Japan's Capitals: A week in Tokyo & Kyoto

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 7

From: Tokyo

To: Kyoto

From

£1,730

Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

Spend a week exploring the contrasts of Japan from Tokyo’s cutting-edge cityscapes to the culture and charm of the former imperial capital, Kyoto. Discover the deep sense of history, tradition and respect that imbues Japanese culture as you wander round some of Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temples. Visit a Japanese tea house and sample some ‘matcha’ green tea then board the bullet train to you next destination, the cultural city of Kyoto. Here you’ll be enchanted by wooden townhouses, colourful crafts, beautifully painted temples and old-world geishas. Shop in local markets, join a Japanese cooking class and sample the Japanese tipple sake (rice wine) on this week long journey into the heart of Japanese culture!

Spent time in the fast paced capital of Tokyo, where ancient and modern sit side by side. Head to Ginza for up-market shopping, Harajuku for the latest fashion, Asakusa for temples and Akihbara to seek out the latest gadgets and tech. Travel to from Tokyo to Kyoto by super-fast bullet train reaching up to 330 km per hour. Your time here will include the chance to visit some of Japan’s most important temples and the opportunity to take part in a traditional Japanese cooking class where you’ll earn to make dishes like rolled sushi, miso soup and Japanese salads.

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

Highlights

  • Explore two of Japan’s most important cities – Tokyo and Kyoto
  • Take a boat cruise along the Sumida River
  • Wander around Tokyo’s distinctly different districts
  • Sample ‘matcha’ (Japanese green tea) in a local tea house
  • Travel on the super-fast bullet train
  • Discover more Japanese tradition and culture in Koyoto
  • Learn how to make traditional Japanese dishes at a cooking class
  • Visit Japan’s largest Buddha on a day trip to Nara
Japan's Capitals: A week in Tokyo & Kyoto | map
Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 3 nights Tokyo
  • 3 nights Kyoto

 

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo

On arrival into Tokyo you will be met by a representative who will assist you with boarding the right train or shuttle bus to your hotel.

The remainder of the day is at leisure so relax at the hotel before heading out to do some exploring.


Day 2: Tokyo

Today you have the services of a private guide to take you around the highlights of Tokyo. Stroll through private gardens and visit the teahouse on the lake known as ‘Nakajima No Chaya’. Be sure to try some ‘matcha’, Japanese green tea.

Take a boat cruise along the Sumida River before heading to Asakusa, the oldest Geisha district in Tokyo. Wander through traditional shops lining the streets and selling crafts and souvenirs and spot Geishas in traditional dress going about their daily business. In the afternoon explore Tokyo’s most famous shrine, Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the spirit of the late Emperor Meiji.


Day 3: Tokyo – Day trip to Kamakura

Today, you’ll visit the historical town of Kamakura. Visit Engaku-ji Temple, second of the five great Zen temples and home to a Japanese teahouse where you can try amazake (a sweet sake) and some Japanese confectionary before heading to Kotoku-in Temple and Daibutsu, the second biggest bronze Buddha in Japan.

After stopping off at Hase-dera Temple, famous for its hundreds of stone statues of Jizo and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, dedicated to the Shinto god of the Samurais you will be escorted back to Tokyo by your guide.


Day 4: Tokyo to Kyoto bullet train

Leaving Tokyo behind, today you’ll board the Tokyo to Kyoto bullet train or ‘shinkansen’; one of Japan’s famously reliable and punctual high speed trains, reaching 330 kmph.

In the afternoon, you’ll meet your guide for a tour through the Nishiki Market, to learn about Japanese food. Your guide will help you find the ingredients for your cooking class, before taking you through the backstreets to a former sake brewery, for the chance to sample the local sake (rice wine).

Your cooking class will take place in a machiya, a wooden house typical of Kyoto. Here you will learn how to make rolled sushi, miso soup and a salad before sitting down and eating your creations with your teacher.


Day 5: Kyoto

A private guide will collect you from your hotel this morning and will accompany you on a tour travelling with the locals by bus through Kyoto. First stop is Nijo Castle, home to some stunning gardens and Momoyama architecture as well as its ‘chirping nightingale floors’ and decorated sliding doors.

Visit Japan’s most famous rock garden at Ryoan-ji Temple and Kyomizu-dera or ‘pure water temple’ where you will enjoy amazing views over Kyoto from the high veranda.


Day 6: Kyoto – Day trip to Nara

Today is a self-guided day, so we’ve included return train tickets to Nara, a small town nearby. Mingle with the tame deer in Nara Park and explore Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s giant Buddha.


Day 7: Depart Kyoto

Today is yours to spend at leisure until your transfer via shared shuttle to Kansai International Airport and your onward journey.


 

Info

Prices will be high and availability limited around Golden Week (early May) O-Bon (mid-August) and New Year. Late March to early April is cherry blossom season in the Honshu cities and must be booked well in advance. Autumn foliage (November) is also a very busy time. June and July is rainy season for most of Japan and can be very humid whereas autumn (September to mid-December) is normally cool and clear.

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

What's included: 

  • All accommodation
  • Meet and greet at the airport
  • Return airport transfers
  • PASMO transport pass for Days 2 and 3
  • One way bullet train ticket from Tokyo Station to Kyoto Station
  • 2 Day Kyoto bus and subway pass from day 4
  • Return train tickets from Kyoto to Nara
  • English speaking guide on days 2,3 and 5
  • Breakfast daily
  • Dinner on the day of the cooking class
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Any services not mentioned above
  • Any meals not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities
Accommodation

7 nights in 3* accommodation. Accommodation in this standard includes:

  • Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, Tokyo

  • Vista Premio, Kyoto

 

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