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The Cultural Heart of Japan

Japan
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A holiday to Japan, nicknamed ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’, is full of surprises, tradition, and stunning natural scenery. Let yourself be awed by the colors and flavors of this mesmerizing country as you travel through the doors of time and step into another era..

This trip to the cultural heart of Japan will delight lovers of nature and traditions. While visiting the essentials of Japan, you will discover the authenticity this country in the heart of a rich and lush nature From the hustle and bustle of Tokyo to the majestic mountains of mount Fuji, the beginning of your holiday to Japan already foretells of the contrast of this enigmatic country. Dive head on into history and culture with a visit to the Samurai district of Kanzawa, and a day exploring the merchant mansions and breweries of Takayama.

Nature lovers will delight in leisurely hikes in ancient forests and an exploration of the Japanese Alps and its small villages, most notably, the beautiful thatched houses of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawa-Go. On the program for your holiday to Japan : nature and culture between mountains, seas and volcanoes… What are you waiting for?

Duration
15 days
Based on your travel dates & customizable
From
£2751
per person
excluding international flights
Request a quote
The Shanti Travel touch
  • More than 15 years of experience in Asia
  • Dedicated team of Travel Experts
  • Flexible and customisable programs
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A perfect holiday for...


expert-voyage
Fiona
Japan Travel Expert

Perfect for nature and culture lovers! This holiday to Japan is full of cultural discoveries and immersive moments in nature, my highlights are Higashi Chaya in Kanazawa, also known as the Geisha District with its beautiful wooden houses and trekking in the Japanese Alps!

Your tailor-made trip - Japan

Arrival at Tokyo International Airport
Day 1
Arrival at Tokyo International Airport

Welcome to Japan! | 75 km – 1h by bus

Welcome to the Land of the Rising Sun! Your holiday to Japan starts now! Upon your arrival in Tokyo, you will be greeted at the airport by an assistant who will help you get back to your hotel by public transport and teach you how to use the transport pass. Depending on your arrival time, why not set out to start your discovery of this bustling metropolis or try some delicious ramen? Get a good night’s sleep and prepare to explore Japan!


Tokyo
Day 2
Tokyo

Exploration of the capital

After a good night’s sleep, get ready to explore Japan’s bustling capital! In the company of your English-speaking guide, get to the heart of the city by discovering the must-see sites of Tokyo. From the gardens to the imperial palace and finally, a visit to the famous vibrant districts of Tokyo where you will enjoy getting lost and listening to all the little stories from your local guide.


Tokyo
Day 3
Tokyo

Another Side of Tokyo

Today, continue your exploration of the Japanese capital and take a walk in the Asakusa district, far from the clichés. Pass through the doors of time as you enter the Asakusa district, the historic center of the capital, and take your time as you breathe the charm of yesteryear in a Tokyo that is not forgotten. This vibrant district is the perfect way to see slip into the country's history on your trip to Japan!


Tokyo - Hakone
Day 4
Tokyo - Hakone

Towards Mount Fuji | 90 km – 1h by train

Today, leave the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and make your way to the Mount Fuji region and admire the mythical volcano from Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. Here, you can admire several charming shrines and temples scattered all over the lake. Hakone is also the perfect place to experience the Japanese hot springs called ”onsen” for some relaxation and one of the most peaceful moments of your holiday to Japan!


Hakone - Kyoto
Day 5
Hakone - Kyoto

Owakudani Volcanic Valley | 400 km – 1h50 by train

After relaxing in the Japanese hot baths, you can enjoy gentle hikes in the park along the lake to reach one of the higlights of Japan: Owakudani Volcanic Valley. Admire its famous fumaroles, steam vents, hot springs and hot rivers. The experience is definitely one of the highlights of a holiday to Japan and definitely worth the detour, and on clear days you may have the chance to see a spectacular panoramic view of Mount Fuji.


Kyoto
Day 6
Kyoto

“The Eternal City”

Today, set off to explore Kyoto, nicknamed “the Eternal City”, in the company of your English-speaking guide. Stroll the streets of Kyoto and witness ancient traditions, dazzling architecture and beautiful parks. The shrines and temples of the ancient Japanese capital will transport you to the past and you might be lucky enough to come across a Geiko.


Kyoto - Takao
Day 7
Kyoto - Takao

Back to nature

Leave the hustle and bustle of Kyoto for a day-trip to Takao where you set off for a gentle and pleasant hike. Visit the Kozan-Ji Temple and admire the view from the temple’s veranda overlooking the valley before continuing along a river lined with maple trees. You cross a small arched bridge before reaching Jingo-Ji Temple with its nearby waterfalls and pools and take your time to relax and stroll in the gardens at your own pace before making your back back to Kyoto.


