Top of Page

The Zen road

From
2 117 $

The Zen road Tour

13 days


Plunge into the heart of Japanese traditions with this tour which will see you explore the essential cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, stopping off at Mount Fuji, the symbol of Japan, and Koya-san, the sacred valley nestled in the mountains.

Spend an night in a ryokan, traditional accommodation, at the foot of Mount Fuji, and stay in a temple hotel in Koya-san. Here, you will be able to explore the delights of Japanese gastronomy with breakfasts and evening meals included for these two nights. A unique experience awaits you!

The authentic:
- Tokyo (4 nights),
- Mount Fuji - Hakone (1 night),
- Osaka (2 nights),
- Koya san (1 night),
- Kyoto (3 nights)
 

Included :


- Round-trip flight tickets from/to Los Angeles, Sydney or Paris

- 11 nights in 3*** equivalent hotels, including 1 night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel) and 1 night in a temple

- Half-board at Hakone and Koya-san

- The "guided night walk through the geisha district" activity in Kyoto

- Airport transfers

- 1 prepaid travel card to travel around Tokyo and Kyoto, already loaded with ¥1,500

- 1 7-day Japan Rail Pass for the train and Shinkansen (bullet train) covering the journeys between the different cities

- 1 Pocket wifi (with unlimited internet access) for the duration of the trip

- 1 printed travel guide, sent to you at least 20 days before your departure, detailing the tour itinerary, how to get to your hotels, and the tourist sights not to be missed.

- Helpline assistance 24/7 in English
 

Not included :


- Insurance
- Personal expenses
- Public transportation within cities*
- Tourist tax in Kyoto and Osaka**
- Anything not listed in the "included" section above


Customization:

Contact us for:
- Flights from London, New York or any other city
- Direct flights
- Flight upgrade to premium-economy or business class
- Upgrade to a 4* hotel
- Traditional accommodation
- Private rotenburo (Japanese bath) in your room in Hakone ($72USD - depending on availability)
- Child price (11 y/o or under)
- An extension to your trip either before or after the tour
- Guided activities
- Other activities (Disneyland, Hello Kitty theme park, robot restaurant, tea ceremony, sake tasting…)


Flights:

The departure and end dates of the tour concern your flight and arrival from/to your departure country.

Most flights will require one transfer (less than 5 hours) in Asia or the Gulf States before landing in Tokyo.

Examples of airlines used:
- Air France
- All Nippon Airways
- Finnair
- Korean Air


Accommodation:

The basic price includes one room for 2 people in 3* equivalent hotels.

Single room: If a triple room is not available, a single room supplement may be required for any booking with an odd number of participants.
Please note that the single supplement will be applicable in all of the accommodation except the ryokan in Hakone and the temple in Koya-san. For traditional accommodation, there are no single rooms but there are spacious bedrooms which can sleep up to 5 people. There are also some specific aspects concerning stays in ryokans and temples. Please see the Hakone and Koya-san stages.

In Japan, a high-density country where everything is more compact, the 3* hotels are good quality but the rooms can be quite small (12 to 24m2) depending on the hotel. For more comfort and space, don't hesitate to contact us for a quote with 4* hotels instead.

The rooms for 2 people in western-style hotels have 2 separate single beds (twin rooms) as standard. Contact us to request a double bed; there is no supplementary charge but we cannot guarantee availability. Note that double bed rooms are smaller in size than twin rooms.


Terms of payment:
- 35% deposit paid when booking
- Balance paid 35 days before departure


Note:
This tour is not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

*Any transportation not covered by the JR Pass (about 80% of public transportation within most cities) and after using the ¥1,500 pre-loaded on your travel-card

**$1.70 USD/person/night to be paid directly to the hotel in cash

Detailed Itinerary

TOKYO - HAKONE - OSAKA - KOYA-SAN - KYOTO

Day
0

Flight to Tokyo.

Overnight on the plane, arriving the next morning at Tokyo.

