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Home » Destinations » Asia » Japan » Riviera Travel Grand Tour of Japan
Explore Japan’s iconic landmarks, cultural wonders, and culinary delights on this Grand Tour. From Tokyo’s futuristic cityscapes to the pristine landscapes of Mount Fuji, delve into ancient history in Kyoto and reflect on Hiroshima’s poignant past. Venture off the beaten track using various modes of transportation, including trains, buses, cable cars, ropeways, and Japan’s last trolley bus, to uncover the beauty of the Japanese Alps. Encounter sacred temples, shrines, and statues along the way.
Day 1: Departure
Head to the airport for your direct, overnight flight to Tokyo
Day 2: Arrival in Tokyo
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and check in before enjoying the rest of the evening at leisure.
Day 3: Tokyo
Spend today exploring Tokyo, discovering its unique blend of modernity and tranquillity. Begin at the Meiji Shrine, nestled in lush parkland, offering a serene escape from the bustling city. Visit Omotesando Street for luxury shopping, experience the vibrant and trendy Harajuku area, and immerse yourself in the electronic wonderland of Akihabara. Enjoy some Japanese cuisine during your included lunch today.
Day 4: Tokyo
Begin the day in Asakusa, exploring the historic Sensoji Temple, Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), and Nakamise shopping street for authentic souvenirs. Take a boat down the Sumida River to reach Ginza, a luxurious shopping destination with modern stores and boutiques. The afternoon is yours to shop or explore.
Day 5: Mount Fuji & Hakone
After three days in the capital,escape to Mount Fuji, Japan’s iconic volcano surrounded by lush forests and glass-like lakes. Two stops at scenic lakes offer different perspectives, starting with the hidden gem, Lake Kawaguchi, known for breathtaking views, especially during cherry blossom and autumn seasons. Heading south to Hakone, enjoy a unique cruise on Lake Ashi aboard a Japanese-style pirate ship. The geo-thermally active area around the hotel offers a chance to experience an ‘onsen’ (hot spring) – a must-try Japanese tradition.
Day 6: Bullet Train to Hiroshima
Start the day with a ride on Japan’s high-speed Shinkansen, offering reclining seats, ample legroom, and speeds of up to 189 mph. Experience unmatched comfort as the train traverses vibrant flower fields, tea crops, small towns, and cityscapes. Arriving in Hiroshima at lunchtime, explore Peace Park and Museum, showcasing the city’s resilience after the atomic bomb blast in 1945. The rebuilt city, with minimal signs of devastation, emphasizes the importance of cherishing peace. The museum, while potentially unsettling, serves as a poignant reminder, and the ‘Peace Clock’ indicates the recentness of the last atomic test.
Day 7: Hiroshima
This morning, head to Miyajima, also known as ‘Shrine Island,’ in Hiroshima Bay, renowned for its floating Torii gate and Itsukushima Shrine. The island, easily explored on foot, exudes a relaxed holiday vibe with roaming deer, charming shops, and a covered market.
The afternoon is yours to explore at your own pace.
Day 8: Korakuen Gardens
Leaving Hiroshima by coach, the journey to Kyoto includes a stop in Okayama. You’ll head to Korakuen Garden, built in 1700, one of Japan’s most exquisite gardens, featuring lawns, lakes, wooden bridges, shrines, and teahouses. Enjoy ample time to wander the winding paths, discovering groves of plum, cherry, and maple trees, tea and rice fields, an archery range, and a crane aviary before reaching Kyoto for our four-night stay.
Day 9: Kyoto & Tea Ceremony
This morning marks a tour highlight as you delve into the treasures of Kyoto, a city steeped in centuries-old culture. On a guided tour, explore the charming Gion district, where Geisha stroll through cobbled alleys. The first stop is the stunning Golden Pavilion, dating back to the classical Muromachi era, adorned entirely in gold leaf. Nearby, the Ryoan-ji temple boasts Japan’s most famous Zen garden.
The enchanting Arashiyama Bamboo Forest awaits, featuring towering bamboo columns bathed in an eerie green light. Your journey continues to the iconic Nijo Castle, renowned for its creaky wooden floors designed to alert occupants to potential stealthy attacks. Experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, steeped in history and conducted in a serene atmosphere, offering a fitting end to a day of exploration in Kyoto.
