Discovering Japan by Rail

This fascinating 13 day tour goes a long way to interpret the mystery of Japan as you cross the country on high-speed bullet trains.

Day 1-2: Fly to Tokyo
You will depart on the overnight flight from London Heathrow and arrive in Tokyo

Day 2
You will be met by your Japanese guide and be transferred to the hotel for your first night in Japan. In the evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of your adventure.

Day 3: ExploringToday
You will take a full-day tour of Tokyo by coach, discovering the sights of this incredible city. Your guided tour includes a visit to the ancient Asakusa Kannon Temple and the fascinating Ameyoko Market, as well as taking in the Imperial Palace Plaza. Later you can visit Nakajima no Ochaya, a tea house in the Hamarikyu Garden that dates back to 1704, where there is the opportunity to sample authentic Japanese tea and traditional sweets. You can also spend time at the Edo Tokyo Museum, where exhibits depict the fascinating history of Japan’s capital during the peaceful Edo period. 

Day 4: Travel to Hakone
Today you continue to Hakone by train, travelling in a ‘Romance Car’ (observation car) on the picturesque narrowgauge line. On arrival, you can tour the spectacular Hakone National Park. Lying in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Hakone is a stunning area of lakes, forests and hot springs. Enjoy a short cruise on tranquil Lake Ashi, a former crater lake, and continue by coach to the sulphurous hot springs at Owakudani.

Day 5: Mount Fuji and Matsumoto
This morning you travel by coach to Mount Fuji, arguably Japan’s most distinctive landmark. Driving along the foot of the famous mountain, you will arrive at the Mount Fuji Visitor Centre to learn more about the snow-capped peak. Later, enjoy a visit to Matsumoto Castle, an impressive fortress completed in 1593. Built on a plain, this five-storey fortification is a celebrated National Treasure of Japan. You will then overnight in Matsumoto.

Day 6:To Takayama
Your tour continues by coach as you travel to Takayama. Pausing en-route for an excursion to the nearby Folk Village, an open air museum of rustic farm dwellings depicting the traditional architectural styles found in the mountains. After exploring here, you will continue to Takayama. Set deep in the mountains, Takayama is a fascinating town of narrow streets and wooden houses, which appear almost untouched by time. You will spend the night at the Hotel Associa Takayama.

Day 7:To Hiroshima
After a guided tour of Takayama, you can enjoy a journey on the Hida Train to Nagoya, continuing onwards by bullet train to Hiroshima. Having seen devastation in World War II, Hiroshima is now a symbol of peace.

Day 8: Miyajima Island 
Today you travel by tram and boat to Miyajima Island, where you leave modern life behind in the tranquility of the wooded island. During your time on the island you can enjoy a walking tour, which includes a visit to the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine. Your afternoon is free in Hiroshima.

Day 9-10: Hiroshima to Kyoto 
This morning you visit the World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum, both poignant reminders of the destruction levied here in 1945. You can also listen to a talk from a Hiroshima survivor. Later, travel to Kyoto which was the Japanese capital for more than a thousand years and is a living museum of the country’s artistic heritage.

Day 10: Kyoto
In the morning, you will visit the Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and the Kiyomizu Temple. In the afternoon enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in a thatched farmhouse set amongst formal gardens.  Afterwards, take a walking tour of the Gion. Later you can enjoy a dinner in Pontocho Alley, a lantern-lit street lined with traditional wooden buildings.

Day 11: Historic Nara
Nara is another former capital and a short train ride away from Kyoto. Nara is an attractive, compact city of narrow streets set against a backdrop of wooded hills. Here you can enjoy a walking tour, taking in the beautiful Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world and its Great Buddha, Kasuga Shrine and the Deer Park.

Day 12: Osaka
Today you will travel by rail to Osaka, a futuristic city. Visit the Floating Garden Observatory in the iconic Umeda Sky Building, where you can enjoy panoramic views over Osaka and its castle, ahead of a farewell dinner in your hotel.

Day 13: Return to London
You depart this morning for Osaka airport for the flight to London Heathrow, arriving late afternoon the same day.

Departure Dates from London Heathrow & costs per person
12th March 2018- £4195
19th March 2018- £4295
9th April 2018- £4595
23rd April 2018- £4595
30th April 2018- £4595
7th May 2018- £4595
17th September – £3995
1st October 2018- £4395
8th October 2018- £4395
22nd October 2018- £4395

Edinburgh & Manchester departures are also offered at a supplement, please ask for details