Super Value Tours - Japan Classics- 10 Days_Tokyo, Lake Kawaguchiko, Fuji-Hakone National Park, Kamakura, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Asakusa

Japan Classics- 10 Days

2018

Land Only from US $3399-3599

Tokyo, Lake Kawaguchiko, Fuji-Hakone National Park, Kamakura, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Asakusa

Departs January- December

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Highlights

THE SUPER VALUE TOURS DIFFERENCE 

A BETTER WAY TO TOUR: To us, 'value' means making a better way to tour. We love to surprise our guests with unique experiences, top-notch service, hidden local delights, & memories of a lifetime. Our tours are designed to balance sightseeing & free time while avoiding crowds and tourist traps. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF KANTO & KANSAI (TOKYO, KAMAKURA, & FUJI-HAKONE IZU NATIONAL PARK, KYOTO, NARA, OSAKA):

  • Rickshaw through the ancient historical town of Kamakura

  • Overnight Hot Spring Hotel in Fuji Five Lakes

    • Mt. Fuji is usually shy, but our specially-arranged itinerary of the Kawaguchi area gives us ample time and more opportunity to get a good view of this majestic UNESCO landmark while escaping the crowds.

    • Iyashi no Sato Village. See Mt. Fuji against a beautiful backdrop of traditional thatched roof houses. Dress in a simple Kimono or Samurai Armor for a fun and unique photo op!

    • Visit the Kubota collection, a 3-star Michelin art museum, highly rated for its unique painted kimono on display.

  • 3 nights in Tokyo: a more relaxed pace to take in the sights, cuisine, & culture of this world-class city.

    • Sail the Sumida River on a water bus and experience local waterfront scenery.

    • Explore Tokyo’s most vibrant neighborhoods: Shibuya, Asakusa, Harajuku, Ginza and the Imperial Palace East Garden.

  • Ride the high speed Shinkansen (Bullet Train). See the beautiful countryside from the comfort of your seat as we travel from Tokyo to Kyoto in just 2.5 hours.

  • 3 nights in Kyoto (2 city - 1 ryokan): Enjoy its timeless antiquity and the beautiful distinction of each of the four seasons with our carefully-designed itinerary.

    • Kyoto is an intimate city best explored on foot! We've created the perfect walking tour to share the hidden alleyways and local neighborhoods with you.

    • Avoid the crowds of Kiyomizudera with our specially-arranged itinerary.

  • Take a historic tour of Japan’s first capital in Nara.

  • Feast in Osaka's Dotonbori restaurant district, known as the “Kitchen of Japan"

SPECIAL SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS 

  3/30-4/8 cherry blossom viewing in Chidori Ga Fuchi, Meguro River, or Ueno Park 
4/15-4/20 enjoy the Lake Kawaguchi Cherry Tree Festival
4/20-5/15 we visit “Mt. Fuji Shiba-Sakura (moss blossom) Festival” instead of Imperial Palace East Garden

 

LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Mt. Fuji: Fuji View Hot Spring Spa Hotel
    • Soak in traditional indoor or open air hot springs. Dress in Yukata robes during our Kaiseki banquet and enjoy karaoke!
    • Rooms available: Standard or upgrade to Fuji View (+$100, limited availability, inquire for details)
  • Tokyo: Imperial Hotel Tokyo- Iconic, luxurious, and walking distance to the famous Ginza district and Imperial Palace. 
  • Osaka: Imperial Osaka or Westin Osaka- Exquisite luxury located in the heart of Osaka. 
  • Biwako Hot Spring: RYOKAN style hotel. Soak in an outdoor onsen and dine on a Kyoto-style Kaiseki banquet dinner.
  • Kyoto: Kyoto Hotel Okura- Local favorite and walking distance to Gion district and shopping.

 *Please note hotels in Kansai are seeing unprecedented demand. For some departures during busier seasons, we may use alternate hotels, and we will let you know in advance.

CULINARY EXPERIENCES

  • Arranging great culinary experiences is a specialty we are very proud of. Before a restaurant is selected for our itinerary, our development team spends countless hours sampling dozens of restaurants for comparison. On this trip, you will have a chance to taste Japanese delicacies, including hand-made tofu, Wagyu Beef, Shabu Shabu, Kamameshi, Sashimi, and traditional Kaiseki banquet dinner.   

SUPER VALUE STANDARD

  • Charismatic and knowledgeable Super Value trained guides.
  • A comprehensive travel insurance plan. Details  
  • High quality headsets to hear our tour guide's presentation clearly.
  • Unlimited bottled water provided throughout the entire trip.
  • Porterage service is provided at most hotels (where available).
Tour Map
Itinerary
Day1

Depart North America for Tokyo, Japan

  • Depart from your home airport, have a great flight!
Day2

Arrive in Narita (NRT) smiley(46 miles, 1.5 hrs) or Haneda (HND) smiley(12 miles, 30 mins), Tokyo【Dinner】

  • "Yokoso" or "Welcome" to Japan! A Super Value Tours Representative will meet you at the arrival gate and bring you to the hotel via limousine bus. Airport pickup is available for flights arriving Narita (NRT) from 12:30P-6:00P or Haneda (HND) from 1:00P-2:55P.
    • We're sorry - airport pickup not included for arrivals in NRT Terminal 3 or HND Terminal 1 or 2. Please take the airport limousine bus directly to our hotel. Our group will meet in the hotel for dinner.
    • Narita T3 details available on the Narita Airport website.
  • If you arrive early, take the rest of the day to rest up. Or, if you’re up for it, take advantage of our centrally-located hotel and explore the local area on foot. For guests arriving after 6pm, we will refund 2,000 JPY per person for dinner.
Arrive in Narita or Haneda P1030240_20150821184446_20150824151104_20160606144246_20170622233328.jpg Tokyo - Ginza District ginza_20151006154326_20151007171534_20160606144246_20170628143722.jpg

DinnerLocal specialties HotelImperial Hotel Tokyo (Ginza District) or Keio Plaza hotel (Shinjuku District)

Day3

Tokyo smiley(70 miles, 1.5 hrs) Lake Kawaguchi smiley(4 miles, 15 mins) Hot Spring Hotel【3 meals】

  • Imperial Palace: Stroll through the East Garden; one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful palace grounds by avoiding the crowds.
  • Get acquainted with Tokyo with an introductory tour of this vibrant city!
  • Take a walking tour of Shibuya, Harajuku, and nearby Omotesando: Some of Tokyo's most vibrant neighborhoods
  • Itchiku Kubota Museum: A small yet profound museum, this site summarizes Japanese elegance perfectly. The "Symphony of Light" kimono display is not to be missed, but even the building and gardens are attractions themselves. Enjoy a refreshing afternoon tea in the beautiful setting.
  • Finish the day with a true cultural experience in our hot spring hotel with panoramic views of Mt. Fuji on the observatory deck. Dress in Yukata robes and enjoy a traditional Kaiseki dinner and karaoke. 
Harajuku - Takeshita Dori takeshita-dori_20150820160308_20150824151104_20160606144246_20170628141654.jpg Kubota Itchiku Museum kubota_itchiku_20151006154326_20151007171534_20160606144246_20170628141654.jpg Kaiseki Banquet Dinner kaiseki_dinner_20151007171202_20160606144246_20170622233328.jpg

BreakfastWestern & Japanese Buffet LunchHoto Noodles (Fuji Five Lakes area specialty) DinnerKaiseki Banquet and Karaoke! HotelFuji View Hot Spring Spa Hotel OR Equivalent

Day4

Hot Spring Hotel smiley(4 miles, 20 mins) Lake Saiko smiley(73 miles, 2.5 hrs) Kamakura smiley(40 miles, 1.5 hrs) Tokyo【3 meals】

