020 8951 2900

Open today:09:00 - 6:00pm

Monday
18 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday
19 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday
20 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday
21 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday
22 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday
23 November
9:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday
24 November
10:00am - 4:00pm
Two geishas wearing traditional japanese kimono among red wooden Tori Gate at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. Fushimi …

With the bright lights of Tokyo, an ancient trading route, magnificent shrines and tea with a Geisha it could only be the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. On this spectacular tour, centuries old traditions meld together with the ultra modern to make a country and culture that is truly unique.

Dt Mount Fuji

Why Go?

  • Quite simply a trip of a lifetime
  • Visit Tokyo, one of the world’s biggest cities
  • Experience Matsumoto Castle
  • Walk a section of the Nakasendo Way
  • Paper making experience and tea with a Geisha
  • Explore modern cities and traditional villages
  • Ride on the famous Bullet Train
  • Gain true insight to Japanese culture & customs

Itinerary

View full itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • MEALS No meals included

Greater Tokyo is to home over 30 million people which equates to ¼ of the entire population of Japan and makes it one of the world’s biggest cities. Here we’ll meet up with our local guide who will be accompanying us on our journey. Our local guides are all expats but have been living in Japan for many years, speak excellent Japanese and can give us an in-depth insight into local life. We break the ice over a welcome dinner, in a local restaurant where we get our first taste of life in Japan with some delicious food and maybe a glass or two of sake!

  • Accommodation 3 * Ibis Tokyo Shinjuku (Tokyo)
  • MEALS Dinner included

Our first full day involves a tour of Tokyo with a visit to Meiji shrine, Tokyo’s most important Shinto shrine, the Hamarikyu Gardens, a boat ride on the Sumidagawa River and time in the Asakusa district. Here we visit the famous Sensoji Buddhist Temple built in the 7th century as well as explore the Nakamise arcade.

  • Accommodation 3 * Ibis Tokyo Shinjuku (Tokyo)
  • MEALS Breakfast included

Free day to explore Tokyo.

  • Accommodation 3 * Ibis Tokyo Shinjuku (Tokyo)
  • MEALS Breakfast included

Leaving Tokyo for the Alpine town of Matsumoto the journey takes us through the suburbs of Tokyo before climbing into the mountains of rural Japan and if we are lucky, we may be treated to views of the iconic Mount Fuji. Our luggage will be sent ahead so no need struggling suitcases! In Matsumoto, we will glimpse into the world of the Samurai with a visit to one of the country’s few remaining original castles, known as the ‘Black Crow’ due to its striking black exterior.

  • Accommodation 4 * Buena Vista Hotel (Matsumoto)
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

Today we experience the lovely walking trail of approximately 8km and takes a couple of hours to complete on the famous Nakasendo Way. Featured on Joanna Lumleys ‘JAPAN’ series on ITV, we follow a portion of this old trading route between the historic and preserved villages of Tsumago and Magome. 

Our walk it's described as a gentle hike. There are inclines and a few areas with steps. There are opportunities to stop along the route and restrooms available. You don't need any special hiking footwear. Comfortable shoes are fine.

  • Accommodation 4 * Buena Vista Hotel (Matsumoto)
  • MEALS Breakfast & Lunch included

We move on to the mountainous Hida region and the city of Takayama traditionally known for its high quality timber and skilled carpenters. Here we visit the Takayama Floats Museum and its spectacular exhibition of floats from one of Japans best loved festivals, the Kusakabe Museum set in an old Merchant House and the traditional architecture of the old Government House or Jinya. 

  • Accommodation 3 * Hida Hotel Plaza (Takayama)
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

As we make our way to Kanazawa, we stop for the day at the beautiful village of Shirakawago. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, we visit the thatched farm cottages known as ‘gasho zukuri’ or praying hands houses, a few of which are 250 years old. Lunch will be taken at the world-heritage restaurant of Chu-Bei before we try our hand at traditional Japanese Washi paper making.

  • Accommodation 4 * Trusty Kanazawa Korinbo (Kanazawa)
  • MEALS All meals included

Sometimes referred to as ‘little Kyoto’ with its rival of historical sights and culture, the city derived its name from the story of a peasant who washed gold dust from potatoes into a well. We visit the Kenrokuen gardens which are ranked in the top 3 gardens of Japan and covering 11.4 hectares, the garden was maintained by the Maeda family through generations. Further sightseeing includes the splendid House of this powerful Nomura family; an example of an old samurai house & the Gyokusen-en tea gardens. 

