Phenomenal rail journeys of Asia
By Sukie Chapman
18 January 2018
You love rail travel but also want to explore further afield than Europe; this is a conundrum many of our customers call us about.Read more
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. Tokyo is one of the world's leading economic centres, and with its population of almost 13 million people, is the most populous city on the planet. Tokyo only became Japan's capital in 1868. Before then it was a small settlement known as Edo, but with the restoration of Imperial rule, the city became the showpiece of a rapidly modernising country.
In the first half of the 20th century, Tokyo suffered two major setbacks. The catastrophic Kanto Earthquake of 1923 - and the resulting fires - claimed the lives of 140,000 people, made almost 2 million homeless and virtually levelled the city. Furthermore, it again suffered major destruction during the Second World War after being bombed by US forces. But the city rose from the ashes of all of this to become a major economic force, and though much of Tokyo consists of relatively new buildings, it still retains a selection of wonderful historic structures.
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.… see more
13 days from £3,695 ppView tour details >
Absorb ancient history and timeless tradition as we travel through the 'Land of the Rising Sun' by futuristic bullet train. Sample Japanese whiskey, soak up the spectacular sight of Mount Fuji, experience an authentic tea ceremony and explore the bustling cities of Tokyo and Hiroshima on an all-encompassing route through Japan's highlights.… see more
16 days from £5,495 ppView tour details >
Discover Japan in winter, exploring its stunning temples iconic cities, the world-renowned Sapporo Snow Festival, where imposing ice sculptures loom, and the mischievous snow monkeys that inhabit the 'Land of the Rising Sun.'… see more
11 days from £3,995 ppView tour details >
One such structure is the Senso-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon - otherwise known as the goddess of mercy. According to legend, a golden image of Kannon was rescued from the nearby Sumida River by two fishermen in 627 AD. The temple was first built in 645 and has been home to the golden image ever since - though it is not currently on display. Today's elaborate complex dates from 1727, and stands on the site of the very first building.
As well as ancient shrines and modern buildings, Tokyo also boasts some great shopping districts and fantastic markets. These include Ameyoko, a busy shopping street dominated by small market-style stalls selling a wide variety of wares. Ameyoko runs parallel to the railway lines, and includes a large market under the railway tracks. This bustling area reveals another facet of the city, and is great to discover.