  • Free time: Take the morning to relax and stroll through the hotel's extensive garden. In spring time, more than 300 cherry trees bloom! It is also recommended to wake early and watch the sunrise from the Fuji View hotel lounge. 
  • Iyashi no Sato Healing Village:
    • Escape the crowds for intimate views of Mt. Fuji.
    • Explore the local farmtown atmosphere of the Healing Village set against a beautiful backdrop of traditional thatched roof houses.
    • Try on a kimono or samurai armor for a fun and unique photo op!
  • Kamakura: Discover Kamakura's treasures as you rickshaw through Japan's first shogunate capital.
  • Take in a beautiful evening view of the Tokyo cityscape from Tokyo Tower.
Iyashi No Sato iyashi-no-sato_20150820114909_20150824151104_20160606144246_20170628141750.jpg Kamakura Rickshaw kamakura_rickshaw_20151007171202_20160606144246_20170628141750.jpg Tokyo Tower tokyo_tower_view_20151006154326_20151007171534_20160606144246_20170622233328.jpg

BreakfastWestern & Japanese Buffet LunchLocal Specialties DinnerAll-You-Can-Eat Japanese Shabu Shabu HotelImperial Hotel Tokyo (Ginza District) or Keio Plaza Hotel (Shinjuku District)

Day5

Tokyo【2 meals】

  • Sightseeing bus tour of: Old Tokyo - Ningyocho, Akihabara, Ueno, and Ryogoku.
  • Tokyo Mizube Line: Cruise down Sumida River on a water bus. Along the way, take in a spectacular view of the Tokyo skyline.
  • Asakusa: Free time to explore this vivacious old Edo district filled with unique Japanese delicacies. Don't forget to see the famous Senso-ji temple, Tokyo's oldest and most festive temple.
  • See Tokyo like a local! Explore the exciting city on your own. Plan your own route or take one of several suggested courses for you to enjoy as a guideline. Whether your interest is in relaxation, culture, dining, or shopping, the city has a boundless array of fun and different things for everyone.
  • Dinner is not included tonight so you may take advantage of unlimited dining options in the area.
  • Due to limited luggage space on the Shinkansen (bullet train) tomorrow, please prepare a carry-on bag with belongings for 2 days & 1 night use. Your tour guide will arrange the transfer of your large suitcases to our hotel in Kyoto. 
Sumida River Sumida-River-Cruise-001_20170628142835.jpg Kaminari Mon Asakusa dsc_0302_20170628142835.jpg Asakusa Sashimi Lunch Option Asakusa_Lunch_20151006154618_20151007171655_20160606144246_20170628142835.jpg

BreakfastWestern & Japanese Buffet LunchKamameshi (Rice Pot) or Sashimi Set at a Century-Old Restaurant DinnerNot Included-Explore Tokyo with Our Helpful Maps and Suggestions HotelImperial Hotel Tokyo (Ginza District) or Keio Plaza Hotel (Shinjuku District)

Day6

Tokyo smiley(1 miles, 10 mins) Shinkansen laugh(288 miles, 2.5 hrs) Kyoto smiley(13 miles, 1 hr) Biwako【3 meals】

  • Before boarding the bullet train, enjoy a memorable experience by shopping for your own bento box in a depachika (department store basement market). Use our suggestions as a guideline or choose any exciting culinary delights which might catch your attention.
  • Shinkansen: Experience a true modern marvel by riding the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto Station (2.5 hours).
  • Miho Museum: See an incredible collection of antiques from Asia and Europe at the Miho Museum, designed by I.M. Pei. (When museum is closed, we will visit Nijo Castle)
  • Unwind in a magnificent outdoor onsen (hot spring) at a Ryokan style hotel.
  • Roll up your Yukata sleeves and indulge in a traditional Kyoto-style Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Shinkansen dsc_1116_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg Miho Museum P1080019_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg Kaiseki Banquet Dinner P1080066_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg

BreakfastWestern and Japanese Buffet LunchChoose Your Own Bento Box! DinnerKaiseki Banquet HotelHanakaido Ryokan or Equivalent

Day7

Biwako smiley(19 miles, 1.5 hrs) Kyoto Gion【3 meals】

 

  • Arashiyama: Walk through the flourishing bamboo forest and discover the alluring beauty of the surroundings.
  • Kinkakuji Temple: Visit the icon of Kyoto, the "Golden Pavilion," covered with gold foil.
  • Gion: With only a few Geishas remaining, Gion is one of the few places you might catch a glimpse of these elusive figures. 
  • For dinner, enjoy a delightful meal of authentic Wagyu beef. Wagyu is the most desirable breed of cattle raised in Japan, known worldwide for being more tender and flavorful.
Arashiyama Bamboo Path bamboo-path_20150819165426_20160606163728.jpg Kinkakuji kinkakuji_20150819165426_20160606163728.jpg Geisha in Gion 2010-03-29_175555_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg

BreakfastJapanese Breakfast Set LunchKyoto Specialties DinnerWagyu Beef Steak Dinner HotelKyoto Hotel Okura or Equivalent

Day8

Kyoto【3 meals】

  • Kiyomizu Temple: Avoid crowds and enjoy an early morning visit to Kiyomizu Temple for a birds eye view of Kyoto.
  • One of the most enjoyable ways to experience Kyoto's elegance is on foot. Join our guide to explore the quaint alleyways of Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka and appreciate historical neighborhoods and sites (In case of extreme hot or cold weather, seasonal adjustments will be made to our walking tour in order for you to have the best experience)
    • The first part of the walking tour covers a distance of about 1.5 miles on fairly flat ground over approximately 1 hour of time. We will take a break in a local cafe near Maruyama park for about 1 hour.
    • The second leg of our walking tour will end at the foot of the pilgrimage path to Kiyomizu Shrine. This distance here is 0.8 miles over fairly flat ground in about 45 minutes. The footpath up to Kiyomizudera is uphill.
    • After lunch, guests will have free time to further enjoy the area. We encourage guests to see the area with the below suggestions:
      • Appreciate unique architecture and tour the Nishiki Market with your tour guide.
      • Take in more of Gion's unique character.
      • Visit Fushimi Inari independently either by train or taxi. Transportation and entrance fee will be at your own expense.
Fushimi Inari Toris_inari_7_20160218175041_20160606163728.jpg Sannenzaka sannenzaka_20150820154023_20160606163728.jpg Kiyomizu-dera kiyomizu-dera_20150820154023_20160606163728.jpg

BreakfastWestern & Japanese Buffet LunchJapanese-Italian Cuisine DinnerKyoto Style Pork Cutlet HotelKyoto Hotel Okura or Equivalent

Day9

Kyoto smiley(27 miles, 1 hr) Nara smiley(20 miles, 1 hr) Osaka【2 meals】

  • Todaiji Temple: Stand in awe in the presence of one of Japan's largest bronze Buddha statues- Daibutsu and interact with temple deer.
  • Osaka Castle Park: Explore the largest castle in Japan filled with historical and cultural significance.  
  • Shinsaibashi: We built in free time so you may freely roam through Osaka's largest shopping district and get to know the city at your own pace.
  • For dinner, "eat till you drop" in the Dotonbori restaurant district, known as the "Kitchen of Japan." Be sure to try local specialties such as Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Hakozushi, and Kitsune Udon. Suggestions and maps will be provided to help you navigate the bustling district.
Deer in Nara Park P1050593_20150818174131_20160606163728.jpg Todai-ji Temple todai-ji_20150820155428_20160606163728.jpg Osaka Castle osaka-castle_20150820160444_20160606163728.jpg

BreakfastWestern & Japanese Buffet LunchJapanese Lunch Set DinnerDinner is Not Included: Explore Dotonbori Restaurant District with our Recommendations HotelImperial Osaka or Westin Osaka or Equivalent

Day10

Osaka (KIX) or (ITM) sad Next Destination【Breakfast】

  • "Sayonara!" or "Goodbye!" After breakfast, guests with morning flights will be directed to take the shuttle bus bound for Itami or Kansai airport.
  • For guests with afternoon flights, your morning is free and our tour guide will provide directions for you to explore Osaka city for last-minute shopping or sightseeing. Based on your departure time, the tour guide will direct you to take the airport shuttle bus.

