Duration: 13 nights
Destinations: Tokyo, Kyoto, Takayama, Hakone and Matsumoto
Recommended Season: Year Round
Price: from £1,755 pp

Our Essential Japan Tour is a 13 night “Golden Itinerary” which takes in the beautiful Japan Alps, the castle town of Matsumoto as well at Mt Fuji (and the nearby resort of Hakone), Kyoto and Tokyo.

Download our Essential Japan Brochure here: Essential Japan Brochure and our Reservation Form here: Reservation Form

Essential Japan Tour


  • Visits to Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Takayama and Matsumoto
  • Travel on Japan’s famous Bullet Train
  • 14 day Japan Rail Pass
  • 13 nights’ accommodation
  • Dinner included for two nights
  • Breakfast daily
  • Meet and Greet service upon arrival at the airport
  • Airport transfers from/to Narita International Airport



Enjoy independent travel but not the hassle of planning? One of our Independent Tours could be just the ticket. Carefully put together by our team of specialists, our excellent collection of sample itineraries are designed to inform and inspire your next Japan adventure. Every one of our Independent Tours is fully tailor-made for you, ensuring your trip is everything you want it to be.

It’s quite straight forward to travel independently in Japan. We will provide just the right amount of support and logistical planning to make you feel comfortable in a very foreign land. These itineraries are available for any departure date (with a few exclusions which coinciding with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends). We’ll do all the work for you and provide you with an information pack to make your trip run smoothly. You can also add guided tours as indicated and if you do want your own personal guide we can arrange this too.


If you’re interested in this itinerary, please let us know the following and we will get back to you with a quote:

  • Your proposed dates of travel
  • Your preferred grade of accommodation (e.g. 3*, 4*, or 5*)
  • Your preferred room type (e.g. Double, Twin or Singles)
  • How many adults and children this is for (and the age of the children at the time of travel)



Don’t worry! We deal with countless passengers from outside of the UK. You just need to let us know the information above (and you can arrange your own flights to Japan).

To find out more, call one of our specialists now on 020 7766 5267.

ItineraryLocation GuideAccommodationInclusions

Essential Japan Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Japan, Meet & Greet at Narita Airport (Tokyo)
Welcome to Japan! Our friendly Meet & Greet service representative will be waiting in the Arrivals lobby and holding a sign with your name on. The Meet & Greet will direct you to the Narita Express train or limousine bus bound for Shinjuku. Check in to your clean and comfortable 3* hotel in the fantastic neon-filled district of Shinjuku for 3 nights.

Day 2: Tokyo
Your options are unlimited in this incredible city. Explore Tokyo’s past in the bustling, traditional Asakusa district, shop in the fashionable districts of Shibuya and Harajuku and dine on Japan’s finest cuisine. Tokyo is relatively straightforward to navigate, and our Information Pack will make travelling around the city a breeze.

Optional guided excursion
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing by coach in Tokyo, with lunch included. Your guide will show you the highlights of this vast metropolis, from the Imperial Palace and serene Meiji Shrine to the ‘Electric City’ of Akihabara.

Day 3: Tokyo
Enjoy a further day of exploring in Tokyo, or use your Japan Rail Pass to venture further afield to Kamakura, a former capital of Japan.

Optional guided excursion
Join a fantastic guided excursion to Nikko, a beautiful temple town in the mountains north of Tokyo. You will visit Toshogu Shrine, a mausoleum to one of Japan’s most famous shogun, and drive through the picturesque countryside to Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Waterfall before heading back to Tokyo.

Day 4: Tokyo to Hakone
It’s time to say goodbye to Tokyo for a few days as you speed on the Bullet Train to Hakone, a beautiful resort set in the foothills of Mt Fuji. For the next two nights, you will stay in a comfortable 3* hotel/guest house with its own private hot spring baths.

Day 5: Hakone
Hakone is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Today you can enjoy wandering in the peaceful, beautiful surroundings of this resort town. You might like to visit some of the surrounding attractions such as the Open Air Sculpture Park, Lake Ashi and Owakudani(literally ‘Great Boiling Valley’).

Day 6: Hakone to Kyoto
Board the Bullet Train again and head to Kyoto which is blessed with many temples and shrines. The journey takes less than 3 hours, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the late afternoon in Kyoto, where we recommend a stroll around the lovely side streets. You will stay in a comfortable, superbly located 3* hotel in the heart of Kyoto for 4 nights.

