Departing by Air
Duration 13 Days
Available November 2020

Join us for a mesmerising introduction to Japan – 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 torrii 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.

Japan – Land of the Rising Sun Available Departures

Japan – Land of the Rising Sun

  • See 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’ torrii 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

Price Includes

  • 10 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

Single supplements apply. Offer is subject to availability.


Day One – Fly to Japan

Fly overnight to Osaka, via Beijing.

Day Two – Arrive in Nara

You’ll meet your tour manager when you arrive in Osaka, and transfer by coach into nearby Nara, Japan’s original Sixth-century capital.

Day Three – Included tour of Nara and travel to Kyoto

Join 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 Four – Included tour of Kyoto

Today’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 Five – Included visit to Miyajima and Hiroshima tour

Catch 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 Six – Himeji Castle and Kanazawa

After 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 Seven – Included visits to Kenroku-en Garden and Gokayama

This 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 Eight – Included visit to Takayama

Today 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 Nine – The Japanese Alps

This 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 10 – Included visit to Hakone National Park

You’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 11 – Included Tokyo sightseeing tour

This 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 12 – Included Tokyo city tour

Join 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 13 – Arrive back in the UK

Arrive home in the mid-morning, at the end of a truly unforgettable holiday in Japan.

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