 

 *Airport send off available from 9:00am-7:00pm (KIX) or 7:55am-2:45pm (ITM).

BreakfastWestern and Japanese Buffet

Health & Safety 

  • This tour involves standing and walking for up to 1 hour at a time over inclined or uneven streets.
  • Guests in wheelchairs may be accommodated, but please understand some historic sites in Japan are not wheelchair accessible.
  • In traditional ryokan hotels, we will overnight in tatami rooms and sleep on futons on the floor.

Upgrades

  • You have the choice of upgrading our stay in the Fuji View hotel for a room facing Mt. Fuji for $100USD per room. Availability is limited, so please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to upgrade.
  • In the spirit of "Travel Happy" we do not believe in hidden fees - no options are sold on tour.
 

 Dietary Restrictions

  • It's important everyone has a great dining experience while traveling with us! If you have a special meal restriction (i.e. no sashimi, no lamb, etc), please let us know. We will do our best to oblige, but we regret some dietary preferences may not be available due to cultural differences.

Luggage Handling

  • Due to limited space aboard Shinkansen (bullet train), please prepare an overnight bag (carry-on size) for 2 day/1 night use on Day 5. We will arrange the transfer of your large suitcases to our next hotel.
  • Porterage service included in all hotels where available (most ryokan hotels do not offer porterage).

  2018 Schedule Adjustments

  • Kubota Itchiku Museum
    • When Kubota Itchiku Museum is closed, we will visit Yamanashi Prefectural Maglev Exhibition Center or Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center instead.
    • Departures affected by closure: Jun 16, Dec 22
  • Miho Museum
    • When Miho Museum is closed, we will visit Nijo Castle instead. Please note, Miho Museum’s hours of operation are subject to change without notice.
    • Departures affected by closure: Jun 8, Jun 16, Jun 19, Aug 24, Aug 31, Oct 5, Oct 12, Nov 30, Dec 19, Dec 22  
  • Nijo Castle
    • When Nijo Castle is closed, we will visit Osaka Aquarium instead. 
    • Departures affected by closure: Dec 22  
Lake Saiko

Fujigoko (Fuji Five Lakes) refers to the five lakes around the northern foot of Mt. Fuji: Yamanaka-ko, Kawaguchi-ko, Sai-ko, Shoji-ko, and Motosu-ko. In ancient times, lava flow from volcanic eruption of Mt. Fuji spread across the area, damming up rivers and resulting in the formation of these lakes.

Of the Five Lakes, Saiko Lake is the most quiet and remains the most unspoiled and is considered one of the best areas to observe Mt. Fuji.

Iyashi no Sato Healing Village

Once a small farming village, Iyashi no Sato Healing Village was destroyed by natural disaster in 1966. Reconstructed with techniques to preserve the original atmosphere, the village now stands as a living exhibition of edo period Japan.

Today, more than twenty thatch-roofed houses have been converted into art gallerys, mini museums, and handicraft shops and give visitors a chance to have a fun way of experiencing traditional artforms. You can even try on a kimono or samurai armor for a fun and unique photo op!

Itchiku Kubota Museum

Itchiku Kubota Museum is a small gallery dedicated to the intricate works of the textile artist of the same name. At an early age, Kubota was deeply inspired by the ancient tsujigahana (1300-1600AD) style of textile decoration and made it his life's mission to recreate this lost artform. 

The "Symphony of Light" kimono display is not to be missed, but even the building and gardens are attractions themselves. Enjoying a refreshing afternoon tea in the beautiful setting is a great way to rejuvenate your mind and body.

Itchiku Kubota Museum has been honored with a 3-star Michelin award 

Harajuku

Harajuku is known internationally as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Shopping and dining options include quaint cafes and independent boutiques. The area is also home to Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine.

Shibuya

A center for youth fashion and culture, Shibuya's streets are the birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends. Over a dozen major department store branches can be found around the area catering to all types of shoppers. If you're in this district of Tokyo, make sure not to miss famous & exciting landmarks such as the Hachiko Dog Statue and the intensely busy Shibuya Crossing.

Shinjuku

Shinjuku is an area otherwise known as Tokyo’s playground where we can explore the nightlife of the magical city. This district exemplifies modern Tokyo and boasts countless movie theaters, department stores, fashion boutiques, shopping plazas, neon signs, restaurants, and a dizzying array of most everything Tokyo has to offer. At Shinjuku Station, Tokyo’s busiest station, an estimated 3.3 million people pass by per day, making it the busiest station in the world.

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace is the current home to the Emperor and his family. Surrounded by public parks, the palace is immersed within a sea of majestic bonsai trees, creating a quintessential oasis engulfed within the city. Though public entrance is only permitted twice a year, the castle itself is a relevant cultural symbol and regarded as a must-see site for visitors.

Sumida River Cruise

We make our way to Asakusa by a scenic cruise boat on the Sumida River. Down at water level, the short cruise not only gives you fresh air, but also great views of Asakusa and the Tokyo Skytree and brings you closer to Tokyo’s riverborne heritage.

Asakusa

Asakusa is the well-preserved and still vivacious old Edo district. It is best known for the Sensoji Temple, the oldest and most popular temple in the city where yearly festivals are held. Thousands of locals celebrate here every year to commemorate the life of Buddha. Through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) leading to the temple is the famous Nakamise Dori, an area that has won itself a festive reputation, attracting many local specialists who sell unique Japanese delicacies within its crowded streets.

Ginza

In Ginza, set your soles on some of the most expensive real estate on our planet. This part of Tokyo is the quintessential, high-end shopping mecca for people to see and be seen. In Ginza not everything (or anything) is affordable, but for the same reason people visit Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles or Fifth Avenue in New York, the intrigue is the essence of the surroundings. So whether you’re browsing the extravagant department stores and towering, glossy retail shops or simply lounging with a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy as you watch Tokyo’s high society pass by.

Osaka

Enclosed by mountainous terrain on three sides and the crescent-shaped Osaka Bay to its west, the Osaka region is located in the outskirts of Japan’s Midwest. The area was fueled by a network of transportation channels by land and sea and also its close proximity to two ancient capitals, Kyoto and Nara. Consequently, by the 9th century, Osaka had grown into the largest commercial center in Japan and is still well-known for its savvy merchants today.

Osaka Castle

Built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1583, the current Osaka castle, five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, is the result of a privately-financed renovation completed in 1931. The first seven stories are devoted to museum display while the eighth floor serves as the observation deck. The Osaka Castle is not only the largest castle in Japan, but also the trademark of Osaka tourism.

Todaiji

Inside the Todai-ji is Nara Daibutsu, one of Japan's largest bronze Buddha statues. Visitors come from around the world to visit this humbling and immaculate figure in hopes of attaining a little extra luck.

Nara Park

The park not only showcases many important historical monuments of Nara (such as the Todaiji, the Kofukuji, the Nara Public Museum, and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine), but also keeps a number of spotted deer for the enjoyment of visitors. If you're feeling adventurous, you may purchase some crackers and treat the deer to some snacks!