  • Accommodation 4 * Trusty Kanazawa Korinbo (Kanazawa)
  • MEALS Breakfast included

One of the highlights of the tour is the famous temple complex of Daianzen-ji where we can take part in a Sanrou zen Buddhist experience with meditation. Built by the 4th lord of Fukui Han (domain), Matsudaira Mitsumichi, in 1658 as a family temple, it also serves as the mausoleum for the Fukui Matsudaira Clan and has the cemetery in the hills surrounding the temple. Lunch will be a traditional 'shojin ryori' (Buddhist temple food). Our overnight accommodation is a Japanese style stay just a short drive from the complex. Rooms are on the 1st floor and are twin share with toilet attached, there is an option for bathing at the Japanese style hot springs bathhouse. There is also a bar and karaoke facilities! 

  • Accommodation Takekurabe Ryokan (Eiheji)
  • MEALS All meals included

The heart and soul of traditional Japan. Previously home of the Emperor for over a thousand years, Kyoto boasts over 2000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, amongst them 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We have a unique chance to have afternoon tea and talk with a Maiko (Geisha). Often misunderstood, Geisha literally translates to English as ‘artist’; their role is to act as a hostess and entertainer by performing various arts such as singing and dancing. 

  • Accommodation 4 * Gracery Kyoto Sanjo (Kyoto)
  • MEALS Breakfast included

Not to say that the city hasn’t been touched by the modern development that drives Japan with teahouses and gardens nestled amongst the modern buildings and neon lights. Highlights of our stay include the Ryoanji zen garden, Kinkakuji golden pavilion & Arashiyama which is a scenic area just outside of town by the river and home to Tenryuji temple with wonderful mountain views and one of the finest gardens in Kyoto. We will also visit and the bamboo groves nearby. 

  • Accommodation 4 * Gracery Kyoto Sanjo (Kyoto)
  • MEALS Breakfast included

The Fushimi Inari Shrine is dedicated to the Shinto god of rice famous for its numerous vermillion red pagoda lining which we discover with its surrounding hillside straddled with walking trails. We finish the day at Nijo Castle; once the samurai headquarters of Japan when the city of Kyoto was once capital. 

  • Accommodation 4 * Gracery Kyoto Sanjo (Kyoto)
  • MEALS Breakfast included

Returning to the capital as we as we travel by Shinkansen ‘Bullet Train’ and finishing this wonderful tour with a farewell dinner. 

  • Accommodation 4 * Royal Park The Shiodome (Tokyo)
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

A Sad “sayonara”. Transfer to the airport and our flight home.

  • Accommodation
  • MEALS Breakfast included
Approx. Flight Time

12 hours

TEMPERATURE

Average Daily:

Tokyo 18°C May & Oct      

Matsumoto 25°C May & 13°C Oct

Takayama 24°C May & 13°C Oct 

Kanazawa 25°C May & 17°C Oct 

Kyoto 27°C May & 18°C Oct 



TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT  +9 hours

Ready to book?

VIEW DATES & PRICES

What's Included:

  • Scheduled return flights London Heathrow/Tokyo with British Airways & transfers
  • Airport taxes & charges
  • Single room with private facilities
  • Twin share room Japanese style in Eiheiji
  • Welcome drink & information meeting
  • Same day luggage forwarding service between Tokyo/Matsumoto & Kyoto/Tokyo
  • Full day sightseeing tour of Tokyo including Meiji Shrine
  • Boat ride on Sumidagawa River
  • Express train from Tokyo to Matsumoto
  • Trip to the historic Matsumoto Castle
  • Walk a section of the Nakasendo Way
  • Takayama Floats Museum & Kusakabe Museum
  • Visit Shirakawago with Japanese Washi paper making experience
  • Sightseeing in Kenokuen gardens & Nomura House
  • Visit of the famous Eihiji Temple complex with Buddhism experience
  • Tea and talk with Geisha in tea house
  • Sightseeing in Kyoto
  • Visit to Fushimi Inari and Nijo Castle
  • ‘Bullet Train’ from Kyoto to Tokyo
  • Local Tour Leader throughout (an expat Japan expert)
  • Breakfast daily, 7 dinners and 3 lunches

What’s Extra:

  • Insurance, see here
  • Non-included meals, souvenirs, and any activities you do outside of the group.

