Tokyo | Japan
FROM: USD $3,875 pp

Embark on a journey through Japan's iconic "golden route" with our Fuji, Lake Biwa & Kyoto tour. Explore Tokyo and the timeless charm of Kyoto, from ancient temples, and bustling markets, to delicious street food. Experience traditional Japanese hospitality with a stay at a ryokan inn in Hakone National Park, where stunning views of Mount Fuji await. And stay on the shore of shimmering Lake Biwa, taking time to explore historic sites and beautiful countryside.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Tokyo - Explore the Japanese capital at your own pace, with plenty of time for taking in the Meiji Shrine, Akihaba and more
Hikone - Tour Hikone-jo castle, a well-preserved fortress offering an insight into the legendary samurai
Kyoto - Enjoy an included walking tour of the Gion geisha district and spend free time exploring this ancient destination
Hakone - Stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan and enjoy majestic views of beautiful mount Fuji
Lake Biwa - Take a boat ride on the lake to Chikubushima Island and visit a wealth of historical sites

Included

9 breakfasts & 1 dinner
Escorted by a tour leader
All relevant transportation and transfers including by minibus and train
3-day Hakone Free Pass
Luggage forwarding from Tokyo to Lake Biwa
Shared portable Wi-Fi access throughout trip
7 nights 3-4 star hotel & 2 nights in traditional ryokan
Arrival transfer on day 1
Transport card with 4,500 Yen (USD $30) credit for city transport
Evening walking tour of Kyoto's Gion geisha district
Information pack on arrival

Not Included

International flights and visa
Any entrance fees including those for shrines, temples and museums
Local transport when not covered by one of the included passes
Baggage handling and luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Tokyo

Tokyo. Welcome to Japan! Upon your arrival at a Tokyo airport, our driver will assist you in boarding a shared shuttle bus to the Asakusa district, where your hotel is located.

Asakusa, hailed as Tokyo's traditional hub, boasts the majestic Senso-ji, the city's oldest temple, alongside a lively marketplace. After settling in, the remainder of the day is yours to unwind at the hotel or explore Asakusa. Later, join an evening welcome meeting, where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow adventurers.

Accommodation: Hotel Monday Asakusa or similar
Overnight: Tokyo

Day 2

Exploring Tokyo independently

Today you'll have the freedom to explore the city at your own pace. However, your knowledgeable tour leader will be on hand to offer recommendations and insights into Tokyo's top attractions.

Consider beginning your day with a visit to the ancient Meiji Shrine. Nearby, venture into the vibrant streets of Harajuku, where fashion and colorful energy collide. Explore quirky boutiques, sample street food, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this iconic neighborhood.

Afterwards, stroll through the serene Hamarikyu Gardens, where you can relax amidst lush greenery. Come nightfall, explore Tokyo's futuristic side in the district of Akihabara - famous for its neon lights and bustling arcades. Make the most of this free day, as the possibilities are endless!

Accommodation: Hotel Monday Asakusa or similar
Overnight: Tokyo  |  Breakfast

Days 3-4

Hakone & Mount Fuji

Tokyo - Hakone. Experience the stunning vistas and relaxing hot spring baths in Hakone, a picturesque national park just a short distance from Tokyo. In under an hour, via local train routes, we arrive at Hakone National Park, renowned for its natural beauty and the iconic Mount Fuji. While there, you can take a cruise across Lake Ashi on a pirate-themed boat, savour a black egg cooked in a geothermal spring, explore the sculptures at the Hakone Open-Air Museum, and revel in the breathtaking surroundings.

Throughout our stay, you will be treated to the traditional Japanese hospitality of a ryokan inn, where you will sleep on futon mattresses on tatami floors and have the opportunity to soak in the healing waters of an outdoor onsen hot spring bath. This experience is certain to be a memorable highlight of your trip!

Accommodation: Fuji Hakone Guest House or similar
Overnight: Hakone (2) (ryokan)  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 5

Lake Biwa

Hakone - Hikone - Lake Biwa. Our journey will proceed by bullet train to Hikone, where we will tour the castle constructed in the early 1600s. Unlike many other castles in Japan, Hikone-jo, with its inner moats, walls, and guard houses, has remained remarkably preserved, offering a fascinating insight into the era of samurai dominance. We will also visit Genkyuen Garden before heading to our hotel located along the lakeshore of Lake Biwa. Dinner will be provided at the hotel for the evening.

