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Ancient Empires of China & Japan

  • Duration

    20 days
  • Tour Type

    Group Tour
  • Tour Style

    Classic
  • Price From

    £5,990pp
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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!

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.

Coronavirus Update for China

China currently has one of the lowest rates of new infections with 17 new daily infections reported yesterday* which makes us optimistic that we will return to life as normal and be able to enjoy our dream holidays soon. *Correct as of 23 November 2020.

Your COVID Cover Travel Insurance on us. For your peace of mind we are delighted to offer Staysure's award winning Covid cover travel insurance with every tour booked by 31 December. Learn More

Exciting Covid Vaccine News Announced. Read the full story

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 4 Star Hotel

    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 guests rooms offer free internet access and satelite TV.

  • Nights 2

    Lanxi International Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    Lanxi International Hotel

    A short distance from Xian's historic old town, the 4-star Lanxi International hotel features a terrace for you to enjoy, as well as an indoor pool and hot tub. The modern guest rooms offer a private bathroom, desk and flat screen TV.

  • Nights 2

    Lijiang Waterfall Hotel 4 Star 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.

  • Elite Garden Hotel 4 Star 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.

  • Nights 2

    Jinjiang Huating Hotel 5 Star Hotel

    Jinjiang Huating Hotel

    A short distance from Shanghai's major tourist attractions, the 5-star Jinjiang Huating hotel offers elegant guest rooms with large windows providing views of Shanghai. This beautiful hotel is home to the rooftop Moon View Restaurant, offering breathtaking city views and exquisite Chinese dishes.

  • Nights 2

    Respire Osaka 4 Star Hotel

    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 4 Star Hotel

    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.

  • Nights 2

    Rihga Gran Kyoto 4 Star Hotel

    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.

  • Nights 2

    Sunshine City Prince Hotel 3 Star Hotel

    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.

The best times to visit China are in spring (April to May) and autumn, (September to October) when temperatures are warm and humidity low.

