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Trail by Rail

Trail by Rail

9 Nights / 10 Days Small Group Tour
from €3,500 / £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 a fabulous traditional kaiseki dinner and relax in a 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 city of 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.

 

Itinerary

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 and 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-meter 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 of 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 and 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 of people in our group. You will travel around Kyoto using 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: Bullet trains back to Tokyo

After breakfast pack your bags and get ready for a bullet train ride back to Tokyo (3 hours approx).
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 8: 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, is 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-scenes stories and daily life of a real sumo wrestler while enjoying an authentic chanko lunch. This is one lunch in Japan that will never be forgotten.

Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Nishi-Shinjuku Premier (or similar)

 

Day 9: Final Free Day in Tokyo

“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.
 

 

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€3,180 £2,790US$3,560 AU$5,420
Twin/Double€3,500£3,080US$3,930AU$5,660
Single Room€4,490£3,975US$4,810AU$7,730

 

Tour Starts:

July 12 -

Tour Ends:

21, 2024
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Tour Starts:

September 09, 2024

Tour Ends:

September 19, 2024
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Tour Starts:

October 22, 2024

Tour Ends:

November 01, 2024
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Tour Starts:

November 16, 2024

Tour Ends:

November 26, 2024
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Tour Starts:

December 22, 2024

Tour Ends:

January 01, 2025
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Tour Starts:

January 05, 2025

Tour Ends:

January 15, 2025
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Tour Starts:

February 12, 2025

Tour Ends:

February 22, 2025
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Tour Starts:

March 23, 2025

Tour Ends:

April 04, 2025
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Tour Starts:

April 03, 2025

Tour Ends:

April 13, 2025
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Tour Starts:

May 11, 2025

Tour Ends:

May 21, 2025
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Tour Starts:

June 01, 2025

Tour Ends:

June 11, 2025
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Tour Starts:

July 06, 2025

Tour Ends:

July 16, 2025
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Tour Starts:

August 03, 2025

Tour Ends:

August 13, 2025
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Tour Starts:

September 07, 2025

Tour Ends:

September 17, 2025
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Tour Starts:

October 12, 2025

Tour Ends:

October 22, 2025
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Tour Starts:

November 23, 2025

Tour Ends:

December 03, 2025
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Tour Starts:

December 07, 2025

Tour Ends:

December 17, 2025
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Tour Starts:

January 05, 2026

Tour Ends:

January 15, 2026
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Tour Starts:

February 10, 2026

Tour Ends:

February 20, 2026
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Tour Starts:

March 28, 2026

Tour Ends:

April 07, 2026
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Tour Starts:

April 03, 2026

Tour Ends:

April 13, 2026
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Tour Starts:

May 11, 2026

Tour Ends:

May 21, 2026
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Accommodation

Tokyo (Two Nights)

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nishi Shinjuku (or similar)

Set in a lively location just a few minutes walk from Japan’s busiest station, Shinjuku, where three million people walk through every day, this chic and modern hotel offers convenience and an 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 for 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, and bars on your doorstep.

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 (1868–1922), 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 a 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 (4 nights)

The Chapter Hotel, Kyoto (or similar 4*)

We chose 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. The 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, which is 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!

Tokyo (2 nights)

Daiwa Roynet Nishi-Shinjuku Premier (or similar)

Set in a convenient location with a chic and modern atmosphere, get comfortable. Spacious guest rooms feature French-brand beds, and some have massage chairs. Stay connected with free WiFi, and connections for mobile phones are also available.

At Light Metropolis restaurant sample Japanese Modern with a variety of rich Japanese and Western breakfasts. Menus regularly change according to the season. Offerings include homemade smoothies, colourful cold DERI, and the long-established Yamayasu dried vegetable toppings for a Chinese-style porridge. Take a five-minute walk to Nishi-Shinjuku Station and a minute walk to Shinjuku Station. Attractions nearby feature the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and the Samurai Museum.

 

Tour Testimonial

Unique Japan Tours
Average rating:  
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Whats Included

DateService
Accommodation4* Western (8 nights) or Superior Ryokans (1 nights) with hot springs and kaiseki dinner (total 9 nights/ 10 days)
English-speaking tour leader
  • Daily local English-speaking Tour Leader* (Group Size: 2–12 persons)
*If your tour has less than 5 people on it, we will arrange the tour on a semi-escorted basis. You will be 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 and Kyoto
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 to catch a glimpse of the monster mountain for that must-have photo!
  • Hakone Romance Car Train Ticket and Hakone Free Pass
  • Overnight in rural Ryokan, experiencing unique Japanese hospitality and onsen (hot spring baths)
  • A guided tour of Kyoto’s glorious temple, stunning shrines, traditional backstreets and manicured gardens
  • Day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima Island 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 (Odawarara-Kyoto, Kyoto-Hiroshima, Hiroshima-Kyoto, and Kyoto-Tokyo)
Meals Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, and 2 evening meals (including one traditional kaiseki dinner)
Other Inclusions:
  • Comprehensive Travel Pack
  • Unique Japan Tours Travel App
  • Local Emergency Contact
  • All Taxes and 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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