Cultural Excursion

Japan Highlights: Kyoto, Mt. Fuji & Tokyo

Kyoto, Japan

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Prices From: $1,478 per person

Tokyo, Kyoto & Hakone. Japan's highlights at a glance.

Strapped for time but want to experience the essentials of Japan without too much rushing around? This 7-day Japan Essential Itinerary begins in Kyoto and ends in Tokyo. Fly into Osaka's airport just outside of Kyoto then spend your first couple of days exploring ancient Kyoto and nearby Nara. Then continue east by bullet train to the metropolis of Tokyo. Spend time exploring this fascinating city and take a day to visit beautiful Hakone and scenic Mt. Fuji.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1- Arrival In Japan

We will arrange for you to transfer from the airport to Kyoto using the shared taxi service offered by Yasaka Taxis. After you have been through customs and into the arrivals lobby you will need to make your way to the 'Yasaka Kansai Airport Desk'. You will then be shown to your vehicle for the transfer to your Kyoto accommodation. Journey time will be in the region of 90 minutes depending on traffic. Please note that there will be some other drop-offs as well as your own in Kyoto. Located in the back streets behind Higashi Honganji Temple, the Shimizu is a modern ryokan built in the classic Japanese style. The rooms are immaculately kept with new tatami mats and wooden floors in the 'genkan' at the entrance to each room. All rooms have attached bathrooms but a large Japanese style bath is also available for private use, often with herbs or fruit in the water adding to this relaxing experience.

Overnight: Ryokan Shimizu

Day 2 - Kyoto Full Day Tour

Today you will have a full day tour of the city by public transport with a private guide. Your guide will come to your accommodation at around 9:00 AM and take you on tour that will encompass some of the more famous sights but also some lesser known places of interest. With a knowledgeable local by your side you will be set for a great day in this amazing city and are sure to discover things that you might otherwise miss. Please let us know in advance if there are any sights you particularly wish to see, or areas of interest you have, as we can pass this information on to the guide for you. Your day of guiding will finish at around 5:00 PM either back at your accommodation or anywhere else in the city you wish to spend the evening.

Overnight: Ryokan Shimizu (Breakfast included)

Day 3 - Kyoto Free Day

Today you might like to take advantage of your time in Kyoto by making a day trip to Nara. Nara lies just 40 minutes by local train from Kyoto and is renowned for the wealth of its Buddhist and Shinto heritage. Today Nara retains many dramatic sights as reminders of its former power and influence. The daibutsu or big Buddha is hugely impressive as is the huge wooden structure which houses it, to this day, the world's largest wooden building despite the current structure being a third smaller than the original. The myriad of shrines and temples are all set against the backdrop of the low lying mountains and in the midst of Nara park which is famously home to a vast population of pesky deer who given half a chance, will munch on your guide books, umbrellas, scarves, and about anything else they can get their noses into! You can also buy official deer cookies to feed them with but do so at your own peril! Trains run regularly between Kyoto and Nara starting shortly after 5 AM and continuing until late in the evening. Timetables and sightseeing suggestions for the day will be in your Info-Pack.

Overnight: Ryokan Shimizu (Breakfast included)

Day 4 - Kyoto - Tokyo

You will be making the journey from Kyoto to Tokyo by Shinkansen. Journey time is between 2h16 and 2h45. We will be supplying you with Nozomi Super Express tickets for this journey. This afternoon enjoy a Tokyo tour to Ginza shopping district, the Imperial Palace, a Sumida River Cruise, and a visit to Asakusa Kannon Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street. Your ryokan in Tokyo, Annex Katsutaro, is full of history and culture amid unsurpassed natural scenery. It is located in the Yanaka/Sendagi Area, in a historical section of Tokyo called Shitamachi.

Overnight: Annex Katsutaro (Breakfast included)

Day 5 - Mt. Fuji And Hakone

Today you will be making a full day excursion to Mt Fuji and the Hakone National Park. Your day will get underway with the drive to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji from where, weather permitting, you will be able to take in the spectacular views before moving to Hakone, where you will board a cruise boat and travel across Lake Ashi to Hakone-en Garden. From the garden, you will take the ropeway up Mt. Komagatake for a spectacular panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and the valley below. Lunch is included. In the late afternoon you will begin the drive back to Tokyo arriving early evening. The tour drops off in the Ginza and Shinjuku from where you will make your way back to your hotel.

Overnight: Annex Katsutaro (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 6 - Tokyo Free Day

Tokyo is one of the world's most vibrant cities and today you will have a full day available to explore the sights, shops and restaurants! Although initially a little overwhelming, Tokyo's first class public transport system makes getting around quick and easy and with careful planning you can see a lot in a short space of time. Armed with a good map and your complimentary Info-Pack you will be fully equipped to discover Tokyo. Your Info-Pack will be full of information, ideas and advice to help you get the most out of all your destinations.

Overnight: Annex Katsutaro (Breakfast included)

Day 7 - Departure From Japan

You will transfer by shuttle bus today to Tokyo Narita Airport, the driver will wait for you at the lobby of the hotel with a sign with your name on it. Please note that as other people will be in the same bus there may be a few stops before you arrive at the airport (maximum of 3 other stops). Journey time is around 2 hours and this is a comfortable and easy way to make today's transfer.


Region: Asia - North and East



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General Information

The price includes:

  • All accommodation as mentioned in Japanese-style room with shared bathroom
  • All transport as mentioned
  • Meals as mentioned
  • All transport as mentioned
  • Bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo
  • Shared shuttle bus from Nippori to Narita
  • All activities as mentioned
  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Comprehensive tailor-made Info-Pack
  • Full telephone support from English-speaking staff in Japan

The price excludes:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Optional activities
  • Taxes & Fees
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Local transport except where specified
  • Entrance fees unless otherwise stated
  • Expenses of a purely personal nature