Our Insider Experience
- Join some sumo wrestlers to enjoy a ‘chanko’ sumo lunch and learn about the unique world of
sumo. Try on a sumo suit and put your skills to the test against a professional.
- Follow the meandering paths through the soaring stalks of bamboo which make up the bamboo groves of Arashiyama just outside of Kyoto.
- Enjoy a traditional kaiseki meal as you’re entertained by a Maiko in Kyoto. Take the opportunity to gain inside knowledge about the fascinating life of an apprentice Geisha.
DAY 1 Tokyo On arrival in Tokyo, transfer to your hotel and enjoy free time until your tour briefi ng. Stay the next two nights at Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu (or similar).
DAY 2 TokyoExplore Tokyo on foot and the underground rail network. Visit serene Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine with a 12 metre high torii gate at the entrance. Continue to the Imperial Palace to see Nijubashi, a metal bridge built in 1888. Travel by train to Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s liveliest districts, and home to some of the city’s best street food, and old izakaya and yakitori restaurants. Learn about the world of sumo as you enjoy a ‘chanko’ sumo lunch with some sumo wrestlers. After lunch, try on a sumo suit and test your skills against a professional. Spend time exploring Asakusa before returning to your hotel. (BL)
DAY 3 Tokyo to Hakone Take the train from Tokyo to Hakone, best known for its views of the mountains, natural beauty and hot springs. Travel on the ropeway for beautiful views of Lake Ashi and on a clear day, see iconic Mt Fuji. Sail across the waters of Lake Ashi on a pirate ship before returning to your accommodation. Stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese guesthouse and enjoy a delicious dinner, soak in the onsen and sleep on a futon mattress in an immaculate tatami-floored room. Overnight at Hakone Pax Yoshino (or similar) (BD)
DAY 4 Hakone to TakayamaFrom Hakone, travel by train to ancient Takayama, famous for its well preserved old town district and traditional atmosphere. On the way, enjoy a bento box for lunch. Visit Takayama Jinya, a former government building which offers insights into Japan’s history. Stroll along Kami Sannomachi Street to see the immaculately preserved traditional wooden houses. View the elaborate festival fl oats at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan and enjoy free time before walking back to the hotel. Stay the next two nights at Best Western Hotel Takayama (or similar) (BL)
DAY 5 TakayamaSpend the day at leisure exploring Takayama and its surrounds at your own pace. You may choose to visit Shirakawago, a World Heritage Listed protected village famous for its stunning natural beauty and steeply pitched thatched roofs designed to withstand the heavy winter snowfall. Discover the shrines and temples of the Teramachi district or travel a short distance to Hida-Furukawa to admire the preserved buildings. (B)
DAY 6 Takayama to KyotoTravel by train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital, a hub for Geisha and the home of royal cuisine. On arrival, enjoy some free time. Late afternoon, join a walking tour along Ponto-cho and Hanami-koji Lane in the Gion district where you may see a Geisha walking between appointments. Stay the next four nights at Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo (or similar) (B)
DAY 7 Kyoto Spend the day walking and travelling by public transport to discover Kyoto’s highlights. Take the train to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and marvel at the towering stalks of bamboo before continuing to Tenryuji Temple. See Katsura River from Togetsukyo Bridge and take the iconic purple Randen Train to Ryoanji Temple, the site of the most famous rock garden in Japan. Visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), an elegant, gilded 14th century building which is one of Japan’s most cherished sites. (B)
DAY 8 Kyoto Discover Kyoto and its surrounds with a free day to explore independently. Take the train to the historic city of Hiroshima, venture to Osaka to see Osaka Castle, meet Nara’s deer population or visit Himeji Castle – the choice is yours. (B)
DAY 9 KyotoSpend a free day exploring Kyoto at your own pace. Th is evening, enjoy a special kaiseki farewell dinner while being entertained by a Maiko (an apprentice Geisha). (BD)
DAY 10 KyotoTransfer by private taxi to Kyoto Station for your onward journey. (B)
- 7 Day Rail Pass
- 8 nights hotel accommodation
- 1 night Ryokan accommodation
- All high-speed train travel as specified in the itinerary
- Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
- Entrance Fees
- English-speaking Tour Leader
- All tips on tour
- Return transfers (conditions apply)
- Meals as indicated B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Meals other than those specified
- Visa fees
- Insurance and personal expenses such as laundry, mini-bar, telephone and drinks.
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Specification: Highlights of Japan
Highlights of Japan
From £ 2,875