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Train round trip - Japan

Japan round trip - In the land of the rising sun

Highlights

  • 2-week-long, cross-country trip with Japan Rail Pass

  • Never lose your bearings with a Japanese SIM card including 2GB of data

  • Explore the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara together with a private guide

  • Ride the second longest cable car in the world to the top of Mount Owakudani

  • Optionally, you can also book the PREMIUM tour option - without excursions & guide

    On our premium trips, you will stay in selected upscale accommodations. For a quote, please specify this option in your travel request. Price for this 14-day round trip: from EUR 3.570 plus flight.

    Without excursions & guide, you have the possibility to discover the country on your own.

Description

Japan is a country full of contrasts - from its ancient traditions to its modern designs and technology-focused cities. Every corner you turn, you will find new surprises: dancing robots, mega billboards, and mysterious geishas.

Explore the land of the rising sun on our two-week train journey. Visit some of the country’s most important historical and cultural sites. Unwind in Hakone’s hot springs and slurp endless bowls of Japan’s classic ramen dish in Kyoto. In Tokyo, the glittery metropolis between oversized neon signs and ancient temples awaits you. Japan is the perfect destination because it has something for everyone!

Destination

Asia

Tokyo - Hakone - Takayama - Kanazawa - Hiroshima - Kyoto

A trip to Japan is basically worthwhile all year round. On the main island of Honshu, from Tokyo to Hiroshima, you can expect hot, sometimes humid summers. During spring and fall, pleasant temperatures prevail. However, especially in spring, because it’s also cherry blossom season, Japan is often booked up far in advance.

Tokyo. This is the fascinating mega-metropolis of Japan, attracting visitors from all over the world with its combination of ancient tradition and ultra-modern trends. The iconic skyscrapers with their oversized, flashing LED billboards and Japanese characters will captivate you, as will the peaceful parklands and traditional shrines and temples that dot the cityscape in equal measure.

Upon your arrival at Narita/Haneda Airport, a staff member will already be waiting to assist you with your transportation into the city. Public transportation in Japan may seem overwhelming and chaotic at first glance - however, it is the most efficient and punctual in the world.

After you have taken the right train with the help of our assistant and checked into your hotel, you can spend the the rest of the day as you wish.

To help you find your way around the Land of the Rising Sun today and in the days to come, we will provide you with a Japanese SIM card with 2GB of data. You will receive this directly at the airport.

Optionally, we can also book a private transfer to your hotel for an extra charge.

Narita Airport - Hotel Tokyo: approx. 1 hour 20 minutes

Haneda Airport - Hotel Tokyo: approx. 30 minutes

3 night accommodation at Shiba Park Hotel**** with breakfast, Tokyo, Japan

PREMIUM option: 3 nights at Park Hotel Tokyo**** with breakfast, Tokyo, Japan

Today you will go on a day tour of fascinating Tokyo together with a local guide. First on the program is the Asakusa district. In this traditional district of Tokyo's old town you will find the huge and at the same time oldest Sensoji Temple. Afterwards, like most visitors to the temple, you will probably flock to the adjacent Nakamise shopping street. Here you will find traditional snacks, sweets and typical souvenirs.

Next up is a ride on the unique water bus that takes you down the Sumidagawa River to Hamarikyu Park - a Japanese garden from the Edo period. Surrounded by the futuristic skyscrapers of Shiodome, the park is a perfect example of the successful balancing act between tradition and modernity. In the middle of the park, right by the lake, is the Island Teahouse - a small Japanese-style cafe where you may enjoy a steaming cup of matcha tea traditionally kneeling on tatami mats.

At noon, you will visit the Meiji Shrine. With a bit of luck, you may observe one of the many traditional Japanese weddings that take place here.

As the sun slowly sets, slowly stroll down the glittering Omotesando shopping street. The wide, tree-lined avenue is known for its modern architecture and flagship stores of the world's haute couture fashion labels. It's the perfect place to sit back after a long day of sightseeing. Relax with good food and a refreshing drink while taking in the scenery.

