Essence of Japan
14 days from £4,372 per person
Ancient and ultra-modern sit shoulder to shoulder in Japan. Over two weeks, we’ll experience both, exploring high-paced cities, hushed shrines and temples, and serene gardens. We’ll attend a traditional tea ceremony, learn a little about geisha and samurai culture, catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji and whizz between cities on the sleek, slick Shinkansen (bullet train). We travel in spring, when cherry blossoms and hydrangea bloom, and autumn, when maple trees are a blaze of fiery red and orange.
17 included excursions and visits
- City tours of Tokyo, Kanazawa and Kyoto
- Mount Fuji Visitor Centre
- Visits to Matsumoto Castle, Shirakawago Village, Miyajima Island and Nara (including Todaiji Temple and Nara Park)
- Sake tasting at a traditional brewery
- Walking tours of Takayama and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
- Three journeys on the bullet train
- Traditional tea ceremony
- Lake Ashi cruise
- Cable car to the Owakudani Valley and Hot Springs
- 12 nights in hotel and 1 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
- 13 meals: 12 breakfasts (days 3-14) 1 lunch (day 4)
- Portable audio headset system on excursions
Plus all these benefits
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Services of a Titan tour manager and local guide
- International flights (prices are based on return flights with British Airways/KLM from London Heathrow - KLM flights via Amsterdam. Supplements may apply from other airports)
- Best available coaches with experienced drivers
- All airport taxes and duties
Day 1 UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Tokyo.
On arrival, we transfer by coach to the Keio Plaza Hotel (4T), located in Shinjuku, in the very heart of the Tokyo metropolis, for a two-night stay.
Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo (4T)
We embrace this dazzling city with a full day tour, taking in legendary landmarks - the moated Imperial Palace, the Ginza (Silver Mint) district, the five-storey Asakusa Kannon Temple and the 634m Tokyo Skytree. One of the star attractions is Meiji Shrine, the picturesque Shinto shrine set in a delightful tree-lined avenue.
Tokyo - Mt Fuji - Matsumoto
The Five Lakes District is dominated by majestic Mt Fuji, an icon of world travel towering over this region of exceptional natural beauty - on a clear day, the snow-capped, conical volcano is mirrored on the placid waters of Lake Kawaguchi. From here we continue to Matsumoto and our accommodation, the Buena Vista Hotel (3T+) or Alpico Plaza Hotel (3T+).
Buena Vista Hotel (3T+) or Alpico Plaza Hotel (3T+), Matsumoto
Matsumoto - Takayama
This morning we visit Matsumoto Castle, a striking timber and stone structure with a unique moon-viewing turret. We also take time to sample sake at a traditional brewery. Our journey proceeds through the breathtaking Japanese Alps to the hill town of Takayama. Here we stop at the Hida Folk Village, a large open-air museum with a collection of antique houses from the region and a fabulous showcase of crafts and ancient traditions. We spend the next two nights at the Best Western Hotel Takayama (3T), Associa Takayama (3T) or Takayama Green Hotel (3T).
Best Western Hotel Takayama (3T), Associa Takayama (3T) or Takayama Green Hotel (3T)
Our walking tour of Takayama, known as ‘little Kyoto’, is filled with fabulous attractions from the open-air flower and fruit market to the imposing government house.
Takayama - Kanazawa
We transfer by coach to Kanazawa, visiting the World Heritage Shirakawago Village en route. Kanazawa is a historic castle town, which boasts beautifully preserved samurai and geisha districts. Our sightseeing tour includes Omicho market and Higashi Chayagai. We then head to the Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel (4T), where we spend the night.
Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel (4T) or ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa (4T)
Kanazawa - Hiroshima
We pack overnight bags whilst our main luggage is transferred to Kyoto for our arrival on day 10. A sightseeing tour of Kanazawa this morning includes the gorgeous Kenroku-en Garden and Buke-Yashiki (Samurai's house). We then transfer to Kanazawa Station to depart for Hiroshima by JR Limited Express Train and JR Bullet Train. On arrival, we head to the Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima (4T) to spend the next two nights.
Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima (4T)
Our journey begins at Miyajima Port to catch a ferry over to Miyajima Island, otherwise known as Itsukushima or Divine Island. On arrival we admire the elaborate gate, Itsukushima Shrine, rising majestically out of the sea, and spend time strolling through the park, which dazzles with beautiful maple in autumn. On our return to Hiroshima, we take a walking tour around Peace Memorial Park to see the Flame of Peace, continually burning to symbolise the hope for worldwide peace. Our tour concludes with a visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum, just a short walk from our hotel.
Hiroshima - Nara - Kyoto
We transfer to Hiroshima Station for our JR Bullet Train journey to Shin Osaka, where we board our coach for Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan. Attractions here include the famous Todaiji temple, which was built in 794 and became the guardian temple for the city. The building is claimed to be the oldest wooden structure in the world and houses a huge bronze Buddha. We also visit Nara Park, also known as Deer Park, to see hundreds of freely roaming deer. Our adventure proceeds to culturally-rich Kyoto, known historically as ‘Hana No Miyako’, the flowering capital with its wealth of fine architecture in its shrines and temples, gardens with their profusion of colour and variety of art and craft shops. We spend time in the Gion area, the country’s most famous geisha district, before heading to the Kyoto Hotel Okura (4T), Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto (4T) or Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (4T), to enjoy a two night stay.
Kyoto Hotel Okura (4T), Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto (4T) or Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (4T)
Highlights of this morning’s tour include the wonderful Ryoanji Temple, a Zen temple with a famous rock garden, and also the beautiful Kinkakuji Temple, or the ‘Golden Pavilion’, whose top two floors are completely bedecked in gold leaf. We also visit Nijo, a fortified castle with ornate audience halls and unique ‘nightingale’ floors designed to replicate the sound of the nightingale song when stepped on.
Kyoto - Hakone
After further exploration of Kyoto, including the Kiyomizu Temple, we also enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. We later take the JR Bullet Train from Kyoto to Mishima and continue to Hakone. We stay at the Hakone Sengokuhara Prince Hotel (3T+), Prince Hakone Lake Ashinoko Hotel (3T+) or Hakone Highland (3T+).
Hakone Sengokuhara Prince Hotel (3T+), Prince Hakone Lake Ashinoko Hotel (3T+) or Hakone Highland (3T+)
Hakone - Tokyo
This morning we embark on a cruise on Lake Ashi, from where stunning views of the snow-capped mountains can be seen. We continue by cable car to the Owakudani Valley and Hot Springs, lying in the crater of Mt Hakone. We later enjoy marvellous views of Tokyo Bay before continuing to the Crowne Plaza ANA Narita (3T).
Crowne Plaza ANA Narita (3T)
Day 14 Tokyo - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Important information about your destinationPlease note: • 13, 18 May & 13, 18 September 2020 departures include an additional night in Tokyo and tickets to a Sumo Wrestling Tournament - please call for details. • The dedicated solo departure for this holiday (departing 11 November 2020) will stay overnight at the Marriott Shuzenji Hotel (4T) in Izu, instead of Hakone on day 12. All excursions remain the same. • This tour covers many must-see and memorable included visits. You should expect typical days to be early starts and early evening arrivals at hotels, and there is a significant amount of walking involved which includes areas of steep gradient and steps.
Fly From Your Local Airport
International flights from regional airports are available* or choose a free connecting flight to London, with home transfers all included.
Please call 0800 988 5823 for more information.
*Subject to flight schedules and availability.
Covering an area of 11.4 hectares, the Kenroku-en Garden is located outside the gates of Kanazawa Castle. It was initially created by the Maeda family back in the 1620s and was opened to the public in 1874.
The name given to the garden was derived from a book by a Chinese poet and symbolises spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, waterways and panoramas. The garden is the epitome of a traditional Japanese garden comprised of plum and cherry blossoms, artificial ponds, hills and buildings. Other plants present in the carefully designed and cared for gardens include azaleas, traditional japanese trees and irises.
This is one garden not to be missed.
Special Ryokan Option
Special Ryokan Option
Ryokan are traditionally styled Japanese Inns. They can be wooden buildings or modern ‘hotel’ style and vary greatly in size. With rice straw Tatami matting fl oors, futons and low tables, the Ryokan offers a truly Japanese experience. To complete the Ryokan atmosphere Yukata or Tanzen robes are provided and shoes are to be removed at the entrance to your room. Included dinner and breakfast will be a traditional Japanese fare. This option is available for one night in Takayama on day 5 and must be booked with your main holiday, subject to availability.
Price from £99pp