Discover Japan by Rail, Ferry & Coach
From Tokyo To Hakone, Matsumoto, Takayama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima - 11 Nights

Departing from:
Hakone, Matsumoto, Takayama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima
11 Nights
This escorted tour has many departure dates in April, May, September and October
Tour Operator:
Vacations By Rail
Reference Code:



Price per person

Package Details


Come experience the insatiable pull of Japan through its colourful cities, fascinating points of interest and amazing historical sites. The tour begins in Tokyo, where you have two days to explore before moving on to cities such as Hakone at the base of Mt. Fuji, the mountain town of Takayama, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka, where futuristic innovation is brought to life. Guided excursions through places like Mount Fuji and Matsumoto Castle present intriguing facts, and our cruise to see the Itsukushima Shrine is truly memorable. A true highlight of this journey is the traditional tea ceremony in a thatched farmhouse. The contrasts of modern life and Japan's rich history are exemplified beautifully on this expedition.


Day 1 – Tokyo

As your flight arrives in Tokyo today, make your way to the 4-star Keio Plaza Hotel to meet your group and Tour Manager. Tonight’s group welcome dinner is the perfect way to celebrate the start of our Japanese adventure. Overnight Tokyo.

Day 2- Exploring Tokyo

Tokyo is a place where the ultra-modern amenities of today collide with incredible history and culture, and today, we experience it all on our full-day motorcoach tour of the city. With a knowledgeable guide dictating our excursion, we visit places such as the ancient Asakusa Kannon Temple and the Imperial Palace Plaza. The tour continues with a visit to Nakajima no Ochaya, an early 18th-century tea house in the Hamarikyu Garden, where we have the opportunity to sample traditional Japanese teas and sweets. The hustle and bustle of Tokyo is apparent as we pass the world’s busiest intersection, Shibuya crossing, and we learn about the peaceful Edo Period in Japan’s capital city at the Edo Tokyo Museum. In between these sights, enjoy glimpses at the various landmarks and interesting neighbourhoods throughout the city. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure as you return to the hotel. Overnight Tokyo.

Day 3 – To Hakone

Take the morning at leisure to relax at the hotel or to sightsee at your own pace. There are many stunning buildings to see, such as the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, and points of interest, including Shinjuku Chuo Park, to explore all within walking distance of our hotel. Later, we transfer to Tokyo’s station to board our Romancecar luxury express train to the mountain resort town of Hakone. Some of the most picturesque scenes in Japan are presented as we weave through the countryside toward our destination. On arrival, we tour Hakone National Park, an area of stunning natural beauty in the foothills of Mount Fuji. Gaze upon the pristine lakes, emerald forests and beautiful hot springs as we make our way through the park. A cable car takes us to the sulphurous hot springs at Owakudani, and after, we descend to Lake Ashi for a short cruise. Following our cruise, we transfer to our hotel and enjoy dinner together. Overnight Hakone.

Day 4 – Mount Fuji and Matsumoto

Arguably Japan’s most distinctive landmark, Mt. Fuji is our destination this morning. We travel by coach along the foot of the world-famous mountain, making our way toward the Mount Fuji Visitor Centre. The centre offers a wealth of information on the snow-capped mountain, including its flora and fauna, the culture of the area surrounding the peak and even knowledge about mountain climbing. We continue to Oishi Park on the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko to take in unparalleled views of Mt. Fuji against the colourful flowers in the park. Back on the coach, the journey takes us further north into the mountains of Japan to the scenic city of Matsumoto. The evening is yours to take in the splendour of this serene destination once we arrive at the 4-star Hotel Buena Vista. Overnight Matsumoto.

Day 5 – To Takayama

This morning, we visit Matsumoto Castle, an impressive fortress that was completed in 1593. A National Treasure of Japan, this 5-story castle is also called the Crow Castle, thanks to its black exterior. The intricate traditional architecture and striking red bridge surrounded by lush cherry blossom trees is a wondrous sight to behold.

This afternoon, we travel to Takayama, which is set deep in the mountains. Like many other destinations in Japan, a sense of the old world intermingles with modern life. The city features narrow streets and wooden houses, seemingly untouched by time, as well as museums, breweries and shops. On arrival, a walking tour takes us along Kami Sannomachi Street in Old Town, as well as to Takayama Jinya, a traditional-style government building that was constructed in the 1690s. We continue to our hotel, the Hotel Associa Takayama, where the evening is yours to relax or sightsee as you please. Overnight Takayama.

