Essential Japan

Duration: 8 nights escorted tour

Price from: £3399pp

Tokyo 2 nights
Mount Fuji 1 night
Kyoto 2 nights
Hiroshima 1 night
Osaka 2 nights

Day 1: Fly to Tokyo.

Day 2 Tokyo: On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or, alternatively, why not begin your explorations of Tokyo, a city where neon-lit skyscrapers rub shoulders with historic temples and attractive gardens.

Day 3 Tokyo: Start the day with a visit to Toyosu Market, one of the world’s largest fish markets before continuing to the Miraikan, a Museum of Science and Technology. Enjoy lunch in the Odaiba area of Tokyo followed by a cruise in Tokyo Bay for unique city views and then proceed to Asakusa for a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. See Sensoji Temple and the popular Nakamise shopping street, before a visit to the observation deck of the Tokyo Skytree for sweeping views of the city and beyond.

Day 4 Tokyo/Mount Fuji: Pack a small bag for your stay at Mount Fuji, while your main luggage is taken to Kyoto. Enjoy scenery of rural Japan as you head to Mt. Fuji and Hakone and on arrival cruise across peaceful Lake Ashi, absorbing the picturesque and serene natural beauty. You can then take the Owakudani Ropeway, a Japanese aerial lift, for spectacular views of the surrounding areas including Mount Fuji and Ashinoko Lake. After lunch at a local restaurant enjoy a panoramic view from its 5th station (subject to weather conditions) before transferring to your hotel.

Day 5 Mount Fuji/Kyoto: After breakfast travel by coach to Kyoto, stopping en route in Nagoya to visit the lovely Tokugawa Japanese Garden. Continue to the interesting Toyota Museum which commemorates the history of the automobile before continuing to the cultural city of Kyoto.

Day 6 Kyoto: Today's tour of Kyoto includes Nijo Castle which was built in 1603. Spend time at Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) and then this afternoon visit Heian Jingu Shrine, which has an exquisite garden; see the Sanjusangendo Temple and visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a celebrated temple offering wonderful views of Kyoto. This evening, you may wish to stroll around the Gion district where you may come across Geisha wearing traditional kimonos.

Day 7 Kyoto/Hiroshima: Pack a small bag for your stay in Hiroshima whilst your main luggage goes on to Osaka. After breakfast, depart Kyoto by bullet train and on arrival visit the Peace Memorial Park to see the Genbakudome (The Atomic Bomb Dome), which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. While all structures vanished in the atomic bomb explosion, only this building miraculously remained standing.

Day 8 Hiroshima/Osaka: After breakfast you will travel by ferry to Miyajama to visit the Itsukushima Shrine, which is situated on Itsukushima Island. It is a scenic sight in which the mountains, sea and red shrine buildings blend in harmony, and the entire island is designated as a historic site. After lunch, transfer to Osaka by bullet train.

Day 9 Osaka: Enjoy a morning tour of Osaka including a visit to the impressive Osaka Castle, built in the 16th century and one of Japan's most famous landmarks. Later, embark on a river cruise on the Aqua Liner to enjoy the city panorama from the water. In the afternoon transfer to Nara and visit the Todaji Temple (Great Buddha), the picturesque Nara Park, home to hundreds of freely roaming deer and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Return to Osaka.

Day 10 Osaka: At leisure before your tour concludes with a transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Departures: Tours depart on fixed dates. Please ask for details.

Accommodation: 3* hotels are used on this tour.

Meals: Breakfast. Lunch is also included on days 3, 4 and 8. Dinner is also included on day 4.

Group Size: Tours operate subject to a minimum of 10 travellers.

Tour prices: The price shown for this Links Travel & Tours coach tour is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes return international flights from the UK, all domestic transportation, accommodation, English speaking guides, sightseeing as outlined and entrance fees.

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