12 Day Japan, Then & Now



Land Only


Air & Land

12 Day Japan, Then & Now



Land Only


Air & Land

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Book By Sep 19, 2024 & Save!

2025 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $1400
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Sep 19
Book After
Sep 19
Book By
Sep 19
Book After
Sep 19
$4499 $5099 $5699* $6299*
$4799 $5399 $6149* $6749*
$5599 $6199 $6949* $7549*
Thu, Mar 27  (Sold Out) $5399 $5999 $6749* $7349*
Thu, Apr 03  (Sold Out) $5899 $6499 $7199* $7799*
$5899 $6499 $7199* $7799*
$5549 $6149 $6849* $7449*
$4899 $5499 $6549* $7149*
$4899 $5499 $6549* $7149*
$4899 $5499 $6549* $7149*
$4749 $5349 $6399* $6999*
$4549 $5149 $6399* $6999*
$4599 $5199 $6599* $7199*
$4499 $5099 $6099* $6699*
$4999 $5599 $6499* $7099*
$5099 $5699 $6599* $7199*
$5099 $5699 $6599* $7199*
$5299 $5899 $6799* $7399*
$5299 $5899 $6799* $7399*
$5299 $5899 $6799* $7399*
$5299 $5899 $6799* $7399*
$5299 $5899 $6799* $7399*
$5149 $5749 $6649* $7249*
$5099 $5699 $6599* $7199*

Not Included:

Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.

Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6:30 PM. We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 4 PM.

Accommodation Details:
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.

Entry Requirements:
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?

This is an active program featuring the highlights of Japan. Some tours will require walking for extended periods of time. The pace is fast. 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. Japan is known for its excellent public transportation network and it is used to travel between destinations on this program. This may require walking at a rapid pace for a distance and over stairs to keep to the trains' precise time tables. 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. Weather conditions around Mt Fuji are challenging to predict, sometimes clouds will restrict views of the mountain & terrain. Additionally, poor weather conditions can sometimes prevent the operation of the cable car in Hakone. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details

Room 1

  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights Los Angeles-Tokyo, Osaka-Los Angeles
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 10 nights accommodations
    • 4 nights Tokyo
    • 1 night Kaga
    • 1 night Takayama
    • 4 nights Kyoto
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 19 meals: 10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Tour Highlights

Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Tour dazzling Tokyo, a city of ancient traditions coupled with state-of-the-art technology
  • Attend a culinary demonstration led by a professional chef to learn the art of creating sushi and sashimi
  • Visit the Meiji Shrine with its serene grounds and incredible architecture
  • A day of breathtaking natural scenery as you drive to the National Park of Hakone
  • Board the famous shinkansen, or "bullet train" that takes you to Kanazawa south of the Noto Peninsula
  • In Kagaonsen, stay at a traditional Ryokan (inn)
  • Travel to the UNESCO site in the mountains, known for its village of gassho-zukuri farmhouses
  • A walking tour of Takayama’s historic district reveals its traditions dating back to the 8th century
  • Discover enchanting Kyoto, founded in the 8th century, one of the early capitals of Japan
  • Experience the cultural heritage of Kyoto at a traditional tea ceremony
  • Visit Kyoto's Nijo Castle, residence of the Tokugawa shoguns
  • Travel to the Imperial capital of Nara, with eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Dinner and traditional Maiko (Geisha) dance performance reflects the core of Japanese culture

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active program featuring the highlights of Japan. Some tours will require walking for extended periods of time. The pace is fast. 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. Japan is known for its excellent public transportation network and it is used to travel between destinations on this program. This may require walking at a rapid pace for a distance and over stairs to keep to the trains' precise time tables. 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. Weather conditions around Mt Fuji are challenging to predict, sometimes clouds will restrict views of the mountain & terrain. Additionally, poor weather conditions can sometimes prevent the operation of the cable car in Hakone. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

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{{fromName}} wanted to share this vacation with you! Message: {{message}} Package Url : https://www.gate1travel.com/small-groups/small-group/2025/small-groups-japan-12djp25.aspx This message was sent by {{fromEmail}} at Feb 28, 2024 at 10:18 AM
Note: your itinerary will change depending upon the day of the week you depart. Click a day above to see what is included.

DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for Japan
Depart for Japan

DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Tokyo
Arrive in dynamic Tokyo in the "Land of the Rising Sun"; transfer to your hotel. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6:30 PM, followed by a light dinner. We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 4 PM
Overnight: Tokyo
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Saturday - Imperial Palace, Tsukiji Fish Market, Sushi Demonstration
Start your day with the Imperial Palace East Garden, a precious jewel of nature within the hectic city center and view the lovely Nijubashi Bridge that stretches over the moat in the outer gardens with its colorful displays of seasonal flowers. After, walk the lanes of the hectic Tsukiji Fish Market, famous for fish and seafood. Afterward, attend a culinary demonstration led by a professional sushi chef. Learn the art of creating sushi, or sashimi and have them for lunch afterward! Visit the serene Meiji Jingu Shrine, nestled in a beautiful forested area that honors the first Emperor of modern Japan and his Empress
Overnight: Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4, Sunday - Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo National Museum
Travel to the imposing Asakusa Kannon Temple (Sensoji) enshrining a golden image of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy; its entrance is dominated by a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red and black tones. Visit the Tokyo National Museum, housing one of the largest collections of art and archeological artifacts in Japan. Later, learn the basics of Japanese calligraphy, during a lesson with an artist. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant
Overnight: Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, Monday - Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, Hakone National Park with Views of Mt. Fuji
A full day of breathtaking scenery as you travel south to Hakone, the most famous National Park in Japan. En route, stop to visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, situated in the wooded hills along the coast of Lake Kawaguchi. View exhibits of the textile artist Kubota Itchiku's kimono creations, depicting the themes of nature and the seasons. Continue along the scenic roads of rural Japan to Hakone where a gondola takes you on the Hakone Ropeway to the Owakudani Valley's extraordinary volcanic zone. On a clear day you will be rewarded with panoramic views of Mt. Fuji*. Here, the bubbling pools cook eggs in the hot waters blackened by sulfur, and are said to prolong one's life by at least seven years. Enjoy a relaxing cruise around placid Lake Ashi, before returning to Tokyo. Tonight, be adventurous and explore Tokyo's incredible variety of cuisine!
*Weather conditions around Mt. Fuji are challenging to predict, sometimes clouds will restrict views of the mountain & terrain. Poor weather conditions can sometimes prevent the operation of the cable car in Hakone.
Overnight: Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Tuesday - Kenroku-en Garden, Kagaonsen Ryokan Experience
Board the famous Shinkansen, or "bullet train," that takes you to Kanazawa south of the Noto Peninsula, with its winding cobblestone streets, Samurai residences, Geisha houses, lavish gardens and a flower filled open-air market. Stroll through Kenroku-en Garden, one of the country's most elite gardens with its elaborate water fountains and designs. Tonight, spend the night at a traditional Ryokan (inn). Dinner at the Ryokan is a full course Kaiseki dinner highlighted by regional specialties
Overnight: Kaga
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Wednesday - Thatched Farmhouses, Takayama's Old Town
Travel from Kaga to a remote mountainous region, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its villages of thatched gassho-zukuri (praying hands) farmhouses. Visit the historic village of Ogimachi and the ruins of its castle, dating back to medieval times. From atop the observation deck, see the amazing view of an entire settlement of thatched style houses. Have lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Takayama Jinya, a historic government house converted to a museum. Take a tour of a sake brewery, and taste the different types of sake. Later, you arrive at a scenic mountain resort for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Takayama
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Thursday - Takayama's Historic District, Morning Farmer's Market, Kyoto
Today, visit the Yatai Kaikan Hall housing intricately designed wooden floats brought out only for major festivals. Tour the morning market along the Miya River with farmers and craftsmen selling everything from vegetables to clothing and hand carvings. The delightful town of Takayama, with its wealth of museums, galleries, and impressive temples, is often called "Little Kyoto." A walking tour includes the remarkably preserved Edo-period merchants' shops and houses in the Sanno-machi Historic District. Across the river lies the Sanmachi-Suji (district) of sake breweries, cafes and immaculately preserved old private houses. Travel to enchanting and historic Kyoto, founded in the 8th century, one of the early capitals of Japan. Visit impressive Fushimi Inari Shrine with its ten thousand vermilion torii gates
Overnight: Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Friday - Tea Ceremony & Zen Meditation, Kyoto's Cultural Heritage
Begin your exploration of Kyoto with a visit to Nishiki Market, lined with more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Here, you will find Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles and dried seafood, as well as fresh produce, and seasonal foods. Next, familiarize yourself with Zen meditation, a calming practice deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, where you participate in the ritualized art of preparing and serving tea, savoring the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinctly different from the fast pace of everyday life. Next, visit Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. Its ornate interior is handcrafted out of Japanese cypress. Later, attend a traditional koto (Japanese harp) show. Spend the rest of the day at leisure
Overnight: Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 10, Saturday - Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kimono Dressing
Discover the beautiful cultural heritage of Kyoto that has spanned the centuries. Head outside the city to Arashiyama bamboo forest. Begin with a visit to Tenryuj Temple's sprawling Zen garden, one of the finest gardens in Kyoto. Then, take a stroll through the stunning bamboo grove, followed by a ride on a traditional Japanese rickshaw, a unique experience! Visit the celebrated Kinkaku-ji Temple, "the Golden Pavilion," and understand why this magnificent gold leaf covered temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, dress in an authentic kimono during a visit to a Kyoto-style home. After, take a walk in Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district
Overnight: Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Sunday - Imperial Nara, Todai-ji Temple, Deer Park, Kasuga Grand Shrine, Maiko Dance Performance
This morning, travel 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, including some of Japan's oldest Buddhist temples. Arrive at the exquisite wooden Todai-ji Temple, home of the impressive Daibutsu (Great Buddha) bronze statue, rising over 50 feet high. You then continue to Nara (Deer) Park to see the over 1,000 tame deer roaming freely in the peaceful park. Proceed to the famous and beautiful Kasuga Grand Shrine displaying over 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns. Bid goodbye to your Tour Manager at dinner which features a traditional Maiko (Geisha) dance performance that reflects the core of Japanese culture
Overnight: Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Monday - Depart Japan
Transfer to the airport in Osaka for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Discovery Tours 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.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • 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

