A Cultural Odyssey through Japan: From Cityscapes to Landscapes

Experience the vibrant culture of Japan’s most iconic cities before unwinding in the tranquillity of the country’s most visited National Park, nestled against the majestic backdrop of Mt Fuji.

Our 10-night odyssey is the ultimate cultural experience, seamlessly weaving together the ultramodern allure of Tokyo, the timeless beauty of Kyoto, and the serene landscapes of Hakone. This soul-stirring glimpse into the fascinating tapestry of Japan guarantees memories to last a lifetime! 

What's Included:

  • All meals and accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transfers to and from the airport
  • All activities and excursions as stated in the itinerary

 

Trip Itinerary

A river in Tokyo is full of rowing boats while skyscrapers tower in the background.

Days 1-4: Tokyo

Day 1 - Arrive in Tokyo

Upon arrival at the airport, a private driver will transfer you to the city, where you'll be staying at Gate Hotel Tokyo. An elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of the vibrant Ginza district. It boasts panoramic city views and is conveniently located near upscale shopping and dining establishments. The hotel is the ideal retreat for the discerning traveller.

There are many people walking across the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo.

Day 2 - Full-day private tour of Tokyo

Join your English-speaking guide as you explore the city as a local - via public transport. Begin at Meiji Jingu, a tranquil Shinto shrine, before experiencing the famous, multi-way zebra stripes of Shibuya crossing. There’ll be time before lunch (traditional street food along Nakamise-dori) to absorb the culture of ancient Japan in downtown Asakusa, home to the iconic Senso-ji Temple. Then a short trip east to appreciate the architecture and entertainment of Odaiba before finishing your day admiring cityscape views atop the Tokyo Tower.

A person is walking across a narrow, wooden bridge and is surrounded by a lake and trees.

Day 3 – Explore Tokyo

Embark on your own tour of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets. We recommend Yanaka Ginza, a retro shopping street, perhaps followed by a visit to Yanaka Cemetery to soak up its serene charm. Meander through the narrow alleyways of Kagurazaka and experience the tranquillity of Kiyosumi Garden. If you’re into kitchenware, Kappabashi Street is a must, or bask in the Bohemian vibe of Shimokitazawa’s trendy boutiques. Rest your feet on a bench in Yoyogi Park’s secret gardens before ending your day at Todoroki Valley, a nature escape in Setagaya.

 

As evening falls, tantalise your tastebuds with a captivating culinary tour. Let your guide lead you through neon-lit streets to hidden eateries where you can dive into the heart of izakaya culture. Enjoy a medley of mouthwatering dishes, from fresh sashimi to savoury yakitori, and learn the ancient art of sake tasting before heading back to your hotel.

 

Boy Playing Taiko Japanese Drum

Day 4 - Exploring the musical heart of Tokyo

Deep dive into the music and art culture of this vibrant city, starting with a hands-on taiko drumming lesson. This is followed by a mesmerising Kabuki experience at Kabuki-za, where you’ll witness the vibrant costumes and captivating performances that define this classical Japanese art form. This unique day highlights just how important music and art are to Tokyo’s overall cultural richness.

 

Kyoto_Free_Stock_Image_Unsplash_2017_CCSorasak_kqam11-WebsiteMedium

Days 5-8: Kyoto

Day 5 – Travel to Kyoto

Experience exhilaration as a bullet train whisks you from Tokyo to Kyoto in just two and a half hours, and be amazed as urban landscapes seamlessly give way to scenic vistas. Upon reaching Kyoto, settle into your hotel, the Celestine Gion. Nestled near Higashiyama in Kyoto, this hotel is the perfect blend of modern luxury and traditional culture, with impeccable service, elegant designs and close proximity to iconic landmarks. 

Once settled, your expert guide will meet you to start your half-day tour of Higashiyama. Wander through the historic district and marvel at the ancient temples of Kiyomizu-dera and the iconic Yasaka Pagoda. This is the perfect opportunity to experience Kyoto’s timeless charm, where tradition and modernity meet against a backdrop of cherry blossoms and historic streets. 