Day 7: Kyoto
A rich history of religion, art and craft have combined to make this glorious city a spiritual home for the Japanese. For temples we recommend Kiyomizu-dera and Ginkaku-ji in the hills to the east of the city. Nijo Castle is also well worth a visit, and make sure you allow yourself plenty of time for the wonderful craft shops and delightful streets of Gion, the old geisha quarter.

Optional guided excursion
Join a guided coach tour. As well as visits to Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Temple), Sanjusangendo Temple and Kiyomizu Temple, today’s tour includes a delicious buffet-style lunch.

Day 8: Nara at leisure
Whilst smaller than Kyoto, Nara is packed with attractions, with 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sights. The most outstanding of these is Todai-ji temple, until recently the largest wooden building in the world and home to the Great Buddha statue – Japan’s biggest. Other essential sights include Yakushi-ji and Horyu-ji temple, whose buildings include some of the world’s oldest wooden structures.

Day 9: Kyoto/Osaka at leisure
Spend another day in Kyoto or alternatively use your JR Pass to explore the surrounding area. Japan’s lively second city, Osaka, is only a short train ride away. Hiroshima is also possible as a day excursion.

Day 10: Kyoto to Takayama
Leave Kyoto and transfer by Bullet train to Takayama, a lovely town in the Japan Alps. Takayama’s charming streets, museums and folkcrafts make it a great place to discover rural Japan. It is also a superb base for exploring the surrounding Hida district and National Park. The town hosts the spectacular Takayama Festival (April and October) which attracts over half a million visitors.

For two nights you will stay in a lovely minshuku (inn) with Japanese style rooms. A delicious dinner is included both nights.

Day 11: Takayama, Furukawa
Further sightseeing in Takayama might include Hida no Sato, an open-air museum of traditional architecture and crafts. Another excursion we recommend is Furukawa, a lovely village less than 20 minutes from Takayama. If you’re around in April you might be lucky enough to catch the Naked Man Festival!

Day 12: Matsumoto
Travel by coach to Matsumoto, where you will arrive around lunchtime. Spend the afternoon at Matsumoto Castle, one of the most impressive castles in Japan, and enjoy strolling around the pretty, laidback streets of this mountain town. You will stay one night in Matsumoto.

Day 13: Tokyo
After breakfast, board the Bullet train and head back to Tokyo. Return to your hotel in Shinjuku for your final night in Japan. You might like to catch a kabuki play or splash out on a fabulous farewell meal at one of Tokyo’s Michelin star restaurants.

Day 14: Depart Japan
Transfer from your hotel to Narita International Airport (Tokyo).
Return to the UK (arrive the same day).

To find out more, call one of our specialists now on 020 7766 5267.

Essential Japan Tour Location Guide


Home to over 12 million people, the vast metropolis of Japan’s capital must be seen to be believed. Tokyo embraces the modern and ancient like no other city on earth and offers something for everyone who wants to delve into the Japanese phenomenon: the towering skyscrapers and frenzied neon of Shinjuku, the pop culture and gadget paradise of Akihabara, the sophisticated chic of Ginza, the old downtown area of Asakusa, and the tranquil, understated beauty of Meiji Shrine. Not to mention superb restaurants and great bars as well as fabulous shopping and museums befitting the capital of the world’s second-largest economy.



Hakone is a popular resort area, not far from Tokyo and located in the foothills of Mt Fuji. On a clear day you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Hakone with great views of Mt Fuji. There is plenty to do such as a cruise across Lake Ashi on a seventeenth century styled galleon and taking a cable car up Owakudani Valley where you can see constant steaming due to the volcanic activity. After a day of sightseeing, you can unwind in one of the many onsens (hot springs) in the area.




Kyoto is where you will find the Japan of silent temples nestling in bamboo groves, gardens of finely raked sand and bewitching geisha. This city is home to over 2,000 temples and shrines, exquisite crafts and some of the best cuisines in the country. In short, Kyoto is the heartbeat of traditional Japan.

Not to be missed are Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji and Kiyomizu temples, although be aware that these do become crowded. For a more peaceful, intimate temple experience we recommend the temple complex of Daitoku-ji, in particular Daisen-in sub-temple, and the Arashiyama area to the west of the city.



