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 Japan's Golden Route

 Holiday Length: 09 days
 Start City: Tokyo
 End City: Kyoto
 Departures: Daily
 Type of Holiday: Private holiday
 (self guided using public transport passes)

Emerse yourself in the fascinating culture of Japan.  Start your holiday in the vibrant and contrasting capital of Tokyo - witness a traditional tea ceremony, visit historic temples and the contemporary fashion district.  Explore Mt Fuji and Hakone National Park with the chance to bathe in hot 'onsen' springs.  End your holiday surrounded by the beautiful temples of Kyoto.

Day 1   Tokyo arrival

Meet and assist on arrival and help with your transport to the city (train or shuttle), followed by free time to settle in or explore.

Day 2   Tokyo sightseeing


Today (with your guide) discover Hamarikyu – one of the most visited gardens and teahouse in Tokyo - former private villa and garden of a powerful feudal lord during the Edo period.  After a tea break take a scenic river cruise to Asakusa, a part of Tokyo's shitamachi or old town and the cities oldest Geisha district.  The tour ends with a visit to Meiji Jingu, a shrine and popular venue for traditional Shinto weddings. (B)  

Day 3   Tokyo

Free time today to explore the wonders of Tokyo further or perhaps using your transport pass for a day trip to popular destinations such as Kamakura (a delightful seaside town that is home to ancient shrines, temples and a 13 metre tall bronze Buddha) or Nikko, situated in the mountainous Tochigi Prefecture well known for its national park. (B)

Day 4   Tokyo - Hakone

Today is a self-guided day journeying by train to Hakone, a popular hot spring destination boasting views of the iconic and awe inspiring Mt Fuji.  Overnight stay in a ryokan – a traditional Japanese-style accommodation furnished with futon beds, tatami flooring, paper sliding doors and hot spring baths where a traditional multi course dinner will be served. (B, D)

Day 5   Hakone
    Free time to explore Hakone today with your transport pass.  Options to consider would be  taking the Hakone Tozan switchback train with wonderful mountain.  Afterwards you can ride the Guiness World Record-holder ropeway all the way up to Mt Owakudani passing volcanic hot springs; visit Hakones' Open Air Museum featuring nature and art; or head to Togendai on a replica pirate ship across Lake Ashinoko to visit the Hakone Shrine and view its iconic 'floating' tori gate. (B, D)
Day 6   Hakone - Kyoto        
    Today board the bullet train to Kyoto, home to numerous shrines and temples, including 17 World Heritage Sites.  Your day is free to explore or experience Japanese culture with a cooking class, tea ceremony or visit to a sake brewery – the choice is yours. (B)
Day 7              Kyoto

Todays tour starts with a visit to Nijo Castle. Built in 1603, this castle was the Kyoto base of the first Tokugawa Shogun.The finest artists of the day filled the castle with delicate transom woodcarvings and paintings. One of the castle's most intriguing features is the so-called "nightingale" floors. To protect the Shogun from real or imagined enemies, these floorboards creak when stepped on. Continue to the famous rock gardens of the serene Ryoan-ji Temple, followed by the golden pavilions of Kinkaku-ji. Covered in gold leaf, the gleaming structure seems to float on the Mirror Pond. A visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple follows later in the day ending with a stroll along the Higashiyama districts narrow store lined alleyways. (B)

Day 8   Kyoto

Capture the essence of Japanese culture with a visit to a Machiya (traditional wooden house) including trying on a kimono and taking part in a tea ceremony. You then have the choice of visiting a sake brewery or learning the Japanese art of origami (paper folding).  Free time in the afternoon to explore Kyoto further or head out of town to Nara – known for its Temples and tame deer.  (B)

Day 9              Kyoto departure

Time at leisure until your scheduled transfer to Kansai International Airport (B)



  • Accommodation in your choice of tourist or deluxe class hotels & Ryokan
• Arrival and departure airport transfers
• PASMO Card for local transportation in Japan
• 7 day Japan Rail Pass
• 3 day Hakone Free Pass
• Professional English-speaking local guides (days 2 & 7)
• Meals, sightseeing & entrance fees as per itinerary

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