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Japan is a country rich in colour, beauty and tradition. This amazing tour shows you the highlights and the contrast between the natural beauty of Mount Fuji and the cultural heritage displayed in Koya San, the modern wackiness of the robot restaurants and the adorable snow monkeys.
Learn the art of Taiko drumming
Hike around the base of Mt Fuji
Get up close to the fascinating Snow Monkeys
Relax in a traditional Onsen
Experience the speedy bullet train
Chant with the Buddhist Monks in Koya-san
- 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
Day 1 & 2: Fly to Tokyo
Today, fly to Tokyo then enjoy your time before you meet the group by discovering Tokyo
Day 3: Discover Tokyo
Today you will discover both sides of Tokyo, the futuristic and modern, and the traditional. The city tour begins at the Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest tower at 634 metres. Then you will head to the Asakusa, and visit Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest temple. You will visit the Nakamise shopping street. Then, you can go to the Shibuya road crossing, the Meiji Shrine and the district of Harajuku. In the afternoon, you will head to the Robot Restaurant, a metallic and colourful cabaret with a sci-fi and robotic theme.
Day 4: Japanese Drumming
Today you will take part in a traditional Japanese drumming lesson where you will learn the fundamental techniques of beating the ‘wadaiko' with ‘bachi'. Then, you will visit Akihabara, the busy and illuminated city signs are unlike anything you will have seen before. Tokyo's electronics district. Then you will visit one of the famous maid cafes, another themed restaurant. In the afternoon, explore Tokyo's past at the Edo Tokyo Museum.
Day 5: Mount Fuji
Today you will hike through the alpine forests at the foot of Mount Fuji, across meadows and lakes you will enjoy the rural beauty of Japan.
Day 6: Lake Ashi
In the morning you will sail on Lake Ashi. Then you will travel to Matsumoto and explore the castle. Then you will continue on to Nagano.
Day 7: Snow Monkeys
You will travel to Yudanaka to visit the snow monkeys, at the Monkey Park. You may seem them bathe in the hot springs and play in the water. Then continue to Hodaka and ride up into the Japanese Alps on the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway, reaching an observation platform at 2,156 metres. Then your group will drive to Takayama where you will be staying at an onsen.
Day 8: Bullet Train to Kyoto
You will take a train to Nagoya, where you'll change onto a bullet train to Kyoto. This afternoon you can start discovering Kyoto's rich heritage with a visit to the enchanting Fushimi Inari Taisha with its and admire the views over the city from Kiyomizu Temple. You can discover the neighbourhoods of Higashiyama and Gion, the geisha district, with a stop at Gion Corner, that showcases the seven professional performing arts.
Day 9: Japanese Tea Ceremony
Today is a full day tour of Kyoto, starting at the Golden Pavilion before visiting the Ryoan-ji, Japan's most famous classical garden. After, you'll have some free time in the Arashiyama district where you can explore by bicycle and visit the Bamboo Forest. Later, meet with the group to experience a traditional tea ceremony.
Day 10: Kyoto & Koyasan
You will visit the Nishijin Textile Centre and learn how they craft kimonos. Then you will learn the paper-folding art of origami and the complicated process of dressing in a traditional kimono. This afternoon, you will travel by road to Koyasan, where you will spend the night in a 13th-century temple in a traditional tatami room.
Day 11: Koyasan Monks
You can wake up early to join the monks in their morning prayers and service. Then, after breakfast, you can take a walking tour of Koyasan, the mountaintop sanctuary. The holy site is full of temples and pagodas so remember to bring your camera. You can pay a visit to Kongobu-ji and Okunoin before travelling to Osaka.
Day 12: Sake Brewery & Himeji
You will accompany your group for a day tour to Himeji, and visit the beautiful castle. If you come at the right time of year you may see the cherry blossoms. Then, continue on to a sake brewery, where you can learn about the brewing process. After, return to Osaka and experience the Dotonbori district.
Day 13: Fly to Osaka to UK
Transfer to the airport and fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
This is an active tour. This is one of the most demanding trips Wendy Wu Tours offers. As a whole, this itinerary requires a high level of fitness. Sightseeing often be for extended periods of time on foot and occasionally at an incline. Trekking around the base of Mt Fuji will be for approximately 4 hours. There will be a half day cycling tour of Kyoto covering a distance of approximately 10 Kilometres.
Your accommodation is selected for convenience of location, comfort or character, and can range from a business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town.
Please note: On this tour, you will stay at a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese Onsen hotel, where you will find Tatami (Straw mat) flooring and comfortable Futon bedding to sleep on. You will also stay for 1 night in traditional Buddhist temple accommodation where you will be provided with single mattresses to sleep on Tatami mat floors; bathrooms here will be shared.
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.
Bullet trains: Second class reserved seats are booked for our groups on bullet trains; there will be toilet facilities on board. Due to the limited space on bullet trains, a separate luggage transfer service will be arranged for all suitcases. You will need to pack a separate overnight bag to carry on the train as your suitcase will not arrive until the following day after a bullet train journey. You guide will indicate when you will need to prepare for this throughout your tour.
Most Wendy Wu groups consist of 10 travellers or more and will be accompanied by a National Escort. There will usually be no more than 24 travellers in each group although you may encounter other Wendy Wu Tour groups while you are travelling.
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