09 December 2016

Tokyo Tours and Cruises

Best of Japan tour - 15 Days

Let the Land of the Rising Sun give you a great lift

Japan is truly a world apart – a cultural Galapagos where a unique civilisation blossomed, and thrives today in delicious contrasts of traditional and modern. The Japanese spirit is strong, warm and incredibly welcoming and on this wonderful 15 day tour you will see all the country's highlights. After the recent earthquake and tsunami, Japan is safe and once again wide open for travel. If you have been considering your first visit to Japan or returning to re-experience the unique magic of the country, the perfect time to go – and to celebrate Japan and its people – is now. Japan never fails to hit the travel sweet spot being unique enough to give you regular doses of ‘Wow!’ without any downside. Indeed, travelling in Japan is remarkably comfortable, even with the language barrier thrown in.

Full Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo

Meet & Greet + Shared Shuttle Bus from Narita Airport to Tokyo Hotel You will be met on arrival at Tokyo Narita Airport today and taken by shuttle bus to your hotel in Tokyo. Please note that as other people will be in the same bus there may be a few stops before you arrive at your hotel (maximum of 3 other stops). Journey time is around 2 hours. Look out for some great views as you ride the elevated highways into town. IC Transport Card Japan has a public transport system unrivalled anywhere in the world for efficiency, cleanliness and coverage. The daily number of journeys on the Tokyo subway alone is in excess of 8 million yet despite its huge scope and vast number of lines navigating the system is really rather easy. As always the Japanese are pushing the boundaries with their transport technology and now there is a convenient tap-in, tap-out 'IC Card' that covers not just Tokyo's public transport but the entire country. In 2012 all the regional electronic transport cards were combined into a single system and now you can use any of them on the transport systems in most major cities in Japan. Simply the most convenient and developed public transport system you will find anywhere. We are supplying you with Manaca cards, Nagoya’s version of the IC card. You will be able to use this throughout your time in Japan for travelling on buses, subways, over ground railways and in some places you will even be able to pay for taxis, buy drinks from vending machines and pay for your bento in a convenience store! Your card comes with 2,500 yen of credit and can be topped up in any major city at the automatic ticket machines at any station. And don't worry - instructions in English are provided! We are sure you will get great use out of this during your trip and can have that satisfying feeling of travelling like a local! All in all, an essential accessory for any visit to Japan. Overnight at Villa Fontaine Shiodome • Twin (30sqm) - Incl. Breakfast

Standard Villa Fontaine Shiodome

Day 2: Tokyo

8 Hours Private Guide Service in Tokyo Kobayashi Katsuhiko Today you will take a full day private tour of the city with a local guide, travelling by public transport, as Tokyoites do, in order to help you to get a real feel for the Japan's capital. This will be a fantastic introduction to Tokyo and the chance to get a personal insight not only into the classic sights, but also into some more unusual and unique features of the city. With a guide at your disposal you are free to set the pace of the day to be as busy or relaxed as you choose. The guide can help you discover aspects of Tokyo that you would not find by yourself and can also help you get to grips with the city's excellent transport network. Your guide will come to your hotel at around 9:00 AM (or any time you choose) to meet you and your day will proceed from there. Rather than fix an itinerary in advance we like to give you the flexibility to see and do what takes your fancy. This means you will need to pay for your entrance fees on the day. You can use your IC card to cover the local transport costs. We are keen to help you get the most out of today, so if you have any specific areas of interest please let us know in advance, so we can pass this on to the guide. Your day of guiding will finish at around 5:00 PM with the guide either dropping you back at your hotel or anywhere else in the city you wish to spend the evening. Overnight at Villa Fontaine Shiodome • Twin (30sqm) - Incl. Breakfast

