Visit the cultural wonderland of Japan before hitting the beaches of Fiji on this fantastic three-week trip. Start in Tokyo where sparkling skyscrapers, tiny bars and antique markets await, before travelling across the country by train. Spot Mount Fuji as it peeks out from behind the clouds, wander the pretty streets of Kyoto and even hike a section of the scenic Nakasendo Trail.
After nine days of exploration in Japan, you’ll head to Fiji, where you’ll be welcomed by tropical white beaches and warm, clear water. Go snorkelling amongst colourful coral, sip from a fresh coconut on the beach and soak up the sunshine – it’s the ultimate way to relax at the end of your holiday.
This Japan and beach holiday can be tailored to suit your requirements, so please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Tokyo, you’ll be met at the airport and assisted with sorting your transport into the city by bus or train. When you reach the hotel, you’ll check in for three nights.
Today is yours to explore Tokyo at your own pace. Here are some of our ideas:
Why not start your day in Tsukiji Outer Market? This local is always full of life, as visitors and locals mingle to enjoy delicious food and buy exciting ingredients. It’s a great spot to grab a morning snack before heading over to the Zojoji Temple. Over 400 years old, the Zojoji Temple sits right next to the futuristic Tokyo Tower, demonstrating just how closely the old and new worlds coexist in Japan.
Next, you can enjoy a bowl of ramen for lunch before discovering the serene beauty of Hie Shrine, a quiet haven in the bustling district of Akasaka. Statues of mythical creatures guard the shrine, which sits at the top of several escalators (a modern addition!). Local believes that the 90 bright red torii gates of Hie Shrine divide the human world from the spirit world. It’s a very atmospheric place to visit, so we recommend that you take your time.
After breakfast, you’ll set off on a tour to the area around Mount Fuji. However, this is no ordinary tour of the famous volcano.
First, you’ll make your own way by train to the small town of Fujinomiya, where you’ll start by exploring the local shotengai - traditional shopping streets. After some serious window shopping, you’ll join a class to try your hand at making yakisoba, a delicious stir-fried noodle dish.
Once you’ve whipped up a tasty meal and devouring your creation, you’ll be taken to a beautiful shrine to get fitted for a kimono. You’ll learn about the history of this iconic garment before exploring the shrine, with stunning views of Mount Fuji.
You’ll finish your day with a Japanese sweet-making workshop run by a local artisan. You’ll make wagashi, a small confectionary that is delicately shaped and coloured to reflect the changing seasons. Afterwards, you’ll head back to Tokyo by train.
Please note that Mt. Fuji is a very shy mountain, and it is visible when the weather is clear.
The morning is free, so you can keep exploring Tokyo. In the afternoon, you’ll take the bullet train to Nagoya, followed by a beautiful journey on the limited “Wide View” express train. On arrival, you’ll check into your accommodation for two nights. You’ll be staying in a traditional ryokan, with paper walls and beds on the floor. Dinner is included, and it’s guaranteed to be a feast of delicious Japanese food!
Today is yours to explore this fantastic mountainous region. We recommend that you try hiking a section of the scenic Nakasendo Trail, starting in the town of Tsumago, famous for its architecture from the Endo period.
The section of the trail between Tsumago and Magome is particularly beautiful, and it takes around 3 hours to walk, including a couple of rest stops. As you hike, you’ll pass old traditional villages, fields where local farmers tend their crops and peaceful woodlands full of pine trees. When you reach Magome, you can hop on a bus back to Nagiso and catch the train back to Kiso-Fukushima.
After an early breakfast, why not take a stroll around Kiso-Fukushima?
If you’re feeling energetic, you can even head to Yabharu and hike another portion of the Nakasendo trail. This time, the walk will finish in Narai, where you can enjoy a lunch of gohei-mochi (sticky-rice cakes) and soba (buckwheat noodles). From Narai, you can catch the train to Kyoto.
If you would rather skip the hike, you can hop on the direct train to Kyoto from Kiso-Fukushima. On arrival in Kyoto, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights and spend the evening at your leisure.
Today is yours to enjoy Kyoto, a key cultural hub of Japan. Why not start with a visit to Nijo Castle, originally built in the 1600s as a private villa for a powerful lord? The intricate sliding doors and “chirping nightingale” floors are an incredible example of Momoyama architecture, making it a must-see when visiting Kyoto. Ryoan-ji Temple has a beautiful rock garden that is great to explore, while Kinkaku-ji Temple is home to a stunning golden pavilion covered in handmade gold leaves.
After breakfast, you can continue to enjoy Kyoto or take a day trip to Nara. For 74 years in the 8th century, Nara was the capital of Japan, so it’s home to several shrines and temples of historical importance. Nara Park is the famous focal point of the town, with dozens of tame deer grazing the grassland. Nara is also home to the Todaiji Temple, a vast wooden building that houses Japan’s largest Buddha - Kasuga Taisha.
In the afternoon, you can head back to Kyoto and visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, where thousands of vermillion torii gates follow trails through the forests of Mount Inari. It’s a beautiful and unique hike up the mountain, with extraordinary photo opportunities next to the iconic gates. If you reach the top in the late afternoon, you’ll be able to watch the sunset over Kyoto and its surrounding hillsides.
After breakfast, you’ll hop on a shuttle transfer to Osaka Airport, where you’ll catch your flight to Fiji. On arrival in Fiji, you’ll be greeted with a tropical lei (flower garland) and taken by shared transfer to your hotel located in Nadi. The hotel is just a short drive from the airport. After you've checked in for a one-night stay, you can spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool.
After breakfast, you'll be collected from the hotel and taken to the marina, where you’ll catch a boat transfer out to the Yasawa Islands. The ferry journey takes around three hours, so you’ll have time to relax on the top deck, soak up some sunshine and enjoy the scenery. When you arrive at Nacula Island, you'll check in to the Blue Lagoon Resort for two nights.
There’s plenty to keep you busy here, from paddle boarding and snorkelling to cultural activities, such as a visit to a local Fijian village. If you want to explore further afield, you can book a tour to the Sawa-i-lau Caves, steeped in Fijian legend? Evenings on Nacula Island offer oceanside dining and traditional Fijian dancing – it’s a great place to wind down after exploring Japan.
Today, you'll make the short journey to Waya Island, a boutique hotel set in a marine reserve which offers some of the best snorkelling and diving in Fiji. When you arrive, you’ll check in for a three-night stay at Octopus Resort and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
Octopus has its very own PADI dive operation, so you can easily head out to one of the excellent dive sites. Under the waves, you can spot sharks, turtles, lobster and crabs, as well as an array of colourful coral. If you’d prefer to stay closer to the shore, you can grab a snorkel and spot the tropical fish living around the island straight from the beach. Alternatively, sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
After breakfast this morning, you’ll head back to Nadi Airport on the mainland and catch your international flight back to the UK.
Late March to early April is cherry blossom season in Japan, so if you’re planning to travel in spring, you’ll need to book well in advance. The autumn foliage season (November) is also a hectic but wonderful time to visit. June and July is the rainy season for most of Japan, and it can be very humid, whereas autumn (September to mid-December) is ordinarily cool and clear. Late December and January are cool or cold months in Honshu with snow often found in the mountains. It’s also important to note that prices will be high and availability will be limited around Golden Week (early May), O-Bon (mid-August) and New Year.
Fiji’s wet season is from November to April with the heaviest rains and highest humidity from December to mid-April. The dry season runs from May to October, with low rainfall, low humidity and milder. Peak season in Fiji includes December, January, June and July, coinciding with Australian and New Zealand school holidays. Bear in mind that prices will peak during these periods.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.