See Japan by coach! This tour visits the highlights of Japan on a guided coach tour – a unique and exciting new concept. See Tokyo, Hiroshima, Matsuyama and Tokushima, Mt Koya and Kyoto. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until March 2018.

This coach tour visits the highlights of Japan, including small towns which are not easily accessible by other means. An English-speaking guide accompanies the group throughout.

Visits:

  • Tokyo
  • Hiroshima and picturesque Miyajima
  • Matsuyama and Tokushima on Shikoku Island, off the beaten track
  • Mt.Koya, with its important temples in tranquil forest
  • Kyoto, the magnificent Himeji Castle, and the pottery town of Inbe
  • Nagano in the Japan Alps, and the Monkey Park
  • Nikko with its famous Toshogu Shrine, a World Heritage Site

Tour departures:

April 2017 – March 2018 (see “Departure dates” tab)

Day 1 : Leave UK

Depart from London Heathrow on overnight flight to Tokyo.

Day 2 : Arrive Tokyo

Arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport. Transfer by coach to hotel in Tokyo.

In the late afternoon,  meet the tour guide and the other members of the group and travel by metro to the Shinjuku area of Tokyo; a visit to the top of the Metropolitan Government Building is included, for great views of the city and Mt.Fuji beyond, weather permitting. Shinjuku is an area with lively nightlife and plenty of restaurants; dinner is included this evening before returning to the hotel.

Day 3 : Tokyo

A full morning’s sightseeing of Tokyo with local guide. Pass near the walls and gardens of the Imperial Palace and visit the Shinto shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife. Visit the Yasukuni Shrine, built in remembrance of the 2.5 million Japanese who lost their lives in World War II. Pass through Akihabara, the “electric town” full of electronics, anime and manga merchandise, and Kokugikan, the sumo stadium. Visit the Asakusa Kannon Temple, and the shops of the Nakamise Arcade.
Lunch is included.

Afternoon free.

Day 4 : Tokyo - Hiroshima - Miyajima - Hiroshima

In the morning take the Bullet train from Tokyo to Hiroshima, travelling the 800km in just over four hours. Our coach is waiting to travel the short distance to Miyajimaguchi, to take the ferry across to Miyajima, with its Itsukushima Shrine dedicated to the guardian of the seas, and built partially over the sea. Time to explore the temple, stroll through the small town and have lunch (not included). Return to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Memorial, the atom bomb dome and the Peace Memorial Museum.

Day 5 : Hiroshima - Matsuyama

Today we take the ferry across Japan’s “Inland Sea” to the major island of Shikoku. Landing at Matsuyama, visit the impressive castle, and Ishiteji, a beautiful Buddhist Temple and place of pilgrimage. After lunch (included), visit Dogo Onsen, one of the oldest onsen hot springs in Japan, with a history stretching back over 1,000 years. The main building in the movie Spirited Away was modeled on the present building of the Dōgo Onsen public bathhouse.

Day 6 : Matsuyama - Kotohira - Takamatsu - Tokushima

We depart for Kotohira, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the god of sailors and a place of pilgrimage. The shrine stand on Mt. Zosu and is reached by climbing 785 steps. Then in Takamatsu we will visit the Ritsurin Garden, one of the best traditional gardens in Japan. After lunch (included), continue to the bridge across the Naruto Strait, where large tidal whirlpools can be seen from the glass windows in the floor of the bridge 45m above. Arrive at Tokushima, famous as the home of one of the most notable festivals of Japan with its Awa Odori dances. Admission to a dance performance is included.

Day 7 : Tokushima - Kobe - Osaka - Mt Koya

Travelling to Kobe we visit Kawasaki World, a museum showcasing the technological prowess of Kawasaki in building motorbikes, planes, high-speed trains and construction technology. After a stop in Osaka for lunch, continue to Mt Koya, one of Japan’s sacred mountains and the centre of Shingon Buddhism. We will visit Okuno Mausoleum, an immense cemetery in the wilderness with more than 200,000 graves, and – remaining daylight permitting – Kongobuji Temple, built in 1593. We stay overnight at Buddhist monastery accommodation. The monks offer a Zen meditation session. Dinner is included (monk’s food, vegetarian). Accommodation is modest, with tatami mat flooring and communal bathrooms.

Day 8 : Mt Koya - Kyoto

There is a prayer ceremony at the temple early in the morning for those who wish.
After a simple Japanese breakfast, leave for Kyoto, to spend the whole day in the city which was the nation’s capital from 794 to 1868. We will see the Shinto shrine of Fushimi Inari, the Imperial Palace and Kinkakuji (the “Golden Pavilion”) with its wonderful gardens.
Free time in the city before a visit to Gion, a busy traditional quarter famous for its geisha.