Another day in the capital is upon us. There is so much to see and do in Tokyo that it's hard to know where to start. We have a few suggestions ready for you:

To get to know the eccentric, modern side of Japan, we recommend a trip to the Akihabara and Harajuku districts.

Akihabara, known as Tokyo's Electric Town, is the ideal place to pick up a brand new technological gadget. Many stores also sell second-hand goods of excellent quality. Akihabara is also the center of Japanese "geek" culture, where anime and manga fans get their money's worth.

Harajuku, located near Omotesando, is home to Tokyo's quirky street fashion. Many tourists flock to Takeshita Street. We recommend the quieter Cat Street nearby.

If you are looking for tradition and history, a visit to the Yanesen area is a must. This is actually a portmanteau word made up of the areas of Yanaka, Nezu and Sendagi. Yanaka was fortunately spared most of the bombing of World War II, so you will find many old alleys and temples there. Nezu is home to the spectacular (yet quite unknown to tourists) Nezu Shrine. The tunnel of vermilion torii - symbolic, like real, entrance gates to a shrine - provides the perfect photo motif for your vacation album. Sendagi is home to numerous traditional stores selling old-fashioned Japanese snacks such as senbei, mochi and monaka.

On rainy days, we recommend a visit to Ueno Park. In this spacious park you will find a large collection of interesting museums. The Tokyo National Museum is the oldest and largest in the country. Also nearby is the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum - where, across six different galleries, you can find temporary exhibits.

Today you will take the train to Hakone, the gateway to the Fuji region, famous for its hot springs and views of Mount Fuji. Outdoor enthusiasts are also in the right place here. The region's proximity to the Tokyo metropolitan area and excellent train connections make it a popular weekend destination for city dwellers and tourists looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital.

With your Hakone Free Pass, you can take advantage of the extensive local transportation network. Take the world's second longest cable car to the top of Mt. Owakudani, for example, and enjoy the view while the boiling pools that give the region its name, Hells Valley, bubble away below you. If you're lucky, you'll find Japanese macaques happily cavorting in the hot water. Once at the top, you can taste black eggs cooked in the hot springs. Eating the eggs, according to legend, will extend your life by seven years. Bon appetit!

The pirate ships sailing across Lake Ashi are a bit surreal looking. We recommend a sightseeing tour aboard one of the ships, which is also included in your Hakone Pass.

Today you will spend the night in a ryokan - a traditional Japanese inn. This overnight stay is sure to be a very special experience of your Japan trip. Purist, aesthetic, relaxing and comfortable are probably the things that will run through your mind during your stay. You will sleep on a futon - a roll-out mat often found behind a rice paper wall and laid out when you return from dinner and a bath in the onsen. Oyasumi Nasai and good night.

Hotel Tokyo - Hakone: about 1 hour 30 minutes.

1 night at Ichinoyu Honkan** half board, Hakone, Japan

PREMIUM option: 1 night at Susukinohara Ichinoyu**** with half board, Hakone, Japan

With the help of the world-famous Shinkansen high-speed train, you will leave Hakone for the mountain city of Takayama. In Nagoya, transfer to the Limited Express Wide View for one of the most scenic train rides in Japan, taking you through high mountains and majestic gorges to Takayama.

Because of its abundance of temples, shrines, festivals, rivers, and bridges, the mountain town of Takayama is often referred to as “little Kyoto”. The region is agricultural. Every day, local farmers bring fresh fruits and vegetables to Takayama's bustling morning market.

Spend the afternoon as you wish. We recommend that you visit one of the city's many sake breweries. Pure mountain water, high quality rice and the optimal climate ensure that the most delicious sake varieties in the country come from this region.

Hakone - Takayama: approx. 5 hours

2 nights at Takayama Ouan*** with breakfast, Takayama, Japan

PREMIUM option: 2 nights at Hidatei Hanaougi***** with breakfast, Takayama, Japan

A new day full of opportunities awaits you. After breakfast, we suggest you head to Miyagawa's morning market, where regional produce and local handicrafts are sold. This is an excellent opportunity to sample some of the province's delicious fruits and vegetables.

