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Grand Tour of Japan

Operator: Titan Travel
Destination: Japan
Price From: £7195.00


Japan is a melting pot of experiences and this grand tour promises to serve up a three-week adventure like no other. From rural history, revered castles and ancient pathways to big cities, skyscraping towers and high-speed trains – well see them all, not forgetting landscaped gardens, steaming volcanoes and bathing snow monkeys. Well discover hope in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and visit Japans spiritual heart at Mount Koya, all the while immersing ourselves in the countrys cuisine, culture and art.


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 arrival in Tokyo, well transfer to our hotel and the evening is free.

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo (4-star)

Day 3 – Tokyo

Our grand adventure of Japan begins with a full days sightseeing in the capital. Buzzing with futuristic technology and skyscrapers, this fast-paced city has a slower side too coupled with a rich history. Well stop at the moated Imperial Palace Plaza surrounded by lovely gardens, before passing the modern commercial district on our way to Sens-ji Temple. This striking red temple dedicated to a Buddhist deity, Kannon, is Tokyos oldest. Hungry after a busy morning, well eat lunch like the locals from a Bento box, followed by a spot of shopping in Tokyos colourful and atmospheric open-air market – Ameyoko. We end our day in Hamarikyu Gardens, a tranquil oasis amid a bustling forest of skyscrapers.

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo (4-star)

Day 4 – Hakone

Southwest of Tokyo is Hakone. Its tranquil crater lakes, snow-capped peaks and soothing onsen might lead you to forget that its a place forged by the drama of a volcano. Well drive to the Owakudani Valley to see at first hand its steaming rivers and bubbling hot springs, and the Geo Museum gives further insight to this fascinating area. If the weather allows, youll get views of Mount Fuji too. From small puzzle boxes to coasters and trays, the mosaic inlay woodwork technique of yosegi-zaiku marquetry is a delicate process. It originated here in the Hakone mountains in the Edo period, and well get to experience some of the skills required to produce such charming items. Well then follow in the footsteps of ancestors on a guided walking tour along part of the Old Tkaid Road, a trail that once served as a route between Tokyo and Kyoto. Smoothed-stone pathways will take us towards deep blue Lake Ashi, breathing in the scent of towering cedars as we wander along an avenue of 370-year-old trees.

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo (4-star)

Day 5 – Tokyo

Today is free to explore all that Tokyo has to offer. Perhaps head up the Tokyo Skytree, a 634m-high tower with observation decks for excellent views across the city. There are museums, gardens and plenty of eating opportunities to fill your time.

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo (4-star)

Day 6 – Nagano

We pack overnight bags whilst our luggage is taken to Kyoto, as were whisked by bullet train to Nagano. Well head to Jigokudani Monkey Park to say hello to its famous residents, a troop of Japanese macaques who live totally at ease in the presence of visitors, whiling away their time in their very own onsen. A treat awaits this afternoon as we get involved in oyaki making. These traditional flour buns stuffed with a variety of fillings are toasted on a hot iron pan then steamed – a tasty snack thats crisp on the outside with a pillowy centre. We complete our day at the 7th-century Zenk-ji Temple, a site of pilgrimage and quiet place of contemplation within the city of Nagano.

Hotel Metropolitan Nagano (4-star)

Day 7 – Nagano – Kyoto

After some free time, well head off the beaten track into rural and historic Japan to stroll around Magome and Tsumago – two enchanting post towns (rest stops) that still exist along the Nakasendo Trail. This route to Kyoto was established during Tokyos Edo period and provides a glimpse into a lesser-known side of Japan hidden within enchanting forest and countryside. We bring ourselves back to the modern day and board the first of two train journeys, to Kyoto via Nagoya.

Kyoto Hotel Okura (4-star)

Day 8 – Kyoto

Today promises some real highlights and well start at Kiyomizu-dera, a UNESCO-listed temple nestled into the Kyoto hills. Founded in 780, close to the tumbling cascades of a waterfall, the name translates as pure water temple and from its 13m-high stage well gaze across woodland below. Well also stroll along Ninenzaka, an ancient stone road lined with traditional buildings. Well visit the Gion district next, an area of Kyoto famous for one of Japans most iconic sights – the stunning secretive geisha. To become a geisha, young women must first spend time as an apprentice (maiko), and well take lunch today accompanied by their enchanting dance and conversation. Imagine a temple that glows in the sun, its top two floors covered in gold leaf. This is Kinkaku-ji and well visit this beautiful building in its spectacular setting. Kyoto is the birthplace of the traditional tea ceremony and after a day of wonder, well conclude with a refreshing first-hand experience in this graceful discipline.

Kyoto Hotel Okura (4-star)

Day 9 – Kyoto

You have a whole day to see more of Kyoto at your own pace. The Kyoto Railway Museum set in the former Nijo Station is a must for rail enthusiasts. Or head to Nijo Castle, famous for its nightingale floors that chirp under foot.

Kyoto Hotel Okura (4-star)

Day 10 – Kyoto – Osaka

A stroll through Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is an otherworldly experience as you stand amid soaring stalks of green. Well walk through, gazing upwards whilst listening to the rustling. We make our way to Osaka. In your free afternoon there’s an optional excursion to learn the finer arts of ink making and calligraphy or head further afield to Nara and its famed park, home to over 1,000 deer. Perhaps head to the neon-lit world of Dotonbori this evening, a short walk from the hotel.

Osaka Excel Hotel Tokyu (4-star)