AACI’s Kosher, Mystical Japan 2025   

Coming 2025 – Enjoy our sample itinerary, subject to change

Osaka – Kobe – Awaji – Himeji – Hiroshima – Miyajima – Kyoto – Takayama – Japanese alps – Mount Fuji – Hakone – Tokyo – Nikko

More than any other country, the Japanese have managed to integrate ancient traditions and leading-edge technology harmoniously into their daily lives, with a perfect mix of new and old.  In this excellent tour to Japan, you will not miss anything a first-time visitor to Japan should see.

Japan consists of four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. There are another thousand smaller islands all lying to the east of the Asian mainland in the northwest of the Pacific Ocean. This archipelago curves across 3000 km, linking Russian’s Sakhalin Island in the north to Taiwan in the south.  We will visit the biggest Island: Honshu, the most culturally significant of these islands.

In the best that Japan has to offer you’ll enjoy a colorful mix of large cities like Tokyo and Osaka, quaint and traditional Takayama, the historically significant ancient shrines and temples of Kyoto and Nara, the testament to peace of Hiroshima, the natural beauty of Hakone, the thermally heated valley of Owakudani and much, much more.

Depart Tel Aviv to Osaka via Hong Kong. Bon Voyage!

Day 01, Arrival (Kansai Airport) and the city of Osaka
Arrive at Kansai International Airport, built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay.
Our bus will take us to Osaka – the economic and commercial center of western Japan. We start our tour in the Namba area and the Dotonbori entertainment district, to soak in some local culture, finishing the day at the Umeda Sky Building Observatory, which is an architectonic marvel, to get a panoramic view of the city.

From Osaka we will drive to Chabad Kobe for dinner and then to our Kobe hotel.

Day 02, Kobe – Naruto – Himeji –Kobe.
Huge suspension bridge, huge whirlpools, and huge Himeji castle

After Tefilla and breakfast, We begin the day visiting the Akashi Kaykyo bridge which survived the Kobe earthquake while it was still under construction due to its amazing technology. Next, we will have a short cruise to one of the biggest whirlpools in the world at the straits of Naruto, between the Awaji and Shikoku islands. Then we will travel to Himeji and its white beautiful original samurai castle and adjacent Japanese garden.

Returning to Kobe for dinner at Chabad and night in the city.

Day 03, Kobe – Miyajima – Hiroshima –Kobe.
Hiroshima and sacred island Miyajima

This morning after Tefilla and breakfast, we will board the Shinkansen, the famous Japanese bullet train, which will ‘fly’ us westward to the city of Hiroshima. First, we will cross the strait to the holy island of Miyajima and its famous giant torii red gate located in the sea waters. We will also ride the ropeway to the top of mount Misen for magnificent views of the Seto Inland Sea. Continue with a visit to the peace park and peace museum where the tragedy of the atomic bomb dropped on the city is commemorated in a special unique Japanese way.

Back on the Shinkansen to Kobe for dinner at Chabad.

Day 04, Kobe – Kyoto.
Kyoto the ancient capital and its treasures

Tefilla and breakfast at hotel then we will drive to Kyoto where the Japanese emperor held his court for 1,000 years. We will visit the Nijo grand palace of the Shogun, the old Nishiki market and of course the Golden pavilion – the icon of the city. We will not neglect the rich Zen culture of Kyoto and will tour the Ryoanji Zen temple. In the afternoon we will pay a visit to `Beit Shalom`- a community of Japanese lovers of Israel and the Jewish people who will show us special hospitality.

We will finish the long day with dinner at Chabad Kyoto.

Day 05, Kyoto – Nara – Kyoto.
Nara, and culture in Kyoto

This morning, after a short drive, we will visit Nara which was the capital before Kyoto. We will stroll in the Nara Park, where deer have roamed freely for more than 1,000 years as the messengers of the gods. Todaiji is a great Buddhist temple, so great that it is the largest wooden structure in the world. Inside we will see the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Japan. Back to Kyoto we will visit one of the most important Shinto shrines – Fushimi Inari, known for its hundreds of orange colored torii gates. We continue to Kyoumizu dera, an important and beautiful Buddhist temple, and stroll around the old traditional alleys of the eastern mountain area. We will also attend a tea ceremony – an important part of the refined Japanese culture.

Back to the hotel to get ready for Shabbat and Shabbat dinner at Chabad.

Day 06, Shabbat in Kyoto.
Walking tour in Kyoto

We will have Shabbat lunch and Seuda shlishit at Chabad. We will also have a walking tour in the vicinity of our hotel and visit the beautiful Heian shrine and Nanzenji temple with their magnificent gardens.

Day 07, Kyoto – Seki – Yaotsu – Takayama.
Japanese swords, Japanese – Jewish connection and soba noodles

After Tefilla and breakfast, we’ll begin a morning tour of the architectural gem of Kyoto station and then boarding the Shinkansen toward Gifu. Here our coach will take us to the town of Seki, known for hundreds of years for the quality katana swords that the local blacksmiths produce. We will visit one of these establishments and maybe will have a chance to take a close look at the traditional proses. From here we will go to Yaotsu, where first we will learn how and then will make our own buckwheat soba noodles – a common Japanese dish – and enjoy our own cooking.

Yaotsu is the birth town of the single Japanese Righteous-Among-the-Nations, Sugihara Chiune, who issued lifesaving visas to many Jews while he served as a consul in Kaunas. We will visit his memorial hall and learn about this story. At the end of the day we will drive to Takayama and have dinner delivered from Chabad.

