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Splendours of Japan

9 Days 1 Country 7 Cities

Your Country Explorer adventure starts in Tokyo, the most exciting metropolis in Asia.

"A superb cultural experience"

Christopher, Australia

About this trip

Eclectic cities, traditional villages, snow-capped mountains and coastal beauty combine. Discover the splendours of Japan on a journey of discovery, from iconic Tokyo to Takayama and Kyoto.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… feeling awestruck by majestic Mt Fuji as you alight at 2,300m. And learning the art of making delicate washi paper with a local family, before trying your hand at this traditional craft for yourself.


Trip type: Country Explorer i

Trip code: JPNL

8 Nights

accommodation

16 Meals
  • 8 buffet breakfasts.

  • 4 lunches (including Be My Guest).

  • 4 dinners.

On-trip Transport

All transport shown. All transfers shown.

Splendours of Japan

Your Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive Tokyo (3 Nights)

Day 2

Tokyo Sightseeing

Day 3

Mt. Fuji and Hakone Sightseeing

Day 4

Tokyo – Matsumoto – Takayama (2 Nights)

Day 5

Takayama Sightseeing

Day 6

Takayama - Shirakawago - Gokayama - Kanazawa

Day 7

Kanazawa - Kyoto (2 Nights)

Day 8

Kyoto Sightseeing

Day 9

Depart Kyoto - Osaka

Day 1

Arrive Tokyo (3 Nights)

Welcome to Tokyo. Upon arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda International Airport, transfer to your centrally located hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers.

Hotel

New Otani

Meals

  • Welcome Reception

Day 1

Day 2

Tokyo Sightseeing

This morning start your city tour with a visit to the Imperial Palace Plaza, a large park area in the centre of Tokyo. View the Imperial Palace, built on the former site of Edo Castle, it is surrounded by its original inner moat. Next visit the Meiji Shrine located in a forest that covers an area of 700,000 square metres and consists of 365 different species of tree. During lunch, enjoy a cooking class and learn how to make sushi with a Local Specialist in the famous Ginza district. Continue to Asakusa and visit the Sensoji Buddhist temple. It is one of Tokyo's most colourful and popular temples and has been rebuilt countless times since it was founded in 628, making it Tokyo's oldest temple site. Visit Nakamise, a shopping street over 200 metres long that stretches from the outer gate to the temple's second interior gate. This evening, enjoy a Japanese-style dinner at a local restaurant.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 2

Day 3

Mt. Fuji and Hakone Sightseeing

After breakfast depart on a full day of sightseeing, beginning at the Five Lakes District dominated by majestic UNESCO listed Mt. Fuji. At 3,776m, it is Japan's highest mountain and most recognisable icon. Ascend to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji to enjoy some spectacular views at 2,300m (weather permitting). After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant continue to Owakudani via the Hakone Ropeway, a cable car ride over the forest beside Lake Ashi. In Owakudani see the volcanic activity and enjoy black eggs boiled in geysers before continuing to the beautiful town of Hakone. After an enjoyable day of sightseeing return to your hotel for a restful evening.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 3

Day 4

Tokyo – Matsumoto – Takayama (2 Nights)

Drive north this morning to visit Matsumoto Castle, one of the most beautiful and complete original Japanese castles and a great Cherry Blossom viewing spot in the springtime. Marvel at its unique timber and stone structure. Later continue your journey through the breath-taking Japanese Alps to the beautiful hillside town of Takayama. Located in the Hida Region, the town has retained a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town.

Hotel

Hida Plaza / Takayama Green / Associa Takayama

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Day 4

Day 5

Takayama Sightseeing

Begin your walking tour of Takayama, known as 'Little Kyoto', and discover its Edo style streets filled with amazing attractions. Explore the Old Town, stopping en route to sample Japanese sake at an authentic Sake brewery, a Cultural Insight. Next wander through a vibrant open-air flower and fruit market (Asaichi) before continuing on to Takayama Jinya. This was a former government outpost and was in official use until 1969. It is now open to the public as a museum. Continue to the Kami-Sannomachi-suji District, home to renowned local artisans. Walk through the narrow streets and admire the ancient Japanese wooden architecture.This afternoon is free to explore this picturesque town or relax. Dinner this evening is a Regional Meal of Japanese Hida beef at a local restaurant. Hida beef (Hida-gyu) is the specific name given to beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, it is known as one of the finest quality varieties of beef.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Regional Meal

