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The Golden Route

A popular course for first time visitors to Japan, The Golden Route will give you a well balanced understanding of Japanese history and culture by covering the ancient capital Kyoto, the historic Hiroshima, the World Heritage Miyajima Island, and the metropolitan Tokyo. Up until 1868, Kyoto was the capital city where the Emperor resided. Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, his residence was moved to Edo, which then became known as Tokyo – the New Capital.

Duration: 9 Nights/10 Days (Pre or Post Nights available on request)
Route: Tokyo - Kawaguchiko (Mt Fuji) - Kyoto (Nara & Osaka optional) - Hiroshima & Miyajima Island - Tokyo

Prices and Inclusions


Airport Transfers (Arrival & departure)Shared Transfers (Door-to-door)Shared Transfers (Door-to-door)Private Transfers (Door-to-door)
9 Nights Accommodation3* Western (7 nights) +  Standard Ryokan (2 nights)4* Western (7 nights) + Superior Ryokan (2 nights)5* Western (7 nights) + Deluxe Ryokan (2 nights)
Meals9 breakfasts + 2 dinners9 breakfasts + 2 dinners9 breakfasts + 2 dinners
  • Japan Rail Pass (7 day Ordinary)
  • Reserved seats on bullet train journey’s
  • Tokyo – Mt. Fuji Bus One/Way
  • Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Pass
  • Tokyo City Transport Card
  • Kyoto City Transport Card
  • Japan Rail Pass (7 day Ordinary)
  • Reserved seats on bullet train journey’s
  • Tokyo – Mt Fuji Bus One/Way
  • Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Pass
  • Tokyo City Transport Card
  • Kyoto City Transport Card
  • Local taxi’s in Kyoto and Tokyo on private day tours
  • Japan Rail Pass (7 day Green)
  • 1st Class Reserved seats on all bullet trains
  • Private Car with driver & guide to Lake Kawaguchi
  • Private Car with driver & guide around Tokyo (one day)
  • Private Car with driver & guide around Kyoto
  • Local Taxi’s in Hiroshima
Tokyo GuidePrivate/Full DayPrivate/Full DayPrivate/Full Day
Kyoto GuidePrivate/Full DayPrivate/Full DayPrivate/Full Day
Authentic Tea CeremonyTea Ceremony at local Kyoto tea housePrivate Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet at local Kyoto Tea HousePrivate Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet at local Kyoto Tea House
Hiroshima & Miyajima Guide
Private/Half Day + Transport
UJT’s Essential Travel PackReceived 2 weeks prior to departureReceived 2 weeks prior to departure Received 2 weeks prior to departure

Per Person Prices from:

Tour CategoryEURGBPUS$AU$
Standard Twin/Double Rooms€2,285~£1,965~$2,550~$3,440~
Superior Twin/Double Rooms€3,465~£2,970~$3,850~$5,195~
Deluxe Twin/Double RoomsRequest PriceRequest PriceRequest PriceRequest Price
Prices are per person and based on two people sharing a Twin or Double Room. Single room supplements apply. Triple room discounts available. Exchange rate fluctuations may lead to price changes. 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 preferred) during busy seasons is highly recommended (but not essential) to avoid higher supplements.


Dates: Available all year round
Duration: 9 Nights/10 Days (Pre or Post Nights available on request)
Starts: Tokyo
Ends: Tokyo
Route: Tokyo - Kawaguchiko (Mt Fuji) - Kyoto (Nara & Osaka optional) - Hiroshima & Miyajima Island - Tokyo
Tour Type: Self Guided ­­­­­­with local guides in places and Essential Unique Japan Tours Travel Pack
Prices from: From €2,285 per person sharing (See Prices Below)
Accommodation Category: Standard, Superior, Deluxe & Super Deluxe Plans Available. Prices vary accordingly.

Tour Highlights

Tokyo - The city that never sleeps!

Towering skyscrapers dominate the Shinjuku skyline in the heart of the commercial downtown. Shinjuku station is the world’s busiest train station, serving over two million passengers every day. Check out amazing views of Tokyo from the observation decks at the nearby Metropolitan Government Office before delving down into one of Shinjuku’s many subterranean malls, or take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and find sanctuary in Shinjuku Gyoen (in spring, this park is of Tokyo’s premier cherry-blossom viewing spots).

A centre for youth fashion and culture in Japan and a major nightlife area, Shibuya is also home to well-known districts of Ebisu, Harajuku, Omotesando, and Yoyogi. Ginza is Tokyo’s high fashion centre and home to a host of upscale shops and restaurants. Visit Tokyo’s oldest and most prestigious department store Wako for a unique customer service experience. On weekends the main boulevard of Chuo Dori is closed to traffic to become a “Pedestrian’s Paradise”. Take a break from shopping to experience traditional kabuki drama at the Kabukiza Theatre, or enjoy a coffee in one of Ginza’s many fine cafes.

