Day 1: Tokyo
Welcome to Japan! You will be met on arrival at the airport and will transfer to our hotel in the heart of the historic Asakusa district of Tokyo. This evening we have included a welcome dinner and your tour leader will brief you on the itinerary ahead. Sensoji temple (Tokyo's oldest) is a short walk from our hotel and this atmospheric district makes for a great base from which to enjoy the beguiling capital city of Japan. Meals: Dinner
Day 2: Tokyo
Your tour leader will lead a full day tour of Tokyo today taking in the the city highlights. We will cruise down the Sumida-gawa river from Asakusa to the scenic Hamarikyu gardens in the centre of town. From here we will head to Meiji shrine, majestically set in forested grounds and then we will explore Shinjuku including the chance for some great city views from atop the Tokyo Metropolitam Government building. Meals: Breakfast
Day 3: Nikko
A day trip to the World Heritage shrines and temple of Nikko today. This is Ota-san's home and so very special to him - and we think it will be to you too! The intricately decorated shrines are Japan's most spectacular and are all set in a beautiful forested area. Don't miss the famous Shinkyu bridge and of course the 'see no evil' monkeys as well. Transport is by direct express train from Asakusa, our base in Tokyo. Meals: Breakfast
Day 4: Shimoda
We board a private coach today to take us from Tokyo south through the scenic rural Izu Peninsula. En-route we will stop off and enjoy some of the Japanese countryside with blossom in March and April, verdant hills and countryside in May and autumn leaves in October. We will also visit the port of Shimoda, famous as the entrance point to Japan for Commodore Perry's 'black ships', before heading to our hot springs ryokan for the night. Our luxury stay here includes a sumptuous banquet dinner and of course free use of the hot spring baths. Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Day 5: Kyoto
On to Kyoto, Japan's Imperial capital. We travel by private coach to the small port of Toi where a ferry service will take us across the Suruga Bay. If the weather is clear then fantastic views of Mt. Fuji can be enjoyed from the deck. It is then on by Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto where we are staying in the centre of town. Tonight we have an included evening meal followed by a private audience with a Kyoto Geisha. A local expert will be on hand and there will be a chance to take photographs and ask questions if you wish. Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
Day 6: Kyoto
We have a private coach at our disposal in Kyoto today for a full day of sightseeing. This city really is the centre of Japanese history and culture and today we will get a taster of some of the very best of the many Unesco World Heritage sights. Visits will include the Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji temple as well as time in the Arashiyama district where we will see Tenryuji temple and its bamboo grove. Meals: Breakfast
Day 7 Nara
An even older capital city than Kyoto, today's destination is Nara. Famous for its Todaiji Temple which is the largest wooden building in the world and the giant Budhha statue kept there-in, we will also explore Nara park and meet the local population or friendly deer. This is a lovely day trip to a beautiful city compact enough to cover on foot at a leisurely pace. Back in Kyoto this evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner - another culinary treat and a chance to compare stories and experiences of the tour. Kampai! Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
Day 8: Depart
Alas time to depart! The airport transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport is included in the tour price. If you need to depart from Tokyo or wish to add any extra nights to your stay, please ask us for details. Meals: Breakfast
Come join this small group tour and experience Japan at its very best. We have timed the departures of this tour to catch some very special seasons and events:
Early March: the first cherry blossom on mainland Japan reaches the Izu Peninsula in early March. Our departure is perfectly timed to coincide with the early March Cherry blossom festival.
April: The blossom reaches Tokyo and Kyoto in April and we have timed this departure to catch the full bloom.
Mid-May: May is 'green season' and one of the most pleasant times temperature-wise to be in Japan. The gardens are particularly lush and tourist sights tend to be quite peaceful.
Late October: We have timed this departure to catch the stunning autumn leaves which put on a magnificent display especially on the Izu Peninsula and in Kyoto.
Single Supplement: This tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour.
Transport: Please note that some transfers are by public transport making use of Japan's first-rate transport network. All the hotels and ryokan have been chosen for their location close to the nearest station. However, you will have to carry your bags for short distances and some stations do not have escalators. We highly recommend that to make your stay more enjoyable you pack reasonably light. Large suitcases will be an inconvenience to you. A moderate case or bag with wheels are most appropriate for this tour.
Accommodation: All accommodation on this tour has full ensuite bathroom facilities. The accommodation in Shimoda also offers natural hot-spring baths for your enjoyment.
International Flights: This tour starts in Tokyo for arrivals at Tokyo Narita Airport or at Tokyo Haneda Airport and finishes in Kyoto for departures from Osaka Kansai Airport. Add-ons back to Tokyo can easily be arranged. Please ask us for details.
Meet and Greet: This is available from Tokyo Narita Airport or Tokyo Haneda Airport.
Check-in: Please note that rooms at the Tokyo hotel are available from 2pm. (You can however securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Japan Local Culture Cultural Journey