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Traditional & Tropical Japan

Prices from 4,300

This tour of Japan is a particular favourite with couples, especially honeymooners, or those looking for somewhere to relax at the start or end of a whirlwind trip through Japan! Experience the traditional Japan, as well as the bright lights, and subtropical islands in the south pacific region. Many of us forget that Japan is home to hundreds of tiny islands that offer a uniquely contrasting experience to that of the mainland.

SKU: N/A Categories: , ,
Duration: 14 Nights/15 Days
Route: Tokyo - Yudanaka Onsen - Snow Monkey Park - Matsumoto - Takayama - Kyoto (Hiroshima & Miyajima Island day trips) - Amami Ooshima - Tokyo

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Dates: Available all year round
Duration: 14 Nights/15 Days
Starts: Tokyo
Ends: Tokyo
Route: Tokyo - Yudanaka Onsen - Snow Monkey Park - Matsumoto - Takayama - Kyoto (Hiroshima & Miyajima Island day trips) - Amami Ooshima - Tokyo
Tour Type: Self Guided ­­­­­­with local guides in places and a detailed Travel Pack
Prices from: From €4,750 per person (based on two people sharing twin or double room)
Accommodation Category: Standard, Superior Or Deluxe Plans Available. Prices vary accordingly.

Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo – Welcome to Japan!

Arrive on your own scheduled flight into one of Tokyo’s two airports, Narita or Haneda International Airport. If you have a choice, we usually say Haneda is better as it’s closer to central Tokyo. Either way, we will arrange a pick up for you to drop you straight to your hotel. Leave out the hassle on arrival to a new, what will seem, strange place! Watch out for your driver who will hold your name sign up in the arrivals hall.

Free time today with lots of ideas in your travel pack on where to go and how to get there!

Accommodation x 3 Nights

Standard: Shinjuku Villa Fontaine (or similar)

Superior: Century Southern Tower (or similar)

Deluxe: Hyatt Regency Tokyo (or similar)

Day 2: Private Tour of Tokyo’s Highlights

After breakfast, our local Tokyo guide will meet and greet you in the hotel lobby. Ready for a full day of exciting new scenery, our guide will come prepared with his/her own suggestions, or, will listen to where or what you want to see/do and take you there. The idea for today is that you travel around Tokyo with a local, like a local! Using the public transport, buying your own lunch/snacks, etc. mainly to familiarize yourself with Japan and what things are. Having our guide with you will speed up some curious notions you will get as well as educate you on what’s what in town! It usually lasts 8 hours but if you need to cut it short (jet lag), there will be no offense taken!

Accommodation x 3 nights 

Standard: Shinjuku Villa Fontaine (or similar)

Superior: Century Southern Tower (or similar)

Deluxe: Hyatt Regency Tokyo (or similar)

Day 3 - Tokyo - The World's Most Electrifying City at Your Fingertips

After breakfast at your hotel, you can enjoy strolling around the area where we based and exploring more of Tokyo on your own. Having discussed your options with our travel consultants before departing and your private guide in Tokyo the day before, you will likely have a good idea what you want to see and how to go about getting there etc. Depending on what balance of urban vs nature you would prefer, you could explore many areas of the city centre or take a day trip out to the Giant Buddha Statue at the stunning Kamakura and enjoy a quick fix of Japan’s natural beauty.Like all days on your itinerary, we will give you options on what to do and where to go, outlined in your Essential Travel Pack.

Accommodation x 3 Nights

Standard: Shinjuku Villa Fontaine (or similar)

Superior: Century Southern Tower (or similar)

Deluxe: Hyatt Regency Tokyo (or similar)

Day 4: Bullet Train to Nagano; Home to Onsen Bathing Monkeys

After a few days in the worlds most populated city Tokyo, you will start your journey into that Japanese Alps and immediately experience the incredible contrast Japan has to offer visitors. Today will be full of new experiences; from boarding the super-fast shinkansen, to meeting the most famous monkeys in the world, before finishing up at the ultimate rural retreat in Kanbayashi or nearby at a local ryokan. Sample your first night of traditional Kaiseki dinner and the relaxing onsen baths. Enjoy sleeping on a futon on tatami mats and wearing your yukata (like a dressing gown) around the hotel like the other Japanese guests. A spectacular Kaiseki dinner (many small dishes) and after dinner authentic onsen (hot springs/spa) experience awaits you.

Accommodation X 1 Night

Senjugaku Ryokan (or similar Japanee style Ryokan)

Day 5 - Go back in time to Explore Imposing Matsumoto Castle & Takayama; a town still living in the past

After a nice early morning soak in the onsen followed by Japanese breakfast, you will continue on to Matsumoto to visit one of Japan’s best preserved Samurai castles. Matsumoto has a life of its own and is worth strolling around to capture this atmosphere.

