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Japan: A Perfect Introduction

11 days from £4,990 per person

Start at the heart of modern Japan in Tokyo, the world’s largest metropolis. There is plenty to see in the Shinjuku area around your hotel, with layer upon layer of neon-drenched main streets and mysterious passageways with shops and restaurants on every floor. Nearby are the teen fashion mecca of Shibuya, the flagship luxury stores of Omotesando nicknamed ‘Japan’s Champs Elysees’, and the majestic Meiji shrine. A full day of guiding is included during your stay in Tokyo, to help you make sense of the sometimes bewildering public transport system and venture across to the Imperial Palace, the stylish streets of Ginza or Akihabara ‘electric city’. We will provide a detailed information booklet to help you make a wishlist and then we can help make your holiday time as organised or leisurely as you wish.

Catch an express train into the Japan Alps for the grand sight of Black Crow castle in Matsumoto, one of the few original ones which can still be entered for a sense of life in samurai times. The mountain bus journey from here is amongst Japan’s most scenic, which gets you to the historic town of Takayama in good time for a hearty traditional meal at your accommodation. Explore the old wooden buildings and the temple walk around the town, or in the milder months you can easily reach the beautiful mountain plateau of Kamikochi from here.

Travel down out of the Japan Alps and catch your first bullet train to reach Kyoto, the beating cultural heart of Japan. Fortunately spared bombing in the war, its 17 world heritage sites are largely still intact. Countless temples and gardens await you, and while there isn’t time to encompass it all in one holiday there will be a guide on hand to unravel the mysteries of these ancient sights and decipher kanji for you. Kyoto has long been a leading light in luxury textile design and production as well as many other fine arts, and the Gion quarter is the best place to catch a glimpse of Geisha as well as local women in kimonos during Japan holiday seasons. We recommend dining on Pontocho street or at one of the terrace restaurants along the Kamogawa river one evening to soak up the sophisticated atmosphere of this city. We’ve left a day at leisure which can be spent exploring the city further with the aid of our information booklet, or one can reach Nara with its mighty wooden temple and even Hiroshima using the Japan Rail Pass.

Looping back to Tokyo, catch some of the best views of Mt Fuji out the window of the bullet  train then stop off in the national park called Hakone. Enjoy the cable car rides and lake plateau pirate ships while getting glimpses of the ‘shy mountain’ when the peak isn’t hidden in cloud. It’s another opportunity chance to experience the traditional food and ‘ometenashi’ hospitality of a traditional inn or ‘ryokan’ before diving back into Tokyo for one more night and flying home filled with unforgettable memories of your Japan holiday.

This tour is purely a suggested itinerary: it can be booked as it is, or alternatively used as a starting point for creating your own ideal tailor-made holidayIf you'd like to see similar trips, take a look at our other Japan itineraries.

Itinerary details

11 days from £4,990 per person

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My favourite thing is to go where I've never been.
Diane Arbus

We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India

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