14 days from £2,695p/person
All the essentials for a first time visit to Japan with a twist of luxury. Travel across Japan and visit the cities of Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Matsuyama in Shikoku, and Osaka.

This 13-night itinerary is an ideal entry point for Japan. This tour will take you the Golden route destinations of Japan while introducing some of the off-the-beaten-track places. Dogo Onsen, a small place in Shikoku, is a beloved onsen area where you can unwind from most of your travel before departing Japan.

 

You will be visiting the must-see places like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, while also exploring some less-touristy gems, such as cultural Kanazawa, foodie Osaka and Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, one of Japan’s oldest hot spring bathhouses.

Day 1 : Arrival in TOKYO

Arrive in Haneda or Narita International Airport. After clearance through immigration and customs, meet with our representative who will guide you to your private transfer. This will drop you off directly at your hotel in Tokyo. Stay for 3 nights.

The rest of the day is then free at your leisure.

Day 2 : Tokyo

The days are free at leisure. Suggestions for activities in Tokyo:

  • See Tokyo from Tokyo Tower – the world’s tallest, self-supported steel tower, modelled after the Eiffel Tower, and located in the centre of Tokyo. The main deck is 150m high, and provides some unique views, and also has “look-down windows”.
  • Visit the historical Meiji Shrine – this is a shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken. The shrine (combined with Yoyogi Park) make-up a large forested area, within the metropolis of Tokyo.

 Dynamic Tokyo
 Tsukiji Outer Fish Market & Sushi Workshop Tour
 Tokyo Morning Tour

Day 3 : Tokyo

The days are free at leisure. Suggestions of activities in Tokyo:

  • Explore Shibuya and Harajuku for the latest fashion. Shibuya is the centre for youth fashion, and considered the birthplace of many Japanese fashion trends. Plus, there is also the famous scramble crossing. Close to Shibuya, is Harajuku, which is the centre for the more unusual fashion trends.
  • See Tokyo from the Tokyo Skytree – another iconic landmark of Tokyo, as well as the world-highest TV broadcasting tower. With two observation decks at 350m and 450m in height, there are spectacular views of the city.
  • Explore the Imperial Palace. The residence of Japan’s Imperial Family is located on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the centre of Tokyo, a short walk from Tokyo Station.

 Walking Tours in Tokyo
 Dynamic Tokyo
 Tsukiji Outer Fish Market & Sushi Workshop Tour

Day 4 : TOKYO to KANAZAWA

you can explore more of Tokyo today or directly make your way to Kanazawa using your JR Pass (2h15min).

Day 5 : KANAZAWA

Day free at leisure to visit popular sightseeing spots in Kanazawa such as:

  • Visit one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan – Kenrokuen Garden
  • Walk through Higashi Chaya District, the largest of the three Chaya districts. Chaya translates to teahouse, which is where guests were entertained by geisha in eras past. If you’re very lucky there is also the chance of seeing geisha walking through the streets of this district.

Day 6 : KANAZAWA to KYOTO

When you’re ready, make your way to Kyoto using your JR Pass (~2h). Stay for 3 nights.

Day 7 : KYOTO

The days are free at leisure. Suggested visiting spots:

  • Visit Kinkakuji – the Golden Pavilion – a Zen temple, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, with the top two floors completely covered in gold leaf. The temple cannot be entered but its setting by a tranquil pond in traditional Japanese gardens is very picturesque.
  • Visit the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period at Nijo Castle

 Sagano Bamboo Grove & Arashiyama Tour
 Fushimi Inari Shrine & Sake Tasting Tour
 Highlights of Kyoto Tour
 Tea Ceremony & Nishiki Market Tour

Day 8 : KYOTO

The days are free at leisure. Suggested visiting spots:

  • Walk through hundreds of tori (Shinto shrine gates) at the Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Take a stroll through Gion – a district of Kyoto which retains some of the atmosphere and architecture of the old city. It has always been an entertainment district, with shops, restaurants and ocha-ya (tea houses) – and geisha or their apprentices (maiko) can sometimes be seen in the streets, in their traditional costumes. (please note due to the recent regulation change in the area – photos are not allowed)

 Kyoto Night Tour
 Nara Afternoon Tour

Day 9 : KYOTO to HIROSHIMA

Have your large luggage ready in the lobby of your accommodation for 07:30 – a member of staff will collect your luggage, and transfer it to your accommodation in Osaka. Please take an overnight bag for your stay in Hiroshima.

