Highlights of Japan

Highlights of Japan

Highlights of JapanJapan
Fully GuidedFully Guided
1212 Nights
Nights
-
B&B
Transport: Flights & TransfersFlights & Transfers

    Your Guided Group Holiday To Japan 

    Join us on a trip to Japan to discover the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’, on this unforgettable 12-night holiday. Along our journey, we will visit imperial palaces, Buddhist temples, proud fortresses and glittering cities. We will have to experience Tokyo, a city like no other and Kyoto, steeped in tradition and home to many beautiful Geisha. On a full day trip to Nara, we’ll visit some of the most iconic temples, including Tōdai-ji and learn more about the rich history of this island nation. Our trip also includes stops in Osaka, Hakone, and Kamakura, with each providing insight into Japan’s unique culture. Japan is truly a country of contrasts; a blend of high-tech modernity and ancient tradition. When you combine this with breath-taking natural scenery, exciting cuisine and exotic culture, it’s easy to see why this Pacific nation is a firm favourite for jetsetters from all over the world.

    Please Note:

    • For departures from Dublin, outbound and return flights will be via Doha, Dubai or Istanbul depending your chosen date.
    • For departures from London, outbound and return flights will be via Dubai. 
    • 2025 itinerary varies - 5 nights in Kyoto, 1 night in Hakone and 4 nights in Tokyo, and days of operation of excursion will vary to 2024.  
    • Dublin - March 2025 itinerary varies with an over night stay in Istanbul, Taksim before your return flight to Dublin.
    Tour Map

    Trip Itinerary

    Activity Level 4

    Activity Level: Busy

    What does this level mean?

    Day

    Travel to Japan

    1

    Depart for Osaka

    Depart for our holiday to Japan, arriving in Osaka.

    Arrive in Osaka Japan

    2

    Transfer to Kyoto

    Time: EveningEvening

    We have arrived in Osaka! We meet with our local guide, and transfer by coach to our hotel in Kyoto.  

    Join us for a welcome dinner at a nearby local restaurant.

    Please note your welcome dinner may be on day two, if your flight arrives in late in the evening.

    Breakfast at our hotel is included on each day of our ten night stay in Japan.

    2025 

    We will stay 5 nights in Kyoto

     

     

     

    Discover Kyoto on a Guided Tour

    3

    Guided Kyoto City Tour

    Time: MorningMorning

    We set off with our expert local guide, to discover some of the highlights of the beautiful and picturesque city of Kyoto!   

    Uncover the treasures of the Sanjusangendo Temple, founded in 1164 and famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, goddess of mercy. The temple hall, measuring 120 metres, is the longest wooden structure in Japan. Afterwards, we visit Nijo Castle, official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu, and witness to many important events in Japanese history.  Within this 400-year-old complex, experience one of the golden ages of Japanese architecture and design, the early Edo period.

    Enjoy lunch (included) at a local restaurant and savour some typical dishes of the region. 

    Guided Visit Ryoan-Ji

    Time: AfternoonAfternoon

    After lunch, we continue to see more of Kyoto’s highlights.  Firstly, let’s enjoy some “Zen time” at Ryoan-ji, originally a private villa, later converted to a temple and home to one of Japan’s most famous rock gardens.  

    We finish the day at the awe-inspiring Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, whose two top floors are completely covered in gold leaf. The garden and architecture around the Kinkaku are said to represent the world of paradise.

    Relax More in Kyoto

    Time: EveningEvening

    This evening is at leisure, to relax and explore our surroundings. Our guide will be happy to advise on places to see and visit.

    Uncover Nara on a Full Day Tour & Geisha Show

    4

    Guided Excursion to Nara

    Time: MorningMorning

    Today we’ll see more, on a full day excursion to Nara, former 8th century capital of Japan. The city is filled with historic treasures including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples. Our guided tour today includes a visit to Nara Park, one of the oldest parks in Japan, with over one thousand resident deer.

