Magical Japan

12 days: Scenic Japan Explore Honshu Japan during Sakura Cherry Blossom season

  • Tokyo: city tour (3 nights)
  • Hakone (1 night) - Ryokan & Spa
  • Mt Fuji - Lake Ashi
  • Bullet Trains
  • Takayama (1 night) - Ryokan & Spa
  • Shirakawago
  • Kanazawa (2 nights)
  • Kyoto: (3 nights)
  • Nara
  • Tea Ceremony
  • Fully Guided Small Group tour
  • Quality Ryokans, Spa & Hotels
  • Optional: Geisha performance
  • Transfer back to Tokyo - Optional

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Magical Japan Tours
  Tel from UK 0161 440 7332
  Tel from USA 1-213-325-2627

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tokyo sumo


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bullet train


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Tour Details at a Glance

  • Fully Guided Small Group tour.
  • International flights provided with Full ATOL Protection.
  • International airport transfer.
  • Experienced professional English speaking Tour Guide/Tour Leader from Day 3-11
  • Quality selection of hotels and superb Ryokans with spa facilities.
  • All entrance fees included.
  • Daily Breakfast, 2 Evening Meals.
  • Luggage transfers between destinations as stated in itinerary.
  • No hidden extras, all entrance fees & transport included.
  • Guided tours by private coach or taxi, trains and public transport all included.

Day 1
Depart from your preferred airport for your flight to Tokyo. Meals on board.

Day 2 Tokyo
Arrive at Airport in Tokyo and self transfer to your hotel.
The rest of the day is at your leisure to adjust to the 9 hours time difference. *Airport meeting assistant and transfer service can be provided as an option*

Stay 3 nights at the highly regarded Keio Plaza Hotel (or similar).

Day 3 Tokyo (Breakfast at your hotel)
After breakfast in your hotel, meet your Tour Leader and profession Tour Guide who will look after you during your tour and travel with you throughout.

Today we explore Tokyo and our first stop is to the Tsukiji Fish Market which is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and famous for the tuna and sword fish trading which frantically takes place in the early mornings.

We then visit the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. The massive east gardens are part of the inner palace, designed during the Meiji era and include traditional Japanese gardens, tea-ceremony rooms, guard houses and the stone remains of Edo Castle. Later we visit the Tokyo National Museum which contains many of Japans and Asia's most precious and historic sculptures, paintings and archaeological objects. Our final stop will be Tokyo's most colourful and popular Buddhist Temples, the famous and bustling Asakusa Kannon Temple.

Return to our hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy free time in Tokyo. Your Tour Guide can advise on places to visit, or good places to eat.

Day 4 Tokyo (Breakfast at your hotel)

Today, we travel around Tokyo with our Tour Guide to explore more must-see sights of Tokyo. Our tour includes visiting the iconic Tokyo Government Office building, which provides some of the best views across Tokyo. Afterwards we travel to the impressive Meiji Shrine which is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort. Pass through the huge Shinto Torii gates and take a leisurely walk in the peaceful forest leading to the Shrine, far away from the hustle and bustle of modern Tokyo.

Later we explore Harajuku and Omotesando Districts of Tokyo which is the centre of Japan's most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles where many teenagers dress up in crazy costumes to resemble animation characters and punk musicians etc. Harajuku and Omotesando also offers great shopping opportunities and historic sights to explore.

Afternoon is free for you to explore Tokyo on your own. As always, your Tour Guide can advise on places to visit, or good places to eat.

Day 5 Tokyo - Hakone (Includes Breakfast & Japanese Buffet Dinner)
In the morning we gather in the hotel lobby to meet our Tour Guide for the transfer together to Hakone by express & local trains.

To make your train journey more comfortable we have arranged to transfer your large luggage directly to Takayama. Prepare a small overnight bag for your time in Hakone.

Upon arrival in Hakone, we walk to our Ryokan to check in. Later we explore the scenic areas of Hakone, which on a clear day provides great views of Mt Fuji. Together with our guide we take a Ropeway Ride to Owakudani and explore the volcanic Owakudani Valley. We then take a Ropeway Ride to Lake Ashi, where we board a boat to cruise the still waters of Lake Ashi. Afterwards we visit the recently restored Hakone Sekisho, which was an important check point established by the Tokugawa shogun.

In the evening we can relax in the Onsen 'hot spring spa' and later enjoy a traditional Japanese buffet dinner served in your Ryokan.

Accommodation at the superb Tenseien Ryokan, or similar (1 night). Tenseien Ryokan offers gorgeous scenery and indoor and outdoor Onsen hot spring spa baths. It also adjoins a beautiful garden which is home to two waterfalls and Tamadare Shrine.

Day 6 Hakone - Takayama (Includes Breakfast & Japanese Set Dinner)
After breakfast we make our transfer to Takayama with our Tour Guide by Bullet train via Nagoya and upon arrival walk to our Ryokan.

We take a Guided walking tour of Takayama, which includes visiting the House of Yoshijima constructed circa 1907 and former home of a prosperous merchant engaged in the production of sake. Afterwards we visit Yatai Kaikan Exhibition Hall to see the historic floats used during Takayama's yearly Festival.

We return to our Ryokan in time for a wonderful set Japanese dinner made with fresh seasonal ingredients. Our wonderful Ryokan offers a choice of two luxurious outdoor spa baths and even a foot bath with views over Takayama.

Accommodation is at the Hoshokaku Ryokan (or similar) staying in a Japanese style room.

Day 7 Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa (Breakfast)
Enjoy Breakfast in your Ryokan and then we take a walking tour of Takayama, where we visit the Morning Market. Afterwards we visit the Takayama Jinya, a former Government Outpost of the Shogun. Our next stop is Kamisannomachi street which is in the old area of Takayama and reminiscent of ancient times when Samurai wandered the streets.

