Japan Wonders

Highlights: Tokyo - Kanazawa - Kyoto Other departures: Manchester - £2455, Birmingham - £2385, Glasgow - £2475, Edinburgh - £2495, George Best Belfast City - £2525, Bristol - £2535, Norwich - £2529, Southampton - £2435, Newcastle - £2475 Hotels:
Tokyo - Hotel Sunroute Asakusa 2*
Kanazawa - ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa 4*
Kyoto - The B Kyoto Sanjo 3* Itinerary: Day 1: Arrive Tokyo
Arrive in the frenetic city of Tokyo, Japan’s current capital. Your driver will be waiting with your name on a sign board to transfer you by private transfer to your downtown city hotel. A 14 day Japan Rail Pass will be included in this tour. Japan Rail Pass is a joint offering of the six companies comprising the Japan Railways Group (JR Group) and is the most efficient means of travelling throughout Japan. There are some restrictions on use; for example, a Japan Rail Pass cannot be used for travel on Nozomi and Mizuho trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines, otherwise the pass offers reserved seats (where available) and unlimited travel on JR trains, busses and ferries. Train: JR Pass 14 Days Ordinary Car Meals: Nil
Hotel: Hotel Sunroute Asakusa (Double Room) Day 2: Tokyo Full Day Private Tour
Take a day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide, making use of Tokyos comprehensive and user friendly public transport system. The day begins with a visit to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Take a walk down Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the worlds top fashion brands. Head across town to Asakusa, Tokyos old town and soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyos oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Take a boat cruise on the Sumida River passing under 12 bridges. Disembark in Hamarikyu garden, an Edo Period Japanese garden surrounded by the Shiodome district's futuristic skyscrapers, a great example of how Japan is the land of contrasts. Stop for a cup of steaming matcha and Japanese sweets in a tea house on a small island in the park's lake before returning to your hotel. Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: Hotel Sunroute Asakusa (Double Room) Day 3: Tokyo Free Day
Today you’re free to peel back the layers of Tokyo, and can do whatever you fancy. If you’re a food lover, wake up early and head to Tsukiji Fish Market to explore the bustling stalls with a wide array of fresh seafood. For the urban explorer, head to the famously busy scramble crossing at Shibuya, before venturing to the Maid Cafés and comic book stores of Akihabara “electric town”. For a break from the buzz of the city, venture to Hamarikyu Gardens or take a leisurely stroll around the Imperial Palace grounds for some quiet serenity. To see the city in full swing, spend the evening in Shinjuku to take advantage of some of the country's best restaurants, bars, clubs and karaoke boxes. Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: Hotel Sunroute Asakusa (Double Room) Day 4: Tokyo to Kanazawa
Travel in comfort on Japan's fast and efficient high speed rail network. Ride the Shinkansen or Bullet Train at speeds of up to 300km/hr and cover the 450km distance to Kanazawa in approximately 2.5 hours. Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa (Economy Double) Day 5: Kanazawa Full Day Private Tour
Begin the day with a visit to the only active Geisha district outside of Kyoto, the Kazuemachi. The area was left untouched during World War 2 and thus many original buildings are wonderfully preserved. The seldom visited Terashima Kurando House, a superb samurai house, is similarly preserved, and boasts a fine garden and artworks by the warrior himself. Take a break for lunch in the merchant district of Owaricho and see the famous Omicho Market before heading to the Kanazawa Castle Park. Wander around the castle remains and then onto Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s top three gardens. The name Kenroku refers to the perfectly combined aesthetics of this beautiful garden, including seclusion, spaciousness and abundant water. Travel onwards along the picturesque back alleys of Kanazawa to the stunning D.T. Suzuki Museum, to learn about the man who introduced Zen Buddhism to the West. The smaller garden at this museum is the perfect embodiment of Zen philosophy and you can end your day practicing mindfulness yourself by the water mirror garden. Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa (Economy Double) Day 6: Kanazawa to Kyoto
Travel aboard the Limited Express Thunderbird from Kanazawa to Kyoto. The train takes approximately 2 hours to travel 225km. Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: The B Kyoto Sanjo (Double(17m2)) Day 7: Kyoto Full Day Private Tour
Explore the former imperial capital of Japan with a knowledgeable local guide, utilizing Kyoto’s comprehensive bus system to visit some of the city’s famous World Heritage Sites. Start your day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun but, at his request, became a Buddhist Temple after his death. Next, make your way to Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate and surrounded by stunning gardens. famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors. Then, head to Heian Shrine, built on the occasion of the 1100th anniversary of the capital's foundation in Kyoto and is dedicated to the spirits of the first and last emperors who reigned from the city, Emperor Kammu and Emperor Komei. Take a walk to Nishiki Market, a narrow shopping street lined with over 100 shops and restaurants. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. Finally, make a visit to Kiyomizu Temple (Pure Water Temple) and enjoy the panoramic views of Kyoto from the 13 metre high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall. Learn about the interesting history of the building and how both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners. Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: The B Kyoto Sanjo (Double(17m2)) Day 8: Kyoto Free Day
A full day to further explore Kyoto and it's surrounding area. Why not take a short trip to Nara which has significant temples and artwork dating back to the 8th century when it was Japan's Capital. Deer roam freely in the grounds of Todai-ji Temple, home to Daibutsuden, the largest wooden building in the world. You could either make a stop at Uji on the way to Nara and visit Byodoin Temple famous for it's Phoenix Hall. Constructed in 1053, this hall now graces the back of the 10 yen coin, or Fushimi Inari famous for it's corridors of tori gates as seen in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: The B Kyoto Sanjo (Double(17m2)) Day 9: Depart Kyoto
Take advantage of your final hours exploring a bit more of this historic city or enjoying some traditional food, until you say goodbye to Kyoto. Your Japan Rail Pass still covers travel for today and you can use it to travel to Kansai Airport in Osaka or return to Tokyo for your onward journey. Meals: Breakfast

Offer Includes

Flights from London Heathrow with Malaysia Airlines
Airport taxes
8 nights accommodation as per itinerary
English-speaking guide on each city as mentioned in the itinerary
Tours and transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
Sightseeing fees and permits during guided time

Meal Plans

  • Bed & Breakfast