City skyline | Tokyo | Japan
FROM: AUD $7,125 pp
Heart of Japan - 11 days map

Uncover the heart of Japan on this 11-day escorted group tour from Tokyo. See highlights of the Japanese capital including Senso-ji and Meiji Shrine and opt for a day trip to coastal Kamakura. Explore Hakone and enjoy views of Mount Fuji, then head to ancient Kyoto for a mix of sightseeing and leisure time. Visit the sobering Peace Park in Hiroshima, take the ferry to tranquil Miyajima Island and explore downtown Osaka before heading back to Tokyo.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Tokyo - See highlights including Senso-ji, the Meiji Shrine and Asakusa with guided sightseeing
Mount Fuji - Marvel at one of Japan's most famous landmarks, with free time in Hakone to take in the views
Hiroshima - Pay your respects at the memorials to the atomic bomb, and take an included ride on the ferry to charming Miyajima island
Hakone - Cruise Lake Ashi aboard a pirate ship and ride the Hakone Ropeway cable car for amazing views of Mount Fuji
Kyoto - Tour the traditional geisha district and join a specially curated tour of the city with our tour leader
Osaka - Explore the city's lively downtown, enjoy a free morning to visit Osaka Castle if you wish, and opt for a fun street food tour

Included

10 breakfasts & 2 dinners
Escorted by a tour leader
All relevant transportation and transfers including by minibus and train
Cable car and boat ride across Lake Ashi in Hakone
Visit to Hiroshima’s Peace Park Museum
Information pack on arrival
9 nights 3-4 star hotels & 1 night traditional ryokan
Shared airport arrival transfer on day 1 and shared airport departure transfer on day 11
Transport card with 2,500 Yen (USD $16) credit for city transport
Evening walking tour of Kyoto’s Gion geisha district
Luggage forwarding from Tokyo to Kyoto and from Hiroshima to Tokyo
Shared portable Wi-Fi access throughout trip

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

Days 1-3

Tokyo sightseeing

Upon arrival in Tokyo, you will be greeted by a driver and taken to our hotel in Ikebukuro by shared transfer. Our tour leader will meet you there to kick off the trip with a welcome meeting and dinner.

Day 2 will be packed with a walking tour of Tokyo, also making use of public transport. We will see the oldest temple in the city, Senso-ji, explore the Asakusa district, and see the famous Meiji Shrine.

On day 3, you can choose to stay in Tokyo and further explore the Japanese capital independently. Or you can join our tour leader for an optional day trip to Kamakura. At this poular seaside town, take in the 'great Buddha' of Daibutsu and the temple of Hase-dera, with an included afternoon hike into the forest before you return to Tokyo.

Accommodation: The B Ikebukuro or similar
Overnight: Tokyo (3)  |  Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 1

Day 4

Hakone, Mount Fuji & ryokan stay

Tokyo - Hakone. Today we leave Tokyo's glistening skyscrapers behind and journey to Hakone, a picturesque national park where Mount Fuji stands tall.

While in Hakone, we embark on a boat ride across Lake Ashi and catch sight of Mount Fuji from the Komagatake Ropeway or cable car, which will take us up the mountainside for exploration. You can also sample the 'black eggs' that the area is famous for, boiled in the bubbling hot springs of Hell Valley.

For the night, experience a stay at a charming traditional ryokan inn featuring tatami mat floors, futon mattresses, and indoor and outdoor hot spring baths. Hot spring bathing is a cherished part of Japanese culture, so be sure to take advantage of this relaxing experience.

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

Days 5-6

Exploring Kyoto

Hakone - Kyoto. With over 2,000 temples and shrines, Kyoto is a treasure trove of Japanese tradition and history. On day 5, we travel to Kyoto at high speeds by bullet train. On arrival our tour leader guides you through the city's backstreets to the enchanting Gion district, where you may catch a glimpse of a geisha.