Standard Villa Fontaine Shiodome

Day 3: Tokyo

Excursion Day from Tokyo (Rail Pass) Tokyo is a fascinating city and today you have another full day to enjoy the myriad of sights, sounds and tastes it has to offer. However, you may like to take the opportunity of this free day to take a day trip to one of the many places of interested easily accessible from the capital, using the included Japan Rail Pass. The two most popular options are the towns of Nikko (to the north of Tokyo) and Kamakura (to the south). Nikko is famous for its ornate religious architecture, some of the most important in all of Japan, in a beautiful woodland setting. Kamakura is a sleepy coastal town that served briefly as capital of Japan in the 1100s, leaving a rich cultural legacy. The town and surrounding hillsides are dotted with attractive temples and shrines, along with one of Japan largest Great Buddha statues. If Tokyo's concrete and neon is getting to you then you might like to head west to sacred Mt Takao, with its range of hiking trails and mountain-top temple complex, virtually untouched by foreign visitors. There are plenty of more unusual day trip options as well, including the modern port city of Yokohama and the quirky 120m tall 'Bubble Buddha' (built 1985!) at Ushiku. Let us know if one or more of these day trip options appeal; we can include instructions for making these day trips in your tailor-made Info-Pack. Overnight at Villa Fontaine Shiodome • Twin (30sqm) - Incl. Breakfast

Standard Villa Fontaine Shiodome

Day 4: Hakone

Train from Ueno to Odawara From Ueno station you will be using your Japan Rail Pass to take a JR Yamanote line train to Tokyo station and then the Shinkansen on to Odawara, access point for the Fuji-Hakone National Park. Journey time is around 50 minutes. 3 Day Hakone Freepass Upon arrival at Odawara you will start using your 3 Day Hakone Freepass. The pass is valid for three days from today and entitles you to unlimited use of 6 different forms of transport in the Hakone region. These include the mountain buses and railway, one of the longest cable cars in Japan and a funicular railway as well as a pirate ship which cruises across Lake Ashi! These all criss-cross the region making it easy to explore and enjoy the surroundings as well as some of the many top quality art museums. The pass also gives you small discounts at many attractions in the area so be sure to show your pass when purchasing tickets. And of course, if you are lucky with the weather, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Mount Fuji. Bus from Odawara to Hakone From Odawara Station you will use your Hakone Freepass to take the bus up into the mountains of Hakone and on to your accommodation, the Ichinoyu Honkan. The road twists and turns as you head higher passing through several small villages en-route. Overnight at Ichinoyu Honkan • Twin Use (Japanese Style) - Without Bathroom (Incl B’fast & Dinner)

Standard Ichinoyu Honkan

Day 5: Hakone

Sightseeing in Hakone Exploring the Hakone region is a lot of fun, with a great mix of scenery, culture and history. The classic circular sightseeing loop will take you around the major points of interest, including some great viewpoints for Mount Fuji (weather permitting!), the boat cruise on Lake Ashi, and the Hakone checkpoint, highlighting the region's important historical role. There are many excellent museums in Hakone, so you might like to step off the classic circular loop to visit some of these. The other major attraction is of course the hot-spring baths, so you may like to do as the Japanese do, and spend some (or all!) of the day soaking in the famous waters of Hakone. Overnight at Ichinoyu Honkan • Twin Use (Japanese Style) - Without Bathroom (Incl B’fast & Dinner)

Standard Ichinoyu Honkan

Day 6: Kyoto

Bus from Hakone to Odawara After your time in Hakone you will use your Hakone Freepass to make the journey by bus down from the mountains to Odawara Station. Train from Odawara to Kyoto From Odawara you will use your Japan Rail Pass to take the Shinkansen on to Kyoto. The journey will see you racing down Japan's eastern seaboard by Shinkansen and takes 2 hours 10 minutes. Night Time Exploration in Gion In the early evening you will head to Gion, Kyoto's famous Geisha district, to enjoy a private tour with a professional English-speaking guide who will be introducing you to the sights, sounds and culture of this most traditional and elegant of Kyoto's districts. As you slowly make your way through the narrow lanes and hidden alleys, your guide will provide you with those insights into the history and traditions of Kyoto that will help bring alive the secret life of Geiko and Maiko. This tour is a fantastic way for you to get an inside look at one of Japan's best known, yet least understood, traditional professions. During the tour you will usually come across some Geisha going between their appointments so be sure to take your camera! The walking tour takes about 90 minutes, and we'll be providing instructions on how to get there and a map so you won't have any difficulties. Overnight at Tokyu Hotel Kyoto • Premium Twin (26sqm) - Incl. B’fast