City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -3°c
  • 3mm
  • Xi'an
  • 0°c
  • 7mm
  • Guilin
  • 8°c
  • 63mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 10°c
  • 53mm
  • Shanghai
  • 5°c
  • 74mm
  • Osaka
  • 6°c
  • 45mm
  • Okayama
  • 5°c
  • 34mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 6°c
  • 45mm
  • Kyoto
  • 5°c
  • 50mm
  • Tokyo
  • 5°c
  • 65mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 0°c
  • 5mm
  • Xi'an
  • 4°c
  • 10mm
  • Guilin
  • 10°c
  • 97mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 10°c
  • 81mm
  • Shanghai
  • 7°c
  • 59mm
  • Osaka
  • 7°c
  • 62mm
  • Okayama
  • 6°c
  • 50mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 6°c
  • 67mm
  • Kyoto
  • 6°c
  • 68mm
  • Tokyo
  • 6°c
  • 58mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 6°c
  • 8mm
  • Xi'an
  • 9°c
  • 29mm
  • Guilin
  • 13°c
  • 137mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 14°c
  • 114mm
  • Shanghai
  • 10°c
  • 94mm
  • Osaka
  • 10°c
  • 104mm
  • Okayama
  • 9°c
  • 87mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 9°c
  • 124mm
  • Kyoto
  • 9°c
  • 113mm
  • Tokyo
  • 9°c
  • 77mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 21mm
  • Xi'an
  • 15°c
  • 43mm
  • Guilin
  • 19°c
  • 247mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 20°c
  • 224mm
  • Shanghai
  • 16°c
  • 74mm
  • Osaka
  • 15°c
  • 104mm
  • Okayama
  • 15°c
  • 92mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 15°c
  • 142mm
  • Kyoto
  • 14°c
  • 116mm
  • Tokyo
  • 14°c
  • 118mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 34mm
  • Xi'an
  • 20°c
  • 60mm
  • Guilin
  • 24°c
  • 352mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 24°c
  • 312mm
  • Shanghai
  • 21°c
  • 84mm
  • Osaka
  • 20°c
  • 146mm
  • Okayama
  • 20°c
  • 125mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 19°c
  • 178mm
  • Kyoto
  • 19°c
  • 161mm
  • Tokyo
  • 18°c
  • 145mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 24°c
  • 78mm
  • Xi'an
  • 25°c
  • 54mm
  • Guilin
  • 27°c
  • 347mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 26°c
  • 293mm
  • Shanghai
  • 25°c
  • 182mm
  • Osaka
  • 24°c
  • 184mm
  • Okayama
  • 24°c
  • 172mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 23°c
  • 247mm
  • Kyoto
  • 23°c
  • 214mm
  • Tokyo
  • 22°c
  • 135mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 26°c
  • 185mm
  • Xi'an
  • 27°c
  • 99mm
  • Guilin
  • 29°c
  • 231mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 28°c
  • 200mm
  • Shanghai
  • 29°c
  • 146mm
  • Osaka
  • 28°c
  • 157mm
  • Okayama
  • 28°c
  • 161mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 27°c
  • 259mm
  • Kyoto
  • 27°c
  • 220mm
  • Tokyo
  • 26°c
  • 81mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 25°c
  • 160mm
  • Xi'an
  • 26°c
  • 71mm
  • Guilin
  • 29°c
  • 173mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 28°c
  • 186mm
  • Shanghai
  • 29°c
  • 214mm
  • Osaka
  • 29°c
  • 91mm
  • Okayama
  • 29°c
  • 87mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 29°c
  • 111mm
  • Kyoto
  • 29°c
  • 132mm
  • Tokyo
  • 27°c
  • 113mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 20°c
  • 46mm
  • Xi'an
  • 21°c
  • 92mm
  • Guilin
  • 26°c
  • 82mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 26°c
  • 83mm
  • Shanghai
  • 25°c
  • 87mm
  • Osaka
  • 26°c
  • 161mm
  • Okayama
  • 25°c
  • 134mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 25°c
  • 170mm
  • Kyoto
  • 25°c
  • 176mm
  • Tokyo
  • 23°c
  • 131mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 14°c
  • 22mm
  • Xi'an
  • 15°c
  • 60mm
  • Guilin
  • 21°c
  • 66mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 22°c
  • 85mm
  • Shanghai
  • 20°c
  • 56mm
  • Osaka
  • 19°c
  • 112mm
  • Okayama
  • 18°c
  • 81mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 19°c
  • 88mm
  • Kyoto
  • 18°c
  • 121mm
  • Tokyo
  • 18°c
  • 132mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • 5°c
  • 7mm
  • Xi'an
  • 8°c
  • 24mm
  • Guilin
  • 16°c
  • 64mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 16°c
  • 69mm
  • Shanghai
  • 14°c
  • 52mm
  • Osaka
  • 14°c
  • 69mm
  • Okayama
  • 12°c
  • 51mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 13°c
  • 68mm
  • Kyoto
  • 12°c
  • 71mm
  • Tokyo
  • 12°c
  • 128mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Beijing
  • -1°c
  • 3mm
  • Xi'an
  • 2°c
  • 6mm
  • Guilin
  • 11°c
  • 43mm
  • Yangshuo
  • 12°c
  • 44mm
  • Shanghai
  • 8°c
  • 44mm
  • Osaka
  • 9°c
  • 44mm
  • Okayama
  • 7°c
  • 31mm
  • Hiroshima
  • 8°c
  • 41mm
  • Kyoto
  • 7°c
  • 48mm
  • Tokyo
  • 8°c
  • 109mm
Ancient Empires of China & Japan map

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.

Our Price Match Promise & Flexible Booking Guarantee

Find a tour with the same inclusion cheaper and we will match it AND give you a reward. We will match the price of any Wendy Wu Tour quoted elsewhere. The price of your tour will never rise after you've paid. With our Flexible Booking Guarantee book with confidence with low deposits, free changes and late final payment. See full terms and conditions.

Offers Applicable

Free Upgrade to Premium Economy

Book by 30 November and We'll upgrade your flight to Premium Economy for Free on British Airways. Please Call to book - this offer is not available to book online

Your Covid Insurance on us

For your peace of mind we are also delighted to offer Staysure's award winning Covid cover travel insurance with every tour booked by 31 December. (Covers policies up to £100pp which should cover the majority of healthy travellers on all of our tours. Supplements may apply. Learn More)

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Depart UK

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Price

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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

Additional Price Information

Extensions and Stopovers

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.

Call us on 0800 1445 282 to book this tour