Discover Japan

Special Tour 7 Days Availability: 2019-04-14
Japan Asia

Next Departure
April 14 to April 20

DISCOVER JAPAN – TOKYO, KAMAKURA & KYOTO

Get a taste of both old and new Japan with this seven-day tour. 

Experience the many contrasts of Japan, from the modern metropolis of Tokyo to enchanting Kyoto with its stunning temples and colourful Geisha district. Home to sumo wrestling, geishas, karaoke and onsens, the cultural exports of this enigmatic land have long-fascinated travellers. Take in the neon-tinged nightlife of Tokyo, head to the charming coastal town of Kamakura and discover thousands of years of culture and history in Kyoto.


Start
Tokyo, Japan
Finish
Kyoto, Japan
Destination
Japan
Physical rating
Grade 1 (Light walking  for all fitness levels.)
Group size
Min 4, Max 15

Trip Highlights


  Inclusions

ALL OUR SMALL GROUP TOURS HAVE NO LOCAL PAYMENTS, HIDDEN EXTRAS OR COMPULSORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS
Meals Meals
No meals are included on this tour
Accommodation Accommodation
Hotel/Ryokan (6 nights)
Transportation Transportation
Private airport transfers (on group basis) on Day 1, country travel in public transport (Trains, Shared vehicle)
Tour Leader Tour Leader
Accompanied by a Tour Leader throughout and local guides at sights visited
Included activities Included activities
  • Tokyo -Yoyogi Park
  • Tokyo – Meiji Shrine
  • Tokyo – Shibuya walking tour
  • Tokyo – metro day pass
  • Tokyo – Akihabara District walking tour
  • Kamakura – Daibutsu temple trail
  • Kamakura – Enoden line historic train
  • Kyoto – Gion District walk
  • Kyoto – Nishiki-Koji Market
  • Kyoto – Fushimi Inari Shrine

Not Included

  • International & Domestic Flights
  • Insurance: All types
  • Entry visa
  • Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry
  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned at the included section
  • Optional Activities, if any

Important notes

ARRIVAL TRANSFER
Arrival transfer is included on a group basis in the price of the trip. Please advise your travel agent of your flight times at the time of booking.
LEVEL OF FITNESS
This trip can be enjoyed by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is not bookable on this trip

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo

Konnichiwa! Welcome to Japan.
Bursting with contemporary urban culture, Tokyo has fascinating museums and world-class shopping plus neighbourhood backstreets stuffed with restaurants and karaoke bars. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned, but make sure you get here in time for this meeting. If you’re going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Your Tour Leader will be collecting your insurance and next of kin details so make sure you have these on hand. Afterwards, you’ll have some free time to explore Tokyo’s exhilarating nightlife. Perhaps take a walk down Shinjuku’s Memory Lane. This crowded alley of busy restaurants and bar stalls started in the 1940s and quickly gained infamy as a black-market quarter. Today it is one of the best spots to try some of Tokyo’s famous fast food.
Accommodation Accommodation
Grids Asakusabashi  Hotel or similar (1night)
Included Activities Included Activities
Orientation Tour
Meals Meals
None
Day 2: Explore Tokyo

This morning, venture out with your tour leader on the Tokyo metro to the buzzing Shibuya area and explore the well known and secret gems of Tokyo. Stop at Shibuya station where we look down on one of the busiest intersections in the world and visit the statue of Hachikō the famous loyal dog. Next, we head into a depachika for a mouth-watering array of tempting Japanese treats. Depachika are dazzling food halls that lurk beneath major department stores, where vendors sell everything from bento boxes for lunch to formal gifts and everyday groceries. Grab a picnic lunch (optional) as we are heading to Yoyogi Park, home to many events from the first Japan Olympics.

Afterwards, we visit Meiji Shrine. Enter via a massive Torii (gate) and the sights and sounds of the busy city are replaced by a tranquil forest. Approximately 100,000 trees were planted during the shrine’s construction and were donated from regions across the entire country. Meiji is a popular location for weddings and the traditional Shinto service can often be observed there.

Then we finish our journey with a visit to Harajuku, the home of quirky youth pop culture.

In your free time afterwards, you can maybe take in the historic Asakusa area. This is one of the older and more traditional parts of Tokyo and is often called the temple district. Here you can stop by Senso-ji, the city’s oldest temple – founded almost 1,400 years ago when Tokyo was nothing more than a fishing village.

If you’re pressed for choice or feeling a little lost in this enormous new city, consider doing an Urban Adventures tour, such as ‘Tokyo After 5’. Speak to your leader for more information. In the evening, there’s an incredible array of options for dinner – a hearty bowl of ramen, crispy tonkatsu (breaded, deep-fried cutlet), or snacks and beer at an izakaya – the list goes on!

