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Trail by Rail

Trail by Rail

9 Nights / 10 Days Small Group Tour
from €3,400 / £3,080 / US$3,930 / AU$5,660 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 3*) including casual style Izakaya Dining experience

Day 2: Tokyo City Sightseeing

Highlight: Full 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:

  • Meiji Jingu Shrine in Yoyogi Park
  • Harajuku and Omotesando Shopping District [Walk-through and lunch]
  • Asakusa Temple and Shopping Street
Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nishishinjuku (or similar 3*)


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: Afternoon Tea with Geisha Experience

You can enjoy having afternoon tea in the company of an authentic Geisha in a small Japanese-style teahouse in the Gion area of Kyoto. You will get a chance to hear about the training and life of the Geisha and an opportunity for an informal Q&A translated through your tour leader and a chance for some photos after. This will be followed by a picturesque walk through the quintessential Kyoto back streets! Dinner at teppan yaki style restaurant (pay locally).

Accommodation: The Chapter Hotel Kyoto (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:

• Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
• Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Grove
• Lunch at local restaurant
• Ninenzaka Shopping Street (check out Starbucks tea-house)
• Yasaka Shrine (Gion District)

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

Accommodation: The Chapter Hotel Kyoto (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 or we can arrange a guide to bring you]
3. Kyoto Cultural Experiences* e.g. Kimono Wearing, Ikebana Workshop, Cookery Class, Cycling Tour – whatever you fancy!
*Pre-Booking Essential – at least 90 days prior to the start date.
Accommodation: The Chapter Hotel Kyoto (or similar 4*)


Day 7: Historical Hiroshima and Magical Miyajima Island

Depart Kyoto early morning to catch the direct bullet train to Hiroshima.
Meet our local guide on arrival at Hiroshima Station. Together, you will visit:
– Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and A-Bomb Dome
– Lunch at local restaurant (recommended by our guide)
– Ferry and local trains to the port
– 20 minutes ferry ride to UNESCO Miyajima Island
– Itsukushima Shrine (Floating Tori Gate and Shrine)
– Free time for shopping the side streets

Return to your hotel in the early evening. Free time this evening.

Accommodation: Hiroshima Granvia Hotel (or similar 4*)


Day 8: Bullet trains back to Tokyo

After breakfast pack your bags and get ready for a long distance bullet train ride (up to 5 hours).
Arrive Tokyo in the afternoon. Free time to explore the bustling Shibuya district where we will stay for your last two nights in the capital.
Accommodation: Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu (or similar 4*)





Day 9: Intimate Lunch & Meeting with Ex-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: Trip Ends

“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!
Add on an extra night or two to enhance your Tokyo stay. Contact us for additional costs.


Dates and Prices

Triple Room€3,080 £2,790US$3,560 AU$5,420
Single Room€4,390£3,975US$4,810AU$7,730


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:

31, 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)

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nishi Shinjuku (or similar)

Set in a lively location just minutes walk from Japan’s busiest station at Shinjuku, where three million people walk through every day.  This chic and modern hotel offers convenience and atmosphere like no other. Shinjuku district is everything you expect Tokyo to be. Neon lights. Bustling streets. Old worldly alleyways. Mom and Pop shops, bars, restaurants, and all sorts of other forms of entertainment. Walk five minutes to the nearest subway station. And about 15 minutes to Shinjuku. Attractions nearby feature Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and the Samurai Museum with lots and lots of wonderful shops, restaurants, karaoke, bars, on your door step.

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)

Hiroshima Granvia Hotel (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)

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.

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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
  • Afternoon tea with a Geisha in Kyoto
  • 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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