Best of Japan

Best of Japan

There is plenty to see and do on our 14-night Japan itinerary. Discover the contrasting historical and cultural side of Tokyo with its more modern and futuristic side, before you explore Hakone, a natural wonderland famous for its hot springs, outdoor pursuits and views of the nearby Mount Fuji. Take the bullet train to Takayama, often called Little Kyoto with its plethora of temples, shrines, rivers and bridges.

Kanazawa once rivalled Kyoto and Tokyo as a town of great cultural achievements, and while it is still an important city, it is now most famous for the beautiful Kenrokuen Gardens, one of Japan’s ‘three best landscape gardens’.

Hiroshima is notorious for its destruction when the first Atomic Bomb was dropped over the city during the Second World War, and the city’s tragic past makes it a fascinating place to visit. Wander round the Peace Memorial Park and be moved by the haunting Peace Memorial Museum.

Kyoto is the nation’s former capital and is a must-see destination in Japan. Kyoto represents the Japan of old and you can find its cultural and historical past in the city’s narrow alleyways where teahouses are aplenty and kimono-clad geishas hurry from elegant function to function.

There is much to experience on this tour from temples, shrines, cooking classes, boat rides, train journeys, gardens, lakes, markets and sky-scrapers.

Luxury Tokyo Holidays
    DAY 01

    UK to Tokyo

    Tokyo

    Upon arrival at Tokyo airport you will be transferred to your hotel, where the rest of your day can be spent at your leisure. Wander out and explore some of Tokyo’s bustling streets, where there are plenty of shops and restaurants to discover. Or take a relaxing stroll around the Imperial Palace Park. Accommodation Options

    Luxury Tokyo Holidays
      DAY 02

      Tokyo

      Tokyo

      Wander around Asakusa and soak in the atmosphere of old Tokyo, and visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. Wander down Nakamise shopping street, then travel down the Sumidagawa River on Tokyo’s water bus to Hamarikyu Garden, an Edo period Japanese garden. Here you will find the modern Shiodome district’s futuristic skyscrapers. Later, enjoy a visit to Meiji Shrine, then take a walk down Omotesando, a broad tree-lined avenue full of flagship stores and modern architecture. Accommodation Options

      Luxury Tokyo Holidays
        DAY 03

        Tokyo

        Tokyo

        Visit Tsukiji Market, which was until recently the world’s largest fish market. While the inner market has moved, you can still explore the outer market with its impressive seafood section and fruit and vegetable stalls. After, you will visit a typical Japanese home. Learn to prepare maki sushi, gunkan maki and nigiri sushi, before enjoying your delicious sushi for lunch. Accommodation Options

        Luxury Hakone Holidays
          DAY 04

          Tokyo – Hakone

          Hakone

          Travel by train to Hakone, the gateway to the Mount Fuji region. Armed with your Hakone Pass, ride the world’s second longest cable car to the top of Mt. Owakudani, passing over the pools of boiling hot water that give the mountain its name, “Hells Valley”. Sail across the volcanic Lake Ashi to get a great view of Mount Fuji and explore some of the museums, shrines and shops scattered around the area. Accommodation Options

            DAY 05

            Takayama


            From Hakone, take the world-famous Shinkansen Bullet Train, reaching speeds of up to 300km/h. You will then change on to the Limited Express Hida Wideview for one of the most scenic train journeys in Japan, winding your way through mountains and stunning gorges to Takayama. Make your own way to your accommodation and spend your free afternoon by visiting one of the towns many sake breweries for a taste of the local drop.
              DAY 06

              Takayama


              Today can be spent at your leisure - we recommend heading up to the Miyagawa morning markets which sell local crafts and produce. A short bus ride will take you to Hida No Sato Folk Village, an open-air museum exhibiting over 30 typical farmhouses and other traditional buildings from the Hida region. Visit the Takayama Festival Floats Museum displaying floats from the famous Takayama festival or simply wander through the beautifully preserved old town.
                DAY 07

                Takayama - Kanazawa via Shirakawago


                Today is self-guided. Using your included coach tickets and visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago village, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Gassho-zukuri translates as “praying hands” as the farmhouses steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. Afterwards, you will continue via coach journey to Kanazawa.
                kanazawa holidays
                  DAY 08

                  Kanazawa

                  Kanazawa

                  A free day to explore Kanazawa. The highlight of any visit is Kenrokuen Garden, as its breathtaking beauty shines through in any season. We also recommend visiting Kanazawa Castle just next to the garden, along with the Nagamachi Samurai District and the Saihitsuan Yuzen Silk Centre, demonstrating the centuries old Yuzen silk painting technique, and the Nomura Samurai House, a traditional Japanese home with a tea-ceremony room, interior courtyard garden and artifacts from the Edo period.
                  Luxury Hiroshima Holidays
                    DAY 09

                    Kanazawa - Hiroshima

                    Hiroshima

                    Today you will travel to Hiroshima by train. The journey takes around four hours, with one change at Shin Osaka. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at leisure. Accommodation Options

                    Luxury Miyajima Holidays
                      DAY 10

                      Hiroshima and Miyajima

                      Miyajima

                      Visit the Peace Memorial Park. Stroll through the park and discover the many memorials, monuments and statues before heading into the Peace Memorial Museum (museum is undergoing renovations until Spring 2020. One wing is closed). From Hiroshima take a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island, where you will find Itsukushima Shrine and possibly the most photographed site in Japan, the stunning ‘Floating’ Torii Gate.
                      Luxury Kyoto Holidays
                        DAY 11

                        Kyoto

                        Kyoto

                        Today you will travel by Bullet train to Kyoto. The journey takes around two hours. In the afternoon enjoy a private cooking lesson, where you will learn about Kyoto’s typical kappo cuisine and try your hand at making some of the dishes that made this cuisine so popular around the world. In Japanese, kappo means to cut ingredients with a knife and cook them over a fire. Accommodation Options

                        Luxury Kyoto Holidays
                          DAY 12

                          Kyoto

                          Kyoto

                          Explore the former imperial capital, starting with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. Continue on to Nijo Castle, famous for its architecture and “chirping” nightingale floors. Take a walk down Nishiki Market, known as Kyoto’s Kitchen as it specialises in all things food related. Later visit either Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple or Sanjusangendo Temple, famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Accommodation Options

                            DAY 13

                            Nara


                            Head to Nara, Japan’s capital city during the 8th century, by train (45 minutes). Visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Next is Nara’s largest shrine, Kasuga Taisha, known for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns. Wander through Nara Park, home to more than 1,000 tame deer before visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its 10,000 red torii gates, on your way back to Kyoto. Accommodation Options

                            Luxury Tokyo Holidays
                              DAY 14

                              Kyoto – Tokyo

                              Tokyo

                              Today you will travel back to Tokyo on the train. The journey takes around four hours. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your own leisure.
                                DAY 15

                                Tokyo – UK


                                This day is to be enjoyed at your own leisure until your transfer to the airport for your flight home.