Later, you will take a local highway bus (although no highways exist on this journey) and be exposed to some of the most magnificent views you will find in Japan. Mountains views with rivers flowing alongside the journey make this one a pleasure.

Arrive into Takayama in the early evening. Relax and enjoy walking around the town in the evening. Also, a great place for Hida-Beef considered almost as good as Kobe-beef.

Accommodation x 1 Night

Standard: Best Western Takayama

Superior: Hoshokaku Ryokan or Hotel Associa (or similar)

Deluxe: Hanaougi Ryokan (or similar)

Day 6 - Breathtaking Nature
 to Elegant Temples; Travel in the Geisha's Footsteps!

After breakfast, we recommend you enjoy self-exploration around Takayama for the first part of the day. Your travel pack will be packed with ideas on where to go and see today, the first stop being the Takayama Morning Market, In the afternoon or whatever time you feel like it, you can make your way to the station to begin your journey south to Kyoto. All timetables and travel options will be listed in your detailed travel pack to take the stress out of decision making and leave you to worry about having a good time.

Accommodation x 3 Nights 

Standard & Superior: Kyoto Machiya (Converted Traditional Townhouse (self-catering)

Deluxe: Hotel Granvia (or similar)

Day 7 - Kyoto - Walk Through History Discovering Countless Ancient Treasures!

After breakfast, you will meet our fantastic and personable local guide in Kyoto. She will spend the full-day with you and begin an exciting day of touring this ancient city. She will give you deeper insights into Japan’s fascinating history and rich culture so well preserved in Kyoto. And rather than just learning about and observing Japanese culture, you will finish your day at a Geisha’s tea house by participating in an authentic tea ceremony. Tea Ceremony is a highly regarded traditional art still practiced all across Japan and you will know about its zen qualities before the end of the day. After departing company with our guide, you can spend the evening strolling the narrow alleyways of Pontou-cho or the bright lights of the Gion entertainment district to get a flavour of Japan’s atmosphere after dark. Unlike any other country, Japan is incredibly safe, so wandering around with expensive cameras or handbags after dark is not only possible but commonplace.

Accommodation x 3 Nights

Standard & Superior: Kyoto Machiya (Converted Traditional Townhouse (self-catering)

Deluxe: Hotel Granvia (or similar)

Day 8 - Kyoto – A Day of Endless Possibilities


Without checking out of your accommodation, you can enjoy a free day to further explore more of Japan that appeals to you most. This maybe Kyoto’s quaint alleyways downtown or perhaps to a day trip to historic Hiroshima & splendid Miyajima or perhaps to the ancient capital city of Nara or even to Japan’s largest original samurai castle at Himeji. With Osaka just 45mins away by train, you could add contrast to the historical sights byt visiting the bright lights of a large futuristic city once again. If you are unsure of what to choose, our travel consultants (& local guide in Kyoto) can discuss your options in more detail to help you make the best use of this day.

Accommodation x 3 Nights 

Standard & Superior: Kyoto Machiya (Converted Traditional Townhouse (self-catering)

Deluxe: Hotel Granvia (or similar)

Day 9 - Voyage from the Traditional to the Tropical!

Leaving Kyoto in the morning, you will make your way to Kansai International airport (Journey approx 90mins). This airport itself is a sight to behold. having be constructed on entirely reclaimed land in Osaka Bay. From here you will fly over 1000km south (flight approx 1hr 25mins) to the tropical island of Amami. You will be picked up by a hotel shuttle service and check-in to prepare for a Japanese experience different from anything that you’ve had already. Relax and unwind by the beach and begin likely the most unique “sun holiday” you’ve ever had. Enjoy dinner at your hotel on the first night to avoid the need to have to move too far from the beach or hotel grounds.

Accommodation x 3 Nights 

Beach Front Hotel

Day 10 - Amamai Island: Guided Tour & Leisure Activities

After breakfast at your hotel, you will meet our highly knowledgeable and experienced local guide who will spend the full day giving you a private tour and introduction to one of Japan’s finest tropical Islands! Enjoy canoeing on a stunning mangrove lake. Drive to scenic spots for lunch at a seafront restaurant. Ride a glass bottom boat to view the vibrant colours of the tropical sea life beneath the boat.  Upon returning to the hotel, enjoy a relaxing dinner at the hotel before retiring for the evening.

Accommodation x 3 Nights 

Beach Front Hotel

Day 11 - Amami Island - Time To Do As You Please!

