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Here’s What Your Amazing Holiday Could Look Like...
Get under the skin of Japan on this Small Group Journey covering the history, culture and scenery of this fascinating country. Ride the legendary Bullet Train and discover the cultural hotpot of Kyoto, the beautiful central mountains and the haunting history of Hiroshima, then finish it all off with the glittering skyline of Tokyo.
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Planning your holiday
Hi I'm Chloe and as a Travel Consultant I'm here to make sure you find the exact holiday you want. This Journey itinerary is just one example for what's possible when you travel with us. Get in touch ...
Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Kyoto.
Arrive in Kyoto and meet the rest of your group. Take a walk to some of Kyoto’s highlights with your guide, including the opulent Nijo Castle, handicraft workshops, and Japan’s most famous Zen garden at Ryoan-ji. On your free afternoon you can take a walk along the Path of Philosophy, which links various temples and pavilions with the old town, and has some pretty gorgeous views to boot. Rejoin your guide for a walking tour of the geisha district at Gion and investigate the teahouses.
Guided tour of Gion district
4.5* Hotel Granvia Kyoto or similar
Take the train through some beautiful scenery to Koyasan, where you’ll explore beautiful Mount Koya, which is covered in various monasteries and cemeteries. The 800 metre-high mountain was first settled in 816 by a monk, and the original monastery has now grown in to the town. Visit the Okunoin mausoleum, which is lit up by thousands of lanterns and surrounded by an atmospheric graveyard within a cedar wood. The 200,000 graves are pretty ornate, with some intricate and bizarre sculptures. Stay the night in a traditional temple.
4* Rengejo-in Temple
Ride the Bullet train south and admire the most splendid castle in Japan, Himeji, its five-storey keep towering majestically over surrounding gardens, moats and cherry trees. Continue on to Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park. Hiroshima is of course most famous for the events of August 1945, but those expecting a sombre city will be pleasantly surprised by the city’s vibrancy. Take the boat across to Miyajima Island and admire the Itsukushima-jinja Shrine, known for its torii gate that appears to float at high tide (shrine optional, extra cost).
A-Bomb Dome, Peace Park & Peace Museum
Miyajima Island Excursion
4* Hotel Granvia Hiroshima or similar
Take the bullet train to Tsumago, a town filled with traditional buildings where you’ll spend the night in a traditional ryokan, a type of travellers’ inn from the Edo period. Tsumago is one of Japan’s best-preserved towns, with the atmosphere of the Edo period lovingly recreated. This includes concealing power cables and phone masts, and banning cars from the high street in the daytime. There are several well-maintained examples of Honjin and Wakihonjin, travellers’ inns for officials and the general public respectively.
3.5* Hanaya Ryokan or similar
Continue to the pretty castle town of Matsumoto and explore its craft shops and atmospheric restaurants. Take a look around Matsumoto Castle, a Japanese national treasure (optional, extra cost) with an elegant black roof, completed in 1614, and with an excellent exhibition of Japanese weapons. Matsumoto is well known for its delicious soba noodles, thin and made of buckwheat, so be sure to try some while you’re in town.
3.5* Hanaya Ryokan or similar
Enter the thronging streets of Japan’s vibrant capital, Tokyo. Join your guide for a full-day tour of the city, starting with the temple district of Asakusa and the famous Senso-ji temple. Take a cruise down the Sumida River to see the city from a different perspective, then head down to Ginza and catch a performance of Kabuki, a form of dance-drama. On your free day, perhaps head to Shibuya or Harajuku for some shopping, or maybe Shinjuku for glittering city views from the skyscrapers.
4.5* Hotel Niwa Tokyo or similar
Depart Tokyo and return to the UK
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