Standard Tokyu Hotel Kyoto

Day 7: Kyoto

8 Hours Private Guide Service in Kyoto Nakagawa Wakako For today I have scheduled in a full day tour of the city by public transport with a private guide. Your guide will come to your accommodation at around 9:00 AM and take you on tour that will encompass some of the more famous sights but also some lesser known places of interest. Today there will be no fixed itinerary and entrance fees and transport will be paid on the day (you'll also have to cover the guide's transport). This is to give you the maximum flexibility to enjoy each place in your own time. With a knowledgeable local by your side you will be set for a great day in this amazing city and are sure to discover things that you might otherwise miss. Please let us know in advance if there are any sights you particularly wish to see, or areas of interest you have, as we can pass this information on to the guide for you. Your day of guiding will finish at around 5:00 PM either back at your accommodation or anywhere else in the city you wish to spend the evening. Overnight at Tokyu Hotel Kyoto • Premium Twin (26sqm) - Incl. B’fast

Standard Tokyu Hotel Kyoto

Day 8: Kyoto

Sightseeing in Kyoto Today you have a free day in Kyoto. This is an opportunity to further explore the city. Kyoto has a tremendous amount to offer whether you wish to discover some of the smaller temples and shrines dotted around the city or stroll through the bustling Nishiki Shijo market. The Kimono fashion show in the Nishijin textile district is well worth a look and if you wish to see some of the natural beauty of the Kyoto area then the Hozugawa river trip makes for a great afternoon or morning travelling down the river on a traditional style boat. If you have any special requests please ask and we will see what we can do. Overnight at Tokyu Hotel Kyoto • Premium Twin (26sqm) - Incl. B’fast

Standard Tokyu Hotel Kyoto

Day 9: Miyajima

Train from Kyoto to Hiroshima From Kyoto you will head down the eastern seaboard west to Hiroshima by Shinkansen using your Japan Rail Pass. This journey of nearly 400km takes around 2 hours, during which time the train passes through several major cities along the coast. 3 Hours Volunteer Guide Service for Peace Park & Museum Today you will meet a local volunteer guide outside of the Peace Museum. The guide is a member of 'Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace' which is a non-profit organisation set up to support A-bomb survivors ('Hibakusha') and to inform people about the park and museum. Sometimes there is also the privileged opportunity to meet an actual survivor, but please note that this cannot be guaranteed in advance as the survivors are now very elderly. The whole experience lasts around 2.5 - 3.5 hours. Please note the handful of English-speaking guides operating this service do so on a voluntary basis - therefore the experience is subject to availability. Also please have patience if the volunteer guide's English is not quite up to the level of a professional guide. Train from Hiroshima to Miyajima From Hiroshima you will need to get to Miyajima-Guchi Port from where the ferry leaves for Miyajima Island. You can use your Japan Rail Pass to take the local JR Sanyo Line train from Hiroshima Station to Miyajima-Guchi Station. The journey takes 25 minutes and from here it is a 5 minute stroll to the port. You will need to take the JR Ferry across to Miyajima. The crossing takes around 10 minutes and you will get a fabulous view of Itsukushima Shrine with its famous 'floating' torii gate as the boat glides up to Miyajima pier. Alternatively, you might like to take the tram. (50 minutes to Miyajima-Guchi Port from the Peace Park) but takes you through the streets of Hiroshima and then out to the suburbs. The fare is just 270 yen and the last tram stop is a two minute walk from the port. Overnight at Yamaichi Bekkan • Twin Use (Japanese Style) - With Bathroom Incl B’fast and Dinner

