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 12 days as we explore the
'Land of the Rising Sun' by rail.
Meet your group and Tour Manager at the 4-Star Keio
Plaza Hotel for your first night in Japan, where we
enjoy a welcome dinner together this evening to celebrate the start
of our adventure.
Day 2 - 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 3 - To Hakone
Today, after a morning at leisure, we continue to Hakone by
train, traveling in a 'Romance Car' on the picturesque
narrow-gauge line. On arrival, we tour 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 4 - 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 Center to learn more
about the snow-capped peak. We also stop at Oishi Park, which
boasts unparalleled views of the iconic Japanese mountains.
Day 5 - To Takayama
This morning, 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. The tour continues by coach as 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.
After our explorations, we return to Takayama, where we spend
the night at the Hotel Associa Takayama.
Day 6 - To Hiroshima
We make a visit to Miyagawa Market this morning, then travel to
the 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
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 7 - Miyajima Island
Today we travel by tram and boat to Miyajima Island, where we
leave modern life behind in the tranquillity 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 8-9 - Hiroshima to Kyoto
This morning we visit the World Peace Memorial Park and the
A-Bomb Dome, both poignant reminders of the destruction levied here
in 1945. We also listen to a talk from a Hiroshima survivor or a
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. We enjoy a walking tour of the Gion
district, after which we indulge in a dinner in Pontocho Alley, a
lantern-lit street lined with traditional wooden buildings. Famed
for its traditional 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 full day of sightseeing on Day 9 takes us to
the Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and the Kiyomizu Temple. In the
afternoon we enjoy a traditional tea ceremony.
Day 10 - 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, Nigatsu-do
Shrine, and Nara's serene deer park.
Day 11 - Osaka
We travel by coach to Osaka today, a futuristic city which we
are introduced to on a guided tour. We visit the observatory,
housed within the iconic Umeda Sky Building for panoramic views
over Osaka and its castle, ahead of a farewell dinner tonight.
Day 12 - Homeward bound
Leave Osaka this morning, as you make your way home.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature
the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown
For this tour, we recommend arriving into Tokyo Haneda Airport
or Narita Airport, which are approximately 6/42 miles from your
first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is the Osaka
Airport, which is approximately 31 miles from your final hotel.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport,
visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your
itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot
travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with
any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses
which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any
passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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.
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
Submitted Oct 19, 2019
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
Submitted Apr 18, 2019
Very enjoyable but very tiring with all the traveling!
Mrs D Howell
Submitted Oct 31, 2018
The vacation 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 vacation, again very personable and professional. A vacation to remember for all the right reasons
Ms A Perkins
Submitted May 07, 2018
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
Submitted May 07, 2018
A very busy and well organised vacation. All travel arrangements seemed to go smoothly.
Tour manager was considerate and helped to make the vacation a success