This is a GROUP tour with regular departures until October 2020.
Visit Japan and its beloved cities with this 13-day tour. With an experienced guide, start your holiday in Tokyo, the buzzing capital of Japan. Experience the blend of history and modernity in this vibrant city, visiting Shibuya Crossing, the Imperial Palace Gardens and more. Continue your path through nature by travelling to the Mt. Fuji area and Tsumago and experience historical Kyoto and Nikko. Ikaho Onsen’s hot spring waters will revitalise you before you find your spiritual side in a Zen ceremony near Hiraizumi. End your trip in Hokkaido within the beautiful town of Otaru.
|This JTB/Europamundo coach tour visits:|
Day 1 : Arrive Tokyo
Arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport.
Meeting staff at customs exit to provide assistance in boarding the regular “Airport Limousine” bus service to the hotel in Tokyo.
In the late afternoon, meet the tour guide and the other members of the group. Travel by metro to 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 2 : Tokyo
A full morning’s sightseeing of Tokyo with a local guide.
Pass near the walls and gardens of the Imperial Palace and visit the Shinto shrine dedicated to 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.
Day 3 : Tokyo - Kawaguchiko
Board the coach to leave Tokyo for the beautiful region of Mt.Fuji. On arrival at the pretty town of Kawaguchiko, visit the Fuji Sengen Shrine, the starting point for the traditional pilgrimage to the mountain. Our trip includes a cablecar ride to Mt. Tenjo, for wonderful views of the nearby lakes and Mt.Fuji. Take a boat trip on Lake Kawaguchi, and take in the spectacular scenery.
After lunch, drive up to the “5th station” halfway up Mt.Fuji (if winter snow makes the route impossible, the coach will proceed to the highest possible point.) Return to Kawaguchiko, to our ryokan (Japanese inn) in Kawaguchiko so that you can enjoy its onsen (public hot spring bath) and Japanese dinner.
Day 4 : Kawaguchiko - Toyota - Nagoya (From April 2020:- Kyoto)
Drive along the lake roads to Iyashinosato Nenba, a small town that was devastated by a landslide during a typhoon in 1966 and then rebuilt as a traditional outdoor highland museum town. Its typical thatched houses have been converted into craft workshops, restaurants and museums. After, visit the Shiraito Falls, with a waterfall height of 150m. A stop for lunch (included) will take place before travelling onwards to Nagoya. A visit to the Toyota Museum is included, a must-see for motor-lovers.
(From April 2020: After the Toyota Museum, have a drive to Kyoto, only 130km away. Rest well in your Kyoto accommodation.)
Day 5 : Nagoya - Kyoto (From April 2020: Kyoto Only)
Up until March 2020: Leave early today for the drive to Kyoto (130km) in time for a full-day tour of the city.
From April 2020: Kyoto was the country’s capital from 794 to 1868, and because it escaped bombing during WW2, historic buildings are preserved. In Kyoto, many temples and shrines in the city are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. With the local guide, visit Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari and the Imperial Palace. Walk in the Gion area of Kyoto, well-known for its traditional streets and sights of maiko (apprentice geisha).
From April 2020: Start your tour from your accommodation in Kyoto. We head for Arashiyama, a peaceful refuge amid nature on the outskirts of Kyoto. Visit the Tenryuji Temple – one of the “five major Zen temples of Kyoto” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and the bamboo forest. Kyoto was the country’s capital from 794 to 1868, and because it escaped bombing during WW2, historic buildings are preserved. With the local guide, visit Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari and the Imperial Palace. Walk in the Gion area of Kyoto, well-known for its traditional streets and sights of maiko (apprentice geisha).
Day 6 : Kyoto - Tsumago - Matsumoto - Nagano
Set out for Tsumago, passing attractive country scenery on the way. This small village with its wooden houses is one of the prettiest places in Japan. Free time to explore and lunch included. Then continue to Matsumoto, a tourist city where we will visit its impressive sixteenth-century castle known as the “Castle of crows”. Continue to Nagano for overnight accommodation.