A short bus ride will take you to the Hida Minzoka Mura Folk Village, an open-air museum where over 30 typical farmhouses and other traditional buildings from the Hida region are on display. During a workshop here you will learn how wood carvings and other handicrafts are made.

In the afternoon, you can visit the Takayama Festival Floats Museum or simply stroll through the well-preserved old town.

Today you will first travel by bus to the village of Shirakawago. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the village is known for its traditional Gassho-Zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Gassho-Zukuri translates as "praying hands." The houses owe this unusual name to their special architecture, which is not found anywhere else in Japan, as the steep thatched roofs of the houses were designed to withstand the heavy snowfalls of the region. After your visit, you will continue by bus to Kanazawa.

Takayama - Shirakawago: approx. 1 hour

Shirakawago - Kanazawa: approx. 2 hours

2 nights at Hotel Vista Kanazawa*** with breakfast, Kanazawa, Japan

PREMIUM option: 2 nights at Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel**** with breakfast, Kanazawa, Japan

The highlight of Kanazawa for many is the Kenroku-en garden. The Japanese art of garden design has long been known beyond the borders of the Land of the Rising Sun. The Kenroku-en is one of the most beautiful of its kind and shines in every season. Here you will find the oldest water fountain in the country, several tea houses and a large villa where once lived one of the richest clans in the region. Adjacent to the garden and also worth a visit is Kanazawa Castle, which is easily accessible through the Ishikawa Mon Gate.

For lunch, we recommend a detour to Omicho Market, known throughout Japan for fresh seafood and excellent sushi.

In the afternoon, a trip to the old samurai quarter, Nagamachi is worthwhile. Certainly worth highlighting here is Nomura House - a restored residence of a former high-ranking samurai family with numerous artifacts from the Edo period. On the second floor, you can drink freshly made green tea while enjoying the idyll of the small Japanese garden below.

After breakfast, you will depart by train to Hiroshima, where you will arrive after a change of trains at Shin Osaka after about four hours. After check-in at the hotel, it's time to explore the city on your own.

When you think of Hiroshima, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the devastating atomic bomb during World War II. The destructive force of the bomb wiped out almost everything within a two-kilometer radius. However, the feared high radiation exposure did not occur and it is now no greater than in other parts of the world. Today Hiroshima offers a pleasant mix of temples, gardens and several museums.

Kanazawa - Hiroshima: approx. 4 hours 30 minutes

2 nights at Hotel Vista Hiroshima*** with breakfast, Hiroshima, Japan

PREMIUM option: 2 nights at Sheraton Grand Hiroshima**** with breakfast, Hiroshima, Japan

A mandatory visit for every first trip to Hiroshima should be the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

This twelve-hectare green space was built as a memorial to the victims of the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. Take a walk around the vast grounds and soak up the atmosphere. Don't miss the Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome - a ruin that now stands as a memorial on the grounds of the park, marking the core area of the explosion at that time. Equally moving and worth seeing is a visit to the Memorial Museum. The exhibit features impressive relics, photographs, and models of the atomic bombing.

For lunch today, we recommend a local delicacy: Okonomiyaki are savory Japanese pancakes. Literally translated, it means "grilled the way you like it." Restaurants often offer a wide variety of delicious ingredient combinations.

From Hiroshima, a short ferry ride will take you to Miyajima Island. This small island in the Inland Sea has always been a sacred place of Shintoism. On the islet you will find one of the most photographed sites in Japan - the Floating Torii Gate. The associated Itsukushima Shrine dates back to the 6th century and has existed in its present form since the 12th century. For a long time, mere commoners were not allowed to enter this sacred place. Even to this day it is forbidden to give birth or die on the island.

Your next stop is Kyoto, the reigning cultural capital of Japan, home to 2,000 shrines and temples with 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country's former capital was the emperor's residence from 794 to 1868 and is now the country's seventh largest metropolis with a population of about 1.4 million. Spend the afternoon as you wish. How about a visit to the famous bamboo forest of Arashiyama?