Once again, you will have breakfast at your hotel and depending on your particular mood or desires, you can take time out to simply relax in the sunshine by the pool/beach or perhaps if you’re feeling adventurous and curious, you could take a trip into the local town by the local bys (details will be provided as ever in your comprehensive fail-safe travel pack).

Accommodation x 3 Nights 

Beach Front Hotel

Day 12 - Return to Tokyo; Japan’s capital and beating heart

Checking out of the hotel after breakfast, you will take the hotel shuttle bus back to the airport and fly back to Tokyo before checking into your luxury hotel in Shibuya. Joining several thousand people in crossing the street when the traffic lights turn green for pedestrians at Shibuya’s famous “scramble crossing” is just one of the many highlights that Shibuya and the surrounding areas of Tokyo has to offer. Exploring the eclectic streets after dark withlively bars and restaurants complete with dazzling neon signs is another treat that will live on in your memory for years to come.

Despite feeling undoubtedly unfamiliar and at times overwhelming, the experience is underpinned by the confidence in your complete safety and security at all times. Getting lost your way home is not something to be afraid of, but rather something to be done intentionally so you may experience first hand how polite and helpful all Japanese people try to be (despite perhaps not having many words of English to communicate at times).

Accommodation x 2 nights

Standard: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

Superior: Park Hotel (or similar)

Deluxe: Imperial Hotel (or similar)

 

Day 13 - Tokyo; The City Is Your Oyster


Enjoy relaxing / strolling around the areas such as the fashionable and eclectic Harajuku and the nearby Yoyogi Park (best visited on a Sunday) and/or the posh and upmarket shopping districts of Omotesando or Ginza districts. Or perhaps you want to visit the bright lights of Akihabara (AKA Electric Town) to pick up a new camera or some other electronics (VAT refundable at the airport). Like all days on your itinerary, we will give you options on what to do and where to go, outlined in your Essential Travel Pack and our travel consultants can make suggestions based on preferences you express.

Accommodation x 2 nights

Standard: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

Superior: Park Hotel (or similar)

Deluxe: Imperial Hotel (or similar)

Day 14 - Farewell Tokyo! Until Next Time...

Your airport transfer will pick you up at a time that suits your departing flight. Be sure to tell us your flight details as soon as you know them, in order for us to get the best options available for your journey out of Tokyo!

Sadly, your tour ends today and you will travel home with a treasure trove of great memories of unique experiences to last you a lifetime!

Tour Highlights

Tokyo's Mega-Metropolis

Arrive into Tokyo to be met at the airport by a local representative who will assist you in getting the correct train or bus to your hotel in Tokyo city centre. Our local guide will meet you on your second day to show you around and give you the confidence and knowledge needed to get around on your own from today onwards.

Yudanaka Onsen & Snow Monkeys

Yudanaka Onsen has a long history. It’s been known as an onsen (hot springs baths) resort town for hundreds of years, however it has developed and has a more modern atmosphere than some of the other nearby towns. But the traditional onsen town still remains. If you walk up the gentle slope away from Yudanaka station, you’ll find yourself stepping back through time to an older Japan. Yudanaka is a short distance from Jigokudani, home to the most famous snow monkeys in Japan. These playful wild monkeys gather around an outdoor onsen found 2km along a mountain trail for their daily wash.

Nostalgic Takayama & Feudal Matsumoto

Before arriving in Takayama, you will make a brief stop in Matsumoto to visit one of Japan’s most beautifully preserved original castles. Passage from Matsumoto to Takayama is through the mountains by public bus. No matter what time of year, this scenic drive and the incredible natural beauty of the landscape is sure to blow you away. With two nights in the nostalgic town of Takayama you will enjoy meeting the locals at the morning market, visiting the folk museum, meandering around old merchant houses and streets, and seeing sake distilleries. 

The Kyoto Experience

Your next three nights will be in the ancient capital of Kyoto. Your time here will be spent visiting the World Heritage temples, gardens, and shrines. If you are interested, we can arrange for you to visit the Imperial Palace. As with all of our self-guided tours, our local Kyoto guide will spend a full day introducing you to the sights and sounds of this historic city before finishing in the Gion district at an authentic tea ceremony.

If Hiroshima and Miyajima Island were on the your list of places to visit, you can do this as a day-trip from Kyoto using the Japan Rail Pass included in your Travel Pack.

