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.
All rail, coach and ferry travel throughout your tour
11 Nights' Hotel Accommodation
Excursions & Entertainment
The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to ﬁnish
Food & Drinks
4 dinners, including a welcome dinner in Tokyo, a dinner of contemporary Japanese cuisine in Pontocho Alley, and a farewell dinner in Osaka
Flights and airport transfers
Return Scheduled Flights
Scheduled return ﬂights from London
What’s not included
Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
Days 1-2 - 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 before having dinner together this evening
to celebrate the start of our adventure.
Day 3 - 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
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
Day 4 - 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 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 are at leisure to settle in to Matsumoto. We then
overnight in Matsumoto.
Day 6 - To Takayama
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 travel to Takayama. Set deep in the mountains, Takayama is a
fascinating town of narrow streets and wooden houses, which appear
almost untouched by time. On arrival, we enjoy a walking tour of
the fascinating city, taking in Kami Sannomachi Street and Jinya
Old House. We continue to Takayama, where we spend the night at the
Hotel Associa Takayama.
Day 7 - To Hiroshima
After a visit Miyagawa Market this morning, we enjoy a journey
to nearby Hida 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. We travel 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
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.
Please Note: For Departure JAG2011
Days 8 & 9 have swapped around.
Days 9-10 - 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 or successor. 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 - 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
We travel by coach to Osaka today, a futuristic city, which we
are introduced to on a guided tour. We visit the observatory in the
iconic Umeda Sky Building, where we enjoy panoramic views over
Osaka and its castle, ahead of a farewell dinner tonight.
Day 13 - Flight to London
We depart this morning for Osaka airport for your flight to
London Heathrow, arriving in the evening on the same day. On
arrival in London, your tour concludes.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature
the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown
Some hotels may vary. All alternative hotels are of a comparable
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.
Please note: This may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
It was all we could expect. Bill McIntosh is a very good tour manager and Haru's presence was very comforting and useful to speak Japanese and organize things.
Mr D Best
An excellent tour with a great tour manager and guide. The tour captured the essence of Japan but would have liked more time in Tokyo
Mrs A Wallis
Very enjoyable but very tiring with all the travelling!
Mrs D Howell
The holiday was first rate, enjoyed every minute of it. Locations, accommodation, places visited were great. The local Japanese tour guides were professional and good company. Our tour manager worked very hard to ensure we enjoyed ourselves and had a stress free holiday, again very personable and professional. A holiday to remember for all the right reasons
Ms A Perkins
The only reason I have not given a rating of 5 star is because the size of the tour group was too large which did detract somewhat from the enjoyment for all concerned.
Mr M Loveland
A very busy and well organised holiday. All travel arrangements seemed to go smoothly.
Tour manager was considerate and helped to make the holiday a success