Highlights: Small group tour
Call Oliver on 01543 258631 or email
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From the thrills of the high tech metropolis of Tokyo to the
serenity of Zen gardens and hidden temples in Kyoto, this journey along the
ancient route of the Tokaido highway is a fantastic introduction to Japan’s
uniquely rich and vibrant culture.
The tour begins and ends in Japan's vibrant capital Tokyo where you can enjoy
the many contrasts of this exciting city. The tour has been upgraded to include
a 7 day Japan Rail Pass and an excursion day from Kyoto, allowing you to check
out any one of a number of extra destinations. We will be spending the first
couple of nights in Asakusa, an area of the city which is dominated by the
atmospheric Senso-ji temple whilst at the end of the tour we will be based in
the exciting Shinjuku district where a plethora of neon, restaurants, bars and
A fantastic mix of ancient and modern
From Tokyo the tour will move on along the route of the old Tokaido Highway (now
traversed by the 'Bullet' Train) taking in the old capitals of Kamakura and
Kyoto and the mountainous hot-spring resort of Hakone along the way. In Kamakura
we will stay in a locally run pension style hotel and enjoy an artfully
presented and tasty 'kaiseki' dinner whilst in Hakone we'll enjoy a stay in a
Japanese style guesthouse where relaxing hot spring baths await. And, if we are
lucky with the weather, then a glimpse of the often elusive Mt Fuji may be on
the itinerary too!
The penultimate stop on the itinerary will be Kyoto, Japan's cultural heartland
where you'll find an alluring array of temples, shrines and gardens. Hidden
treasures lie around nearly every corner as Japan's rich culture of Buddhism and
Shinto can be experienced at close quarters, offering a window into a very
different past. Kyoto is of course most famous for its Geisha, and our unique
tour of the Gion district will give you the chance to catch a glimpse of a
Geisha in her traditional home.
On your third day in Kyoto you have the option of spending more time in this
fascinating city or of taking an excursion using the included 7 day Japan Rail
Pass. This will give you the chance to visit Hiroshima, Himeji Castle, the
gardens of Kanazawa or indeed anywhere within day-tripping distance of the old
capital! Your Tour Leader will be more than happy to assist you in planning your
A ride back to Tokyo on the super-fast 'Bullet' Train completes what will truly
be an unforgettable experience of Japan ancient and modern. This is the classic
** New - 5 night Self-Guided add-on package **
Why not spend a few more days in Japan, with our 5-night self-guided extension?
You will have 2 nights in Nikko, to visit some of Japan's most ornate temples
and shrines and enjoy the beautiful scenery around Lake Chuzenji. You then head
further north to Sendai, a vibrant modern city with a variety of day trip
options on offer, so you can tailor your time here to suit your preferences.
Coastal scenery at Matsushima, the cliff-top temple complex of Yamadera and the
rich history of Hiraizumi all compete for your attention! After 2 nights in
Sendai you will travel back to Tokyo for a final night before heading home.
The Pacific coast of the Tohoku region bore the brunt of the tragic earthquake
and tsunami of March 2011. The destinations you will visit are all fully
recovered, and the hotels, inns, restaurants and local suppliers we work with
are keen for our customers to visit. This is a great opportunity to contribute
to the recovery of this beautiful region of Japan.
Day 1 Tokyo-Meals: Dinner
The tour group convenes in Tokyo. Your Tour Leader will come to the airport to
meet you and escort you back into Tokyo and on to our hotel in Asakusa, the
‘down-town’ area of the old Edo. Many of our customers choose to arrive a day
early (your Leader will still be available to meet you at the airport) in order
to get over jet-lag and get the most out of the tour. The first night’s dinner
is on us at a restaurant a short subway ride from the hotel. Please note that
depending on arrival times we may hold tonight’s dinner on the evening of day 2.
Your Leader will let you know all the plans when you arrive.
Day 2 Tokyo-Meals: Breakfast
After breakfast, your Tour Leader will be leading a full day tour of the city.
We’ll be checking out the amazing Tokyo Metropolitan Government buildings, Meiji
Shrine and the fashionable district of Harajuku, and the stunning new
development at Shiodome before relaxing in the beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens. You
might like to take a cup of freshly made green tea served in the tea house which
is the focal point of the garden. The day will end with a 45 minute boat trip on
the Sumida River which runs through the centre of Tokyo taking us back to
Asakusa from where we began our day’s exploring.