Standard Yamaichi Bekkan

Day 10: Miyajima

Sightseeing on Miyajima Today you will have a free day to explore Miyajima Island. You may like to hire bikes to get around. These are available to rent from 8am to 5pm at the JR ferry pier (last checkout is 3pm) costing 1,050 yen for the entire day. The island has excellent cycle paths and the coastal routes are fairly flat. On the northeast coast lies Tsutsumigaura, a 1km long white-sand beach lined with pine trees. The beach is packed with sunbathers, swimmers and windsurfers in July and August, but in the off-season Tsutsumigaura makes a lovely serene place to relax. Overnight at Yamaichi Bekkan • Twin Use (Japanese Style) - With Bathroom (Incl B’fast & Dinner)

Standard Yamaichi Bekkan

Day 11: Osaka

Ferry and Trains from Miyajima to Osaka This morning you will leave Miyajima Island and travel back to the mainland taking the JR ferry to Miyajima-guchi port, a local train to Hiroshima Station and then the Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka. Total journey time is around 2 hours 20 minutes including changes. You can use your Rail Pass on both the ferry and the trains. Overnight at Mitsui Garden Hotel Osaka Premier • Moderate Double (22sqm) - Incl. B’fast

Standard Mitsui Garden Hotel

Day 12: Takayama

Train from Osaka to Takayama You will board the Shinkansen at Shin-Osaka station and speed west to Nagoya, where you will change to an express train and work your way up into the Japan Alps, past some beautiful mountain scenery enroute to Takayama. Total journey time around 4 hours; your Info-Pack will have all the details. Overnight at Sousuke • Twin Share - Without Bathroom (Incl B’fast)

Standard Sousuke

Day 13: Takayama

Hida Satoyama Cycling - Standard Tour (3.5 Hours) Today you will have the opportunity to head deeper into rural Japan and take a cycling tour through the rice fields and rural farming villages of Hida. Your English speaking guide will take you on a 3.5 hour ride with the beautiful Hida Mountain Range as a back drop. As well as the rural scenery, the tour also visits a natural spring, a local temple, Minka (traditional wood farmhouses) and an orchard. In total you will be cycling a distance of 22km and you will get a real insight into country way of life, hopefully meeting a few residents of Hida along the way. You will be having a private tour with just you and the cycle leader. Bike hire and services of your guide are included in the price. There are a few steady inclines on this tour but there are short-cuts available! Please note that you will need to make your own way to and from Furukawa station to join the tour, the journey takes just 17 minutes from Takayama station and costs 230yen per person. We will provide full instructions. Overnight at Sousuke • Twin Share - Without Bathroom (Incl B’fast)

Standard Sousuke

Day 14: Tokyo

Train from Takayama to Tokyo From Takayama you will take a Ltd Express train south to Nagoya and then head east to Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train. Journey time is 4 hours and 35 minutes. Overnight at Citadines Shinjuku • Studio Double (25sqm) - Incl. B’fast

Standard Citadines Shinjuku

Day 15: Tokyo

Citadines Shinjuku - own arrangements 2 nights


Standard fr £2492pp

Valid between:

  • 01/04/2013 - 31/12/2016

Rates based on twinshare

Price includes

  • · 14 nights accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis
  • · Some evening meals
  • · All transport including airport transfers
  • · 14 day Japan Rail Pass and Hakone Free-Passes
  • · Tokyo transport card with 2500 yen of credit
  • · 8 hours private guide service in Tokyo and Kyoto

NOT included

  • · International Flights & Visas

International flights not included unless otherwise stated

0330·100·2220i 0330 calls are included within inclusive minutes package on mobiles, otherwise standard rates apply. X 0330 calls are included within inclusive minutes package on mobiles, otherwise standard rates apply. X