Airline Information BA

  • All bookings featuring flights with British Airways are part of a group allocation which unfortunately means you will be unable to manage your reservation directly with BA online; The following actions can only be carried out on check in at the airport. 

  • Online Check in.
  • Pre-reserved seat selection
  • Seat Request
  • Baggage Extras eg, Golf Bags, Ski Carriage.

Useful Information

Visas

If you have a ‘British Citizen’ or ‘British National (Overseas)’ passport, you can enter Japan as a visitor for up to 90 days without a visa. You may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket.

If you have a different type of British nationality, or you wish to enter Japan for other purposes (long-term stay, study, settlement, employment); if you have any doubts about whether you’re eligible to enter Japan (eg, if you have a criminal record or have been arrested even if it did not result in a conviction) or about visa matters generally, contact a Japanese Embassy or Consulate. Visas aren’t issued after arrival in Japan.

If you are not a British citizen and do not hold a British passport, you must make your own enquiries as to the applicable requirements.  Alternatively, you can apply for your Visa with our preferred partner the Travel Visa company by selecting the following link; Travel Visa Company.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct visa, a valid passport and any other travel documents for your holiday.  All information provided relates to British citizens who hold or are entitled to apply for a British passport. For the most up-to-date visa information please visit; Japan Foreign Advice
 
Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your sole responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates of the countries in which you are planning to travel. 

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Medication

The use or possession of some common prescription and over-the-counter medicines are banned under Japan’s strictly enforced anti-stimulant drugs law. This includes Vicks inhalers, medicines for allergies and sinus problems, cold and flu medication containing Pseudoephedrine and even some over-the-counter painkillers like those containing codeine. Foreign nationals have been detained and deported for offences - ignorance may not be considered a defence. You should check the status of your medication with the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate before you travel.

If you’re travelling with prescription medication that is permitted under Japanese law, you’re normally allowed to bring in up to one month’s supply. You’re advised to bring a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating the medical condition that the medication has been prescribed to treat. For more guidance on travelling with medication, check information pages from NHS Choices and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) in our foreign travel checklist.

If you need prescription medicine for long term use, you may need to provide extra paperwork, such as an import licence. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare provides information about bringing medication for personal use.

Hotels

We stay in comfortable hotels throughout the tour. The accommodation at traditional guest house in  Eiheiji is twin shared Japanese style sharing with another Solos guest of the same gender for this evening only. You will never be asked to share a room with someone outside the group.

Communal Bathing in Eiheji

The guesthouse in Eiheji has gender separated hot spring baths. These baths are communal and for the use of all guests at the accommodation. You wash before entering the bath – this allows the bath water to remain pure. For the same reason, soap & swimsuits are not permitted in the bath.

Transfer Time

The transfer time for the main tour between Tokyo Airport and the hotel is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes depending on traffic.

Included Programme

A sightseeing programme is included in your touring package. On the free days there will be time for optional excursions along the way, and your Tour Leader and your local guide will provide this information.

Optional Excursions

Our tours are planned to be as fully inclusive as possible. However, from time-to-time your Tour Leader and Local Guide may suggest optional tours/sightseeing in addition to the standard sightseeing planned for that city. Such options are at an additional cost (payable in local currency). If you do not wish to take part in any optional extras, you will have the option of enjoying some free time at leisure or to return to the hotel.

Currency

Yen

Cash is king in Japan! Although things are slowly changing it’s not unusual for shops and restaurants to not have facilities for credit and debit card transactions. Cash on the other hand is accepted everywhere in Japan. For guests already in Japan, Seven Eleven & Family Mart convenience stores, Post Offices and international airports have ATMs that will allow them to withdraw Japanese yen in cash using international credit or debit cards.

Gratuities

Tipping is generally not done in Japan. Staff at restaurants and hotels will likely be confused and try to return any ‘over-payment’ if tipped. A heartfelt thank-you is the best way to respond to good service. If you feel that your Tour Leader has done an exceptional job and choose to tip him/her, any amount will be graciously and gratefully accepted. Our local agent recommends 5,000 yen per person for the two week trip.

Dress Code

Although Japanese people generally dress quite smartly, there are no strict dress codes in Japan. We would recommend a common-sense approach. During the day when sightseeing, we recommend casual, lightweight cotton clothing, that covers the shoulders and knees (both men and women). You will find that smart casual wear is acceptable, even in the best hotels during the evening. We would recommend an umbrella or hat for protection against the sun.  This is quite an active itinerary and comfortable clothes would be best. From time to time, your guide will advise you about observing local customs. There will be occasions in Japan when guests are expected to remove their shoes. The most likely places to encounter this is when entering temples, shrines and traditional tea houses. Of course the tour leader will be on hand to advise. We would also recommend packing some clothes which are quick drying in case of rain.