Day 5

Day 6

Takayama - Shirakawago - Gokayama - Kanazawa

Take a step back in time during a visit to the peaceful mountain villages and UNESCO designated sites of Gokayama and Shirakawago. Explore the village of Shirakawago, have lunch in a local restaurant and go up to the Observation Deck for spectacular views looking down on the entire village. In Gokayama observe local artisans making washi paper and try your hand at making your own, a Cultural Insight. See the unique Gassho-zukuri wooden houses; the steeply sloped thatched roofs resemble two hands together in prayer. Visit one of the houses and meet the family before continuing on to the historic castle town of Kanazawa. On arrival visit the Nagamachi District with its old and beautifully preserved samurai houses. Visit the Nomura house, an elegant samurai mansion with beautiful small gardens belonging to a high-ranked samurai family. Next discover the secrets of gold leaf painting during a visit with a Local Specialist. The production of gold leaf started in Kanazawa at the end of the 16th century and now 99% of Japan's high quality gold leaf is produced in the area. Later check in to your centrally located hotel and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Hotel

Kanazawa Tokyu

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 6

Day 7

Kanazawa - Kyoto (2 Nights)

Begin the day at the gardens of Kenrokuen, rated as one of the top three most beautiful gardens in Japan and a great place to see Cherry Blossom in the springtime. Explore the ornate landscapes, temples and ponds or enjoy an Optional Experience visit to a Japanese tea house within the gardens. Later take a short walk through the Omicho market to see the local fish catch and enjoy an insiders view of everyday life in a busy coastal town. Enjoy some free time at the market to browse the stalls and to have lunch before taking the Express train to Kyoto. Later enjoy a traditional Japanese Kaiseki Regional Meal and dance performance featuring Maiko.

Hotel

Nikko Princess Kyoto

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Regional Meal

Optional Experiences

Japanese Garden And Tea House

Experience the ambience of a traditional Japanese Tea House, located in the beautiful tranquil Kenroku-en Garden. A professional ‘tea maker’ can spend many years learning their craft, which is often presented in a ceremony influenced by Zen Buddhism. Powdered green tea (matcha) is prepared by adding hot water and mixing it with a bamboo whisk. Enjoy sampling the tea in the Shigure-tei Tea House and also take the opportunity to try some Japanese sweets. Afterwards enjoy a stroll in the garden, which is regarded as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens. NB. The price below is in Japanese Yen.

Adult Price: ¥1000.00

Day 7

Day 8

Kyoto Sightseeing

This morning visit Kinkakuji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its Golden Pavilion. The Kinkakuji history dates back to 1397, when the villa was purchased by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son. Later, enjoy a special Be My Guest Farewell Lunch at a traditional ryokan nestled in the peace and quiet of Mt. Yoshida. The ryokan was built in 1932 by master craftsmen to serve as the second residence of the uncle of the current Japanese Emperor, Akihito. Learn more about local Japanese customs as your hosts welcome you into their beautiful home. Enjoy the pleasures of a truly flavourful and unique dining experience of Kaiseki cuisine, crafted from the very freshest of seasonal delicacies. Later continue on to the Fushimi Inari Shrine and see the tunnel of thousands of bright orange torii gates that snake through the forest up into the mountains. Then head to the Sanjusangendo Hall, a temple famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The evening is free to explore, relax at the hotel or take an Optional Experience.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Be My Guest Dining

Optional Experiences

Gion Corner, Kyoto

The Gion corner is a unique experience where you can observe seven of Kyoto’s traditional performing arts, all on one stage. See a Bunraku puppet play; A UNESCO listed Traditional Japanese Puppet performance. Listen to the wonderful harmonies of Koto Music, as a master plays an ancient six stringed zither using ivory plectrums worn on their fingers. Watch Kyo-Mai, an elegant and dazzling dance performed by Maiko dancers in beautiful and ornate dress. Enjoy a performance of Kyogen Theatre, a comical play portraying humorous stories of daily life. Experience Gagaku (court music), the indigenous Japanese music performed at imperial court shrines and temples. During the evening observe the art of creating flower arrangements and a traditional ‘Ryurei style’ tea ceremony. There is also a Maiko Gallery, displaying costumes, hair decorations and videos of Maiko Dancers. NB. The price below is in Japanese Yen. Transportation to/from the venue is not included in the price but local taxis are readily available and the Travel Director will assist.