    Another stop on the tour is Tōdai-ji Temple, one of the country’s most notable temples, housing one of the largest Buddhas in Japan, fifteen metres tall!

    Also included is a visit to the ancient Kasuga-Taisha, Nara’s celebrated Shinto shrine, set amidst forest pathways and decorated with many bronze and stone lanterns donated by worshippers.

    Lunch is included at a local restaurant today.

    Explore Koufukuji Temple on a Guided Visit

    Time: AfternoonAfternoon

    After lunch we visit the Koufukuji Temple, once the sanctuary of the powerful aristocratic clan, the Fujiwara. This vast complex boasts an impressive five-storied pagoda, housing holy relics.

    At the end of the tour, we return to the hotel to freshen up before this evening’s show.

    Experience a Geisha Show & Dinner

    Time: EveningEvening

    Join us for dinner this evening at a local restaurant, where we uncover more of Japan’s unique culture with a Geisha performance!

    See More - Kyoto or Optional Excursion to Hiroshima

    5

    At Leisure - Discover Kyoto

    Time: Full DayFull Day

    Today is free to enjoy Kyoto at our own pace. Our expert guide will be happy to tell us of further sightseeing and activities to do in this area.

     

    Optional Excursion to Hiroshima

    Time: Full DayFull Day

    There is the option to visit Hiroshima and Miyajima by ferry. This pre-bookable tour is a full day guided excursion, returning in the late evening.

    After breakfast, we walk to Kyoto station (approx.15 mins), for our train journey to Hiroshima (1hr 45 mins each way). The tour includes a visit to Miyajima and Itsukushima Shrine, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum, and the Atomic Bomb Dome

    ‘minimum numbers apply for the operation of this tour’

    The tour includes lunch at a local restaurant.

    Please note: The Torri Gate at the Itsukushima shrine is currently under renovation.

    Transfer to Osaka and Guided Tour

    6

    Guided City Tour of Osaka

    Time: MorningMorning

    After breakfast, check out of our hotel as we say farewell to Kyoto and transfer by coach to Japan’s second largest city, Osaka.

    Today on our guided excursion we visit Umeda Skydeck Observatory, nineteenth tallest building in Osaka and one of the city's most recognisable structures.  We also visit Osaka Castle, another of Japan’s famous landmarks. After, we take a stroll through Dotonbori. Known for its bright lights and extravagant signage, it is considered one of the most colourful districts in Osaka and is also a hub of the city’s vibrant food culture.

    Please note 2025

    We do not depart for a stay in Osaka. Tonight will be spent in our hotel in Kyoto. Transfer time to Osaka for excursions is approximately 1 hour per way from our hotel in Kyoto.

    At Leisure

    Time: EveningEvening

    Enjoy an evening at leisure to soak up the atmosphere, relax and unwind after an eventful day.

    Odawara by Bullet Train with a Tour of Hakone

    7

    Transfer to Odawara by Bullet Train

    Time: Early morningEarly morning

    This morning, we set off to experience more of Japan’s highlights.  It’s “All Aboard” for your journey on one of the famous “Bullet Trains”, to Odawara ! On arrival, we meet our new guide and commence a full day tour of Hakone.

    City Tour of Hakone and boat cruise on Lake Ashi

    Time: MorningMorning

    Discover the city of Hakone on a guided tour, including the Hakone Open Air Museum with its unique sculptures and landscaped gardens.  

    Afterwards, we set sail on Lake Ashi, soaking up the tranquil atmosphere of the surrounding Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. We see even more as we take a ride on the Komagatake Ropeway Cable Car, which on a clear day offers an excellent photo opportunity of Mount Fuji.

    Lunch is included at a local restaurant.

    Transfer to hotel in Hakone & evening at leisure

    Time: EveningEvening

    After a delightful day of discovery, we transfer to our hotel in Hakone.

    Relax, unwind and take time out to re-charge for tomorrow’s excursions.

    Dinner is included tonight.

    Experience Kamakura & Travel to Tokyo

    8

    Guided Tour of Kamakura

    Time: MorningMorning

    We check out of our hotel and travel to Kamakura to experience its most popular sights, including Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the city’s most important Shinto Shrine, dedicated to Hachiman, patron god of the Minamoto family and of the samurai in general.

    Also included is a visit to Kotokuin which has the second tallest bronze Buddha in Japan, and Hase Kannon Temple with its eleven-headed statue of Kannon, goddess of mercy. We also visit trendy Komachi Street, filled with fashion boutiques, souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, and bakeries.

    Lunch is included today at a local restaurant.

    Transfer to Tokyo

    Time: EveningEvening

    After our full day excursion of Kamakura, we transfer by coach to our hotel in Tokyo.

    Uncover Tokyo

    9

    Guided Tokyo City Tour

    Time: MorningMorning

    We uncover more as we take in some of the sights and sounds of bustling Tokyo! Included today are visits to Imperial Palace Plaza, home to the Japanese Imperial family, and Koishikawa Korakuen, one of Tokyo’s oldest and best Japanese gardens, with its beautiful contrasts throughout the seasons.

    We continue to the Hamarikyu Gardens, a traditionally styled garden landscape in central Tokyo. After the tour, in the late afternoon, return to your hotel

    Evening at Leisure to Discover Tokyo

    Time: EveningEvening

    Enjoy an evening at leisure in Tokyo. Our guide will be pleased to offer recommendations for sightseeing and dining.

    Experience more of Tokyo

    10

    Experience Tea Ceremony & Ikebana

    Time: MorningMorning

    This morning, we see more of this vibrant city including a visit to Ueno Park, boasting over one thousand cherry trees! Afterwards, we uncover more of Japan’s ancient arts by witnessing a tea ceremony and learning the Japanese art of Ikebana (flower arranging).

    Discover more of Tokyo at Leisure

    Time: AfternoonAfternoon

    The rest of the afternoon is yours at leisure, to discover the city at your own pace. “Shop till you drop” in in the trendy Ginza district, a must for shopaholics. Now is also the perfect time to buy some souvenirs, as a reminder of your memorable trip.  Sail on a cruise around Tokyo Bay or explore one of the many beautiful city parks, temples and museums. Or if you are a cat lover, you might like to experience one of Tokyo’s many “cat cafés”, where you can take time out and savour a matcha tea with a few furry café friends!

    Our knowledgeable guide will be happy to tell us about other activities to enhance your time in Tokyo and experience even more in this thrilling metropolis.

    Discover Tokyo

    11

    Guided Tour of Tokyo City

    Time: MorningMorning

    This morning we discover more of this fascinating city, with visits to Asakusa Kannon Temple, Nakamise Street with its traditional shopping arcade, and high-end shoppers’ paradise Ginza, before we enjoy a well-earned lunch at a local restaurant (included).

    In the afternoon we stroll through the Harajuku district, known internationally as the centre of Japanese youth culture and fashion and renowned for its colourful street art.  We will also view the Meiji Shrine. This Shinto grand shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) and Empress Shoken, modern Japan's first emperor and empress.

    At Leisure

    Time: EveningEvening

    After another busy day of sightseeing, spend an evening at leisure to relax and unwind.

    Return Home from Tokyo

    12

    Transfer to Tokyo Airport

    Time: EveningEvening

    Today we say farewell to our guide and the unforgettable city of Tokyo.  

    Enjoy time at leisure and some last-minute shopping, before transferring by coach to Tokyo Airport for your overnight flight. 

    Arrive Home

    13

    Arrive Home

    Arrive home after a memorable journey through Japan.

    * We aim to operate your tour itinerary according to the format shown. Occasionally, local conditions and unexpected events may result in adjustments to the planned schedule. We kindly ask for your understanding and flexibility in the event of any changes.

    Customer Reviews

    Know before you go

    What if there is an emergency?

    We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.

    Do I need a Visa?

    Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements

    Will I be met at the airport?

    You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.

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