Cuisine

Sushi is of course the most famous dish, but Japanese food does not stop with raw fish; other specialities include teriyaki (marinated beef/chicken/fish seared on a hot plate), sukiyaki (thin slices of beef, bean curd and vegetables cooked in soy sauce and then dipped in egg), and tempura (deep fried sea-food and vegetables). If everything so far sounds a bit meat and fish orientated don't be alarmed - there are vegetarian options in Japan. Try the wonderful zaru soba (buck-wheat noodles served cold), a bowl of udon (thicker noodles), shojin ryori (Buddhist cuisine based on a strictly vegetarian diet), vegetable okonomiyaki (savoury pancake), and vegetable tempura to name a few.

A word of warning - being a strict vegetarian or vegan in Japan is challenging. Fish stock (dashi) is used as a base in many dishes and soups and can be difficult to avoid.

Most of the restaurants we use for group meals try their best to accommodate dietary requirements. In some cases, restaurants may omit meat and fish products for vegetarians - meaning food could be bland. We will inform restaurants in advance if anyone has allergies or other dietary requirements and the tour leader will be on hand to give advice and restaurant recommendations to fit guests needs.

International foods are widely available in Japan. From a country that survived on a diet of mainly fish and vegetables just over a century ago, Japan has reached the stage where there is an Italian restaurant or McDonald’s on nearly every city street corner. Indian restaurants abound too, as well as some very good Chinese and Korean places. For a late night snack, a ramen bar is a good bet – these can be found serving up steaming bowls of Chinese noodles, prepared Japanese style in various broths, until the small hours of the morning.

Luggage Forwarding Service

As a small section on this holiday is done by public transport (Japan's excellent train network) a luggage forwarding service is used on 2 occasions as space is limited on the trains. This luggage service is a same day service.

Please note

  • A reasonable level of fitness/mobility is required as we include plenty of sightseeing/travelling, some with early starts. Please note that on this trip we will also use a local public transport and there will be a lot of walking and standing involved.  
  • The order of the itinerary and events may be subject to change
  •  Please refer to Medical Conditions in Important Information.

Ready to book?

VIEW DATES & PRICES

Choose an overseas holiday with confidence.  All holidays include flights and transfers in resort and are fully ATOL protected.

Depart Return Nights Age Group Price From COMMENTS  
30 May 2020 13 Jun 2020 14 All Ages £ 5665 BOOK
03 Oct 2020 17 Oct 2020 14 All Ages £ 5625 BOOK

What's Included:

  • Scheduled return flights London Heathrow/Tokyo with British Airways & transfers
  • Airport taxes & charges
  • Single room with private facilities
  • Twin share room Japanese style in Eiheiji
  • Welcome drink & information meeting
  • Same day luggage forwarding service between Tokyo/Matsumoto & Kyoto/Tokyo
  • Full day sightseeing tour of Tokyo including Meiji Shrine
  • Boat ride on Sumidagawa River
  • Express train from Tokyo to Matsumoto
  • Trip to the historic Matsumoto Castle
  • Walk a section of the Nakasendo Way
  • Takayama Floats Museum & Kusakabe Museum
  • Visit Shirakawago with Japanese Washi paper making experience
  • Sightseeing in Kenokuen gardens & Nomura House
  • Visit of the famous Eihiji Temple complex with Buddhism experience
  • Tea and talk with Geisha in tea house
  • Sightseeing in Kyoto
  • Visit to Fushimi Inari and Nijo Castle
  • ‘Bullet Train’ from Kyoto to Tokyo
  • Local Tour Leader throughout (an expat Japan expert)
  • Breakfast daily, 7 dinners and 3 lunches

What’s Extra:

  • Insurance, see here
  • Non-included meals, souvenirs, and any activities you do outside of the group.

Airline Information BA

  • All bookings featuring flights with British Airways are part of a group allocation which unfortunately means you will be unable to manage your reservation directly with BA online; The following actions can only be carried out on check in at the airport. 

  • Online Check in.
  • Pre-reserved seat selection
  • Seat Request
  • Baggage Extras eg, Golf Bags, Ski Carriage.

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