Highlights of Japan – Small Group Journey

Discover Japan's contrasts, from its sleek, modern cities to ancient towns and traditional customs. Wander Tokyo's energetic streets and hurtle along on the bullet train. Stay at a traditional inn near Mt Fuji at Hakone and then journey back in time to discover the Old Town of Takayama. See the thriving Geisha culture and traditional atmosphere of Kyoto. Japan is a place where ancient traditions remain, while technology races into the future.

Price Includes

8 nights hotel accommodation
1 night ryokan accommodation
7 day rail pass
All high-speed train travel as specified in the itinerary
Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
Entrance fees
Luggage transport
English-speaking Tour Leader
All tips on tour
One way group transfer from Tokyo Airport to Tokyo accommodation
One way group transfer from Kyoto accommodation to Kyoto Train Station
Meals as indicated

Travel Dates
02 June 2019
25 August 2019
29 September 2019 

Room/Cabin information
Offer Ends

18 Feb 19,

unless sold out prior. Availability limited. 

Product itinerary


DAY 1 Tokyo
On arrival in Tokyo, transfer to your hotel and enjoy free time until your tour briefing. Stay the next two nights at Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu 
(or similar).

DAY 2 Tokyo
Today, explore Tokyo on foot and on the underground rail network. Visit serene Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine with a 12 metre high torii gate at the entrance. Continue to the Imperial Palace to see Nijubashi, 
a metal bridge built in 1888. Travel by train to Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s liveliest districts, and home to some of the city’s best street food, and old izakaya and yakitori restaurants. Learn about the world of sumo as you enjoy a ‘chanko’ lunch with sumo wrestlers. After lunch, try on a sumo suit and test your skills against a professional. Spend time exploring Asakusa before returning to your hotel. (BL)

DAY 3 Tokyo to Hakone
Take the train to Hakone. Ride the ropeway (cable car) for views of Lake Ashi and, if the day is clear, catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji. Sail across the waters of Lake Ashi on a pirate ship before transferring to your accommodation, a 
traditional Japanese ryokan. Soak in the onsen, enjoy a delicious dinner and sleep on a futon mattress in a tatami-floored room. Overnight at Hakone Pax Yoshino (or similar). (BD)

DAY 4 Hakone to Takayama
From Hakone, travel by train to ancient Takayama, famous for its well-preserved old town district and traditional atmosphere. On the way, enjoy a bento box for lunch. Visit Takayama Jinya, a former government building which offers insights into Japan’s history. Stroll along Kami Sannomachi Street to see the immaculately-preserved traditional wooden houses. View the 
elaborate festival floats at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan and enjoy free time before walking back to the hotel. Stay the next two nights at Best Western Hotel Takayama (or similar). (BL)
DAY 5 Takayama
Spend the day at leisure exploring Takayama and its surrounds at your own pace. You may choose to visit Shirakawago, a World Heritage Listed protected village famous for its stunning natural beauty and steeply pitched thatched 
roofs designed to withstand the heavy winter snowfall. Discover the shrines and temples of the Teramachi district or travel a short distance to Hida-Furukawa to admire the preserved buildings. (B)

DAY 6 Takayama to Kyoto
This morning, travel by train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital. Enjoy free time before taking a late afternoon walking tour along Ponto-cho and Hanami-koji Lane in the Gion district where you may see a Geisha. Stay the next four nights at Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo (or similar). (B)

DAY 7 Kyoto
Today, travel on public transport and explore Kyoto’s highlights on foot with your guide. Take the train to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and marvel at the towering stalks of bamboo before continuing to Tenryuji Temple. See Katsura 
River from Togetsukyo Bridge and take the iconic purple Randen Train to Ryoanji Temple, the site of the most famous rock garden in Japan. Visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), an elegant, gilded 14th century building which is 
one of Japan’s most cherished sites. (B)

DAY 8 Kyoto
Today is yours to further explore Kyoto. Perhaps take the train to the historic city of Hiroshima, venture to Osaka to see Osaka Castle, meet Nara’s deer population or visit Himeji Castle (extra charge). (B)

DAY 9 Kyoto
Spend a free day exploring Kyoto at your own pace. Perhaps explore Teramachi which is the perfect place to find traditional Japanese souvenirs including a kimono. This evening, enjoy a special kaiseki farewell dinner while 
being entertained by a Maiko. (BD)

DAY 10 Kyoto
Enjoy breakfast before transferring by private taxi to Kyoto Station for your onward journey. (B)

(B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)

Helloworld Terms & Conditions

*Conditions apply. Prices correct as at 4 December 2018 but may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offers subject to availability. Agents may charge service fees, rates vary. Payments by credit card will incur a surcharge.  Airfare not included. All savings are included in the advertised price. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. Please check all prices, availability and other information before booking Insider Journeys and Helloworld Travel booking terms and conditions apply, see in store for details.