* Have a go at confectionary-making in Kanazawa
* Visit Himeji, Japan's largest original feudal castle
* Enjoy a private audience with one of Kyoto's geisha or maiko
* Head to the top of Mount Misen on Miyajima Island
* Have lunch by the canal in willow-lined Kurashiki
* Learn about zazen meditation at Eihei-ji Temple
With all meals, transport, and luggage handling included ' there's nothing for you to do on All-In Japan but sit back and enjoy the ride. Covering Japan's classic destinations with a few unusual twists, this trip is full of cultural experiences to give you a stress-free introduction to Japan.
Sometimes, a holiday should just be a holiday: a chance to relinquish all responsibilities, make no decisions, and worry about absolutely nothing. On All-In Japan, you'll do just this. Leaving every aspect of your trip to us, from your lunch to your luggage, you'll be free to concentrate on immersing yourself in Japanese culture - safe in the knowledge that you don't have a penny to pay on the ground.
This tour is an exhilarating journey through Japan's history and traditions, from the refined geisha houses of Kyoto to Tokyo's exuberant taiko drumming workshops. Tour the ancient temples of Kyoto and Nara, visit the biggest original castle in Japan at Himeji, and experience zazen meditation at a beautiful temple in deep in the forests of Fukui Prefecture.
Try your hand at wagashi confectionary-making in Kanazawa, visit the fascinating Peace Memorial Park and Museum at Hiroshima, and ride the cablecar to the top of Mount Misen for spectacular views over the Seto Inland Sea. Forget the tour bus bubble - we'll take you to meet the artisans, restaurateurs and small business owners who make all this possible.
It's not all temples and tradition, however, and we'll make sure you're well-acquainted with modern Japan - from an architecture tour of Tokyo to Kanazawa's outstanding 21st Century Art Museum.
One of the great features of this tour is the wide range of excellent evening entertainment, and you'll try a huge range of cuisines in all sorts of settings - including do-it-yourself okonomiyaki pancakes, and drinks at the "Kill Bill" izakaya, plus an evening dinner cruise on the Sumida River.
All-In Japan is all about comfort and peace of mind, but don't let that fool you - this is all-inclusive as you've never seen it before: full-on, fast-paced, and packed full of action.
Important InformationMaximum Group Size: 20Single Supplement: This tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour.Transport: The tour will use a private coach for most sightseeing and transfers. We will ride the famous bullet train on the transfers between Tokyo and Hiroshima, and between Kanazawa and Tokyo.The day trip from Kyoto to Nara will be by local train. The transfer between Hiroshima Peace Park and Miyajima will be by ferry. On two half-days, you will be exploring Tokyo by public transport with your IC card.
Luggage: Luggage handling between all destinations is included but we still recommend that you pack reasonably light to make your stay more enjoyable. Although there is often a porter service available at hotels, large suitcases might be an inconvenience to you. A small case or bag with wheels or a rucksack are most appropriate for this tour when you will have to carry your bags through the hotel's escalators or elevators/lifts. Accommodation: All accommodation on this tour has full ensuite bathroom facilities. The accommodation in Kaga Onsen and Kanazawa also offers shared natural hot-spring baths for your enjoyment.
Meals & Drinks: Whilst on tour breakfast, lunch and dinner are included on every full day, plus dinner on your first day and breakfast on your last day. For pre- and post- tour nights only breakfast is included.
Drinks: at lunch one drink is included, at dinner two drinks will be included (or an all-you-can-drink option in some locations). You will be able to choose from a selection of beverages. If you wish to purchase extra beverages you will have to pay for them locally.
Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements and we will do our best to accommodate your wishes. However, please be aware that restaurants or ryokan (Japanese-style inns) will not always be able to alter their menus to fully exclude specific allergens or to cater for strict dietary requirements.International Flights: This tour starts and finishes in Tokyo for arrivals and departures at Tokyo Narita Airport or at Tokyo Haneda Airport.Check-in: Please note that rooms at the Tokyo hotel are only available from 2pm. (You can, however, securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time). We recommend booking at least one extra night to check in and relax before the tour begins: your tour leader will be at the tour hotel up to two days in advance of the tour start, ready to welcome you and help you settle in Japan. For pre- and post- tour nights only breakfast is included. Fitness: Even when not using public transport, sightseeing in Japan often involves walking between sights, climbing up steps in temples and being 'on the go' for much of the day. To enjoy any of our Small Group Tours you should be of moderate fitness, able to walk and climb stairs without difficulty and able to maintain a pace that is comfortable for the majority of the group.
➕ Day 1-2
Begin your all-inclusive adventure in Tokyo, Japan's capital and the most populous city in the world.
On arrival at Tokyo's Narita Airport you will be picked up for your shared shuttle back to your hotel in the heart of the city. Your tour leader will be waiting to meet you and answer any questions, and this evening you'll be able to begin getting to know your group over a delicious welcome meal at the hotel. On day two we hope you'll be well-rested and raring to discover Tokyo. With a private coach at our disposal today, we'll head out to the Imperial Palace East Gardens, get a glimpse of the city's past at the fascinating Edo-Tokyo Museum, and explore the old-world streets and market stalls of the Asakusa district. This is the most traditional area of the city, and home to its oldest temple: Senso-ji. If you're feeling a little jet-lagged this afternoon ' you won't for long! A taiko lesson will wake you up in no time, introducing you to the energetic, choreographed rhythms and movements of Japan's traditional drumming. This evening you're in for a treat as you board a boat on the Sumida River for a yakatabune dinner cruise beneath the twinkling lights of the city.
Overnight: Hotel Niwa
➕ Day 3-4
Shoot cross-country on the bullet train to Hiroshima, one of western Japan's most vibrant cities.
On day three it's time to make our way west to Hiroshima, a city notorious for its catastrophic role in the events of World War II ' yet determined not to be overshadowed by its tragic past. Leave your luggage at the front desk of the hotel this morning and we'll have it forwarded to tonight's hotel while you travel. This morning we'll hop on the shinkansen, Japan's world-famous bullet train, for a speedy journey westwards. For lunch we'll sample the typical fare of the Japanese traveller ' an ekiben "station lunchbox" ' complete with included origami set to keep you entertained. In just under five hours, we'll have travelled over 800 kilometres across Japan to Hiroshima. On arrival in Hiroshima, we'll travel by private coach from the station to our hotel and have a chance to freshen up before we head to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum to learn a little more about the events of 6th August 1945. This evening, we'll lighten the mood with a bit of cookery: learn how to make okonomiyaki, the cabbage or noodle-based pancake typical of this part of Japan. On day four, we'll jump on a boat at the Peace Park for the 55 minute journey across Hiroshima Bay to the island of Miyajima, a beautiful island on the Seto Inland Sea. Though Miyajima is most famous for its World Heritage Shrine and "floating" torii gate, you're sure to enjoy the traditional town centre, friendly local deer, and cable car ride to the top of forested Mount Misen for fabulous views across the bay.
Overnight: ANA Crowne Plaza Hiroshima
➕ Day 5-7
Travel via Himeji Castle and the historic town of Kurashiki to Kyoto, Japan's cultural heartland and "City of Ten Thousand Temples".
