This fascinating visit explores the ultra-modern Japan of today, as well as the ancient culture and traditions which underpin it. Our tour begins in Tokyo, the dynamic capital, and continues to Kyoto, the spiritual and historical heart of Japan.
Depart on your scheduled flight to Tokyo.
Arrival in Tokyo. Transfer to your hotel for a three night stay. Your afternoon is at leisure to make your own discoveries of this unique city.
Tokyo is a showcase city with wide bridges, deluxe hotels, spectacular theatres and elegant shopping plazas, but modern influences have not over whelmed the old. Tea ceremonies, flower arrangements, festivals and old traditions are a constant reminder of the Japan of ‘Madame Butterfly’ and ‘The Mikado’. Today we include a city tour that takes you to Tokyo’s highlights. You will see the incredible Tokyo Tower, which was built in 1958 as a broadcast tower and is painted orange and white, the Buddhist Asakusa Kaman Temple, the Imperial Palace, the main residence of Japan’s emperor and the Akihabara area, famous for its many electronics stores. Breakfast included.
Today you are at leisure in Tokyo. Alternatively, why not join our optional excursion to the town of Nikko, north of Tokyo, where you will visit the Toshogu Shrine and the stunning Kegon Waterfall, which has a 97 metre drop and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Breakfast included.
Today we travel to Hakone, in the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, for an overnight stay. The town is known for its many hot springs and on our included tour we will see its highlights. We’ll take a cable car ride, a cruise on the lake and visit the beautiful Owakudani Valley as well as stop to take some stunning photographs of Mount Fuji, which towers over the town. Breakfast included.
Morning transfer to Tokyo station. Here you will board the famous Bullet Train bound for Kyoto, where two nights’ accommodation has been arranged. The 325-mile journey takes 2 ½ hours and, weather permitting, you can enjoy views of magnificent Mount Fuji en route. Kyoto was the imperial capital for more than 1,000 years. It presents a nearperfect image of the old Japan - temples hovering over a silk scroll landscape, dreamy gardens and pavillions, multi-coloured kimonos and a refined culture and lifestyle. Kyoto is also the home of the geisha, young girls who are trained in the traditional arts of Japan. This afternoon we have included half-day tour to the Buddhist temples of Sanjusangen do, famous for its thousandarmed kannon statue, and Kiyomizu-dera, with its superb views across the city. Breakfast included.
This morning we enjoy a second sightseeing tour of Kyoto, visiting the Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle and the Heian Shrine, before an included lunch. This afternoon, we offer an optional excursion to Nara, the ‘City of Temples’. This former capital of Japan is home to the Todaiji Temple. Breakfast and lunch included today.
We board the Bullet Train again today for the journey to Hiroshima, the city tragically destroyed by an atomic bomb in the Second World War, for an overnight stay. We take a tour of Hiroshima and Miyajima Island, visiting the Itsukushima Shrine and the Peace Memorial Park. One sight today that you’ll never forget is the Atomic Bomb Dome - the remains of one of the few buildings to survive at the epicentre of the bomb blast. This is a fitting reminder memorial to all those who lost their lives. Breakfast included.
Another Bullet Train journey today as we travel from Hiroshima to Osaka, where we stay for 1 night. This evening you can enjoy a fugu fish during an included dinner at a local licensed restaurant. Fugu, or blowfish as we more commonly know it, can only be prepared by expert chefs who have spent at least 10 years training for their licence to prepare the dish. This quality and care has earned fugu the status of a delicacy in Japan.
Osaka, almost flattened during the Second World War, has been rebuilt as a modern city that’s still in touch with its history. On our included half day tour, you’ll discover its heart, from historic Osaka Castle and the 1,400 year-old Shitennjo-ji Temple to Universal Studios Japan and its countless amusement parks. And no visit to Osaka would be complete without a trip to Umeda, the main shopping district.
Transfer to the airport this afternoon for your return flight to the UK. Breakfast included.
Arrival in the UK.