth. Smoking, which is very common, is restricted according to posted signs. |
|Food and Meals|
|As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - Japan|
Jan 1: New Year's
Jan 10: Coming of Age Day
Feb 1: Chinese New Year
Feb 11: National Foundation Day
Feb 23: Emperor's Birthday
Mar 21: Vernal (Spring) Equinox
Apr 29: Showa Day: Birthday of Showa Emperor
May 3: Constitution Memorial Day
May 4: Greenery Day
May 5: Children's Day
Jul 18: Sea Day
Aug 11: Mountain Day
Sep 19: Respect for the Aged Day
Sep 23: Autumnal Equinox
Oct 10: Sports Day
Nov 3: Culture Day
Nov 23: Labor Thanksgiving Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve (bank holiday)
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day observed
Jan 9: Coming of Age Day
Feb 1: Chinese New Year
Feb 11: National Foundation Day
Feb 23: Emperor's Birthday
Mar 21: Vernal (Spring) Equinox
Apr 29: Showa Day: Birthday of Showa Emperor
May 3: Constitution Memorial Day
May 4: Greenery Day
May 5: Children's Day
Jul 17: Sea Day
Aug 11: Mountain Day
Sep 18: Respect for the Aged Day
Sep 23: Autumnal Equinox
Oct 9: Sports Day
Nov 3: Culture Day
Nov 23: Labor Thanksgiving Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve (bank holiday)
Many offices are closed the week of December 25 - January 1 and during this period business hours may be shorter than usual.
Our trip to Japan with Gate 1 was awesome and totally worth our time and money. Our tour guide was an eleven on the 10 meter scale. Well done.Chuck P. Ontario, Canada
Our trip was excellent. The weather was perfect. We were lucky to see all the sites especially Mt. Fuji. The tour director Nobuko was also very good and was very helpful especially guiding us the places to eat for my husband's special meals (gluten-free) since he is Celiac. It was a wonderful vacation.Marlyn K. Pasadena, CA
Our trip to Japan was great. Such a different country to Australia, and we really enjoyed learning about their culture, the people, the food and the countryside. Thank you for your assistance in the planning of our trip Gate 1!Carolyn and Ross P. Meadow Springs, Australia
It was really special and I enjoyed every minute of it. The sights and sounds were so interesting and the accommodations and meals were fantastic. Our guide did a wonderful job in helping us understand and appreciate Japanese culture.Philip M. New York, NY
My trip to Japan was awe inspiring! Our tour guide Yumi did an outstanding job informing us about everything we saw. She truly deserves an award for her thorough knowledge of her country. I have a deeper appreciation for Japan and its preservation of their temples and shrines, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Great trip, Thank you.Kathleen S. Homestead, FL
Our trip was great!! We had a wonderful time, and came back with a very good impression of Japan. The tour was very well organized. Thank you very much for arranging this marvelous itinerary Gate 1.Tariq N. Fayetteville, NC
We loved the Japan Gate 1 tour and despite the very hot weather, we thoroughly enjoyed the temples and shrines we visited. Yumi was a wonderful tour manager and exceedingly patient and organized. I appreciate her paper handouts of schedules and pick up times plus her wealth of knowledge regarding her country's history and culture! Overall another excellent and memorable trip for us!June V. Hayward, CA
I had a wonderful trip, I had a great time. Japan is a beautiful country. Mariko was an excellent tour manager. My husband enjoyed his ride on the bullet train. Hiroshima museum was very touching experience. Looking forward to going on another trip with Gate!Ashie H. Queens Village, NY
My trip was wonderful, Shizu made it perfect for us all, she was a fantastic guide incredibly well informed, organized with a lovely warm personality & sense of humor. She went out of her way to take some of us out for a walk around the night spots in Tokyo on our last night. A lovely city! The accommodations were excellent as were the included meals. Such fun dining dressed in the Yukata! I loved all the gardens, the bamboo forest, visits to the fish markets, interesting shops with different merchandise the WADA Village, actually seeing Mt Fuji & the museum with the kimonos, all the temples & shrines. The rickshaw ride, sushi making lunch were all great fun. The group were lovely, no one ran late and good relationships were formed. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to take advantage of the single supplement & hope to be able to do so again on future Discovery tours. David in the a Melbourne office was very helpful too, all in all my very first experience on a group tour had been fabulous as had Gate 1.Victoria S. Cammeray, Australia
We had a wonderful trip in Japan. Our trip leader Makiko was sooo awesome. She was very well organized and filled with knowledge. We enjoyed every aspect of the trip all because of Makiko’s professionalism and organizational skills. The program covered so many aspects of Japan cultures and history provided us with wealth of information!Sharon L. Laguna Woods, CA
We had a wonderful time. Our tour manager Rumi was the best. She is very knowledgeable and she gave us lots of information about Japanese culture and traditions. Took care of everyone’s needs. Rumi has a delightful personality. Overall it was a great trip. I am glad we chose Gate 1. Japan is a great place to visit.Lovleen S. Bloomington, IL
The trip was wonderful, we loved it from the culture to the Japanese people. We took two of our daughters and my niece and nephew along with us and we had a really good family trip together. Thank you Gate 1 for organizing it! This was our 3rd time with Gate 1. We will go with them in the future and I always recommend all of our friends to go with Gate 1. Thanks again Gate 1.Nancy N. Fountain Valley, CA
