From the neon-lit metropolis that is Tokyo to the serenity of Hiroshima's poignant Peace Memorial Park, uncover the astonishing contrasts of the land of the rising sun. This bespoke itinerary takes you on a captivating route through some of Japan's cultural highlights; a place where ancient history and tradition meets futuristic technology in a spectacular collision of old and new.
After your flight to Hong Kong, where you arrive on the morning of Day 2, you catch your flight to Narita. From here you transfer by coach to your hotel in Tokyo, where you spend the next 3 nights.
On Days 3 and 4 you are free to explore Tokyo, one of the world's most cutting-edge capital and a city of contrasts. Famous for its sprawling neon-lit landscape it is also home to expansive parkland, peaceful shrines and temples, and lovingly tended gardens. On the surface, Tokyo is a mix of digital trends and conspicuous consumption, but dig deeper and discover a city rooted deeply in traditional culture. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples stand close to skyscrapers as a reminder of a more contemplative time. At the heart of the hyperactive center lies the serene Imperial Palace, the home of the ruling emperor that provides a tangible link to the city's historical past. Behind the shopping, entertainment, and commercial emporia you will find quaint wooden houses, private gardens with meticulously clipped bonsai trees and the calm of the Hamarikyu Gardens.
Optional guided tour and excursions are available on request.
After making your own way to Tokyo Station, travel by Shinkansen (Standard Class) to Odawara. From Odawara, you can use your 2-Day Hakone Freepasses (included in quotation) to make your way to your accommodation.
The Hakone Freepass is a discount ticket offering coverage of all the popular sightseeing destinations in Hakone. In addition to a round-trip ticket on the Odakyu Line and on-and-off transport privileges within the designated area, the Hakone Freepass comes with a range of discounts at merchants, attractions, and other locations. The pass provides access to 8 different transportation systems in the area, such as the Hakone Tozan Line and the Hakone Ropeway, allowing you the freedom and convenience to thoroughly explore Hakone.
Tonight you stay at Ichinoyu Honkan (Traditional Japanese Ryoken) in a Standard Room on an evening meal and breakfast basis. Standard rooms have shared bathoom facilities, though you can upgrade to private facilities if you choose.
Hakone is a natural nature wonderland and is famous for its hot springs, outdoor pursuits and the view of the nearby Mount Fuji. It is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and besides the towering mountains, lakes and views of Mount Fuji, it is also blessed with a number of interesting historical sites.
After making your own way from your accomodations to Odawara Station using your freepasses, you travel by Shinkansen (Standard Class) to Kyoto. Upon arrival in Kyoto, make your own way to your accomodations, where you spend the next 3 nights.
You are free to explore Kyoto at your leisure. Kyoto is the nation's former capital and the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868. With 2,000 religious buildings, including 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, as well as palaces, gardens and associated architecture, it is one of the best-preserved cities in Japan, and has a fantastic 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The city represents the "Japan of old" and beyond the high-rise skyscrapers built as a monument to progress, Japan's historical and cultural past is evident in the city's narrow alleyways, where tea houses abound and kimono-clad geisha hurry from elegant function to function.
Optional excursions avaiiable on request
After making your own way to Kyoto Station, you travel by Shinkansen (Standard Class) to Hiroshima. Upon arrival in Kyoto, make your own way to your accomodation, where you spend the next 2 nights.
You have free time to explore Hiroshima, which is globally known for its tragic history as the target of the first atomic bomb during the end of World War II. Despite the wide-ranging effects of the bomb dropped over 70 years ago, Hiroshima has recovered as a thriving city and is viewed as a beacon of hope and peace throughout the world. Destroyed monuments of the city's historical heritage, such as the Shukkeien Garden and the Hiroshima Castle, have been rebuilt. The city center boasts a large recreational area named Peace Memorial Park that reflects the peaceful aspirations of this reborn city. It is now the principal city of the Chugoku region and is home to over a million inhabitants who live in a municipality that boasts wide tree-lined boulevards and rivers. Besides excellent museums, Hiroshima is also the most popular gateway for trips to nearby Miyajima, an island historically ranked as one of Japan's 'three most scenic spots'.
Optional Excursions available on request
After making your own way to Hiroshima Station, you travel by Shinkansen (Standard Class) to Osaka. Upon arrival in Osaka, make your own way to your accomodations, where you will spend the night.
Your time in Osaka is free. The historical commercial capital of Japan, Osaka is Japan's 3rd largest metropolis and it has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for centuries. Osaka first gained prominence when a powerful warlord built the country's most magnificent castle in the 16th century. To develop resources for his castle town, the ruler persuaded merchants from other parts of the nation to resettle in Osaka and it became an important distribution center. As the merchant class prospered, the town grew and traditional arts such as kabuki and bunraku flourished. With the legacy of the city's commercial beginnings still intact, Osaka is renowned as a hub for international business. It is also famous for its local cuisine, large aquarium, underground shopping arcade, and its popular Universal Studios amusement park.
Optional Excursions available on request
Today, you transfer from your accommodation to Osaka Airport where you catch your flight home, via Hong Kong, arriving in the morning of Day 14.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
THE SHINKANSEN - JAPAN'S BULLET TRAIN
Shinkansen refers to the dedicated high-speed Japanese rail network that provides a link to most major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. The name 'Shinkansen' is also used to refer to the trains that run on the network - which are perhaps better known as 'Bullet Trains'. Renowned for their punctuality, comfort and safety, the trains are frequent and fast, regularly running at speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h). The trains offer comfortable reclining seats and large windows and there are usually refreshment trolleys selling snacks and beverages.
Journeys aboard these futuristic trains deliver you to cities and rural escapes across this island nation, with highlights including;
Effortlessly blending the old and the new, Tokyo is a city that defies definition. Cutting edge technology sits alongside ancient temples, flashing neon lights, and shining skyscrapers towering above stunning Shinto shrines.
Lying in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Hakone is a stunning area of lakes, forests and hot springs. Take a cable car to the sulphurous hot springs at Owakudani, then descend to Lake Ashi for a short cruise.
Having seen devastation in World War II, Hiroshima is now a symbol of peace, a theme you can explore with a visit to Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome, both dedicated to the victims of the tragic devastation of WWII.
Discover the delights of historic Kyoto, from the UNESCO-listed Nijo Castle to the charming temples Kyoto is famed for. You could even participate in traditional tea ceremony at the Kodaiji Temple.
Another former capital from Japan's fractured ancient history, and home to an impressive 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Nara is also known for it's 1,300 acre deer park.
Optional Extras available on request:
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
Flight upgrades are available. Please see the information regarding the types of upgrades offered by the various airlines we use in the Add-ons section of 'Things you should know' or call us for details.
Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a
difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the
capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager
the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West
End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your
return to London, you would like to break your journey with an
overnight stay before continuing home.
We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.
|Hotel||Board||Star||Weekday room rate||Weekend room rate
|Pullman London St Pancras||B&B||4-star||From £240||From £220|
|Comfort Inn Kings Cross||B&B||3-star||From £150||From £150|
|President Hotel||B&B||3-star||From £110||From £110|
The prices above are from prices and are per room per
night based on 2 sharing a twin/double room, subject to
availability. Prices may change without prior notice. Booking
conditions apply. If you would like a quote for your particular
holiday please contact us on 01904 521900
Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.
We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.
Estimated costs of return rail travel in the UK can be found on our add-ons page.
For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.