Nara Daibutsu

Standing 14.98 meters tall, weighing 380 tons, with a face that stretches 5.33 meters and a 2.56 meter long hand, the Nara Daibutsu is one of the largest bronze statue Buddhas in Japan. Rumor has it that you will get astounding results from your fortune telling drawings in the presence of this kind-faced Buddha. Try it and see for yourself! 

Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts

Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts is dedicated to preserving a variety of handicraft industries which has been passed down for over 1,000 years.  The museum displays about 500 artifacts, all created by traditional craftsmen, including luxurious kimono, obi sashes, lacquerware and ceramics, allowing visitors to discover the traditional beauty and culture of ancient Kyoto. Our guests can enjoy a traditional Yuzen dyeing experience.


Miho Museum

This hidden treasure is off the beaten path and seldom included in most tour itineraries, but the beauty and serenity makes the trip worthwhile. Designed by famed Chinese architect I.M Pei (Louvre Reception Hall in France, JFK Library in Mass., and Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong), the building houses the private collection of patron Mihoko Koyama which includes over two thousand pieces of painstakingly curated Asian and Western antiques.

Nijo Castle

Built in 1603, the Nijo Castle in Kyoto was the personal residence of the great Shogun Tokugawa. Apart from its splendid architecture, the castle has witnessed two major historical events within the last 400 years. The first when Toyotomi Hideyori formally surrendered to Tokugawa Ieyasu inside the castle, officially ending the civil war and the second when Tokugawa Yoshinobu announced inside this castle the return of sovereignty to the Meiji Emperor, officially ending Shogunate governance in Japan.

Kyoto

Kyoto was the nation’s capitol for a period of 1075 years (from 794 to 1869 A.D.) and is now considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city draws its beauty from its sophisticated, unique art culture and its rich, glorious history. It is no surprise that Kyoto lays claim to 17 of the world’s landmarks which have been inducted into UNESCO’s World Heritage list (Kiyomizu Temple, Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle, Tenryuji Temple, etc.).

Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizudera is a historic Buddhist temple established in 778. As a part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, an UNESCO World Heritage site, the temple is one of the most celebrated and iconic temples in Japan. The wooden stage affords visitors a spectacular view of the Kyoto city center. Twelve meters above the ground, the stage is supported by high keyaki (Japanese Zelkova) pillars assembled without a single nail. The temple is also the home of Otowa Waterfall. Spring water has been flowing here since the temple was built. The water flows down into three separate streams and visitors may drink the water for longevity, prosperity, and love. 

Sannenzaka/Ninenzaka

Designated by Japan as an important historical architectural preservation district. The age of the district is evident where well-preserved streets emanate an air of the distant past. The shops that fill these streets sell local specialty goods of Kyoto such as Kiyomizu (pottery ware), Yusen-Zome (colorful and artisan tapestry), shichimiya (seven aromatic spices), otabe (sweet snack made of dough), tsukemono (pickled products), Kyogashi (assortment of sweets), traditional hand-held fans, incense, green tea, and more.

Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)

Built in 1397, the Golden Pavilion was originally a country chateau for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, later named Rokuonji and converted into a Buddhist temple. Because it is covered with gold foil, the temple is also known as Kinkakuji. Mishima Yukio, the Japanese novelist and political radical, used this place as a setting for his widely celebrated novel, “Kinkakuji”, making this scenic spot internationally known.

Gion

Gion was a red light district during the Edo period. Today, apart from the presence of many traditional shops, still hidden within the streets and alleys are many of the classic up-scale tea houses and restaurants. The art of Geishas entertaining guests with their dances still exists in this area. If you are lucky, you may run into a genuine, fully-costumed Geisha of Kyoto while roaming these streets.

Sagano/Arashiyama

Sagano was a retreat destination used by ancient nobility for pleasure excursions. The scenery is sublime, especially when cherry blossoms surface in the spring and when maple leaves turn bright red in the fall. Thus, the area has been known for ages as a prime location for observing these wonders of nature. Meanwhile, old town Arashiyama has kept intact many of its antiquated dwellings and temples. All of its residents maintain cherry trees and maple trees in their yards so this old town can express even more of its irresistible charm during the spring and autumn seasons.

Togetsukyo Bridge

Serving as the center of the Arashiyama scenic area, the bridge of a timber surface stretches over the Oi-gawa River with its frame resting on steel pillars. Its antiquated beauty complements the pristine natural surroundings of Arashiyama.

Bamboo Walking Path

A flourishing bamboo forest lies near the Arashiyama train station. The walking path runs between bamboo trees of cloud-reaching heights which sway with alluring beauty at the passing of a breeze. Take a stroll on a forest trail to discover hidden poetry within the engulfing serenity.

Tenryuji Temple

Figuratively regarded as the first of five magnificent “mountains” in Kyoto (“mountain” in Japanese also means Buddhist sect). The temple's garden, designed by Musō Soseki, features a circular promenade around the Sōgen Pond, creating a perfect blend of the elegance of nobility and profound tranquility of Zen Buddhism. Tenryuji's garden is one of the most famous gardens in Kyoto and is also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Landmark.

Shinsaibashi

Here in the largest and most significant shopping district in Osaka, you will find a gathering of giant shopping malls, more traditional stores, and an endless array of tiny shops owned and run by the locals. There are also numerous eateries, among which you will not only find a wide variety of Japanese food, but also cuisines from all over the world.

Dotonbori

Assembled within an area no more than 200 meters wide and 700 meters long, are the most popular restaurants of Osaka. The area also has the highest concentration of eateries serving Japanese delicacies. Osaka is reputed as “the kitchen of Japan” with Dotonbori as its culinary center.

Fuji View Hot Spring Spa Hotel

Founded in 1936, this traditional Japanese inn is in a class of its own. The hotel offers unrestricted views of Mt. Fuji and boasts a vast garden area with over 300 cherry blossom trees. The hot spring waters can be enjoyed in both indoor and open air settings.

Imperial Hotel Tokyo

The choice of world leaders, diplomats, and foreign dignitaries, this iconic and prestigious five-star hotel features an impressive setting overlooking the lush Imperial Palace Gardens and walking distance to Tokyo’s most affluent Ginza and Marunouchi neighborhoods. This hotel has been awarded the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for luxury and service several years in a row. 

Keio Plaza

A sleek upscale hotel enveloped by skyscrapers and the vibrant Shinjuku district. Find yourself just a short walk from the world’s busiest rail hub, densely dotted with depachikas, underground shopping arcades, and the most popular restaurants, shops, and attractions in the heart of Tokyo.  

Yumoto Kan

Surrounded by tranquil mountains, the Yumoto Kan is a ryokan (Japanese-style hotel) featuring hot spring baths and stunning views of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan.  Ogoto Onsen, the local hot spring for the hotel, has been supplying natural mineral-rich water for 1200 years.

Hanakaido Hotel

The Hanakaido Ryokan embodies the elegance Kyoto is so famous for. Featuring hot spring baths and lakeside views of Lake Biwa. Enjoy their indoor bath, outdoor onsen and a beautiful Kaiseki dinner in traditional Kyoto style.

Biwako Hotel

This hot spring hotel is known for its comfortable fusion-style rooms, each offering a private lakeside balcony view of Lake Biwa. Enjoy an expertly-prepared Kyoto-style banquet dinner and fabulous service.

Princess Kyoto

Near Shijo-karasuma, in the heart of Kyoto, this luxury hotel is conveniently situated for sightseeing and shopping activities. In addition, all hotel rooms and banquet rooms feature Free Broadband Internet Access.

Kyoto Hotel Okura

Centrally-located in Kyoto city, the Okura is within walking distance from Gion, popular restaurants, and exciting shopping areas. The Kyoto Okura is a Kyoto icon and has long been regarded by locals as one of the best places to stay in the city.