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.

Visas required for Japan
Trip Preparation
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.

Travel Protection
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.

Mobile Phones
Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype.

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
WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. 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.

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.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.

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: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

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:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • No Smoking of any kind (medical or recreational) is allowed on any transportation that is exclusively provided by Gate 1. This includes e-cigarettes, e-cigars or any other smoking device. Furthermore, some countries heavily regulate the public use and possession of cigarettes (including e-cigarettes and vape pens) which could include their complete ban. Please check the regulation for the destinations you plan on traveling to prior to departure.
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

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

About Drones
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

JAPAN: Films
Shall We Dance? (1996)
Lost in Translation (2003)

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
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.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

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.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

High Speed trains in Japan - Due to the limited storage space on high speed trains in Japan, only one small piece of luggage per passenger is permitted onboard for your personal belongings. All bags should be the equivalent size of an airline carry on (22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches). For this reason, the night before your departure from Tokyo, you will be required to place your luggage outside your door and pack a small bag with essential items for two nights, 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.

For passengers traveling to Hiroshima, a similar procedure will be applied. Before your departure from Kyoto you will be required to place your luggage outside your door. Your luggage will be transported directly to the hotel in Hiroshima and will be available upon check in. Any essential items should be kept with you.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

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.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
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.

Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are arriving without a pre-arranged transfer, we strongly recommend going to the Tourist Information Desk to ask for a licensed taxi or transfer service. You may be asked to pay for the transfer at the desk prior to the trip, this will ensure you are not charged extra during the trip.

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.

Departure Procedures
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: China, Mongolia, Japan & South Korea

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage): US $2 per person per day, US $1 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. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. 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

We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

Japan - The Japanese Yen is the currency of Japan.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.

