Planes, Trains and Automobiles…Discover the wonders of Japan by Train and Car

Enjoy the independence of travelling by car and train and explore places a little off the traditional tourist trail. Experience the rich culture and tradition of the southernmost Japanese main islands, discover historic Nagasaki, and venture into the Japanese countryside.

If you’re looking for something a little different, this is the holiday for you. This diverse, two-week tour of Japan offers the best of both worlds: Plenty of opportunity to experience everything Japan's two most famous cities have to offer, and time spent off the conventional tourist trail.

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

People Walking on the Street in Tokyo.

Days 1-3: Tokyo

Day 1 - Transfer to your hotel

Upon arrival at the airport, a private driver will transfer you to the city, where you'll be staying at Gate Hotel Tokyo (Classy room). 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.

Senso-Ji Temple is illuminated with light as darkness descends.

Day 2 - Full-day private tour of Tokyo

Join your English-speaking guide as you explore Japan’s capital city. 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.

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.

A centuries old shrine gazes from the hilltop.

Day 4 - Travel to Kyoto

Experience the exhilaration as the 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 Dhawa Yura.
The hotel is conveniently located near the cultural gem of Higashiyama in Kyoto. This tranquil boutique hotel combines modern luxury with historic charm and promises an enriching stay.
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. 

Kinkaku-ji, Kita-ku, Japan

Day 5 – Full-day guided tour of Kyoto

Join your expert guide on this captivating tour of Japan’s second-largest city as you take in renowned landmarks and lesser-explored cultural gems.
Begin at the iconic Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, a shimmering masterpiece rising from scenic gardens. Then travel to Arashiyama to explore the enchanting Bamboo Grove and visit the historic Iwatayama Monkey Park. Feel the serenity of the Ryoan-ji Zen Temple and its iconic rock garden and discover lesser-known gems like the charming Gio-ji Temple and the tranquil Koto-in.

Wild Deer and Torii Gate of Nara Park in Japan

Day 6 – Exploring Nara and Fushimi Inari shrine

Today is one of cultural exploration, starting with a scenic local train journey from Kyoto to Nara. Spend the day discovering Nara's historic treasures, from the iconic Todai-ji Temple to the gentle deer roaming in Nara Park.

On your return to Kyoto in the afternoon, you’ll stop at the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. Enter through the Vermilion Torii gates, where every step is steeped in centuries of spiritual significance.

Nagasaki is lit up with lights at night.

Day 7 – Travel from Kyoto to Nagasaki

This exhilarating journey gives you the chance to experience the efficiency of Japan's high-speed rail. Located in Glover Garden in Nagasaki, ANA Nagasaki Gloverhill Hotel is a captivating blend of modern luxury and historical charm. With well-appointed rooms, exceptional service, and a panoramic backdrop, the hotel overlooks Nagasaki Bay – the perfect vantage point to appreciate the city's scenic beauty.
Situated close to historic landmarks such as Glover Garden, Oura Church, Dejima and Peace Park, the hotel offers convenience and comfort in the heart of Nagasaki.

Nagasaki Peace Statue in Nagasaki Peace Park, Japan

Day 8 – Full-day private guided tour of Nagasaki

Your private, full-day guided tour of Nagasaki begins with a visit to the Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum. After time spent reflecting on the city's tragic history, explore Glover Garden and the historic Oura Church, a symbol of the influence of Western culture in Nagasaki.
Stroll through the unique Dejima, before sampling some of Nagasaki’s renowned regional dishes in vibrant Chinatown. The day showcases Nagasaki's blend of cultures, history, and resilience, and offers insight into what sets Nagasaki apart in Japan's cultural landscape.

Day 9 – Drive from Nagasaki to Kurokawa Onsen

Pick up your rental car and enjoy the scenic journey from Nagasaki, tracing the stunning Shimabara Peninsula, to Kurakawa Onsen.

Once there, explore Shimabara Castle and the historic town, before taking a drive along the coast, enjoying breathtaking views of the Ariake Sea. Pause at the Shimabara Tunnels – an engineering marvel amidst nature's beauty.

Continue to the hot springs of Unzen Jigoku and take in Hell Valley's dramatic landscapes before carrying on to Kurakawa Onsen, where you can unwind in the therapeutic waters of your ryokan.

In the evening, indulge in a traditional kaiseki dinner – the perfect end to the perfect day.

Mount Aso, located in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, is a unique place created by a caldera.

Day 10 – Enjoy Kurokawa Onsen

Enjoy the independence and freedom of a rental car as you spend the day exploring the Aso-Kuju National Park. Begin by driving to the Aso Caldera, a vast volcanic basin famous for its stunning landscapes and the iconic Mount Aso. Ascend to the Kusasenri Plateau and visit the Aso Volcano Museum before continuing your drive through the Kuju Mountains on the scenic Yamanami Highway.
Explore the Kuju Flower Park, a vibrant botanical paradise, before enjoying a riverside stroll in the Kikuchi Gorge. Conclude your day at the rejuvenating Kurokawa Onsen, nestled in a forested valley.

Fukuoka Garden.

Day 11 – Exploring Yanagawa by car, en route to Fukuoka

Start your day with one last visit to the therapeutic hot springs of Kurokawa Onsen before driving on to Yanagawa, known for its picturesque canals. Here you’ll board a traditional donkobune boat for a peaceful cruise along the waterways, to admire the cherry blossoms or willow-lined banks. There’ll be a stop along the way to explore the historic Ohana residence and scenic Kura-no-Machinami area.

After this delightful canal experience, continue on your journey to Fukuoka, a bustling city with vibrant markets and historic sites. Conclude your day with a stroll along the Nakasu district's illuminated riverfront.

Fukuoka Shrine.

Day 12 – Exploring Fukuoka

Your day in Fukuoka starts at Ohori Park, where the Fukuoka Castle ruins echo centuries of samurai history. Delve further into the past at the Fukuoka City Museum, and wander through the vibrant Yanagibashi Rengo Market. This is your opportunity to savour local street foods like Hakata ramen and mentaiko.
Visit the Kushida Shrine, a cultural gem in the heart of the city, and stroll along the scenic banks of the Naka River to the historic Kawabata Shopping Arcade. Cap off your day at Nakasu, Fukuoka's entertainment district, where you can sample many delicacies from yatai street food stalls.

Tokyo bridge at night.

Day 13 – Return to Tokyo

Experience the exhilarating, day-long journey from Fukuoka to Tokyo aboard the renowned bullet train. Enjoy onboard amenities and picturesque views of Japan's countryside.

On arrival in Tokyo, take advantage of your last night in Japan to enjoy a vibrant evening in the heart of the city.

Day 14 – Private transfer to the airport

Unfortunately, your two-week trip has come to an end. As a private driver transfers you to the airport, watch Tokyo's bustling streets go by and start planning for your next big adventure. 

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