Established as a castle town in the 16th century, Takayama has retained its unique charm to the present day. Sights include the Sanmachi district of traditional buildings, the bustling morning markets and dozens of museums, galleries and traditional craft shops. Situated in the Japan Alps, this small city offers wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and is a good base for exploring the Hida region.


Essential Japan Tour


Matsumoto is considered the gateway to the Japan Alps and is famous for its beautiful castle and Nakamichi area where you can see traditional white walled houses many of which have converted into craft shops and cafés. For art lovers there is the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum where you can enjoy a selection of traditional Japanese wood block prints.

To find out more, call one of our specialists now on 020 7766 5267.

A selection of accommodation in Tokyo

Palace Hotel Tokyo


This truly exceptional luxury property is right by the moat of the imperial palace and its verdant gardens. The interior is elegantly styled throughout, with an understated modern beauty that is truly stunning in parts.
Rooms are of course very spacious, comfortable and tastefully furnished, replete with luxury amenities.
The Palace sports 10 restaurants and bars, each one uniquely stylish, serving the best food and drink from around the world.

The Peninsula


Commanding superb city views, set by the imperial palace, this hotel is among the best in the country. A stay here entails luxurious comfort and sophisticated facilities, and of course immaculate service.
Rooms are very spacious, starting at 54 square meters. They are stylishly decorated in a simple, modern style, with judicious use of natural materials giving a bright, natural feel to every one. They have the latest in luxury facilities and amenities, including among others, high speed wireless internet, a compact multifunction control panel and tea and coffee making facilities.
The Peninsula has numerous world class dining options, from the sophisticated Cantonese cuisine of Hei Fung Terrace to the luxury grilled fare of Peter high on the 24th floor. Peter: The Bar (adjacent to the restaurant) serves cocktails of the highest quality and has an exemplary range of international wines, whiskies and other beverages.

The Ritz Carlton


Located in the upper class Roppongi district of Tokyo, this spectacular hotel is the apex of class and luxury. The 45th floor boats an impressive observation deck that offer awe inspiring 360 degree panorama views of Tokyo, including Mount Fuji and the Tokyo Tower. As well as this, a tranquil spa facility is also available, creating the perfect environment for rest and relaxation. In addition, Wellendorf, a fashionable German jeweller, has a boutique on the ground floor.

Rooms in the Ritz Carlton are impeccably furnished with a décor that espouses elegance. All rooms offer wonderful views of Tokyo, so you can always view the majesty of the world’s largest metropolis.

The hotel is home to a truly impressive selection of dining options. From Michelin starred French restaurants to the Lobby Lounge offering live piano and jazz music throughout the day.

Centrally located in Tokyo’s Shibuya District, this hotel provides excellent access for exploring the vast Tokyo metropolis. Being in such a central area, a fantastic view of the skyline can be observed both day and night, in essence a choice ambience created by Tokyo’s beautiful nightscape and botanical charms
Rooms in the hotel offer fantastic space. Created under the concept of “simple & modern”, the guest rooms are sophisticated in design without being ostentatious, providing a relaxing atmosphere to bring calm in heart and mind.Many room variations are available, including the popular “view bath-type ” with a spacious bathroom featuring a wide window for an excellent city view.

Restaurants in this hotel offer truly delectable cuisine and a wide range of choice from Japan, Asia and the West. Dishes are made with chef-selected ingredients that culminate in what some consider perfect dining.

The hotel is located at the top of Zakuro-zaka street, which inclines up from the Takanawa exit of Shinagawa Station. The hotel is located in an urban resort environment that also includes convention facilities such as the Hiten banquet hall and the International Convention Center Pamir, as well as a wide variety of Japanese, Western, and Chinese restaurants. All rooms have balconies.

A 5-minute walk from the Takanawa exit of Shinagawa Station, servicing the Shinkansen Line, JR Lines, and Keihin Kyuko Line. Arrive from Haneda Airport Station, on the Keihin Kyuko Line, in as little as 14 minutes if you take a rapid limited express train. The Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa is also conveniently located for easy access from the expressways in the capital. There is also a Toei subway station a 3-minute walk from the hotel, for easy access to all parts of Tokyo.

Hotel Century is excellently located in the central district of Shinjuku, and therefore a good spot for exploring Tokyo itself.
Rooms in this hotel are very spacious and offer an excellent level of comfort. Being in the Shinjuku district, rooms offer a fantastic view of the area’s skyline, especially at night.
The hotel is home to an impressive array of restaurants, offering a variety of dishes from Japan, China as well as the West.

