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Geisha Japan at a glance Flowers Japanese Tea Kyoto temple Mt Fuji at dusk Pirate ship on Lake Ashinoko Toyko at night Torji Gates Kyoto

Japan at a Glance

Tokyo 3 nights
Hakone 2 nights
Kyoto 3 nights

Day 1: Fly to Tokyo.

Day 2 Tokyo: Transfer to your hotel on arrival. The remainder of the day is at leisure, so why not take a stroll and start discovering the delights of the Japanese capital.

Day 3 Tokyo: Today’s guided tour utilises Tokyo’s superefficient metro system, and begins with a stroll through Hama-Rikyu Teien, the former private garden of an Edo period lord. You will then see Tokyo from a different angle as you take a boat cruise along the Sumida River. Next stop is Asakusa, a part of Tokyo’s old town and home to its oldest Buddhist temple, Senso-ji, as well as the city’s oldest Geisha district. This afternoon, head across to Omotesando, known as Tokyo’s Champs Elysees, then take time to explore Meiji Shrine, the city’s most famous shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.

Day 4 Tokyo: At leisure to explore independently; perhaps visit some of the city’s world-class museums and art galleries; enjoy a stroll in the paradise-like oasis of Ueno Park; take in the incredible panoramic views from the Tokyo Skytree or head to Tsukiji Market and grab a bite to eat from the numerous sushi stalls and tiny restaurants. Alternatively, venture out of Tokyo itself to explore further afield.

Day 5 Tokyo/Hakone: Take the train to Hakone, the gateway to Mount Fuji and surrounding national park. Stay in traditional Japanese-style ryokan accommodation, complete with tatami mats, shoji rice paper sliding doors and onsen baths. This evening, relax in your yukata, or lightweight kimono, and dine on a kaiseki multi-course meal before you bed down on your futon.

Day 6 Hakone: At leisure to explore Hakone National Park independently using your included transport pass. You can take the Hakone Tozan switchback train that zigzags through the mountains and offers views of the surrounding valleys. Afterwards, ride the Guinness World Record-holder ropeway all the way up to Mt Owakudani. From there, you can take the ropeway for Togendai where you can board a replica pirate ship that cruises Lake Ashinoko, formed following a volcanic eruption over 3,000 years ago.

Day 7 Hakone/Kyoto: A highlight today is the two hour journey by the world famous Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. The afternoon is at leisure to begin exploring this magnificent city, the former capital of Japan and home to no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Alternatively, why not book a cooking class, tea ceremony or visit to a sake brewery (all additional expense).

Day 8 Kyoto: Today’s guided tour begins with ornamental Nijo Castle and its stunning gardens. Continue to the serene Ryoan-ji Temple, famous for its well-maintained rock garden. Nearby is Kinkaku-ji, one of Kyoto’s most famous temples and then later, visit Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water) Temple for amazing views. The tour ends with a stroll through the atmospheric Higashiyama district.

Day 9 Kyoto: At leisure to further explore Kyoto. Alternatively, make the 45 minute trip by train to Nara, using your rail pass, which is home to many temples and shrines dating back to the 8th century and picturesque Nara Park where hundreds of deer roam freely.

Day 10 Kyoto: At leisure before your transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

What you need to know

Departures: Daily.

Accommodation: 3* hotels are used on this tour.

Meals: Breakfast. Dinner also included on days 5 & 6.

Tour prices: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes return international flights from the UK, accommodation, PASMO Tokyo transport pass, Hakone Free Pass, standard class travel between Tokyo and Kyoto on the bullet train, one day bus and subway pass in Kyoto, English speaking local guide in Tokyo (day 3) and Kyoto (day 8) and all entrance fees and transport (days 3 and 8).

8 nights part-escorted tour from 2899pp

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