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Ancient Empires of China & Japan

  • Duration
    20 days
  • Tour Type
    Group Tour
  • Tour Style
    Classic
  • Price From
    £7,090pp
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The ultimate tour for those wishing to combine the very best of two ancient nations. Join us on an incredible journey from Beijing to Tokyo by road, boat, rail and air on this epic three-week tour!

  • Fully Inclusive
    Touring with Guides and entrance fees
  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 18 , Lunches: 17 , Dinners: 18
  • Flights
    International flights and current taxes
  • Accommodation
    18 nights in 3+/4 star accommodation
  • Visa Included
    Visa fees for UK passport holders
  • Cruise
    Li River Cruise, Huangpu River Cruise, Tokyo Bay Cruise
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 28
  • Physical Rating 1Learn More
    X A reasonable level of fitness is required and you should expect to be on your feet for much of the day. You’ll be getting on and off coaches, trains or boats and walking around the sights, often including steps, plus occasional longer walks. Download the detailed tour dossier for details of your chosen tour. Learn More
    Walking, some steps and time on your feet
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For advice on where to go, what to do and how to choose your perfect tour, talk to our Travel Experts.

Call 0808 274 8594

Tour Highlights

Our Ancient Empires of China & Japan tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.

Authentic Experiences

Our Ancient Empires of China & Japan Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.

Tour Itinerary

  • Days 1-2
    Fly overnight to Beijing
    Days 1-2: Fly overnight to Beijing

    Fly overnight to China's historical capital, Beijing. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

    • Dinner
  • Day 3
    Walk on the Great Wall
    Day 3: Walk on the Great Wall

    This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that surrounds it. In the afternoon, enjoy the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace. End the day enjoying a traditional Peking Duck dinner.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 4
    Explore the Forbidden City
    Day 4: Explore the Forbidden City

    Begin the day soaking up the harmonious ambience of the glorious Temple of Heaven where you can mingle with the locals and watch or participate as they practise Tai Chi, dance or play cards. Next, take a leisurely stroll in a traditional hutong neighbourhood and visit a family at home, to learn about life living in the hutongs. Later, head to Beijing's symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square, before entering the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City to explore this complex full of imperial riches.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 5
    Travel to Xi'an
    Day 5: Travel to Xi'an

    Board the bullet train to the ancient city of Xian. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Shui Jiao dumpling dinner and a lively Tang Dynasty dance show.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 6
    Terracotta Warriors
    Day 6: Terracotta Warriors

    After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-sized warriors, followed by a visit to the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate them. Later, stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xi'an's old town.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 7
    Fly to Guilin
    Day 7: Fly to Guilin

    Visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and then fly to the beautiful city of Guilin.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 8
    Cruise the Li River
    Day 8: Cruise the Li River

    Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River to the charming town of Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks tower over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen. Here, enjoy some time strolling along West Street and visit the local markets.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 9
    Visit Reed Flute Cave
    Day 9: Visit Reed Flute Cave

    Return to Guilin. En route, see the colourful stalagmites and stalactites of Reed Flute Cave and visit the South China Pearl Factory.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 10
    Fly to Shanghai
    Day 10: Fly to Shanghai

    Begin today with a stroll around Ronghu Lake and admire the Sun and Moon Pagodas – two towering examples of traditional Chinese Buddhist architecture before flying to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 11
    Explore Shanghai
    Day 11: Explore Shanghai

    Shanghai is China's great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th-century temples. Start with a visit to the peaceful Yu Garden, pass through the old town and visit the Silk Factory. View the city at night from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 12
    Goodbye China, Hello Japan
    Day 12: Goodbye China, Hello Japan

    It's time to say goodbye to China and hello to Japan! Fly to the vibrant city of Osaka.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 13
    Osaka Castle
    Day 13: Osaka Castle

    Explore Osaka Castle, take a short cruise along the Yodogawa River and stroll through vibrant Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample local delicacies for lunch. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this fascinating city.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 14
    Discover Okayama & Kurashiki
    Day 14: Discover Okayama & Kurashiki