Opened in 2014, this is one of the newest hotels in the Shinjuku area. Very centrally located and just a 3-miunte walk from JR Shinjuku Station, Blossom Hotel Shinjku offers rooms with TV, fridge and Wi-fi as well as a good breakfast.

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku is ideally positioned in the vibrant area of Shinjuku. Enjoy extra comfort with high-function equipment and facilities. In-room facilities include a flat-screen TV, fridge and air purifier/humidifier.  This hotel is only a 5-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station with easy access to the rest of the city.



Shinjuku Prince Hotel


Shinjuku Prince Hotel is located but 5 minutes away from Shinjuku station and its various train lines (JR, subway and private railways). It is also not far from both the lively, tree-lined Omotesandō Avenue, funky Harajuku or the wooded, lake filled Yoyogi Park.
All the room are cozy and modern, and come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, telephones and your usual amenities.
The hotel has a cafe, a relaxed buffet eatery, and a refined Japanese restaurant/bar with panoramic views.

Tokyo Dome Hotel


One of Tokyo’s premier hotels for events, this impressive 40+ storey tower rises above Tokyo Dome baseball stadium and the elegant Koishikawa Korakuen gardens. Most striking are the nearby ferris wheel and roller coaster of the Dome City amusement park, which when lit up at night make for great views that are evocative of Tokyo’s urban glamour.
The rooms here are very spacious for their grade and centrality, with a modern and stylish décor. Of course, all rooms are replete with good quality amenities and wireless internet as standard.
With 11 restaurants, lounges and cafes, there is no shortage of variation when it comes to nourishment and relaxation. On offer are various Western options, including Italian, French and American, as well as multiple Japanese choices such as sushi, tempura, kaiseki ryori and yakiniku BBQ. The top floor bar is really worth a visit, where the night views of the stadium and amusement park from 40 storeys make for a great compliment to a cocktail.

Candeo Hotel Ueno Park


Located in close proximity to Ueno Park (a good place for hanami cherry blossom viewing!), Akihabara and Asakusa, Candeo Hotel Ueno Park is very convenient for sightseeing in Tokyo. This hotel offers amenities such as the Simmons bed which provides a good night’s sleep, and high speed internet service that will enhance your stay. All rooms are equipped with large screen TVs with 300 movie titles you can enjoy for free anytime, a refrigerator, and original guest robes are provided. Vending machines and coin operated washing machines are available for guests to use.

The hotel offers a buffet breakfast with a good choice of healthy food from both Japan and the West.

Citadines Hotel Shinjuku


Located a short walk from JR Shinjuku station which is serviced by the Narita Express train, the main shopping, eating and entertainment area of Shinjuku, the Citadines Hotel is the ideal place from which to explore Tokyo.

The hotel has comfortable rooms with a sense of style. Many amenities are provided, including a Corby trouser press in standard single rooms. Families and couples can relax in double or twin rooms, and some standard rooms can accommodate three beds.

Breakfast consisits of Japanese and Western cuisine, served buffet-style. Fresh baked bread and a selction of fruit.

Hotel Mystays Ueno East


This centrally located hotel is in close proximity to the Ueno Park which is home to Japan’s finest museums, including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Science Museum, the Metropolitan Art Musuem, as well as the Ueno Zoo, one of the largest in the country. The central hub stations of Tokyo, Shinjuku and Asakusa are also nearby, allowing you to explore the Tokyo metropolis with ease.

Rooms in this hotel are comfortable and well furnished, with a sleek and modern décor. High speed wifi is available throughout the hotel, and an in room massage service is also on offer.

The hotel’s restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, and offers excellent dishes from both Japan and the West, so there’s a wide variety of choice to tantalise your taste buds.

Rose Garden is a small family owned boutique hotel, founded in 1997 and set at the very heart of Tokyo in Shinjuku. The central location is absolutely ideal, providing guests with excellent access on foot and by car or train to the main business, entertainment, dining and shopping hot spots of Japan’s capital.

Hotel Rose Garden Shinjuku offers clean, double glazed, air conditioned rooms.  All 140 single, double and twin rooms feature carefully appointed furnishings including a modern TV (supporting a suite of cable channels and pay per view film options), free internet access point, mini-bar and trouser press.

Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo-Kayabacho is located just a 5-minute walk from Kayabacho Subway Station. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.

Every room at is fitted with a flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle.

