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Trail by Rail

Trail by Rail

9 Nights / 10 Days Small Group Tour
from €3,200 / £2,680 / US$3,230 / AU$6,260 per person sharing (See Dates/Prices below)

“Experience modern & traditional Japan with 10 days of unforgettable experiences such as wrestling a sumo wrestler and viewing Mt. Fuji from a cable car ride up an active volcano. Visits many of Japan’s must-see UNESCO World Heritage Sites”. 

Explore the futuristic neon wonderland of Tokyo city and the scenic national park centered around the majestic Mt Fuji. Savour fabulous traditional kaiseki dinner and relax in volcanic hot spring onsen before riding the bullet train to ancient Kyoto. Explore UNESCO world heritage temples, shrines and stunning gardens and take part in a traditional tea ceremony. Visit the ultra-modern Osaka, the incredible Himeji castle and the historic city of Hiroshima before heading back to Tokyo to get up close and personal with a sumo wrestler over a traditional sumo lunch and much more….



Day 1: Touchdown in Tokyo

Arrive in one of Tokyo’s International Airports (Haneda or Narita). Our team will take care of you from the moment you exit the arrivals hall where you will be met by our transfer staff on arrival and be taken directly to your Tokyo hotel.
You will have free time in Tokyo until tour orientation in the evening where you will meet your guide at 18.00. You will exchange Japan Rail Pass vouchers for your journey at Shinjuku Station with the tour lead. Then you will enjoy a welcome dinner at local izakaya (included). 
Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nishishinjuku (or similar 4*) including casual style Izakaya Dining experience

Day 2: Tokyo City Sightseeing

Highlight: Half Day Private Guided Tour of Tokyo

Meet our experienced Tokyo guide in your hotel lobby to explore the city together for the next few hours. Get a real feel for Japan’s capital via public transport in this fantastic introduction to the city and be all the better prepared for your own further adventures. This is your chance to ask your questions about Tokyo and Japan life in general. Our typical half day in Tokyo will be:

  • Shibuya Scramble Crossing
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine in Yoyogi Park
  • Harajuku Walk-through (your guide will leave you in Harajuku for some fun people watching)

Your guide will say goodbye after approx. 4 hours together leaving you to explore the world’s largest city together.

Accommodation: Shibuya Tokyu Excel Hotel (or similar 4*)


Day 3: Lakeside Cruise, Hakone Open Air Museum, Ryokan Stay & Onsen

Walk to Shinjuku station together with your tour assistant. Board the local / express train from Shinjuku to Hakone, an area inside Fuji National Park famous for magnificent views of the mountain.

After checking into your ryokan, you will explore the Mt Fuji National park area around Hakone with your local guide.

  • Pirate boat cruise on Lake Ashi with views of the majestic giant, Mt Fuji (weather permitting)
  • Cable car up a volcano to see smoke and fumes bellowing out of the volcanic crater & enjoy further views of Mt Fuji (weather permitting)
  • Hakone Open Air Museum (Picasso fixtures)

Enjoy The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan’s first outdoor, open-air museum of art. Located in a lushly green 70,000 square meters garden with a view of the Hakone mountains, the museum has on permanent display some 120 masterpieces by famous modern and contemporary sculptors. Visit the museum’s five indoor exhibitions, including the Picasso Pavilion with its rotational displays from more than 300 Picasso pieces in this world-class collection, as well as the natural hot spring bath and the art in the outdoor plazas.

♥Highlight: Dinner & Hot Springs (onsen) at your ryokan♥ Get dressed up in traditional Japanese yukata evening wear before dinner (provided in your room)!

*Tonight, you will sleep on a futon mattress on tatami flooring. If you have any issues or prefer to request a bed, be sure to tell us as early as possible! Most ryokans have only a few rooms with western style beds in them (if any at all)
Accommodation: Gora Kansuirou (or similar) – Japanese Style including traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner

Day 4: Travel to Japan's Ancient Capital Kyoto City

After breakfast, your tour leader will take you to the nearest bullet train station. From here, you will board the super nifty shinkansen train to Kyoto. Met on arrival our local Kyoto experts who will take care of you for the next few days.

In the evening, enjoy a tea ceremony at local machiya teahouse.

Highlight: Authentic Tea Ceremony Experience

You can enjoy an authentic tea ceremony experience first-hand in a small Japanese-style teahouse in the Gion area of Kyoto followed by a picturesque walk through the quintessential Kyoto back streets! Dinner at teppan yaki style restaurant (pay locally).

Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae
(or similar 4*)


Day 5: Full Day Guided Tour in Kyoto

Meet our Kyoto guide in the lobby of your hotel after breakfast.

♥ Highlight: Full Day Private Guided Tour of Kyoto♥

Our local guide will design this day based on the weather, traffic, and number in our group. You will travel around Kyoto using the public transportation and/or taxis as appropriate. Typical Kyoto sights on tour include:

• Nijo Castle
• Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
• Lunch at local restaurant
• Kiyomizu Temple
• Ninenzaka Shopping Street (check out Starbucks tea-house)
• Yasaka Shrine

Lunch and transport will be included today as well as your tour guide for the full day.

Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae
(or similar 4*)

Day 6: Free time for optional day trips in the Kansai region

Today will be a day off to spend as you choose in Kyoto. Suggested itinerary and access maps will be provided for you in your travel pack.
On this free day, you may choose to continue to explore Kyoto at your own pace or venture out in various directions to experience a range of attractions in the Kansai area.
 1. Ancient Nara & Modern Osaka (Self-Guided / No booking needed)
2. Walking Tour of Spiritual Temples in Koyasan* [Option to do as a self-guided tour. Your tour leader will give you details]
3. Day trip to Himeji castle, Japan’s premier authentic samurai castle
4. Round of golf* in Kobe
5. Kyoto Cultural Experiences* e.g. Kimono Wearing, Ikebana Workshop, Cookery Class, etc.
6. Day trip on the bullet train to Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
*Pre-Booking Essential before departure

Please tell us your preference at time of booking.

Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae
(or similar 4*)


Day 7: Bullet Train from "Old World Kyoto" to "Modern Day Tokyo"

Enjoy free time in the morning exploring Kyoto. After lunch, we will whisk you back to Tokyo on the bullet train to leave Japan’s ancient capital for its modern one. The world’s largest metropolitan area has something for everyone, from shopping, sightseeing or just rambling the photogenic and friendly streets.

This evening we will meet you for an evening of Karaoke and Casual Style Dining (pay locally).

Accommodation: Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu (or similar 4*)


Day 8: Tokyo a city of neon & infinite possibilities

After breakfast at your hotel, you have the full day free to explore Tokyo on your own. We will outline a few routes for you to follow. You can tell your tour leader which one you prefer to take. Details will be on your travel app / final itinerary.
Accommodation: Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu (or similar 4*)





Day 9: Intimate lunch & meeting with a Sumo Wrestler!

Free time until mid-day

♥ Highlight: Sumo Wrestling Challenge With Special Chanko Lunch♥

You will enjoy a dining experience like never before. Eat, train and fight like a real Japanese sumo wrestler during this sumo demonstration and authentic ‘Chanko Nabe’ (hotpot) lunch. Discover the history, training and rules behind the typical sumo match as you watch three real clashes. You can even try it yourself during a skirmish with a retired wrestler. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, dig into a tasty

Chanko Nabe lunch, a filling meal of hotpot, rice, miso, salad, French fries and more, used by these hulking fighters to gain weight. You’ll get a chance to take some photos with the sumo giants, and learn about the behind-the-scene stories and daily life of a real sumo wrestler whilst enjoying an authentic chanko lunch. This is one lunch in Japan that will never be forgotten.

Accommodation: Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu (or similar 4*)


Day 10: Tokyo Free Day

Your final full day in Tokyo can be spent in many ways; revisiting some of the sights, exploring new places taking in some last-minute shopping or a day trip to Kamakura orYokohama etc.
Options include:

1. Ghibli Museum Visit

2. Team Lab Borderless & Tsukiji Outer Fish Market

3. Tokyo Skytree & Asakusa Temple (Old Tokyo Area)

No matter what you do for the day, a farewell dinner will be arranged by your tour leader with the option to continue the night out at a local karaoke bar & Japan-style pub (optionals, pay locally).
Accommodation: Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu (or similar 4*)


Day 11: Sayonara Japan

“Trail by Rail” comes to an end after breakfast today and you will be provided with an airport transfer service from your hotel. Don’t forget to send us your flight details as soon as you know them. Transfers need to be booked early!


Dates and Prices

Triple Room€2,880 £2,415US$2,995 AU$4,300
Single Room€4,190£3,515US$4,360AU$6,260


Tour Starts:

July 08, 2023

Tour Ends:

July 17, 2023
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Tour Starts:

September 01 -

Tour Ends:

10, 2023
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Tour Starts:

October 20 -

Tour Ends:

29, 2023
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Tour Starts:

November 12 -

Tour Ends:

21, 2023
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Tour Starts:

March 20 -

Tour Ends:

29, 2024
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Tour Starts:

April 01 -

Tour Ends:

10, 2024
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Tour Starts:

May 12 -

Tour Ends:

21, 2024
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Tour Starts:

July 12 -

Tour Ends:

21, 2024
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Tour Starts:

September 09 -

Tour Ends:

18, 2024
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Tour Starts:

October 22 -

Tour Ends:

11, 2024
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Tour Starts:

November 16 -

Tour Ends:

25, 2024
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Tour Starts:

December 22 -

Tour Ends:

31, 2024
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Tokyo (Two Nights)

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu (or similar)

We will base you smack bang in the centre of the worlds busiest crossings in Shibuya for your first two nights. What better way to start your trip to Japan with great shopping, variety of restaurants and entertainment areas, impressive buildings and an atmosphere that says so many things about Tokyo. Vibrant, wacky, non-stop, crowded, busy, but serviced like no other city in the world! Conveniently accessed by many of the JR subway lines, it is one of the best places to be based for the duration of your stay in Tokyo.

