Fly to Tokyo’s Narita Airport where you’ll be met and taken by shuttle bus, via some fabulous sights, to your central hotel.
Today you have the opportunity to mingle with the local residents of Tokyo as they go about their day-to-day business. You’ll go on a guided tour – using the city’s famous subway – of all the main sights, plus some of the more unusual and less known features of the city.
Your guide will be happy to tailor the sight-seeing to take in your specific interests. You’ll also be supplied with Manaca Cards, pre-loaded with 2,500 yen, for you to use throughout your stay in Japan, on public transport, in vending machines and convenience stores.
Stay: Two nights in a standard room in the Andaz Tokyo Hotel.
A fascinating journey lies ahead – especially if you like trains. Today you catch the world famous bullet train (a must-do for rail enthusiasts) and fast-track to Hakone, in just 40 minutes. At Odawara Station you’ll be met and taken to your hotel by private taxi. A complete contrast to Tokyo, here you’ll be staying in a ryokan perched on the side of a breathtakingly scenic mountain, amidst bamboo, cryptomeria and fragrant pine trees.
You’ll be close to Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji and the stunning Hakone National Park. You’ll also be able to explore the area by cable car, mountain railway and local buses – visiting charming traditional villages and an outdoor sculpture park – or go boating across beautiful Lake Ashi. You’ll enjoy a guided tour of Hakone itself and have a 2 Day Hakone Freepass; giving you the chance to roam at will.
Stay: Two nights in a Japanese-style room at Yamanochaya ryokan.
This morning you travel by Bullet Train to the ancient capital of Japan and its cultural centre. After checking in at your hotel you’ll have the opportunity to attend an authentic tea ceremony, conducted by a traditional Geisha clad in a gorgeous silk kimono. You gain an unforgettable insight into the art of the Geisha, including the graceful fan dance, intricate wordplay, shamisen playing and the social etiquette of a fast-disappearing era.
You’ll also have time in Kyoto to visit some of the 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll see world-class gardens, colourful festivals and sample exquisite food. You can explore the cultural heart of Japan, stroll around charming alleyways and browse through interesting museums like the Kyoto National.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room in the Kyoto Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Now you take the Shinkansen Bullet Train from Kyoto Station to Tokyo, whistling through the journey in under 165 minutes. After checking in at your hotel you can spend the rest of the day and evening catching up on the sights and nightlife you missed on your first visit.
Stay: One night in a standard room in the Andaz Tokyo Hotel.
Tokyo - London
Say goodbye to the Land of the Rising Sun. Take a shuttle bus for a last view of Tokyo on your way Narita Airport, and your flight back home.
Would you please pass on to 'your dream team' my heartfelt appreciation of their wonderful efforts to bring their unforgettable city to life for us all- LL, St Petersburg, 2013