A trip for first-time visitors to Japan who want to see its highlights within a short period of time. Largely self-guided, this itinerary offers independence and flexibility. Begin in Tokyo, taking in the Tsukiji fish market and the temple at Asakusa, among other sights. Make a day trip to Kamakura to see its Giant Buddha, then move on to Kyoto. Considered to be Japan’s cultural heartland, here you can visit the Golden Pavilion, sample traditional cuisine, and spot geisha. End with a poignant visit of Hiroshima. A Japan Rail Pass is included, which allows you to travel on the efficient bullet train network.
Take in Tokyo's famous fish market.
See the giant bronze Buddha at Kamakura.
Visit Kyoto's Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, and other temples.
Travel by super-fast bullet train.
Go to Hiroshima to see the Peace Park Museum and Atomic Bomb Dome.
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Treat this trip purely as a starting point for your own tour to Japan. Your specialist will ask you what you want and then shape your itinerary to match.
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Day 1 Tokyo
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.
Day 2 Tokyo
Day 3 Tokyo
Spend the day exploring Kamakura, a pretty seaside town which was once Japan's capital and is home to the Great Bronze Buddha. You can take the train there unaccompanied - trains depart regularly from Tokyo and the journey takes an hour and a quarter. There are many temples and shrines which you can visit here; one of our favourites is the Hase Kannon Temple.
Day 4 Kyoto
Today travel by bullet train to Kyoto, home to some of Japan's most important works of art, its richest culture and its most refined cuisine. This is a journey of around three hours. In the afternoon, we can arrange for you to take part in a private cultural activity at Kyoto's Women's Association. With the help of experienced English-speaking practitioners, you can have an introduction to Japanese culture by trying a tea ceremony.
Day 5 Kyoto
A whole day at leisure to explore Kyoto. We suggest starting at Nijo Castle, visiting a few covered markets and the Nishiki-dori food market to sample some Japanese delicacies such as squid, octopus, eel and matcha powder sweets. Wander the narrow streets of Gion, the Geisha district, and visit a few of Kyoto's most iconic temples and shrines nearby.
Day 6 Kyoto
Day 7 Tokyo
Today we suggest taking a day trip to nearby Nara, Japan's ancient capital and celebrated for its Giant Buddha and Todaiji Temple. Returning to Kyoto visit Fushimi Inari Shrine to see its 'tunnels' of red torii gates swirling up the hillside. The journey can be made independently and the train journey each way lasts just under an hour. Return to Tokyo in the afternoon/early evening for a final night in the capital.
Day 8 Return home
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