Japan's Golden Route from Tokyo to Kyoto

Delight your senses with an awakening trip to the spectacular 'Land of the Rising Sun'. Arrive in the eclectic capital city of Tokyo before travelling to Hakone, the gateway to Mt Fuji. Stay in traditional ryokan accommodation and savour the delights of classic Japanese cuisine with a multi-course kaiseki meal. Board the famous Shinkansen to Japan's cultural capital Kyoto, home to an astonishing 2000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Learn about Japanese culture, adorn a traditional kimono and participate in several traditional Japanese arts and customs.

Best season to visit is during Spring and Autumn. Mar to May and Sep to November.

Touring style: self-guided adventure with a choice of scheduled coach excursions or private guide

Japan's Golden Route from Tokyo to Kyoto at a glance
  • Day 1: Arrival Tokyo
  • Day 2: Full day visit to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Nikko
  • Day 3: Tokyo full day touring
  • Day 4:Hakone and Mt Fuji
  • Day 5: Kyoto and Nara touring
  • Day 6: Departure
Japan's Golden Route from Tokyo to Kyoto Image 1

Day 1: Arrival Tokyo

On arrival, take the Airport Limousine coach or the Narita Express to your chosen hotel. Overnight in Tokyo.

Journey time: 1.30 to 2 hrs 

Japan's Golden Route from Tokyo to Kyoto Image 2

Day 2: Nikko full day touring

Commence a full day tour to Nikko National Park. In Nikko, visit Toshogu Shrine and the Rinnoji Temple. Later drive up to the Lake Chusenji via the hairpin curves of Irohazaka to visit the Kegon Waterfall. Return to Tokyo for overnight.

Distance and journey time: 149 km, 2 hrs each way

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Day 3: Tokyo Full day touring

An early start today as you head with a local guide to Tsukiji Fish Market. Best known as one of the world's largest fish markets, Tsukiji handles over 2,000 tons of marine products per day.

Following breakfast, stroll through nearby Hama-Rikyu Teien, a former private garden of an Edo period Lord. Break up your walk with a stop in a tea house on a small island on the park’s lake, where you will have the opportunity to witness a short tea ceremony.
 
You will then have a chance to view Tokyo from a different angle as you take a boat cruise along the Sumida River.
 
Next stop will be Asakusa, part of Tokyo’s Shitamachi, or old town. Asakusa is home to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, and is also the city’s oldest Geisha district. The streets around Sensoji have many traditional shops selling Japanese crafts and souvenirs and are a delight to wander through.
 
Last stop for the day is Ueno’s Ameyoko-cho, a busy market street underneath the train lines. Originally the site of a black market after World War Two, this bustling market is filled with shops and stalls selling various products such as fresh fish, dried food, and spices, and is a great place to try some local snacks.
Overnight in Tokyo
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Day 4: Hakone and Mt Fuji touring

Make your own way to Shinjuku station to board a train to Hakone and proceed to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Weather permitting, drive up to the 5th station of Mount Fuji. Visit the Peace Pagoda and drive to the Hakone Mountains to enjoy a pleasant Lake Ashi cruise. Take a cable car ride to the Komagatake Mountain. Afterwards, transfer to Odawara City and board a bullet train to Kyoto. Overnight in Kyoto

Journey time by train:

Tokyo to Hakone: 1.,30 hrs on the Romance Car

Odawara to Kyoto: 1.45 hrs

 

Japan's Golden Route from Tokyo to Kyoto Image 5

Day 5: Kyoto and Nara touring

Visit the Nijo Castle, Golden Pavilion, and the Kyoto Imperial Castle. Drive to Nara city to visit the Todaiji Temple with its giant bronze statue of Buddha and its dozens of tame deer. Next, visit the Kasuga Shrine with its 3000 stone lanterns.

Overnight in Kyoto.

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Day 6: Departure

Take a train to Kansai Airport for departure or extend your stay to visit Osaka, Hiroshima, and Miyajima.  

Journey time by train: 1.30 hrs

Highlights

Hakone: Mt Fuji and hot springs

Set picturesquely within the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, with fine views of Mt Fuji, the celebrated hot spring resort of Hakone is located a short journey by road from Tokyo.

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Kyoto: Shrines and Temples

Kyoto is home to an astonishing 2000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Nara: Ancient temples and Shrines

The ancient city of Nara is celebrated for its fine art and architecture, natural beauty, and wonderfully preserved ancient wooden structures.

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Nikko: World Heritage Site

Located along Japan’s celebrated Romantic Road, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nikko, and the surrounding national park, is rich in culture and natural beauty.

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Tokyo: Bustling capital

Japan’s capital is a place of wondrous contrast. A cruise through Tokyo on the Sumida Gawa River reveals Hamarikyu-tien, the fabulous private garden of an Edo lord set now within a canyon of glittering skyscrapers.

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Accommodation

Kyoto, Luxury Boutique
The Screen Hotel

Located on historic Teramachi Street just 3 minutes’ walk from Kyoto’s Imperial Palace, and close to the Kamo River, this boutique property is also conveniently placed in terms of public transport.

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Kyoto, Superior Class
Hotel Granvia

Located within the splendid JR Kyoto Station complex, the hotel offers direct and easy links to Kansai International Airport, and metropolitan Japan, together with pedestrian access to a museum, musical theatre, and stunning underground shopping mall.

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Tokyo, Deluxe Class
Park Hyatt Tokyo

Arranged over the top 14 floors of the prestigious Shinjuku Park Tower, this luxury hotel enjoys unparalleled transport links, while commanding stunning views across Tokyo to Mt Fuji.

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Tokyo, Deluxe Class
The Keio Plaza Hotel

Located adjacent to Tochomae Station, and only a 5 minute walk to Shinjuku Station, this luxury hotel enjoys an ideal setting at the centre of Tokyo’s main shopping and entertainment district.

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Tokyo, Superior Class
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Located on the site of the old Shinjuku Koma Theatre, the hotel is only steps away from Shinjuku Station’s east exit.

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Tokyo, Standard Class
Villa Fontaine Shiodome

Located conveniently for the Hamarikyu Garden, Imperial Palace, and the Ginza shopping district, this modern hotel is good value for money.

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