Day 3 Kamakura-Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
Today we’ll be making an early start... about 4.30am in actual fact if you’d
like to join us at the city’s morning fish market! This is a great experience
and a chance to eat some of Japan’s best sushi on us! After returning to the
hotel we will be departing for Kamakura. The journey takes about 1h45 from door
to door. You’ll be able to drop off your bags before heading off to look around
some of Kamakura’s many beautiful temples and shrines. The town is small enough
to see all the major sights on foot and there are some really nice walking
routes you might like to take. Be sure not to miss the big Buddha at Kotokuin
temple. In the evening you will be treated to an exquisite ‘kaiseki’ meal at a
local restaurant. The chef will specially prepare a full course meal containing
no meat or fish for the vegetarians in the group.
Day 4 Hakone-Meals: Breakfast
After enjoying breakfast at our hotel we will move on to Hakone. Total journey
time is around 2h30. The tour includes a Hakone Free-Pass which allows you
unlimited travel on all of the many forms of transport in the Hakone region;
buses, funicular railway, cable car, rope-way, and even the sightseeing ‘pirate’
boat which crosses Lake Ashi. From here, if you’re lucky and the skies are
clear, you will get a stunning view of Mt. Fuji. There are lots of things to see
and do in Hakone and we’ll make sure you have all the necessary maps and
information. Our ryokan has a very nice outdoor hot sping ‘rotemburo’ bath, so
you can relax after a hard day’s sightseeing with a soak under the stars.
Day 5 Hakone-Meals: Breakfast
A full day to explore Hakone. You may like to take a short hike along what
remains of the old Tokaido highway that used to be the major road linking Edo
(modern day Tokyo) with Kyoto and Osaka. The Open Air Sculpture Museum features
pieces by many world-renowned artists all set against a stunning mountain
backdrop. There is an assortment of museums to visit and of course one of
Hakone's famous wooden marquetry "trick boxes" would make for a great souvenir.
Day 6 Kyoto-Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
After breakfast we’ll be moving on to Kyoto, taking a two hour ride on the world
famous ‘Bullet’ Train. Kyoto needs no introduction and is without doubt Japan’s
capital of history and culture. We’ll be spending the afternoon doing some
leisurely sightseeing and enjoying the hidden delights of this wonderful city.
This evening there is a “Geisha Walking Lecture” with a local Geisha Expert,
giving you a truly unique insight into this hidden world. The tour will be
followed by dinner at a local Japanese restaurant. It’s sure to be an exciting
Day 7 Kyoto-Meals: Breakfast
Another day in this most famous of Japanese cities. There are all sorts of
options for sightseeing in Kyoto and your tour leader will be hand to advise
Of course, your tour leader will have some plans for perhaps some more unsual
activities. One option is to head out of the city and then take a traditional
style boat back down the Hozu River. This makes for quite a change from the
usual temple hopping and is a lovely way to relax and enjoy some of the
beautiful countryside outside of the main city. The boat ends up in Arashiyama,
a charming district of Kyoto from where you can easily explore some of the
famous, and not so famous sights.
If your tour leader is Liam Chawdhary you may have the chance to join him for a
Japanese cooking lesson. Liam is a Japanese food addict and can show you some of
Whatever it is you want to do, be sure to ask your Tour Leader who will be on
hand to help you out.
Day 8 KyotoMeals: Breakfast
Today is our Excursion day – a free day for you to use your Japan Rail Pass
(included in the tour price) to visit a destination of your choice. Popular
choices will include Hiroshima, Himeji Castle, Nara or even Kanazawa which
boasts one of Japan’s top 3 gardens, Kenrokuen. You can of course opt to stay in
Kyoto if you wish to explore more in the city.
Day 9 Tokyo Meals: Breakfast
Take the Tokaido Shinkansen back to Tokyo today for our final day in the
capital. You’ll be able to check out some of the sights you missed first time
round or perhaps stock up on souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back
home. We’ll be staying right in the heart of the bright lights of Shinjuku and
we hope that you will join your Tour Leader for a final night of top Japanese
food and drink!
Day 10 Depart:Meals: Breakfast
Today we all have to say our goodbyes and head our separate ways. Your transfer
back to the airport is included by train, allowing you to relax knowing that you
will be in good time for checking in. We wish you all the best for a safe
journey home and hope that perhaps one day you will return to Japan for some
more adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun.
9 nights accommodation
All transport between destinations including return airport transfers and 7 day
Japan Rail Pass
Meet & Greet at Narita Airport
3 evening meals
Tokyo local transport pass
Sumida River boat cruise in Tokyo
Hakone Free Pass for local transport in Hakone
Geisha district evening walking tour in Kyoto
Full time services of your Tour Leader
What’s NOT Included:
Additional local transport (except that covered by the transport passes in Tokyo
Any entrance fees including those for shrines, temples and museums
Contact us for departure dates and prices.
How to book
Call us on 01543 258631 or email