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Japan by Rail

  • Duration
    21 days
  • Tour Type
    Group Tour
  • Tour Style
    Classic
  • Price From
    £9,490pp
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Partner Flies Free or 50% off your airfare if travelling solo. Plus FREE Airport Lounge Pass. Book by 29 November

An all-encompassing journey through Japan, travelling mainly by bullet train and taking in the highlights of all three main islands: Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido. Experience ancient traditions and modern Japan's unique charm.

  • Fully Inclusive
    Touring with Guides and entrance fees
  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 19 , Lunches: 18 , Dinners: 19
  • Flights
    International flights and current taxes
  • Accommodation
    19 nights in 3/4 star accommodation
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 28
  • Physical Rating 1Learn More
    X A reasonable level of fitness is required but it's more about spending time on your feet rather than covering large distances. You'll be getting on and off coaches and boats, walking around the sights and climbing some steps. 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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Tour Highlights

Our Japan by Rail tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine. We pack all of tours to Japan with incredible things to do - here are just a few of the highlights

Tour Experience

Tour Itinerary

An all-encompassing journey through Japan, travelling mainly by bullet train and taking in the highlights of all three main islands: Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido. Experience ancient traditions and modern Japan's unique charm.

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

    Fly overnight to the charming city of Fukuoka, the gateway to the island of Kyushu. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

    • Dinner
  • Day 3
    Explore Nagasaki
    Day 3: Explore Nagasaki

    Begin the day by travelling on the limited express train to Nagasaki. Upon arrival, enjoy a stroll through the Glover Garden, an open-air museum that exhibits mansions attributed to the Scottish merchant who contributed to the modernisation of Japan. Also, visit the Oura Catholic Church and Atomic Bomb Museum before returning to Fukuoka.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 4
    Miyajima Island
    Day 4: Miyajima Island

    Board the bullet train to Hiroshima, located on Japan's largest island, Honshu. Upon arrival in Hiroshima, take the ferry across the Seto Inland Sea to the holy island of Miyajima. Here, visit the Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy a momiji manju making cooking experience. Later, return to Hiroshima.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 5
    Hiroshima Highlights
    Day 5: Hiroshima Highlights

    Spend the day in Hiroshima starting with a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum where you will have the opportunity to pay homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Enjoy okonomiyaki for lunch before ascending Orizuru Tower to view the city from above, followed by a stroll through the historical Shukkeien Garden.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 6
    Admire Himeji Castle
    Day 6: Admire Himeji Castle

    Depart Hiroshima by bullet train, stopping at Himeji to visit the magnificent Himeji Castle, followed by a walk through Kokoen. Continue by limited express to Osaka.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 7
    Osaka & Nara Day Trip
    Day 7: Osaka & Nara Day Trip

    Begin the day with a visit to the Umeda Sky Building followed by a lunch at the famous Dontonburi district. Later, head to Nara and explore Todaiji Temple which houses the impressive Daibutsu, a 15-metre tall bronze statue of Buddha. Enjoy an ink making and calligraphy class before returning to Osaka.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 8
    Kyoto's Temples
    Day 8: Kyoto's Temples

    Journey by road to Kyoto. Capital for 1,000 years, this enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan. Upon arrival, stroll through the Arashiyama bamboo forest and admire the towering thickets. Also visit Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan's best-known zen garden and the famous 'Golden Pavilion' Kinkakuji Temple.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 9
    Tea Ceremony & Fan Painting
    Day 9: Tea Ceremony & Fan Painting

    The day begins with a visit to Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. Next, immerse yourself in the culture and enjoy the age-old rituals of a sacred tea ceremony, zen mediation and try your hand at fan painting. Also explore Gion – Kyoto's famous geisha district.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 10
    Explore Kanazawa
    Day 10: Explore Kanazawa

    Take the limited express train to Kanazawa and upon arrival, meander your way through Kenrokuen, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Also visit the Nomura Samurai House and Kunani Pottery Factory.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 11
    Shirakawago Village
    Day 11: Shirakawago Village

    Travel by road to Takayama stopping en route at Inami for a sake wooden cup making experience and sake tasting. Next, continue to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shirakawago Village to get a glimpse of rural Japan. Continue to Takayama.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 12
    Discover Takayama
    Day 12: Discover Takayama

    Spend the morning browsing the local handicrafts and fresh produce at Miyagawa market, the Takayama Floats Museum and Takayama Jinya. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 13
    Snow Monkeys
    Day 13: Snow Monkeys

    Travel to Matsumoto and spend time at the Daio Wasabi Farm to see the plantations and learn about its cultivation. Continue to Yudanaka and head to Jigokudani Yaen-Koen. Walk through a picturesque forested valley to the hot pools where you will see the famous Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) bathe and play before returning to Matsumoto.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 14
    Matsumoto Castle
    Day 14: Matsumoto Castle

    Begin the day with a visit to the magnificent 16th-century Matsumoto Castle, also known as 'Crow Castle', due to its intense black exterior. Next, head to a miso house and learn about the process of making this famous Japanese seasoning. Also visit the former post town of Naraijuku before continuing to Suwa.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 15
    Mount Fuji
    Day 15: Mount Fuji

