Japan is like nowhere else.
It has one of the world’s most advanced economies, but it is the people's spirit (strong, warm, and incredibly welcoming) enabling the maintenance of a very traditional society.
It has observed and refined the cultural treasures of Asia, to create something distinct. So from the beauty of a Kyoto geisha dance to the fascination of a Zen rock garden, Japan has the power to enthral every traveller.
Traditional culture is only half the story: a growing contemporary-art scene and an appetite for western pop music all help shape the fascinating old-meets-new cultural landscape.
Whether taking in Mount Fuji to exploring the coral reefs of Okinawa, walking the streets of Kyoto to taking a bullet train, exploring Buddhist temples to visiting Hiroshima, or taking in a Geisha Dance to joining in the Karaoke, you really will be amazed.
Jewels of Japan tour
Designed by Wendy Wu Tours, Southeast Asian travel experts, this tour is ideal for those who wish to see the iconic sites and magnificent treasures on a fully-inclusive group trip.
Its many highlights include:
Peaceful Hamarikyu Gardens
Fuji Five Lakes
Iconic Mount Fuji
Speedy bullet train rides
The ancient capital of Kyoto
Tea with a Geisha or Maiko
Beautiful Himeji Castle
Day 1-2: Fly to Tokyo Fly overnight to the Japanese capital. On arrival, you will be met, and then transfer to your hotel for an informal evening meal and get to know your tour guide and fellow travellers.
Day 3: Tokyo Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you’ll find tranquil backstreets and old temples. Head to the top of the Tokyo Skytree for panoramic views of the city, before a wander through Asakusa and Nakamise. Stop at Sensoji Temple before touring the Edo-Tokyo Museum and exploring Tokyo’s Imperial Palace. This evening take a relaxed dinner cruise on the Tokyo Bay.
Day 4: Tokyo The city tour continues with a relaxed morning wandering around the Hamarikyu Garden. Explore the huge evergreen forest that encompasses the Shinto Meiji Shrine. The afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish.
Day 5: Fuji Five Lakes Journey through the foothills of the iconic Mount Fuji to the Fuji Five Lakes. The region is spectacular with the calm waters of the five lakes, formed by past eruptions, reflecting Fuji’s picture-perfect cone. Later, try your hand at making traditional Japanese soba noodles before tucking in to your creations. Continue to Oshino Hakkai, a scenic area of ponds full of crystal clear spring water created by Fuji’s melting snow, where there is also a small museum.
Day 6: Mount Fuji Start by learning about the cultural and ecological history of Mount Fuji. Head up Fuji’s 5th Station for spectacular mountain vistas. Wander through Iyashi No Sato historical village, located on one of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Saiko, famous for its thatched-roofed houses.
Day 7: Bullet train to Kyoto Transfer to Mishima for the bullet train to an enchanting city. Kyoto was the capital for a thousand years; today it is the legacy of an ancient nation, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. This evening visit a traditional tea house where you will be joined by a Geisha or an apprentice Geisha, known as a Maiko.
Day 8: Explore Kyoto Start the day with a visit to the Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, due to its gold-like exterior. Visit the Ryoanji Temple and spectacular Kiyomizu Temple before heading to a restored wooden townhouse where you will learn traditional Japanese handicrafts such as origami, ikebana, calligraphy and the art of the tea ceremony.
Day 9: Kyoto – Himeji - Kyoto Onto the bullet train for a visit to Himeji. The feudal era fort, one of the most impressive in Japan, towers over the city recognisable as the backdrop to several major films. Appreciate its turbulent past before strolling around Kokoen, the Edo-style gardens just across the castle moat. This afternoon return to Kyoto.
Day 10: Kyoto - Hiroshima and Miyajima - Kyoto Take a day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima. Hiroshima needs no introduction. The city today is vibrant and modern. Hopping on a ferry, make a short trip to the holy island of Miyajima. Visit the UNESCO Itsukushima Shrine, one of Japan’s most recognisable, which rises majestically out of the inland sea.
Day 11: Depart Kyoto This morning is free at leisure before you transfer to Osaka Kansai airport for your flight home.
Prices for 2017 start at £4,190 pp. In April/May, during the cherry blossom, new dates have been added.
Prices are all-inclusive and incorporate the following:
Return international economy flights, taxes and current fuel surcharges
All sightseeing and entrance fees
All transportation and transfers
English speaking National Escort and Local Guides
Specialist advice from our experienced travel consultants
Comprehensive travel guides
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