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Discovering Japan

13 Days from£4,035
per person
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You are viewing the 2018 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: JAG18)

Explore the Land of the Rising Sun by rail

Ancient ceremonies meet 21st century technology in this astonishing country of contrasts. This fascinating tour goes a long way to interpret the mystery of Japan as we cross the country on high-speed bullet trains. Join us for 13 days as we explore the 'Land of the Rising Sun' by rail.

Highlights
  • Bullet Train rail travel
  • Tokyo and Hiroshima
  • Miyajima Island tour
  • Kyoto and a traditional Japanese dinner
  • Historic Nara
  • Takayama
  • Hida Folk Village & Matsumoto Castle
  • Mount Fuji and Hakone Park
  • Lake Ashi and Owakudani Springs
What’s Included
  • Standard Class Rail
    Bullet Train journeys
  • 4-5* Accommodation
    11 Nights' Hotel Accommodation
  • Selected Porterage

Discovering Japan 2018Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1-2 Cherry blossom in Tokyo
Cherry blossom in Tokyo

Fly to Tokyo

We depart on the overnight flight from London Heathrow and arrive in Tokyo on Day 2 to be met by our Japanese guide. We transfer to our hotel for our first night in Japan, where we enjoy a welcome drink berfore having dinner together this evening to celebrate the start of our adventure.

Day 3 Asakusa Kannon Temple
Asakusa Kannon Temple

Exploring Tokyo

Today we take a full-day tour of Tokyo by coach, discovering the sights of this incredible city. Our guided tour includes a visit to the ancient Asakusa Kannon Temple, as well as taking in the Meiji Shrine. Later we visit Nakajima no Ochaya, a tea house in the Hamarikyu Garden that dates back to 1704, where there is the opportunity to sample authentic Japanese tea and traditional sweets.

We also visit the world famous Shibuya crossing, which is said to be the busiest intersection in the world. We also spend time at the Edo Tokyo Museum*, where exhibits depict the fascinating history of Japan's capital during the peaceful Edo period. The last era of feudal rule in Japan, the Edo period spanned from 1603-1867, and is considered one of the most significant times in Japanese history.

*Due to renovation of the museum, early departures do not include Edo Museum. Please call for more details.

Day 4 Romance Car
Romance Car

To Hakone

Today, after a morning at leisure, we continue to Hakone by train, travelling in a 'Romance Car' (observation car) on the picturesque narrow-gauge line. On arrival, we tour the spectacular Hakone National Park. Lying in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Hakone is a stunning area of lakes, forests and hot springs. We take a cable car to the sulphurous hot springs at Owakudani, after which we descend to Lake Ashi for a short cruise. We then transfer to our hotel for the night, and enjoy dinner together.

Day 5 Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji and Matsumoto

This morning we travel by coach to Mount Fuji, arguably Japan's most distinctive landmark. Driving along the foot of the famous mountain, we arrive at the Mount Fuji Visitor Centre to learn more about the snow-capped peak. We also stop at Oishi Park, which boasts of unparalleled views of the iconic Japanese mountains. Later we enjoy a visit to Matsumoto Castle, an impressive fortress completed in 1593. Built on a plain, this five-storey fortification is a celebrated National Treasure of Japan. We then overnight in Matsumoto.

Day 6 Takayama
Takayama

To Takayama

Our tour continues by coach today, as we travel to Takayama. On arrival in Takayama, we embark on a guided walking tour of the city. Later, we travel to the nearby Folk Village, an open air museum of rustic farm dwellings depicting the traditional architectural styles found in the mountains. Set on a hillside overlooking the idyllic Takayama Valley, some of the buildings in the picturesque village date back 500 years. After exploring here, we head back into Takayama, where we spend the night at the Hotel Associa Takayama. Set deep in the mountains, Takayama is a fascinating town of narrow streets and wooden houses, which appear almost untouched by time.

Please Note: For departures JAG1805, JAG1807  and JAG1808  you will stay at the Takayama Ouan Hotel in Takayama.

Day 7 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

To Hiroshima

This morning, we visit Miyagawa morning market. This afternoon, we enjoy a journey on the Hida Train to Nagoya, continuing onwards by bullet train to Hiroshima. Having seen devastation in World War II, Hiroshima is now a symbol of peace.

Day 8 Miyajima Island
Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island

Today we travel by tram and boat to Miyajima Island, where we leave modern life behind in the tranquility of the wooded island. During our time on the island we enjoy a walking tour, which includes a visit to the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine. Your afternoon is free in Hiroshima.

Days 9-10 Kyoto
Kyoto

Hiroshima to Kyoto

This morning we visit the World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum, both poignant reminders of the destruction levied here in 1945. We also listen to a talk from a Hiroshima survivor. Later we travel to Kyoto which was the Japanese capital for more than a thousand years and is a living museum of the country's artistic heritage. Afterwards, we take a walking tour of the Gion. Later we enjoy a dinner in Pontocho Alley, a lantern-lit street lined with traditional wooden buildings. Famed for its archaic atmosphere, this traffic-free alleyway is one of the few places in modern Japan where you may catch a glimpse of a real-life Geisha. 

A morning of sightseeing on Day 10 takes us to the Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and the Kiyomizu Temple. In the afternoon we enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in a thatched farmhouse set amongst formal gardens. 

Day 11 Nara Todai Ji Temple
Nara Todai Ji Temple

Historic Nara

We visit Nara today, another former capital and a short train ride away from Kyoto. Nara is an attractive, compact city of narrow streets set against a backdrop of wooded hills. Here we enjoy a walking tour, taking in the beautiful Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world and its Great Buddha, Kasuga Shrine and the Deer Park.

Day 12 Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle

Osaka

We travel by rail to Osaka today, a futuristic city, which we are introduced to on a guided tour. We visit the Floating Garden Observatory in the iconic Umeda Sky Building, where we enjoy panoramic views over Osaka and its castle, ahead of a farewell dinner in our hotel tonight.

Day 13 Flying home
Flying home

Flight to London

We depart this morning for Osaka airport for the flight to London Heathrow, arriving late afternoon the same day. On arrival in London, your tour concludes.

Please note

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included

An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Scheduled return flights from London
  • All rail, coach and ferry travel throughout your tour

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 11 nights' hotel accommodation

Delicious meals included

  • 15 meals including 11 breakfasts and 4 dinners, including a welcome dinner in Tokyo, a dinner of contemporary Japanese cuisine in Pontocho Alley, and a farewell dinner in Osaka

 

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Explore Japan by bullet train
  • Full-day guided tour of Tokyo
  • Tour of Hakone and excursions to the Mount Fuji Peace Park for views of the mountain and Matsumoto Castle
  • Visit to the Hida Folk Village and a tour of Takayama
  • Cruise to Miyajima Island to see the Itsukushima Shrine
  • Visits to the A-Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and a talk from a Hiroshima survivor or their successor
  • Guided tours of Hiroshima, Nara and Kyoto
  • A traditional tea ceremony
  • Guided tour of Osaka, including entrance to the Floating Garden Observatory

Not Included

  • Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged.

British Citizens do not require a visa to enter Japan.

What our customers think
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Tour Rating

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Lori Mcclaren
Lori
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Kathryn Cambridge
Kathryn
James Eaton
James
Discovering Japan

Explore the Land of the Rising Sun by rail

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Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2017/18

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