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Adventures through Japan

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2021 Tour code: JAS21

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Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Tokyo

We meet the rest of our group and our Tour Manager at London Heathrow, before boarding our flight to Beijing. Here, we continue with another flight to Tokyo.

Day 2 - Arrive in Tokyo

We arrive on Day 2  in Tokyo. We transfer by coach to our hotel, and on arrival, we have a short orientation tour of the local area on foot.

Day 3 - Guided tour of Tokyo

Begin today with a full-day's guided tour of Tokyo, a city where cutting edge technology sits alongside ancient temples, and shining skyscrapers that tower above stunning Shinto shrines. Included in the sights we see are Tokyo's government building and the Meiji Jingu Shrine, dedicated to deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. There is also free time in Harajuku and Omotesando, one of Tokyo's premier shopping districts. Next, we visit the Hamarikyu Gardens where we enjoy tea and sweets, and view the regal double-bridged entrance to the Imperial Palace Plaza.

Day 4 - Senso-ji Buddhist temple

We continue our explorations on the morning of Day 4 by visiting the Edo Museum, before travelling by coach to the Senso-ji Buddhist temple, dedicated to the Asakusa Kannon - the goddess of mercy. Afterwards, we take a stroll along Nakamise shopping street, one of the oldest of its kind in the whole of Japan. We also enjoy a group lunch at a local restaurant before a free afternoon and evening.

Day 5 - Mount Fuji

Today we travel by coach to Mount Fuji, one of the highlights of our holiday and arguably Japan's most distinctive landmark. Driving along the foot of the famous mountain and up its northern slopes, arrive at the Mount Fuji 5th Station, which provides the closest view of Mount Fuji.

If the weather doesn't allow for a safe ascent, we visit the Mount Fuji Visitor Centre. Afterwards, we take the Hakone ropeway (cable car) to the sulphurous hot springs at Owakudani, after which we descend to Lake Ashi for a short cruise.

Day 6 - Hiroshima

This morning, we board the world-famous bullet train for a high-speed journey to Hiroshima, a city that rose to prominence after the dropping of an atomic bomb by the United States Air Force on 6th August 1945. Approximately 90% of the city was levelled, and Hiroshima's busiest commercial district was eradicated - leaving just an open field. This was turned into the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which opened on 1st April 1954.

We also spend time at the A-bomb Dome, the closest building to the hypo-centre of the bomb. It would have been demolished, but was more intact than originally thought, and in 1996 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Entrance is also included to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Day 7 - Miyajima Island

Just off the coast from Hiroshima, Miyajima Island - otherwise known as Itsukushima - is seen as sacred. Trees cannot be cut here, and some animals, including monkeys and deer, roam freely. To further preserve the apparent purity of the island, children cannot be born here. There are also a number of shrines on the island, but none are more famous than the magnificent 'floating' Itsukushima Shrine, which is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. Entrance is included in our tour, after which you have some free time to explore.

Day 8 - Kyoto

On Day 8 we travel again by bullet train, this time to Kyoto - Japan's ancient capital. Here, we embark on a tour that takes us to the Fushimi Inari shrine, dedicated to the God of rice and sake, before making a visit to the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum and enjoying a tasting of this unique national tipple.

Day 9 - Arashiyama bamboo forest

Today, we continue sightseeing in and around Kyoto with visits to the secluded Kinkaku-ji temple and Ryoan-ji temple, both built for the practise of Zen Buddhism. Later, we take an excursion to the incredible Arashiyama bamboo forest, which provides a truly magical experience as we walk through the sprawling grove of bamboo trees that tower, seemingly endlessly, above us. Later, we visit Nijo Castle before a walking tour of Gion with a local guide.

Day 10 - Nara Deer Park

This morning, we transfer by coach to ancient Nara, where we make a stop at Nara Deer Park, so named due to the large number of tame deer that roam around it. Originally believed to be messengers of the gods, the deer were seen as sacred. As well as being a vast expanse of beautiful parkland, Nara park is also home to the Todai-ji Temple, a Buddhist building founded in the first half of the 8th century.

Day 11 - Kyoto

Day 11 is free for you to explore Kyoto at your own pace. Perhaps visit one of its many Buddhist temples, gardens, imperial palaces, or Shinto shrines. The city is also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes. You may even spot a Geisha, who are often found in the Gion district.

Day 12 - Osaka

Today, we travel by coach to the city of Osaka and explore Osaka Castle, a traditional pagoda-style building dating back to the 16th century. Afterwards, experience the dynamic Dotonbori district with its neon signs lining the waterfront.

Day 13 - London

On the morning of Day 13, we transfer to the airport for our flight to London Heathrow via Beijing.