It’s a fascinating land of delicate art and bustling commerce, of rich traditions and dizzying modernity – all revealed on this well-crafted 13-day small group tour, limited to 24 travelers. See Tokyo and Kyoto’s highlights, engage in local life, and head off the beaten path to the lovely historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa. The journey begins with three nights in amazing Tokyo, where, along with time to explore independently, touring includes a preeminent calligrapher’s gallery, the imposing Imperial Palace, tranquil Meiji Shrine, the famed Ginza district, and the impressive Tokyo National Museum. Japan’s pastoral side is on tap next in stunning Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park with majestic Mt. Fuji and a scenic cruise on Ashi Lake. After overnighting at a traditional ryokan inn, board an express train to Takayama in the Japanese Alps to explore this ancient town during a two-night sojourn. A traditional tea ceremony and a cooking class offer opportunities to experience Japanese culture firsthand. Visit historic Shirakawago Village, a UNESCO site. Reaching culturally rich Kanazawa for a two-night stay, tour famed Kenrokuen Garden, visit a gold leaf museum, and see the Higashi Chayagai teahouse area. The journey ends with three nights in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural center. Among many highlights here: the beloved Golden Pavilion temple, Ryoan-ji temple with its acclaimed Zen garden, and the extravagant 17th-century Nijo-jo Castle. Visit the otherworldly Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the important Fushimi Inari shrine, and Nishiki Market, “Kyoto’s Kitchen.” Discover cosmopolitan Hiroshima, reborn from its atomic destruction, with an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension.