Essence of Japan

Resort:Essence of Japan
Operator: Titan Travel
Destination: Asia, Far East Asia, Japan
Price From: £5295.00


Ancient and ultra-modern sit shoulder to shoulder in Japan. Over two weeks, well experience both, exploring high-paced cities, hushed shrines and temples, and serene gardens. Well 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.

Whats Included

  • 12 nights in hotels and 1 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
  • International flights. Prices are based on return flights with British Airways from London Heathrow. Supplements may apply from other airports
  • 13 meals: 12 breakfasts (days 3-14) 1 lunch (day 4)

17 excursions and visits

  • City tours of Tokyo, Kanazawa (including Kenroku-en Garden), 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


  • Portable audio headset system on excursions
  • Titans VIP door-to-door travel service
  • Titan tour manager and local guide
  • Travel in destination by coach
  • Porterage


Day 1 – UK – In flight

Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your overnight flight to Tokyo.

UK – In flight

Day 2 – Tokyo

On our Japan tours, we stay in Shinjuku, the futuristic, neon-lit neighbourhood in the heart of Tokyo. On arrival the rest of the day is free.

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo (4-star)

Day 3 – Tokyo

A tour guide helps us to embrace this dazzling city. As we walk out amidst skyscrapers and the worlds tallest self-supporting tower (the Tokyo Skytree), we find Tokyos traditional side. Learn the stories behind legendary landmarks like the moated Imperial Palace, Tokyos oldest temple – Sens-ji, and Meiji Shrine, a serene Shinto shrine set on a tree-lined avenue.

Excursions & visits:

Guided city tour of Tokyo (all day)

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo (4-star)

Day 4 – Mount Fuji – Matsumoto

Standing out from its surroundings at 3,776m high, Japans tallest mountain has inspired countless artists and photographers. Clouds often linger around this active volcano, but well keep our fingers crossed for you to catch a sight of the iconic snow-capped peak as you travel from Tokyo to Matsumoto. If the weather is clear, youll see the volcanos image reflected on the placid waters of Lake Jawaguchi.

Excursions & visits:

Mount Fuji visitor centre (morning)

Alpico Plaza Hotel, Matsumoto (3.5-star)

Day 5 – Matsumoto – Takayama

Known as one of the most beautiful castles in Japan, Matsumoto is a striking timber and stone structure with a unique moon-viewing turret. In the spring, take your time to stroll among the cherry blossoms in the spacious castle gardens. Stop to sample sake (Japanese rice wine) in a traditional brewery, before we take the breathtaking journey through thick pine forests and snow-tipped peaks of the Japanese Alps to the hill town of Takayama. Well call in at the Hida Folk Village, an open-air museum with a collection of antique houses from the region and displays highlighting crafts and ancient traditions.

Excursions & visits:

Visit to Matsumoto Castle (morning)
Sake tasting (afternoon)

Takayama Green Hotel (3-star) or Associa Takayama (3-star)

Day 6 – Takayama

Meiji-era inns, hillside shrines and a pretty riverside setting – the hamlet of Takayama is traditional Japan at its finest. Soak in the local character on our walking tour, when well see highlights such as the open-air flower and fruit market and government house.

Excursions & visits:

Walking tour of Takayama (morning)

Takayama Green Hotel (3-star) or Associa Takayama (3-star)

Day 7 – Kanazawa

Next on our Japan itinerary, we transfer by coach to Kanazawa, visiting the World Heritage Shirakawago Village en route. Kanazawa is a historic castle town, boasting beautifully preserved samurai and geisha districts. Our sightseeing tour includes Omicho market and Higashi Chayagai (the teahouse district).

Excursions & visits:

Visit to Shirakawago Village (morning)
Sightseeing tour of Kanazawa (afternoon)

Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel (4-star)

Day 8 – Kanazawa – Hiroshima

We pack overnight bags whilst our luggage is transferred to Kyoto. Well have another sweep of the city, stopping at the gorgeous Kenroku-en Garden and BukeYashiki (Samurais house). Located outside the gates of Kanazawa Castle and covering an area of 11.4 hectares, the Kenroku-en Garden was created in the 1620s and opened to the public in 1874. Its the epitome of a traditional Japanese garden with plum and cherry blossoms, artificial ponds, hills and buildings. From the quaint, quiet streets of Kanazawa, well go full throttle into one of Japans other passions. The Shinkansen (bullet train) will hurtle us from Kanazawa to Hiroshima in perfect comfort.

Excursions & visits:

Visits to Kenroku-en Garden and BukeYashiki (morning)
Bullet train journey (afternoon)

Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima (4-star)

Day 9 – Hiroshima

Leafy Hiroshima, with its wide boulevards and friendly locals, might not be what you expected. Its a vibrant and cosmopolitan city of peace with a devastating history. Today well catch a ferry over to Miyajima Island to admire the ancient Itsukushima Shrine – the shrine’s torii gate has been under restoration since 2019 and may not be visible. We’ll spend some time strolling through the park. In autumn, the maples here are ablaze with rich reds and oranges. Back in Hiroshima, well take a walking tour around the Peace Memorial Park and take some time for reflection at the Atomic Bomb Museum.

Excursions & visits:

Boat to Miyajima Island (morning)
Peace Memorial Park walking tour and Atomic Bomb Museum (afternoon)

Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima (4-star)

Day 10 – Nara – Kyoto

Another bullet train takes us to Osaka, where well board our coach for the onward journey to Nara, a former capital of Japan. The 8th-century Todaiji temple – supposedly the oldest wooden structure in the world – is wondrous, but the real highlight here are the adorable deer roaming through Nara Park. You can buy a packet of crackers to feed them – theyll even bow to you before you feed them. We arrive in Kyoto this afternoon. With its wealth of shrines and temples, colourful gardens and variety of arts and crafts shops, it’s a real highlight of our Japan tour package. Well uncover geisha culture with some time in the Gion area – Japans most famous geisha district. This evening we enjoy a traditional Kawadoko dining experience, with a Maiko (apprentice geisha) performance.

Excursions & visits:

Bullet train journey (morning)
Todaji Temple and Nara Park (afternoon)
Kawadoko dining experience (evening)

Kyoto Hotel Okura (4-star)