Imperial Hotel Osaka

Known as one of Osaka's best luxury hotels, the Imperial is located near Osaka Castle on the cherry tree-lined Okawa River in a relaxing, resort-like setting. Free shuttle service to Osaka Station is available as well as complimentary bikes to explore the area (10-min. ride to Osaka Castle).

Westin Osaka

This luxury hotel is located in the heart of Osaka and is within walking distance to the Floating Garden Observatory. The hotel is also a recipient of TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence.

  • Kamameshi

    The name of this dish translates to 'kettle rice'. The dish consists of rice directly cooked in a kettle, served alongside a garnish of fish, meat, and vegetables. The ingredients cook at the same time as the rice, thus infusing their flavor into the rice itself.

  • Shabu Shabu

    Shabu Shabu is thinly sliced beef cooked quickly in pot of boiling water along with vegetables, served with a variety of dipping sauces. The onomatopoeic name comes from the sizzling sound of dipping beef twice into the hot water: "shabu shabu~"

  • Sashimi Set

    Sashimi is a traditional Japanese method for preparing and serving fresh fish. Sliced into bite-sized pieces and served raw, sashimi is the best way to experience Japan’s bounty of incredible fresh seafood

  • Kaiseki Banquet

    Traditionally only served to royalty, a Kaiseki banquet is a multi course dinner of many small plates. The banquet is considered an art form that balances the taste, texture, appearance, and colors of food.

  • Yakiniku (Japanese Grilled Beef)

    Yakiniku literally means ‘grilled meat. This style of preparation allows the eater to cook small pieces of meat individually on a small grill in the center of their table, in order to ensure that every single bite is as fresh as possible, and cooked to perfection.

  • Japanese-Italian Cuisine


  • Udon & Tempura Set


  • Tonkatsu

    Since its introduction into Japan by Portuguese traders in the 19th century, Tonkatsu has been transformed into a uniquely Japanese dish. Good Tonkatsu must be prepared with a perfectly crispy crust while keeping the meat juicy and moist on the inside.

Kenny( June 07, 2018 )

Itinerary included Japanese immersion experiences and great cuisines and a special highlight took us to the I.M. Pei designed Miho Museum southeast Kyoto -- a marvel of architectural and landscaping engineering incorporating philosophical themes of East Asia and western technological ingenuity discreetly ensconced underground a mountain. Guide super cordial and knowledgeable. Accommodations first rate. Touring a peaceful Japan an advanced modern nation but with the populace exhibiting surprising traditional Asian politeness. Japan - a destination that you gotta go soon!!!

Doris D.( Apr 25, 2018 )

Thank you for all your help in preparing for our Japan trip.  We not only had a wonderful time on the tour, but found the ANA staff to be polite and attentive.  The plane seat assignment you secured for us ending up working out really well.  Being a 2 seat row, it felt like an economy "plus" seat with more room resulting in higher comfort.

 

Colin Wu is a wonderful tour director.  We know on guided tours, the director does impact the overall traveling experience (we've been lucky so far).  As you probably already know from survey feedback, Colin has tons of energy, a great sense of humor, and pays attention to detail.  He would go "above and beyond" in an effort to meet everyone's touring needs and requests.


Andrew H.( Apr 19, 2018 )

Amazing tour! Really pushed the pace of activities, while still having time to relax, explore on our own, visit an onsen, or nap on the bus. Food experiences were terrific and had a few nights to ourselves to find something unique. Miki was a phenomenal leader and guide. Would recommend to anyone as in introduction to Japan and/or East Asia.


Jane T.( Apr 18, 2018 )

Service and bookings prior to departure were extremely efficient. Upon our arrival, Junko our tour guide was brilliant, our accommodation, activities along the way, gourmet experiences so culturally rewarding, I came away with a deep appreciation of Japan and can’t wait to return. Thanks for the great experience!


Sharon K.( Apr 18, 2018 )

Everything was fantastic. Went on two other trips to japan and this one has far exceeded them. Our guide,hui,was so helpful,knowledgeable,patient,and fun. Hotels were the best, food was excellent,and by the end of the trip,hui had the 26 of us feeling like long-lost friends!


Ron S.( Apr 13, 2018 )

All 5 of us loved the tour. It was comprehensive and included so many aspects of Japan. To have hotels, local transportation, admission to all of the temples, museums, and meals included was a dream.....we did not have to fight the lines and worry about reservations. Our tour guide Hui was exceptional. Everything about the tour was "First Class", and the meals were like they were prepared by an "Iron Chef"!! Keep up the great work that you are doing. Ron S.


Irene S.( Apr 03, 2018 )

I took the 6-day Kanto and 7-day Kansai tours at different times (same itinerary as the 10-day classic tour). From the time I first contacted Super Value to my flight home, this company is the first rate and should be the standard all tour companies should strive to achieve. The sights, food, and hotels were first class and exceeded my expectations. Sachi, the person I contacted to book the tours provided the best service...EVER!!!!  She made me feel as if I were the only person she dealt with...never too busy to answer questions and going beyond the call of duty. Any time I contacted Super Value, I received an immediate and thorough response. On my last trip, my daughter realized she left a sweater in one of the hotels. Not expecting much, I contacted Sachi to see if there was a way to see if the sweater was found. She contacted the hotel and the next day told me they found the sweater and would be able to send to it me. Luckily I have another daughter studying in Japan, so we asked to have it shipped to her.

My tour guides were also first rate. Having gone on 2 tours, it was obvious to me every guide is thoroughly vetted and focused on taking care of their "guests". There was never any confusion or mistake about getting to and from the hotel at the airport. They were very organized, informative and very congenial.
The tour was all inclusive with the exception of the last dinner. The food, both quality, and quantity, was superior and far better than other food I've had with other tour companies. I had extended my stay on one of the tours and they gave me cash (yen) to compensate me for the ride to the airport that I did not use at the end of the tour. 
I can't say enough positive things about this tour company. I'm quick to criticize and expect good service but Super Value goes above and beyond to make their customers and their travel experience the best.

Tabitha H.( Jan 02, 2018 )

My family and I just recently came back from the 10 Day Japan Classics Tour with Super Value Tours. This was an excellent tour that allowed us to see many of the highlights of Japan. We loved how knowledgeable, patient, and kind Eriko was during the tour. She definitely took care of us especially in a foreign country where none of us knew the language or culture. I am definitely impressed by all the facts she informed us before we went to each site and although our itinerary was packed there was still a good amount of free time in between. The restaurants we visited were amazing and didn't feel like a tourist trap which is what some tours do. I loved trying the local foods and getting immersed in the Japanese culture. My favorite was probably wearing a yukata to a kaiseki dinner. Highlights also included staying at a traditional Japanese ryokan and using an onsen. I highly recommend this tour for those who are visiting Japan for the first time to get a taste of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka areas. Will definitely visit Japan again soon!

Ray G.( Jan 01, 2018 )

We did the 10 Day Japan Classics Tour with Super Value Tours. Our travel agent, Annie at America Asia Travel Center in Monterey Park is the one who suggested this tour company. It was a superb tour. Our tour guide, Eriko, was very knowledgeable, patient, caring, informative and service oriented. She made us feel completely taken care of while we were there. 


When one is in a foreign country where you don't know the language or culture it can be a bit scary and leaves you very vulnerable. However, Eriko took away all those worry factors because she took care of every little detail of our visit and touring. 

The restaurants that we visited on the tour were picked with a sense of purpose. They were all very good. In some cases, we got to eat 'local' foods that one might not normally consider if one didn't know the 'ins' of the area. Several other families that were on our tour told us they were recommended to book with Super Value Tours because the food and service was outstanding. That was certainly my experience also. 

