12 DAYS ●
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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
Have a go at a traditional sushi making class
Watch a exhilarating Sumo Wrestling Tournament (on selected dates)
Relax and discover the practice of Zen meditation
Study the art of Kendo, a martial art using bamboo swords
Our Exclusive Collection The Golden Route 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.
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
Our The Golden Route 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 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)
Tokyo is at once a hub of the ultra-modern and deeply traditional - it is here that your tour of the city begins. Ascend the Tokyo Skytree before continuing to Asakusa where, after donning a traditional kimono, you’ll visit Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji, and 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. Seats are reserved for the late afternoon session.)
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)
Transfer to the spa region of Hakone by coach. Cruise Lake Ashi, taking in the beautiful scenery and, weather depending, catch your first glimpse of the mighty Mount Fuji peeking over the surrounding hills. Fly up from the lakeside 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 Open-air 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. (B,L,D)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Transfer to the airport and fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
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.
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....Read more
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....Read more
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....Read more
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....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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