Japan - Land Of The Rising Sun
12 nights. November 2020. From £3864.10.
Ancient rituals & modern lives
Join us for a mesmerising introduction to one of the world’s most enthralling countries, mixing ancient past and gleaming modernity. Beginning in ancient Kyoto, where kimono-wearing geishas still shuffle their way along ancient streets, this very special tour takes in Japan's Sixth-century capital, Nara, sombre Hiroshima, Miyajima’s famous torii gate and Himeji’s awe-inspiring castle. Kanzawa’s breath-taking gardens and Shirakawa-Go’s traditional, thatched gassho-zukuri houses lead you into picture-book Takayama, and to Hakone National Park for (hopefully) distant views of majestic Mount Fuji. Two nights in the non-stop, neon futurscape of Tokyo, complete your fascinating journey.
What's Included10 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at hotels in Nara (1 night), Kyoto (1), Hiroshima (1), Himeji (1), Kanazawa (2), Takayama (1), Fujikawaguchiko (1) and Tokyo (2), plus two nights on the aircraft
Three lunches and two dinners
Three lunches and two dinners
Bullet train journeys from Kyoto to Hiroshima, and from Hiroshima to Himeji
Comfortable coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
Holiday HighlightsSee Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, Senso-ji temple and Meiji shrine
Discover Imperial Kyoto, and Japan's original capital, Nara
The views of Mount Fuji from the Owakudani cable-car
Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony
Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima’s famous 'floating' torii gate
Visit Himeji-jõ, Japan’s finest castle
See Shirakawa-go’s traditional houses
Kanazawa’s stunning Kenroku-en Garden
Spend the day in Takayama – gateway to the Japanese Alps
Learn the art of sushi-making
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Fly overnight to Osaka, via Beijing.
Day 2You'll meet your tour manager when you arrive in Osaka, and transfer by coach into nearby Nara, Japan’s original Sixth-century capital.
Day 3Join your guide for a sightseeing tour of Nara to see the Great Buddha at the Todai-ji temple, the sacred deer of Nara Koen Park and Kasuga Taisha shrine, famous for its many bronze and stone lanterns. Later, continue to Kyoto, Japan’s former imperial capital, to visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, one of Japan’s most-visited shrines, and to take part in a traditional tea ceremony – the perfect end to a memorable day.
Day 4Today's guided tour will introduce Kyoto’s treasures, including the famous Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, the Zen Buddhist rock garden of Ryoan-ji and colourful Nishiki market. Visit the spectacular Kiyomizu–dera temple, which offers breath-taking views of the whole city, and stroll the lovingly restored streets of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka. Later board a bullet train to Hiroshima, the site where the first atomic bomb was dropped, on August 6th, 1945.
Day 5Catch a ferry from Miyajimaguchi to the tiny island of Miyajima, where one of Japan’s most famous sights – the 'floating' torii gate – acts as a ceremonial entrance to Itsukushima Shrine. Return to the mainland to visit the Peace Memorial Park, where the startling ruins of the UNESCO-listed A-Bomb Dome and the Cenotaph, under which the names of over 220,000 victims are recorded, serve as poignant reminders of the destruction of the now-rebuilt city. Later, take another bullet train to Himeji, where you will stay for the night and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 6After breakfast, enjoy an included visit to Himeji’s extraordinary White Egret castle – perhaps Japan’s finest fortified palace. Entry to the fortress and its adjoining Kokoen gardens is included, and after your visit you'll travel to Tamba-Sasayama. This city is most famous for its eco-tourism and home-grown products such as black beans and soya beans, and after a locally-sourced lunch you'll continue to Kanazawa.
Day 7This morning, you'll visit Kanazawa’s exquisite Kenroku-en Garden, one of the world’s greatest horticultural treasures, the Samurai House at Nagamachi and the Higashi Chaya geisha district. This afternoon, journey through mountains to the UNESCO-listed village of Gokayama. Visit a washi – a traditional Japanese paper-making centre – and make your own washi postcards before returning to Kanazawa.
Day 8Today we head to UNESCO-listed Shirakawa-go to see its beautifully preserved, thatched gassho-zukuri farmhouses. We'll then proceed to Takayama, in the heart of the Japanese Alps. Here, the streets of Sanmachi Suji are lined with traditional buildings and sake breweries, one of which you'll visit with your guide for a tasting.
Day 9This morning, make the scenic journey into the Japanese Alps, passing Matsumoto's ancient castle and pausing for lunch at Daio Wasabi Farm, where you'll learn about this iconic Japanese food, which is also one of the world's most expensive vegetables. From here we'll continue to Fujikawaguchiko in the Five Lakes region, to stay close to the sacred mountain. On arrival, visit stunningly beautiful, flower-decked Oishi Park, on the shore of Lake Kawaguchiko.
Day 10You'll travel to beautiful Hakone National Park, this morning. Keep your eyes on the horizon in hopes of a view of Mount Fuji as you cruise beautiful Lake Ashi and take a cable-car ride above the Owakudani Valley. This afternoon, head to Tokyo, the extraordinary Japanese capital.
Day 11This morning's sightseeing will take you to Ginza (Tokyo’s Fifth Avenue) and the gardens of the Imperial Palace. Later, you will have the chance to learn about the traditional art of sushi-making, before enjoying an lunch.
Day 12Join your guide for a fascinating day of exploration. Start with a bird's-eye view of the city from the observation floor of Shinjuku’s government buildings, and visits to Yoyogi park and shrine. Visit trendy Harajuku, and join the throng at world-famous Shibuya Crossing. In the afternoon, discover Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s most traditional neighbourhoods, and the ancient Buddhist Senso-ji temple. Then transfer back to the airport to check in for your overnight flight home, via Beijing.
Day 13Arrive home in the mid-morning, at the end of a truly unforgettable holiday in Japan. Back to top
Itinerary variations until May 2020Departures until May 2020 operate a different itinerary, flying into Tokyo and out of Kyoto with Emirates Airlines. The order of the itinerary will be as follows: Tokyo 3 nights, Takayama (1), Fujikawaguchiko (1), Takayama (2), Kanazawa (1), Hiroshima (1) and Kyoto (3). The places visited, and the content of the tour, will remain the same.
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from Tokyo airport to your hotel is approximately 60 minutes, and from your Kyoto hotel to the airport is approximately 90 minutes.
Luggage allowanceYou are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
Passports and visasBritish citizens require passports when travelling overseas and this must be valid for six months beyond the date you return. If you are not a British citizen, you may need a visa for the country/countries you are visiting (please contact the respective embassies to check and to apply).
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Travel vaccinationsRequirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotelsShould circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Road ConditionsIn developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling - although the scenery is usually worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads. Back to top