Japan’s Golden Route

9 Day Tour

Price On Request

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Departure dates on request

Prices are generally for private arrangements and are per person based on two people travelling together and sharing a room. Price subject to change without notice.

OVERVIEW

Ancient temples & futuristic skyscrapers, geishas in kimonos & business men in western suits - Japan is an enticing country awash with contrasts guaranteed to delight & amaze. On this holiday you`ll see how age-old traditions mix seamlessly into modern life as you voyage through glittering whirlwind of Tokyo, spellbinding Hakone & culturally rich Kyoto.

Experience imperial palaces, ancient temples & shrines, the National Treasures of Japan, mountain hot springs, Mt. Fuji, famous deer park & more. Stay at a collection of properties including a traditional Japanese style ryokan.

DAY 1 - TOKYO ARRIVAL

Arrive in Tokyo to be welcomed by our representative who will assist you with your hotel transfer. Enjoy the rest of your day unwinding in Tokyo at your leisure.

DAY 2 - TOKYO

Today is a guided day.

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel. The day will begin with a stroll through Hama-Rikyu Teien, a former private garden of an Edo Period lord.

Take the chance to break up your walk with a stop in a tea house on a small island on the park’s lake, where we will have the opportunity to try matcha, Japanese green tea.

You will then have a chance to view Tokyo from a different angle as you take a boat cruise along the Sumida River.

Next stop will be Asakusa, part of Tokyo’s Shitamachi, or old town. Asakusa is home to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, and is also the city’s oldest Geisha district. The streets around Sensoji have many traditional shops selling Japanese crafts and souvenirs and are a delight to wander through.

In the afternoon, head across Tokyo to Omotesando, commonly referred to as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysee. This broad, tree lined avenue features a multitude of fashion flagship stores designed by internationally renowned architects within a short distance of each other.

At the end of the day you will have time to explore Meiji Shrine; Tokyo’s most famous, dedicated to the spirit of the late Emperor Meiji.

Note: The order of this itinerary may change according to the location of your hotel.
Overnight in Tokyo. (B)

DAY 3: TOKYO – OPTIONAL DAY TRIP

Today is a self-guided day.

Today is a free today for you to explore this amazing city. Make an early start to visit the world Famous Tsukji Fish Market, visit the electronics district of Akihabara or discover Tokyo’s world class museums and art galleries.
Or, you can use your included Japan Rail Pass to make an excursion outside of Tokyo to one of the following:

Kamakura
One of Japan’s former capitals, Kamakura is a delightful seaside town home to many ancient temples and the Daibutsu, a giant bronze Buddha.

Nikko
Sitting high in the mountains of Nikko National Park, Nikko houses the Toshogu Shrine complex and mausoleum, Japan’s most extravagant display of religious architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We will provide you with detailed information of all the options available to you.
Overnight in Tokyo. (B)

DAY 4 - TOKYO – HAKONE/MT. FUJI

Today is a self-guided day.

Today leave Tokyo behind and make the 2 hour journey to Hakone, the gateway to Mt Fuji and surrounding national park. This small town is famous for its onsen, or natural hot springs, and has natural beauty in abundance. You will stay in a traditional Japanese-style ryokan accommodation, complete with tatami mats, shoji rice paper sliding doors and onsen baths.

This evening, relax in your yukata, or lightweight kimono, and dine on a sumptuous kaiseki multi course meal.

An onsen after dinner is highly recommended before you bed down on your futon.
Overnight in Hakone. (B,D)

DAY 5: HAKONE AND MT FUJI

Today is a self-guided day.

Today you have a full day to explore all that the Fuji Hakone National Park has to offer.

Armed with your included Transport Pass, you can take advantage of the numerous forms of transport on offer throughout the Park. Ride the world’s second longest cable car up Mt Owakudani, passing over sulfurous fumes, hot springs and hot rivers in this volcanic area, where you can eat an egg hard boiled in the sulfuric hot springs which make Hakone famous. If you do, it will add seven years to your life!

A majestic replica pirate ship will sweep you across the Lake Ashinoko, a lake formed by a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago, and the Hakone Tozan ‘switchback train’ zig zags though the mountains, giving amazing views of the surrounding valleys.

