Tokyo

Japan Discovery 8 Days / 7 nights

Day 1Arrival in Tokyo – Arrive in Tokyo, where you will be welcomed by our English Speaking Guide who will assist you with transferring by public transfer to your hotel. After check-in to your hotel relax before meeting the guide in the hotel lobby at 1800 and after a brief meeting you get your first taste of the efficient and labyrinthine transport system, travelling to the eclectic and electric areas of Shibuya and Shinjuku. Get amongst the locals in this hotspot before returning to the Hotel by 22.00 with your guide, or wander further afield under your own steam.

Day 2Tokyo – Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel this morning before you meet your guide in your hotel lobby at 0900. Today you will spend a full day taking in some of the many highlights Tokyo has to offer with a local guide by public transport. First stop is nearby Meiji Jinja, Tokyo’s most famous shrine, dedicated to the spirit of the late Emperor Meiji. The shrine is a popular site for Japanese Weddings’ if you are lucky you may see a bride and groom dressed in traditional Shinto wedding attire. From old to new Tokyo as we then take a walk down Omotesando, commonly referred to as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysee. This broad, tree lined avenue features a multitude of fashion flagship stores designed by internationally renowned architects within a short distance of each other. A short subway ride will then take us to Asakusa, part of Tokyo’s Shitamachi, or old town. Asakusa is home to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, and is also the city’s oldest Geisha district. The streets around Sensoji have many traditional shops selling Japanese crafts and souvenirs and are a delight to wander through. We will then see Tokyo from a different angle as we take a cruise down the Sumida Gawa River by boat to Hamarikyu-teien. This stunning former private garden of an Edo Period lord is an oasis surrounded by a sea of skyscrapers. (B)

Day 3 Tokyo at your leisure – Today you are free to wander further afield at your leisure amongst the delights of Tokyo If you choose, you can opt for the below optional tour that promise unique views of this country’s most iconic site. (B)

Day 4Tokyo to Hiroshima – Check out of your hotel and travel 5 hours to Hiroshima by train, with your English-speaking guide. This morning you will send your main Luggage to Kyoto so please prepare one overnight (small) bag for Hiroshima, as you cannot access this luggage until your arrival at the Hotel in Kyoto. Lunch is not included but you can purchase a local lunch at the train station. Upon arrival to Hiroshima, walk to the Hotel where you can drop off your small bag before your guide will take you by street car to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima. The area where the park now lies was ground zero for the Atomic Bomb on 6th August 1945. After the bombing the Memorial Park was created and dedicated to those who lost their lives in the attack. Stroll through the park and find out the meaning behind the many memorials, monuments and statues in the park. You will learn to fold an Origami crane to place at the Children’s Peace Monument. The Monument features a statue of Sadoko, a young girl that died as a result of radiation poisoning, who was told if she could fold 1000 paper cranes she would get well. Unfortunately she was not able to reach 1000, however people come from all over the world to place cranes at her monument in tribute to Sadoko. (B)

Day 5Hiroshima – Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before checking out your hotel and travelling to Miyajima by public transport and ferry with your English-speaking guide. Ferry to your destination – Miyajima, a small sacred island located in the Inland Sea, has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. Here you will find possibly the most photographed site in Japan – The Floating Torii Gate at the Itsukushima Shrine. Designated as one of Japan’s ‘3 Most Beautiful Views’, the shrine it belongs to dates back to the 6th century with the present structure dating back to the 12th century. The harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill, and have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mere ‘commoners’ were not allowed to set foot on this holy place, and even now it is forbidden to give birth or die on the island! Whilst not included, your Guide will take you to Iwaso – which offers the cuisine icon of Miyajima – conger eel. The restaurant has many alternative options for those not wishing to sample the local favorite. Take time to explore the island, and its many shrines and temples and wander the cobbled streets of old Miyajima watching the local craftsman at work before returning to Hiroshima then taking the 2-hour bullet train to Kyoto. (B)

Day 6Kyoto to Nara and return to Kyoto -Today you explore the former imperial capital with English Speaking guide with public transport. After breakfast at the hotel start your day with a visit to Nijo Castle. This ornamental castle was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its Momoyama architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors. Continue on to Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion. Originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun, after his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. The final stop of the morning is Ryoan-ji Zen, the site of Japan’s most famous rock garden. Originally an aristocrat’s villa during the Heian Period, the site was converted into a Zen temple in 1450 and belongs to the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Perfect for a spot of Zen meditation after a busy morning. Treat yourself to a lunch of Grilled chicken skewers (at own expense) before travelling 45 minutes to Nara which was the capital of Japan from 710 -784, before it was moved to Heain-kyo (present day Kyoto) – many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. Nara is a small town and most of its main sights are gathered around Nara Park. Your touring of Nara includes a visit to Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha, and Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine. Nara’s National Museum has a huge collection of Japanese Buddhist Art. At the completion of your touring activities in Nara return to Kyoto. (B)

Day 7Kyoto – This morning you will meet your English-speaking guide and travel to Sanju Sangendo by public transport. Visit Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13m high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall you can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, whilst pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners. Finish off the day with a stroll through the atmospheric Higashiyama district, whose busy lanes lead up to Kiyomizu and are filled with quaint shops selling souvenirs including Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles. Wander the picturesque canals of the Gion area and sample a traditional Japanese Hot pot at the recommended Oden restaurant (at own expense). Afternoon is at your leisure. (B)

Day 8Departure day – Enjoy a relaxing start to the day and breakfast at your hotel. Depending upon your departure flight time check out of your hotel by 1400 and transfer to Kansai international airport by shuttle van. (B)

 Tour Inclusions:

  • Arrival and departure airport transfer
  • Accommodation on a shared twin / double basis
  • Half day local english speaking guide on day 1, 7 & 8
  • Full day local english speaking guide on day 2, 4, 5 & 6
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • 7 Day JR Pass ( Ordinary Class )
  • Public transport during guided tours as indicated
  • Kyoto Bus and Subway pass
  • Luggage forwarding fee 1 piece per person ( Tokyo to Kyoto )
  • Information pack
  • 2 Day Hakone transport pass
  • Meals as described in the itinerary – 7 Breakfast’s

 

Seat in Coach Dates

 

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
13-Apr 14-Apr 15-Apr 16-Apr 17-Apr 18-Apr 19-Apr 20-Apr
11-May 12-May 13-May 14-May 15-May 16-May 17-May 18-May
18-May 19-May 20-May 21-May 22-May 23-May 24-May 25-May
25-May 26-May 27-May 28-May 29-May 30-May 31-May 1-Jun
8-Jun 9-Jun 10-Jun 11-Jun 12-Jun 13-Jun 14-Jun 15-Jun
20-Jul 21-Jul 22-Jul 23-Jul 24-Jul 25-Jul 26-Jul 27-Jul
28-Sep 29-Sep 30-Sep 1-Oct 2-Oct 3-Oct 4-Oct 5-Oct
12-Oct 13-Oct 14-Oct 15-Oct 16-Oct 17-Oct 18-Oct 19-Oct
19-Oct 20-Oct 21-Oct 22-Oct 23-Oct 24-Oct 25-Oct 26-Oct