Journey across the Japanese Alps to the cultural centres of Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa on this extensive tour of Japan. You will of course see modern Tokyo and beautiful Mt Fuji as well as historical Kyoto and Nara.
A mega metropolis that fuses its historical past with hightech modern living
Explore the former captial famous for its Buddhits temples, gardens and imperial palaces.
Soaring majestically 3776 metres into the sky. The active volcano is Japan's tallest peak.
Admire the dramatic Matsumoto Castle.
Meander through the 10,000 red torri gates of this impessive iconic shrine
Fly overnight from London to Tokyo
On arrival, you will be met by an English-speaking representative and transfer approximately 1 and a half hours to your hotel.
Please note: Early check in is not included. If your flight arrives in the morning and you wish to arrange this, please speak to your reservations consultant. Transfers will differ depending on group size, but you may share a coach with other passengers.
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you’ll find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Head to the 2nd observatory of the Tokyo Skytree for panoramic views over the city before taking a wander through the district of Asakusa stopping at the Sensoji Temple and Nakamise shopping street. Visit the Imperial Palace Plaza (you will not enter the palace itself) and the peaceful Hamarikyu Gardens. You will be on your feet for 4-5 hours during your touring in Tokyo. Enjoy your evening meal whilst leisurely cruising for one hour along Tokyo Bay. You will need to get on and off your boat this evening for your cruise on Tokyo Bay without assistance.
This morning there will be an early start, transferring to the station for the bullet train to Odawara. Your bullet train ride will be approximately 35 minutes. On arrival, transfer to tranquil Lake Ashi. Take a cruise across the lake before taking the Komagatake cable car for spectacular views of Mount Fuji and the lake below. Continue by coach to Japan's most iconic landmark - Mount Fuji. Start at the 5th Station for breathtaking views of Fuji. Please note, travelling to the 5th station at Mount Fuji is only possible if weather conditions permit it. Visit Fuji San World Heritage Centre (formerly Fuji Visitor Centre) for a wealth of information on the mountain and the Five Lakes area. Drive to either Kofu or Suwa to check in to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Please note that your luggage will be transferred separately from your hotel in Tokyo to your hotel in Takayama so you will need to pack an overnight bag for tonight. Due to your early start you may need to take a packed breakfast with you (provided).
This morning, drive 2 hours to Nagano to explore the formidable 16th century Matsumoto Castle. There are steep ladder-style steps in the Matsumoto Castle that you must climb up and back down again. If you choose not to look inside the castle, you can enjoy the surrounding gardens, moat and architecture of Matsumoto Castle. After lunch, stop at a Miso House to learn about the process of making this Japanese seasoning. Try Miso soup before travelling a further 2 and a half hours to Takayama, nestled high in the mountainous Hida region. In Takayama we use a selection of hotels, some of which are more traditional in style but you will be accommodated in Western-style rooms.
Head to the Miyagawa Morning Market, where you can sample some of the delicious local fruits and vegetables (at your own expense). Later, take a leisurely stroll round the traditional houses of the area and visit the museums stopping at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, Kusakabe Folk Museum, Takayama Jinya and Kamisannomachi Street. You will spend approximately 5 hours on foot today sightseeing around the town of Takayama
Travel 1.5 hours to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago, famous for its traditional Gassho-Zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. You will spend 1.5 hours on foot exploring the area. There are some stairs in the house to climb if you want to explore the higher levels. Continue on a journey of 1 hour to try your hand at making washi paper this afternoon, before driving to Kanazawa, a journey of approximately 1.5 hours. On arrival, visit the Nomura Samurai House before checking in to your hotel.
This morning, wander through the beautiful Kenroku-en, one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’, before strolling down the traditional Higashi Chaya Street. Sightseeing this morning will be approximately 3 hours. After lunch, drive 4 hours to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Start the day with a visit to the Ryoanji Temple and Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, due to its gold-like exterior. You will spend approximately 3 hours at the temples. After lunch, learn traditional Japanese handicrafts such as origami and enjoy the art of a traditional tea ceremony.
Travel 1 hour to Nara, stopping en route at the mesmerising Fushimi Inari Shrine. The Fushimi Inari Shrine stretches from the bottom to the top of Mount Inari (233 metres high). You will walk up part of the mountain; there are some steep steps and the incline allows a steady-paced walk. On arrival in Nara, visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden structure and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Also visit Isui-en Gardens, known for its natural ponds, sightseeing here will be about 3 hours on foot.
This morning, drive 2.5 hours to Koya-San, the centre of Shingon Buddhism. See Okunoin, Japan’s largest cemetery and home to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism. Next, visit the Kongobuji Temple and Garan temple complex. The walk through Okunoin Cemetery to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi is roughly 2km and sometimes you will be walking over uneven surfaces. Continue to Osaka, a journey of approximately 1.5 hours to check in to your hotel.
This morning, visit the famous Osaka Castle before taking a stroll around the Dotonbori district, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample delicious local delicacies. Next, enjoy a 20- minute cruise along the Yodogawa River. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure before a farewell dinner this evening
This morning is free at leisure before transferring to the airport for your return flight home.
Please note: Only breakfast is included today. Late check-out is not included in our Discover Japan tour. If you wish to book a late check-out for your final day in Osaka, please contact our reservations department who can confirm the additional price and make this arrangement for you, subject to availability at the hotel.