    Travel to Hakone and ascend 2,400 metres to the 5th Station (weather permitting) for magnificent views of Mt Fuji. Also, enjoy a peaceful cruise on Lake Ashi before taking to the skies on the Komagatake Ropeway. Later, continue to Tokyo by road.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 16
    Tour Tokyo
    Day 16: Tour Tokyo

    Begin the day with a stroll through Hamarikyu Gardens. Next, take part in a sushi making class and enjoy your own creations for lunch! Later, soak up the atmosphere at Sensoji temple, browse the stalls on Nakamise shopping street and drive-by the Imperial Palace Plaza.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 17
    Even more Tokyo
    Day 17: Even more Tokyo

    Begin the day at the Tokyo Metropolitan Building and ascend to the observation deck for breathtaking views over the sprawling city. Next, soak up the atmosphere at the peaceful Meiji Jingu Shrine and drive-by the world-famous Shibuya crossing. End the day with a relaxing dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 18
    Sip Whisky in Sendai
    Day 18: Sip Whisky in Sendai

    As the tour journeys to northern Honshu, board the bullet train to Sendai, the largest city in Tohoku. Upon arrival, transfer by road to Matsushima and enjoy a cruise on Matsushima Bay. Also, visit Zuiganji Temple and the famous Nikka Whisky factory in Sendai.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 19
    Explore Hakodate
    Day 19: Explore Hakodate

    Say goodbye to Honshu Island as you board the bullet train to Hakodate located on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. Visit the Goryokaku Tower, a star shaped fortress followed by some time at leisure. This evening, journey on the Mt Hakodate Ropeway and enjoy the fabulous views of the city below.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 20
    Sapporo Sightseeing
    Day 20: Sapporo Sightseeing

    Board the bullet train for the very last time to Sapporo. Head to the Clock Tower and Odori Park and in the evening, stop by the Sapporo Beer Museum and enjoy a tasting or two, followed by a farewell dinner.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 21
    Fly Sapporo to UK
    Day 21: Fly Sapporo 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 2
    Hakata Excel Hotel Tokyu
    Hakata Excel Hotel Tokyu
    The 4-star Hakata Excel Tokyu is located in the heart of Fukuoka and offers classically decorated rooms, featuring beautiful wood furnishings and air conditioning. The en-suite bathrooms are spacious and offer toiletries and slippers.
  • Nights 2
    Grand Prince 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 Royal Osaka
    Rihga Royal Osaka
    In the heart of Osaka, the Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka provides modern guest rooms with air conditioning, a flat screen TV and free WiFi. The hotel features a fitness centre and an impressive 20 dining options, offering a variety of cuisines from French to traditional Japanese.
  • Nights 2
    Rihga Gran Kyoto
    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.
  • Night 1
    Hotel Kanazawa
    Hotel Kanazawa
    Close to Kanazawa Train Station, Hotel Kanazawa is conveniently located and offers guests modern accommodation with a choice of dining options. Pico restaurant serves Western dishes while Japanese cuisine can be found at Kitano Shoya restaurant.
  • Night 1
    Rako Hananoi Hotel
    Rako Hananoi Hotel
    Boasting beautiful views of Suwa Lake, the Rako Hananoi Hotel offers ensuite guest rooms equipped with free Wifi, a flat screen TV and a mini fridge. The hotel features relaxing spa and wellness facilities including a hot spring bath and sauna.
  • Sunshine City Prince 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.
  • Night 1
    Hotel Vista Sendai
    Hotel Vista Sendai
    In the city of Sendai, the Hotel Vista Sendai boasts beautiful rooms with modern interiors and an on-site restaurant. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, an air purifier and flat screen TV.
  • Night 1
    Hakodate Kokusai Hotel
    Hakodate Kokusai Hotel
    The lovely Hakodate Kokusai Hotel provides guests with beautiful coastal views from the West Wing, while the East Wing offers views of the city of Hakodate. Unwind in the hotel's hot spring bath facilities and enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
  • Night 1
    Sapporo View Hotel
    Sapporo View Hotel
    In the heart of Sapporo, the Sapporo View Hotel is just a short walk from Odori Park and offers guests a relaxing stay with large windows offers views across this beautiful city. Rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, a private bathroom and electric kettle.

The best time to visit Japan is during spring (March to May) when the cherry blossoms are bursting into life and autumn (September to November) when the scenery is ablaze with colour.

City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 6°c
  • 45mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 6°c
  • 67mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 9°c
  • 124mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 15°c
  • 142mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 19°c
  • 178mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 23°c
  • 247mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 27°c
  • 259mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 29°c
  • 111mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 25°c
  • 170mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 19°c
  • 88mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 13°c
  • 68mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Hiroshima
  • 8°c
  • 41mm
+ -
Japan by Rail map

Places Visited: UK - Fukuoka (2N) – Nagasaki - Hiroshima (2N) – Miyajima – Himeji – Osaka (2N) – Kyoto (2N) – Kanazawa (1N) – Takayama (2N) – Yudanaka – Matsumoto (1N) - Mount Fuji (1N) – Tokkyo (3N) – Matsushima – Sendai (1N) – Hakodate (1N) – Sapporo (1N) - 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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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.

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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.

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