Day 7 : Nagano - Ikaho Onsen
In Nagano visit the Zenko-ji, a place of pilgrimage with the first Buddhist image in Japan. A Gomakuyo ceremony will be included to bring luck. Then on to the beautiful Japanese Alps, and the Jigokudani Monkey Park, to have lunch (included) and stroll amidst its forests with its rivers and spa waters where colonies of
Japanese macaques live and bathe. After this, pass through very beautiful high mountain scenery (up to 2,172 metres), passing semi-active volcanoes.
At Kusatsu, an attractive spa town, a Yumomi show is included, its dance and drama presenting the traditional method used to cool the spa waters. Then a walk in the city park which has open air onsen. Then on to Ikaho, a picturesque spa town with an ancient centre with staircase streets. Stay at a ryokan, a Japanese style hotel and enjoy its baths. Traditional Japanese dinner included.
(NB: In the planned Ryokan, some rooms are Japanese style, with beds made on the tatami mat floor, and others are western-style).
Note: In the autumn, depending on the amount of fruit in the mountains, the movement of the monkeys is unpredictable.
If the macaques do not come down to the park, it may be closed. The visit to Kusatsu and the Yumoni show are cancelled due to the weather from November to April.
Day 8 : Ikaho Onsen - Nikko - Sendai
In the morning, take the coach to Nikko and visit the Nikko Toshogu Shrine and the Taiyuinbyo Mausoleum, set in impressive surroundings, followed by a walk by the river, under the watchful eye of hundreds of Jizo statues. Free time in the city before travelling on to Sendai for overnight accommodation.
Day 9 : Sendai - Matsushima - Hiraizumi - Morioka
Depart for the city of Matsushima, on the “Thousand Islands” Bay in the Pacific Ocean. Visit the magnificent “tea house” overlooking the sea, then take a 30-minute cruise (From April 2020: 50-minute cruise). Free time to visit the historical museum, temples or take a walk to the islands which are connected by pretty pedestrian bridges. Lunch is included.
Continue to Hiraizumi to visit its temples and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Takkoku no Iwaya, a temple carved into the rock in 1801, followed by a visit to the magnificent Buddhist temples of Chusonji. Relax in the gardens of Motsuiji Temple (possibility to take part in a Zen ceremony – included). Continue to Morioka for overnight.
Day 10 : Morioka - Hirosaki - Aomori - Hakodate
We depart for Hirosaki, and visit its historic castle in a beautiful park. Then on to Aomori, to see the Nebuta Museum, and the illuminated floats used at the famous Nebuta Festival. Lunch included, then board the ferry to Hokkaido Island.
After the 3.5 hour crossing, ascend Mt.Hakodate for wonderful views, descending by cable car.
Day 11 : Hakodate - Onuma - Noboribetsu - Sapporo
In the morning, visit the busy fish market and climb the Goryokaku Tower for impressive views. Then take a stroll through the area of Hakodate’s star-shaped fortress before continuing to Onuma, with its numerous small islands on the lake. Boat trip and lunch are included.
In the afternoon, continue to Noboribetsu, an impressive volcano site. The day will end at Sapporo for a stay in a hotel.
Day 12 : Sapporo - Otaru - Sapporo
City tour of Sapporo including the Clock Tower, the beautiful shrine of Hokkaido Jingu with a ceremonial prayer “Kito” session.
Continue to Otaru, a town a few miles to the north with a European air filled with shops, an old canal and tiny museums. Lunch included. Return to Sapporo at around 4pm. Rest of the day free.
Day 13 : Depart Sapporo
Tour ends after hotel checkout in Sapporo.
Until March 2020
per person sharing twin room
Single Supplement: £ 840
After March 2020
per person sharing twin room
Single Supplement: £820
- Day2 - 10: group tour by JTB/Europamundo, including:
- English-speaking meeting assistant at Narita airport on arrival, and transfer Narita Airport - Hotel by "Airport Limousine" bus
- English-speaking guide throughout
- 12 nights accommodation on room & breakfast basis
- Full sightseeing programme including entrance fees
- 7 lunches, 4 dinners
- 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)
11, 25 April 2020
09, 23 May 2020
06, 20 June 2020
04, 18 July 2020
01, 15, 29 August 2020
12, 26 September 2020
10, 24 October 2020