A selection of accommodation in Hakone

Gora Kadan


Located on the grounds of the former summer villa of a member of the Imperial family, the building and facilities have earned high praise for its design, being in harmony with the nearby mountains, blending Japanese tradition along with modern design elements.
Gora Kadan offers a fantastic choice of rooms appropriate for the most discerning traveller. Being a traditional ryokan, some of these are actually in their own separate buildings, and thus represent the ultimate in comfortable, secluded relaxation.
There are two natural hot springs on site, whose mineral compositions have numerous purported health and relaxation benefits. The locally sourced ingredients and fantastic attention to detail make the kaiseki cuisine served at the ryokan truly exquisite.

Gora Tensui


Gora Tensui is a deluxe Japanese ryokan inn situated in the heart of Hakone, Japan’s most prestigious hot spring region. The rooms here are of superb quality, with various Western and Japanese options, some of which feature their own indoor and outdoor natural stone hot spring bath tubs.
Don’t miss out the delicious Japanese kaiseki cuisine here – the best ingredients of the season are picked to form a wonderous display of Japanese delicacy. To help you start a fresh morning, a delicious traditional Japanese breakfast is provided.
The hot spring onsen is a must. Enjoy the panoramic view of the Hakone mountains with its changing colour every season. At the public onsen, you will experience the true natural hot spring water from Owakudani, an active volcanic mountain which is a landmark of Hakone.

Hyatt Regency Hakone


This very special luxury hotel is the smallest Hyatt in the world, and thus offers a uniquely intimate stay experience. This is complimented by its interior design – it has a distinctly country house feel, with an open hearth and relaxed layout in the lounge, seamlessly combined with stylish, modern aesthetic features.

Guests will enjoy free champagne in the lounge from 4 – 7 pm before moving to one of the hotel’s lovely restaurants – the sushi restaurant, offering the freshest seasonal cuts, and the superb French restaurant are top class.

Sleek modern interiors with dark wood furnishings make a stay in this hotel’s spacious rooms here a true pleasure. The luxurious amenities and furnished balcony/terrace area will make you feel relaxed and comfortable.

KAI Hakone


There is much here that reflects the culture and nature of Hakone, from parquet furnishings to hot spring baths that open out onto vibrant natural scenery, as well as exclusive activities that give a taste of this traditional hot spring town’s history.
Nature spreads all around KAI Hakone, allowing guests to enjoy the seasonal scenery and the sounds of the nearby Sukumo River from the comfort of their rooms. Low sofas and beds give each room a spacious feel, while our signature rooms feature parquet furniture.
Guests are served kaiseki course meals that use plenty of seasonal land and sea ingredients. Some dishes feature Japanese ingredients prepared with Western culinary techniques—a style that developed from the West’s long love affair with Hakone’s hot springs.

Hakone Highland Hotel


The former residence of a baron, this hotel is located in picturesque countryside in close proximity to Mount Fuji. In the spring and summer months, wonderful wild birdsong can be heard amongst the trees surrounding the hotel, creating a charming and tranquil environment. In true Hakone fashion, the hotel also boats a hot spring for you to enjoy and relax in.

Rooms in this hotel offer a great amount of space, with a décor that is simple, yet elegant. High speed wifi is available in all rooms, as well as a set of bird watching binoculars and sandals for strolling in the hotel’s gardens.

The hotel’s excellent restaurant offers a fusion of French cuisine with Japanese cooking techniques. An authentic firewood stove is used to cook meat, culminating in delectable dishes.

A lovely resort hotel set on the shores of the spectacular Lake Ashi. On clear days, you can enjoy views of Mt Fuji.

You can relax and unwind in the hotel’s natural hot spring baths. You have a choice of outdoor and indoor baths and also a sauna and cold plunge pool.

The hotel has high-end Japanese and French restaurants, where Western and Japanese breakfast options are served every morning.

The vast grounds include tennis courts, a selection of shops and restaurants and even a petting zoo and aquarium. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful woodland perfect for a gentle walk.

Fuji Hakone Guest House


The Fuji Hakone Guest House is a friendly, family run minshuku style Japanese guest house where the convivial atmosphere will make you feel right at home.

The rooms are simple yet comfortable Japanese style rooms, with futons to sleep on freshly laid out every night over tatami mats. A light, Western style breakfast of fruit, bread rolls and eggs is served in the lounge every morning.

