Arrive at one of the capital’s two major international airports and make your own way to your first comfortable hotel in an enviable central location, for a good night’s sleep to adjust to the 9 hours time difference and before the tour starts in earnest tomorrow.
Your guide will escort you through Tokyo’s famous public transport system to see diverse sites including the Meiji Shrine, the bustling Shibuya Crossing, the Nakamise Shopping Arcade, the stately Asakusa Kannon Temple, and the regal Imperial Palace Plaza.
What’s included: Breakfast, Tokyo tour guide, public transport around Tokyo
After a short rail journey from Tokyo to Ostsuki using your JR pass, you’ll enjoy a full-day tour to Kawaguchiko, a beautiful lake right at the base of Mount Fuji where, on a clear day you will be able to see the very top of Japan’s iconic mountain from the water. There are unrivalled views of the mountain that dominates the skyline for miles around from the Mt Kachikachi ropeway, 1,000m above sea level. We’ve included a visit to the pagoda at Arakurayama Sengen Park, which has perhaps the most famous view of Mt Fuji of all.
What’s included: Breakfast, Kawaguchiko tour guide, return bus between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko, lake cruise and ropeway tickets
Today is set aside for you to explore Tokyo at your own pace, exploring museums, galleries, markets and famous neighbourhoods with your JR pass. There are far too many incredible things for us to describe here, but perhaps you’ll enjoy the futuristic man-made island of Odaiba, with its fantastic views of Tokyo Bay, or the historic Ginza, Japan’s premier shopping district.
What’s included: Breakfast
Today we say goodbye to Tokyo and catch a Bullet Train (using your JR pass) to historic Kyoto for a half-day tour of just a few of its most famous sites. You’ll stroll between the Torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine and step back through time at Sanjusangendo, an 850-year-old temple which contains 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy.
What’s included: Breakfast, luggage transfer (one suitcase per person), Kyoto tour guide, public transport around Kyoto, entry to Sanjusangendo
Wake up in Kyoto for a full day immersing yourself in this stunning ancient city. Your guide will escort you around Nijo Castle, the former formal residence of the Shogun, with its nightingale floors and sumptuous original decorations. You’ll take in the Heian Shrine, a popular shrine known for its festivals, as well as the Yasaka Shrine and Gion, which is Kyoto's most famous historic Geisha district, whom you may glimpse in the evening, hurrying to their engagements.
What's included: Breakfast, Kyoto tour guide, entry to Nijo Castle and the Heian Shrine, public transport around Kyoto
You get to decide the itinerary today, with a whole day free to explore whichever parts of Kyoto that excite you most. Perhaps you’ll stroll around Kinkaku-ji Temple, which is known as “the Golden Pavilion” as its walls are covered in a rich gold leaf, or Tenryu-ji Temple and its beautiful gardens, and the serene Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. You may also opt into a half-day tour of nearby Nara, with visits to Todai-ji Temple, the Kasuga-taisha Grand Shrine and Nara Deer Park, and many other treasures at this sprawling UNESCO World Heritage site.
What’s included: Breakfast
Optional extra: Nara tour, including return train tickets, tour guide
Osaka is Japan’s second city, not far from Kyoto on public transport with your JR pass. On your tour, you’ll visit Osaka Castle, built in 1583, and sample some of Japan’s tastiest tidbits in the foodie quarter of Dotombori. You’ll take in the dazzling lights that line the canals and draw visitors towards karaoke bars, shellfish restaurants and late-night ramen joints.
What’s included: Breakfast, Osaka tour guide, entry to Osaka Castle, same- day luggage transfer
Today brings you on a full-day tour of Hiroshima and the nearby holy island of Miyajima – roughly 90 minutes by train from Osaka with your JR pass. Here you’ll learn all about the tragedy of the Second World War at the Peace Memorial Park, where you can contemplate the haunting ruins of the Atomic Bomb Dome, a lone building that survived a deadly blast. On Miyajima, you’ll visit the spectacular and spiritual Itsukushima Shrine.
What’s included: Breakfast, Hiroshima tour guide, entry to the Peace Memorial Museum, Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima ferry
Your last day in Japan affords you another chance to explore Osaka at your leisure. Whether that means visiting the museums, taking in a view of the whole city from the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, or picking up souvenirs at Tenjinbashi-suji, the longest shopping street in Japan, is up to you - but the possibilities are endless. Once the day is done, you’ll make your own way to KIX Airport and catch your flight back home.
What’s included: Breakfast
Optional extension tour add-on and additional hotel stay
3 star hotels
TOKYO - Comfort Hotel Tokyo Higashi Kanda (or similar)
KYOTO - Urban Hotel Kyoto-Shijo Premium (or similar)
OSAKA - Shin-Osaka Esaka Tokyu REI Hotel (or similar)
Hotel upgrade can be provided upon request.
Packed with guided service to must-see sights, there are 4 dates to choose from in the peak of the Autumn Leaves changing season, with guaranteed departure. Looking for a hassle free holiday? Don’t miss this opportunity, the price very rarely comes to this good as we make a fresh start of our tour service to Japan.
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We thank our friends at the Japan National Tourist Organisation and partners for use of various images on this site.