If you are wanting to have a good experience in seeing many parts of Japan without much anxiety I'd definitely recommend Super Value Tours.

Vivian N.( Oct 21, 2017 )

The trip was more than met our expectations. The company is aptly named SUPER VALUE because it was a value that was indeed super! We were three hours late arriving in Narita airport because we had a plane change at the beginning of our flight. It was some mechanical problem that could not be fixed. Upon arrival I saw the Super Value agent with her sign waiting for us which was a welcoming sight. She helped me exchange dollars to yen and took us to the bus queue. We met our excellent tour guide Colin on the bus. Everything was prepared from the excellent hotels we stayed in, the exceptional meals we were given, and the varied tours we experienced always with the same guide. On the times that we could explore independently Colin would always walk us through the area first noting the landmarks and meeting area and time. We all had a printed map to use at each of these locations. He gave us souvenir ideas and allowed us time to shop. Instead of going home after the tour I asked the Super Value to connect me to Hong Kong and then fly back home. They coordinated this independent leg for me without an extra fee. My husband said that we could not have experienced all that we did on our own. We even had the best bus drivers and the bus had WIFI! Everyone was very courteous and went out their way to help us. Even finding an XXL yukata for my husband to wear. My husband was hesitant about this trip, now he wants to book another one with Super Value. He does not eat sashimi and at all the restaurants he had tasty substitutes to eat. Colin made sure that travelers with dietary needs had their meals adjusted. This was a vacation without worry where even the evening rain in Kyoto added to the enchantment and charm of our visit to Japan. Tour with them... you'll LOVE it!


Yoshie C.( Jun 11, 2017 )

Yes, we were really impressed with the tour and the tour guide. Throughout the entire tour,  Eriko-san made sure that food allergy needs were being met and provided us with suggestions on alternative paths to take with the wheelchair.  She was equally attentive to everyone on the tour and was a delightful tour guide.   My father also forgot his diabetes medication in the fridge at the Kyoto ryokan but the staff immediately contacted Eriko san and shipped it free of charge to Osaka for him. My daughter really enjoyed Kamakura with all its little food stands and the teppanyaki at Nikko Princess in Kyoto.  After the Hokkaido wagyu beef,  she told me to not even bother cooking beef at home :)  My husband loved having the opportunity to feast on the freshly grilled ayu fish and incredibly sweet, tender corn at the replica village (the food is not part of the formal tour but an unexpected perk by the bus parking).   My parents were tickled to find themselves lodging in Tokyo's Imperial Hotel.  And my in-laws used every opportunity to soak in the onsen.  They also loved the temperature controlled bathtub at the Tokyo's Imperial Hotel, too!  Both our dads sang with the Karaoke---  Lot of good memories to treasure. Thank you, also, for all our pre-travel arrangements.   I am not surprised that your tour company has received praise from my parents' relatives and friends on both coasts of the US. We will definitely look into your other tours next time we travel to Asia.


Arlene S.( Nov 07, 2017 )

For our 1st trip to Asia, Super Value Tours provided us with great hotel accommodations! Must have been 5 star rated with great amenities, delicious buffets, great bus transportation, drivers and a very knowledgeable and pleasant tour guide (Junko). We saw so many interesting places and had free time to explore. Thanks for the great experiences ! Arlene & Mark


Thomas Y.( Nov 06, 2017 )

The trip was one of the best travel experiences Kathy and I have had. The food was one of the most excellent and varied cuisines we have had on all our trips which include Europe, cruises, and prior trips to Japan. We enjoyed the nice accommodations and the itinerary. We saw many sights not seen on prior trips to Japan. Most of all our tour guide Eriko Kimura was amazing, caring, interesting, informative, historical, energetic, and timely with all she accomplished for the tour group. She always had an answer or great recommendation during our "free time." I would highly recommend this tour for anyone who has visited Japan before or for first-timers.


King G.( Oct 22, 2017 )

We took 10 days classic Japan tour. Meals provided were a combination of both Western and Japanese cuisine.  Every meal breakfast, lunch, and dinner was provided except the last night. Never went hungry so no snacks necessary, One thing great about Super Value Tour, unlike others was no extra cost for separate excursions everything included.Tour guide Miki Takanaga was tremendous and took care of everyone and personally escorted each group having different departures to train stations or airport. We all give Miki a 5 plus star rating. She worked extremely hard to make everyone's tour very enjoyable. Bus drivers taking our group to different sights were excellent and professional.  Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and Osaka and Nikki Hotel in Kyoto were 5 stars!  I called Supervalue in El Monte with general and specific questions prior to the tour and they were always extremely considerate and responsive. We will recommend Super Value 10 day Japan classic tour to everyone.

Pamela T.( Oct 21, 2017 )

My husband and I recently returned from the Japan Classics 10-day tour to celebrate our 30 yr. anniversary. Our trip truly was a joyous experience leaving us yearning to return to Japan! We could not have planned such a comprehensive list of sights, restaurants, and activities on our own. The hotel accommodations were excellent, including a night's stay in a traditional Japanese style hotel. We were treated to a variety of meals specific to the area we were visiting, all beautifully prepared and delicious! We even gained access to a restaurant that had a long line waiting to get in (making us feel like VIP's). Just the right amount of free time to explore areas on our own is provided, whether for shopping or dining out. In addition, there was no question what we would be doing each day; we were provided maps for each city that we explored, including recommended restaurants and shops. And each day we had written instructions for when to arise for breakfast and when we would leave our hotel. Not a single person on our tour was left behind!

We had the best possible tour guide, Eriko Kimura, who met us when we first arrived at Narita airport, then personally went to each person's departure gate to see us off on the return flight! I highly recommend requesting Eriko as a tour guide, as she is energetic, personable, kind, funny, extremely organized, attentive to every detail, knowledgeable, and very helpful. I was impressed that she took the time to get to know each person on our tour (21+ people!). I also appreciated the Japanese history lesson that she gave us, as I did not do the research myself beforehand. In addition, she had the best restaurant recommendations!

If you are looking for a stress-free and memorable vacation to Japan, I highly recommend Super Value Tours (and Eriko!)!

Andy C.( Sep 24, 2017 )

As I've read other reviews and experienced the tour myself, Super Value Tours exemplify how a travel service should strive to be UNLIKE Charming Holidays and it's foolish owner, Dennis. 


Me and my family purchased the 10 Day Japan Classic Tour via a third party provider and the overall results are quite astonishing! I would like to credit J (our tour guide), our kind bus drivers, and the Japanese citizens who show great respect and gratitude towards foreigners, it has been a blessing to interact with them. Also, big appreciation for those who accompanied me and my family on the tour as well as they made the vacation a dream come true. If I were to visit Japan again, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND researching this company and giving them an opportunity to work around your budget and schedule!

The itineraries listed a variety of sites that generally takes half or seventy five percent of the day, therefore, you won't miss out on the traditions and culture Japan strives by. Service was a big plus with the complimentary water bottles, complimentary maps, and the luxurious hotel accommodations alongside the lovely meals. Also, no need to worry about exercise, I tracked my steps for all ten days and I'm proud how I was able to walk more than 10K steps for all. 

I wish I could provide more details on the trip but that's all personal and subjective by then. Super Value Tours deserves more than a five-star rating because the mystery of how well Super Value has accomplished, you MUST experience it yourself! 

Also PLEASE try to learn a bit of a foreign language before visiting the country. It'll save you much trouble and communication problems.

