Arrive at the airport in Osaka where you will be transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city.
This morning, you’ll board the Nozomi Super Express train to heads towards Hiroshima, where you’ll board a ferry to take a trip across to the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island. After enjoying lunch, you’ll head back to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Memorial Museum, where you’ll learn all about the atomic bombing in 1945 for which the city is most famous, hearing the stories of what life was like before the incident and the huge impact it had on both the city and the people. After a poignant afternoon, you’ll then journey back to Osaka for dinner at your hotel.
- The St. Regis Osaka (B,L,D)
Take a morning tour of some of the most popular sights in Osaka, including Osaka Castle, which was built back in the 1580s and has been reconstructed to make it appear as it would have done in its prime; the original structure having suffered extensive damage across the years. Following lunch, you’ll then head away from Osaka to the city of Kyoto.
- Kyoto Hotel Okura (B,L,D)
Spend three days exploring the cultural delights to be found in Kyoto, which is home to thousands of different religious sites. The first day will see you have the chance to visit the stunning Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavillion and the imposing Nijo Castle, with the following day then seeing you head into the woodland to explore the Kiyomizu Buddhist temple. You’ll also try your hand at Origami before gaining an insight into Japanese culture with a performance from a Geisha in training – otherwise known as a Maiko. Day six will then see you visit the ancient Sanjusangendo Temple before heading to Nala to witness the largest Buddha in the world, which is to be found in the Todaiji Temple.
- Kyoto Hotel Okura (Day 4: B,L – Day 5: B,D – Day 6: B,L)
Head away from Kyoto to the city of Kanazawa, which is famed for its well preserved architecture and for the Kenrokuen Garden, where you will enjoy a leisurely stroll on arrival. One of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Kenrokuen features a number of waterfalls and ponds alongside the extensive vegetation and is home to an ancient tea house and one of the oldest fountains in the country. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a cultural dinner with regional specialities in a ryokan, where you’ll dress in a traditional kimono and gain an authentic taste of the area.
After breakfast, you’ll head away from Kanazawa to the World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go, a village that features a large number of ‘praying hands’ farmhouses – so called because of the steeply slanting roofs that resemble two hands joined in prayer. While in the village you’ll be able to visit a local home before continuing on to Ogimachi to see more of the impressive gassho homes. You’ll then travel on to the city of Takayama for your overnight stay, passing the Miboro Dam en-route.
- Associa Takayama Resort (B,L,D)
Set out on a walking tour around Takayama to see the sights and learn about the Edo-period of Japanese history. On your tour, you’ll visit the Festival Float Museum to see some of the floats that are created for the twice-yearly festivals and also visit the museum located in the restored former government outpost at Takayama Jinya. During the afternoon, there will be a visit to a local Sake brewery, where you’ll have the chance to sample the drink, which is made from fermented rice.
- Associa Takayama Resort (B)
From Takayama, you’ll travel across the Japanese Alps to enter the Fuji Hakone National Park, where you’ll pay a visit to the Daio Wasabi Farm to gain an insight into local farming techniques. You’ll then have chance to examine the Japanese textiles to be found in the Itchiku Kubota Museum before heading to your resort in Hakone for the night.
- Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa (B,L,D)
Head out on a gondola trip that will allow you to gain a glimpse of the majestic sight of Mount Fuji (weather permitting) before enjoying a cruise on Lake Ashi. You’ll then head away from Hakone to the capital for time in the bustling streets of Tokyo for time exploring the sights – including the Imperial Palace Plaza and the shrine dedicated to the spirit of Emperor Meiji and his wife. While in Tokyo, you’ll also be able to see a live performance of Shinto music and Kagura dancing, while there will also be a demonstration in the art of Sushi making for you to enjoy.
- Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo (Day 11: B,L,D – Day 12: B,L – Day 13: B,L,D)
With your time in Japan at an end, leave Tokyo to make the journey home.
All content and services, including overnight hotels and number of nights, are subject to change and may vary from the inclusions as shown in the itinerary. Specified hotels/content/services are therefore not guaranteed, however we and our suppliers undertake to ensure that any alternatives provided will always be of a similar standard or content/service type.