Check out of your accommodation and make your way to Hiroshima using your JR Pass (approx. 1 hour 15min). Stay for 2 nights.

Suggestions of activities:

  • Visit the Peace Memorial Park – the original target of the atomic bomb, and as such has not been redeveloped in order to be devoted to peace memorial facilities instead.
  • See Hiroshima from a different perspective, and write your wishes on a paper crane to fill the Orizuru Wall at Orizuru Tower

Day 10 : HIROSHIMA

Today is free to explore Hiroshima and the island of Miyajima (or shrine island), where you can visit one of the crown jewels of the country: Itsukushima floating shrine*.

*Please note that the floating shrine will be undergoing renovation until June 2021

Suggestions of activities in MIYAJIMA:

  • Take the ferry over to Miyajima, the sacred island just off the coast of Hiroshima.
  • Greet the deities at Itsukushima Shrine, and see the large “floating gate” – one of the three best views in Japan

 Hiroshima & Miyajima Tour

Day 11 : HIROSHIMA to DOGO-ONSEN

Today leave your baggage with the bell captain and experience the unique Japanese baggage transfer system, where your bags are delivered to your hotel in Osaka (Make sure to pack an overnight bag).

Head to Hiroshima Port Ujina (not covered by the JR Pass), from where you will take the high speed boat bound for Matsuyama, for a journey of about 70min.

Matsuyama is just across the water from Hiroshima and Dogo Onsen is just a short ride away on the local tram (25 min, 160JPY to be paid on spot). Stay for 1 night in a traditional lodging, a ryokan, with hot spring baths. Futon mattresses will be prepared on the tatami mat floor and you will be served traditional kaiseki cuisine for dinner.

Day 12 : DOGO-ONSEN to OSAKA

The day is free at leisure in Dogo Onsen. Suggested visiting spots:

  • Ishiteji Temple situated on the Shikoku pilgrimage (eight of the 88 temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage are in Matsuyama)
  • Isaniwa Shrine: a 1000 year-old building, counted as one of Japan’s three main Hachiman-style shrines. It’s designated an important national cultural property.

When you are ready, make your way to Osaka using JR Pass (4h30min with 2 changes – the portion from Dogo Onsen to Matsuyama is not covered by the JR Pass, 160JPY to be paid on spot, 25min). Once you are in Osaka, please check in to your accommodation where your luggage will be waiting, at your earliest convenience. Stay for 2 nights.

Day 13 : OSAKA

The day is free at leisure. Suggested visiting spots:

  • Visit Osaka Castle which was originally built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who ruled Japan in the latter half of the 16th century. One of the charms of this castle is the beauty of its stone wall, which is said to contain 40,000 rocks.
  • Experience a sensory overload, famous street-food and iconic images of Japan’s neon nightlife in Osaka’s entertainment district in
  • Visit Abeno Harukas, Japan’s tallest building with 62 floors. This multi-purpose building includes the Abeno Harukas Art Museum on the 16th floor, a roof top garden space also on the 16th floor, the 5-star, 360-room Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel and an observation deck on the top floors with incredible views out over Osaka.

Day 14 : Departure from OSAKA

This morning, please check out of your accommodation.

A taxi will be waiting to collect you from your accommodation and take you to Kansai International Airport, ready for your departing flight.

 

Dates Per person sharing a twin room
2020 – 2021 £2,695

Total package price is a “from” price, and is subject to availability.

Single traveller supplement, on request basis only.

All prices are per person, sharing twin room in standard (4 star) accommodation. Higher accommodation is available upon request.

* During the Summer Games (23th Jul – 8th Aug & 24th Aug – 5th Sep 2021), the tour will be altered to cater around this period, and Tokyo will most likely be missed (inquiry basis)*

Included

  • 13 nights standard accommodation based on twin rooms
  • Daily breakfast and traditional dinner on 1 night
  • Tokyo airport private transfer on Day 1
  • Luggage transfer from Hiroshima to Osaka (1 piece per person)
  • High-speed boat from Hiroshima to Matsuyama on Day 11
  • Osaka airport private transfer on Day 14
  • 14 Day Wifi Router
  • 14-Day JR Pass Ordinary Class

Not included

  • International flights
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Travel Insurance
  • Passport and other visa document fees (UK citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days in Japan)
  • Incidental costs such as personal laundry, drinks, snacks