Our itinerary for day 6 is flexible, our tour leader will take into account the season and weather, as well as any group preferences to help you see even more of Kyoto. Alternatively, if you wish to further explore Kyoto solo, you may do so. Perhaps engage in activities like yuzen dyeing, attend a kimono show, or visit the Toei Movie Park. For manga enthusiasts, there is also a museum dedicated to Japan's renowned comic book culture.

Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Shijo or similar
Overnight: Kyoto (2)  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 7

Miyajima Island

Kyoto - Hiroshima. Take a bullet train to Hiroshima and then a short ferry ride to Miyajima, a small island known for its stunning natural beauty, friendly deer population, and the iconic Itsukushima Shrine. Later in the day, we enjoy an included dinner, comprising the local specialty, okonomiyaki. This savory pancake is made with noodles and vegetables cooked on a hotplate at your table.

Accommodation: Washington Hotel or similar
Overnight: Hiroshima  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8

Hiroshima to Osaka

Hiroshima - Osaka. Today, we explore Hiroshima's solemn Peace Park and Museum, offering a poignant reflection on the events of World War Two and promoting a message of peace for the future.

We then board another bullet train, this time bound for Osaka. We recommend heading out to explore the cool downtown area of the city, and you may also wish to join an optional street food tour. Sample dishes including octopus balls, kushikatsu deep-fried skewers and a range of tiny bars and food stalls tucked away in back streets.

Accommodation: Cross Hotel Osaka or similar
Overnight: Osaka  |  Breakfast

Days 9-11

Back to Tokyo

Osaka - Tokyo. Spend the morning of day 9 relaxing in the hotel or further exploring Osaka at leisure. You could visit Osaka Castle, or enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation deck at the Umeda Sky building.

In the afternoon, we make our way back to Tokyo by train. We are staying in the upmarket Ginza area this time, which is packed with boutique shops and restaurants, as well as the famous Tskukiji wholesale fish market - a wonderful place to enjoy your last sushi meal!

Day 10 is our last full day, and it's free for you to tick off any final sightseeing or souvenir shopping in Tokyo. We suggest heading to the SkyTree for incredible views across the city, heading to Nakano Broadway or Akihabra if you want to take a deep dive into manga and anime ‘geek culture', visiting the bustling Shinjuku district to glimpse the busiest train station in the world, or opting for the quieter Yanaka area for a taste of local Tokyo life. Whatever you want to do, our tour leader will be on hand to help you plan your day. There's an optional farewell group dinner in the evening.

On day 11, our tour comes to an end after breakfast. There is an included shared transfer back to the airport.

Accommodation: Vista Tokyo Tsukiji or similar
Breakfast x 3

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 (9 nights). They will be asked to share with another single traveller of the same sex at the Japanese style stay (maximum 1 night).

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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.

Mitsui Garden Hotel, Kyoto

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Mitsui Garden Hotel is a good mid range hotel located on one of Kyoto's main avenues, Shijo. The Yuzen Gallery of silk dying and Mibu Temple are just a few minutes walk away and all of Kyoto's sights are easily reached from here. The hotel was renovated in February 2010 and features modern and comfortable fully ensuite rooms. You can also use the on‐site traditional Japanese style bath house if you wish. The hotel has its own restaurant and bar/cafe.

Cross Hotel, Osaka

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Cross Hotel is a smart hotel located on Dotombori, one of the most famous and lively streets in all of Japan, never mind Osaka. The hotel has been recently refurbished in a sleek, modern design, giving it something of a boutique feel. Rooms are well designed and generously sized. The hotel is well located near a plethora of restaurants and bars in the surrounding streets and the onsite Lime Restaurant serves a buffet lunch and breakfast.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Tokyo
Ends
Tokyo
Departs
Wednesdays
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 16
Hotel Rating
3-4 star hotels & traditional ryokan
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour leader
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Dinner: 2
Countries
Minimum Age
6 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
Yes
View of Miyajima from across the water in Hakone
Beautiful lake with a temple in the background in springtime in Kyoto
Hiroshima memorial, dedicated to those lost in the tragedy
City of Osaka, lit up at night
Rainbow Bridge, stretching across the water in Tokyo, lit up at night
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