Konnichiwa friends, and welcome to the land of the rising sun. Famed for its beauty, culture, cuisine and just a touch of crazy, this is one trip you won't be forgetting any time soon. Get settled into your hotel before joining forces with your Trip Manager & travel crew & head out to explore the local area.
Universal Studios, Osaka Castle, iconic Dōtonbori - today is yours to take on Osaka as your heart desires. History lovers can experience a slice of the past at the 16th-century Osaka Castle, one of the city's best known landmarks, or those keen for a little slice of Shinto could experience Sumiyoshi-taisha, one of the country's oldest Shinto shrines. This evening, why not get to know your new travel friends over our Free Time Add-On foodie experience? We'll be heading to an Izakaya in the bustling hub of Dotonburi. These traditional little restaurants are like a trip back in time, with rice beer, sake & locals finishing up their days. Still not done for the day? We sense some traditional Japanese PATI (that's Japanese for partying) and karaoke may be on the cards....
Tuck in to your tasty breakfast this morning, you're going to need the food fuel for a full day in Kyoto.Arriving into Kyoto, we'll kick things off with a guided tour of this beautiful, traditional city. Take in the sights of the city including temples, gardens, colourful shrines & world famous geisha girls. This evening is free for you to get to know Kyoto your way, most likely trying out local cuisine in the Shirakawa area & getting to grips with the buzzy Kyoto nightlife.
Didn't feel like you had enough time yesterday to really get under the skin of this utterly unique city? We've got good news for you - today is completely free for Kyoto adventuring. Ask your Trip Manager for the essentials on what to eat and where to go, then our best advice? Go get yourself a little lost, it's undeniably the best way to get to know a new city.
Ready for a totally new experience? This morning it's all aboard the bullet train, travelling at a cool 320km/hr as we make our way to Hiroshima.A city remembered as the world's first atomic bomb target during WWII, we'll learn about both the past and present on a sightseeing tour. The rest of the day will then be free to get to know Hiroshima however suits you best - food, shopping, history, it's all here at your fingertips.
We'll start the day with a ferry ride over to Miyajima Island where beautiful scenery and miniature deer await us. If you're impressed by the traditional Japanese gates at the entrance, just wait until you've seen the main event - the stunning Itsukushima Shrine. Culture goals ticked, we'll make our way back to Hiroshima to dig a little deeper into the city's noble history.
Tokyo, you're firmly in our sights...Welcome to the bright lights & big city vibes of Tokyo, our home for the next 3 nights. We'll dive right into this 24 hour city with a sightseeing tour of the best bits - the home of the Emperor of Japan, the beautiful Imperial Palace, and the oldest of the city's temples, the ancient Buddhist temple Asakusa Senso-ji. We'll take a walk down Nakamise Street (one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan that dates back to the 1500's) to pick up treasures for family and friends back home, brave the busiest street crossing in the world (Shibuya), then round things off at the epicentre of youth culture & fashion, Harajuku. This part of town buzzes with cool vibes & crazy fashion, and we reckon you'll instantly fall in lust.
Taking a brief reprieve from the buzz of Tokyo, this morning we'll head south to Hakone for breathtaking views of some of Japan's most famous sights, courtesy of the Hakone Ropeway.Returning to Tokyo this afternoon, we've got a Free Time Add-On we reckon you'll find hard to resist - a much needed soak in traditional Japanese hot spring baths, locally known as an Onsen. Be warned though, these hot springs are not for the shy (meaning total nakedness), but are the perfect way to unwind after a day of exploring the sights & sounds of the city.
Today's our last day in Tokyo, and our last day on tour, so let's make it one to remember. With a free day to explore Japan your way, we have a sneaking suspicion Harajuku may be calling you back - it kind of has that affect on people.
And just like that, it's all over. Japan crew, it's been a hell of a 10 days, and we have a sneaking suspicion this isn't a forever goodbye…