|Operator:||Wendy Wu Tours|
|Destination:||Asia, Far East Asia, Japan|
Our most extensive Japan tour includes all the classic sights and key cultural activities. Featuring modern cities, historical sights and beautiful landscapes, Japan Uncovered ensures you get the most out of your trip to this fascinating land.
If you’ve been wowed by Joanna Lumley’s Japan on ITV, this tour is the closest itinerary you can get to following in Joanna’s footsteps
17 Day Japan Uncovered Tour Itinerary
DAYS 1-2 FLY TO OSAKA
Fly overnight to the lively, fast-paced city of Osaka. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure to start soaking up the local culture.
DAY 3 DISCOVER NARA
Spend the morning in Nara, the small, history-filled city that was Japans first capital. Stroll through Nara Park, meeting the resident Sika deer en route, to Todaiji Temple. Admire the traditional Isui-en Garden before returning to Osaka. Visit the impressive Osaka castle and later cruise along the Yodogawa River.
DAY 4 HIMEJI
Depart Osaka for Hiroshima, stopping en route to explore the magnificent 17th Century Himeji Castle and the neighbouring Koko-en, a traditional-style garden.
DAY 5 EXPLORE HIROSHIMA
Hiroshima is a vibrant, forward-thinking city that is a pleasure to explore. Reflect on the citys tragic past at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum paying homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Next, hop on the ferry across to the holy island of Miyajima to visit the Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy some free time.
DAY 6 BULLET TRAIN TO KYOTO
Catch a bullet train to Kyoto. Capital for a thousand years, this enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan. Visit Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan’s most famous zen garden and Kinkakuji Temple, also known as ‘Golden Pavilion’.
DAY 7 JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY
Enjoy one of Kyotos most delightful spots, Kiyomizu, a 17th-century Buddhist temple, before experiencing the age-old rituals of a traditional tea ceremony. After lunch, visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for its 10,000 red torii gates.
DAY 8 TRAVEL TO KANAZAWA
Depart Kyoto and travel to Kanazawa. Meander through Kenroku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, before viewing the excellent art collection of the Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.
DAY 9 SHIRAKAWAGO
Visit the Nomura Samurai House and Garden before departing Kanazawa. Stop in Gokayama for lunch and a hands-on washi paper making workshop. Continue to Shirakawago, where you will explore the 300-year-old Gassho style Wada House, before reaching Takayama.
DAY 10 EXPLORE TAKAYAMA
Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyagawa morning market, wander past some of the lovely traditional houses and visit several of the excellent local museums, including the Festival Floats Museum, Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum and Takayama Jinya, followed by a stroll down Kamisannomachi Street.
DAY 11 MATSUMOTO CASTLE
Travel to Matsumoto and explore the formidable 16th-century Matsumoto Castle. Visit a miso house and learn about this famous Japanese seasoning. Also spend some time at a wasabi farm to learn about its cultivation before continuing to Nagano.
DAY 12 SNOW MONKEYS
Travel deeper into the Japanese Alps to see the Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) bathe and play in their hot spring pool at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Continue to Zenkoji, one of Japans most prolific Buddhist temples.
DAY 13 MAJESTIC MOUNT FUJI
Travel to the Fuji Five Lakes area and ascend by road to the 5th station (weather permitting), roughly halfway up Mt Fuji, for fantastic views over the surrounding landscapes. Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum to view the elaborate dyed silk creations of artist Kubota Itchiku.
DAY 14 EXPLORE HAKONE
Transfer to Hakone and enjoy a cruise on the peaceful waters of Lake Ashi. Next, soar high on the Hakone ropeway over the hilltops to the volcanic Owakudani Valley and discover the dramatic natural hot springs of Mt Hakone. Later, proceed to Tokyo, Japan’s vibrant capital city.
If Hakone Ropeway and Owakudani Valley is closed due to volcanic activity, you will visit Hakone Shrine and take the Komagatake Ropeway instead.
DAY 15 DISCOVER TOKYO
A dazzling, high-tech metropolis, Tokyo has wonderfully traditional roots. Start your explorations at the Imperial Palace East Garden, visit Meiji Shrine and walk the famous Shibuya Crossing. The rest of the day is at leisure.
DAY 16 TOKYO
Start the day with a stroll in the vibrant Asakusa district and soak up the ambiance of Senso-ji, Tokyos oldest Buddhist temple. Ascend to the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. The afternoon is at leisure until the evening, when you will board a traditional yakata boat for a dinner cruise.
DAY 17 FLY TOKYO TO UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.