Essence of Japan
Ancient and ultra-modern sit shoulder to shoulder in Japan. Over two weeks, we’ll experience both, exploring high-paced cities, hushed shrines and temples, and serene gardens.
13 nights from £4399pp
Call us on 01756 706505 (+44 1756 706505) to discuss this holiday
We’ll attend a traditional tea ceremony, learn a little about geisha and samurai culture, catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji and whizz between cities on the sleek, slick Shinkansen (bullet train). We travel in spring, when cherry blossoms and hydrangea bloom, and autumn, when maple trees are a blaze of fiery red and orange.
Essence of Japan Itinerary
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Tokyo.
On arrival, we transfer by coach to the Keio Plaza Hotel (4T), located in Shinjuku, in the very heart of the Tokyo metropolis, for a two-night stay.
We embrace this dazzling city with a full day tour, taking in legendary landmarks - the moated Imperial Palace, the Ginza (Silver Mint) district, the five-storey Asakusa Kannon Temple and the 634m Tokyo Skytree. One of the star attractions is Meiji Shrine, the picturesque Shinto shrine set in a delightful tree-lined avenue.
The Five Lakes District is dominated by majestic Mt Fuji, an icon of world travel towering over this region of exceptional natural beauty - on a clear day, the snow-capped, conical volcano is mirrored on the placid waters of Lake Kawaguchi. From here we continue to Matsumoto and our accommodation, the Buena Vista Hotel (3T+) or Alpico Plaza Hotel (3T+).
This morning we visit Matsumoto Castle, a striking timber and stone structure with a unique moon-viewing turret. We also take time to sample sake at a traditional brewery. Our journey proceeds through the breathtaking Japanese Alps to the hill town of Takayama. Here we stop at the Hida Folk Village, a large open-air museum with a collection of antique houses from the region and a fabulous showcase of crafts and ancient traditions. We spend the next two nights at the Best Western Hotel Takayama (3T), Associa Takayama (3T) or Takayama Green Hotel (3T).
Our walking tour of Takayama, known as ‘little Kyoto’, is filled with fabulous attractions from the open-air flower and fruit market to the imposing government house.
We transfer by coach to Kanazawa, visiting the World Heritage Shirakawago Village en route. Kanazawa is a historic castle town, which boasts beautifully preserved samurai and geisha districts. Our sightseeing tour includes Omicho market and Higashi Chayagai. We then head to the Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel (4T), where we spend the night.
We pack overnight bags whilst our main luggage is transferred to Kyoto for our arrival on day 10. A sightseeing tour of Kanazawa this morning includes the gorgeous Kenroku-en Garden and Buke-Yashiki (Samurai's house). We then transfer to Kanazawa Station to depart for Hiroshima by JR Limited Express Train and JR Bullet Train. On arrival, we head to the Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima (4T) or Grand Prince Hiroshima (4T) to spend the next two nights.
Our journey begins at Miyajima Port to catch a ferry over to Miyajima Island, otherwise known as Itsukushima or Divine Island. On arrival we admire the elaborate gate, Itsukushima Shrine, rising majestically out of the sea, and spend time strolling through the park, which dazzles with beautiful maple in autumn. On our return to Hiroshima, we take a walking tour around Peace Memorial Park to see the Flame of Peace, continually burning to symbolise the hope for worldwide peace. Our tour concludes with a visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum, just a short walk from our hotel.
We transfer to Hiroshima Station for our JR Bullet Train journey to Shin Osaka, where we board our coach for Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan. Attractions here include the famous Todaiji temple, which was built in 794 and became the guardian temple for the city. The building is claimed to be the oldest wooden structure in the world and houses a huge bronze Buddha. We also visit Nara Park, also known as Deer Park, to see hundreds of freely roaming deer. Our adventure proceeds to culturally-rich Kyoto, known historically as ‘Hana No Miyako’, the flowering capital with its wealth of fine architecture in its shrines and temples, gardens with their profusion of colour and variety of art and craft shops. We spend time in the Gion area, the country’s most famous geisha district, before heading to the Kyoto Hotel Okura (4T), Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto (4T) or Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (4T), to enjoy a two night stay.
Highlights of this morning’s tour include the wonderful Ryoanji Temple, a Zen temple with a famous rock garden, and also the beautiful Kinkakuji Temple, or the ‘Golden Pavilion’, whose top two floors are completely bedecked in gold leaf. We also visit Nijo, a fortified castle with ornate audience halls and unique ‘nightingale’ floors designed to replicate the sound of the nightingale song when stepped on.
After further exploration of Kyoto, including the Kiyomizu Temple, we also enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. We later take the JR Bullet Train from Kyoto to Mishima and continue to Hakone. We stay at the Hakone Sengokuhara Prince Hotel (3T+), Prince Hakone Lake Ashinoko Hotel (3T+) or Hakone Highland (3T+).
This morning we embark on a cruise on Lake Ashi, from where stunning views of the snow-capped mountains can be seen. We continue by cable car to the Owakudani Valley and Hot Springs, lying in the crater of Mt Hakone. We later enjoy marvellous views of Tokyo Bay before continuing to the Crowne Plaza ANA Narita (3T).
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
- International and internal flights (when applicable)
- VIP door-to-door travel service
- Selected meals
- Excursions as noted
- Services of a Titan tour manager
- Airport/port taxes