We Love —
- From the luminous, cutting edge metropolis of Tokyo and the age-old traditions of Kyoto to the majesty of Mount Fuji, this private tour allows you to experience the highlights of Japan’s amazing sights.
- Japan dazzles with its traditional culture and love of everything new!
- With your private tour you can discover Japan's traditions at your own pace.
New Voyage Privé —
Carefully selected by our experts especially for you
Here to Help —
Booking 35 days in advance and spending over £500 per person? No need to pay in full today! Just select the 30% deposit option on our payment page (terms & conditions apply)
For any additional information on this offer or assistance in making your reservation please call one of our dedicated team on 0844 8262098 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 08:00 to 21:00 and Saturdays & Sundays from 09:00 to 17:30.
Your Destination —
One of the world’s most cutting-edge capitals, Tokyo is a city of contrasts. Famous for its modernity, neon-lit landscape and towering skyscrapers, it is also home to sprawling parkland, peaceful shrines and temples and lovingly tended gardens. Despite its love affair with manga pop culture, fashion, high-tech trends and conspicuous consumption, below the surface is a city that has its roots in ancient heritage. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples stand close to skyscrapers as a reminder of a more contemplative time and at the heart of the hyperactive centre lies the serene Imperial Palace, the home of the ruling emperor that provides a tangible link to the city’s historical past.
Behind the shopping, entertainment and commercial emporia can be found quaint wooden houses, private gardens with meticulously clipped bonsai trees and the Zen-like calm of the Hamarikyu Gardens. The city’s reputation as a mega-expensive metropolis is ill conceived and visitors can take advantage of inexpensive izakaya bars and neighbourhood cafes that serve delicious noodles and rice dishes.
If you're looking for old Japan, Kyoto is a must: tranquil gardens, sublime temples and colourful shrines can be found in abundance. While the rest of Japan has embraced modernity, Kyoto still keeps traditions alive. Take a stroll through the Nishijin district and spy some of the older residents emerging from the machiya (traditional townhouses) to ladel water onto their porch. If you go by an old shōtengai (shopping street) you can admire the ancient speciality shops: tofu sellers, fishmongers, pickle vendors and tea merchants.
Your Itinerary —
Days 1-2: UK/Tokyo
You will be met on arrival at Tokyo Narita Airport today and taken by shuttle bus to your hotel in Tokyo. Please note that as other people will be in the same bus there may be a few stops before you arrive at your hotel (maximum of 3 other stops). Journey time is around 2 hours and this is a comfortable and easy way to make today's transfer. Look out for some great views as you ride the elevated highways into town!
Overnight accommodation in Tokyo.
Today you will take a full day private tour of the city with a local guide, travelling by public transport, as Tokyoites do, in order to help you to get a real feel for the Japanese capital. This will be a fantastic introduction to Tokyo and the chance to get a personal insight not only into the classic sights, but also into some more unusual and unique features of the city. With a guide at your disposal you are free to set the pace of the day to be as busy or relaxed as you choose. The guide will first take you on a Sumida River cruise, entrance to Hamarikyu Gardens and a trip to the Tokyo skytree. Afterwards, your guide can help you discover aspects of Tokyo that you would not find by yourself and can also help you get to grips with the city's excellent transport network.
Breakfast and lunch are included.
Today you will be making a full day excursion to Mount Fuji and the Hakone National Park. Your day will get underway with the drive to the 5th Station of Mount Fuji from where, weather permitting, you will be able to take in the spectacular views before moving to Hakone, where you will board a cruise boat and travel across Lake Ashi to Hakone-en Garden. From the garden, you will take the ropeway up Mount Komagatake for a spectacular panoramic view of Mount Fuji and the valley below. Lunch is included. In the late afternoon you will begin the drive back to Tokyo arriving early evening. The tour drops you off in the Ginza and Shinjuku from where you will make your way back to your hotel.
Overnight accommodation in Tokyo. Breakfast & lunch is included.
From Tokyo you will take the Shinkansen to Nagano, the main access point for many areas of the Japan Alps and host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics. The 222km journey takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes.From Nagano you will take the Nagano Dentetsu line to Yudanaka. The 33km journey takes 45 minutes and all seats are unreserved. If travelling through the summer months, you will see you though fruit groves and vineyards, in the winter a blanket of snow covers the rural landscape.
