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Explore this incredible nation in luxury, travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto whilst experiencing traditional activities such as sushi and Kendo classes with the opportunity to dress in a kimono.
- Learn to make sushi like the locals
- Take a cruise on Lake Ashi
- Marvel at the Magnificent Mt Fuji
- Experience the speedy Bullet Train
- Study the art of Kendo
- Discover Zen meditation
- Return international flights
- All Accommodation
- Selected meals
- All transportation & transfers
- All sightseeing & entrance fees
- English speaking National Escort & local guides
- Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders.
Days 1 & 2: Fly to Tokyo
Fly to Tokyo
Day 3: Explore Tokyo
Ascending the Tokyo Skytree will be the first stop on your tour. Relish in the unforgettable sky high views over the metropolis that is Tokyo and then continue on to Asakusa where, after dressing in a traditional kimono, you'll visit Tokyo's oldest temple, Senso-ji, and then visit Nakamise shopping street. Then, explore the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
(On the May and September departures there is a Sumo Tournament.)
Day 4: Sushi Making
Have the morning to yourself and explore Tokyo before transferring to a Sushi restaurant for a lesson in creating sushi. You can eat your creations for lunch and then you will visit Meiji, a Shinto shrine before returning to the Shibuya crossing. This evening, take to the waters of Tokyo Bay for a dinner cruise.
Day 5: Lake Ashi Cruise
Travel to the spa region of Hakone by coach and then sail along the scenic Lake Ashi, taking in the beautiful scenery. Fly up from the lakeside over the Alpineesque hills to the summit of Mount Komagatake on the Komagatake Ropeway, from where you'll have stunning views of Mount Fuji. Then explore the exhibits of the Hakone Open-air Museum. The rest of the afternoon is free until dinner, leaving you time to go to the hot springs and perhaps, seeing the snow monkeys.
Day 6: Mount Fuji
Today you will travel from Hakone to Fuji, where you'll visit the 5th Station. If the road to the 5th Station is closed, you will instead visit the Fuji Visitor Centre. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the facilities of your hotel.
Day 7: Bullet Train to Kyoto
You will travel to Odawara where you'll board a bullet train that will take you to Kyoto. The rest of the day is a free day for you to enjoy.
Day 8: Kyoto & Kendo Lesson
Today is a full day tour of Kyoto, starting at Kinkaku-ji, the ‘Golden Pavilion', before visiting Zen at Ryoanji, at a beautiful and renowned, classical garden. Next, you'll have some free time in the vibrant Arashiyama district where you can explore the shops or visit the Bamboo forest. Later you will take part in a Kendo lesson. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner with a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) performance.
Day 9: Zen Meditation & Tea Ceremony
A centre of Zen Buddhism, Kodai-ji is a 17th-century temple set in classical Zen gardens. Start the day here with a Zen meditation session, before experiencing the rituals of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony after which you can sip on your matcha tea. Visit Kiyomizu Temple, then take a walk around the old district of Higashiyama before stopping off to learn about some of Japan's traditional arts - calligraphy and origami. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 10: Explore Nara
Today you will admire the pathways of vermillion torii gates at the enchanting Fushimi Inari Taisha. Then you will travel to Nara and explore the city with visits to Todaiji Temple, where you'll see the Great Buddha, and Nara Park, where you can meet the friendlySika deer. You will end the day at Kasuga Shrine then transfer to Osaka.
Day 11: Umeda Sky Building
Spend the morning exploring the Umeda Sky Building and looking out on the rooftop observatory for views over Osaka. Then visit the brash Dotonburi district and stop for a local lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free before a farewell meal of Shabu-shabu, a hotpot style dish of thinly sliced meats and vegetables which you cook in broth at your table.
Day 12: Fly to Osaka to the UK
Fly from Osaka to the UK
These tours have been meticulously designed with the more discerning traveller in mind. Our deluxe journeys through Asia feature distinctive and exclusive experiences which bring the region to life.
Exclusive collection tours include:
- Champagne moments
- Unique experiences
- Small group sizes
- UK chauffeur transfers
- Porter service to and from your hotel rooms
- A mid tour Laundry service
As ‘The Golden Route’ tour is part of our Exclusive Collection, you will be staying in international 5* accommodation throughout your tour. We have provided time in your itinerary to have the opportunity to experience the facilities of your accommodation, or relax, allowing you to get the most out of the hotel experience.
Coaches: Coaches with air conditioning are used on our group tours for city sightseeing, short excursions to the countryside and longer transfers where necessary. Roads in Japan are extremely well maintained and are comparatively smooth with the rest of Asia.
Most of our groups consist of 10 travellers or more and will be accompanied by a national escort. There will usually be no more than 18 travellers in each group although you may encounter other Wendy Wu tour groups while you are travelling.
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