Ride the monorail out over Tokyo bay to the man-made island of Odaiba. Built at the height of the Japan’s economic boom, Odaiba is a strange but wonderful playground of all things fantastic and bizarre and has grown into one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist and dating spots. Highlights include the gigantic “life-sized” Gundam, the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Madame Tussauds, Palette Town and its Hello Kitty Ferris wheel and Toyota Mega Web where you test drive cars. At night take a stroll through the seaside park to see the beautiful nightly illumination of the Rainbow Bridge and marvel at the illuminated cityscape.

Walk through Asakusa and witness an older more traditional side to this multi-faceted city. Small shops and stalls line the streets selling a variety of traditional local snacks and souvenirs. Soak up the atmosphere of old Tokyo and explore the neighbourhood tokyo sensojiby foot or by rickshaw as you make your way inwards towards Sensoji, or Asakusa Kannon Temple. Enter Tokyo’s oldest temple through the Kaminarimon or ‘Thunder Gate’, pass along the Nakamise shopping street and through the Hozomon Gate to the main temple and five-storey pagoda.

Majestic Mt Fuji, Historic Hakone & Scenic Lake Kawaguichi-ko

Escape from the big city and travel west to Hakone. This peaceful small town is located in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is famous for its striking natural beauty, natural hot springs, and stunning views of nearby Mt Fuji.

Enjoy a full-day of sight-seeing and visit the volcanic valley of Owakudani and see the rising volcanic fumes. Be sure to try the kura-tamago – a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. Treat yourself to a traditional Japanese bathing experience at one of the many quality onsen in Hakone Yumuto. Stay in a ­traditional Japanese ryokan and feast on a delicious multi-course kaiseki dinner.

Kyoto - Home of the Geisha & Golden Temple

Residence of the emperor and capital of Japan from 794 to 1868, Kyoto holds extraordinary cultural and historical value. Among Kyoto’s sixteen hundred Buddhist temples and four hundred Shinto shrines are some of the most famous and important in Japan. Kiyomizu-dera Temple’s astonishing hanging veranda juts out over the mountainside, and several buildings designated as ‘national treasures’ can be found within the temple grounds. Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is a Zen Buddhist temple whose top two stories are coated entirely in gold leaf and the temple has become an iconic symbol for the city. These are just two of the incredible seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites you can find in Kyoto.

Exploring Kyoto’s Gion district you can’t help but be taken in by the charm of the traditional wooden merchant houses or machiya (traditional townhouses) that form the façade of the street-front. Gion is also home to many of Kyoto’s best-known ochaya or teahouses, and it is here and in the surrounding streets that many go in the hope of catching a glimpse of geisha or maiko. As part of our tour you will have the rare and amazing chance to take part in an authentic tea ceremony and walking tour of Gion with a geisha or maiko.

Miyajima Island & Hiroshima

Japan is renowned for its excellent public transport infrastructure. Nothing better exemplifies this high standard than the famous shinkansen or bullet train. These trains travel at incredible speeds to deliver passengers to far-away destinations in no time at all. Ride in comfort aboard the shinkansen and travel west to Hiroshima. Hiroshima’s past is indelibly linked to the tragedy that befell it on August 6, 1945, when the first atomic bomb was dropped over the city. The legacy of this disaster is powerfully and poignantly kept in the Peace Memorial Park which is home to the A-Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Museum. Once more a thriving city, Hiroshima has a lot going for it. Famous for its Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes) and successful baseball and soccer teams (Carp & Sanfrecce), Hiroshima is also home to Miyajima Island and Itsukushima Shrine. This small island lies less than an hour away and is particularly famous for its giant torii gate which seems to float on the water at high tide. Take a boat across the water whilst enjoying this beautiful sight and explore the shrine and the island befriending its many deer.


Day 1: Tokyo – Welcome to Japan!

Welcome to Japan! You will be met in the arrivals hall by your driver who will hold your name on a sign board. Transport to your hotel taking in all the new sights and signs along the way. Relax, chill out, and enjoy some free time to explore your local area, necessary after landing from any long haul flight. We will include suggestions on what to do in your area today so don’t worry, you won’t need to think!
Tokyo Accommodation x 2 nights includes breakfast daily :
Standard: Candeo Hotels or similar
Superior: Tokyo Metropolitan Hotel or similar
Deluxe: Hyatt Regency Tokyo


Day 2: Tokyo - A Day of Sumo & Sushi with Local Guide

After breakfast, our friendly local Tokyo guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel. Today you will travel like a local, with a local! Our usual escorted day trip includes:

  • Tsukiji Fish Market (if this repulses you, we will chose somewhere else)!
  • Hamarikyu Garden
  • River Boat to Asakusa followed by lunch (pay locally)
  • Asakusa Temple & Sensouji Shrine
  • Edo Museum & Sumo Stadium (exterior only but a small exhibition is attached to the stadium and sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll see the giant wrestlers hanging about between training sessions! Tokyo Sumo Tournament Tickets can be arranged if you are here in March, May, July, September, or November for the Grand Sumo Tournament. Ask your travel consultant to arrange).

