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The Golden Route

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  • Included:
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact center
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The Golden Route incorporates Japan’s must-see destinations into a 9-day independent tour, featuring immersive cultural experiences and trips to some of this enchanting nation’s most famous sights. You’ll learn how to make authentic sushi dishes in the vibrant city of Tokyo, as well as a traditional art form, such as origami or calligraphy, in the imperial city of Kyoto. In addition to cultural activities, you will explore a variety of ancient temples and shrines, as well as a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and some of the most incredible vistas this vast country has to offer, including the snow-capped peaks of Mount Fuji (DA).


  • Discover futuristic architecture and serene gardens in the contrasting landscapes of Tokyo, Japan’s Capital City.
  • Board the world-famous bullet train, reaching speeds of up to 186mph
  • Encounter stunning scenery and incredible outdoor activities in Hakone, bordering Mt Fuji
  • Immerse in numerous cultural activities, from Japanese cooking and origami lessons to home visits and tea ceremonies.
  • Explore Kyoto city’s shrines, temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Day 1


Upon arrival at Narita Airport, you will be met by an assistant and transferred to your hotel in Tokyo. After check-in, there will be a short meet and greet with your tour group before taking the rest of the day to explore the city’s beautiful contrasting scenery at your leisure.

Overnight: Standard - Shiba Park Hotel

Superior – Park Hotel Tokyo (City Room)

Day 2


Today you’ll enjoy a full day tour of this vibrant city with a local guide, beginning with a visit to the Meiji Shrine, followed by a walk down the popular Omotesando street for a spot of shopping. You’ll then head over to Asakusa, where you can soak up Tokyo’s old town atmosphere before exploring Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. To finish your day, you’ll enjoy a cup of steaming matcha and Japanese sweets on a small island in the stunning Hamarikyu Garden, framed by the futuristic skyscrapers of the Shiodome district.

Breakfast included.

Overnight: Standard - Shiba Park Hotel

Superior – Park Hotel Tokyo (City Room)

Day 3


Begin your day with a visit to the world’s largest fish market, named Tsukiji Market, offering some 450 types of fish as well as fresh fruit, vegetables and an impressive selection of seafood. Afterwards, you will visit a traditional Japanese home. This unique opportunity gives you the chance to learn about Japanese culture and everyday life in the city. You’ll also learn to prepare a variety of sushi, and you can enjoy your own home-made sushi for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure, with an optional tour of Tokyo’s Shitamachi (Downtown).

Breakfast and lunch included.

Overnight: Standard - Shiba Park Hotel

Superior – Park Hotel Tokyo (City Room)

Day 4

Tokyo – Hakone

Board Japan’s famous Shinkansen bullet train to Hakone (2 hour journey).

Hakone overflows with natural beauty, and offers an abundance of outdoor pursuits, relaxing hot springs and incredible views of Mount Fuji. Take advantage of the extensive transport networks to explore this stunning region, with switchback trains, cable cars, ropeways and buses to make use of to your hearts content. There is also a unique pirate ship trip that takes you across the volcanic Lake Ashi with sweeping views of the famous Mt Fuji.

After a day of fun, you will be staying in a traditional Japanese Ryokan, offering fantastic cuisine, hot spring baths and authentic futon beds laid over tatami mats.

Breakfast and Dinner included.

Overnight: Standard – Ichinoyu Honkan (Standard Japanese Room)

Superior – Susukinohara Ichinoyu (Standard Japanese Room with outdoor hot spring bath)

Day 5

Hakone – Kyoto

Using your JR Pass, travel by train to Kyoto (taking just over two hours).

Once you have arrived and settled in Kyoto, you can choose one of the following two activities:

Home Visit with Cultural Experience – an assistant will escort you to visit the home of a professional instructor of one of Japan’s traditional arts. You may choose from a tea ceremony, flower arranging, calligraphy or origami. (Please note: the entire group must choose the same activity)

Japanese Cooking in Machiya Townhouse – during this tour, you will learn about Kyoto’s Kappo Cuisine, as well as how to make some famous Japanese dishes. Please note: you must make your own way to this venue.

Breakfast Included.

Overnight: Standard – Vista Premio Kyoto (Standard Room)

Superior – Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (Standard Room)

Day 6


Today will be spent exploring the former imperial capital of Kyoto with a local guide. You will start your day with a visit to one of Kyoto’s most famous temples, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), followed by an opportunity to explore the ornamental Nijo Castle. Afterwards, you can take a walk down the narrow five-block Nishiki Market offering a large selection of shops and restaurants. Kyoto is one of the best-preserved cities in Japan with an impressive 17 UNESCO World Heritage sights, as well as 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 shrines, so there is plenty to explore in the city to end the day.

Breakfast included.

Overnight: Standard - Vista Premio Kyoto (Standard Room)

Superior – Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (Standard Room)

Day 7

Nara and Fushimi

Begin the day with a transfer from your hotel to Nara by train (45 mins) with a local guide.

Upon arrival in Nara, start with a visit to Todaiji Temple, home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Your next stop will be to Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768AD. Take a wander through Nara Park, home to more than 1,000 tame deer. Upon your return from Nara, we recommend a visit to the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine which houses over 10,000 red torii gates.

Breakfast included.

Overnight: Standard - Vista Premio Kyoto (Standard Room)

Superior – Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (Standard Room)

Day 8

Kyoto – Tokyo

Today, you will make a return trip to Tokyo, taking around two and a half hours by Shinkansen Bullet Train. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Breakfast included.

Overnight: Standard - Shiba Park Hotel

Superior – Park Hotel Tokyo (City Room)

Day 9

Depart Tokyo

Your day is at leisure until your scheduled shared transfer to Narita Airport for your return flight.

Breakfast included.

  • International flights
  • 8 nights of hotel accommodation
  • 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner (drinks not included)
  • JR Pass to board bullet train
  • Hakone Free Pass to use transport in Hakone
  • Tour guides
  • 7-Day Japan Rail Pass, Ordinary Class
  • Tours and transfers as specified including entry fees

What’s Not Included

  • Meals other than specified as included
  • Travel insurance or personal expenses
  • Entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities

Book today

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