High School Students to Japan: Itinerary

Our travel plan

Below is a table with the broad picture of our itinerary. Below that is a more detailed day-by-day description of the plan as of the date at the bottom of the page.

An itinerary is a plan as of a particular point in time of where to go, when, and how. But plans change, sometimes even from moment to moment. So our plans may change based on weather, surprise opportunities, changing interests, and factors beyond our control.

Takayama, Kyoto, and Tokyo


Days, Dates, Cities and Notes
Day Date Itinerary
Wed 8 June Leave Denver in a.m. to LAX then to NRT
Thu 9 June Arrive Tokyo Narita (NRT); hotel shuttle bus to our hotel Shinjuku Washington Hotel
Fri 10 June To Takayama (hiway bus)
Sat 11 June In Takayama
Sun 12 June In Takayama
Mon 13 June In Takayama
Tue 14 June In Takayama
Wed 15 June In Takayama
Thu 16 June To Kyoto (local Express to Nagoya, shinkansen to Kyoto)
Fri 17 June In Kyoto
Sat 18 June In Kyoto
Sun 19 June To Tokyo by shinkansen
Mon 20 June In Tokyo
Tue 21 June In Tokyo
Wed 22 June Morning free, then Narita Express ("N'EX") to airport
Depart for Denver; arrive evening of same day(!)


Flying Singapore Airlines (SQ)! Here is a promotional video


Wed., June 8

We're taking off
* Meet at DIA at 7:30 a.m., look for group check in counter, near door 610 or 612
* Depart DIA on flight UA 781 at 10:06 a.m.
* Arrive Los Angeles at 11:35 a.m.
* Transfer to international terminal (Terminal B)
* Depart Los Angeles on flight SQ 11 at 3:45 p.m.

Thu., June 9

We arrive in Japan
* Arrive Narita International Airport, Terminal 1, at 7:15 p.m.
* Quarantine, Immigration (passport)
* Pick up bags, Customs
* Exchange currency
* Set JR passes to activate on Thursday, June 16
* Shuttle bus to our hotel Shinjuku Washington Hotel
* Check in, explore neighborhood
* Dinner in local restaurant (or just crash!)

Fri., June 10

Bus to Takayama: depart 9:00 a.m., arrive 2:30 p.m.
* Visit City of Takayama Park
* Meet host family at City Hall at 5:00

Sat., June 11

In Takayama
* Host family time

Sun., June 12

In Takayama:
* Host family time
* 6:00 p.m.: Welcome party at Takayama City Cultural Hall

Mon., June 13

In Takayama:
* 8:30 Meet at first floor of Takayama City Hall
* 10:00 Make and eat your own soba
* Lunch
* 1:00 Bus to Shirakawa-go
* 4:00 KYUDO-playing-experience in Hida Senior High School
* 6:00 Return to Takayama Big Arena, pick up by host family

Tue., June 14

In Takayama:
* 8:30 Meet at first floor of Takayama City Hall
* 8:40 Zazen experience
* 10:25 Visit Takayama West Senior High School
* 12:30 Lunch at Aji-no-Yohei
* 1:30 Kimono wearing experience
* 3:30 Jinya of Takayama (historical building)
* 5:30 Meeting with Vice Mayor
* 6:00 Meet host family at city hall

Wed., June 15

In Takayama:
* 8:30 Meet at first floor of Takayama City Hall
* 8:45 Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Museum
* 9:30 Miyagawa morning market
* 11:30 Walk in old town, lunch on own
* 2:00 Sarubobo making experience at Hida Folk Village
* 5:00 Return to city hall, pick up by host family

Thu., June 16

To Kyoto:
* Depart from Takayama at 09:38 on Hida Express 6
* Arrive Nagoya at 12:02 on track 3
* Depart Nagoya at 02:11 from track 16 on Shinkansen Hikari 471
* Arrive Kyoto at 02:47 on track 14
* Karasuma subway line to Karasuma Oike station, walk to hotel
* Check in to Hearton Hotel Kyoto
* Free time and dinnner

Fri., June 17

In Kyoto:
* Tozai subway line to Nijo station
* Transfer to San-in line (JR) to Saga Arishiyama
* Bamboo forest, monkey park, lunch
* 204/205 bus to Kinkajui
* Note: the following may be skipped, as word is Kiyomizu-dera is under repair
* Bus 12 to Shijokawari machi
* Bus 83 to Shimizu michi, walk to Kiyomizu-dera
* Kiyomizu-dera, then back to hotel for dinner and free time

Sat., June 18

In Kyoto:
* Subway to Kyoto eki
* Nara line (track 9 or 10) to Inari station (JR)
* Inari shrine
* Lunch then return to Kyoto eki
* Kyoto to Osaka via Tokaido-Sanyo line (JR)
* Osaka station to Osakajokoen station (JR)
* Osaka castle
* Return to Osakajokoen station, walk to Umeda Sky Building
* Okonomiyake dinner
* Return to hotel (JR)

Sun., June 19

To Tokyo:
* Check out of Hearton Hotel, subway to Kyoto eki
* Depart Kyoto eki at 08:33 on shinkansen hikari 512 (JR), track 12, arriving Tokyo track 17 at 11:10
* Depart Tokyo eki at 11:40 on Chuo line (JR) from track 1, arriving Shinjuku track 12 at 11:55
* Walk to hotel (12 min)
* Check in to Sun Members Tokyo Shinjuku (English site not working)
* Sword Museum (optional) 8 min walking from Sun Members Hotel
* Shinjuku Station, Yamanote Line (JR) to Harajuku
* Harajuku fashion
* Harajuku station to Akihabara station via Yamanote (JR)
* Akihabara explore and dinner
* Return to hotel

Mon., June 20

In Tokyo:
* Free time in morning
* Shibuya Station via Yamanote (JR)
* Shibuya Crossing, Hachiko Statue, and shopping
* Shibuya Station to Hamarikyu Gardens via Yamanote (JR)
* Sumida River Tour to Asakusa
* Asakusa Station to Sun Member Hotel
* Dinner on own

Tue., June 21

In Tokyo:
* Day trip to Kamakura
* Daibutsu (great Buddha statue)
* Hiking trail (could take bus instead)
* Visit Zeniarai and Sasuke-Inari shrines
* Lunch near beach
* Enoshima and dinner - last dinner in Japan!
* Return to hotel

Wed., June 22

Homeward bound:
* Breakfast in hotel
* Airport shuttle bus from hotel to Narita, 3:00
* Depart at 19:15 (7:15 p.m.) on flight SQ 12 to Los Angeles, terminal B
* Arrive at 1:35 p.m.; transfer to domestic terminal
* Depart at 5:30 p.m. on flight UA 750 to Denver
* Arrive Denver at 8:47 p.m.