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The Golden Route

Prices from 2,168

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.

SKU: N/A Category:
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

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 1 reviews
We are recommending Unique Japan Tours to everyone we talk to!

We had one of our best holidays ever due in no small part to the amazing organisation and instructions provided by you. Thank you.The hotel choices were all excellent, the only comment is that the one in Miyajuma did a very odd breakfast (cold scrambled eggs, cold rare roast beef, cold carrots...) and the reception didn't really speak English. It would also have been useful to know the last lift down the mountain was 5.30pm, we had to make a mad dash to get up there and back and would have allowed more time if we had known.The tour guide Keiko in Kyoto was brilliant. Anyway, thank you again for all your help we are recommending you to everyone we talk to about our amazing trip.Best regardsLaura


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 UJT Travel Pack
Prices from: From €2,168 per person sharing (See Prices Below)
Accommodation Category: Standard, Superior Or Deluxe Plans Available. Prices vary accordingly.

Itinerary

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: Shiba Park Hotel or similar
Superior: Park 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

Enjoy a Japanese or western buffet breakfast spread at your hotel before moving to the foot of Mt Fuji, at Kawaguchi Lake. The journey from Tokyo to Mt Fuji will be approx. 3 hours by bus (or private car if traveling on deluxe plan). Upon arrival, you will stop at the 5th station of Mt Fuji, which is where the daring climbers start the ascent up to the top. If traveling in the summer months (July-early September), you can have the option to climb Fuji. Ask your travel consultant at time of booking. This Golden Route plan does not include Mt Fuji Climb as standard. Instead, you will explore the area on your own (or with an assistant if traveling deluxe), and overnight stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan where kaiseki dinner and the magnificent therapeutic hot springs are without doubt a major highlight tonight.

Japanese Ryokan (1 night)
including breakfast & Japanese kaiseki dinner & hot springs:
Standard: Fuji no Yado Ohashi
Superior: Kounanso Ryokan
Deluxe: Yumedono Ryokan
(If above ryokans are not available during your travel dates, we will chose the next best available)

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

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

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

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)

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

Tour Highlights

Tokyo - The Capital of the World

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. With over three million visitors a year, Shibuya station is the fourth busiest in Japan. Say hello to Hachiko – the dog whose statue is a popular meeting for locals, before checking out the huge crossing that might seem familiar from “Lost in Translation”. Have fun exploring this vibrant and colourful area.

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.

Tokyo’s most famous shrine, Meiji Jingu is tucked away within the peaceful confines of its 200 acre forested grounds. It is dedicated to the memory of Emperor Meiji who was responsible for opening Japan to the west during a series of events known as the Meiji Restoration. The shrine and its grounds are quite understated in comparison with Asakusa’s Senso-ji and provide a peaceful retreat in the centre of this sprawling metropolis.

Tsukiji Fish Mar­ket is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, handling over two thousand tonnes of marine products per day. Tsukiji Fish Market is perhaps best known for its tuna auction held in the early morning. It has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years, so much so that the numbers of visitors to the inner sections is now restricted. There is plenty to see, do, and eat, in the outer areas, too, so worry not if you don’t fancy an early start!

All this – not including the museums, a thriving art scene, quality food, cat cafes, and amazing transport infrastructure – at your feet. You won’t have a dull moment in Tokyo!

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 photo-girlcan 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 - A stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site

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.

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)
9 Nights Accommodation 3* Western (7 nights) +  Standard Ryokan (2 nights) 4* Western (7 nights) + Superior Ryokan (2 nights) 5* Western (7 nights) + Deluxe Ryokan (2 nights)
Meals 9 breakfasts + 2 dinners 9 breakfasts + 2 dinners 9 breakfasts + 2 dinners
Transport
  • 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
  • Chartered Vehicle to Lake Kawaguchi
  • Chartered Vehicle in Tokyo (one day)
  • Chartered Vehicle in Kyoto (one day)
  • Local Taxi’s in Hiroshima
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
Hiroshima & Miyajima Guide
 X
X
Private/Half Day + Transport
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 €2,460 £2,150 $2,675 $3,535
Superior Twin/Double Rooms €3,190 £2,795 $3,475 $4,590
Deluxe Twin/Double Rooms €6,400 £5,625 $6,990 $9,230

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!

Customer Reviews

Submit your review
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2
3
4
5
Submit
     
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Create your own review

Average rating:  
 1 reviews
We are recommending Unique Japan Tours to everyone we talk to!

We had one of our best holidays ever due in no small part to the amazing organisation and instructions provided by you. Thank you.The hotel choices were all excellent, the only comment is that the one in Miyajuma did a very odd breakfast (cold scrambled eggs, cold rare roast beef, cold carrots...) and the reception didn't really speak English. It would also have been useful to know the last lift down the mountain was 5.30pm, we had to make a mad dash to get up there and back and would have allowed more time if we had known.The tour guide Keiko in Kyoto was brilliant. Anyway, thank you again for all your help we are recommending you to everyone we talk to about our amazing trip.Best regardsLaura

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