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Sights and sounds of Japan

Morning Tokyo City Tour
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Morning Tokyo City Tour

Wake up to Tokyo

There is so much to see and do in the wonderful capital city of Japan and this morning tour of the city is a great way to get to know some of the main sights and makes a superb introduction to any visit to the country. Travelling around in a comfortable coach, among the places you visit are the Tokyo Tower, Meji Shrine, Akasaka Guest House and Imperial Palace East Garden.

See the imposing Japanese Capital (the House of Parliament) which is dominated by a massive central tower and take in the finest examples of Japanese shrine architecture, nestled in a peaceful, picturesque area. You also enjoy a panorama of Tokyo from the observation platform of Asia's tallest tower, then make the most of a walk through the East Garden of the Imperial Palace which is a place of historical interest and scenic beauty.

fr £36pp

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Mt Fuji & Hakone Tour
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Mt Fuji & Hakone Tour

Fantastic Fuji

No trip to Japan is complete without seeing the iconic snow capped Mount Fuji and on this superb coach tour you will see lots of other sights as well. After stopping at the fifth station of Mount Fuji you also have time at the Hakone Ropeway, Owaqkudani Boiling Valley and enjoy a fun Pirate Boat cruise on Lake Ashi which includes a sumptuous lunch.

Enjoy the scenery of rural Japan on the way to Mount Fuji and also get a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean
and grand mountains from an altitude of 8,000 feet. Then you are whisked up in the latest double-wired gondola with a 360 degree panorama for breathtaking views of the volcanic Hakone Mountains and see the steam escaping from the rugged mountains of Owakudani.

fr £103pp

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Tsukiji Outer Fish Market Sushi Workshop
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Tsukiji Outer Fish Market Sushi Workshop

Suss out the sushi

On this fascinating and fun trip you will first be collected from your Tokyo hotel early in the morning and taken by minibus to the city's Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal. From here you join all the office workers and take the metro for your journey to Tsukiji Station for your guided tour of the Outer Tsukiji fish market, where your culinary knowledge will be put to the test during a sushi workshop.

Walk around and see the bustle of life in this buzzing market and after working out what ingredients you will need you have the chance to make your own sushi and then enjoy the fruits of your labour for lunch. The tour ends back at Tsukiji Station in the early afternoon and you will return to your hotel having sussed out the best way to make that perfect sushi.

fr £109pp

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Mt Fuji Tour with Bullet Train
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Mt Fuji Tour with Bullet Train

Two top trips in one

No trip to Japan is complete without seeing the iconic snow capped Mount Fuji and on this superb coach tour you will see lots of other sights as well including the Hakone Ropeway, Owaqkudani Boiling Valley and enjoy a fun Pirate Boat cruise on Lake Ashi which includes a sumptuous lunch. Then to round off the day in style, you return to Tokyo by bullet train.

Enjoy the scenery of rural Japan as you drive along to Mount Fuji getting a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean
and grand mountains from an altitude of 8,000 feet. Then take the latest double-wired gondola with a 360 degree panorama for breathtaking views of the volcanic Hakone Mountains and see steam escaping from the rugged mountains of Owakudani. Then's its back to the station for a memorable return trip on the legendary Bullet Train.

fr £125pp

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Private Half Day Tokyo Tour
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Private Half Day Tokyo Tour

Fresh take on Tokyo

You will be collected from your hotel for your private tour of Tokyo during which you will see lots of attractions and iconic sights. Visit the Tokyo Tower, the former broadcasting tower, to enjoy panoramic views and the Imperial Palace Plaza, the official resident of the Emperor, which was once called Edo (former name of Tokyo) Castle and the seat of Tokugawa Shogunate government until 1868.

You also visit Asakusa Kannon Temple, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the Deity of Mercy (or Kannon) with a history that dates back to 628. Nakamise Street, the main approach to the temple, is lined on both sides with many souvenir shops, selling a wide variety of goods such as Japanese dolls, kimono, happi-coats, antiques, papier-mache figures and kites making it a great place to buy presents for friends and family.

fr £235pp

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Full Day Kyoto Tour
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Full Day Kyoto Tour

See Kyoto's highlights

You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning for a great day touring Kyoto. Begin with a visit to Nijo-jo Castle, which was completed in 1626 and built to provide lodging for Tokugawa Shogun and as a palladium for Kyoto Imperial Palace. Then stop at Kinkaku-ji Temple, visit the Golden Pavillion, which has two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold and detailed architecture incorporating three distinct styles.

When you arrive at Kyoto Imperial Palace you will be given exclusive access to the former residence of the Emperor of Japan, which oversaw many important functions until the capital moved to Tokyo in 1869. Later view the city of Kyoto from a beautiful hilltop temple and take a sip from the Otowa waterfall flowing from beneath the main hall, known to grant wishes to those who drink its waters.

