Arrive at Tokyo Narita or Haneda 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.
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.
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. The 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 (also known as Kawaguchiko), 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.
Until March 2020: 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) and then on 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.)
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: Leave early today for the drive to Kyoto (130km) in time for a full-day tour of the city. Kyoto was the country’s capital from 794 to 1868, and because it escaped bombing during WW2, historic buildings are preserved. Many temples and shrines in the city are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. With the local guide visit Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari and the Imperial Palace. Visit the Gion area of Kyoto, well-known for its traditional streets and sights of maiko (apprentice geisha).
Up until March 2020: Head for Arashiyama, a peaceful refuge amid nature on the outskirts of Kyoto. Visit the Tenryuji Temple and the bamboo forest.
All departures: After, leave for the nearby city of Nara, once a capital of Japan. Visit Nara’s Todaiji Temple with its giant Buddha statue. After lunch (included), continue to Horyuji Temple on the outskirts of Nara, a World Heritage site. Its main pagoda is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world. Continue to Osaka, the second city of Japan. In the evening visit Dotonbori, a district of bright lights, nightlife and plenty of restaurants.
We leave for Himeji and visit its immense castle which has been carefully restored. After, take a cablecar ride up Mt.Shosha. At the top, see the Engyo-ji temple complex with over a thousand years of history, where the film “The Last Samurai” was shot. Lunch included at a local restaurant. Continue to Okayama to visit Korakuen, one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, with its lakes, waterfalls and traditional teahouses. Overnight in Okayama.
Leave for Kurashiki, and time for a stroll around this city’s well-preserved historic centre. Continue to Hiroshima, and visit the Peace Memorial and Peace Museum commemorating the atomic bomb which fell on the city in 1945. A little way outside the city, take the short ferry ride to the small island of Miyajima to see its Shinto shrine of Itsukushima dedicated to the guardian of the seas, built partially over the water. After a stroll around and some time to find lunch, return to Hiroshima. Dinner and overnight in Hiroshima.
The tour (A) ends after breakfast at hotel.
With Tour (B) you can return to Tokyo, on the 4-hour Bullet train service arriving Tokyo at around 14:00.
“If your group consists of more than 10 people, please contact us at info@japanspecialist directly.”