Sake it to Me with added Fuji
Slurping your food is considered a compliment. You get to wear slippers inside. You can buy beer, comic books and undies from a vending machine. And it's home to sushi, samurai and sumo wrestling. What's not to love?
(Was Empire of the Sun with Fuji)
Day 1-2 - Tokyo
Tokyo's all about old school versus new school. Ginza's department stores, Akihabara's gadgets and Shinjuku's nightlight versus the Senso-ji temples, cherry blossoms and Kabuki theatre.
- Arrive in Tokyo. Today is a free day to get acquainted with this city of contrasts
- Set off on a morning orientation tour of Tokyo
- Glimpse the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor
- Pass through Ginza, the city's main shopping street
- Enjoy a free afternoon to explore this multi-faceted city
- Perhaps visit Yoyogi Park to view the vibrant street scenes, temples, pagodas, and shrines of Tokyo
- Opportunity to visit a Kabuki theatre (dependent on season)
- Take a metro to Tokyo's major religious site, the Meiji Shrine
- Make the most of a chance to see a Kabuki play
- Why not make a day trip to nearby Kamakura to see the Daibutsu (Great Buddha)
Day 3 - Mt Fuji Trek
After an early morning visit to the world’s largest fish market, board the famous bullet train, the shinkansen (italics), bound for the base of Mount Fuji. We drive to the 5th station on the mountain side, before trekking to the 8th station to rest overnight in advance of our pre-dawn summit.
- Visit the world's largest fish market
- Board the famous bullet train bound for the base of Mt. Fuji
- Commence the climb of Mt. Fuji
- Break the trek by spending the night on the mountain at the 8th station
Day 4 - Mt Fuji - Takayama
See the sun rise over from Japan from Mt. Fuji. It's ace. Descend back to the bullet train speed your way via Nagoya to Takayama.
- See the sun rise over from Japan from Mt. Fuji
- Descend back to the bullet train speed via Nagoya to Takayama
Day 5 - Takayama
Spend a full day exploring Takayama, stopping at sake breweries along the way.
- Spend a full day exploring the landscape of Takayama
- Set off on an optional bike ride
- Perhaps visit the ‘Praying hand’ houses at the Hida Folk Village or the Festival Floats at Yatai Kaikan
- Walk around the houses and stop for a cup of sake at one of the local breweries
- Why not embark on a forest walk past numerous small shrines
Day 6-7 - Kyoto
Depart early for Kyoto, former capital of Japan, home to many of the country's most imperial sites and often called ''Japan's loveliest city''.
- Arrive in Kyoto, former Imperial Capital of Japan and home of the country’s most treasured remnants of Japanese imperial life
- Wander past huge wooden structures and multi-storied pagodas, all linked with famous walkways
- View the huge temples of the Hongan-ji sect or the Golden Pavilion
- Take time out to relax in Zen gardens like Ryoan-ji and the Silver Pavilion
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll down the lovely Philosopher’s path to Nanzen-ji or just walk around Gion and perhaps catch a glimpse of a geisha going from tea house to tea house
- A full free day to discover the Zen gardens, huge wooden temples, pagodas and shrines
Day 8 - Nara
Day trip to the ancient capital of Nara, which is more than 1300 years old. Try kaki-no-hazushi, a local favourite of sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves.
- Day trip to Nara, Japan’s ancient capital and an UNESCO World Heritage Site
Day 9 - Himeji - Nagasaki
Spend the morning at Himeji Castle, which was built in 1333 and is often called the 'White Egret' (it's white). Then take a train ride to Nagasaki.
- Visit the impressive Himeji Castle - one of the most spectacular castles in Japan - and continue to Nagasaki for the night
Day 10 - Nagasaki
Take time for a bit of quiet reflection, but as night falls and the neon shines you'll see how far Nagasaki has come. The karaoke is strong in this one.
- Visit Nagasaki, a city that refuses to be defined only as the target of the second atomic bomb that brought WWII to a close
- Explore the city and perhaps set off on a cruise around Nagasaki's natural harbour
- Gain great views of the city from the hills of Glover Gardens and Mt Inasa
Day 11 - Yufu
Pack yourself a bento box and spend the day trekking up and around Mt Yufu. Reward yourself with a soak in the hot springs.
- Set off on optional mountain walks around Mt Yufuin
- Stroll alongside many small art museums, craft shops and small rivers
- Perhaps ave a soak in the onsen after your climb up Mt Yufuin
- Enjoy excellent views over the village from Mt Yufuin
Day 12-13 - Hiroshima - Miyajima
Wander through Peace Park, where a flame is waiting to be extinguished when all the world's nuclear weapons are destroyed. Then we're off to Miyajima Island, which was once so sacred that no one was allowed to give birth or die there; they had to be quickly ferried to the mainland to carry on with things.
- Arrive in Hiroshima
- Visit the Peace Park in the centre of the city, dotted with memorials
- Take a trip to Miyajima over the Inland Sea
- View what is perhaps the most photographed shrine in Japan - The Torii Gate
Day 14-15 - Osaka
'Kuidaore' means 'eat 'til you drop' and it's basically Osaka's motto. Try takoyaki (round octopus fritters), kushikatsu (deep fried kebabs) and board the sushi train one last time.
- Head to Osaka, Japan’s ‘second city’, and culinary capital
- Enjoy a full day to explore this dynamic city
- Take in some of the plentiful shopping and nightlife, as well as cultural sights such as the National Museum of Art and the modern Osaka Science Museum
The trip ends this morning in Osaka. You can depart at any time
What to Know
Tour guide, accommodation, transportation, meals and sightseeing excursions as per itinerary.
- Visa costs, entrance fees, drinks, tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature. International flights, departure and arrival transfers, meals unless stated in itinerary.
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What to know
Departures between 01July and 28 August will include an ascent of Mt Fuji (Trip Code GCEMF). At all other times the itinerary will spend an extra day in Osaka (Trip Code GCEM).