Discover Japan's contrasts, from its sleek, modern cities to ancient towns and traditional customs. Wander Tokyo's dazzling streets and hurtle along on the bullet train. View cutting edge technology at the Toyota manufacturing plant in Nagoya and then step back in time to discover the Old Town of Takayama. Stay at a traditional inn near Mount Fuji at Hakone and see the thriving Geisha culture in Kyoto. Japan is a place where ancient traditions remain untouched, while technology races into the future.
Days 1-4 Tokyo and Hakone
Plunge into Tokyo on a walking tour starting with some retails therapy in vigorous Harajuku. Relax amid the serenity of the Meji Jingu Shrine and gaze down upon the incredible city skyline from the Tokyo Tower, before a river cruise to the Asakusa Temple. Further unveil tantalizing Tokyo with a full day at leisure. After an early morning trip to the massive Tsukji Fish Market, travel by train to Hakone, a picturesque town famous for its hot springs and natural beauty. From your base at a Japanese-style inn, cruise on Lake Ashi-no for a chance to spot majestic Mount Fuji.
Days 5-8 Nagoya, Kiso Valley Villages and Takayama
Race through the countryside to Nagoya on the Shinkansen (bullet train) . View the amazing Toyota Motor Plant. Immerse yourself in the old-world atmosphere of the Kiso Valley villages og Magome and Tsumago before arriving in Takayama, filled with skillful artisans and sake breweries. Discover traditional houses and local museums including the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall and the Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum. A morning walking tour introduces you to the delight of Takayama before free time to explore the old-world charm of this delightful town.
Days 9 - 11 Kanazawa and Hiroshima
Learn the traditional art of paper making amid the thatched-roof farming houses of Shirakawago, before heading to Kanazawa. Wander among the ponds and tea-houses of beautiful Kenrokuen Garden and take part in a traditional tea ceremony. Browse the bustling Omichi Market and explore a former samurai quarter, before traveling by Shinkansen to the seaside city of Hiroshima, which has overcome its tragic past to emerge as a pleasant modern city. Take a ferry to Miyajima Island to see a brilliant red temple and Todaji gate, a symbol of Japan.
Days 12 - 15 Kyoto
Travel to Kyoto, then on to Nara, home to a rich array of World Heritage sites, including Todaiji Temple. On a walking tour you may even encounter some of the city's free roaming deer. Back in Kyoto, amble through the city's lovely gardens, historic Kiyomizydera Temple and the stunning Golden Pavilion, and unveil the geisha quarter at Gion. A scenic train passes through Arashiyama's hills, before a walk through a bamboo forest.
13 nights accommodation
1 night Ryokan accommodation
Breakfast daily and 2 dinners
10 day trains
Transport in air conditioned vehicles
Western tour leader
English speaking local guides
Return hotel transfers
Prices from £5000 per person
Other similar escorted tours available