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Trip Style: Original
Intrepid, as it's always been
Original trips offer a mix of included activities and free time to explore on your own. They use centrally located hotels and come with a few meals along the way.
Ever-welcoming and always fascinating, Japan is a land of ancient cultures, austere traditions and groundbreaking technology. Experience the best that this diverse country has to offer from the excitement of lively Tokyo to the sacred resting places of shoguns at Nikko. Feast on local delights at a Takayama market, make a sobering visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park and explore magnificent Kyoto temples. Discover ancient castles, lush countryside and fascinating feudal history on this authentic travel adventure. If you pack a good sense of humour and leave all inhibitions behind, the Land of the Rising Sun rarely disappoints.
You'll stay in a delightful ryokan inn where you can experience traditional Japanese hospitality, sleeping on futon in tatami-mat rooms. Dinner tonight will include one of Takayama’s famous signature dishes.
Meals Included: ✓ Dinner
Meals Included: ✓ Breakfast ✓ Dinner
In the evening, maybe try one of the city’s signature dishes for dinner – okonomiyaki, a kind of savoury pancake of egg, cabbage, soba noodles, and meat or seafood.
Meals Included: ✓ Breakfast
You could stop by the magnificent five-storied Hiroshima Castle, which originally dates from the 1590s. It was destroyed by the bomb but reconstructed in all its glory in the 1950s, and now holds an informative museum. The wonderful Shukkeien Garden, with its graceful teahouses and waterfalls, is also a perfect place to decompress on a break from sightseeing. For something a bit louder, there’s the local baseball and soccer teams (if the day is right), or endless shopping choices. Ask your leader for other tips and suggestions or directions.
Hop back on the shinkansen for the 1 hour train trip to Kyoto. Originally founded as Heian-kyo (literally “tranquillity and peace capital”) by Emperor Kammu in 794, Kyoto had its golden age during the imperial court's heyday from 794 to 1185. Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years (the name means “Capital City”) but the emperor and government are now located in Tokyo. With over 2,000 temples, shrines and gardens, Kyoto is a great place to get lost in. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk on arrival and you may like to spend some further time getting acquainted with Kyoto and wandering through its historical streets lined with traditional machiya houses.
Afterwards, it's your free time to explore this charming ancient capital. You will have almost one and half free days here to explore, which is a decent amount of time for Kyoto as there is a lot to see and experience here. Your tour leader will be able to help you with making the most out of your time here.
Fushimi Inari is definitely one of the most photographed shrines in Japan. For the more active, hiking up the mountain following the red torri gates is a great way to enjoy the expansive forest on the shrine’s grounds and views of the city below. Otherwise, maybe head off to Arashiyama to enjoy a wander through the Sagano bamboo forest, or cycle along the Kamo River.
A gentle stroll through Kyoto's eastern hills along the ‘Path of Philosophy’ that links Ginkaku-ji, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, with Nanzen-ji Temple is also recommended. This walk can be extended south through the well-preserved ‘old town’ areas to Kiyamizu-dera (Temple of Clear Water) with its famous viewing platform. Also recommended, for those visiting in spring, is a visit to the theatre for a presentation of Miyako Odori (Cherry Blossom Dance) performed by elaborately dressed maiko (apprentice geisha), or a visit to the extravagantly decorated Kinkakuji Temple, immortalised in Yukio Mishima’s novel “The Golden Pavilion”. Another great stop is the architecturally impressive Higashi Honganji Temple and the almost surreal Sanjusangendo, home to 1,001 statues of Kannon, or the Nishiki food market.
On one of the evenings, your leader will take you on a stroll through Gion, Kyoto's famous Geisha district. Even today you can observe the age-old tradition of geisha as they head out to perform dances and song for members of the wealthy elite. This unfolds in small teahouses tucked away in tiny back streets. You can also check out if any of our Kyoto Urban Adventures tours would interest you.
- Meals - 2 breakfasts & 2 dinners
- Transport - Boat, Public bus, Cable Car, Ferry, Metro, Bullet Train & Train
- Accommodation - Hotels (1 nights) & Ryokan (11 nights)
- Regional flights are available - Call 01253 40 11 33 for flight-inclusive prices!
Dates & Prices
Select a year from the tabs below to view a list of available dates and prices. Please note prices are per person and are only a guide so give our team a call on 01253 40 11 33 to confirm before booking. You can enquire by email using the form on the right hand side of this page.
- Price displayed does not include flights - Call 01253 40 11 33 for flight-inclusive prices!
|February 2020||£2,985pp call for flights|
|March 2020||£2,985pp call for flights|
|April 2020||£3,190pp call for flights|
|May 2020||£2,985pp call for flights|
|June 2020||£2,985pp call for flights|
|September 2020||£2,985pp call for flights|
|October 2020||£3,105pp call for flights|
|November 2020||£2,985pp call for flights|