This morning we'll leave Hiroshima behind and head east toward Kyoto, Japan's former capital and cultural heart. Travelling by private coach, we'll stop off along the way in Kurashiki, a lovely little town famous for its beautiful, willow-lined canal district. After lunch on the banks of the canal, we'll journey on to our next stop: Himeji Castle. Himeji is one of just a handful of original feudal castles left in Japan, and it's the biggest of all. After a ten-year facelift, it's never looked so impressive! Finally, arriving in Kyoto, we'll check in to our hotel and have the rest of the evening at leisure. Dinner is included at the hotel restaurant tonight. On day six we'll have a full day of sightseeing in Kyoto, giving you an in-depth introduction to this historic city. Travelling by private minivan, we'll stop at the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji, the Zen rock garden at Ryoan-ji Temple, and some other of the city's hidden sites. The day's highlight is sure to come this afternoon, when we'll travel to a teahouse for a private audience with a geisha or maiko (trainee), giving us a rare insight into this secretive world. Finally, to round off our first busy day in Kyoto, we'll head out this evening to GEAR - an exciting, non-verbal theatre show that will provide an interesting modern counterpoint to Kyoto's more traditional arts! On day seven, we'll leave Kyoto and make the short journey by train to Nara, another former capital of Japan with an impressive cultural heritage. Today's sightseeing will include visits to forested Nara Park, Issuien Garden, the great Buddha of Todai-ji Temple and the vermilion shrine of Kasuga Taisha.
➕ Day 8
Get off the beaten track as we travel by private bus to Kaga Onsen, an area encompassing four traditional hot spring towns in the countryside of Ishikawa Prefecture.
On the way to Kaga Onsen, we'll visit the partially reconstructed ruins of Ichijodani Castle Town, which was burned to the ground by Oda Nobunaga in 1573, and stop off at the beautiful temple of Eihei-ji, surrounded by a towering forest of Japanese cedars. While at Eihei-ji, we'll enjoy a lesson in zazen meditation under the tutelage of a temple priest ' all the better to appreciate the quiet beauty of our surroundings. This evening we'll spend the night at a traditional Japanese inn, or ryokan, sleeping on comfortable futon bedding laid out on tatami-mat flooring, with sliding paper screens and an included dinner of fine kaiseki cuisine. Don't miss the chance to try out the hot spring baths ' an integral part of any ryokan stay!
Overnight: Kagari Kisshotei
➕ Day 9-10
Discover the charms of Kanazawa ' or "Little Kyoto" ' one of Japan's best-preserved traditional cities.
On day nine we'll move on via private coach to Kanazawa, a city whose cultural heritage was considered so important during World War II that it was spared bombing by the Allies. Thanks to this, Kanazawa retains some of Japan's best-preserved old-town districts, and is known throughout the country for its rich tradition of arts & crafts. This morning, you'll have the chance to have a go at making wagashi ' delicate Japanese confectionary ' with a local expert before we continue with a full day of sightseeing. Highlights will include visiting Kenrokuen, widely considered to be Japan's most beautiful landscape garden, the Higashichaya old-town district, and the outstanding 21st Century Art Museum. After all this culture, this evening we'll have a chance to blow off steam as we head to the local bowling alley for a few beers and a bit of fun.
Overnight: Sainoniwa Hotel
➕ Day 11-13
Return to Tokyo for a final two nights in one of the world's most exciting cities.
On day 11 it's time to jump back on the bullet train for the return journey to Tokyo, where you'll spend your final two nights in Japan. Arriving around lunchtime, we'll have plenty of time for an afternoon of sightseeing by public transport and on foot ' including the lovely Hamarikyu Garden, Tokyo Tower (13 metres taller than its doppelganger, the Eiffel Tower), the upmarket Ginza district and Zozo-ji Temple ' which X-Men fans will recognise as the set of the film Wolverine. With a final full day in Tokyo, we'll have the morning at leisure on day 12 ' giving you time to do a bit of last-minute shopping or fit in anything you haven't yet had time to do. Otherwise, your tour leader will be on hand to take you to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation on Odaiba Island, a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, so feel free to join them if you choose. This afternoon you're in for another afternoon of sightseeing by public transport and on foot, taking in Shinjuku Park, the atmospheric Meiji Shrine, and the amazing architecture of the Aoyama and Omotesando districts. Finally, your last dinner of the tour will take place Gonpachi ' the izakaya that starred in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. At last your tour must come to an end on day 14, and you will be taken by shared shuttle back to the airport for your flight home.
Overnight: Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome