Japan by Rail
|Resort:||Japan by Rail|
|Operator:||Wendy Wu Tours|
|Destination:||Asia, Far East Asia, Japan|
An all-encompassing journey through Japan, travelling mainly by bullet train and taking in the highlights of all three main islands: Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido. Experience ancient traditions and modern Japan’s unique charm.
Group Tour Includes:
Day 1-2 Fly Overnight to Fukuoka
Fly overnight to the charming city of Fukuoka, the gateway to the island of Kyushu. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 3 Explore Nagasaki
Begin the day by travelling on the limited express train to Nagasaki. Upon arrival, enjoy a stroll through the Glover Garden, an open-air museum that exhibits mansions attributed to the Scottish merchant who contributed to the modernisation of Japan. Also, visit the Oura Catholic Church and Atomic Bomb Museum before returning to Fukuoka.
Day 4 Miyajima Island
Board the bullet train to Hiroshima, located on Japan’s largest island, Honshu. Upon arrival in Hiroshima, take the ferry across the Seto Inland Sea to the holy island of Miyajima. Here, visit the Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy a Momiji Manju making cooking experience. Later, return to Hiroshima.
Day 5 Hiroshima Highlights
Spend the day in Hiroshima starting with a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum where you will have the opportunity to pay homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Enjoy okonomiyaki for lunch before ascending Orizuru Tower to view the city from above, followed by a stroll through the historical Shukkeien Garden.
Day 6 Admire Himeji Castle
Depart Hiroshima by bullet train, stopping at Himeji to visit the magnificent Himeji Castle, followed by a walk through Kokoen. Continue by limited express to Osaka.
Day 7 Osaka & Nara Day Trip
Begin the day with a visit to the Umeda Sky Building followed by a lunch at the famous Dontonburi district. Later, head to Nara and explore Todaiji Temple which houses the impressive Daibutsu, a 15-metre tall bronze statue of Buddha. Enjoy an ink making and calligraphy class before returning to Osaka.
Day 8 Kyoto’s Temples
Journey by road to Kyoto. Capital for 1,000 years, this enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan. Upon arrival, stroll through the Arashiyama bamboo forest and admire the towering thickets. Also visit Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan’s best-known zen garden and the famous ‘Golden Pavilion’ Kinkakuji Temple.
Day 9 Tea Ceremony & Fan Painting
The day begins with a visit to the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. Next, immerse yourself in the culture and enjoy the age-old rituals of a sacred tea ceremony, zen mediation and try your hand at fan painting. Also, explore Gion Kyoto’s famous geisha district.
Day 10 Explore Kanazawa
Take the limited express train to Kanazawa and upon arrival, meander your way through Kenrokuen, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Also visit the Nomura Samurai House and Kunani Pottery Factory.
Day 11 Shirakawago Village
Travel by road to Takayama stopping en route at Inami for a sake wooden cup making experience and sake tasting. Next, continue to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shirakawago Village to get a glimpse of rural Japan. Continue to Takayama.
Day 12 Discover Takayama
Spend the morning browsing the local handicrafts and fresh produce at Miyagawa market, the Takayama Floats Museum and Takayama Jinya. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
Day 13 Snow Monkeys
Travel to Matsumoto and spend time at the Daio Wasabi Farm to see the plantations and learn about its cultivation. Continue to Yudanaka and head to Jigokudani Yaen-Koen. Walk through a picturesque forested valley to the hot pools where you will see the famous Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) bathe and play before returning to Matsumoto.
Day 14 Matsumoto Castle
Begin the day with a visit to the magnificent 16th-century Matsumoto Castle, also known as ‘Crow Castle’, due to its intense black exterior. Next, head to a miso house and learn about the process of making this famous Japanese seasoning. Also visit the former post town of Naraijuku before continuing to Suwa.
Day 15 Mount Fuji
Travel to Hakone and ascend 2,400 metres to the 5th Station (weather permitting) for magnificent views of Mt Fuji. Also, enjoy a peaceful cruise on Lake Ashi before taking to the skies on the Komagatake Ropeway. Later, continue to Tokyo by road.
Day 16 Tour Tokyo
Begin the day with a stroll through Hamarikyu Gardens. Next, take part in a sushi-making class and enjoy your own creations for lunch! Later, soak up the atmosphere at Sensoji temple, browse the stalls on Nakamise shopping street and drive-by the Imperial Palace Plaza.
Day 17 Even More Tokyo
Begin the day at the Tokyo Metropolitan Building and ascend to the observation deck for breathtaking views over the sprawling city. Next, soak up the atmosphere at the peaceful Meiji Jingu Shrine and drive-by the world-famous Shibuya crossing. End the day with a relaxing dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay.
Day 18 Sip Whiskey in Sendai
As the tour journeys to northern Honshu, board the bullet train to Sendai, the largest city in Tohoku. Upon arrival, transfer by road to Matsushima and enjoy a cruise on Matsushima Bay. Also, visit Zuiganji Temple and the famous Nikka Whisky factory in Sendai.
Day 19 Explore Hakodate
Say goodbye to Honshu Island as you board the bullet train to Hakodate located on Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Visit the Goryokaku Tower, a star shaped fortress followed by some time at leisure. This evening, journey on the Mt Hakodate Ropeway and enjoy the fabulous views of the city below.
Day 20 Sapporo Sightseeing
Board the bullet train for the very last time to Sapporo. Head to the Clock Tower and Odori Park and in the evening, stop by the Sapporo Beer Museum and enjoy a tasting or two, followed by a farewell dinner.
Day 21 Fly Sapporo to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or the following day.