While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The "chip-and-PIN" cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don't accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

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:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash
  • While in destination, you may encounter local wildlife. Please refrain from touching any animal as they may carry diseases or harm you.

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:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers
  • Ambulance/Fire: 119
  • Police: 110

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.

Meals & Dietary Requests
Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Japan - Most meals served on tour are Japanese cuisine. Restaurants don't always have a large selection and menu choices can be limited. The majority of meals are served as set course meals consisting of a main dish with several small side dishes which may include items such as soup, Japanese pickles, rice, sashimi, or steamed vegetables. Broths, seasonings, and sauces are typically not able to be adjusted for any dietary preferences. It may not be possible to entertain some dietary requests including but not limited to Gluten-Free, Vegan, No Pork.

On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Japan

Holidays 2024

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day observed
Jan 8: Coming of Age Day
Feb 11: National Foundation Day
Feb 23: Emperor's Birthday
Mar 20: Vernal (Spring) Equinox
Apr 29: Showa Day
May 3: Constitution Memorial Day
May 4: Greenery Day
May 5: Children's Day
May 6: Children's Day, observed
Jul 15: Sea Day
Aug 11: Mountain Day
Aug 12: Mountain Day, Holiday
Sep 16: Respect for the Aged Day
Sep 22: Autumnal Equinox
Sep 23: Autumnal Equinox, observed
Oct 14: Sports Day
Nov 3: Culture Day
Nov 4: Culture Day, observed
Nov 23: Labor Thanksgiving Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve (bank holiday)

Holidays 2025

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 13: Coming of Age Day
Feb 11: National Foundation Day
Feb 23: Emperor's Birthday
Feb 24: Emperor's Birthday (observed)
Mar 20: 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 21: Sea Day
Aug 11: Mountain Day
Sep 15: Respect for the Aged Day
Sep 23: Autumnal Equinox
Oct 13: 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.

14 Day Japan with Hiroshima, October 2023
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This trip was excellent! The itinerary afforded us the ability to see both "big city" Japan and the beautiful countryside of the "Japanese alps" area, where many trees were starting to change color in the fall. We also enjoyed the many cultural activities included, such as sushi-making, calligraphy, and dressing in kimonos. The star of the trip was our tour director, Nobuko. She was enthusiastic, funny, very knowledgeable, and highly organized. She was very generous with her time, taking us on many evening walks to areas that were not on the itinerary. I highly recommend this tour with Gate1, my seventh!

Helen M.
Japan, Then & Now, October 2023
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Hiro was an amazing guide. Getting me meals that didn't include seafood in a country that thrives on it for every meal ( and for others too) was beyond spectacular. No guide has ever accommodated me that way and it was so appreciated. I also loved having one guide for the whole trip instead of local guides at every site. This was my favorite Gate 1 Trip. The activities were fun and educational along with great sites and nice hotels. A perfect itinerary and trip. Many thanks.

Helen R.
Japan, Then & Now, October 2023
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The trip was amazing! Rumi is the best tour guide I've ever had! Every day the tour was full of the history and traditions of Japan; but the most fun was the exposure to all the Japanese culture. By the last day, I was thinking that there were too many shrines and temples scheduled, but when we got to the final shrine it was spectacular. Great trip! By the way, My husband thought he was done traveling; but he just told me he'll take another Gate1 tour if they're all like this one...if the tour guide is as good as Rumi! Looks like we'll try another Gate1 tour next year!

Maryellen C.
Japan, Then & Now, October 2023
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Rumi is an amazing tour manager! Very organized and punctual and made our days go very smooth. Her personal stories and sharing of personal memorabilia (ie: photos, spelling of her name in different Japanese styles) and amazing knowledge about the country is fantastic. All of the cultural activities we did were amazing! Loved your sense of humor....very funny!! Thank you Rumi for a very fun, amazing and memorable trip!!

Jean H.
Japan, Then & Now, October 2023
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Thank you! It was one of the best, if not the best, trip I have been! Tour Manager Hiroko is definitely the best! Very lucky to have her. Japan is so beautiful, so clean and people are soooo disciplined. Why can't all countries be as clean? Been to Singapore and it is just as clean. Feel so safe .... not scared of theft and the surroundings at all despite the crowd everywhere, especially at train stations and tourist spots. First time to take Discovery Tours... worth every penny spent. Length of tour could be extended. Not enough time for leisurely shopping.

