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Adventures through Japan

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Fall in love with this unique country

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20202021
13 days From £3,395 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2021 Tour code: JAS21

About the tour

Cherry blossoms, geisha, tea ceremonies, sake, Shinto and sacred temples; Japan has it all, and when you travel through cities and countryside alike by rail, it is all too easy to fall in love with this unique country.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-2 - London & Tokyo

At London Heathrow, board your flight to Beijing then continue your journey and fly to Tokyo, where you arrive on Day 2. Transfer by coach to your hotel. On arrival, you have a short orientation tour of the local area on foot.

Tokyo
Days 3-4 - Guided tour of Tokyo

Begin your Japanese experience with a full-day's guided tour of Tokyo, a city where cutting edge technology sits alongside ancient temples, flashing neon lights, and shining skyscrapers that tower above stunning Shinto shrines. Included in the sights you see are Tokyo's government building, whose observation deck offers panoramic views over the city, the Meiji Jingu Shrine, dedicated to deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. There is also free time in Harajuku and Omotesando, one of Tokyo's premier shopping districts. Next, visit the beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens where you can enjoy tea and sweets, view the regal double-bridged entrance to the Imperial Palace Plaza.

Continue your explorations on the morning of Day 4 by visiting the Edo Museum, then travel by coach to the Senso-ji Buddhist temple, dedicated to the Asakusa Kannon - the goddess of mercy. Afterwards, take a stroll along Nakamise shopping street, one of the oldest of its kind in the whole of Japan. Enjoy a group lunch at a local restaurant before an afternoon and evening at leisure.

Meiji Jingu Shrine
Day 5 - Mount Fuji

Today travel by coach to Mount Fuji, one of the highlights of your holiday and arguably Japan's most distinctive landmark. Driving along the foot of the famous mountain and up its northern slopes, arrive at the Mount Fuji 5th Station, which provides the closest view of Mount Fuji. If the weather doesn't allow for a safe ascent, there'll be a visit to the Mount Fuji Visitor Centre. Afterwards, take the Mount Komagatake ropeway (cable car) to the sulphurous hot springs at Owakudani, after which you descend to Lake Ashi for a short cruise.

Mount Fuji
Day 6 - Hiroshima

Board the world-famous bullet train today for a high-speed journey to Hiroshima, a city that rose to prominence after the dropping of an atomic bomb by the United States Air Force on 6th August 1945. Approximately 90% of the city was levelled, and Hiroshima's busiest commercial district was eradicated - leaving just an open field. This was turned into the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which opened on 1st April 1954. You'll also spend time at the A-bomb Dome, the closest building to the hypo-centre of the bomb. It would have been demolished, but was more intact than originally thought, and in 1996 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Entrance is also included to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Hiroshima
Days 7-8 - Miyajima Island & Kyoto

Just off the coast from Hiroshima, Miyajima Island - otherwise known as Itsukushima - is seen as sacred. Trees cannot be cut here, and some animals, including monkeys and deer, roam freely. To further preserve the apparent purity of the island, children cannot be born here. There are also a number of shrines on the island, but none are more famous than the magnificent 'floating' Itsukushima Shrine, which is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. Entrance is included in your tour, after which you'll have some free time.

On Day 8 travel again by bullet train, this time to Kyoto - Japan's ancient capital. Embark on a tour that takes you to the Fushimi Inari shrine, dedicated to the god of rice and sake, before making a visit to the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum and enjoying a tasting of this unique national tipple.

Miyajima Island
Day 9 - Arashiyama bamboo forest

Continue sightseeing in and around Kyoto today with visits to the secluded Kinkaku-ji temple and Ryoan-ji temple, both built for the practise of Zen Buddhism. Later, you take an excursion to the incredible Arashiyama bamboo forest, which provides a truly otherworldly experience as you walk through the sprawling grove of bamboo trees that tower, seemingly endlessly, above you. Later, visit Nijo Castle before you enjoy a walking tour of Gion with a local guide.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Days 10-11 - Nara deer park

Transfer by coach to ancient Nara, where you'll make a stop at Nara deer park, so named due to the large number of tame deer that roam around it. Originally believed to be messengers of the gods, the deer were seen as sacred, killing one of these deer was a capital offence punishable by death until relatively recently. As well as being a vast expanse of beautiful parkland, Nara park is also home to the Todai-ji Temple, a Buddhist building founded in the first half of the 8th century. Day 11 is at leisure in Kyoto.

Todai Ji Temple, Nara
Days 12-13 - Osaka & London

Travel by coach to the city of Osaka today and explore Osaka Castle, a traditional pagodastyle building dating back to the 16th century. Afterwards, experience the dynamic Dotonbori district with its neon signs lining the waterfront. On the morning of Day 13, transfer to the airport for your flight to London Heathrow via Beijing.

Includes
  • Day 12 - Breakfast
  • Day 13 - Breakfast
Osaka Castle

Additional information

Departure times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Granvia Hiroshima

Hotel Granvia Hiroshima, Hiroshima

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ANA Crowne Plaza

ANA Crowne Plaza, Kyoto

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BellClassic Hotel

BellClassic Hotel, Tokyo

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Hotel Royal Classic, Osaka

Hotel Royal Classic, Osaka

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Train

Bullet Train

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Adventures through Japan

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