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Tour highlights

  • See the 'cooler' side of Tokyo on a number of private tours in the city.

  • Grab a kayak and circle Japan's most famous gate at Itsukushima Shrine.

  • Learn to write Japanese characters using brush and 'washi' paper.

  • Enjoy a private Taiko drumming lesson in Kyoto and practising how to become a 'ninja'.

  • Stay in your own 'townhouse' in Kyoto with a visit later to see the 'geisha' in Gion.

Price includes

  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodations

Itinerary idea in detail

Ask us if you would also like us to arrange your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • After passing through customs and luggage collection, you're met by an airport guide who will give you your trip documents and direct you to the shared shuttle service which takes you to your hotel. After checking in, spend the rest of the day at leisure, resting and relaxing after your flight. If you do feel like starting exploring, you may wish to walk around the Imperial Gardens.

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  • Your guide will meet you today in the hotel lobby to run through your trip and offer any local advice to you so you can enjoy the country with confidence. In the first section the guide will explain your itinerary in more detail and answer any questions you might have. They can also assist with validating your Japan rail pass. This can take up to two hours so afterwards head out with your guide to see some of the highlights of the city. In the evening, head out with a guide to sample some of the local Tokyo cuisine in the vibrant district of Meguro.

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  • Odaiba is a man-made island out in Tokyo which is easily reached by monorail, a fun way to see the city from above. Once in Odaiba, there is everything for the whole family to enjoy; trick museum, future driverless cars, walking robots, a super 'Science of the Future' museum, fantastic shopping and even a reconstructed traditional hot spring bath-house to relax in after all that!

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  • One of Tokyo's highlights and highly acclaimed studios is the Ghibli Museum, the mecca for all those anime (Japanese cartoon) lovers. It's an interactive display of design with fun displays for the young and old to enjoy. After lunch, head over to Nakano broadway to try your hand at drawing the popular Japanese cartoon Manga.

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  • Take the bullet train further West to the city of Hiroshima. Upon arrival, head out to see the atomic bomb memorial monument and peace museum.

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  • One of Hiroshima prefecture's highlights is the gate of Itsukushima Shrine, often referred to as Miyajima torii, particularly beautiful at high tide. What better way to see it at this time than from a kayak. For half a day you will enjoy kayaking toward the gate and around it (weather permitting). Once finished here, head onto the island to enjoy the shrine itself and the tame deer that enjoy the attention of visitors. Take a fast ferry back to Hiroshima city and through the canals up to the peace park.

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  • Your second bullet train journey takes you back east to Kyoto, the city of temples and gardens. It is here you can enjoy a unique stay in a 'machiya' (townhouse) if you wish right in the heart of the city, with your own amenities including kitchen, washing machine and living area. You could explore the immediate area around your townhouse or head over to the impressive International Manga (Japanese comic) Museum for a few hours.

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  • In the morning, gain an insight to the fabled ninja who existed in the shadows of feudal Japan. An instructor will guide you how to throw shuriken (throwing stars) and become acquainted with a ninja's arsenal.

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  • Have the chance to learn about traditional taiko drumming by watching a performance then taking a lesson on the origins of this 6th century art form. Try on a drummer's outfit and grab a pair of drumsticks and have a go yourself.

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  • Spend the morning in Kyoto. There are plenty of interesting museums in the city that work well for families. The samurai and ninja museum and the anime museum could be good options. Upon your return to Kyoto, head out with one of our local geisha experts for an evening tour of the geisha district.

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  • Spend a day exploring the Fushimi-Inari shrine to the Southeast of Kyoto, famous for the thousands of red torii gates that spill out onto the hillside. Afterwards, visit the old capital of Nara to see the impressive Golden Buddha and expansive park roamed by wild deer.

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  • Your final bullet train east will take you to Hakone National Park, famed for its numerous hot spring resorts, traditional inns and viewing points of Mount Fuji. Using your Hakone Free Pass (included), you will circle the park on funicular train, cable-car (or bus if you prefer) and boat on Lake Ashi. On the way there are a number of open-air art museums too which are great for all the family. Check into your Japanese inn, or ryokan, for one night including the use of hot spring bathing - a staple of Japanese society - and 'kaiseki' evening meal, lots and lots of little tapas-style Japanese dishes using local seasonal ingredients.

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  • If time allows, head to Yunessun Spa resort, a hugely fun if not odd hot spring 'theme park' with baths that look like you're sitting in a noodle soup bowl amongst others. This is very popular with kids and kids at heart alike! Afterwards return to Tokyo for your final night in the capital. This is a good chance to see another part of the city, or do any last-minute shopping before heading home.

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  • Make the short journey back to Tokyo for your final night in Japan.

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  • You will be picked up and taken to the airport by shared transfer for your return flights home.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
July is one of the best times to visit
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Miyajima Island
Hakone & Mount Fuji
Audley Travel specialist Tamatha

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