Day 08, Takayama – Gokayama – Shirakawa-go – Takayama
Beautiful festival floats, Sake, old farm houses and washi paper

Following Tefilla and breakfast, we will spend the morning at the town of Takayama. Start with the local morning market, continue with the preserved old town center with its wooden houses and many sake breweries where we will taste some quality rice wine. We will not miss the festival floats – a magnificent work of wood and gold art of the local artists, begun hundreds of years ago. Now we will leave the town and travel into the mountains, to see the special Gassho-zukuri architecture of the farm houses which are still lived in today. We will visit one of these houses, watch a local folklore performance, and even experience making the Japanese paper – washi.

Back to Takayama and Chabad delivered dinner.

Day 09, Takayama – Japanese Alps – Matsumoto –Takayama
Hiking in the mountains, Ukyo-e art and black castle

After Tefilla and breakfast, the first half of the day will be dedicated to the Kamikochi nature reserve, where we will walk in a nice, flat trail along the river, surrounded by the majestic views of the Japanese Alps and maybe also meet some wild monkeys. Next is a visit to the city of Matsumoto, where the black, raven castle is waiting for us as well as a special museum of the Japanese delicate wood print art of Ukio-e. Back to Takayama for one more night and Chabad delivered dinner.

Day 10, Takayama – Tokyo.
Financial giants, digital art and traditional cruse.

Tefilla and Breakfast. This morning we drive to the city of Nagoya, where we board the Shinkansen for the last time this trip. Drop off at the biggest metropolis of the world – Tokyo. We start with a tour of Marunouchi, an area near the palace, where the residents of the high ranked samurai used to be, and now the offices of the biggest financial companies are located. We will also visit the Tokyo international forum with its unique architecture. Now to one of the modern wonders – The teamLab digital art museum which no words can describe. After this amazing experience, we will go back in time for a cruise in Tokyo Bay in a traditional yakatabune boat. We will have a kosher dinner on board. 

Day 11, Tokyo – Fuji – Hakone – Tokyo.
Views of Divine Mountain, kimono art, open air museum and volcanic activity

Today after Tefilla and breakfast,  we will leave Tokyo temporarily and drive towards famous Mount Fuji and the lakes at its foot. We will visit Kubota Museum to see the beautiful products of the reconstruction of the old method of dying silk kimonos. We go down to the lakeside and walk along its bank with views of Mount Fuji so close (if weather permits). Now we drive to Hakone where we visit the open-air sculpture museum where human art and nature are blending. Then we will climb over mount Hakone using a ropeway to see the volcanic active area of Owakudani. In the afternoon, we will drive back to Tokyo for dinner at Chabad Tokyo.

Day 12, Tokyo.
Very high observatory, old neighborhood, Shrine of the emperor and high fashion district.

Tefilla and breakfast. We start today at the second highest structure in the world – the Tokyo Sky Tree, rising to 634 m. We will view the huge city from one of its sky-high observatories. Next, we will go down to the downtown area of Asakusa and the most important and first Buddhist temple of the city. From Asakusa we move to Meiji jingu, a large shrine located in a quiet forest in the middle of the bustling city. It is dedicated to the emperor who in his time Japan developed into a modern state. Not far away is the Harajuku area where the world fashion finds inspiration. Here you can see it all, from youth rebellious subcultures to high-end world-class designers.

Back to hotel to prepare for Shabbat and Shabbat dinner at Chabad.

Day 13 Shabbat. Walking tour in Tokyo, Shibuya in the evening.

We will have Shabbat lunch and Seuda shlishit at Chabad. We also will have a walking tour in the vicinity of our hotel to visit a traditional Japanese garden. In the evening, we will experience the best public transportation in the world and go to Shibuya district with its famous crossing and nightlife.

Day 14, Tokyo – Nikko – Tokyo.
Forested mountains, greatest shogun mausoleum and high waterfall

This morning we drive up north to Nikko. First to the beautiful Toshogu Shrine, the lavishly decorated final resting place of Tokugawa Leyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Continue to the heart of Nikko National Park and view the scenic Lake Chuzenji. This area is so lovely that several embassies built their villas here, to house their ambassadors. Here we find the Kegon waterfall, ranked as one of the three most beautiful falls in Japan.

Back to Tokyo and a farewell dinner at Chabad.

Day 15, Tokyo – flight back from Narita airport.
Special gardens and prestigious district

We start our day with a visit to one of the large gardens that used to belong to a powerful feudal lord, and now is open to the public. Continue to Tsukiji market to see and feel the atmosphere. We will finish our Japan trip in Ginza, the upper scale luxurious and beautiful district.

Driving to Narita airport, saying farewell to amazing Japan and flying safely back home. 

Price without flights:
$ per person in a double room for AACI members
$  single person in a room
Flights from Israel are approximately $

$75 pp addition for non AACI member or join AACI

Flight details

Included in the price for this tour:  *Please note the rate of exchange used for this tour  is subject to change if there are currency fluctuations

  • 4 Bullet train journeys
  • 14 nights in four/five-star hotels
  • Kosher full board including provision to make sandwiches for lunch.
  • Sightseeing, activities, and attractions as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Tips
  • AACI Escort
  • Whispers
  • Wi-Fi on buss

Total 14 hotel nights:

Anna Crown Plaza Kobe, May 20-21, 2024
Hotel Okura Kyoto Okazaki Bettei,  May 22- 25, 2024
Hotel Associa Takayama resort, May, 26 – 28, 2024
Sheraton Miyako Hotel Toky, May 29 – June 2, 2024

Not included in the price:

  • Insurance with Corona Coverage
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not mentioned in the above itinerary.

Terms of payment:

Travel insurance is obligatory and should cover illness, luggage & cancellation. It can be purchased through your insurance agent, your Kupat Holim or Diesenhaus Tours.

For further details please email: or call 02-5661181 ext. 205