Overnight accommodation in a Ryokan in Yudanaka. Breakfast & dinner included.
Day 6: Yudanaka Onsen
Day at leisure to explore Yudanaka, the Snow Monkeys and the Onsens.
Overnight accommodation in a Ryokan in Yudanaka. Breakfast & dinner are included.
Day 7: Bullet Train to Kyoto
From Yudanaka you will take the Nagano Dentetsu train to Nagano. The journey takes about 45 minutes and all seats are unreserved. From Nagano you will use your Japan Rail Pass to take a Ltd Express train to Nagoya and then the Shinkansen (bullet train) on to Kyoto. It's an easy journey with just two changes to make and full details will be in your info-pack. Journey time is just under 4 hours and both trains offer reserved seats.
Overnight accomodation in Kyoto. Breakfast is included.
Today there is a full day tour of the city by public transport with a private guide. Your guide will come to your accommodation at around 9:00 AM and take you on a tour that will encompass some of the more famous sights but also some lesser known places of interest. Your day of guiding will finish at around 5:00 PM either back at your accommodation or anywhere else in the city you wish to spend the evening.
Overnight accomodation in Kyoto. Breakfast is included.
Enjoy a day at leisure in Kyoto or you may like to use the included Japan Rail Pass to make a day trip to another destination. Nara, 40 minutes south of Kyoto is an excellent choice with its collection of UNESCO World Heritage sights centred around an attractive park area (with resident sacred deer!). Nara was capital of Japan for a short period around AD700 and the legacy of this is a wealth of beautiful temples and shrines including the huge bronze Buddha statue inside Todai-ji Temple, the world's largest wooden building. If Kyoto has shown you enough of the traditional side of Japan for now, you may like to make a day trip to one of the more modern destinations nearby.
The vibrant metropolis of Osaka (30mins) is famous for the down-to-earth attitude of its people and is considered one of the best places in all of Japan for eating and drinking. Kobe (30mins) is another good option; an attractive, cosmopolitan port city famous for its fine local beef and its remarkable recovery from the devastating earthquake of 1995. It is also possible to get as far as Hiroshima (2 hrs) in a day, to visit the sombre Peace Park and Museum.
Overnight accomodation in Kyoto. Breaskfast is included.
Day 10: Kyoto - Tokyo
From Kyoto you will use your Japan Rail Pass to take the Shinkansen to Tokyo and then a Yamanote line train to Shinjuku station. We recommend changing trains in Tokyo at Shinagawa station as it is a nice easy transfer. Total journey time is around 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Overnight accommodation in Tokyo. Breakfast is included.
Day 11: Tokyo in flight to UK
Sadly your adventures in Japan must come to an end. You will need to make your way to Shinjuku Station. From here you will be taking the Narita Express which makes the journey direct to the airport in just over 1 hour 15 minutes. The Narita Express trains offer a very comfortable journey, thanks to an upgrade in 2009, adding reclining seats and on board TVs.
Breakfast is included.
Your Hotels —
Your accomodation is selected for convenience of location, comfort or charcter, and can range from a business hotel in one city to a family run guest house in a smaller town. In more remote areas, accomodation may be of a lower standard and may not have all western amenities.
A particular highlight of this trip is your stay in traditional Japanese accomodation in Yudanaka. Here you will be staying in a Ryokan (inn), situated in the heart of town, this small and friendly spa hotel offers comfort and convenience for seeing the sights of Yudanaka. So embrace this glimpse of a unique culture.
Your Journey —
Flights: Your flights are an important part of your tour experience. Although we cannot specify which flight times you will be allocated until the time of booking, our supplier will always endeavour to place Voyage Privé members on the best possible flight combinations. These flights will be on airlines with the best reputation for service, reliability and punctuality. Reputable domestic airlines for internal routes. Flight times can vary and are selected on availability.
Flight times will be confirmed on your official ATOL certificate/invoice issued by the Tour Operator.
Transfers: Shared transfers are included, transfers from the airport to the hotel and vice versa should be no longer than 2 hours.