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The Tokaido Route

From
4 200 $

The Tokaido Route Tour

15 days

This tour has been carefully designed as an ideal trip for first time travellers to Japan. Discover Japanese culture by visiting its major sites, following the 'Tokaido', an old feudal post road between Tokyo and the former imperial capital of Kyoto.

Included :

- The visits and activities mentioned in the itinerary
- The assistance of a bilingual English/Japanese specialist guide
- 3* accommodation (prices are based on twin-shared rooms, supplement for single)
- Full board (except meals not provided, as mentioned)
- Internal transport by minibus, train and subway
- Bus transfers between airports and your hotel

Not included :

- Airfares to and from Japan
- Travel insurance
- Food & drinks in your free time
- Personal expenses


Accommodation:
Lodgings listed in the itinerary below can, if unavailable, be substituted by another hotel of equivalent standard.

Detailed Itinerary

TOKYO - HAKONE - KYOTO - NARA - ISE - SHINGU - KOYA-SAN - OSAKA

Day
1

TOKYO

Arrive in Tokyo (either Narita or Haneda airport) by your own arrangements 

Transfer by shuttle to your hotel in Central Tokyo.

Check in to your hotel.

Visit Meiji Jingu Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken; near the young and trendy area of Harajuku. Visit the Ota Memorial Museum, one of the richest collections of prints in Japan.

Spend the evening in Shinjuku, the main 'going out' area in Tokyo; view the Tokyo skyline from the observatory found at the top of City Hall, 243m high.

Enjoy a welcome dinner (provided) in one of the many restaurants in East Shinjuku.

TOKYO

Night in Tokyo in a 3* hotel. Breakfast included.

Day
2

TOKYO

Visit the Marunouchi and Ginza areas, quintessential Tokyo. Then visit the Imperial Palace gardens, former home of the Shogunate.

Lunch in Ginza.

Visit Hamarikyu Gardens then take a cruise on the Sumida River to the traditional area of Asakusa. Visit Senso-ji Temple, one of the main sites for pilgrimage in Japan. Stop in front of Kaminarimon, the gate of the God of Thunder and the entrance to Nakamise-dori, a long straight street to the temple bordered by bustling shops selling traditional goods and souvenirs, popular for over 1,000 years.

Dinner in a traditional restaurant in Asakusa.

Lunch and dinner provided by Japan Experience.
 

TOKYO

Night in Tokyo in a 3* hotel. Breakfast included.

Day
3

TOKYO

In the morning visit the Ueno area with Ueno Park, museums and galleries, and the narrow streets of Ameya Yokocho, a paradise for bargain hunters.

Lunch in Ameya Yokocho.

Spend the afternoon in Shinjuku, Tokyo's main shopping and entertainment district; view a panorama of the city from the observatory located at the top of the Tokyo Town Hall. Then visit Kabuki-cho, known for its lively nightlife.

Lunch and dinner provided by Japan Experience

TOKYO

Night in Tokyo in a 3* hotel. Breakfast included.

Day
4

TOKYO

A free day for you to explore the many monuments and interesting sites of the capital: your guide will be able to offer advice if needed.

Our suggestion: use your Japan Rail Pass to make a side trip to Nikko by Shinkansen...

Breakfast provided at your hotel, lunch and dinner not provided.

TOKYO

Night in Tokyo in a 3* hotel. Breakfast included.

Day
5

HAKONE

Depart by minibus to Kamakura, a former Shogunate capital, passing through the port city of Yokohama.

In Kamakura visit the great temple of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the reason the town was founded.

Lunch in Kamakura. In the afternoon visit Kotokuin Temple and see the great Buddha. Drive to Mount Fuji - Hakone National Park and enjoy dinner at your traditional ryokan (Japanese inn).

Lunch and dinner provided by Japan Experience

HAKONE

Night in 3* traditional lodging with onsen. Half-board.

Day
6

KYOTO

Walk in Mount Fuji National Park in Hakone: see the Oowakudani sulfur vents; Visit Lake Ashi - if the weather is clear you might see Mt Fuji reflected in the water; See the former Sekisho police station and the shinto shrine, Hakone Jinja.

Take the Hikari Shinkansen to Kyoto. Check in to the hotel.

Visit Nijo castle, a former shogunate palace.

See the district of the canal and arcades of Teramachi.

Lunch and dinner provided by Japan Experience

KYOTO

Night in a 3* hotel with spa. Breakfast included.

