Luxury Small Group Journeys - Classic Japan 2016

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Best time to go: March to May, September to October

9 Nights | from £5,879pp

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Holiday type: Group departure

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Classic Japan


  • Participate in a Shinto ceremony within the ancient Toshogu Shrine, experiencing Japan’s religious rituals first hand
  • Take the Bullet Train through countryside passing Mount Fuji
  • Embrace the spirit of Japan with lessons in Zen meditation and the ancient art of the traditional tea ceremony
  • Savour Kyoto’s distinctive cuisine and traditions during an exclusive kaiseki ‘multi-course’ banquet with entertainment by a geiko and maiko (apprentice geisha)
  • View the flowering cherry trees or sakura, which bloom profusely in spring Be among the few to stay at Gôra Kadan, one of the country’s most exclusive ryokans (traditional inns)
DAY 1: Arrive Tokyo, Japan
Arrive in Tokyo, Japan’s exciting capital where a member of the A&K team will meet and accompany you to your hotel located in the upmarket Ginza district.
Imperial Hotel

DAY 2: Tokyo
Visit the Imperial Palace Plaza and its wide, ancient moats and stroll through the serene grounds of Meiji-Jingu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the 19th-century Emperor Meiji and his wife. Later head to the majestic Asakusa Temple, pausing to browse the tiny shops of Nakamise-dori. Tonight there is a welcome dinner, a chance to meet your fellow travellers.
Imperial Hotel | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 3: Tokyo
Take a guided tour of upmarket Ginza, a fashionable neighbourhood brimming with designer boutiques, chic restaurants and art galleries. Spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring Tokyo’s many attractions.
Imperial Hotel | MEALS: Breakfast

DAY 4: Tokyo
The Japanese have a saying “Don’t say kekko (wonderful) without seeing Nikko”. Travel overland to Nikko National Park in the mountains north of Tokyo to experience this lovely region. Visit the magnificent carved 17th-century Toshogu Shrine and take part in a special Shinto ceremony with a Shinto priest or miko (priestess).
Imperial Hotel | MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 5: Kamakura To Hakone
Travel to Hakone, one of Japan’s most popular hot springs resorts, to view the forested slopes of Hakone National Park. Take a cruise on Lake Ashi and board a gondola on the Komagatake Ropeway for a spectacular view of Mount Fuji. In the evening experience the exemplary service and kaiseki cuisine at Gôra Kadan, a toprated ryokan (traditional inn).
Gôra Kadan | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 6: Kyoto
Board the bullet train for Kyoto, the epicentre of Japan’s cultural, spiritual and artistic heritage. Kyoto is home to more than 2,000 temples and shrines, 17 of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. See the 1,001 statues of Kannon at Sanjusangendo Temple before visiting Kodai-ji for a lesson in Zen meditation and then take part in a traditional tea ceremony. Spend the evening relaxing at a local izakaya (Japanese inn).
Kyoto Hotel Okura | MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 7: Kyoto To Nara
Set out early in the morning to contemplate the iconic Zen rock garden at Ryoan-ji and glittering Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). Then on to ancient Nara, Japan’s first capital, to walk through Nara Park, home to over a thousand tame deer living amongst the many temples and shrines. Continue to eighth-century Todai-ji, the famous temple complex that contains the world’s largest wooden structure and the largest bronze Buddha in Japan before returning to Kyoto.
Kyoto Hotel Okura | MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 8: Kyoto
Visit one of the most famous landmarks of Kyoto, Kiyomizu Temple, standing on its massive veranda to take in the stunning city views. Stroll along Gojozaka Hills, an area known for its many pottery studios, on the way to the home and workshop of the late Kawai Kanjiro, one of Kyoto’s most prolific potters. Kanjiro’s beautiful, unusual home, redesigned to resemble a country house, is filled with his own creations and showcases his personal collection. After a Japanese-style lunch, spend the afternoon relaxing at the hotel or exploring Kyoto as you wish.
Kyoto Hotel Okura | MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 9: Kyoto
Take a guided walk through the lively Nishiki market to experience the abundance of culinary sights. Your afternoon is free to enjoy on your own, with plenty of opportunities to shop for traditional arts and crafts, including textiles and ceramics. This evening toast your journey with sundowners followed by an exquisite kaiseki banquet, where an attending geiko (as a geisha is known in Kyoto) and maiko dance, sing, pour sake and chat about their fascinating lives.
Kyoto Hotel Okura | MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 10: Kyoto
You’ll be driven to Kansai or Itami Airport for your flight home. MEALS: Breakfast

Back to Japan


Departure Dates & Pricing

Set departure dates are listed below, however we can tailor make this holiday for you to depart on any date you desire.

Departure Dates Per Person from
11th Mar£5,879Book now
25th Mar, 1st, 8th Apr£6,075Book now
15th Apr, 6th, 13th May, 30th Sep, 7th, 14th, 21st Oct£5,879Book now

The above prices include all accommodation, guiding and meals as specified. Subject to availability. Excludes international flights. Single Supplement on request
Hiroshima Post Tour Extension. 4 days from £2,810. Available on the 1, 15 Apr; 6 May; 30 Sep and 7 Oct departures.

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Meet the Orient & Indian Subcontinent Team

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Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Smith, Lynne and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.

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Useful info

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Best time to be there

Spring (late March to April) for cherry blossom, early summer (May to early June) for warm sunshine, autumn (October to November) for sunny weather and spectacular colours.

Fly to

Osaka/ Tokyo Narita and Haneda (Japan Airlines, British Airways)

flying time

12 hours 30 minutes from London

time difference

GMT +9 hours


Not required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

No vaccinations required

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