A palatial building overlooks the water in Kyoto.

Day 6 – Half-day tour of Kyoto

Choose one of two captivating excursions - the enchanting Arashiyama or the resplendent Kinkakuji area, immersing yourself in the beauty of bamboo groves or the golden splendour of Kinkaku-ji Temple. After your tour, why not visit Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that echoes centuries of imperial history?

A woman is partaking in a Tea Ceremony in Kyoto, Japan.

Day 7 – Tea ceremony in traditional dress

No trip to Japan would be complete without a Samurai Kembu martial arts session. Your expert instructor will unveil the art's rich history and techniques before inviting you to witness a mesmerising professional performance that showcases the elegance and precision of Samurai skills. 

This thrilling morning gives way to a more tranquil afternoon. Experience a time-honoured tea ceremony, complete with traditional dress. Learn more about the world of matcha and rituals as you soak up the grace and elegance of this ancient tradition.

Wild Deer and Torii Gate of Nara Park in Japan

Day 8 – Exploring Nara and Fushimi Inari Shrine

Your day of cultural exploration starts with a scenic local train journey from Kyoto to Nara. Spend time discovering Nara's historic treasures, from the iconic Todai-ji Temple to the shy deer roaming in Nara Park. 

Return to Kyoto in the afternoon, via the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine, where you’ll enter through the vermilion torii gates, your every step steeped in centuries of spiritual significance.

The bright red Torii gates in Hakone stand in front of trees and the snow-covered volcano.

Days 9-11: Hakone

Day 9 – Travel to Hakone

Board a bullet train for your two-and-a-half-hour trip from Kyoto to Hakone. Upon arrival, check into the charming Ten-yu Kowakien Ryokan, where modern comforts harmonise with time-honoured customs and warm hospitality. Soothe away the worries of the world in the famous hot springs before enjoying a delicious kaiseki dinner.

A pirate ship is sailing past Hakone's red Torii gates.

Day 10 – Explore Hakone National Park

Your picturesque day in Hakone National Park sees you tracing the scenic Hakone Loop. Begin by cruising across Lake Ashi while admiring the reflections of Mount Fuji. Ascend the Komagatake Ropeway for panoramic vistas, and explore the historic Hakone Checkpoint, a testament to Japan's Edo Period. 

There will also be the opportunity to appreciate Hakone Open Air Museum's art installations before unwinding in the soothing waters at Yunessun Spa Resort. Later, explore the charming streets of Gora, discovering quaint shops and cafes, before wrapping up your day with a stroll through the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands. 

Hakone volcano is full of tourists.

Day 11 – Transfer to the airport

Sadly, your 10-night itinerary in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone has come to a close. Depending on your flight time, spend your last day exploring, picking up souvenirs or having a last mouthful of tasty Japanese cuisine.

We hope this tour of Japan has opened a window into the culture, history and traditions of the country. We imagine you’ll leave with a camera full of photos and a heart full of memories, but – just as we feel when leaving the land of the rising sun – it won’t be long before you return.

10 day luxury kyoto holiday

Interested in this trip?

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your perfect vacations

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Why Wayfairer

Our 10-night trip to Japan has been carefully curated to offer a comprehensive experience of this fascinating country while keeping sustainability at its core. 

By using public transportation where possible in Tokyo and embracing the walkability of Kyoto, we’re minimising transportation emissions. We also ensure our guests visit historic sites to help support Japan’s preservation efforts that contribute to its cultural sustainability.

In Hakone, the emphasis on geothermal energy further aligns with our ethos of supporting sustainable practices. We only book our guests into eco-friendly accommodations that incorporate energy-efficient technologies. Ryokans, for example, opt for locally sourced, organic meals that support regional farmers, thus reducing the environmental impact of food transportation.

Wayfairer supports responsible tourism by encouraging our guests to participate in community-based activities. This not only fosters cultural exchange but also supports local economies. We also try to include eco-conscious tours that prioritise environmental conservation wherever possible. 

Sunset Cruise in Kyoto

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