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Home » Destinations » Asia » Japan » Wendy Wu Off-Beat Japan
Prepare to immerse yourself in the wacky and wonderful in this fascinating land. Trek at the foot of Fuji, meet the Snow Monkeys of Yudanaka, take a rickshaw ride in Kyoto and stay at a traditional Buddhist lodge. And you’ll see all the classic highlights too.
Authentic experiences include a traditional Taiko drumming class, taking part in an energetic and age-old ensemble performance on big, floor tom drums. In contrast, you can also experience the peace and serenity inspired by the sacred chanting of Buddhist monks as you join them for their morning prayers in a beautiful 13-century temple.
Not forgetting, a unique an utterly Japanese experience, an evening at Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant. Featuring loud music, neon lights and plenty of robot performances!
– Visit the Robot Restaurant
– Take a Taiko drumming class
– Walk around Mount Fuji’s base
– See snow monkeys in the natural habitat
– Watch a sumo wrestling tournament
Fly overnight to the dazzling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan’s capital city. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Begin your tour of Tokyo by immersing yourself into the local culture by spending the morning trying your hand at traditional Japanese drumming with a Taiko class, where you will learn how to beat the ‘wadaiko’ with ‘bachi’. Later, stop by Meiji Shrine and continue to the vibrant district of Harajuku before stopping by the famous Shibuya Crossing. Finally, it’s time for a uniquely Tokyo experience – the Robot Restaurant! This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but well worth the insight into modern Japanese culture.
As modern as it may appear, behind the neon façade is a traditional soul that is easy to find amongst the old alleyways, temples and shrines of the Edo era. Sightseeing today begins with a stroll through the Imperial Palace East Garden and a visit to the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree for views over the sprawling city below. You’ll also stop by Sensoji Temple – Tokyo’s oldest, and stroll along Nakamise shopping street. In the afternoon, explore the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Housed in the Ryogoku district of Tokyo, the museum powerfully illustrates Tokyo’s past (known as Edo until 1869) right up to recent decades.
Journey out of Tokyo to the foot of mighty Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes area. Pick up a walking trail and make your way through lush alpine forest at Fuji’s base, pausing often to admire the landscapes around you.
Travel to Matsumoto and explore its magnificent 16th-century castle. Continue to Nagano, stopping in Yudanaka to watch the Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) at Jigokudani Monkey Park bathe and play in and around their hot spring pool.
Travel to Hotaka and ride up into the Japanese Alps on the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway for breathtaking views over the surrounding mountains (weather permitting). Drive to Takayama where you will spend the night at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn with onsen facilities. Here you can relax and bathe in the natural hot spring pools and experience this most traditional pastime. This afternoon you will have time to explore Kamisannomachi Street and sample the street food on offer. This evening, enjoy dinner in your ryokan.
Take the limited express train to Nagoya, then board a super-fast bullet train to whizz your way through the countryside to Kyoto. Start discovering the city’s rich heritage with visits to the enchanting Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple. Stroll around Higashiyama and Gion, the geisha district, with a stop at Gion Corner, which showcases the seven professional performing arts.
Start today by visiting Kinkakuji, known as the ‘Golden Pavilion’ and Ryoanji. Continue to Arashiyama district to explore the striking bamboo forest and enjoy a rickshaw ride. Later, witness the rituals involved in the preparation and pouring of matcha tea in a traditional tea ceremony
Discover the complicated process of dressing in a traditional kimono at Nishijin Textile Centre, then try your hand at the art of origami. This afternoon, travel by road to Koyasan, where you will spend the night in a 13th-century temple guesthouse sleeping on a traditional futon on a tatami mat floor.
Rise early to join the monks for their daily morning service – hearing the recitation and chanting is a magical experience. After breakfast, take a walking tour of Koyasan. One of Japan’s holiest sites, this mountain top sanctuary is full of temples and pagodas. Also visit Kongobuji Temple and Okunoin Cemetery before travelling to Osaka.
Take a day tour to Himeji to visit the 17th-century castle which is considered a prime example of Japanese feudal period architecture. Continue to a sake brewery, where you can learn about the brewing process and enjoy some tasters. Return to Osaka and enjoy a farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport and fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
You’ll spend 11 nights in 3* or 4* accommodation
– 11 Breakfasts & 4 Dinners
– International flights and taxes
– Domestic Transportation
– 3 Star plus – 4 star accommodation, plus ryokan and temple guesthouse
– Touring with guides and entrance fees
– Based on London Heathrow Departures
– Regional UK departures available
– Flight upgrades available on request
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don’t include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment’s notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
Featuring lesser-known destinations and unique experiences that are tantalisingly off the tourist trail, our flexible and often more active Go Beyond tours are all about helping you to see and experience places that may not have made it onto other travellers’ radars. On these tours, you may find yourself away from the comforts of home, but you’ll be rewarded with unique culture, interactions with local people and unforgettable sights.
This maximum number of people per group for this tour is 18
This tour has a level 2 fitness rating. This means a reasonable level of fitness is required, as you’ll be spending time on your feet and doing a bit of walking to cover short distances during your daily sightseeing. There will also be some climbing of steps and climbing on and off of coaches and buses.
If you want to explore more of Japan or simply want more time in your destination, then you can add an extension or stop over.*
Choose from the following Extensions and stopovers
Tokyo Extension (Tokyo)
Kyoto Extension (Kyoto)
Nara Extension (Osaka)
Hiroshima & Miyajima Short stay (Osaka)
Naoshima Extension (Osaka)
Nikko & Kamakura Extension (Tokyo)
Sapporo & Otaru Extension (Sapporo)
Tokyo, Mount Fuji & Bullet Train (Tokyo)
Snow Monkeys Extension (Tokyo)
Koya-san Extension (Osaka)
*Available extensions and stopovers depend on your chosen airline
Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability
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An all-encompassing journey through Japan, travelling mainly by bullet train and taking in the highlights of all three main islands: Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido. Experience ancient traditions and modern Japan’s unique charm.
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Discover Japan is a fantastic Wendy Wu Tour and is ideal for travellers who want to experience the wonders of Japan; from traditional Kyoto to the modern and futuristic Tokyo. Spend 13 days seeing many highlights of Japan including Mount Fuji, Kinkakuji Temple, Koya-San, Osaka Castle and much more.
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