• Duration

    7 days

  • Location

    Tokyo to Kyoto

  • Price


  • Package by Tucan Travel

From technologically advanced Tokyo teeming with people, to the beautifully preserved old town of Takayama set in a mountain landscape, Japan is a land of fascinating contrasts. Enjoy an authentic way of life in this short but sweet tour of modern Japan.

Day 1 to 2 – Arrive Tokyo

The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre tour accommodation. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held.

New and old collide in Tokyo, Japan’s capital city that never sleeps. As you discover the city you will find there is no actual centre to Tokyo but a collection of impressive districts, all full of attractions. Shinjuku is the main cosmopolitan entertainment quarter for restaurants, shopping and Japans busiest rail station. Here huge plasma screens blast out bright, neon advertisements, while side streets house strip clubs and smoky jazz bars. A quieter option is to spend time in Ueno (Koen) Park where you can visit the Tokyo Zoological Gardens, National Museums, wander among the cherry trees and the see the historical Toshogu Shrine.

Your tour leader will assist you in validating your rail pass which you will use on your tour, and then take you on a morning orientation walk via the metro to the Imperial Palace, the Emperor Meiji Shrine and the area of Harajuku, famous for its quirky youth fashion culture.

Included Excursions: Tokyo Orientation Walk
Optional Excursions: Kabuki Theatre – US$7 Experience a traditional Japanese dance / dramatic play set to music.
• Tokyo National Museum – US$3.50 Japan’s oldest and largest museum holds over 110,000 objects, art works and archaeological artifacts.

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 3 to 3 – Odawara (Hakone)

We travel onwards to Odawara a lakeside resort town which offers fabulous views of Mt Fuji (weather permitting). There are other options you can do here such as boat on the lake with a stunning view of Mt Fuji, or take the rope way up the surrounding mountain for an equally impressive view, or take a bus out to Mt Fuji (depending on the time of the season) and although you won’t be able to climb, you can still marvel at its presence.

Mount Fuji (Fujisan) is Japan’s highest mountain at 3776 metres and can be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama on clear days. This dormant volcano, which last erupted in 1708, has long been worshipped as a sacred mountain and has always experienced huge popularity.

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 4 to 5 – Takayama

We take the Shinkansen Bullet train to Nagoya and change to a local train for the beautiful trip up through the Japanese Alps to Takayama. Here you will have the chance to test the local rice wine. ‘Sake’ is brewed using rice, water and white koji mold as the main ingredients.

We begin our introduction to the traditional city of Takayama with an exploratory bike ride through the town to familiarise you with the famous sites. Takayama is located in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture, which has retained a traditional feel unlike many other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved Old Town. The southern half of the Old Town, especially the Sannomachi Street, is particularly pretty with many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries. After our bike ride is over you can lose yourself in the back streets or venture out of town if you’re feeling adventurous.

Included Excursions: Takayama Bicycle Tour • Saki tasting
Optional Excursions: • Takayama Jinya – US$3.50. Take a tour of this historical government house that has been restored to its early design.• Hida-No-Sato (HIDA folk village) – US$6. Wander around this village of 30 old farmhouses which illustrate the traditional architectural styles of the mountainous regions of Japan • Festival floats exhibition – US$7. Takayama is the home of a famous Shinto festival called Takayama Matsuri. The floats used during the festival can be found in the festival float exhibition hall Takayama Yatai Kaikan.

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 6 to 6 – Kyoto

We take the early morning local train to our bullet train which will deliver us to the modern, vibrant Imperial Capital of Kyoto. Kyoto was fortunate to be spared in the World War II bombings and has retained literally thousands of ancient shrines, temples and palaces, some dating back centuries.

There is an included tour of the Geisha District. Keep an eye out for Gion Square where some scenes from the movie ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ were filmed. If you haven’t read the book it’s a great insight into traditional Japanese life and the effects of the war on society. It may also be possible to see a geisha dance performance or tea ceremony demonstration.

Included Excursions: Tour of Geisha District

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 7 to 7 – Depart Kyoto

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

What’s Included

  • Takayama bicycle tour
  • 6 night(s) in hotels
  • 4 breakfasts
  • Travel by local public bus, train, taxi, on foot
  • Tucan Travel tour leader

What’s not included

  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes
  • Tips on included excursions, visas,travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • Optional excursions – Please see the optional excursions on the dossier page for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour.
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