No Hakone lodgings would be complete without natural hot spring baths, and Fuji Hakone Guest House is no exception, with attractive indoor and outdoor baths. These are available for reservation by individual guests, should you wish to enjoy a little privacy.

A selection of accommodation in Kyoto

Hoshinoya Kyoto


Upon arrival at Hoshinoya Kyoto, guests are picked up by boat from a landing located near Togetsukyo bridge. The journey is a leisurely ten minutes up the Oi River, allowing guests to enjoy the beautiful scenery all the way to the serene hills of Arashiyama.
The guest rooms are located in a renovated ryokan inn that was built 100 years ago on the former premises of Kyoto business tycoon Suminokura Ryoi’s private residence. It was modernized just enough to ensure a pleasant stay without sacrificing the heart of traditional Japanese architecture.
Every guest room features paper furnishings known as karakami decorated by skilled Kyoto artisans using historical woodblock print patterns. Sliding doors and other traditional furnishings feature modern embellishments that enhance their functional and aesthetic elegance.
Hoshinoya offers Head Chef Ichiro Kubota’s unique brand of Kyoto banquet cuisine that pays respect to Kyoto’s traditions yet defies classification. It is playful, yet precise and artistic–always abundant with flavour, and has earned him fame in France and London. Guests can dine at their leisure surrounded by the deep serenity of the hills at night, either at an open counter or in private rooms under the hotel’s soft, warm lighting.

Hyatt Regency


Hyatt Regency Kyoto, located in the beautifully verdant Higashiyama Shichijo, is an example of how Japan’s ancient history and tradition can be combined with the present. Contemporary Japanese style based on traditional Japanese beauty comes together to form a cosmopolitan and modern look, offering you Kyoto’s warm and signature hospitality. Each day at 6:15 pm, a Maiko (an apprenticed geisha), from Kyoto’s Miyagawa-cho district, will offer a magical and elegant traditional dance.

Rooms in this hotel blend traditional Japanese taste with modern practicality using ample plain wood to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The rooms are arranged with a beautiful kimono tapestry (from the Edo to Taisho period), a gorgeous lantern and more, to make for a traditional Japanese environment while also implementing the latest technology such as flat-screen TVs and a Blu-ray player, as well as a work desk for practicality. The restroom has granite flooring and a large bath for better relaxation.

Dining at this Hyatt Regency is world class, and proudly offers a wide variety of restaurants for you to choose from. From prime cuts of meat cooked in a wood burning oven at “The Grill”, to the timeless tradition at “Touzan”, with the restaurant’s interior  resembling an old Japanese-style house, complemented by views of the hotel’s rock garden.


Kyoto Hotel Okura


A wonderful, deluxe modern hotel, superbly located in the heart of Japan’s cultural capital. On one side lie the Kamo river and the Higashi mountains, and on the other, the ordered streets of this ancient metropolis – all of which provide stunning views from the hotel’s excellent high-floor restaurants. With the geisha district of Pontocho just a few minutes’ walk away, and eating and shopping opportunities abound, you will want for nothing at this exceptional property.

The rooms here are generously proportioned, with large en-suite bathrooms and comfortable furnishings. Of course, all luxury amenities are provided as standard.

Among the 6 restaurants in the hotel, possibly Pittoresque Sky Restaurant stands out the most, offering delicious French cuisine and an excellent wine selection, complete with stunning views. Relax in one of the hotel’s tasteful bars or cafes, or go for a swim in its indoor pool.

The Ritz Carlton


Set along the shores of the Kamogawa River and featuring panoramic views of the Higashiyama Mountain, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto redefines luxury in a city that transcends expectations. The hotel offers beautifully refined rooms and suites, as well as four restaurants and a peaceful spa.
The immaculately designed hotel rooms and suites at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto feature spacious layouts and gorgeously realized details, tempting guests to forgo exploration in favor of relaxed seclusion. Suite amenities include handmade soaps, 600-count linens and complimentary Internet access.
Showcasing both Japanese and Western cuisine, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto transports the art of fine dining to unprecedented new heights. Sample four classic styles of Japanese cooking, including sushi, teppanyaki and multi-course kaiseki dinners, at Mizuki. La Locanda, the enchanting Italian restaurant, offers classic yet contemporary dining in a historic setting.

ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto


Not only is this superior hotel located right in front of the prominent world heritage site Nijo Castle, the convenient shuttle bus makes visiting places like Inari, Uji or Nara very easy. Their renovated rooms are very comfortable and clean, with luxurious bath amenities.
It offers a relaxing spa and pool, and has Japanese, Chinese and international cuisine restaurants.

This quirky hotel has spacious rooms with some special themes such as Kabuki and Sakura, and all rooms are equipped with air conditioning and free WiFi. As it is located in the centre of Kyoto, you can visit iconic places such as nearby Ponto-cho with beautiful townscape and Gion area with the chance to see a geisha.

Hotel Granvia Kyoto


This excellent 4* hotel is integrated into Kyoto station, providing a quiet haven with superb access to the entire country, let alone the entire city of Kyoto. You also are right above all the excellent shopping facilities, museum and department store within the station complex.
Although we list this property as Superior, it is really at the higher end of the category and in many regards borders on Deluxe. The spacious rooms are furnished in style, capturing the essence of Kyoto with that characteristic combination of delicate minimalism and lavishness. For your relaxation and fitness needs, there is an indoor pool, a gym, a jacuzzi and a steam room.
There is a fantastic range of restaurants in and around the hotel, with an abundance of Japanese, Oriental and Western style options available. For example, the exceptional “Teppanyaki Gozanbo” serves renowned Oumi Beef and seafood, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients.

Karasuma Kyoto Hotel


Located a few minutes walk from Shijo Street which is the main street for shopping with a number of department stores and fantastic restaurants.

Single rooms are compact and doubles more generously sized and recently renovated. All rooms have TV, refrigerator and tea making facilities. Free LAN internet is available in room and free wifi is available in the lobby.

The Karasuma Kyoto Hotel has a large selection of Western and Japanese breakfast items and there is also an onsite Starbucks and bakery. Other facilities include a Chinese and Japanese restaurant and a bar.

This excellent 4* hotel is located at the heart of Kyoto, it’s only a few minutes walk from Kyoto Station, and a wide variety of facilities are offered, from quaint antique watch shops to beauty salons.

The rooms are fantastic and very spacious, with a décor that echoes the ambience of ancient Kyoto.

The hotel also boats an impressive selection of bars and restaurants, offering Japanese, Chinese as well as Western cuisine and beverages.

This business class hotel features compact well-equipped rooms with flat screen TVs, refrigerators and bathroom amenities. All rooms have free wi-fi. Computer terminals are available in the lobby along with 24-hour coin laundry.
Breakfast is a light Japanese breakfast consisting of rice balls, miso soup, some salad items and also a little bread.

Superbly located on Shijo Street which is the main street for shopping with a number of department stores and fantastic restaurants. Nearby is the fascinating Nishiki food market and the covered markets.

A selection of accommodation in Takayama



Standing on the hill leading to Shiroyama Park and the remains of Takayama Castle, surrounded by greenery, Hoshokaku is about three-minute walk from Jinya early-morning market, the old town and other popular sightseeing spots. An authentic Japanese style inn, it prides itself on its tranquil atmosphere.
Every room is designed to provide the highest standard of comfort. There are rooms with private open-air baths overlooking the city, Japanese rooms where guests can savour peace and tranquillity, and western and combined Japanese-western rooms where guests can relax at ease.
You will enjoy a fabulous Japanese style meal served to you in your room in Hida Kaiseki style, combining local sansai mountain vegetable cuisine with classic Kyoto kaiseki. The ultimate aim is to preserve the natural qualities of the ingredients while refining them to their most beautiful.
There are indoor and outdoor hot spring baths for men and women, and a spa for women. The baths are made of cypress and stone, and thus give the sense of luxury and of nature.

Hagi Takayama (Kanko Hotel)


This Modern Ryokan is located on the hills of Takayama. Hida no Sato open-air museum can be accessed easily from here.
This ryokan has 2 buildings, and each building has 4 stories, the Honkan and the Bekkan. In the Honkan guest rooms you have a view on the mountain or on Takayama city. The guest rooms in the Bekkan have a view over Takayama city. There are 43 rooms in this ryokan, all of them have their own private bath and toilet. Featuring tatami floors, futons and traditional short-legged tables, every room comes with a TV, mini-fridge, and tea and coffee-making equipment.
Takayama Kanko Hotel also has a family bath that can be reserved for private use. For dinner, guests will have a chance to try local Hida beef.

Hotel Associa Takayama Resort offers indoor and outdoor hot spring baths where guests can unwind.