Day
1

TOKYO

Arrive at Tokyo at Narita or Haneda Airport.

Transfer to central Tokyo by shared limousine bus.

Note: The limousine bus shuttle leaves from the airport and stops either in front of your hotel, or at a stop between 1-15 minutes walk from your hotel.
Detailed explanations are included in your travelogue, with pictures:
- How to find the Limousine Bus desk at Tokyo Airport
- How to reach your hotel from the closest bus stop

This transfer is not a private transfer with reception. If you wish to be met personally at the airport, you can choose our "airport reception" option for an additional fee.

In rare cases, depending on the arrival time of your flight, it may be that the limousine bus service is unavailable. In such situations a public transport alternative, the price of which would be included in the tour package, will be offered instead. A detailed explanation of the alternative travel route, with pictures, would be included in your travelogue.

Check in to your hotel in Tokyo.

TOKYO

Night in your 3* hotel in the Akasaka or Ikebukuro district.

Example of 3* hotels (depending on availability):
- Monterey Akasaka Hotel
- The B Akasaka Hotel
- The B Tokyo Ikebukuro Hotel

Examples of 4* hotels: (optional, contact us)
- Metropolitan Tokyo Marunouchi Hotel
- Keio Plaza Hotel
- Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro Hotel

Note: Any breakfasts not included in your tour package can be added at the hotel reception desk upon arrival. However, in Tokyo and Kyoto, you will find many cafés near your hotel serving better value and often tastier breakfasts than those of hotels, which sometimes have restrictive service hours.

Day
2

TOKYO

Explore Tokyo and the surrounding area.

Don't miss:
- The bustling districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya
- Ueno Park
- Ginza and its many luxury shops
- The shrine of Meiji-jingu
- Go all the way to the top of the Tokyo Skytree and admire the capital of modern Japan.


Or why not try a guided tour of the city with one of our guides? (optional, contact us)

TOKYO

Discover Japanese gastronomy in the most Michelin-starred capital in the world.

Day
3

TOKYO

Explore Tokyo and the surrounding area.

Among the possibilities:
- The Asakusa district and the Senso-ji temple
- The gardens of the Imperial Palace
- The electric town, Akihabara

TOKYO

The countless "izakaya" (typical Japanese bars) of Tokyo await you for a beer and/or some "yakitori" (grilled chicken skewers).

Day
4

TOKYO

Possible excursions from Tokyo:
- Kamakura, former capital of Japan with its huge bronze statue of Buddha
- Nikko, a jewel of spirituality

TOKYO

For your last dinner in Tokyo, try "Kaitenzushi" (conveyor belt sushi) for a fun and tasty meal!

Day
5

TOKYO - HAKONE

Transfer to Tokyo Station (not included).

Shinkansen to Odawara included in the Japan Rail Pass (about 40 minutes), then change to Hakone (not included - ¥310 supplement to be paid on site).

Check into your ryokan (traditional japanese hotel).

Free visit of Hakone:
- Gora-koen Park
- Visit the open air museum of Chokoku-no-mori
- Hakone-jinja shrine
- View Mount Fuji from Ashi-no-ko Lake

Things to do in Hakone:
- Cross Lake Ashi aboard a (slightly kitsch) boat
- Walk along part of the old Tokaido Road, which once linked Kyoto to Edo, bordered by cedars and pines
- Go and see the old Hakone border post

If you prefer to be guided, check our tours (optional, contact us).

HAKONE

Dinner and overnight in your ryokan (traditional Japanese-style room with shared baths and toilets on the first floor).

In a 3* ryokan you'll sleep on comfortable futons on top of traditional tatami mat flooring. The bathing facilities, onsen, are shared unless you request the "traditional bath in room" option (+$72USD/person).

In a 4* ryokan you'll sleep either on futons or on beds in a traditional tatami room. The bathrooms are private.

Day
6

HAKONE - OSAKA

Traditional breakfast in your ryokan.