Day
7

KYOTO

Discover the main sites of Kyoto: Ryoanji Buddhist temple with its famous Zen rock garden; Rokuonji Buddhist temple, the famous Kinkakuji, Golden Pavilion (these three sites are listed as Unesco World Heritage Sites).

Visit Nijo Castle, a former shogunate palace.

See Gishoji Buddhist temple, or Ginkakuji (The Silver Pavilion) and the charming Philosopher's Path, lined with cherry trees.

The impressive temple on stilts Kiyomizu-Dera, and Jishu Jinja, a shrine dedicated to love (and a Unesco World Heritage site).

Evening outing and dinner in Pontocho, Gion, an area frequented by geisha.

Lunch and dinner provided by Japan Experience

KYOTO

Night in a 3* hotel with spa. Breakfast included.

Day
8

KYOTO

A free day to use as you like.

An opportunity to enjoy the charms of the former capital at your own pace, its hundreds of palaces, villas, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.

Our suggestion: use your Rail Pass for a short shinkansen and ferry trip to Miyajima, the sacred island in Hiroshima...

Breakfast provided at your hotel. Lunch and dinner not provided.

KYOTO

Night in a 3* hotel with spa. Breakfast included.

Day
9

NARA

See Nishiki market with its traditional wares, then the esoteric Buddhist temple (Tendai school) of Sanjusangendo, with 1001 statues of Kannon (Avalokiteshvara).

Excursion by shinkansen to Himeji: visit the awe-inspiring Himeji castle.

Then it's onwards to Nara, the first "official" capital of Japan.

Lunch and dinner provided by Japan Experience

NARA

Night in a 3* hotel with spa. Breakfast included.

Day
10

ISE

Visit the temples in Nara Park (Unesco World Heritage Site), which contains the main monuments of the former imperial capital and free-roaming deer: Todaiji, jewel of T'ang art, with its great bronze Buddha and huge Nan-Daimon gate; Kasuga shrine and its thousands of votive lanterns; and Kofukuji Buddhist temple.

Then take a picturesque route to Futami, south east of the holy city of Ise, and visit the Meoto Iwa, two rocks which are ritually married each year by being joined with a sacred rope.

Lunch provided by Japan Experience

ISE

Night in a 3* ryokan (traditionnal inn). Half-board.

Day
11

SHINGU

In Ise, visit the Shinto shrine Naiku, dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, founder of the Japanese Imperial line.

Drive the Pearl Road along Toba bay. Enjoy lunch in a small port then drive along the coast and inland to Shingu.

In Shingu, visit the Shinto shrine of Kumano Hongu Taisha.

Lunch provided by Japan Experience

SHINGU

Night in a 3* ryokan (traditionnal inn) with spa. Half-board.

Day
12

KOYA-SAN

Visit the local fish market in Kii-Katsuura.

See the shinto shrine Kumano Nachi Taisha, its waterfall and its steep pilgrimage trails. 

Take the mountain road along the Aritagawa to the shrine of Mount Koya (Unesco World Heritage), Kichishoji country temple and the rice fields of Aritanosato.

At Mount Koya (UNESCO World Heritage Site), visit Okunoin cemetery, the largest in Japan, with over 200,000 tombstones and established over 1,200 years ago.

Lunch and dinner provided by Japan Experience
 

KOYA-SAN

Temple lodging in Mount Koya. Half-board (traditional vegetarian meals).

Day
13

OSAKA

Visit Kongobuji temple, the seat of esoteric shingon Buddhism, and Danjo Garan, the sacred space of the main temple.

See the Reihokan temple-museum.

Travel to Nara.

Visit the sacred Horyuji complex, the birthplace of Japanese Buddhism, with some of the oldest wooden structures in the world (Unesco World Heritage Site).

Continue to Osaka.

Enjoy a farewell dinner in Namba, Japan's largest entertainment district.

OSAKA

Night in a 3* hotel. Breakfast included.

Day 0 PARIS
Day 1 Tokyo - jardin Meiji Jingu TOKYO
Day 2 Tokyo - Asakusa TOKYO
Day 3 Tokyo - Ameyoko-chô TOKYO
Day 4 Skytree à Tokyo TOKYO
Day 5 HAKONE
Day 6 Nijo à Kyoto KYOTO
Day 7 Kyoto - Pavillon d'Or KYOTO
Day 8 L'allée de Torii au Fushimi Inari Jinja KYOTO
Day 9 Biches de Nara NARA
Day 10 ISE
Day 11 Shingû - Kumano Hongû Taisha SHINGU
Day 12 Mont Koya KOYA-SAN
Day 13 Osaka - Dôtombori OSAKA
Day 14 PARIS
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