Sit back and relax as you travel on some of the world's fastest high-speed trains, including the world famous Bullet Train (Shinkansen). This fully escorted tour will take you by train all over Japan, using a Japan Railpass. Stay in hotels near the stations. Visit historic Hiroshima and Kyoto. Enjoy the Japanese countryside of Takayama and the excitement of Tokyo.
Day 01: Arrive in Tokyo
Upon arrival at Narita Airport, clear customs and immigration then board the Airport Limousine coach transfer service to your accommodation for two nights. Rest of the day at leisure to get over your jetlag.
Day 02: Tokyo
After breakfast at your hotel your Japan journey begins with a full day sightseeing tour of Tokyo. Visit some of the major sights - Tokyo Tower Observatory, 250 meters high, boasting 360 panoramic views of the city. Nakamise Shopping Archade, a shopping street that leads from the other gate of Asakusa Kannon Temple (Sensoji), one of Tokyo's most colourful and popular Buddhist temples. Today you will also experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at Happoen Garden and a river cruise down the Sumida river. Lunch is included today. In the evening, a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Days 03: Tokyo - Osaka
Send your large suitcase onto Nagasaki. Japan's luggage transfer service is very reliable, your luggage will be safe when you send it onto the next city. After breakfast, depart for Osaka on a Japan Airlines domestic flight. After arrival at Itami Airport, visit one of Japan's most famous castles, Osaka Castle. Then onto Osaka Sky Garden - an observation platform at Umeda Sky building providing a 360-degree view of the city. This is a very uniquely shaped building. Finally visit the Dotobori district of Osaka, known as the entertainment district, hosting many of the city's most popular shopping arcades and department stores, restaurants and bars.
Day 04: Osaka - Nagasaki
OAfter breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Osaka Itami Airport by bus for your domestic flight to Nagasaki. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to downtown Nagasaki by airport bus. Today you will go with your escort to the Japan Rail (JR) Nagasaki ticket office and validate your Japan Rail Pass. You will need to show your passport when you exchange your exchange order for your actual Japan Rail Pass.
Day 05: Nagasaki
Breakfast at your own leisure. Optional sightseeing with your tour escort visiting some famous places in Nagasaki. Old Glover Garden - Beautiful gardens surrounding nine western style homes built between 1868-1912 for western merchants living in Japan. Also visiting Dejima - an artificial island that was built during the Edo period to accommodate Portuguese Christian missionaries.
Day 06: Nagasaki - Hiroshima
Breakfast at your own leisure. Send your large suitcase onto Kyoto city. In the morning depart from Nagasaki Station to Hakata and depart by Bullet Train to Hiroshima. Optional sightseeing with your tour escort visiting Miyajima Island and the World Heritage listed Itsukushima Shinto Shrine. This famous icon is known for its floating red torii gate in the water.
Day 07: Hiroshima - Kyoto
Optional sightseeing with tour escort: Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome. Board the Shinkansen for Kyoto. This night, enjoy a special dinner at the local temple.
Day 08 : Kyoto
After breakfast, embark on a full day tour of Kyoto city, visiting some of the most beautiful temples & gardens this city has to offer. Visit Nijo Castle (World Heritage listed) - the residence of the Tokugawa era shoguns, Goldern Pavilion (Kinkakuji), which houses sacred relics of Buddha and is surrounded by an exquisitely beautiful garden, Heian Shrine - a vibrant colourful structure built in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of Kyoto, Sanjusangendo - a national treasure with 1030 standing images of Buddha and Kiyomizu Temple (World Heritage listed) with its famous wooden veranda giving you picturesque views of Kyoto and nearby hillsides.
Day 09: Kyoto
Breakfast at your own leisure. Send your large suitcase onto Takayama. Optional sightseeing with tour escort visiting, Arashiyama and Sagano (Bamboo Grove) area. Indulge yourself in the rural atmosphere of Sagano-Arashiyama, a short train ride from Kyoto. With Mt. Arashiyama as the backdrop, take a walk through the Sagano Bamboo Grove, visiting Zen temples along the way. Marvel at Togetsu Bridge, Sagano-Arashiyama's landmark, and visit the many shops and cafes in the area.
Day 10: Kyoto - Takayama
Depart for Nagoya by JR Shinkansen and continue travelling to Takayama by JR limited express.
Day 11: Takayama
Optional sightseeing with your tour escort, visiting some famous spots in Takayama. Hida Folk Village - an open air museum exhibiting over 30 traditional houses from the region, Matsuri-no-mori and San-machi, a traditional Japanese village area and Takayama Jinya. Explore this historic area of Takayama's old town. A small 3 lane area is filled with old wooden buildings consisting of sake breweries, small boutiques and some larger merchant houses which are now museums.
Day 12: Takayama - Hakone
Breakfast at your own leisure. Send your large suitcase onto Tokyo city. Depart for Nagoya by JR Limited Express and continue to travel to Hakone by Shinkansen (Bullet Train). Dinner tonight is at your Hotel in Hakone.
Day 13: Hakone - Tokyo
After breakfast, take a full day sightseeing tour of Hakone and Lake Ashi area. Viewing spot of Mt Fuji (World Heritage listed) - Japan's national icon. Take a cruise on lake Ashi, then ropeway up Mt. Hakone stopping at Owakudani Valley for a spectacular panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and the surrounding area. In the afternoon depart by Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Tokyo.
Day 14: Depart Tokyo
Your Rail journey finishes today after breakfast. Check out of your hotel by 10:00am. Included in this tour is an Airport Limousine coach transfer service back to Narita Airport. We can also arrange late check out, post tour accommodation and any other arrangements if you wish to extend your stay in Japan after the tour concludes.