Early afternoon we leave for Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage Sites nestled into a valley surrounded by stunning forests and mountains. Shirakawago is well known for the unique architectural style of the village houses, known as gassho-zukuri. The Gassho-zukuri style of house is characterised by a thatched steeply slanting roof resembling two hands joined in prayer. Upon arrival we visit a typical Gasho-zukuri House and take a leisurely walk around Shirakawago Village.

Afterwards we continue on our scenic drive to Kanazawa and check into our hotel. Accommodation Nikko Kanazawa, or similar (2 nights)

Day 8 Kanazawa (Breakfast)
Todays tour includes visiting the fabulous Kenrokuen Gardens, classified as one of Japan's "three most beautiful landscape gardens" and probably the best of them all. The spacio us garden used to be the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle.
Afterwards we visit a Shima 'Geisha' Tea House in the Higashi Chayagai Area of Kanazawa. This is a charming place with wooden buildings and paved streets reminiscent of another era, and was once classified as an entertainment area for Geisha to dance and sing to their guests in the many 'Chaya' tea houses.

In the afternoon we take a local bus and explore the 280 year old Omicho seafood Market and then we take a fascinating look at the traditional Samurai District and visit the former home and gardens of the Nomura family, who were high ranking Samurai family during Japans feudal era.

Day 9 Kanazawa - Kyoto -Nara - Kyoto (Breakfast)
Separate 1 piece luggage transfer to Kyoto - Arriving the next day.

After Breakfast we transfer by train to Kyoto and take a short walk to our hotel. We then make the short journey to Nara where upon arrival we enjoy a walking tour of the ancient capital city of Japan. Enjoy strolling in the Deer Park and exploring the impressive Todaiji Temple and Great Buddha. Return to Kyoto by train mid afternoon and check into our hotel.

Accommodation at Daiwa Roinett Shijo Karasuma Hotel or similar (3 nights)

Day 10 - Kyoto (Breakfast)
We enjoy a full day of sight seeing with our tour Guide. We take our own private coach to visit Nijo Castle, commissioned by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate and completed in 1626. One of the most intriguing features is the "nightingale floors" designed to squeak like birds when anyone walks on them and designed to warn occupants of sneak attacks by Ninja assassins.

Afterwards we take our Private coach to visit the famous Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji Temple) and Ryoanji Temple, which has Japan's most famous Zen rock garden. We then have a great opportunity to experience a Japanese Tea Ceremony, where we learn about the traditions associated with this ancient ritual.

In the afternoon we use public transport to visit Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) and take a scenic walk along the Path of Philosophy which passes by many temples and shrines and follows a canal lined by hundreds of cherry trees, which explode into colour during Spring, making this one of the city's most popular 'Hanami' (cherry blossom viewing) spots.

Day 11 -Kyoto (Breakfast)
Today we join our guide for a morning walking tour of Kyoto to visit the impressive and must-see Kiyomizu Temple built perched on the hillside overlooking Kyoto.

We then walk though Ninnenzaka and Sannenzaka on one of Kyoto's most beautiful walks, which takes us down into the Gion area of Kyoto, famous for Geisha's. Enjoy walking down narrow streets lined with old wooden houses, traditional shops and restaurants. On our way we will visit Kodaiji Temple located in a beautiful part of Kyoto sitting atop a hill. Built in 1605 the temple contains absolutely stunning Zen Gardens, bamboo grove, tea houses and is one of the most beautiful Zen temples in Japan.

Afternoon is free for you to explore Kyoto on your own. As always your Tour Guide can advise on places to visit, or good places to eat.

Day 12 -Kyoto (Breakfast)
Today we say Sa-yo-na-ra. Self transfer to the Airport for your departure flight homewards. (Optional airport transfer service can be provided).

**Optional - Bullet train transfers back to Tokyo & Narita Airport can also be provided -Contact us for details.**

2017 Tour Prices per person based on Twin share

Departure Dates
Special Feature

Saturday 25th March 2017

Spring Blossom

Saturday 28th October 2017

Autumn leaves

Price Includes (The prices shown above are 'per person')

  • Experienced professional English speaking Tour Guide/Tour Leader from Day 3 to 11, who will accompany you throughout your tour.
  • Quality selection of hotels and superb Ryokans with spa facilities.
  • Daily Breakfast, 2 Evening Meals.
  • Free luggage transfer from hotel to hotel between Tokyo - Takayama, Kanazawa - Kyoto (no large luggage at Hakone and 1st night at Kyoto. Prepare small overnight bag to carry with you. (1 piece per person).
  • No hidden extras, all entrance fees & transport included.
  • Guided tours by private coach, trains and public transport all included.

Price Does Not Include

  • International flights with Full ATOL Protection.
  • Airport meet & greet service & airport bus transfers.
  • Optional tours, Geisha Dance tickets.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Airport transfers can be provided subject to flight times

FAQ and Further Tour Information
Please see our FAQ page for further essential tour information.

This tour is suitable for travellers of all ages, who are reasonably fit and healthy. Add on extensions are available to suit your requirements.

Our itinerary is designed according to the most up to date information available at the time. The above itinerary highlights the main attractions that are to be visited each day.In regards to expected transfer times and train times these may vary as they are subject to schedules and availability controlled by the various railway companies. It is extremely rare that itineraries ever need changes and we will always act in your best interest to handle any amendments if this did occur. However we reserve the right to change, amend or alter the itinerary if required, for example occasionally the tour sequence and duration of time spent in each city can change due to local conditions which are out of our control or due to heavy traffic conditions or bad weather. Please refer to the booking form for detailed terms & conditions.



































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