Hiroshima - Kyoto: approx. 1 hour 40 minutes

3 nights at Vista Premio Kyoto*** with breakfast, Kyoto, Japan

PREMIUM option: 3 nights at Kyoto Tokyu Hotel**** with breakfast, Kyoto, Japan

To ensure that you are not overwhelmed by the wealth of options Kyoto has to offer, we will provide you with a knowledgeable local guide for today. With the help of the extensive bus system, you will visit some of the city's World Heritage Sites.

You'll begin your day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion. It was originally built as a retirement mansion for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the leader of the samurai. After his death, it was converted into a Buddhist temple at his request. Also on the program is Nijo Castle, built by the founder of the Edo period, Ieyasu Tokugawa, and surrounded by lavishly landscaped gardens.

Afterward, take a stroll through Nishiki Market, a narrow, five-block shopping street with more than a hundred stores and restaurants. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", this bustling retail market specializes in all things food.

Your guide has two options for you for the afternoon:

Perhaps you would like to visit the Kiyomizu Temple? From the 13-meter-high veranda, which juts out of the main hall, you can enjoy a breathtaking view over all of Kyoto. By the way, both the main hall and the veranda were built without the use of nails and screws.

Alternatively, you can also visit Sanjusangendo. This temple in eastern Kyoto is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The temple was founded in 1164 and rebuilt a century later after being destroyed in a fire.

Together with a local guide you will make a day trip to Nara today. In the 8th century, Nara was the capital of Japan for 74 years. Many of the temples and shrines built at that time are still standing. Visit Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world and home to Japan's largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara's most famous shrine, Kasuga Taisha, built in 768 and famous for its countless bronze and stone lanterns donated by worshippers. End the day with a stroll through Nara Park, called Deer Park by the locals because it is home to more than a thousand tame deer.

Kyoto - Nara: approx. 1 hour each way

Today you leave Japan. With your Japan Rail Pass, you can take the train directly to Narita Airport or Kansai International Airport.

Please note that the duration of the trip to Narita is about four hours. To reach Narita Airport, you can take the bullet train from Kyoto to Shinagawa Station and transfer to the Narita Express destined for the airport. Please note that you must reserve a seat on the train in advance for your desired departure using your Japan Rail Pass.

If you are departing from Kansai International Airport, proceed to Kyoto Station and take the Haruka Limited Express directly to the airport. The duration of the trip is approximately one hour and 20 minutes - a seat reservation is required in advance.

We wish you a pleasant journey back home!

Kyoto - Narita Airport: approx. 4 hours

Kyoto - Kansai Airport: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes

Shiba Park Hotel****, Tokyo, Japan (3 nights)

Shiba Park Hotel is located near JR Hamamatsucho Station, Tokyo Tower, Zōjō-ji Temple and Atago Shrine. Spacious rooms offer internet, a flat-screen TV and air-conditioning.

The hotel's Peking Restaurant serves Chinese cuisine. There's also a Grill House and a bar. The breakfast buffet offers Japanese and Western dishes.

Ichinoyu Honkan**, Hakone, Japan (1 night)

The Ichinoyu Honkan is a listed riokan built over 380 years ago. It is located in the famous area of Hakone with indoor and outdoor hot spring baths. You'll stay in air-conditioned Japanese-style rooms with woven-straw tatami floor mats and Japanese futon beds.

Rooms also feature a TV, Internet access, a refrigerator and a kettle with green tea bags. A Japanese menu is served for breakfast.

Takayama Ouan****, Takayama, Japan (2 nights)

Hotel Takayama Ouan is located near the old town, a three-minute walk from JR Takayama Station. The decor is in traditional Japanese style. Rooms offer a choice of Western beds or traditional tatami mats. Room amenities include a TV, refrigerator and tea facilities.

Relax in the large public bath or in one of the family baths with mountain views, or enjoy a relaxing massage after a sauna session. The hotel restaurant serves local specialties, including dishes with beef from the local market . Japanese and Western cuisine is served for breakfast.

Hotel Vista Kanazawa***, Kanazawa, Japan (2 nights)

Hotel Vista Kanazawa is a five-minute walk from Kanazawa Station. The modernly furnished rooms are equipped with TVs, refrigerators, and free Internet. The restaurant serves Japanese and Western buffet breakfast.

