4 nights Tokyo, 2 nights Kanazawa, 2 nights Takayama, 4 nights Kyoto, 3 nights Tokyo


First night arrive 4pm, Shinjuku noodle dinner, night cap on 45th floor Keio Plaza Hotel

  • Shinjuko Garden – Beautiful! 
  • Shibuya – walked around, hit a couple of coffee shops. Streamers Coffee (destination)Bear Pond Coffee – not a destination, but cute stop if you happen to be in the area & need coffee
  • Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine
  • Shinjuku for dinner – conveyor belt sushi is just fun! 
  • Hitachino Nest Beer Brewery – refreshing pitstop near Akihabara
  • Ebisu neighborhood for nice dinner and 2 hip bars there – Bar Tram & Bar Trench.
  • Drunkard Alley (must go) – Tiny little bars w sliding doors that maybe fit 5 people! All of them are very cool, unique and interesting…almost like little speakeasy’s.
  • Nishiki Fish Market sushi breakfast, get there early. 
  • Golden Gai neighborhood (must go) Jazz Bar for nightlife!
  • Mt. Fuji Day Trip – tour booked through Viator – long, but great day – included Hoto lunch at a funny amusement park, Lake Ashi boat ride, Mt. Hokone – walk to top in slippery snow.


Pleasant peaceful town. Nice and relaxing after Tokyo.

  • Kanazawa Day 1 – Market for Udon, beautiful Japanese Gardens, castle, Geisha District, Oriental Brewing company.
  • Kanazawa Day 2  – Casual day of strolling – sushi breakfast at market, Century 21 museum (cool & modern), interesting “French Japanese” restaurant for dinner in Geisha District

Train to TAKAYAMA 

THE place for beef and yummy custard!

  • Takayama Day 1 Curry for lunch, stroll the Old Town – shrine floats museum (interesting), shrines/temples, dinner out in fun neighborhood, hiking, walking, sake tasting, simply enjoying area.
  • Day 2 – Day trip to Shirakawa-go (really neat traditional thatched roof village)    


4 nights and so many “must sees”. 

  • Arashiyama – Bamboo Forest crowded! I thought it was going to be all peaceful and relaxing, but there are so many people. Still pretty though and of course you have to go. 
  • Philosopher’s Walk – relaxing and quaint, really nice. 
  • Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion – again super crowded, but worth it.  
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine – you’ve seen the photos of the never ending red shrines. Walk to the top. 
  • Nishiki Market – you will just end up here probably several times!
  • Daimaru Basement Food Floor – market at the bottom of a dept. store with excellent food, wine, bakery, cheese, etc (like Harrod’s in London). I found my favorite French cheese there (Brillat Savarin). It’s creamy and decadent, like butter! Find at Murray’s in NY, Pastoral in Chicago, West Loop Whole Foods in Chicago. 
  • Imperial Palace  
  • Ryōan-ji – meditation zen rock garden  

*If we had an extra day we would have hit the Kyoto Museum.