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Highlights of Japan
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This 11-day Journey will take you from the frenetic buzz of Tokyo to the tranquil temples of Kyoto and the foodie haven of Osaka. Discover Japan’s most important historic and thought-provoking sights, taking in pristine gardens, intricate ancient shrines and dramatic mountain gorges along the way – with the opportunity to taste some of each region’s renowned delicacies.
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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
Depart UK and fly to Tokyo, Japan
Arrive in Tokyo, ready to begin your Japan adventure! Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant and get to know the rest of your group. The following day, you’ll be off on a half-day guided tour of Tokyo’s must-sees including the fascinating Edo-Tokyo Museum, and the beautiful Kokyo Gaien National Garden, the manicured outer gardens of the Imperial Palace. You’ll have the afternoon free to explore at your own pace – why not check out the infamous Shibuya Crossing?
3* Hotel Ann Asakusa
Today, you’ll be heading to the iconic Matsumoto Castle, a towering structure holding 400 years’ worth of history, and boasting incredible views over the Japanese Alps and city below; be sure to bring your camera for pictures. Continue to Tsumago, a countryside town with a traditional Edo Period appearance and ambience, before rounding off the day with a group dinner.
3* Hotel Kisoji
Board the bullet train (Shinkansen) this morning and whizz through the countryside onto spellbinding Kyoto. Spend the afternoon exploring your surroundings and the city’s traditional teahouses, food markets and Zen gardens. The next day you’ll be headed out of the city ready for a tour of the famous Arashiyama. Sights here include the tranquil Gio-Ji Temple, the impressive Okochi-Sanso Villa and the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Savour a complimentary matcha green tea and Japanese sweets while taking in the charming gardens before a group dinner in the evening.
Kokyo Gaien National Garden
3* The B Kyoto Shijo
Hop aboard the Shinkansen again and make the trip to the historic city of Kurashiki. A former rice distribution centre, you’ll love its quaint vibe and romantic canal-side laneways. Visit the beautiful Ohashi House before making your way to the port city of Takamatsu. Explore the sprawling Ritsurin Garden, indulge in a steaming hot bowl of Udon noodles, or visit Takamatsu City Museum of Art.
3* Takamatsu Tokyo REI Hotel
Today you’ll be continuing your journey into the mountainous region and deep gorges of Iya Valley, a stunningly scenic area where you’ll be staying in traditional Japanese accommodation. Relax and unwind in the open-air onsen (hot springs bath) before reconvening with the group for dinner.
4* Hotel Iya Onsen
Leaving the mountain behind, continue on to Okayama, where you’ll be catching a bullet train to Hiroshima, the infamous site of the 1945 atomic bombing. We’ll be visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, ticking off the UNESCO World Heritage-listed A-Bomb Dome – the remains of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall and one of the only buildings to stay standing after the explosion.
3* Vista Hotel Hiroshima
Next up, you’ll be making your way over to Miyajima Island – a scenic combination of mountains, sea and the world-famous ‘floating’ Torii Gate*. Visit the World-Heritage listed Itsukushima Shrine, as well as Momijidani Park, a public garden surrounded by maple trees where you can climb Mount Misen via ropeway. The top boasts fantastic views, so take your camera.
*Please be aware there are currently renovation works at Torii Gate, and scaffolding. These started in June 2019 and are expected to last at least a year.
Momijidani Park and Osaka Castle
3* Vista Hotel Hiroshima
Onwards to the final destination of your Journey – Osaka – known to be Japan’s foodie capital. In the morning, explore the city’s famous 16th-century castle and park. Five storeys high and decorated with lavish gold motifs, it is filled with artefacts detailing Osaka’s history. In the afternoon, head to the striking Umeda Sky Building’s observatory to admire its modern structure, before taking yourself on a tantalising foodie walk along the renowned street food hotspot Takimi-Koji Street.
3* Shin Osaka Esaka Tokyu REI Hotel
Depart Osaka and return to the UK
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