Hotel Vista Hiroshima***, Hiroshima, Japan (2 nights)

Hotel Vista Hiroshima is located in central Hiroshima, near the Shukkeien Convertible Garden, the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Peace Park. All rooms feature a flat-screen TV, a refrigerator and free internet.

Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto****, Kyoto, Japan (3 nights)

Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto is a 5-minute walk from Shiyakusho-mae Station and the Kamogawa River. The air-conditioned rooms combine contemporary and traditional elements. Each room features Japanese-style windows, an air purifier/humidifier, a refrigerator, Internet access and a flat-screen TV. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Park Hotel Tokyo****, Tokyo, Japan (3 nights)

Park Hotel Tokyo is located near Hamarikyū Park, Tsukiji Fish Market and Ginza shopping district. It offers impressive views of Tokyo. The hotel offers regular rooms as well as artistically customized rooms. Each room has large panoramic windows so you can enjoy the view.

Susukinohara Ichinoyu****, Hakone, Japan (1 night)

Located near Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands, Susukinohara Ichinoyu Ryokan offers air-conditioned rooms in the Sengokuhara Onsen district of Hakone. The hotel's rooms are equipped with a seating area, a flat-screen TV and internet access. There is also a restaurant serving Japanese cuisine and a hot spring bath.

Hidatei Hanaougi*****, Takayama, Japan (2 nights)

Hidatei Hanaougi is located near Hida Kokubun Temple and Hida Takayama Art Museum. Rooms are decorated in Japanese style, with tatami floors and Japanese futon beds, and some have outdoor bathrooms with onsen. Rooms also feature a TV with DVD player, a fridge and an air purifier. The hotel restaurant serves Japanese menus with several courses. You can enjoy tea and coffee at the coffee lounge.

Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel****, Kanazawa, Japan (2 nights)

Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel is located in the tourist district of Kanazawa. The hotel is about two minutes from the Nagamachi Samurai district and about ten minutes from Kenroku-en Garden. The modernly furnished, air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a TV, refrigerator, and free internet. Complimentary tea and coffee are also available. The hotel offers both French and Japanese cuisine. Drinks are available in the lounge bar.

Sheraton Grand Hiroshima*****, Hiroshima, Japan (2 nights)

Offering 238 rooms, Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel is located in central Hiroshima, a few moments on foot from the train station and a ten-minute drive from the Peace Monument. The air-conditioned rooms feature heating, a refrigerator and a flat-screen TV with DVD player. The hotel also has four restaurants, an indoor pool and a fitness center.

Kyoto Tokyu Hotel****, Kyoto, Japan (3 nights)

Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is located near Kyoto Station and Nishi Hongan-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site The modern, air-conditioned rooms feature a TV, a refrigerator, a minibar, free internet and a private bathroom with a bathtub. The accommodation also offers three restaurants, a bar and a gym.

Closest city: Tokyo

Closest airport: Tokyo Haneda International Airport

Duration of the trip: 14 days / 13 nights

Included

  • 13 nights in the above hotels including breakfast
    • 3 nights in Tokyo at Shiba Park Hotel
    • 1 overnight stay in Hakone at the Ichinoyu Honkan
    • 2 nights in Takayama at the Takayama Ouan Hotel
    • 2 nights in Kanazawa at Hotel Vista Kanazawa
    • 2 nights in Hiroshima at Hotel Vista Hiroshima
    • 3 nights in Kyoto at the Vista Premio Kyoto
  • Private local guide on days 2, 12 & 13
  • 14 days Japan Rail Pass, ordinary class
  • Hakone Free Pass on day 4
  • Japanese SIM card with 2GB of data (please let us know your phone model when booking)
  • Ferry ticket Hiroshima-Miyajima-Hiroshima

Not included

  • International flights
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in the scope of service
  • Personal expenses, such as minibar and tips
  • Expenses or entrance fees for sightseeing or optional activities

Additional experiences

From hot springs to Japanese snow monkeys

  1. 3 days/2 nights round trip per person from 990 € excl. Flight
Add Remove

Day trip to the Digital Art Museum in Tokyo

  1. Day ticket per person 28 € excl. Flight
Add Remove

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