Golden Route – 11 Days/10 Nights
Japan is often described as being both ancient and modern, but Tokyo is the place to go for all things futuristic! The city provides endless opportunities to explore huge varieties of shops, world-class restaurants, fascinating markets and superb nightlife. For a sense of old Japan visit the Asakusa Kannon Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Tokyo, where the surrounding streets and alleys are lined with shops and stalls selling an eclectic mixture of kimono, handicrafts and a dazzling variety of street food. For a break from the pace of city life, the Zen inspired Hamarikyu Garden is a tranquil oasis on the edge of the bay and flanked by the modern skyscrapers of the Shiodome district, where you can enjoy a Japanese tea in the wooden pavilion by the edge of the park’s lake.
Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain and most famous symbol, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world. Day trips are available from Tokyo which take you by coach to the fifth Station at 2,400m and include several other attractions in the area. One of the best views of Mount Fuji can be seen on an excursion to Owakudani, a steaming valley of hot mud springs. A cable car takes passengers over the valley to a view point from where it is possible to explore the area on foot. On clear days there are good views from here of the surrounding mountain ranges and of Mount Fuji. Another popular excursion is taking a cruise on Lake Ashi, a lake created from a volcanic creator which is surrounded by wooded slopes that are dotted with small shrines.
Indelibly etched into world history as being the target of the first atomic bomb on Monday, 6th August, 1945 when 200,000 lost their lives, Hiroshima has risen from the ashes to become a vibrant and prosperous city. Today the city is a pleasant place to visit. In the centre of the city is the A-Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park with a moving collection of memorials, sculptures and monuments dedicated to the abolition of nuclear arms and a campaign for world peace. A visit here can be an overwhelming experience.
A few miles from the coast of Hiroshima in the Inland Sea lays Miyajima Island, famous for the huge red Tori gate rising from the ocean and guarding the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine. Miyajima is a delightful island with a serene atmosphere and free roaming deer and monkeys.
Kyoto remains Japan’s cultural heartland with many of the country’s historical treasures, Zen gardens, pavilions and temples, 17 of which have World Heritage status. As you explore the ancient heart of the city you are filled with excitement as images of old Japan come to life in the tight cobblestone lanes of old houses packed with secretive doorways, the ornate bridges and willow trees swaying over gentle streams.
Day 01: Departure from London
Day 02: Arrival in Tokyo
Day 03: Full day Tokyo city tour
Day 04: Full day excursion to Mt. Fuji and Hakone
Day 05: Transfer by bullet train from Tokyo to Hiroshima
Day 06: Full day Miyajima Island and Hiroshima sightseeing tour
Day 07: Transfer by bullet train from Hiroshima to Kyoto
Day 08: Kyoto and Nara full day sightseeing tour
Day 09: A day at leisure in Kyoto for your own sightseeing and activities
Day 10: Bullet train back to Tokyo
Day 11: Transfer and return flight to London
Western Japan – 11 Days/10 Nights
Day 01: Departure from London
Day 02: Arrival in Kyoto
Day 03: Kyoto and Nara full day sightseeing tour
Day 04: Enjoy Kyoto at leisure
Day 05: Transfer by bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima
Miyajima Island and Hiroshima sightseeing tour
Day 06: Transfer to Beppu with an overnight stay in a Japanese Ryokan
Day 07: Transfer to Kumamoto via Aso with sightseeing en-route
Day 08: Travel to Nagasaki – The second and last city in the world to experience a nuclear attack
Day 09: Proceed onwards from Nagasaki to Hakata and your overnight stay
Day 10: Transfer from Hakata to Osaka
Day 11: Transfer to Kyoto and return flight to London
Tokyo Short Stay – 04 Days/03 Nights
Day 01: Arrival in Tokyo and transfer to your hotel
Day 02: Morning Tokyo sightseeing tour and afternoon at leisure
Day 03: Full day excursion to Mt. Fuji and Hakone
Day 04: Transfer to the airport for your departure flight