Explore this majestic country
Explore this majestic country
Your trip of a lifetime starts with a 12 hour flight from Heathrow Airport to Tokyo.
You will arrive into Tokyo at 0800 this morning and after clearing customs and immigration will be met by private transfer to your city centre hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore, soak up the city and local culture and recover from any jet lag.
Tokyo is the ultimate 24 hour city, but look behind its frantic, high tech frontage and you will ﬁnd plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Today's city tour starts on the observation deck of the 634m Skytree - the worlds tallest tower - before seeking out the tranquility of the ancient Buddhist Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. Discover Tokyo’s historical heritage at the Imperial Palace Plaza. Later stroll through the classical landscapes of Hamarikyu Garden. This evening we have reserved a table for you on a dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay which will give you excellent views of the city from the water.
Today is your opportunity to sample the super fast bullet train to Odawara. We have arranged a boat trip on Lake Ashi which offers panoramas of this beautiful area before venturing up the Komagatake Ropeway for amazing views back over the lake and Mount Fuji. You then travel to Fuji Visitor Centre and head up to the 5th station (weather permitting) for the breathtaking views over the Fuji Five Lakes below.
After breakfast transfer to Nagano before exploring the formidable 16th century Matsumoto Castle and also a visit to a sake brewery. Travel on to Takayama, nestled high in the mountainous Hida region which is also known as the Japanese Alps.
Takayama has an air of old world Japan, particularly around its beautifully preserved old town. Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyazawa morning market. You will wander past some of the lovely traditional houses and visit the excellent local museums - Takayama Festival Floats Museum, Kusakabe Folk Museum and Takayama Jinya.
Get glimpses of rural Japan at UNESCO listed Shirakawago which is famous for its farmhouses built in the unique gassho-zukuri architectural style. Continue on to Gokayama to experience washi paper making. Then travel to Kanazawa to visit the Nomura Samurai House.
This is your chance to meander through the beautiful Kenroku-en Garden one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan before viewing the excellent art collection of the Kanazawa 21st Museum of Contemporary Art, which only exhibits works produce since 1980. Transfer to to Kyoto, capital city of Japan until 1879.
Kyoto was capital for a thousand years; today it is the legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. We have organised this morning a visit to the Ryoanji Temple complex which means “temple of the peaceful dragon” followed by a visit to the famous Kinkakuji, a Zen temple known as the “Golden Pavilion”, the top two ﬂoors of which are completely covered in gold leaf.
Head to a restored Japanese wooden townhouse for a traditional handicraft experience ( such as origami) and enjoy the rituals of a tea ceremony.
Today you will visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, remarkable for its 10,000 torii (shrine gates). Later you'll travel to Nara, a relaxed and charming town virtually untouched by the ravages of modernity. You will have time to stroll through Nara Park to Todaiji Temple, meeting the resident Sika deer en route, before exploring Isu-en Garden.
The holy mountain of Koya-san is home to a cluster of over a hundred monasteries nestled in a valley enclosed by peaks said to resemble a lotus ﬂower. After a visit to Kongobuji Temple and the Garan Temple Complex continue on to Osaka.
Today you have the opportunity to explore the amazing Osaka Castle and also cruise along the Yodogawa River. Stroll down Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample local delicacies for lunch. The remainder of the day is free to explore this fascinating city.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end! Today, you will fly from Osaka to the UK after breakfast. The ﬂight home is around 14 hours and you'll arrive home the following day.
Please note: All meals are included for the duration of your holiday.
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