The trip to Japan was great. We enjoyed the experiences (kimono dressing, rickshaw ride, traditional Japanese inn, public baths, etc.) that were part of the Discovery tour.Jean K. Naperville, IL
It was a great trip! Our guide Akena was exceptional. She made it awesome. Hiroshima was the highlight for me. Very sobering. Another fine job Gate 1!Stephen R. Mogadore, OH
The trip was great! This was our first visit to Japan and we enjoyed seeing all the sights in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Our tour director, Akane, was also wonderful! She was able to keep everyone on schedule while remaining bubbly and funny. She is very knowledgeable about the customs and history and added greatly to our understanding and enjoyment of the sites. She also pointed out several good restaurants and that was very helpful ... One of the main attractions in our tours with Gate 1 are the wonderful buffet breakfasts in the hotels. That always puts a highlight at the beginning of the day!Johnny C. Union City, CA
The Japan tour was so enjoyable, the country is fascinating, the Gate 1 arrangements were excellent. Jaya, and self thank you for facilitating this. We look forward to interact with you for similar future tours.Gopal S. Naperville, IL
Japan was wonderful! I had minimal expectations going in, but the trip was probably my best ever! On top of all the fantastic sights and experiences, our tour guide Rumi was SUPERB! She was so warm, funny, friendly, and never boring. And she took such excellent care of us and led us to so many hidden gems. During our bus rides, she even shared with us her wonderful personal photos. Rumi definitely made this experience one I will always treasure.Michelle D. Atlanta, GA
My trip was the greatest I have ever been on. I had so much fun and I wish I didn’t have to come back. I LOVE your travel company. You guys make traveling so affordable and the accommodations we get for the prices we pay are phenomenal. Plus, you guys are so helpful with any questions and concerns we might have as a customer. I'm definitely booking another trip with you guys and I informed all my coworkers about your company. I have no complaints or regrets. I'm very happy that I booked with Gate 1.Stacey C. Jamaica, NY
The trip was excellent ... Our guide, Hiroko, was fantastic - knowledgeable, caring, and funny - with many tips, tricks and stories to help us appreciate the Japanese country and culture.Jonathan K. Plainsboro, NJ
It was awesome. This was my first tour with Gate1. I was not disappointed. It was well planned, there were variety of things to do, places to visit. Our dietary need as a vegetarian was taken care of! I loved the tour guide, Yumi. She was great.Abirami K. Cupertino, CA
Our Japan trip was excellent & very enjoyable. Tokyo & Kyoto hotels were very centrally located, convenient and excellent. I will give them A+. Our tour guide/ Manager Mr. katsumi was the best ... Wish we had manager like Mr. katsumi on all our tour. Very down to earth person.Jash P. Indianapolis, IN
Great! Japan is very clean. I like Kyota best. Tokyo is a so big that it would be very scary if you got separated from your guide. Very interesting countryFay S. Pittsburgh, PA
The Japan tour was great! Our tour guide Mitsuko was very nice, friendly and knowledgeable. The hotels were great as well. We are now discussing of where Gate1 will take us next.Nina M. Los Angeles, CA
The Discovery Japan tour is one of our top three favorite trips from Gate 1. The enriching cultural history, the food, the Japanese Garden, the unforgettable view of Mt. Fuji, the Cherry blossom festival ,the kimono dressing, the unforgettable bullet train experience and the geisha dance performance. Overall, A wonderful wonder wow vacation.Josie F. Laguna Niguel, CA
It was an excellent trip and the tour manager Rumi Yamaguchi was very knowledgable ,helpful in short she was a superior tour guide.Ayse R. Des Plaines, IL
Everything went great! Your company made it super easy, check in process at hotel went smoothly as did the airport shuttle. We had an amazing time. Thank youIndira A. Burbank, CA
It was wonderful!!! We loved Shizu, she really made the tour great. She has a charming personality that made learning interesting. Well done Shizu!!!Cathleen P. Camillus, NY
Generally we were pleased with the tour. It was well organized, transportation from and to airports was reliable, hotels very nice. Our tour director and guide, Shizu, was outstanding-helpful, informative and good sense of humour. It was a bit cool in February, but probably it was less crowded than other times of the year and Shirakawa in the snow was beautiful. We would certainly consider other tours with Gate 1.Warren B. Ottawa, CA
Japan was amazing! My family has taken other tours, but this one was above and beyond the best we have done and far exceeded our expectations. Even the other travelers, which your company cannot necessarily account for, were great company. All the guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Yoshi from Grayline tours for Tokyo and Mount Fuji & Hakone in addition to Marie from Sunrise tours for Nikko city and Hiro from Gate 1 for Nara were all fantastic. In addition, the accommodations were very good and in excellent locations. The staff at all hotels were very friendly to us travelers and helpful as well. Thank you so much for a wonderful trip, and please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information.Victoria Tarrytown, NY