Georgina C.
14 Day Japan with Hiroshima, August 2023
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We had an excellent first trip with gate 1 to Japan. Wayne, our guide, was excellent. He was knowledgeable and had excellent time mgt skills. He helped with all our dietary restrictions. Good balance of activities.

Martha S.
14 Day Japan with Hiroshima, August 2023
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Wonderful in all aspects. From Wayne the group leader to the precision timing of the stops on the itinerary, we also enjoyed the provided meals and the camaraderie of the group. Our 15th Gate #1 trip and have yet to be disappointed. Keep up the good work!

Richard B.
14 Day Japan with Hiroshima, May 2023
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This was our 14 travel with Gate1 and always have a very fabulous vacation. The trip to Japan was excellent. Mike, our Tour Mgr. is knowledgeable and has good humor, and is very patient. everything was organized from arrival to departure. This travel to Japan covered a lot of aspects and was the best. Friendly people and sooo clean and safe country. Our trip was truly memorable. Another vacation coming this July 2023 to France with my granddaughter, daughter, and sister, and tag along with my friends to experience traveling with Gate1.

Christina B.
14 Day Japan with Hiroshima, May 2023
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Excellent! Nana was outstanding and the variety of activities - goldplating, sushi making, meditating, celebrating tea, kimono, wearing, geisha, learning, and music on a strange instrument-was fascinating. These were just a few of the fun things going on. Great group of people; the Japanese inns were very authentic. Great job Gate 1!

Marcia J.
Japan, Then & Now, May 2023
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We really had a wonderful trip on this Discovery tour. There were so many different cultural experiences to try. Fumi was a wonderful guide and kept us all organized. Going to the Japanese baths was the most extreme experience I had on this trip. Thanks for creating such an interesting and exciting journey!

Patricia L.
Japan, Then & Now, April 2023
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We wanted to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude for the exceptional assistance you provided when preparing our reservation. Our honeymoon turned out to be a truly memorable and enjoyable experience. The memories we made in Japan will be cherished for a lifetime, and we are grateful to you and Gate 1 Discovery Tours for helping to make this dream trip a reality. Once again, thank you for your outstanding support and for playing such an integral role in our unforgettable honeymoon. We will not hesitate to recommend Gate 1 Discovery Tours and your services to our friends and family considering a trip to Japan in the future.

Edgar F.
14 Day Japan with Hiroshima, March 2023
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I would like to make a special comment regarding Tour Leader Katsumi. Upon arrival and first meeting, I was given a "Travel Companion Booklet" that Katsumi had made. Not only did it detail our daily itinerary, but also advised times between events, descriptions including photos, when we would need to remove our shoes (a big help!), possible weather conditions and general notes. I've taken 31 Gate One trips and this was the first time a Tour Leader had gone that extra mile to make my experience easier and better. My hat is off to Katsumi and thank Gate One for having him on their team.

Terrence J.
14 Day Japan with Hiroshima, March 2023
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Our tour director Hiroko was excellent. She was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I felt she went above and beyond what most tour guides I've been with have done. She make sure everyone in the group was taken care of and never left us without directions and recommendations on where to eat for find things we were looking for. I really liked her little books on teaching us to count in Japanese, all the little treats and her sense of humor.

Rosemary Z.
Japan, Then & Now, February 2020
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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
Japan, Then & Now, September 2019
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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
Japan, Then & Now, May 2019
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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
Japan, Then & Now, May 2019
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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
Japan, Then & Now, March 2019
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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
Japan, Then & Now, October 2018
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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
Japan, Then & Now, July 2018
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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
Japan, Then & Now, May 2018
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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
Japan, Then & Now, May 2018
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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 country

Fay S. Pittsburgh, PA
Japan, Then & Now, April 2018
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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
Japan, Then & Now, March 2018
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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
Japan, Then & Now, March 2018
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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