Introduction to Japan
This 14 day trip is ideal for anyone’s first visit to Japan, showcasing the very best the country has to offer on an illuminating journey from Tokyo to Kyoto by train.
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Enjoy this introduction to Japan travelling between destinations by train and taking in the beautiful scenery. From the ultra-modern centre of downtown Tokyo to the ancient streets and vast temples of Kyoto. With all the highlights, this adventure offers fast bullet trains, cosy ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), onsen hot spring with views of Mount Fuji, cooking classes and Buddhist gardens and UNESCO Heritage sites. A Japan Rail Pass is included in this tour, offering the most efficient means of travelling throughout Japan.
Day 1: Arrive Tokyo
Arrive in Japan’s capital city, Tokyo, renowned for its ultra-modern and vibrant urban energy. Your driver will be ready to take you to your hotel in the city.
Day 2: Tokyo Full Day Tour (B)
See the highlights of bustling Tokyo with a full day tour of the new and old sights of this dynamic metropolis, finishing your day with an incredible panorama of the city.
Day 3: Tokyo At Leisure (B)
Your last day in Tokyo is left to you to explore! Either take advantage of the morning to visit the iconic Tsukji Fish Market or wander about Tokyo’s world-class museums and art galleries. A day trip can also be arranged in advance, just speak to one of our travel specialists!
Day 4: Tokyo To Hakone, Self-Guided (B, D)
Wake up early and catch your train to Hakone National Park, the gateway to Mt. Fuji. This small town is famous for its onsen, natural hot springs and surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty.
After a day of exploring, return for a rest in your ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, with sliding doors, rice paper screens and tatami mats. In the evening, change into your yukata, or lightweight kimono, for a sumptuous kaiseki dinner.
Day 5: Hakone To Takayama (B)
Take one last soak in the onsen before undertaking the journey to Takayama. Ride the first leg on the world famous Shinkansen bullet train, travelling up to 230km/hour! Then, change onto the Limited Express Hida Wide View for one of the most scenic train routes in Japan, winding your way through tall mountains and stunning gorges. Arrive in Takayama, nestled high in the Hida alpine region, and discover this beautifully preserved old town.
Day 6: Takayama (B)
Start the morning at the riverside markets that are known for their locally grown produce. Then wander through the old town on the way to Takayama Jinya taking in a sake brewery tour. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore Takayama.
Day 7: Kanazawa (B)
Ride the scenic train to Toyama then catch the Bullet Train to Kanazawa Station. Your guide will meet you for a tour of the Terashima Kurando House, a superb samurai house with a fine garden and artworks by the warrior himself. Head next to Kenrokuen to wander through one of Japan’s top three gardens and learn about the man who introduced Zen Buddhism to the West. End your day practicing mindfulness yourself by the water mirror garden!
Day 8: Kanazawa at Leisure (B)
A full free day at leisure to further explore Kanazawa and it's surrounding area. Speak to our expert for recommendations of things to do in the area.
Day 9: Hiroshima (B)
This morning you will rise to make the early morning train journey to Hiroshima where your guide will take you to The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Also known as the A-Bomb Dome, it was one of the few buildings to remain standing and today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and link to Hiroshima's unique past.
Day 10: Free Day Miyajima (B)
Today is a full free day for you to visit the island of Miyajima, with its floating torii gate which at high tide gives the impression of floating on the water. There is a cable car to the top of Mount Misen with views over the Seto Inland Sea and many other small shrines and temples to visit. (Note: no services organised for this day)
Day 11: Hiroshima to Kyoto (B)
Return to Kyoto by train and make your way to the Tokaido Shinkansen Line at Shin-Osaka. The rest of your day is free at leisure to explore. Ask your travel specialists for our highlights of the area.
Day 12: Kyoto Full Day Tour (B)
Visit two beautiful and iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ginkakuji and Kiyomizudera.
Ginkakuji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, is a Zen temple with a beautiful moss garden and a unique dry sand garden. Then, take a walk on the Philosopher’s Path, a pleasant stone path through the northern part of Kyoto's Higashiyama district. Experience the ancient Japanese Tea Ceremony called Sao or Cha-no-yu in a traditional Japanese house. Then visit Kiyomizudera, to admire the temple’s panoramic views of Kyoto from the 13 metre high veranda.
Day 13: Kyoto Morning Cooking Class (3 hours)
Take a morning Bento Class, a great way to learn about typical Japanese dishes such as sushi, tempura and miso soup. Learn the cultural background of the well-known Japanese ‘Bento’ and the tricks to making these beautiful dishes. After you finish cooking, you will enjoy the bento lunch you just made!
Day 14: Departure
Travel in comfort on Japan's fast and efficient high-speed rail network from Kyoto to Tokyo where an express train will take you straight to Narita International Airport for your departure.
Tours and transfers as specified including entry fees
Accommodation in hotels as stated, or similar, with daily breakfast
Train tickets as specified in the above itinerary
Service of English-Speaking Local Guide for all included sightseeing (except free days)
Meals as specified in the above itinerary (drinks not included)
Government tax and services charge
Services Not Included
International and domestic airfares and taxes, unless otherwise specified
Visa expenses, processing and issuance fees (Visa is not needed for citizens of many countries, however please enquire with your local authorities)
Meals other than specified as included
Travel Insurance or expenses of a personal nature (mini-bar, phone call, laundry, etc.)
Tips or gratuities
Drinks or personal expenses or entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities
Prices vary according to season. Price is based on two people sharing a twin or double room. Please ask us for the full itinerary and add-ons.
All itineraries shown can be amended to suit your personal requirements. To find out more, give us a call on 01453 883937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org