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Discover some of the key sites and attractions in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, including a culinary tour of Tokyo, a guided walk in Kyoto's Gion district and a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in Osaka. You will be supplied with a Japan Rail Pass and instructions on self-guided touring to ensure you get the most from your visit, with some private guides provided for selected parts of the journey.
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Arrive and transfer by to the Park Hotel Tokyo for a 3-night stay. (N)
Today you will have the services of a private guide for the whole day. Using Tokyo's efficient public transport system, you will visit some of the city's well-known attractions, such as the Asakusa Kannon temple, the Imperial Palace East Gardens and the Meji shrine. If you have any specific interests, your guide can also help you discover some more off-the-beaten track locations. (B)
Today is free to explore Tokyo at your leisure. In the evening, join a small-group culinary tour of the city, exploring the cuisines of the Yurakucho, Ginza and Shimbashi districts in the company of an expert local guide. Visits will be made to small restaurants and Japanese pubs known as izakaya, to sample some seasonal dishes, snacks and desserts. (B, D)
Take the train this morning to Osaka, and stay overnight at the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel. In the afternoon, it has been arranged for you to visit a traditional tea house, where you can learn about the history and philosophy of this ancient rite, taste some tea and try some traditional sweets. (B)
Continue by shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, and stay at the Hotel Okura Kyoto for 1 night. In the evening you will be guided around Gion, Kyoto's famous geisha district. Your guide will introduce you to the sights, sounds and culture of one of Kyoto's most traditional and elegant districts. As you slowly make your way through the narrow lanes and hidden alleys, you will gain insights into the history and traditions of Kyoto and learn about the secret life of geiko and maiko (apprentice geisha). (B)
Full-day private guided city tour using public transport. Recommendations include the Ryoanji temple with its famous Zen rock garden; Kinkakuji temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion; venture further afield to the former capital of Nara; or visit the gardens and bamboo forests of Arashiyama. End the day with a visit to a traditional tea house in the Gion district, where you can enjoy green tea and Japanese snacks in the company of a maiko. The apprentice geisha will demonstrate a traditional dance and an introduction to the life of a geisha in Kyoto will be given in English. Through a translator, you will be able to ask questions and there will also be opportunities to take photographs. Tonight's accommodation will be at the Hiiragiya ryokan, a traditional property that offers Japanese-style rooms and serves fine Kyoto-style kaiseki cuisine. (B, D)
Transfer by train from Kyoto to Kansai airport, located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, and board your flight home. (B)
As per itinerary - B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is based in 4-star accommodation. Please note that in Japan hotel room sizes are smaller than in Europe.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
Please note that tailor-made travel in Japan is unlike travel in any other country in the Far East due to the high costs of vehicle hire, drivers and guides. This means that engaging the services of a private guide and driver on a tailor-made journey is not always feasible and, as a result, sightseeing and travel between cities may involve public transport or shared services that are not exclusive to Cox & Kings. Furthermore, as English is not always spoken in areas away from the main tourist destinations, a degree of independence and self-guiding may be required. A comprehensive information pack is provided before departure, with transport instructions and bilingual timetables, hotel addresses and maps, and a guide for each destination covering a wide range of topics from eating out to enjoying a hot spring bath.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
COU2019: 6 Nights
Kyoto was Japan’s capital from the 7th century until around the 11th and it is known...