Day 9 : Kyoto - Tsumago - Matsumoto

We set out for Tsumago, a small town on the Nakasendo route whose traditional streets and wooden houses are well preserved. Free time to explore and take lunch (included). Then continue to Matsumoto, and visit the impressive 16th century castle.
(Some tours may stay overnight in Nagano rather than in Matsumoto)

Day 10 : Matsumoto - Nagano - Monkey Park - Takasaki

Today the coach travels through the Japan Alps to Nagano, to visit the Zenkoji Temple, built in the 7th century, around which the current town had developed. We continue through the mountains to the Monkey Park, to walk through the forests where colonies of Japanese macaque monkeys come to the thermal springs to bathe. Continue through mountain scenery to Kusatsu, and take in a Yumomi performance – a traditional method of cooling down hot spring water to bathing temperature by stirring the water with large wooden paddles, accompanied by the singing of a local folk song. On to Takasaki for overnight accommodation.

In autumn, if the wild monkeys do not go down to the Monkey Park, it may be closed. In winter, the route may be changed in the case of heavy snow. In this case, the visit to the Monkey Park will be omitted. The Yumomi performance does not take place November – April.  

Day 11 : Takasaki - Nikko - Tokyo

In Takasaki, climb the hill to the Byakui Daikannon, a giant statue of the the Goddess of Mercy. Then we leave the town to move on to Nikko, home of the Toshogu Shrine, an important Shinto shrine complex and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk near the river in Kanmangafuchi, along a wooded path lined with a collection of jizō statues (the small stone effigies of the Buddhist protector of travellers and children). Free time in Nikko town before continuing to Tokyo, arriving around 7pm.

The group tour ends.

Day 12 : Tokyo - Narita - UK

After breakfast and checkout, free time in Tokyo until departure.
A transfer is provided to Narita Airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving the same day.

£ 3,723

per person sharing twin room

Single room supplement: £ 782

Supplement for departures in August & September: £ 250

Total package price is a “from” price, and is subject to availability of flights on the specified airline in the required class of travel. Different airlines may be offered, at different package prices, depending on availability on your selected dates of travel.

Included

  • Return flights from the UK in Economy class on Finnair via Helsinki
  • Day2 - 11: group tour by JTB/Europamundo, including:
  • - English-speaking meeting assistant at Narita airport on arrival, and transfer Narita Airport - Hotel
  • - English-speaking guide throughout
  • - Accommodation on room & breakfast basis at the hotels indicated or similar - 2nts Tokyo, 1nt Hiroshima, 1nt Matsuyama, 1nt Tokushima, 1nt Mt.Koya including Japanese dinner and breakfast, 1nt Kyoto, 1nt Matsumoto, 1nt Takasaki.
  • - 8 meals (lunch on day 3, 5, 6, 9 and 10. Dinner on day 2, 4 and 7)
  • - Full sightseeing programme including entrance fees
  • - Bullet train Tokyo - Hiroshima (Ordinary class reserved seat)
  • Additional 1 night accommodation in Tokyo
  • Transfer Hotel - Narita Airport (NRT) on Day 11.

Not included

  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals, beverages, accommodation or travel arrangements not shown in the itinerary
  • Incidental costs such as personal laundry, drinks, snacks
  • Passport and other visa document fees (UK citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days in Japan)

These tours operated by JTB/Europamundo have found great success in the Latin American market, and are guaranteed to operate on all the following dates.

Dates refer to flight departure from the UK, in order to join the group tour the following day. 

2017 Oct 04, 11, 18
Nov 01, 15, 29
Dec 13, 27
2018 Jan 10, 24
Feb 07, 21
Mar 07, 21

 

Tour ref: 13586

Hotels used for this tour are Superior grade throughout (Japan has no star rating system, but these are equivalent to 4-star). Actual hotels confirmed are subject to confirmation for each particular group, but are expected to be:

TOKYO: Shinagawa Prince Hotel or Courtyard Marriott Ginza

HIROSHIMA: Grand Prince Hotel or Gran Via Hiroshima or ANA Crowne Plaza

MATSUYAMA: Candeo Hotel Matsuyama or ANA Hotel Matsuyama

TOKUSHIMA: Hotel Clement, or Daiwa Roynet

MT.KOYA: Hojoin Monastery or Fukuchi-in Monastery

KYOTO: New Miyako Hotel or Hotel Kyoto Tokyu or Hotel Nikko Nara

MATSUMOTO: Hotal Buena Vista or Hotel Matsumoto Tokyu Rei or Nagano Tokyu Rei

TAKASAKI: Hotel Metropolitan or Takasakai View or Maebashi Sakura