Flight - 1 night
Osaka - 1 night
Kyoto - 3 nights
Hiroshima - 1 night
Hakone - 1 night
Tokyo - 3 nights

Spendology - Widgets


Traversing Japan by Bullet Train, from neon-lit cityscapes to geisha lanes, from Shinto shrines to views of Mount Fuji, from Osaka to Kyoto, Hakone, and Tokyo, this small-group tour reveals the country’s seamless blend of timeless tradition and mesmerising modernity

Exploring the country’s culture and contrasts, past and present, the tour begins in commercial and very contemporary Osaka. With a castle and ancient Shinto shrine, it is not without historic sites but doesn’t dwell on heritage, focused instead on vibrant shopping streets, with pretty riversides thrown in for good measure. Kyoto is quite the opposite, with imperial palaces, over a thousand Buddhist temples, timber townhouses and old-world shopping streets. Of course, modernity has made a mark on the city, but in the home of geishas, manners, and tradition, it may take much longer to alter the essence of Kyoto. Another sharp contrast follows as we visit Hiroshima, still an affecting site, but defying predictions of its permanent demise with a modern downtown, and the Peace Memorial Park’s reconstruction of heritage monuments. Tranquillity comes naturally to Hakone, a blissful retreat of botanical gardens, forest-shrouded shrines, the gorgeous Lake Ashinoko, and matchless views of Mount Fuji, white-capped and wondrous. One last transition is to Tokyo’s famously soaring skyline, but, down at street level, it masters the mix of old and new with simple wooden structures, and cobbled lanes weaving between the towers.

Key Features

Cultural & Natural Wonders
Jules Verne Sightseeing
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
High Speed Train Included
Local Guide Throughout

Special Event

Sushi Making

A taisho will demonstrate how to create diff erent pieces of sushi. Enjoy preparing your own sushi lunch. Sushi is prepared from vinegared rice, accompanied by a variety of ingredients, such as raw seafood and vegetables. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the one key ingredient is ‘sushi rice’.

Special Departures

Autumn Colours in Japan

Japanese cherry blossom are about appreciating the present so we have selected departures coinciding with the brilliant colours of autumn foliage (koyo) to be surrounded by scarlet maple and golden ginkgo trees.
2023: Oct 27 & Nov 3

Day 1 Fly overnight from London Heathrow, via Tokyo to Osaka.

Day 2 Unpretentious, energetic, and industrious, Japan’s second city is known as a hub of great food and neon-lit nightlife. On arrival, transfer to the 4-star Rihga Royal Hotel for an overnight stay; and later visit the Floating Garden Observatory, topping the 40-storey Umeda Sky Building, for fantastic, full-circle, panoramas.

Day 3 Visit the 16th-century, though much-rebuilt, Osaka Castle, a moated confection within fortress walls, constructed with hundreds of thousands of huge stone blocks. Stroll in the city’s entertainment area, Dotonbori, hemming the canal side with neon lights and garish signs; and enjoy an ‘Okonomiyaki’ savoury pancake lunch. Travel to Kyoto, the country’s capital for eleven centuries, and still the epicentre of Japanese culture. Visit Gion, the city’s geisha district, a combination of high-end restaurants, shrines, temples, and stone-fenced merchants’ houses. Three nights at the 3-star Rihga Gran Hotel. (B, L)

Day 4 A full day of discovery in Kyoto includes visits to the Buddhist Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, gloriously coated in gold leaf; the 15th-century Zen dry garden of Ryoan-ji Temple, and Arashiyama Park, renowned for its bamboo groves and beautiful landscapes, and particularly scenic during cherry blossom time and in autumn foliage. (B)

Day 5 For an immersive introduction to the rhythm and culture of Kyoto, we use local transport to visit the Buddhist Kiyomizu-dera (‘Temple of the Pure Water Spring’), the complex, with its three-storey pagoda, part of the Historic Monuments of Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site; explore on foot in the stepped lanes of Ninenzaka Street, lined with traditional architecture, shops and cafés, pagodas and shrines; and experience a Zen meditation, and a lesson in making Japanese tea. (B)

Day 6 Travel by Bullet Train to Hiroshima, etched in collective memory as the ‘ground zero’ of 6th August, 1945. Visit the Peace Memorial Park, created around one of the few buildings still standing, in what was once the commercial heart of the city, including the Atomic Bomb Dome and the museum. Overnight at the 3-star Hotel Granvia. (B)

Day 7 Take a ferry to Miyajima Island to view Itsukushima Shrine and its ‘torii’ gate, built over the water and, at high tide, seemingly floating on the inland sea. Travel by Bullet Train (via Osaka) to Odawara, and transfer to Hakone, set within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, and with far more than its fair share of natural splendour. Overnight at the 4-star Yunohana Prince Hotel, peacefully positioned and furnished in Japanese style. (B, D)

Day 8 A deliciously scenic tour of the area includes a cable car ride over Owakudani Valley, a cruise on the blue waters of Lake Ashinoko, and a visit to Onshi Park, with breathtaking views from the hilltop, across the lake to the fabled form of Mount Fuji. Travel by road to high-tech Tokyo, the country’s sleek, chic, multi-faceted capital, for three nights at the 4-star Royal Park Hotel. (B)

Day 9 Using local transport throughout our time in Tokyo, today’s visits include the National Museum, with a vast collection of Japanese art and archaeological artefacts; Asakusa district’s Nakamise shopping street, crammed with stalls of street food, cultural, and religious souvenirs; and the very different Ginza district, with upmarket shops and glitzy cocktail bars. Later, enjoy a sushi making experience. (B, L)

Day 10 Continue exploring the city’s highlights, with a photo-stop at the Imperial Garden, its 17th-century moats and walls still standing; and visiting the Shinto ‘Meiji Shrine’, dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort; and the tower-top Shinjuku Observatory, with stunning views of Tokyo from 202m above the ground. (B, D)

Day 11 Transfer to Tokyo Haneda airport for the return flight, arriving at London Heathrow the same day. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner


This is a full itinerary with most visits on foot including the use of public transport and carrying luggage on and off trains.

On Day 6, main luggage is transported to Hakone so an overnight bag is needed for the Hiroshima stay.

Please note that in Japan room sizes are generally smaller than in Europe and double beds are not available at all hotels.


Please note that in Japan room sizes are generally smaller than in Europe and double beds are not available at all hotels.


per person in a twin room
Japan Airlines from Heathrow

Date Price
October 27 £5065
November 3 £4975


Click here for 2024 departures

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £665
Twin for single use £875

Flight Options

Japan Airlines Premium Economy – On request
Japan Airlines Business Class – On request

Extension Options

Extra nights – Osaka
Righa Royal Hotel
(per night) £195
Single supplement £95

Extra nights – Tokyo
Royal Park Hotel
(per night) £160
Single supplement £115

Tour Only

Save £900
Arrival transfer from Kansai Airport add £190
Arrival transfer from Itami Airport add £155
Departure transfer by shuttle bus from Haneda Airport add £50
Departure transfer by shuttle bus from Narita Airport add £75

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 9 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 2 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.


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