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Highlights of Japan, Self Guided Tour

14 days fr £2,573pp

Tokyo • Takayama • Kanazawa • Hiroshima • Kyoto • Osaka

Save 10% plus authentic Ryokan stay · 13 nights fr £3,275 pp (Including flights)

Enjoy a self-guided tour of Japan that offers you freedom and allows you to make the most of every opportunity for fun. Begin amidst the skyscrapers, bright lights and ancient temples of bustling Tokyo, before heading to Takayama, Hiroshima and the historic capital of Kyoto - enjoying sake tastings, a night on a futon and dinner with a geisha for unforgettable moments.

Save 10%

13 nights from £3,275pp (incl flights)
Valid 02/01/2020 - 18/06/2020
020·7962·9933
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TOUR DETAILS
Accommodation:
  • Standard fr £2,573pp
  • Superior fr £3,244pp
  • Deluxe fr £4,371pp
Validity (selected dates between):
  • 02/01/2020 - 15/06/2020
  • 01/09/2020 - 10/12/2020
Also included:
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast daily, 2 dinners
  • 2 days tours, one half day tour
  • 14-Day Japan Rail Pass
  • PASMO Transport Pass in Tokyo
  • Bus tickets on Day 6
Not included:
  • International Flights (unless otherwise stated)
  • Visas
Overview
Japan is a beautiful timeless country, a place where ancient traditions are fused with modern life as if it were the most natural thing in the world. On the surface Japan appears exceedingly modern, but travelling around offers lots of opportunities to connect with its fascinating culture. On this comprehensive 14 day tour you begin by staying in and exploring the capital city Tokyo before travelling by bullet train to Takayama. Then its on to Kanazawa, Hiroshima, Kyoto and finally Osaka to complete a wonderful trip.
Day 1
Arrive Tokyo
On arrival at either Tokyo Haneda or Narita Airport you will be met by one of our tour representatives who will help you with transportation into the city - either boarding the right train or finding the appropriate shuttle bus. After reaching your hotel and checking in, relax after the journey then the remainder of the day and evening is free for you to go out on your own, see some of the sights, and try the local cuisine. Throughout this tour you can choose to stay at deluxe, standard or superior hotels.
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Day 2
Tokyo
Meet your guide at the hotel and head to Hamarikyu, a Japanese garden with a wide collection of flowers and an attractive teahouse. From the park, take a scenic river cruise to Asakusa, a part of the city's old town, which is the city's oldest Geisha district and home to Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. The streets here feature many traditional shops and are a delight to wander through. End with a visit to Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous shrine.
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Day 3
Tokyo
Today is free for you to explore this amazing city under your own steam. Visit the electronics district of Akihabara or discover some of Tokyo’s world-class museums and art galleries. Alternatively, use the included Japan Rail Pass for a 50 minute day trip outside Tokyo to Kamakura, one of Japan’s former capitals. Kamakura is a delightful seaside town and home to many ancient shrines, temples, and other structures like the Daibutsu, a giant bronze Buddha.
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Day 4
Tokyo to Takayama
Today you travel to Takayama, a small town nestled high in the Hida Alpine region of Gifu Prefecture. The first leg of the trip will be on a bullet train that can reach speeds of up to 260 kph. The next leg is on the limited express train Wide View, which offers one of the most scenic journeys in Japan. In Takayama, experience a stay in a ryokan, the traditional Japanese-style inn furnished with low tables and chairs, sliding shoji doors, and tatami flooring.
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Day 5
Takayama
After breakfast this morning you can begin this free day with a walking tour to see the fresh produce at Miyagawa morning market. Takayama Yatai Kaikan is home to magnifcent wooden floats which are paraded through the streets each year during the two Takayama Festivals and you can see them. This afternoon you have the option to visit Hida no Sato, where 30 traditional houses are displayed in a scenic village setting. Overnight Takayama.
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Day 6
Takayama to Kanazawa
This morning, catch the bus to Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer," which is evident through the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs. These houses are private homes, but some are open to the public, such as Wada House. In the afternoon, continue by bus to Kanazawa, the castle town that thrived as the centre for culture and the arts in the 17th century. Overnight in Kanazawa.
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Day 7
Kanazawa
Today is free for you to explore Kanazawa on your own. There are many interesting sights to see in this town which is known for its well-preserved Edo-era districts, art museums and regional handicrafts. Here you find the Kenroku-en Garden, which was begun in the 17th century, and is celebrated for its classic landscape designs incorporating ponds and streams while Kanazawa Castle and the old Samurai district are also well worth visiting.
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Day 8
Kanazawa to Hiroshima
This morning is at leisure for you to discover more of the delights of Kanazawa and the surrounding countryside before heading to the railway station to catch a train for the long journey to Hiroshima. On arrival go to your next hotel, check in and rest after the trip. Then go out and explore in the evening seeing some of the city sights after dark. Hiroshima, infamously destroyed by an atomic bomb at the end of World War 11, is now a symbol of the country's rebirth.
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Day 9
Hiroshima
Hiroshima is, of course, famous for its Peace Memorial Park and Museum but there are plenty of other sightseeing options in the area and places of interest for you to explore at your own pace. From mainland Hiroshima, a short ferry ride leads to Miyajima, a small sacred island located in the Seto Inland Sea which is famous for the Itsukushima Shrine and also the Daisho-in, the most visited Buddhist temple on the island.
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Day 10
Hiroshima to Kyoto
Today you have free time to see more of the sights in Hiroshima before catching the train to your next destination, the fascinating city of Kyoto. The current cultural capital of Japan is home to 2,000 shrines and temples with 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it a must stop city on any tour around Honshu Island. On arrival in the city check in to your next hotel then go out and explore on your own, possibly dining at one of the many trendy restaurants.
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Day 11
Kyoto
Today’s tour starts with a visit to ornamental Nijo Castle, that was built to serve as the private villa of a powerful feudal lord. Then stop at the serene Ryoan-ji Temple, famous for its rock garden. Nearby is the stunning golden pavilion collectively known as Kinkaku-ji Temple which is completely covered in handmade gold leaves. A visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple follows and the tour ends with a stroll along the busy streets of Higashiyama, whose narrow alleys are lined with souvenir shops and small eateries.
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Day 12
Kyoto
A half-day tour offers a unique and unforgettable chance to learn about Japanese culture in a machiya – a traditional Kyoto-style wooden townhouse which has been beautifully restored. Have a short tour of the house and get an insight into its architecture before putting on a traditional kimono, the iconic Japanese garment, and taking part in a tea ceremony led by a tea master, a quintessential part of local culture. This memorable experience ends with a short introduction to origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.
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Day 13
Kyoto to Osaka
Today you travel to Osaka with plenty of time to explore here.You can visit Umeda Sky Garden with its views over the city before taking a walk through Kuromon Ichiba Market, also known as “Osaka’s Kitchen.” Exploring at your own pace, see the 16th century shogunate Osaka Castle, the main historic landmark. It's surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry blossom trees. Also stop at Sumiyoshi-taisha, which is one of Japan's oldest shrines.
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Day 14
Depart Osaka
Today your wonderful tour around this beautiful country comes to an end. Possibly time for some more sightseeing or last minute souvenir shopping in Osaka before you are picked up at your hotel and driven by taxi to the station to catch a train to the airport for onward flight or begin your journey back home. This 14 day tour is a great way to see so much of this fascinating and mysterious country and will leave you with a wealth of good memories.
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