    Transfer by bullet train to Okayama and visit Korakuen Garden, one of the 'Three Great Gardens of Japan. Continue to Kurashiki to explore the beautifully-preserved Bikan Historical Quarter, where the streets along the banks of the Kurashiki River are lined with white-walled kominka (traditional houses). Continue to Hiroshima, a vibrant and forward-thinking city.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 15
    Explore Hiroshima & Miyajima
    Day 15: Explore Hiroshima & Miyajima

    Hop on a ferry to the holy island of Miyajima and visit Itsukushima Shrine. Return to Hiroshima and find a moment to reflect at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, paying homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Later, ascend to the observation deck of Orizuru Tower and enjoy the panoramic views.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 16
    Travel to Kyoto
    Day 16: Travel to Kyoto

    Transfer by bullet train to Kyoto, imperial capital for 1,000 years. Visit Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan's most famous Zen garden and Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the 'Golden Pavilion'.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 17
    Explore Kyoto
    Day 17: Explore Kyoto

    Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, remarkable for its 10,000 torii gates and then head to Nishiki Market, also known as 'Kyoto's Kitchen' with its lively open-air market specialising in all things food! Also visit a restored wooden Japanese townhouse to experience the rituals of a tea ceremony and try your hand at the traditional art of origami.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 18
    Bullet Train to Hakone
    Day 18: Bullet Train to Hakone

    Transfer by bullet train to Hakone. Upon arrival, enjoy a boat trip on Lake Ashi before venturing up the Komagatake Ropeway where the views of the surrounding landscape and Mount Fuji will be breathtaking, but weather dependent of course! Later, continue to Tokyo, Japan's capital city.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 19
    Contrasts of Tokyo
    Day 19: Contrasts of Tokyo

    Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you will find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Begin at the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree, before wandering through the old district of Asakusa. Stop to explore the ancient Buddhist Sensoji Temple and drive past the Imperial Palace Plaza. Later, soak up the atmosphere at the peaceful Meiji Jingu Shrine. End your tour with a dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 20
    Fly Tokyo to UK
    Day 20: Fly Tokyo to UK

    Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.

    • Breakfast

We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.

