This 10-day tour starts out among the skyscrapers and ancient temples of Tokyo, before heading to Hakone, Takayama, Hiroshima and Kyoto. Along the way you'll visit stunning temples and gardens, take in beautiful landscapes and enjoy unique experiences, including sake tastings, a night on a futon in a traditional Japanese hotel and dinner with a geisha.
Your tour begins as you arrive at Narita Airport and transfer to your hotel. Tonight you'll meet your fellow travellers and guide for welcome drinks and a tour briefing.
After breakfast this morning you'll take a tour of Japan's capital. You'll first stop at the serene Meiji Jingu shrine to admire the Tori gates made from 1500 year old Cypress trees. From here you will visit the Imperial Palace, still home to the Japanese royal family. The day will continue by train to Asakusa for explorations of the Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street.
Tokyo to Hakone
This morning you'll take in the spectacular views of the city and Mount Fuji from Tokyo Tower. You'll then have some free time at your hotel before your short train journey to Hakone. Set in the mountainous countryside south of Mount Fuji, Hakone is famed for its onsen houses, where you can relax in the natural hot spring waters. The region is crisscrossed by ropeways, cable cars and funicular railways, from which you can enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. You'll start your explorations with visits to Mt Fuji's World Heritage sites. Later after checking into your traditional Japanese hotel, you'll change into a yukata and slippers and savour a sumptuous dinner. You'll be able to enjoy the onsite onsen and tonight you'll sleep in a tatami-floored room, on a futon mattress.
Hakone to Takayama
This morning you'll travel by bullet train and limited express train to Takayama, a bustling market town surrounded by the Japan Alps. Here you'll be able to browse the craft shops and specialist food stores and enjoy a tasting at a sake brewery.
Today is a free day to continue exploring Takayama or perhaps venturing further afield to the UNESCO village of Shirakawago with its famous thatched roofs and beautiful surrounds.
Takayama to Kyoto
This morning you'll board your train for Kyoto, home to more than 1,000 temples and the birthplace of tea ceremonies and shodo calligraphy. We'll start our exploration of this fascinating city with an afternoon tour.
Today you travel on public transport and explore Kyoto’s highlights on foot with your guide. Take the train to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and marvel at the towering stalks before continuing to Tenryuji Temple. See Katsura River from Togetsukyo Bridge and take the iconic purple Randen Train to Ryoanji Temple, the site of the most famous rock garden in the country. Then visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), an elegant, gilded 14th century building which is one of Japan’s most cherished sites.
Today is yours to further explore Kyoto on your own or, if you want to go further afield, take the train to the historic city of Hiroshima, venture to Osaka to see Osaka Castle, meet Nara’s deer population or visit Himeji Castle. Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu. It's famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses.
Spend your free day today exploring Kyoto at your own pace. You can visit Teramachi, which is the perfect place to find traditional Japanese souvenirs including a kimono. This evening, enjoy a special kaiseki farewell dinner while being entertained by a Maiko. Kyoto is a city that is also known for its formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes. The geisha, female entertainers, can often be found in the Gion district.
Today your great trip around Japan, seeing lots of the highlights in Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama and Kyoto, comes to an end. Possibly time for some last minute sightseeing or souvenir shopping before you are picked up by private taxi and driven to Kyoto Station to catch a train and continue your adventure seeing more of this fascinating country or head to the airport to fly to another destination or board your flight back home.