Japan's Golden Route

Japan's Golden Route

  • Sightseeing in Tokyo & Kyoto 
  • Riding the Shinkansen bullet train 
  • Exploring Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park 
  • Day tour to Nara, former capital of Japan

This Golden Route tailor-made holiday packs in Japan’s top must-see destinations in one memorable itinerary.

From Tokyo to Kyoto, this tour is all about authentic and hands-on cultural experiences. You’ll have the chance to prepare – and eat! – your very own sushi in Tokyo, sleep in a traditional ryokan in Hakone and take part in age-old traditions in Kyoto from origami to flower arrangement. Along the way there are plenty of sightseeing opportunities, taking in red-and-gold shrines, ancient palaces and impressive temples.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo

Tokyo

Your journey begins in Tokyo, where you’ll be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel in a shared transfer. Following check-in, the day is entirely yours – either spend time getting over any jetlag in your room or head out and explore the city. For shopping, cocktail and sushi bars head to Ginza, Japan’s world-renowned shopping and entertainment district.

INCLUDES : Room Only

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo

Day 2: Guided Tour of Tokyo

Tokyo

Today you’ll take a guided tour of the city, starting in Asakusa, Tokyo’s ‘old town’ where your first stop is a visit to Sensoji: this is the city’s oldest temple, built in the 7th century. Carry on your tour sampling street food – and taking part in the Japanese pastime of ‘Tabearuki’ meaning ‘walk-and-eat’ – along Nakamise shopping street before boarding the Tokyo Water Bus and travelling along the Sumidagawa River to Hamarikyu garden where you can try matcha and traditional sweets. In the afternoon you’ll stop by the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to deified spirit of the Emperor Meiji, and end the day at Omotesando shopping street. Please note: if you would prefer to tour the city by private car, please speak to our travel experts.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 2: Guided Tour of Tokyo

Day 3: Markets & Sushi Making in Tokyo

Tokyo

On your last full day in Tokyo head to the Tsukiji Market, the world’s largest fish market. While the inner market – where the daily morning auction of tuna takes place – has relocated to Toyosu, the outer market remains at the original site and you’ll have time to wander and explore the fruit, vegetable and seafood stalls. Then, jump on public transport accompanied by your guide to visit a local home where you’ll have the chance to make your very own sushi for lunch, preparing maki, gunkan maki and nigiri suhi. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own sightseeing.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Markets & Sushi Making in Tokyo

Day 4: Hakone

Tokyo - Hakone

Leave Tokyo behind as you take the world-famous Shinkansen bullet train to Hakone, using your JR Pass. Upon arrival you’re free to explore the local area on your own, armed with your Hakone Free Pass which will allow you to get around the extensive local transport network. Within Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park you can ride switchback trains, cable cars and even a replica pirate ship! Tonight you’ll stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan, sleeping on futons laid out on tatami mats – delicious meals are included.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Hakone

Day 5: Cultural Experiences in Kyoto

Hakone - Kyoto

This morning it’s ‘all aboard’ once more as you travel by train to Kyoto, again taking advantage of your JR Pass. After settling in to your hotel, you’ll be collected and taken to the home of an expert instructor in a traditional art: you have the option of a hands-on experience in a tea ceremony, flower arranging, calligraphy or origami. Throughout the experience you will have an assistant on hand who can act as an interpreter if required. Please note: all member of the travelling party must select the same activity.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 5: Cultural Experiences in Kyoto

Day 6: Guide Tour of Kyoto

Kyoto

Your knowledgeable local guide will help you navigate Kyoto’s comprehensive bus system as you visit a number of World Heritage Sites on this day tour. First is the gold-leaf covered Kinkakuji Temple or ‘Golden Pavilion’ which is built in three different styles and houses sacred relics of Buddha. You’ll then carry on to Nijo Castle, completed in 1603 by the Tokugawa-era shoguns before walking up and down Nishiki Market nicknamed ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’ for its impressive range of restaurants and shops. End your day with one of two options: see one of Japan’s most celebrated temples, the Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple or instead visit Sanjusangendo, which is the longest wooden structure in the country and is home to 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Please note: if you would prefer to tour the city by private car, please speak to our travel experts.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 6: Guide Tour of Kyoto

Day 7: Day Trip to Nara & Fushimi

Kyoto - Nara - Fushimi

On this day trip you’ll travel by train to Nara – a former capital of Japan – with your expert guide. When you arrive head to Todaiji Temple, which houses the largest wooden structure in the world, along with a 15 metre high bronze Buddha statue, one of the largest in Japan. While in Nara you’ll also visit Kasuga Taisha, a shrine dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city and famed for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns donated by worshippers, as well as having the chance to stroll through Nara Park with its 1000s of tame deer. On return to Kyoto you will be taken to the southern part of the city where the Fushimi Inari Shrine stands with its red tori gates that form a path up Mount Inari.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 7: Day Trip to Nara & Fushimi

Day 8: Return to Tokyo

Kyoto - Tokyo

Get back on board the Shinkansen bullet train for your return trip to Tokyo. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure. Some of our recommendations include heading to the top of the orange-and-white Tokyo Tower, strolling the exterior grounds of the Imperial Palace or looking down the infamous Shibuya Crossing – said to be the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 8: Return to Tokyo

Day 9: Depart Tokyo

Tokyo - Onward Destination

After checking out, your day is free until your scheduled shared transfer to the airport in time for your return flight.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Pricing

Aug - Nov 2019; 16th August 2019 - 20th November 2019

Nov - Dec 2019; 21st November 2019 - 10th December 2019

Jan - Apr 2020; 10th January 2020 - 14th April 2020

Apr - Jun 2020; 15th April 2020 - 30th June 2020

Jul - Aug 2020; 1st July 2020 - 15th August 2020

Aug - Oct 2020; 16th August 2020 - 31st October 2020

Important Info


Note: 'From' prices are per person based on 2 people sharing one room travelling in the season dates indicated and are subject to availability. Call us today for an instant price based on your specific travel dates and travel party requirements.

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