Journey from Hakone to Osaka in the shinkansen (approximately 2hrs 45mins).

Enjoy the gastronomic capital of Japan and its many tourist attractions:
- The lively nightlife districts of Dotonbori, Namba and Shinsaibashi
- Denden-machi, Osaka's electronics district
- Osaka's medieval castle and its parks featuring plum trees and cherry trees

Check-in at your hotel

OSAKA

Free evening and night in your 3 * hotel.

Try out some tatoyaki or okonomiyaki, the city's specialities!

Day
7

OSAKA

Continue your exploration of Osaka and its surrounding area.

Our recommendations:
- Spa World, the biggest thermal baths in the world
- The Universal Studios theme park
- The Minoh waterfalls, a wonderful spectacle in the heart of nature

OSAKA

Free evening and night at your hotel.

Day
8

OSAKA - KOYA-SAN

Journey to Koya-san by train and cable car (included in your Koya San Pass, approximately 2hrs)

Visit to one of Japan's most sacred mountains:
- The thousand-year-old graveyard of Okuno-in, extending over several hectares in the forest
- Kongobu-ji and its dry Zen garden (the biggest in the world)
- Danjogaran, a cluster of sacred Kongobuji buildings in a forest of Japanese cedars.

Check-in at your temple hotel.

KOYA-SAN

Traditional vegetarian evening meal served in your temple hotel (at around 5.30pm)

Note:
- In your temple hotel, you will sleep on futons
- This hotel has shared bathrooms and toilets

Day
9

KOYA-SAN - KYOTO

Breakfast in your temple hotel.

Journey to Kyoto in high-speed local trains (approximately 4hrs, covered by your Koya-san Pass and JR Pass).

Check-in at your hotel.

KYOTO

Free evening and night in your 3* hotel in the city centre, Gion district, or near the central station.

Examples of 3* hotels (depending on availability):
- Mitsui Garden Kyoto Shijo
- Hedistar Hotel Kyoto Nijo
- Hokke Club Kyoto Hotel

Examples of 4* hotels: (optional, contact us)
- Monterey Kyoto Hotel
- New Miyako Hotel
- Kyoto Okura hotel

Day
10

KYOTO

Visit Kyoto and the surrounding area.

Don't miss:
- The zen garden in Ryoanji, a famous dry landscape garden
- Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) and Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
- The traditional Gion district
- Kiyomizu-dera, the incredible thousand-year-old temple that overlooks the city

Or enjoy a new experience with one of our many guided activities. (optional, contact us)

KYOTO

Free evening and night at your hotel.

Day
11

KYOTO

Possible day trips from Kyoto:

- The city of Kobe, between ocean and mountains. Visit the port then catch the cable car up Mt. Rokko and admire the view over the inland sea. (45 minutes).

- Nara, the first capital of Japan. Visit its ancient buildings, classified as Unesco World Heritage sites, such as Todaiji temple or Kasuga Taisha shrine, and buy some shika-sembei, food for the fallow deer which roam freely within the city park. (30 to 45 minutes).

- Fushimi-Inari Taisha, a must-see shrine in southern Kyoto. Wander through the tunnels made of hundreds of red torii gates found at this incredible shrine. (approx. 5 minutes).

KYOTO

Free evening and night at your hotel.

Or why not enjoy the unique experience of a night walk in Kyoto's traditional district? (optional, contact us)

Day
12

Transfer to Kansai International Airport from Kyoto by shuttle bus.

Return flight.

Arrival.

Day 0
Day 1 TOKYO
Day 2 TOKYO
Day 3 TOKYO
Day 4 Le Toshogu à Nikko TOKYO
Day 5 TOKYO, HAKONE
Day 6 HAKONE, OSAKA
Day 7 OSAKA
Day 8 OSAKA, KOYA-SAN
Day 9 KOYA-SAN, KYOTO
Day 10 KYOTO
Day 11 KYOTO
Day 12