Throughout the day you will have the chance to get a glimpse of Mt Fuji, however please keep in mind that she is a notoriously shy mountain and it needs to be a clear day.

Hakone offers many other options as well, including the Hakone Open Air Museum, featuring sculptures from world renowned artists set against the back drop of Hakone’s picturesque mountains. Of course, there are hundreds of onsen to try as well.
Overnight in Hakone. (B,D)

DAY 6 - HAKONE TO KYOTO

Today is a self-guided day.

Time for one last soak in the onsen, before undertaking the 2 hour journey by the world famous Shinkansen bullet train to Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto.

Kyoto is home to an astonishing 2000 Shrines and Temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Today we have in store a truly amazing experience as you learn about Japanese culture in a Machiya, a beautiful restored wooden town house typical for Kyoto. You will first get a short tour of the house and explanation of the architecture, before trying on a kimono, the traditional Japanese garment. This is followed by an induction to the Tea Ceremony, a quintessential part of Japanese culture, and the tea master will teach you about each movement, serving the tea and of course also how to make it!

The cultural experience ends with a walk through the old neighborhood and a visit to a nearby Sake brewery, where you’ll have a chance to try the local brew.
Overnight in Kyoto. (B)

DAY 7 - KYOTO

Today is a guided day.

Today you explore the former imperial capital with a knowledgeable local guide, utilizing Kyoto’s comprehensive bus system to visit some of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites.

You will start your day with a visit to Nijo Castle.
This ornamental castle was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its Momoyama architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors.

Continue on to Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion. Originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun, after his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples.

The final stop of the morning is Daitoku-ji Zen temple complex, which consists of a main temple and 22 sub-temples. You will visit Daisen-in sub temple, which was founded in 1464 and has one of Japan’s best Zen rock gardens, perfect for a spot of Zazen meditation after a busy morning.

After lunch, visit Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13m high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall you can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, whilst pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners.

Finish off the day with a stroll through the atmospheric Higashiyama district, whose busy lanes lead up to Kiyomizu and are filled with quaint shops selling souvenirs including Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles.
Overnight in Kyoto. (B)

DAY 8 - KYOTO – NARA

Today is a self-guided day.

This morning you will make the short 45min trip by train to Nara.

For 74 years during the 8th century Nara was Japan’s capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. We would recommend visiting Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha, and Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine.

You will also have time to wander through Nara Park, called Deer Park by locals due to the large population of tame deer living there.
The afternoon is free for you to continue your sightseeing in Nara or Kyoto.
Overnight in Kyoto. (B)

DAY 9: KYOTO DEPARTURE

Departure day. Enjoy at your leisure until transferring by direct train to Kansai Airport. (B)

PRICES ON REQUEST

There are a number of factors which will influence the price of your travel arrangements, including the standard of hotel (we offer a variety of standards from First Class to Deluxe), the season and any additional requirements you may require. Please ask us for international flight options.

Prices are generally for private arrangements and are per person based on two people travelling together and sharing a room.

First Class Hotels 

  • Tokyo
  • Hakone
  • Kyoto

Superior Hotel

  • Tokyo
  • Hakone
  • Kyoto

Deluxe Hotels

  • Tokyo
  • Hakone
  • Kyoto

Hotels

  • Villa Fontaine
  • Ichi no Yu Honkan (Japanese style room)
  • New Miyako Hotel
  • Park Hotel
  • Yugiriso Ryokan (Japanese style room)
  • Granvia Hotel
  • Conrad Tokyo Hotel
  • Hakone Ginyu (Japanese style room)
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation in twin room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Airport Meet and Greet and return airport transfers
  • All transport between destinations
  • 7 Day Japan Rail Pass, PASMO Tokyo transport pass and Hakone Transport Pass
  • English speaking local guide in Tokyo (1 day) and Kyoto (1day)
  • All entrance fees and transport on Days 2 and 7
  • Information Pack

JAPAN'S GOLDEN ROUTE - 9 DAYS
ANCIENT TEMPLES & FUTURISTIC SKYSCRAPERS, GEISHAS IN KIMONOS (CODE: EXO)