Trails of Japan | 13 days | Go Beyond Group Tour | from £5,090pp
Prepare to immerse yourself in the wacky and wonderful in this fascinating land. Trek at the foot of Fuji, meet the Snow Monkeys of Yudanaka, take a rickshaw ride in Kyoto and stay at a traditional Buddhist lodge. And you’ll see all the classic highlights too.
Group Tour includes:
- International flights and current taxes
- 3* plus – 4* accommodation
- Touring with guides and entrance fees
- Domestic transportation
- Most meals
- Maximum group size 24 passengers
Experience the wacky Robot Restaurant in this buzzing ward of Tokyo
Watch an exhilarating Sumo Wrestling Tournament (on selected dates)
Hike around the base of Japan's iconic volcano
Meet the adorable Snow Monkeys in their natural habitat
Download Detailed Itinerary
Trails of Japan - Tour Itinerary
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.
Day 3 Japanese Drumming
Begin your tour of Tokyo by immersing
yourself into the local culture by spending
the morning trying your hand at traditional
Japanese drumming with a Taiko class, where
you will learn how to beat the ‘wadaiko’
with ‘bachi’. Later, stop by Meiji Shrine and
continue to the vibrant district of Harajuku
before stopping by the famous Shibuya
Crossing. Finally, it’s time for a uniquely Tokyo
experience - the Robot Restaurant! This may
not be everyone’s cup of tea, but well worth
the insight into modern Japanese culture. (B)
Day 4 Discover Tokyo
As modern as it may appear,
behind the neon façade is a traditional
soul that is easy to find amongst the old
alleyways, temples and shrines of the Edo era.
Sightseeing today begins with a stroll through
the Imperial Palace East Garden and a visit to
the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree
for views over the city below. You’ll
also stop by Sensoji Temple - Tokyo’s oldest,
and stroll along Nakamise shopping street. In
the afternoon, explore the Edo-Tokyo Museum,
which illustrates Tokyo’s past
right up to recent decades. (B)
Day 5 Mount Fuji
The perfectly symmetrical cone of mighty Mt Fuji is the iconic image of Japan. This morning, you will journey out of Tokyo into some of Japan's beautiful countryside at the foot of the mountain. Pick up a hiking trail and tramp through alpine forest at Fuji's base, pausing often to admire the landscapes around you. (B,D)
Day 6 Snow Monkeys
Travel to Matsumoto and explore the magnificent Matsumoto Castle, also known as 'Crow Castle' due to its black exterior. Continue to Nagano stopping in Yudanaka to visit the Japanese Macaques, or Snow Monkeys, at the Jigokudani Yaen-Koen (Monkey Park). These creatures are unique in the fact that they make use of the area's natural hot springs, bathing and playing in and around the water. (B)
Day 7 Japanese Alps
Travel to Hotaka and ride up into the Japanese Alps on the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway for breathtaking views over the surrounding mountains (weather permitting). Drive to Takayama where you will be staying at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn with onsen facilities. Here you can relax and bathe in the natural hot spring pools and experience this most traditional pastime. This afternoon you will have time to explore Kamisannomachi Street and sample the street food on offer. This evening enjoy a Hida beef dinner. (B,D)
Day 8 Bullet Train to Kyoto
Take a Limited Express train to Nagoya, where you'll change onto a Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. This afternoon, start discovering Kyoto's rich heritage with a visit to the enchanting Fushimi Inari Shrine with its pathway of vermillion torii gates before admiring the views over the city from Kiyomizu Temple. Stroll around the old neighbourhoods of Higashiyama and Gion, the geisha district, with a stop at Gion Corner, which showcases the seven professional performing arts. (B)
Day 9 Japanese Tea Ceremony
Start today by visiting Kinkakuji Temple, known as the 'Golden Pavilion', and Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan's most famous zen garden. Continue to the Arashiyama district where you will have some free time to explore the Bamboo Forest as well as enjoying a rickshaw ride. Later, witness the rituals involved in the preparation and pouring of matcha tea in a traditional tea ceremony. (B)
Day 10 Kyoto culture & Koya-San
Spend the morning discovering the craft of kimono creation and the complicated process of dressing in a traditional kimono at Nishijin Textile Centre, before a cultural experience that will see you learning the art of origami. This afternoon, travel by road to Koya-san, where you will spend the night in a 13th-century temple sleeping on a traditional futon on a tatami mat floor. (B,D)
Day 11 Morning Prayers
Rise early to join the monks for their daily morning service - hearing the recitation and chanting is a magical experience. After breakfast, take a walking tour of Koya-san. One of Japan's holiest sites, this mountain top sanctuary is full of temples and pagodas to explore. Pay a visit to Kongobuji Temple and Okunoin cemetery before travelling to Osaka. (B)
Day 12 Himeji Castle & Sake Brewery
Take a day tour to Himeji to visit the 17th-century Himeji Castle which is considered a prime example of Japanese feudal period architecture. Continue to a sake brewery, where you can learn about the brewing process of this potent rice wine and enjoy some tasters. Return to Osaka and experience the bright and brash Dotonbori district. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day 13 Fly Osaka to UK
Transfer to the airport and fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Any customer looking to travel between September - December 2019 should refer to the 2019 Tour Dossier
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
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. See full terms and conditions.
Travel partner flies free or solo travellers save 50% on airfare - discounts vary and are shown per person below.
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A visa is not required to travel to Japan for British Citizen passport holders. Should you hold any other passport then please contact the Japanese Embassy for more information.
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 0044 1888 288 288. 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. Most hotels have Wi-Fi, which may come at a cost.
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.
Sample Tour Hotels
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.
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.
A haven of rest and peace, the Hamayou Resort offers spectacular views of the lake with impressive Mount Fuji in the background. The light and bright Japanese-western style rooms are furnished with both standard beds and Japanese tatami mat relaxation areas. The resort features a restaurant, a café and an onsen for guests to relax in.
Hotel Ryu Resort & Spa
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.
Karasuma Kyoto Hotel
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.
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.