The hotel rooms offer with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a minibar and free tea/coffee. Free WiFi is available at the property.

Best Western Hotel Takayama


Located in the heart of downtown Takayama, the Best Western Hotel Takayama offers is within walking distance from all major tourist attractions, shopping centres, convenience stores with banking machines, post office, city hall, bus terminal and JR Takayama Train Station.

The bilingual staff are happy to assist with any questions you may have. Each of the modern rooms feature amenities such as AM/FM alarm clock, hairdryers, coffee and tea services, desk/work areas, fax and modem connections, and cable televisions and mini-bars.

Breakfast is a mix of Japanese and Western and wifi is available in the lobby and rooms.

Minshuku Kuwataniya


This charming little family run minshuku inn is located just opposite the east gate of Kokubunji temple, one of Takayama’s oldest temples, making for a quiet and comfortable stay. At only 6 minutes on foot from Takayama station, getting in and out is very simple indeed.
The rooms are simple and Japanese style, with tatami mats and futon bedding laid out for you each night. Western beds are also available. In the lounge area there is a traditional irori fire pit – lovely to sit around in winter!
Bike rental is available making exploring the city a breeze, and a dip in the free communal indoor and outdoor baths is a very pleasant way to end a day’s sightseeing. Dinner is served in a cheerful shared dining area, and features tasty local dishes and products. A local style Japanese breakfast is provided every morning.

A selection of accommodation in Matsumoto

Hotel Buena Vista


Located 7 minutes away from JR Matsumoto station and a short taxi ride from Matsumoto castle, the superior class Matsumoto Buena Vista Hotel is well situated for local sightseeing.
The hotel has a Japanese, French and Chinese restaurant, as well as a cafe and dining area, and its own pastry shop.
All rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, TV, hair dryer, iron and ironing board.
Breakfast is served daily featuring a variety of Japanese and Western dishes.

This business class hotel features compact well-equipped rooms with flat screen TVs, refrigerators and bathroom amenities. All rooms have free wi-fi. Computer terminals are available in the lobby along with 24-hour coin laundry.
Breakfast is a light Japanese breakfast consisting of rice balls, miso soup, some salad items and also a little bread.

Situated right in the centre of town, only 5 minutes from the station and 15 minutes to Matsumoto’s exceptional castle, Toyoko Inn Matsumoto Ekimae Honmachi is the perfect base to start exploring this picturesque mountain town.

To find out more, call one of our specialists now on 020 7766 5267.

Price Includes

  • Meet & Greet service on arrival at Narita International Airport (Tokyo)
  • 13 nights’ accommodation in a double/twin room on a bed and Japanese breakfast basis
  • Japanese dinner for 2 nights
  • Breakfast daily.
  • Transfers from and to Narita International Airport/Tokyo (by Japan Rail Pass)
  • 14-day Japan Rail Pass allowing you unlimited travel on the entire Japan Rail network including Shinkansen (Bullet Train) services.


Not included in Price

  • International airfare.
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Takayama to Matsumoto coach tickets.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Taxi, subway and tramway fees.
  • Insurance.
  • Optional excursions (see below)



3* accommodation: from £1,755 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.
4* accommodation: from £2,655 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.

3* single room occupancy: from £2,065.00
4* single room occupancy: from £3,095.00

Optional Guide Tours:

Tokyo: £101
Nikko: £150
Kyoto: £111
Nara Afternoon: £72

Upgrade to 5* accommodation available: contact us for details

Download our Essential Japan Brochure here: Essential Japan Brochure and our Reservation Form here: Reservation Form


If you’re interested in this itinerary, please let us know the following and we will get back to you with a quote:

  • Your proposed dates of travel
  • Your preferred grade of accommodation (e.g. 3*, 4*, or 5*)
  • Your preferred room type (e.g. Double, Twin or Singles)
  • How many adults and children this is for (and the age of the children at the time of travel)



Don’t worry! We deal with countless passengers from outside of the UK. You just need to let us know the information above (and you can arrange your own flights to Japan).

To make a booking, a deposit of 10% of the total price or £250.00 per person (whichever is greater) is required.

The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.

Full terms and Conditions

All price estimates are based on current rates of exchange and are subject to availability.

To find out more, call one of our specialists now on 020 7766 5267.


Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.

Japan Journeys in association with Holiday Extras, is now able to offer excellent low cost cover to their customers.

Please click on the image below for a quote.