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Higashiyama Half Day Walking Tour
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Higashiyama Half Day Walking Tour

Walking wonders

The Higashiyama District along the lower slopes of Kyoto's eastern mountains is one of the city's best preserved historic districts, and a great place to experience traditional old Kyoto. The streets are lined by small shops, cafes and restaurants which have been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries. These businesses retain their traditional design and sell local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets, pickles, crafts and souvenirs.

Start the day with a visit to Kodaiji Temple with its halls, gravel and landscape gardens, teahouses and a bamboo grove. Yasaka Pagoda, the last remnant of Hokanji Temple, is one of the most visible and recognizable landmarks in the area and you can climb up inside the five story pagoda. Then visit the Yasaka Shrine and the temple at Chionin whose entrance gate is the largest wooden gate in Japan and was featured in the movie Last Samurai.

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Kyoto Afternoon Walking Tour
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Kyoto Afternoon Walking Tour

From temples to geishas

Meet your English speaking guide at Kyoto station and from here you catch a bus to the beginning of your walking tour, the Kiyomizu Temple. This architecturally unique temple has a main hall with a wooden platform from which you have a great panoramic view of the city and surrounding countryside. Next visit the Kodaiji Temple which dates back to the 16th century.

Next stop on your walking tour is the Yasaka shrine, well known as the centre for the Gion Matsuri Festival, which is held in summer. Your final stop of the afternoon is the Gion district, the famous entertainment and geisha quarter with its traditional restaurants and tea houses. In the Edo period, ochaya (geisha houses) were built in this area and it still enjoys a traditional feel.


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Kyoto Back Street Bike Ride
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Kyoto Back Street Bike Ride

Go for a ride

With your local guide, cycle through the Miyagawacho and Gion geisha districts, hoping to see a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) as they dash between appointments. Then continue along the Shirakawa canal which is lined with weeping willow trees, past traditional Kyoto style tea houses for your next stop at the Imperial Palace Park with its beautiful gardens.

Cycle back to Kyoto station along the Kamogawa River, whose banks are popular with locals for strolling. Cherry blossoms bloom along the banks of the river in spring, and in summer restaurants have open balconies with lovely views. If you wish to carry on sightseeing in Kyoto on your bike after the tour has finished, you can arrange to keep the bike until 19:00 at no extra charge.

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Learn How to Make Sushi
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Learn How to Make Sushi

Know sushi like they know sushi

The nation's famous dish Sushi is a staple of the Japanese diet and is often made in the typical Japanese home. And during this hands-on experience you will get to enjoy learning and making various types of Sushi so when you return home you can impress your family and friends with your new culinary skills – making this the perfect Japanese souvenir!

During a fun and informative lesson you will learn to prepare "maki sushi" (rolled sushi), "gunkan maki" (sushi rice wrapped with a strip of seaweed and topped with soft ingredients), and "nigiri sushi" (sushi rice topped with a slice of raw fish). Using basic utensils, you will soon discover how easy sushi is to make and you will then be able to eat you creations to round off the experience.

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Learn to Cook in a Japanese Home
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Learn to Cook in a Japanese Home

Fancy some home cooking?

Experience real daily Japanese life during this fascinating and fun day. First you will go shopping just like a local at one of the city's busy markets and buy various ingredients. Following this learn and enjoy making typical Japanese home-cooked dishes under the guidance of your exprienced instructor who will show you traditional methods of preparing the food.

The focus of the dishes will be on seasonal flavours, tastes and healthy cuisine. After your cooking lesson it's time to sample the fruits of your labour when you sit down to enjoy the dishes you have created. You will learn so much in a short time on this tour and when you get back home you will be able to impress your family and friends by preparing a memorable Japanese meal.

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Market Visit, Sake Brewery and Cooking Lesson
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Market Visit, Sake Brewery and Cooking Lesson

Take a cook's tour

Together with a local guide you take a walk along the mile-long Nishiki covered food markets, where there are many interesting food stores to explore as you help your guide buy the ingredients for your Japanese cooking class. This is a great opportunity to learn about local Japanese produce and after visiting the markets, you'll travel through the back streets and lanes of Kyoto, and visit a former sake brewery for a tour and sake tasting.

Finish the walk at a traditional wooden townhouse for your Japanese cooking class. Here you will learn how to make rolled sushi, miso soup and cooked salad with seasonal fruit for dessert, and then enjoy the results of your labour by sitting down to a memorable dinner. This fun tour will give you a great insight into the mysterious and exotic world of Japanese cuisine.

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Mt Takao Hike
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Mt Takao Hike

Take on Takao

Located less than an hour from central Tokyo, the densely wooded Mount Takao is one of the closest natural recreation areas to the city, offering beautiful scenery, an interesting temple and attractive hiking opportunities.
Considered a sacred mountain, Takaosan has been a centre of mountain worship for more than 1,000 years and the attractive temple Yakuoin, which you visit, stands near the mountain top.

A network of numbered and well-marked hiking trails, ranging from the broad and paved to narrow nature trails, lead up the slopes and through the valleys of Takaosan. The peak offers views of Tokyo, Mount Fuji and as far as Yokohama on clear days. On the way up you pass by forests of beech and 100 year-old cedars, as well as wild flowers and mischievous monkeys. There is also a cable car and chair lift if you're not feeling energetic.


