Discover the cultural heritage of Japan on this exciting journey through the country’s main island of Honshu. Visit the tranquil Kenroku-en garden and the castle of Kanazawa before exploring the imperial city of Kyoto with its many temples and shrines. Experience the sombre modern history of Hiroshima, then visit the picturesque island of Miyajima with its iconic Torii gate before finishing back in Tokyo.
Stay in centrally located 4-star hotels
Direct flights with British Airways
Tea ceremony in Kyoto and watch gold leaf production in Kanazawa
Explore the temples, gardens and shrines of Kyoto and Nara
Tour the Hiroshima Peace Park with a talk by an A-bomb attack survivor
Tours conducted using private coach transport
Small group size – maximum 26 people
Departure dates & prices (* = reduced price, book by 30/12/17)
17th March 2018 – from £4,455 per person*
24th March 2018 – from £4,795 per person*
9th April 2018 – from £4,405 per person*
7th OCtober 2018 – from £4,655 per person
4th November 2018 – from £4895 per person
Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Tokyo Haneda airport via Dubai with Emirates. (N)
Arrive and transfer to the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa (or similar) for 3 nights. (N)
Full-day excursion to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park for views of Mount Fuji, a cruise on Lake Ashi and a ride on the Mount Komagatake Ropeway (cable car) and a visit to the Hakone Open-Air Museum. (B, L)
Full-day tour visiting Asakusa Kannon temple, Tokyo National Museum, the Imperial East Garden and the peaceful Meiji shrine. Lunch will be a kushiage meal of fried meat and vegetables. (B, L)
Morning departure by shinkansen (bullet train) to Kanazawa. Visit Kanazawa castle park and the Kenroku-en garden. Stay 2 nights at the Crowne Plaza ANA Kanazawa (or similar). (B, L)
Early morning stroll in the Higashi-Chayamachi district, home to various traditional buildings, then visit the busy Omi fresh food market. Afternoon excursion to Shirakawago to see the Unesco-listed gassho-zukuri houses and their unique architectural style. (B)
Travel by express train to Kyoto. Afternoon visit to Nijo castle, then experience a traditional tea ceremony in a machiya (wooden townhouse), followed by a visit to Nishiki market. Stay 2 nights at the Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto (or similar). (B, L)
Morning visit to Kinkakuji temple (Golden Pavilion), then Ryoanji temple, famous for its zen rock garden. Afternoon tour of the historic city of Nara. Return to Kyoto. (B)
Morning at leisure to explore Kyoto at your own pace. Afternoon bullet train journey to Hiroshima. Stay 2 nights at the Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima. (B)
Take the ferry over to Miyajima island to visit the Itsukushima shrine and see the Torii gate. Return to the mainland and take the train back to the city to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Memorial Museum. (B)
Board a bullet train for the journey north to Himeji city. Take a tour of Himeji castle, which, unlike most castles in Japan, is still in its original form and is arguably the finest example of medieval castle architecture in Japan. Afterwards, take a stroll in the Koko-en gardens, which consist of nine separate, walled gardens with ponds, waterfalls and a tea ceremony house. Travel by bullet train to Osaka, then continue by coach to Osaka airport for the overnight flight with Emirates back to London, via Dubai. (B)
Early morning arrival in London. (N)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
Hanami (cherry blossoms)
Hanami, literally meaning ‘flower viewing’, is the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the blossoming cherry trees from March to early May, and specifically in Tokyo and Kyoto in early April. Cherry blossom can be seen on many of the excursions on the March and April departures.
Please note that in Japan room sizes can be significantly smaller than in Europe
Excursions on days 3 and 4 may be switched, subject to local conditions.
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
Private & tailor-made travel
This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits you, but note that the cost of travelling on a private basis rather than as part of a group is significantly higher in Japan than in most countries. This is because of the very high costs of private guides and vehicles. To reduce costs, a similar itinerary can be booked using public transport and some self-guided excursions, for which guideline prices are shown.
What is included?
• 4-star accommodation
• Flexible – extensions & flight upgrades available
• Average group size – 10 people (max 26)
• International flights
• Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
• Experienced local tour manager
• 9 breakfasts & 3 lunches
• Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
• Bullet train travel
• Cherry blossom season departures