13 DAYS ●
Japan is a country of captivating contrasts, where ancient gods rub shoulders with modern technology, skyscrapers give way to lush paddy fields and bustling crowds disperse into the tranquillity of a classical garden. This tour is the perfect introduction to this fascinating archipelago.
Ascend Japan's iconic and inspirational highest mountain
Stop in amazement at the dramatic flair of the Matsumoto Castle
Explore this authentic Japanese town known as the 'thousand-year capital'
Meander through the 10,000 red torri arches of this stunning shrine
Our Discover Japan itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly overnight to the neon-lit metropolis of Tokyo, Japan's capital city.
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you’ll find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Head to the top of the Tokyo Skytree for panoramic views over the city before taking a wander through the districts of Asakusa and Nakamise. Stop at Sensoji Temple and the Imperial Palace and later stroll through Hamarikyu Gardens. Enjoy your evening meal whilst cruising along Tokyo Bay.
Take the speedy bullet train to Odawara and cruise on Hakone's Lake Ashi for views of Mt Fuji, before taking the Komagatake cable car for spectacular views of the lake below. Later, head up to Mt Fuji's 5th Station to enjoy the amazing vistas of the valley below. Continue to mountainous Yatsugatake for an overnight stay.
Head to Nagano where we will explore the formidable 16th century Matsumoto Castle. Stop at a sake brewery to learn about the process of making Japan’s most revered liquor, before travelling to Takayama, nestled high in the mountainous Hida region.
Head to the Miyagawa Morning Market and sample some of the delicious local fruits and vegetables. Later take a wander round the traditional houses of the area and visit the local museums – Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, Kusakabe Folk Museum and Takayama Jinya.
Journey to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago, famous for its gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are over 250 years old. Continue to Kanazawa and visit the Nomura Samurai House, followed by a stroll through the Old District.
This morning wander through the beautiful Kenrokuen, one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’. Visit the 21st century Museum of Contemporary Art. After lunch, drive to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital.
Start the day with a visit to Ryoanji, a Zen temple with an excellent example of a dry landscape garden. Visit the famous Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, due to its gold-like exterior before learning the traditional Japanese art of origami and enjoying a traditional tea ceremony.
Drive to Nara, the former imperial capital, and visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden structure and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Also visit Isuein Gardens, known for its natural ponds, before returning to Kyoto, stopping en route at the mesmerising Fushimi Inari Shrine.
This morning, drive to Koya-San, the centre of Shingon Buddhism. Visit the Kongobuji Temple and Garan temple complex. Next see Okunoin, Japan’s largest cemetery and is home to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism. This evening, transfer to Wakayama for dinner and an overnight stay.
This morning drive to Osaka, Japan’s third largest city. See the spectacular Osaka Castle and explore the Dotonbori district, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample Osaka’s plethora of mouth-watering bites. Take a cruise on the Yodogawa River before a farewell dinner tonight.
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
Wendy Wu Tours inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. We pick the right hotel for the specific destination, meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. If the hotels listed below for your tour are not available on your chosen departure date, hotels of a similar standard will be used.
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....Read more
The Ryu Resort allows guests to appreciate the natural scenery of the area. Facilities include a swimming pool, tennis courts, a bar and a relaxing onsen. Each of its Japanese-western style rooms have an ensuite bathroom, tea making facilities and a satellite TV. There are three on site restaurants serving excellent local cuisine....Read more
Conveniently located next to Kanazawa Station, the Kanazawa Miyako offers modern air conditioned rooms with tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV. The hotel has two on site restaurants serving a mixture of French and local cuisine. Other facilities include a bar and lounge, a convenience store and free internet access in the hotel lobby....Read more
Located in the downtown area of Kyoto, the Karasuma hotel has good access to the popular sightseeing spots. The stylish, simple rooms all have ensuite bathrooms and free internet access. The bar offers a menu of seasonal cocktails and guests can dine at the hotel’s two restaurants serving Japanese and Chinese cuisine....Read more
Hotel Granvia is conveniently located next to Wakayama train station. The 134 modern guest rooms are sound proofed and feature air conditioning, free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. The hotel has a bar/lounge, a coffee shop and two restaurants, where guests can feast on delicious dishes made with seasonal local products....Read more
The hotel boasts a central location in the city. It has four restaurants, offering a mixture of western and Japanese cuisine, a café and a bar. Other hotel facilities include a gift shop, a hair salon, a swimming pool and a fitness centre. All guest rooms are air conditioned and feature a TV, electric kettle and a mini fridge. Wifi access is available throughout the hotel....Read more
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.
A Visa is not required for Japan.
To call the UK the international access code is 0044. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625. Mobile Phones Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Japan is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary.
Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, served buffet style. As is traditional, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine, placed on the table for everyone to share a speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the group. We aim to cater to the tastes of all and the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste. Drinks will be at each tour members’ expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available. Western style wine is not widely available. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are widely available.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and the UK's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th. Wendy Wu and the team look forward to welcoming you to Asia soon!
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