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Nara Morning Walking Tour
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Nara Morning Walking Tour

Give Nara the nod

This super tour begins when you meet your English speaking guide in front of the Nippon Travel Agency at Kyoto station and take the train to Nara, the Imperial Capital of Japan in the 8th century. First you visit Todaiji Temple, with its enormous bronze Bhudda image which you find in the Daibutsuden Hall, which is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world.

Next you visit Nara Park and see the thousands of tame deer, which are considered by the locals to be divine messengers. Finally you are taken to visit the 1,300 year old Kofukuji Temple with its five storey pagoda, which is the second highest in Japan. After your walking tour you can relax as you take the Kintetsu express train back to Kyoto.




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Old Tokyo Afternoon Walking Tour
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Old Tokyo Afternoon Walking Tour

Walk back in time

This afternoon explore Tokyo’s shitamachi (downtown). Your image of Tokyo is usually that of a super-modern metropolis but suburbs like Yanaka still preserve a nostalgic atmosphere. Part of its charm today lies in this sense of being hidden and here you can visit old temples and shrines and one of Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist cemeteries as well as traditional shops selling Japanese paper and sweets. Soak in the atmosphere of pre-war Tokyo.

Take a look at what life in this area used to be like in the Shitamachi Museum, located in Ueno Park, one of the most popular parks for hanami (cherry blossom parties) in Tokyo. Your guide will take you on a stroll to show you the many attractions that enrich this large park then the last stop of the day is Ueno’s Ameyoko-cho, a busy market street underneath the train lines. This bustling market is the last of its kind in Tokyo and is full of shops and stalls.

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Pop Culture! Tokyo Afternoon Tour
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Pop Culture! Tokyo Afternoon Tour

Pop out for culture

On this tour you take in three of Tokyo’s centres of youth fashion and pop culture. Start in Shibuya, the city's main centre for youth fashion and culture, whose streets are the birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends. It is also home to the famous five-way “scramble crossing”. Next is Harajuku, and the famous Takeshita dori (Cat Street). Whether you are a goth, punk or anything in between, there is a shop in Harajuku that caters for you.

Next stop is Akihabara, known as Electric Town, originally famous for its many electronics shops but nowadays the centre of Japan's otaku (diehard fan) culture, with many shops and establishments devoted to anime and manga. You end the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea in one of Tokyo’s famous maid cafes where the waitresses dress up and act like maids, and you can have a souvenir photo with one of them.

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Samurai Sword Dance Experience
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Samurai Sword Dance Experience

Live by the sword!

You will learn all about the legendary samurai warriors during this exciting trip. Dress up in a samurai costume then find out about the lifestyle and etiquette of the colourful samurai classes before you are finally given a sword and taught all the basics of kenbu, a highly stylized sword dance that the samurai used to perform as training and to work on their concentration.

This fascinating tour represents a unique experience to learn in-depth about the mysterious cultural heritage of Japan. The instructors are skilled Kenbu masters and are also fluent in English, and they will be happy to answer any of your questions. Pictures will be taken of you in full costume and you will receive a souvenir of your time in the kenbu dojo (training hall) at the end of your time there.

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Sumo Training Experience
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Sumo Training Experience

Day with the wrestlers

Your guide for the morning will meet you at your hotel and take you to the Ryogoku, the centre of Japan’s sumo world. As well as the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium, Ryogoku is home to most of Tokyo’s sumo heyas. All rikishi (wrestlers) belong to heyas, or sumo stables, where they live, train and eat. You will visit one of these heyas to get up close and personal with these giant men and watch their morning training.

The day begins in the early morning, when the lowest ranked men wake up and put in some practice before going about their assigned duties, which include cleaning the building and preparing the food for the main meal of the day. Higher ranked sekitori appear later and after several hours of warm up and practice, the wrestlers play an exciting "King of the Castle" game where one wrestler stays in the ring fighting bouts without any rest until he is defeated.

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Tokyo Evening Gourmet Tour
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Tokyo Evening Gourmet Tour

Food for thought

Japanese cuisine is not only the refined sushi and tempura, but it has a wide range of equally delicious, more casual dishes that the locals love. And on this tour you will discover these delicacies with a local guide. First, head to Yurakucho and mix with the office workers who relax with a beer and a grilled chicken skewer (yakitori) in the so called yakitori alley. You will enjoy two yakitori of your liking and a drink in a typical yakitori establishment.

Then hop on the underground and head to Tsukishima, a neighbourhood just across the river from Tsukiji market. Here the retro restaurants offer a dish called “monjayaki”. It is a tasty meal consisting of a flour and vegetable batter with different toppings cooked right on the table on a hot plate and eaten with small iron spatulas. At the end of the dinner, your guide can drop you off at an izakaya (Japanese pub) or take you back to your hotel.

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