At some stage today, your guide will also assist you in exchanging your Japan Rail Pass for your train tickets needed for the rest of your trip. We will provide you with a full list of trains that are recommended to reserve in advance, especially during the busy seasons.

If you prefer to go somewhere different than our suggested plan above, let us know. We will inform your guide in advance and he/she will chose the best route and options for you on that day. And remember, perhaps you are not used to having a guide with you on your travels, but trust us, Tokyo is one of those places that overwhelms even the most adventurous of us. This day will be fun, educational, and hugely beneficial for you starting your self-guided adventure on your own from tomorrow onwards.

Day 3 - Join Tokyo's Elite Vacationing in Breathtaking Hakone

The resort town of Hakone is a popular place seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of life in the world’s most populous city. Renounced for its luxurious accommodation, stunning scenery, and well-renowned thermals waters, you will be rubbing shoulders with Tokyo’s elite as they enjoy their retreat from the capital city!

Day 4: Kyoto - Bullet Train of The Future to City of the Past

Breakfast at your ryokan
Transfer to Kyoto by shinkansen (bullet train)
Evening free time in Kyoto


Kyoto Accommodation x 3 nights includes breakfast daily :
Standard: Daiwa Roynet Ekimae or similar
Superior: The Celestine Kyoto Gion or similar
Deluxe: Kyoto Hotel Granvia or similar

Day 5: Kyoto - Tour The Best of this Ancient Capital

Breakfast at your hotel
Meet your guide at your hotel lobby
Full day sightseeing in Kyoto with guide by public transport, including tea ceremony & Gion (Geisha/Maiko) district walking tour

Day 6: Kyoto - Japan's Ancient Capital at Your Fingertips

Breakfast at your hotel
Free day in Kyoto (Optional day trip to Nara, Arashiyama & Bamboo forest on your own – details will be provided)

Day 7: Hiroshima's War Scars & Miyajima's Peaceful Shrine

Breakfast at your hotel
Transfer to Hiroshima by shinkansen
Free time in Hiroshima – visit the Peace Park & A-Bomb Dome
Transfer to Miyajima Island by local train & ferry using your Japan Rail Pass
Traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner & onsen (hot spring bath) at your ryokan


Miyajima Island Accommodation x 1 night includes breakfast & kaiseki dinner :
Standard: Miyajima Seaside Hotel or similar
Superior: Watanabe Inn or similar
Deluxe: Kuroyado / Iwaso or similar

Day 8: Return to Tokyo's Bright Lights & Endless Entertainment

Breakfast at your ryokan
Morning free time in Miyajima
In your own time, transfer to Tokyo by ferry, local train & shinkansen

Tokyo Accommodation x 2 nights includes breakfast daily :
Standard: Shinjuku Hotel Gracery or similar
Superior: Hilton Hotel or similar
Deluxe: Tokyo Park Hyatt or similar

Day 9: Tokyo - The World's Largest City is your Oyster

Breakfast at your hotel
Free day in Tokyo (Optional day trip to Kamakura & Yokohama on your own – details will be provided in your travel pack)

Day 10: Sayonara Tokyo!

Breakfast at your hotel
Transfer to Haneda or Narita Airport (picked up directly from your hotel)
Depart Japan on your scheduled flight

How to Book

Step 1: Pay Your Booking Deposit (€250/£200/USD300/AUD400)

By paying your deposit today allows our team get started on booking your tour and services in Japan. Booking Terms and Conditions


Step 2: Book Your Flight

Once you have decided your route in Japan we recommend you book your flights. If you need help, ask us for a quote. arrow

Step 3: Manage your Booking

You will be provided with a unique and secure Travel Portal. Check your documents and fill out as much information as possible, to ensure we give you the best service possible (dietary requirements, passport info, flight details, and so on). You can also pay your tour in installments if you prefer through this portal.


Step 4: Final Payment Due 8 Weeks Prior

Your tour balance is due 8 weeks prior to your start date or as soon as your plan is fully confirmed (when booking lies within 8 weeks). Your finance is protected with Total Payment Protection TOPP Policy AQL Number 47571 (no matter what country you are traveling from).


Step 5: Receive your Essential Travel Pack

All of our clients receive an Essential Travel Pack which is sent to your home address (worldwide) 2-3 weeks before your departure date. If your starting date is less than 2 weeks, you will receive it on arrival in Japan. All documents will be sent via email in advance also.

Got a Question?

Have a few questions before booking your tour to Japan? Please fill out this form and one of our Japan travel consultants will get right back to you.

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