  • Nights 3
    Mercure Beijing Downtown
    Mercure Beijing Downtown
    The 4-star Mercure Beijing Downtown is very well connected across the city, with easy access to the city centre and multiple transport links. The elegant and spacious guest rooms offer free internet access and satellite TV. Along with room service, other in room amenities such as a refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities are provided.
  • Nights 2
    Dajing Castle Hotel
    12 Xi Duan, Huan Cheng South Road, Xian 710068, Shaanxi, P.R. China
    Dajing Castle Hotel
    Formerly known as Grand Park, the Dajing Castle hotel is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Xi'an's Beilin district. Blending traditional and contemporary elements, the guestrooms boast comfortable interiors that exude style and elegance. Each room is equipped with modern amenities, including a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a minibar, and a safety deposit box. The ensuite bathroom is well-appointed with bathrobes and slippers for added convenience. The hotel features Wi-Fi, a fitness center, sauna, massage service, buffet breakfast and atrium bar.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Bar
  • Night 1
    Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
    1 North Shanhu Road, Guilin, Guangxi Province
    Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
    Located in Guilin's city center and opposite the attractive Sun and Moon pagodas, the Lijiang Waterfall Hotel offers luxury rooms equipped with a flat screen satellite television, a minibar, a safety deposit box and a stunning en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Guests can enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Western cuisines in the onsite restaurant.
  • Night 1
    Elite Garden Hotel
    Elite Garden Hotel
    In the centre of Yangshuo, the 4-star Elite Garden Hotel offers spacious guest rooms designed and decorated to make you feel at home, all equipped with free internet access, complimentary bottled water and a coffee machine. The private bathrooms include both bath and shower facilities.
  • Night 1
    Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
    1 North Shanhu Road, Guilin, Guangxi Province
    Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
    Located in Guilin's city center and opposite the attractive Sun and Moon pagodas, the Lijiang Waterfall Hotel offers luxury rooms equipped with a flat screen satellite television, a minibar, a safety deposit box and a stunning en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Guests can enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Western cuisines in the onsite restaurant.
  • Nights 2
    Hongqiao Jinjiang Hotel
    No.5 Zunyi South Road, Changning District, Shanghai 200336 China
    Hongqiao Jinjiang Hotel
    Formerly known as the Sheraton Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel, the 4-star Hongqiao Jinjiang Hotel is located in the heart of Shanghai and welcomes visitors to a luxurious and relaxing retreat from the city. Guests will have easy access to the major metropolitan area as well as the Shanghai Public Library and Honggiao Golf Club.
  • Nights 2
    Respire Osaka
    Respire Osaka
    Set in the heart of Osaka, the Respire Osaka features spacious ensuite guest rooms with air conditioning, a flat screen TV and free WiFi. The hotel was designed to help guests forget the hustle and bustle of the city around them and features the unique charm and character of Osaka.
  • Nights 2
    Grand Prince Hotel
    23-1 Motoujinamachi, Minami-Ku, Hiroshima 734-8543 Hiroshima Prefecture
    Grand Prince Hotel
    Overlooking the Seto Inland Sea, Grand Prince Hotel offers 5 dining options, a seasonal outdoor pool and hot spring baths. Air-conditioned rooms with a large picture window and a flat-screen TV await guests of the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Swiming Pool
    • Restaurant
    • Bar
  • Nights 2
    Rihga Gran Kyoto
    1 Higashikujo Nishisannocho, Minami-ku, Kyoto 601-8003 Kyoto Prefecture
    Rihga Gran Kyoto
    Located near the hub of transportation Kyoto station and many of Kyoto's top attractions, the Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto is in a great location for exploring this beautiful city. It's contemporary guest rooms are complete with Japanese touches and ensuite bathrooms. The hotel features many facilities, including six restaurants, a luxurious bar, a heated indoor pool, and a fitness gym.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Restaurant
    • Non-smoking
    • Bar
  • Nights 2
    Sunshine City Prince Hotel
    3-1-5 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima 170-8440 Tokyo Prefecture
    Sunshine City Prince Hotel
    The Sunshine Prince is located in Sunshine City, a shopping and entertainment hub of Tokyo and close to Ikebukuro Station, providing convenient transport links to the rest of the city. The hotel's en-suite rooms are simple, comfortable and traditionally furnished with a television, electric kettle, a mini fridge and a safety deposit box. Facilities in the hotel include onsite restaurants serving Japanese, Cantonese and Western cuisines, a café and bar and a 24 hour convenience store.
    • Wi-Fi
    • Restaurant
    • Non-smoking
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -3°c
  • 3mm
  • Guilin
  • 8°c
  • 63mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 6°c
  • 45mm
  • Kyoto
  • 5°c
  • 50mm
  • Okayama
  • 5°c
  • 34mm
  • Osaka
  • 6°c
  • 45mm
  • Shanghai
  • 5°c