Teresa C.( Aug 09, 2017 )

The tour was excellent. We had good weather which help because we only had one rainy day. Junko Yasui was super, was always there, explained everything in detail and very patient. We enjoyed the places we went, transportation very comfortable and all the accommodations excellent. Our group,( my 2 sisters and 1 neice) had a grand time. I think my vacation turned into a culinary tour. Enjoyed all the food. The onsen experience very different. We saw Mt. Fuji was visible throughout our stay in Tokyo. I enjoyed it so much that I'll probably be back withy husband within a year.


Diana Y.( Aug 08, 2017 )

 We had an awesome time in Japan.  We absolutely loved the entire trip!  The tour itself and the tour guide (Eriko) were great.   I wanted to buy some Japanese knives and Eriko personally helped us and showed us where to buy them (in Kyoto).  The food offered by your tour was really good.  We also liked the fact that we were able to go off on our own for dinner a few times.  Japan has so many good ramen shops!  I’m also glad we got the chance to go to a Ryokan.  The only part of the trip we didn’t like was the weather, hot and humid! We enjoyed our trip so much we are talking about going to West Japan with Super Value Tours in 2018 or 2019.  I would also like to go on the Hokkaido tour.

Facundo M.( Jul 31, 2017 )

Excellent tour! My family and I traveled through many parts of the world with tours or on our own. We wanted to make a unique experience out of our trip to Japan and this tour exceeded our expectations! All the hotels you will be staying in are top class. Don't be fooled by the description of the Ryokans: even though they don't offer the glamour of the large international brands, these are very comfortable and spacious (not to mention that you enjoy the experience). The food deserves a chapter on its own! Every meal is an opportunity to taste a different aspect of Japan's culinary culture and each restaurant seems carefully chosen to accomplish just that. The pace of the tour (although adequate) is fast enough to make sure you take the most out of each day. Our tour guide (Eriko) was very experienced, professional and attentive to details making our experience very enjoyable. I highly recommend this tour to those who want to experience Japan for the first time at its fullest, staying at luxurious hotels, with an open mind in terms of different foods and the willingness to keep up with a moderately fast pace


Xuan V H.( Jul 31, 2017 )

We took two tours with Super Value Tours. The first one was in April 2016, That was The 10-11 day Japan Tour. The second tour was on April 04, 1017. That was the 11 day Taiwan Island Tour. We thoroughly enjoyed both tours. They were well organized. Excellent in every aspect from hotels, sightseeing, food, transportation, Tour guide were excellent as well. Best values.


Dennis W.( Jul 29, 2017 )

It was our first time visiting Japan and we really enjoyed our trip of 10 days. We were so impressed with the culture and people of Japan. Our tour guide, Mr. Wu. was great. We got to see so many beautiful places and he got us to immerse into the wonderful culture. We came as strangers and left as friends. What a rewarding experience. Finally, we wish to thank Super Value Tours for making all the travel arrangements and hotel stays. Everything we did through their tour company was outstanding. We arrived one day early and left one day later and they also helped us make these accommodations as well. Thanks for helping with this outstanding trip.

E D.( Jul 29, 2017 )

We went on the 10 day Japan Classic tour, and was extremely pleased with the accommodations, tour guides and meals. What I enjoyed was the sense of belongingto a tour group, but at the same time, there were opportunities to explore and eat on our own. Suggestions for restaurants were given, but the freedom to chose our own was a nice aspect of the tour. Yet we enjoyed meals in local establishments together as a group. All effort was made to make sure that we were comfortable and our needs were met. The first timers to Japan in our group thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And, We did not feel like a herd of cattle traveling through different sites. We would definitely chose SuperValue again!


Lindy M.( Jul 29, 2017 )

My traveling companion and I compared about 9 different tour companies before picking supervalue tours for Japan. We put two tours back-to-back, classic Japan and Western Japan and had a terrific time!

Besides all the meals that were included (all but two), things like an impromptu snack in a local diner while sightseeing would be picked up by our guide. The hotels were really Posh, and the traditional ones we stayed at or impressive also. I overcame my Puritan modesty and enjoyed the hot baths in several hotels. We used every transportation possible from bus to ferry boat, gondola, rickshaw, and of course the bullet train! I enjoyed a bicycle ride along the shore of the Inland sea. I even paid a little extra for a paladin carry part way up one of the flights of stairs to shrines!

This tour is not for someone who is not mobile. Every Shrine, Temple, and castle are situated on the top of the mountains coming out of the sea. Definitely they are all worth the adventure and photo opportunities, but your knees and legs need to be in shape. I am 68, but I was not the oldest by any means on the trip, so it is conditioning not age!

Our guides Miki and Junco, were incredible. As a retired teacher, I know how to ask endless questions, and loved that I never stumped them! Junco helped me get my father's World War II photos to the Nagasaki atomic bomb Museum, even though we never made it to that City. When Miki learned I was looking for a specific gift, she diligently searched the shops as we went, and found it for me!

The pace of the trips was very good. You would be doing climbing to temples and shrines, interspersed with travel time, trips to famous museums, free shopping time, etc. Personal microphones helped everyone hear the guides, but our groups were really so small you didn't need them most of the time. Lectures and demonstrations on the bus made any travel time go quickly. We sampled candy, learned to make an origami crane, and learned about history, customs and geography while traveling, so when we arrived at our destination we were already oriented. One of the highlights was when we were dressed by assistants into authentic kimonos and taken for photo ops in front of an ancient temple.

Food seems to be one of SuperValueTours' interests. Every meal was a learning experience! I actually counted at one meal and we had 29 different dishes! They made every effort to accommodate different requirements of the group. We had several picky eaters on the trip, but we all managed to find something we liked. It seemed many of the meals were Banquets, complete with us wearing traditional garb. Then we would have lunch at a traditional local noodle restaurant. People who were used to eating oriental food had an advantage, but I was pretty proficient with chopsticks by the end of two weeks!

So many experiences were provided by SuperValueTours, I really don't know how they made any money! Even the suggested tip quantities were lower than I have seen with other tours! Japan was definitely a travel goal of mine for many years, and I was not disappointed! I went in the middle of March, so you have to dress warmly, but the only disappointment was that the cherry blossoms all came out the following week after we left.

I highly recommend supervaluetours if you are planning on traveling any place they go! I am looking forward to them expanding their horizons to other countries! Many thanks for exceeding expectations!


Isak( Jul 29, 2017 )

We are prolific travelers. Over the last 20 years, we have been in over 30 countries and almost all states in the US. The 'Japan Classic' tour was one of the best value for money trip that we took. It completely met our expectations. We realized that it was impossible to see all of Japan in 10 days. We got just a glimpse of this very interesting country and its culture but it was time very well spent. The tour was very well organized and our tour guide was very good.


James C.( Apr 08, 2017 )

This is as good as it gets!  We did the 10 Day Japan Classics Tour and had an absolutely wonderful time.  Everything went exceptionally smooth from beginning to end, starting from when our tour guide personally met all of us when we arrived at the airport (we had family flying in from separate cities in the U.S., and they coordinated this perfectly for us). When it came to the service, hotel accommodations, and food, we simply could not ask for anything more ... just perfect.  They were not exaggerating on their website when they stated that the hotel accommodations are "luxurious".  We saw so many sights during the trip, that you walk away feeling like you didn't miss out on anything.  It would be extremely difficult to plan all this into one itinerary on your own.

When it came to the service, hotel accommodations, and food, we simply could not ask for anything more ... just perfect.  They were not exaggerating on their website when they stated that the hotel accommodations are "luxurious".  We saw so many sights during the trip, that you walk away feeling like you didn't miss out on anything.  It would be extremely difficult to plan all this into one itinerary on your own.

I need to give a special shout out to our guide, Collin We.  I cannot say enough good things about him.  Without going into every single detail on all the things he did to make our trip totally carefree, I'll just say he took wonderful care of us the entire time we were there.  I couldn't be happier.  If I could give Super Value more than 5 stars, I would easily do so.