Kyoto
Day 8
Kyoto

30,000 Torii

To continue your exploration of Kyoto, why not make your way to the largest Shinto shrine in Japan, Fushimi Inari Taisha, where 30,000 torii follow one another forming a red vault winding through the heart of the forest and the mountain. You then continue your journey by discovering the Philosopher’s Path, dotted throughout small temples and shrines. Visit the UNESCO-listed Ginkaku Ji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, a lacquered wooden pavilion surrounded by a soothing, streamlined garden nicknamed "The Sea of ​​Silver Sand".


Nara - Kanazawa
Day 9
Nara - Kanazawa

Nara, the city of deers | 270 km – 3h30 by train

Take a day trip to Nara, the former capital of Japan and walk in its large park where you can meet the city’s famous residents: the shika deer. Seeing these friendly animals will delight both young and old! It is very easy to approach them and they will surely come to tease you and search your bags. A great way to get some funny photos!


Kanazawa
Day 10
Kanazawa

Into the world of Samurais

Accompanie by an English-speaking guide, set out to discover the city of Kanazawa, located very near to the Japanese Alps. Visit one of the most beautiful gardens in the whole country, the Kenroku-En, which features typical Japanese landscaping and architecture. Take your time to stroll between ponds and streams, admiring the beautiful plants before making your way to Kanazawa Castle. Don’t forget to visit Nagamachi, the old samurai district and walk along its charming cobbled alleys admiring wooden houses that bring you into the heart of a bygone past.


Kanazawa - Takayama
Day 11
Kanazawa - Takayama

Last moments in Kanazawa

Today, you have a free morning in Kanazawa. Why not set out for a trek in the surrounding nature? Afterwards relax in a traditional ryokan where you can taste kaiseki delicacies and bathe in the thermal baths. Then, when you are ready to set off, take the train to the small town of Takayama, and spend the evening discovering charming little streets lined with beautifully preserved old houses.


Takayama
Day 12
Takayama

Merchant mansions and breweries

Today, explore the small town of Takayama, and discover charming little streets lined with beautifully preserved old houses. Dating from the Edo era, several of these wooden mansions have been converted to museums, such as the House of the Kusakabe Family or sake breweries – a great opportunity to have fun during a small tasting.


Shirakawa-Go
Day 13
Shirakawa-Go

The Japanese Alps | 50 km – 1h by bus

Take a day trip to the small village of Shirakawa-Go, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site for its large thatched-roof houses: the Gassho Zukuri. Take your time strolling through this quaint little village that almost resembles the chalets of the Swiss alps. Some of the minka can be visited during that day, allowing you to step inside one of these unique living spaces which can house up to fourty inhabitants. In the evening, make your way back to Takayama and enjoy the evening at leisure.


Takayama - Tokyo
Day 14
Takayama - Tokyo

Back to the capital | 400 km – 4h20 bytrain

Back from your trip to the heart of the Japanese Alps, you make your way to Tokyo where you will spend your last moments in the districts of Ginza and Shinjuku which will delight lovers of shopping and contemporary architecture. In the evening, make sure to wander around Shinjuku’s alleys lined with small bars and restaurants and watch the neon lights come on, inviting you to a world of entertainment, as the sun sets.


Goodbye Japan!
Day 15
Goodbye Japan!

Departure day | 75 km – 1h by bus

Enjoy a free half-day in Tokyo, the perfect opportunity to do some last-minute souvenir shopping or enjoy a last bowl of hearty ramen.
According to your flight schedule, make your way to either Tokyo Haneda or Narita Airport for your departure flight.

We hope you enjoyed your holiday to Japan!


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Travel terms and conditions

Price includes

  • The assistance of our Travel Experts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Government taxes and service taxes.
  • Accommodation as mentioned in the program.
  • Breakfasts.
  • Activities marked "included" as described in the program.
  • 14-day ordinary JR Pass (Japanese TGV - Shinkansen), unlimited transport (excluding Hiroshima).
  • Public transport cards credited with 1500 Yen.
  • The Hakone Pass, valid for 2 days.
  • Pocket Wi-Fi with unlimited internet access for the entire stay.
  • Does not include any other item not mentioned in the quote.

Price does not include

  • Visa fees and bank fees for payment by bank card or bank transfer.
  • International flights.
  • International airport taxes.
  • Insurance (we strongly recommend you take travel insurance for the duration of your travels abroad).
  • Repatriation assistance.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Any additional hours for the guide.
  • The tax linked to tourism (ex: 200 to 1000 Yen in Kyoto).
  • Tips.
  • The main meals (expect to pay between €5 to €15 in a local restaurant/meal/person). Except the meals mentioned in the program.
  • Visits and activities which are only suggested in the detailed itinerary.
  • Entrance fees, excursions and optional activities.
  • Transfers not mentioned and not included with the JR Pass.
  • Luggage transfers.
  • Reloading transport cards.
  • Anything not listed in the "prices include" section.

Details

  • Starting from £2751 per person based on 2 travellers
  • Quotation is subject to change according to availability, exchange rates and government tax rise. All the rates mentioned are based on current best available rate and can be modified at the moment of the booking.

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