  • 74mm
  • Tokyo
  • 5°c
  • 65mm
  • Xian
  • 0°c
  • 7mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 10°c
  • 53mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 0°c
  • 5mm
  • Guilin
  • 10°c
  • 97mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 6°c
  • 67mm
  • Kyoto
  • 6°c
  • 68mm
  • Okayama
  • 6°c
  • 50mm
  • Osaka
  • 7°c
  • 62mm
  • Shanghai
  • 7°c
  • 59mm
  • Tokyo
  • 6°c
  • 58mm
  • Xian
  • 4°c
  • 10mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 10°c
  • 81mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 6°c
  • 8mm
  • Guilin
  • 13°c
  • 137mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 9°c
  • 124mm
  • Kyoto
  • 9°c
  • 113mm
  • Okayama
  • 9°c
  • 87mm
  • Osaka
  • 10°c
  • 104mm
  • Shanghai
  • 10°c
  • 94mm
  • Tokyo
  • 9°c
  • 77mm
  • Xian
  • 9°c
  • 29mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 14°c
  • 114mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 21mm
  • Guilin
  • 19°c
  • 247mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 15°c
  • 142mm
  • Kyoto
  • 14°c
  • 116mm
  • Okayama
  • 15°c
  • 92mm
  • Osaka
  • 15°c
  • 104mm
  • Shanghai
  • 16°c
  • 74mm
  • Tokyo
  • 14°c
  • 118mm
  • Xian
  • 15°c
  • 43mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 20°c
  • 224mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 34mm
  • Guilin
  • 24°c
  • 352mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 19°c
  • 178mm
  • Kyoto
  • 19°c
  • 161mm
  • Okayama
  • 20°c
  • 125mm
  • Osaka
  • 20°c
  • 146mm
  • Shanghai
  • 21°c
  • 84mm
  • Tokyo
  • 18°c
  • 145mm
  • Xian
  • 20°c
  • 60mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 24°c
  • 312mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 24°c
  • 78mm
  • Guilin
  • 27°c
  • 347mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 23°c
  • 247mm
  • Kyoto
  • 23°c
  • 214mm
  • Okayama
  • 24°c
  • 172mm
  • Osaka
  • 24°c
  • 184mm
  • Shanghai
  • 25°c
  • 182mm
  • Tokyo
  • 22°c
  • 135mm
  • Xian
  • 25°c
  • 54mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 26°c
  • 293mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 26°c
  • 185mm
  • Guilin
  • 29°c
  • 231mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 27°c
  • 259mm
  • Kyoto
  • 27°c
  • 220mm
  • Okayama
  • 28°c
  • 161mm
  • Osaka
  • 28°c
  • 157mm
  • Shanghai
  • 29°c
  • 146mm
  • Tokyo
  • 26°c
  • 81mm
  • Xian
  • 27°c
  • 99mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 28°c
  • 200mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 25°c
  • 160mm
  • Guilin
  • 29°c
  • 173mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 29°c
  • 111mm
  • Kyoto
  • 29°c
  • 132mm
  • Okayama
  • 29°c
  • 87mm
  • Osaka
  • 29°c
  • 91mm
  • Shanghai
  • 29°c
  • 214mm
  • Tokyo
  • 27°c
  • 113mm
  • Xian
  • 26°c
  • 71mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 28°c
  • 186mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 46mm
  • Guilin
  • 26°c
  • 82mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 25°c
  • 170mm
  • Kyoto
  • 25°c
  • 176mm
  • Okayama
  • 25°c
  • 134mm
  • Osaka
  • 26°c
  • 161mm
  • Shanghai
  • 25°c
  • 87mm
  • Tokyo
  • 23°c
  • 131mm
  • Xian
  • 21°c
  • 92mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 26°c
  • 83mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 22mm
  • Guilin
  • 21°c
  • 66mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 19°c
  • 88mm
  • Kyoto
  • 18°c
  • 121mm
  • Okayama
  • 18°c
  • 81mm
  • Osaka
  • 19°c
  • 112mm
  • Shanghai
  • 20°c
  • 56mm
  • Tokyo
  • 18°c
  • 132mm
  • Xian
  • 15°c
  • 60mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 22°c
  • 85mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 5°c
  • 7mm
  • Guilin
  • 16°c
  • 64mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 13°c
  • 68mm
  • Kyoto
  • 12°c
  • 71mm
  • Okayama
  • 12°c
  • 51mm
  • Osaka
  • 14°c
  • 69mm
  • Shanghai
  • 14°c
  • 52mm
  • Tokyo
  • 12°c
  • 128mm
  • Xian
  • 8°c
  • 24mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 16°c
  • 69mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -1°c
  • 3mm
  • Guilin
  • 11°c
  • 43mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 8°c
  • 41mm
  • Kyoto
  • 7°c
  • 48mm
  • Okayama
  • 7°c
  • 31mm
  • Osaka
  • 9°c
  • 44mm
  • Shanghai
  • 8°c
  • 44mm
  • Tokyo
  • 8°c
  • 109mm
  • Xian
  • 2°c
  • 6mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 12°c
  • 44mm
+ -
Ancient Empires of China & Japan map

Places Visited: UK - Beijing (3N) - Xi'an (2N) - Guilin (2N) - Yangshuo (1N) - Shanghai (2N) - Osaka (2N) - Okayama - Kurashiki - Hiroshima (2N) - Miyajima - Kyoto (2N) - Hakone - Tokyo (2N) - UK

Download Detailed Itinerary

Tour Dates & Prices

All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.

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Depart UK
Return Date
Price
Offer
Booking Options

Departures for Solo travellers only are available for this tour on selected dates.
In addition to being for solos only these departures feature smaller group sizes, free airport lounge access and complimentary cocktails on arrival.

Depart UK
Return Date
Price
Offer
Booking Options

There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.

Group Tour includes

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Extend your holiday or break up your journey with one of our extensions and stopovers. Choose from city breaks or some beach time, or spend more time in your chosen destination.

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