12 days from £4605.00pp
To book this holiday please contact our Sales Team directly on
This tour of Japan is the perfect introduction to one of the world’s most enthralling countries - a mix of ancient and modern, and stunning works of nature.
Beginning in Hiroshima, where you’ll visit the Peace Park and view Miyajima’s famous torii gate, this very special journey will take you to Himeji’s awe-inspiring castle, bustling Osaka, Japan's Sixth-century capital Nara, and ancient, mesmerising Kyoto. Kanazawa’s gardens, Shirakawa-Go’s traditional thatched gassho-zukuri houses and picture-book Takayama are followed by Nagoya’s museums of the modern age, and (hopefully) some unforgettable views of majestic Mount Fuji from Hakone. Two days in Tokyo's non-stop, neon futurescape – where gleaming modern towers and the latest technology share the landscape with temples and palaces – complete a fascinating journey.
View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip
Fly overnight from the UK, via Beijing, to Hiroshima.
You'll meet your tour manager when you arrive in Osaka, and transfer into the city, heading to your hotel.
Join your guide and cross 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.
Board the coach and head to historic Kurshiki, with its ancient kura rice storehouses, before continuing 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 board a Shinkansen Bullet Train for the journey to Osaka. Once here, relax or enjoy a first evening in this colourful city.
Today you'll head to Nara, Japan’s Sixth-century capital, where sights include Todai-ji temple’s Great Buddha, the sacred deer of the Nara Koen Park and Kasuga Taisha shrine, one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines and famous for its traditional lanterns.
Return to Osaka for a guided exploration of the retro World Expo Shinsekai area, the dazzling electronic wonderland of the Den-Den district and Dotonbori – Japan’s Kitchen, with its restaurants and street vendors.
Discover the highlights of Japan's former imperial capital, including the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine’s red torii gates, the spectacular Kiyomizu-dera temple, which offers breath-taking views of the whole city, and the famous Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion. See the Zen Buddhist rock garden of Ryoan-ji, and the lovingly restored streets of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka.
This evening, why not visit the Gion district to catch sight of geishas hurrying along?
Journey to coastal Kanazawa today, to visit the exquisite Kenroku-en Garden, one of the world’s great horticultural treasures, and to get a glimpse of Japan's past at Nagamachi’s Samurai House and in the Higashi Chaya-Gai geisha district. Lunch is included today, and you’ll also spend the night in the city.
Today you'll head to UNESCO-listed Gokayama, 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.
You'll also visit the fascinating folk museum chronicling Japanese life through the centuries, then head to contrastingly modern Nagoya for an overnight stay.
Explore two of modern Japan’s most fascinating museums – the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, which showcases the automotive giant’s growth from a small textile manufacturer, and the equally compelling SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, whose collection includes both steam locomotives and ultra-modern magnetic-levitating trains.
Afterwards, you'll head to Fujinomiya, in the shadow of iconic, volcanic Mount Fuji, which you’ll hopefully see from the heritage centre’s observation deck.
This evening enjoy dinner – and perhaps a hot-spring Onsen bath – at your hotel.
Today you'll journey north to beautiful Hakone National Park, dominated on clear days by the cone of Mount Fuji. Take a cruise on Lake Ashi and ride the cable car above the Owakudani Valley, then travel through the volcanic landscape to Tokyo for a first evening in the capital.
Join your guide for a fascinating day, that will include the gardens of the Imperial Palace, the ancient Buddhist Senso-ji temple and nearby, traditional Nakamise shopping street.
Enjoy an entertaining lunch that includes a sushi-making experience, a bird’s eye view of the city from the observation floor of Shinjuku’s government buildings, a stroll along the tree-lined avenues of Yoyogi park, the Meiji Shrine and a visit to world-famous Shibuya Crossing – a chaotic four-way sea of humanity. Why not visit one of Omote-sando’s Parisian-style cafés or discover the shops and stores of Ginz, Tokyo’s equivalent of Fifth Avenue, before returning to your hotel at the end of an exciting last day?
Today you'll transfer to the airport to check in for your flight home via Beijing.
To book this holiday please contact our Sales Team directly on
You will be staying in a series of good quality hotels, all of which will be of at least a European three/four-star standard.
The transfer time from Hiroshima airport to your hotel is approximately one hour. On departure the transfer time to Tokyo airport is approximately 30 mins.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
British 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).
If 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.
The 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.
Requirements 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.
Occasionally, 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.
Should 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.
In 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.
Please note, all flights operate via Beijing.
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