The Golden Route

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Japan is an island of unique culture and sky-high thinking. Explore this incredible nation in luxury, travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto, passing under the watchful peak of Mount Fuji and experiencing all the quintessential elements of Japan as you go

tour duration 12 Days from
tour price 6,990pp
tour type Group Tour

Places Visited

UK - Tokyo (3N) - Mt Fuji (2N) - Kyoto (3N) - Nara - Osaka (2N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Have a go at a traditional sushi making class
Watch a exhilarating Sumo Wrestling Tournament (on selected dates)
Discover the practice of Zen meditation
Study the art of Kendo, a form of swordsmanship

Exclusive Experiences

See Mount Fuji from the 5th station where you'll enjoy a cold glass of sake
Enjoy a traditional Maiko performance in Kyoto
Enjoy a dinner cruise on the bustling Tokyo Bay
Wander the Asakusa District of Tokyo dressed in a traditional Kimono

Days 1-2 Fly to Tokyo
Fly overnight to the dazzling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan’s capital city. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. (D)
Days 1-2 Fly to Tokyo
Day 3 Explore Tokyo
Tokyo is at once a hub of the ultra-modern and deeply traditional. It is a city forever pushing boundaries – you’ll find yourself in the world’s biggest city, choosing from restaurants with the most Michelin stars and standing in the shadow of the world’s tallest tower. It is here that your tour of the city begins, ascending the Tokyo Skytree, to see the city laid out at your feet. Continue to Asakusa where, after donning a traditional kimono, you’ll visit Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji, and soak up the atmosphere of Nakamise shopping street. This afternoon, explore the history of Tokyo as imperial capital at the Edo-Tokyo Museum. (B)

(On the May and September departures, there is an extra special addition to this tour, a Sumo Tournament. Many of Japan’s most ancient traditions are preserved in the sport, and the ritual involved in its performance are as fascinating to watch as the wrestling itself. Your seats are reserved in the late afternoon, when the big, stronger wrestlers compete.)
Day 3 Explore Tokyo
Day 4 Sushi Making
Enjoy a morning at leisure before transferring to a Sushi restaurant for a lesson in the preparation of this delicious Japanese delicacy. After you’ve learned the techniques, eat your creations for lunch. The afternoon visit Meiji, a Shinto shrine enveloped by beautiful woodland, before returning to the hustle and bustle of the city at the famous Shibuya crossing. This evening, take to the waters of Tokyo Bay to admire the bright lights of the city on a dinner cruise. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Sushi Making
Day 5 Lake Ashi Cruise
Transfer to the spa region of Hakone by coach. Take to the calm waters of Lake Ashi, taking in the beautiful scenery and, weather depending, catching your first glimpse of the mighty Mount Fuji peeking over the surrounding hills. Fly up from the lakeside over the Alpineesque hills to the summit of Mount Komagatake on the Komagatake Ropeway, from where you’ll have breathtaking views of Mount Fuji, if it isn’t hiding behind cloud. Explore the exhibits of the Hakone Openair Museum, which is home to a number of works of art by Picasso, Henry Moore and Taro Okamoto. The rest of the afternoon is free until dinner, perfect of making the most of Hakone’s most famous asset – hot springs! (B,L,D)
Day 5 Lake Ashi Cruise
Day 6 Mount Fuji
Travel from Hakone to Fuji, where you’ll visit the 5th Station. At 2,400 metres up the mountain, the views of the summit from here are fantastic. If the road to the 5th Station is closed, you will instead visit the Fuji Visitor Centre. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the facilities of your hotel. (B,D)
Day 6 Mount Fuji
Day 7 Bullet Train to Kyoto
Travel by road to Odawara where you’ll board a bullet train that will whisk you off to Kyoto. On arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day 7 Bullet Train to Kyoto
Day 8 Kyoto and Kendo Lesson
Today is a full day tour of Kyoto, starting at Kinkaku-ji, the ‘Golden Pavilion’, before contemplating Zen at Ryoanji, Japan’s most famous classical garden. Next you’ll have some free time in the vibrant Arashiyama district – the Bamboo Forest should not be missed and there are some lovely little shops to explore. Later, take part in a Kendo lesson. Learn the basic forms and techniques of this martial art, which is a form of swordsmanship which uses bamboo swords and protective armour. This evening, enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner with a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) performance. (B,D)
Day 8 Kyoto and Kendo Lesson
Day 9 Zen Meditation and Tea Ceremony
A centre of Zen Buddhism, Kodai-ji is a 17th-century temple set in classical Zen gardens. Start the day here with a Zen meditation session, before experiencing the rituals of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony after which you can sip on your matcha tea. Visit Kiyomizu Temple, then take a walk around the old district of Higashiyama before stopping off to learn about some of Japan’s traditional arts – calligraphy and origami. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day 9 Zen Meditation and Tea Ceremony
Day 10 Explore Nara
Wander the pathways of vermillion torii gates at the enchanting Fushimi Inari Taisha. Transfer to Nara and explore the city with visits to Todaiji Temple, where you’ll see the Great Buddha, and Nara Park, where you can meet the resident Sika deer. Finish at Kasuga Shrine then transfer to Osaka. (B)
Day 10 Explore Nara
Day 11 Umeda Sky Building
Spend the morning exploring. Visit one of the city’s most recognisable buildings, the Umeda Sky Building, ascending to the rooftop observatory for views over Osaka. Stroll through the bright and brash Dotonburi district and stop for a local lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free before a delicious farewell meal of Shabu-shabu, a hotpot style dish of thinly sliced meats and vegetables which you cook in broth at your table. (B,L,D)
Day 11 Umeda Sky Building
Day 12 Fly Osaka to UK
Transfer to the airport and fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Day 12 Fly Osaka to UK

