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Classic Japan

  • Tokyo
  • Kanazawa
  • Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
Classic Japan Classic Japan
£ 6795

The classic Japanese sights wrapped into one memorable holiday, featuring Hiroshima and the well-preserved highland cities of Kanazawa and Takayama.

After experiencing the bright lights and ceaseless energy of Tokyo, a super-efficient express train will zip you through countryside to Kanazawa with its fascinating samurai quarter. Continue to Takayama with its exquisitely preserved old town and atmospheric Edo-era buildings.

From there its onto Kyoto which will introduce you to geishas, tea ceremonies and numerous temples and gardens. Risen from the ashes of war, the vibrant city of Hiroshima is next, followed by the utterly beautiful island of Miyajima and its giant “floating” torii gate. Your Classic Japan tour then ends with a final night back in Tokyo.

15 days from
per person

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    Detailed Itinerary
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    Day 1-4 London - Tokyo
    London - Tokyo

    Arrive in Tokyo and check in to your hotel at the top of the second-highest building in the city. Your private tour, complete with an expert guide, takes you onto the fabulous public transport system – in true Tokyo fashion – to diverse attractions that include the old downtown area with its history and ancient Senso-ji Temple.

    Or – for something completely different – the fashion hub of Shibuya with its leading-edge styles. Quarters like Roppongi and Shinjuku (Kabukicho) specialise in contemporary and traditional entertainment, whilst the Sony Building in Ginza is the place to be if you’re interested in the latest hi-tech devices. Arrive early at Tsukiji fish market and you’ll be able to sample sushi for breakfast, but for a taste of old Edo you should make your way to the atmospheric Asakusa district.

    Stay: Three nights in a Deluxe King Room at the Palace Hotel Tokyo – bed & breakfast

    Day 5-6 Kanazawa

    A visit to a geisha house is a must for visitors to Japan, and the perfect place to learn more about this ancient art is in the old city of Kanazawa. From Tokyo, you’ll travel by high-speed railway to this preserved historical city where, as well as several geisha districts, you’ll find a samurai quarter, a ninja temple and the outstanding Kenrokuen Gardens, rated amongst the best landscape gardens in Japan. You’ll be accompanied by a private guide whose knowledge and insights will help you appreciate the true wonder of Kanazawa.

    Stay: Two nights in a Deluxe King Room at the Hyatt Centric Kanazawa – bed & breakfast

    Day 7-8 Takayama

    Today you’ll take the bus to Takayama via the traditional village of Shirakawago. This small city, surrounded by the Hia, Kiso and Akaishi Mountains, was once regarded as sacred and its ancient inns, historic tea houses, merchant’s mansions and overhanging roofs will take you straight back to the Edo period. Takayama also features many shrines, temples and the Hida Folk Village just outside town. Don’t miss the chance to sample the local sake.

    Stay: Two nights in a Japanese-style room at Hanaougi Bettei Iiyama – breakfast & dinner

    Day 9-11 Kyoto

    No trip to Japan would be complete without an exploration of Kyoto. You’ll reach the city by train from Takayama via Nagoya, and check in to your luxury hotel in the Higashiyama Shichijo district. Immersed in the traditional cultural heart of Kyoto, you’ll find yourself within easy reach of the Sanjusangendo Temple, the Kyoto National Museum and countless shrines and landmarks.

    Alongside a private guide, you’ll be able to lose yourself in the busy lanes and hidden alleyways that characterise old Kyoto and come to appreciate the mysteries of the geiko and maiko, not to mention fan dancing, shamisen playing, Japanese wordplay and social etiquette.

    Stay: Three nights in a Twin Room Annex at the Kanra Kyoto – bed & breakfast

    Day 12-13 Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
    Hiroshima & Miyajima Island

    Journey by bullet train through extraordinary countryside to Hiroshima. Out of the horrific disaster that ended the Second World War, Hiroshima has risen like a phoenix and is now a bustling, charming town gathered around a poignant Peace Park and Museum. Your private guide will take you to visit Hiroshima Castle, Shukkei-en Garden with its quaint tea houses and the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art containing fabulous paintings by both Japanese and international artists.

    You’ll also pay a visit to the much-loved Miyajima Island just off the coast of Hiroshima. You’ll take a local train and a ferry past the floating torii gate to land on the island famed for the Itsukushima Shrine. After wandering around the shrine, a cable car will take you to the summit of Mount Misen, offering breath-taking views across the Inland Sea. Walking is also a great way to discover Miyajima’s many temples, bustling shopping street and time-untouched local village. The island’s sacred deer roam freely, but the resident monkey population is more circumspect about showing itself.

    Stay: Two nights in a Deluxe Room at Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel – bed & breakfast

    Day 14 Tokyo

    From Hiroshima, return 900km by bullet train back to Tokyo.  Stay at the fabulous Park Hyatt Hotel for your final night in Japan, an iconic hotel thanks to the director Sofia Coppola who used the hotel as the setting for her critically acclaimed film Lost in Translation. 

    Stay: One night in a Park Deluxe Room at the Park Hyatt Tokyo – bed & breakfast

    Day 15 Tokyo - London

    Today your Japan adventure comes to an end. A private car will transfer you to Haneda Airport to check for your flight back to London. You’ll arrive at London Heathrow the same day.

    When to go to Japan
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    • We have travelled with TUTC six times, the most recent was to New Zealand last year. The trip was very well organised as usual, with excellent accommodation and a wide variety of experiences. We had booked to go to Australia with them this year but due to Covid this was cancelled, Ultimate handled the situation very professionally and promptly refunded the whole of our deposit without any quibble.

      DN, August 2020