Picture soft, pink cherry blossom dancing in the breeze, snow-capped Mount Fuji emerging from the early morning mist and the lush green mountains of Hakone reflected in sparkling, crystal clear lakes. Japan is a fascinating enigma and an assault on the senses. A country of extreme contrasts, it’s one of the most exciting and beautiful destinations on the planet. Made up of a vast collection of islands located in the Pacific Ring of Fire with highly varied climates, this is a land of ancient legends and philosophy, where nature is venerated and tradition maintained. We have selected the areas that we feel give the best introduction to Japan in a short time and cover the sites that most people want to see on a holiday to this exciting country.
We spend our first two nights in the vibrant city of Tokyo, where we have a full day sightseeing including the Tokyo Tower Observatory, Imperial Palace Plaza, Meiji Shrine and the Asakusa Kannon Temple. We then travel to the picturesque lake land area of Hakone, a beautiful mountain region just outside of Tokyo. We’ll visit the 5th station of Mount Fuji, take a boat trip on Lake Ashi for great views of Mount Fuji (weather permitting) and take the Komagatake Ropeway for a mesmerising panorama.
Next we take the Bullet Train to Kyoto for three nights. In Kyoto, wooden houses, cobbled streets and Geisha mix with modern society. Sightseeing here includes the ‘Philosopher’s Walk’ along a beautiful canal side where we should see the flowering cherry blossom, Nijo Castle and the golden temple of Kinkaku-ji. We’ll also take part in a traditional tea ceremony. We travel by train to Hiroshima, a city that suffered greatly in the past but is now one of Japan’s most vibrant and attractive cities. We visit the poignant A-Bomb Dome and the uplifting Peace Memorial Park and take a half-day excursion to the sacred island of Miyajima and the spectacular ‘Torri’ gate.
We return to Tokyo for our last night, where you will have free time to explore and perhaps some shopping before our return to the UK.