Tropical Amami Oshima

At this stage of your trip you might feeling a little weary – nothing a few nights on a tropical island can’t cure! Amami Oshima benefits from a sub-tropical climate all year round and can boastfully claim the best beaches and most scenic mountain drives in Japan. Your sea-front hotel faces out over the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean with white sandy beaches and the freshest food right at your doorstep. On one of your days here, we will arrange a driver/guide to come pick you up and take you on an exclusive tour of the island. You will enjoy canoeing on the forested mangrove lake and taking a glass-bottom boat trip to get up close and personal with the thousands of tiny tropical fish. If you prefer to rent a car and do your own thing, we can arrange this too. Scuba diving and other water sports can also be arranged from your hotel.

Inclusions and/or Prices

Received 2 weeks prior to departure

Service Standard Superior Deluxe
Airport Transfers (Arrival & departure) Shared Transfers (Door-to-door) Shared Transfers (Door-to-door) Private Transfers (Door-to-door)
14 Nights Accommodation 3* Western (7 nights) + Standard Ryokan (4 nights) + Beach Front Hotel (3 nights) 4* Western (7 nights) + Superior Ryokan (4 nights) + Beach Front Hotel (3 nights) 5* Western (7 nights) + Deluxe Ryokan (2 nights) + Beach Front Hotel (3 Nights)
Meals 14 breakfasts + 4 dinners 9 breakfasts + 4 dinners 9 breakfasts + 4 dinners
Transport
  • Japan Rail Pass (7 day Ordinary)
  • Reserved seats on bullet train journey’s
  • Tokyo City Transport Card
  • Kyoto City Transport Card
  • Internal Flight to/from Osaka/Amami/Tokyo
  • Japan Rail Pass (7 day Ordinary)
  • Reserved seats on bullet train journey’s
  • Tokyo City Transport Card
  • Kyoto City Transport Card
  • Local taxi’s in Kyoto and Tokyo on private day tours
  • Internal Flight to/from Osaka/Amami/Tokyo
  • Japan Rail Pass (7 day Green)
  • 1st Class Reserved seats on all bullet trains
  • Chartered Vehicle to Lake Kawaguchi
  • Chartered Vehicle in Tokyo (one day)
  • Chartered Vehicle in Kyoto (one day)
  • Internal Flight to/from Osaka/Amami/Tokyo
Tokyo Guide Private/Full Day Private/Full Day Private/Full Day
Kyoto Guide Private/Full Day Private/Full Day Private/Full Day
Authentic Tea Ceremony Tea Ceremony at local Kyoto tea house Private Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet at local Kyoto Tea House Private Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet at local Kyoto Tea House
Amami Ooshima

Full Day Private Island Excursion with local driver

Full Day Private Island Excursion with local driver

Full Day Private Island Excursion with local driver

UJT’s Essential Travel Pack Received 2 weeks prior to departure Received 2 weeks prior to departure Received 2 weeks prior to departure

Per Person Prices from:

Tour Category EUR GBP US$ AU$
Standard Twin/Double Rooms €4,299 £3,800 $4,600 $6,200
Superior Twin/Double Rooms €4,750 £4,150 $5,200 $6,800
Deluxe Twin/Double Rooms €TBC £TBC $TBC $TBC

Prices are per person and based on two people sharing a Twin or Double Room. Single room supplements apply. Triple room discounts apply. Exchange rate fluctuations may lead to price changes. All prices are based on the market exchange rates of February 2017. Peak Season Supplements may apply during Cherry Blossom Season, Autumn Leaf Season, National Holiday Weekends inside Japan however we always try our best to get you the best price available. Early booking (up to 12 months in advance) during busy seasons is highly recommended to avoid any supplements.

How to Book

1. Choose your favourite Self-Guided Tour

Ready to book your Self-Guided Japan Tour now? Then move to Step 2 below.

Need more information or wish to make changes to web tour, fill out the “Got a question?” form below.

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2. Pay deposit*

Paying your deposit today will enable us start your booking process immediately. *Terms and conditions apply .


3. Pay deposit later

If you have more questions and prefer to pay this after seeing a detailed quotation and itinerary, simply fill out the “Got a question?” form below and one of our Japan Travel Consultants will be in touch with you right away and work with you until you are happy with the plans for you and your travel partners.

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4. Tour Confirmation (takes 5-7 working days upon receipt of tour deposit)

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5. Manage your Booking

View your complete travel documents & manage your own booking on your own travel portal, entering details required before travel pack stage.  You may also pay the final balance securely online (or by bank transfer if preferred). No credit card fees apply.

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6. Receive your Essential Travel Pack

Our custom made essential Travel Pack will be sent to your home address (worldwide) 2-3 weeks before your departure date.
If your starting date is less than 2 weeks from booking, you will receive it on arrival in Japan.

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7. See you in Japan!

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