 

Accommodation Accommodation
Grids Asakusabashi  Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities Included Activities
Tokyo – Yoyogi Park, Meiji Shrine, Shibuya walking tour, metro day pass
Meals Meals
No meals included on this day
Day 3: Tokyo to Kamakura

In the morning, jump on a train and make the one-hour journey from Tokyo to coastal Kamakura. Kamakura once served as the political centre for Japan from the 12th to the 14th century. Now it’s a great destination offering a variety of experiences – munch street food, take a hike in the mountains, or simply enjoy a walk on the beach. Get acquainted with the area with a ride the Enoden Train Line, which features heavily in Japan’s wildly-popular cultural exports of Manga and Anime and shuttles commuters from Kamakura and Fujisawa. You can catch it every 12 minutes between 5 am and midnight, and the round trip takes about an hour. Even if you’re not into animation, the electric rail line travels along the coast at a gentle pace, making it a great way to see some sights. Then, stretch your legs on the Daibutso Trail (approx. 3 hrs), which takes walkers over a partially paved track through lovely green gardens, past the Zeniarai Benten Shrine and finishes at the famous Buddha statue.
In your free time, maybe get your shopping on at Komachi Dori Street, a 360-metre-long stretch of food, souvenirs, clothes and drinks.

 

Accommodation Accommodation
Kakiya Ryokan or similar (1night)
Included Activities Included Activities
Kamakura – Daibutsu temple trail, Enoden line historic train
Meals Meals
None
Day 4: Kamakura – Free Day

Get up whenever you want, because today is all yours! Maybe explore different stops on the Enoden line, finding out the cute cafes by the rail, dine at the hidden Michelin Star restaurant cooking with the freshest ingredients from the area or soak in an onsen with the view of Mount Fuji. Or head to the beach for a super relaxing soak in the sea. Yuigahama and Zaimokuza are the most popular beaches in town and during July and August you’ll find beach huts and pop-up shops selling food and drink along with their shores. Enoshima is also one of the most popular destinations for the locals and an epic sunset with Fuji Mountain as the backdrop on the southern coast of the island is not to be missed.

 

Accommodation Accommodation
Kakiya Ryokan or similar (1night)
Included Activities Included Activities
None
Meals Meals
There are no meals included on this day

Day 5: Kamakura to Kyoto

Jump on board a train and make the three-hour journey to Kyoto. One of the city’s original names was Heian-Kyo, which literally translates to ‘tranquillity and peace capital’, and the thousands of temples, shrines and gardens make it a great place to unwind. In the afternoon, head to the Noshiki Market and stroll through ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’. It’s the perfect introduction to Kyoto’s regional specialties – from pickled vegetables hidden beneath layers of fermented rice to delicious and ornate Kyo-wagashi (Kyoto sweets), and other local produce. As the sun goes down, continue to Gion, the city’s cultural centre and most famous geisha district. You may catch a glimpse of an elegantly-attired geisha or maiko moving between teahouses here, though much of this high-class world of entertainment is still off-limits to outsiders.

 

Accommodation Accommodation
Grids Kyoto Shijo Kawaramachi or Similar (01 night)
Included Activities Included Activities
Kyoto – Gion District walk, Nishiki-Koji Market
Meals Meals
There are no meals included on this day
Day 6: Kyoto

Today, let’s head to one of the most photogenic spots in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. Famous for the thousands of vermillion-coloured torii (gates) which straddle the paths and trails in the area this shrine is dedicated to Inari the Shinto God of rice. Foxes are the messengers of Inari and so the shrine has many fox statues which line the path. If you have the energy the number of visitors thins out the higher up the hill you walk and the view from the top over Kyoto is well worth the climb.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore. With its many cultural landmarks and historical sites, and the abundance of traditional arts and literature, Kyoto is regarded as the cultural heart of Japan. Kyoto is also a city that lends itself to walking, and there are a number of paths available. Recommended is a gentle stroll through the nearby eastern hills along the ‘Path of Philosophy’ that links Ginkaku-ji, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, with Nanzen-ji Temple. This walk can be extended south through well-preserved ‘old town’ areas to Kiyamizu-dera (Temple of Clear Water) from where there is a justifiably famous view across a wooded gorge toward Kyoto. Also recommended, for those visiting in spring, is a visit to the theatre for a presentation of Miyako Odori (the Cherry Blossom Dance) performed by elaborately dressed maiko (apprentice geisha), or a visit to the extravagantly decorated Kinkakuji temple, immortalised in Yukio Mishima’s novel “The Golden Pavilion”. Another great stop is the architecturally impressive Higashi Honganji temple and the almost surreal Sanjusangendo, home to 1,001 statues of Kannon.

 

Accommodation Accommodation
Grids Kyoto Shijo Kawaramachi or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities Included Activities
Kyoto – Fushimi Inari Shrine, Bus Day Pass
Meals Meals
There are no meals included on this day
Day 7: Kyoto – Depart
Your trip comes to an end today and you can depart at any time after check out, normally at 10 am. If you are departing later and want to spend another day exploring Kyoto (and we don’t blame you!), you can discuss luggage storage with the hotel. If you’re staying on for a few days, speak to your tour leader for more information.

 

Included Activities Included Activities
None
Meals Meals
None

 

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