Sheila R.( Aug 25, 2013 )

Tour dates: July 5 - 14, 2013, 10-day Japan Classic Tour


My daughter and I had been planning a trip to Japan for several years and after researching online for several months beginning fall of 2012, I settled on Super Value Tours, not just for the price but also the itinerary and amount of guided vs. free time. My daughter has had 4 years of the Japanese language; I have simply always wanted to visit Japan. So this was a much-anticipated trip for both of us.

Never having toured with a company before, I was unsure what to expect but was put at ease when another tour-goer was a travel agent! She echoed my experience - every aspect from researching, to booking, to preparing to depart was smooth and comprehensive- thanks so much, Liz! 

This was an experience of a lifetime! We were pleased with every hotel (nothing "budget" about any of them) and the pace was just right for us. Our tour guide, J, was knowledgeable, flexible, helpful, and funny! She even went out of her way to help us plan an afternoon separate from the group, which included several transportation transfers involving Tokyo Station, the busiest subway in the world. Thanks to her help, we made all our connections. We heard her help at least one other tour family as well, and for both of us she wrote out directions in English and Japanese in case we needed to seek help. While we loved the ryokan stays, we weren't sure that two were necessary, though, in hindsight, we were much more comfortable enjoying the amenities the second time around (especially the karaoke, since the ice had been broken after the first dinner experience and many more of us gave it a shot!). 

There are two portions of the tour, the eastern in the Tokyo/Ashi/Hakone area and the western in the Kyoto/Osaka/Nara/Kobe area, with different drivers (who were great) for our own tour buses for each. The Shinkansen (bullet train) took us between them and that experience was awe-inspiring as well - a true modern marvel. Our tour group was, as I've since learned, on the smaller side with 12 total. It made for an intimate experience. We were fascinated at how clean everything was, even in poorer areas, with hardly a garbage can to be found anywhere, and our guide J explained that people tend to take their trash with them and dispose of it where they can or at home. Apparently many public trash bins were removed after Sept. 11th. The food was quite interesting, as we knew it would be. We liked being on our own for 1 lunch and 2 dinners but appreciated that most meals were planned out because we likely would not have tried so many different things on our own. All breakfasts included choices for eastern or western food, typically buffets except for the traditional meals at the ryokans.

While we did not end up with any extensions from the base 10-day tour, the opportunity was there and Liz assured us she could assist with any plans we might have. She was always quite prompt in returning my emails and kept us informed about deadlines.  We knew that at least 10 people needed to reserve for the tour to be confirmed, which made me a little nervous for a couple months. But Liz assured us that it was quite rare to cancel and she let me know as soon as it was official, which was a huge relief.

I would love to tour with Super Value Tours again in the future, but I know that they only serve a few Asian countries. This is a superb company and we really felt like they catered to us as individuals. The only complaint we had was the hotter than usual weather, which unfortunately was very much like our own North Carolina weather. :( Next time, maybe we'll visit in October or March to see the lovely cherry blossoms.

Daisy K.( Apr 04, 2013 )

I just came back from a trip to Japan. I was on their new 10-day tour and thought the price was well worth the experience. 


I was intimidated by the idea of traveling all over Japan, as organizing all the travel, hotel and airfare to get everywhere we wanted to would be too overwhelming for a vacation. Super Value Tours and our guide Akira made this a much easier, breezy process.

We had no issues picking up our boarding passes at LAX and once we landed in Narita, our guide was there to pick us up. We also had great bus drivers for each leg of the trip and no issues with any of the hotels or restaurants we dined at.

Oh, and a majority of the meals are included, meaning buffet western style breakfasts, lunches, and dinner. Sometimes they would "refund" us money and let us have free time in the areas we were exploring and make our own dinner choices. I really appreciated this aspect of the tour since it's nice to make your vacation your own without always having to dine with 25+ other people. 

Akira was an amazing guide. He was raised in Japan but lived in the US and UK for many years, so his English was superb. He was also really humorous and made the entire trip an amazing experience.

I could go on forever about how much I loved this trip, but the bottom line is this is a great price for airfare, hotel, transportation, and food. Unlike other tours I've been on, I never felt like there was TOO much crammed into one day. It was paced well and Akira always asked for our feedback, so I know they're always improving on how they deal with their guests.

Patrick M.( Dec 29, 2012 )

This review is long overdue.  One year ago my wife and I went on the Japan Classic tour, and it was amazing.  We travel quite a bit, and this was easily the best tour we have ever been on.  From the booking process through completion of the tour, it was great.  Roy and staff were extremely helpful and accommodating to my wife's indecisiveness and my desire to fly a One World Airline for miles :-).


We met some great people along the tour, and had a fantastic time.  One of the best parts is that they really don't throw you in any of those "tourist shopping traps."  This is a first class operation, and I can't say enough good things about the trip.  Just go, and you will love Japan and not regret it.  One of my good friends (and his wife) from Boston actually just booked the same tour for 2013 after I told him how great it was. 

I am only writing the review now because I realized I forgot to write it earlier.  We are actually looking at doing a tour in Indochina in 2013, and my first instinct was to see if Super Value offers a tour.  If so, it's a no-brainer to go with them!

Thanks again for a great tour of Japan that we will forever compare other vacations with!!

A X.( Oct 01, 2012 )

I don't know why I waited so long to write this, but Super Value Tours is incredible!!! We were recommended to them by my fiance's uncle who said that the experience was enjoyed even by his Japanese family members who said that the Chinese operated company offered an authentic Japanese experience.  The name of the company speaks for itself. My mom, aunt and I  took the 9 day Japan Classics tour in March 2012.

 Virtually everyone's first impression of a tour company is via the office staff. What a great experience it was for me! Liz was amazing, patient and so accommodating, especially since we had to change our flights 3 times.  She found us the shortest, most convenient flights which were all included in the price of the tour despite changing airline operators. Not only that, she responded to every single question (and there were a lot) in less than 24 hours, and if she wasn't available in the office, she made sure I was taken care of.  The information they provided to us was streamlined, organized and informative (they even included a page of common Japanese phrases). 
  When we arrived at the airport, we were greeted and walked over to our hotel shuttle. Later at the hotel, we were greeted by our official tour guide and given a very complete packet when we arrived.  We were taken care of every step of the way.

Tour guide: 

Junko-san was amazing!!!!  Courteous and attentive does not even begin to describe her. She printed out cute little-personalized maps (the Japanese have a knack of making things cute and small) of each major location we went to and marked the recommended places to see and our meeting spot so no one would be lost. She made sure all our questions were answered and kept moving smoothly. Smiles were on at all times, she was professional and knew when to let loose when displaying her Karaoke skills. The bus driver was so sweet, thoughtful and greeted us each and every time we got on and off the bus. 

Hotels: 

I don't understand how they can book these beautiful places for this price!  We were at some fancy places, some authentic places (slept on a tatami mat), had hotels with a Japanese hot bath (onsen), and all had premium breakfasts.=) I know some people in our tour complained that the hot bath was not what they expected (of course, this is no Burke Williams and if that's what you want, do that at home) but if you can fully embrace a different culture and respect it, you will be appreciative of the thought in selecting the hotels.

Food:  

We had a fair share of predetermined restaurants and meals where we were on our own and we truly enjoyed it the diversity. The meals ranged from Japanese hot pot, Kaiseki dinners, Teppanyaki, Donburi, Korean BBQ, Okonomiyaki, Ramen, Bento box lunch and allowed us to see how diverse the Japanese cuisine really is.

   I'm am thoroughly impressed with this tour.  Loved the service, integrity, quality, and value of this 9-day tour and Japan, we love you.

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