Adult Price: ¥3500.00

Day 8

Day 9

Depart Kyoto - Osaka

Transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight home. Alternatively, extend your stay in a local Japanese ryokan or continue to Hiroshima by choosing the 13-Day Itinerary on page 22.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Day 9

The Trafalgar Difference

  • #TrafalgarCares
    Washi paper making visit, Gokoyama You'll support a local business with a visit to a washi paper workshop. You'll watch the family at work, and test your paper-making skills for yourself.

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Be My Guest
    Farewell Lunch at a traditional Japanese ryokan.

  • Local Specialists
    in Tokyo and Kanazawa.

  • Cultural Insights
    Sample Japanese Sake from an authentic Sake Brewery, learn about the production of Japanese 'washi' paper.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.


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Your Country Explorer adventure starts in Tokyo, the most exciting metropolis in Asia.


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What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour of Tokyo and Kyoto, walking tour of Takayama

    • Visit the Imperial Palace Plaza in Tokyo, the Kinkakuji Temple, Sanjyusangen-do Hall and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

    • View Mt. Fuji at 2,300m

    • See the traditional Gassho-zukuri houses in Shirakawago and the beautiful gardens of Kenrokuen in Kanazawa


What's Included

Dining

    • 8 buffet breakfasts.

    • 4 lunches
      (including Be My Guest).

    • 4 dinners.


What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 or 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing


    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page


Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience

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Enjoy

Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.


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Love... Travel

"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet

Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Taste

Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Unwind

Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.


Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 50 Reviews

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : The tour itself was excellent and very efficient but I would have enjoyed a tour guide with better English and more personableProduct : It was excellent and provided a great overview of Japan

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : I thought the hotel service, bag service etc. was very good. Tour guide was superb!!!!Product : Overall, I thought the itinerary was well done. I enjoyed the different cities trafalgar chose. The only thing I would have changed was to spend one more day in Tokyo seeing the actual

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : Truly outstanding service. A Trafalgar representative was waiting for us at the airport after we cleared customs and claimed our luggage. She personally escorted us to the location where we would be picked up by the shuttle for transfer to the hotel, and even waited with us until

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : I think tour was good ,inspite of changes made during tour.I wish I could spend one day more in Tokyo.I wish I could travel In bullet train,which was promised by AAA.Product : We did traveled before 10 years ago trafalgar,so we choose trafalgar.tour director was exellent

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : Our guide was exceptional. Kimiko added to our knowledge daily with little lessons on language, geography, etiquette and history of saki, paper making, daily life etc. The hotels were comfortable. Well located.Product : We saw a great sampling of the country. And sampled foods

Splendours of Japan

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9 Days, 1 Country, 9 Cities

Splendours of Japan

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i Please read our Trip Notes before booking

iNotes
    • Special Rate Solo Rooming: the following departures 4 Jan 2017 - 12 Feb 2017 - 4 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017 -18 Jun 2017 - 2 Jul 2017 - 20 Aug 2017 - 10 Dec 2017 includes a discount of up to 23% on our standard single supplement.
    • Cherry Blossom season varies between different regions of Japan and is dependent on weather conditions so can also vary slightly each year. Late March to mid April are the most likely times to experience it but this is not guaranteed.
    • Gion Festival: Takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. Events and parades are held for the entire month of July.
    • Extend your stay in Kyoto and take the opportunity to absorb genuine Japanese hospitality while staying in Authentic Accommodation in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn). The ryokan features traditional rooms with tatami mats, communal segregated gender bathing areas and provides guests with a yukata (cotton kimono) to wear. Breakfast and dinner are included and consist of traditional Japanese cuisine known as kaiseki.
    • Visas are generally not required for Japan.
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 

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