Day 10: Nara
Today’s destination is Nara, Japan’s oldest permanent capital. En route, pause at the Fushimi Inari Shrine in southern Kyoto, renowned for its thousands of vermillion torii gates leading up a hillside to the sacred Mount Inari.
A guided tour explores Nara, with a highlight being the Todai-ji temple, home to one of Japan’s largest bronze Buddha statues. Nara, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is also the birthplace of sake, and you’ll visit the Sake Museum to learn about and taste this traditional drink from experienced brewers, some with over 350 years of family history.
Day 11: Free day in Kyoto
You’re free to explore Kyoto at your own pace today, with many more sights to discover
Day 12: Bullet Train to Tokyo
After a morning at leisure in Kyoto, take the bullet train back to Tokyo, where you’ll stay in the bayside area of Shinagawa. The rest of the day will be free time.
Day 13: Kurobe Alpine Route
This morning, board a bullet train to Nagano to explore the Northern Alps. From here, you’ll travel on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, which connects Toyama City with Omachi in Nagano. This unique route through the Northern Japanese Alps and Tateyama Mountain Range involves various transport methods—trains, buses, cable cars, ropeway, and Japan’s last trolley bus.
Highlights include the impressive Kurobe Dam, Japan’s tallest at around 54 storeys, and a bird’s eye view of the reservoir from Tateyama Ropeway, providing unobstructed panoramic vistas. Your cloud-scaped adventure concludes in Toyama, where you stay for two nights.
Day 14: Kurobe Gorge
Today, traverse the Kurobe Gorge, one of Japan’s deepest gorges, aboard the Kurobe Gorge Railway, offering stunning views of steep cliffs and untouched forests along its 20km stretch. Stops at various stations provide opportunities to admire Japan’s Alpine scenery.
In the afternoon, explore Toyama at your leisure.
Day 15: Bullet Train to Tokyo
This morning, enjoy more free time to explore Toyama before returning to Tokyo via bullet train
Day 16: Return Flight
Transfer back to the airport for your flight home, arriving later the same day
New Otani Hotel, Tokyo
The centrally-located New Otani Hotel, a four-star superior establishment, is among Tokyo’s most established hotels, Boasting a wide range of dining options, the hotel also has a large open-air pool (seasonal), a shopping mall, spa, and an art museum. The air-conditioned rooms in the Garden Tower offer bath/shower, hairdryer, minibar (local charges apply), safe, satellite TV, and tea/coffee-maker.
Hakone Hotel, Hakone
This hotel sits along the shore of Lake Ashi. The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms, each equipped with a bath/shower, hairdryer, minibar, safe, TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi in the lobby area.
RIHGA Royal Hotel, Hiroshima
The hotel provides 50 spacious, air-conditioned rooms with bath/shower, hairdryer, minibar, safe, TV, and free lobby Wi-Fi. Other facilities include two restaurants, a lounge and bar as well as a swimming pool and fitness centre.
Kyoto Century Hotel, Kyoto
Located in the centre of Kyoto’s shopping and entertainment district, this hotel offers modern rooms with a fridge, safe, tv and tea/coffee making facilities.
Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo
The Shinagawa Prince Hotel offers diverse entertainment facilities, including a convenience store, aquarium, movie theatre, sports facilities, bowling alley, events hall, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, and a whirlpool bath. With six restaurants, a food court, and three cafés and lounges, there’s a variety of dining options. Hotel rooms feature a TV, safe, mini fridge, tea/coffee-making facilities, hairdryer, and free Wi-Fi for a quiet and comfortable retreat.
Crowne Plaza ANA Toyama, Toyama
The Crowne Plaza ANA Toyama features a café serving meals and a 19th-floor sky bar with breathtaking panoramic views, especially stunning at night with city lights in the distance. After exploring Toyama, relax in your spacious, air-conditioned room designed for a cozy, modern atmosphere, equipped with a TV, seating area, mini fridge, hairdryer, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
*All transfer times listed here are approximate and dependent on traffic
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