Hakone (1 night)

Gora Kansuirou (or similar / Japanese Style Ryokan)

Hakone is one of Japan’s best-known hot spring areas. Since the Meiji period (1868-1912), Gora has enjoyed an unsurpassed reputation as a holiday retreat in Hakone, and it is here that you will find Gora-Kansuiro, a traditional Japanese hotel (or ryokan). In addition to 14 undeniably atmospheric guest rooms and hot springs with water that flows directly from the source, the hotel is also home to a beautiful Japanese garden. Gora-Kansuiro is in a convenient location, a three-minute walk from Gora Station on the Hakone Tozan Railway. The hotel offers traditional Japanese ryokan atmosphere for your enjoyment. This includes authentic kaiseki ryori (Japanese multi-course cuisine), in-room baths, and our open-air bath with a view of a garden overflowing with natural splendour, one that will allow you to experience the beauty of Japan’s four seasons.

Kyoto (3 nights)

The Chapter Hotel, Kyoto (or similar 4*)

We choose this hotel for its location and facilities – walking distance to the Termachi shopping street where you can find lots of authentic shops unique to Kyoto. Rooms are modern and tastefully decorated. If you fancy a special night out, Kyoto’s Ritz Carlton is around the corner with exquisite dining options. This hotel has a public bath area, also a bonus for a western style hotel. They serve Ramen Happy Hour in the evenings so if you feel like skipping dinner, dine in for free!

Hiroshima (1 night)

<strong>Hiroshima Granvia Hotel</strong>(or similar)

Located next to Hiroshima station, you will have easy access to the bullet trains, local restaurants, train/ferry to Miyajima Island, and trams/trains for getting around Hiroshima. The hotel itself is considered four star with all functional facilities needed while on tour.

Tokyo (2 nights)

Remm Hotel Ginza (or similar)

End your stay in Tokyo in Remm Tokyo, Ginza district. Located close to Tokyo station (a must visit while in the capital), Ginza is a great place to be based for shopping, soaking up the amazing atmosphere, and being next to the worlds biggest brands and high street stores. Fashionistas, creatives, architects, and anyone who craves style/something different will enjoy this part of Tokyo. Rooms are small but that’s to be expected when staying in this part of Tokyo. Larger room types may be available at time of booking for additional charge.

Tour Testimonial

Unique Japan Tours
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Whats Included

Accommodation4* Western (8 nights) / Superior Ryokans (1 nights) with hot springs & kaiseki dinner (total 10 nights)
English Speaking tour leader
  • Daily local English speaking Tour Leader* (Group Size: 2 persons – 12 persons)
*If your tour has less than 5 people on it, we will arrange the tour on a semi-escorted basis. You will met in each area by our local assistants and guides on days you don’t have private guides).
Private Tour GuidesLocal English speaking tour guides in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima
TransfersAll transfers included from arrival to departure airports
Entrance Fees
Included into all sights listed in itinerary
Cultural Experiences
  • Tokyo Guided Tour
  • Fuji National Park catching a glimpse of the monster mountain for that must-have photo!
  • Hakone Free Pass
  • Overnight in rural ryokan experiencing unique Japanese hospitality and onsen (hot spring baths)
  • Guided tour of Kyoto’s glorious temple, stunning shrines, traditional backstreets and manicured gardens
  • Day trip to Osaka or Nara from Kyoto
  • Authentic tea ceremony in Kyoto teahouse in geisha district
  • Lunch with a real sumo wrestler including wrestling demonstration and personal Q&A
  • Entrance tickets to Tokyo Skytree or teamLab Borderless exhibition in Tokyo
  • High speed bullet train journeys throughout using the 7-Day Japan Rail Pass
Meals Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 2 evening meals (including one traditional kaiseki dinner)
Other Inclusions:
  • Comprehensive Travel Pack
  • Unique Japan Tours Travel App
  • Local Emergency Contact
  • All Taxes & Accommodation Surcharges
  • Fixed Price Policy
  • Minimum 2 / maximum 12 people
  • No hidden Costs!!
This package does not include:
  • International Flights [Arrange own flights into and out of Tokyo’s Haneda or Narita Airports – Always check the arrival date on your flight e.g. if flying from Europe/US, you will arrive into Tokyo the following day (depending on airline you use)]
  • Meals other than those specified in the itinerary. Generally, you can expect to pay 1,000yen for lunches and anything from 2,500yen for your evening meals.
  • Beverages consumed at any meal (Water served freely)
  • Baggage Handling (You are requested to carry your own bags so be careful when packing!)
  • Tour Leader, Guide or Driver Gratuity – can be arranged among your group (Optional)



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