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

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 Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

20-Sep > 01-Oct - £7,190 BOOK NOW
15-Nov > 26-Nov - £6,990 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £6,390 (Tokyo - Osaka)
Single Supplement from £1,990

14-Mar > 25-Mar - £8,790 BOOK NOW
21-Mar > 01-Apr - £8,790 BOOK NOW
28-Mar > 08-Apr - £8,790 BOOK NOW
04-Apr > 15-Apr - £8,790 BOOK NOW
16-May > 27-May - £7,990 BOOK NOW
09-Sep > 20-Sep - £7,990 BOOK NOW
14-Nov > 25-Nov - £7,890 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £6,390 (Tokyo - Osaka)
Single Supplement from £1,990

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Hilton Tokyo
Hilton Tokyo - Tokyo (3 Nights)
hotel star rating

This sleek high-rise property is 5 minutes' walk from a metro station. The elegant rooms offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus minibars, sitting areas, and tea and coffeemaking facilities. Eating and drinking options include a Chinese restaurant, a sushi bar and a grill restaurant with an open kitchen, as well as an English pub and a hip cocktail lounge. There's also a gym, rooftop tennis courts and a spa with an indoor pool.

Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa
Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa - Hakone/Mt Fuji (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

This contemporary spa hotel in the mountainous Hakone area features sleek rooms with balconies or terraces, and include minibars, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. There are 2 stylish restaurants in addition to a plush lounge. Other perks include a day spa and a geothermal traditional onsen.

Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Hyatt Regency Kyoto - Kyoto (3 Nights)
hotel star rating

This upscale modern hotel features serene rooms with minibars, flat-screens and free Wi-Fi. There are 3 restaurants, including a steakhouse, plus a pastry cafe and a sake bar. Other amenities include a gym, yoga classes and a spa with saunas and a hot tub.

Ritz Carlton Osaka
Ritz Carlton Osaka - Osaka (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

This 5-star hotel offers 6 dining options, a fitness centre and indoor pool, and a luxurious spa. Spacious rooms offer private bathrooms with marble double sinks and bathrobes, a 37-inch flat-screen TV and a CD/DVD player. A minibar and coffee maker are also provided. Guests can enjoy a rejuvenating massage at the spa for a fee, or take a dip in the hot tub. Restaurants include the signature French restaurant, La Baie and Japanese restaurant Hanagatami. Guests can also enjoy Italian dishes at Splendido restaurant or sip cocktails at The Bar.

Hong Kong Glimpses

Hong Kong Glimpses

tour duration 3 Days from tour price 199pp
Hong Kong in Focus

Hong Kong in Focus

tour duration 4 Days from tour price 370pp
Himeji Extension

Himeji Extension

tour duration 2 Days from tour price 260pp
Hiroshima Extension

Hiroshima Extension

tour duration 3 Days from tour price 860pp

A Visa is not required for Japan.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. 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.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

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 established 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. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

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 we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.

What's Included

International flights
UK chauffeur transfer (50m airport radius)
Domestic transportation
5* luxury accommodation
Meals as stated
Touring with guides and entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
Mid-tour laundry service
Daily bottled water
Porterage to and from hotel rooms

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