The following morning, we will take a boat ride across the lake to Chikubushima Island, a sacred site. This small uninhabited island boasts stunning views of Lake Biwa and is home to both a Buddhist temple, Hogon-ji, and a Shinto shrine, Tsukubusuma, dating back to the 700s and 400s respectively. These historical sites showcase the long-standing coexistence of Buddhism and Shintoism in the region.

Accommodation: Grand Park Makino or similar
Overnight: Lake Biwa  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 6-8

Exploring ancient Kyoto

Lake Biwa - Kyoto. Explore the ancient historical and cultural legacy of Kyoto, known as the "City of Ten Thousand Temples". Kyoto, once the imperial capital of Japan from 794 to 1868, is renowned for its historical significance and cultural richness. The city is home to numerous ancient temples and shrines, as well as traditional crafts that continue to be practiced to this day.

During our first day in Kyoto, you will have the opportunity to visit some of the city's remarkable attractions. With so much to uncover, Kyoto offers endless hidden treasures waiting to be explored. In the evening, there's a guided tour of Gion, Kyoto's well-preserved traditional district known for its geisha culture. As you stroll through the charming streets, you may even catch a glimpse of a geisha in traditional attire. The day concludes with a group dinner, allowing you to savor a delicious meal with your tour leader.

On the second day, you can choose to further immerse yourself in Kyoto's heritage or opt to travel to Nara using your Japan Rail pass. In Nara, you can visit the city's deer park and admire the majestic Todaiji Temple, home to the world's largest wooden building housing a colossal Buddha statue.

Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Shijo or similar
Overnight: Kyoto (3)  |  Breakfast x 3

Days 9-10

Return to Tokyo

Kyoto - Tokyo. Head back to Tokyo for an exhilarating last night in the city. Spend your final night in the lively district of Shinjuku, famous for its bright neon lights, energetic nightlife, and plethora of top-notch restaurants. It's the perfect spot to end your journey in a memorable way and raise a toast to an amazing trip. On your last morning, catch a ride on the limousine bus to the airport for your departing flight. We're confident you'll be back soon!

Accommodation: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku or similar
Breakfast x 2

Prices & Dates

Departure dates marked with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departures are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. There is no single supplement for this tour. Single travellers will have a single room free of charge at all of the western style hotels (at least 7 nights). They will be asked to share with another single traveller of the same sex at the Japanese style stays (maximum 2 nights).

Guaranteed Departure
2024
Twin Share
Single Room
USD $3,875
N/A
USD $3,875
N/A
2025
Twin Share
Single Room
USD $4,005
N/A
USD $4,005
N/A
USD $4,005
N/A
USD $4,005
N/A
USD $4,005
N/A
USD $4,005
N/A

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Fuji Hakone Guest House, Hakone

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Japanese Ryokan

Located in the Sengokuhara area of Hakone, the Fuji Hakone Guest House is one of the most popular inns for foreign visitors in the area. The owners, Mr and Mrs Takahashi have been welcoming visitors from all round the World to their inn since the early 1980s and to date have guests from nearly 100 different countries in their guestbook. The rooms are basic Japanese style and do not have attached bathroom facilities or toilets. However, the Guest House boasts some superb natural hot spring baths - indoors and outdoors - both of which can be booked for private use. A soak in these restorative creamy white onsen waters will leave you feeling extremely relaxed and your skin silky soft. You will have one night here. The staff all speak excellent English and the warm welcome you will receive is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, Tokyo

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Renovated in 2007, the chic Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku offers contemporary accommodation in Japan's capital. Guest rooms are tastefully furnished in a modern style with comfortable amenities. The hotel also offers a number of excellent dining options including the Villazza trattoria style restaurant and the Bar Ku Kon Shinjuku dining experience! Why not sip on a delicious cocktail by the crackling fire - a great way to spend the evening! Located in the west of the city - a short walk from Shinjuku train station.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Tokyo
Ends
Tokyo
Departs
Fridays
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 14
Hotel Rating
3-4 star
Tour Guide
Yes, escorted by tour leader
Meals
Breakfast: 9, Dinner: 1
Countries
Minimum Age
6 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
No
Rainbow Bridge, stretching across the water in Tokyo, lit up at night
View of Miyajima from across the water in Hakone
Beautiful lake with a temple in the background in springtime in Kyoto
Rainbow Bridge, stretching across the water in Tokyo, lit up at night
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