Day 6 – To Hiroshima

A visit to the 300-year-old Miyagawa Morning Market this morning gives us a chance to peruse the local artisan wares and fresh produce. Following, we journey to nearby Hida Folk Village, which is set on a hillside overlooking the idyllic Takayama Valley. This open-air museum depicts life in the rural mountainous region of Takayama over the past centuries. There are 30 traditional buildings onsite, all of which demonstrate traditional architecture in various forms. Some of the structures include thatched roofs and date back over 500 years. As we tour, enjoy presentations by traditional folk artists.

We leave Takayama aboard the Hida Train and enjoy a picturesque voyage through the countryside to Nagoya. Upon arrival, we continue to Hiroshima by bullet train. Having seen devastation in World War II, Hiroshima is now a symbol of peace. Overnight Hiroshima.

Day 7 – Miyajima Island

Traveling by tram and then boat, today’s adventure takes us to Miyajima Island, one of the most scenic and romantic destinations in Japan. This wooded island is perhaps most notable for its “floating gate,” the Great Torii Gate, which appears to float on the water at high tide. During our time on the island, we enjoy a guided walking tour through the most popular sights, including the UNESCO World Heritage-protected Itsukushima Shrine. We also see the island’s beautiful shrines and temples and take in the splendour of the scenic walking trails.

As we return to Hiroshima this afternoon, take some time to explore at your own pace. Perhaps visit Shukkeien, a historic garden in the heart of Hiroshima, or take a tour of Hiroshima Castle. You could also seek out some of Hiroshima’s famous oysters or wander through one of the many museums, including the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum. Overnight Hiroshima.

Day 8 – Hiroshima Sightseeing/Kyoto

This morning we visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which features monuments, memorials and museums that demonstrate that peace should not be taken for granted. During our time here, we see the UNESCO World Heritage Atomic Bomb Dome, which is one of the only buildings that remained standing after the A-bomb was dropped on Japan in 1945. At the onsite museum, a Hiroshima survivor or successor recounts their heart-wrenching tale of the world event.

The day continues as we travel to Kyoto, which was the Japanese capital for more than a thousand years and is a living museum of the country’s artistic heritage. On arrival, we take a walking tour of Gion, Kyoto’s famous Geisha District. Here, we walk amongst traditional wood buildings and tea houses and enjoy archaic sights that may even include authentic Geishas in full costume. Our evening concludes as we visit Pontocho Alley, a lantern-lit street lined with traditional wooden buildings, for dinner. Overnight Kyoto.

Day 9 – Kyoto

Admire the historic atmosphere of Kyoto during our sightseeing excursion this morning. Points of interest along the way include the golden-hued Kinkakuji Temple; Nijo Castle with its lavish buildings and lovely gardens; and the ancient Kiyomizu Temple, which dates back over 1,200 years and features the Otowa Waterfall – three streams of water that when drank from offer good fortune.

In the afternoon, we participate in a customary tea ceremony at a thatched farmhouse. As we taste the authentic offerings, take in the lovely views of the surrounding Japanese gardens. Overnight Kyoto.

Day 10 – Historic Nara

Our excursion today takes us to Nara, which is located just a short train ride from Kyoto. This former capital city dates back to the 700s and features an attractive cityscape of narrow streets and Japan’s oldest and largest temples against the wooded hills beyond. We see the sights of this ancient, compact city with a guided walking tour. One of the first stops we make is at Todai-ji Temple, which was constructed in 752 and is perhaps one of the most significant temples in Japan. The temple’s Great Buddha Hall houses a massive Buddha statue and until recently, held a world record as the largest wooden building in the world. We continue with visits to Kasuga Shrine, with its hundreds of bronze lanterns, and Nara Park, which is home to deer that roam freely and can be fed by visitors. We return to Kyoto with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Kyoto.

Day 11 – Osaka

Departing Kyoto, we travel by coach to the futuristic city of Osaka, Japan’s second-largest metropolis. The drive is just over an hour, and upon arrival, we are introduced to the sights of Osaka with a guided tour. One particular point of interest is the Umeda Sky Building. Here, we travel up to the building’s 39th floor to take in panoramic views of Osaka and its castle from the amazing Floating Garden Observatory. Tonight, the group joins together once again to bid a fond sayōnara to Japan with a farewell dinner. Overnight Osaka.

Day 12 – Tour Conclusion

After breakfast this morning, make your way to Osaka International Airport, where your exciting journey comes to a close.

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.


For this tour, we recommend arriving into Tokyo Haneda Airport or Narita Airport, which are approximately 6/42 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is the Osaka Airport, which is approximately 31 miles from your final hotel.

Bullet Trains

Bullet trainShinkansen refers to the dedicated high-speed Japanese rail network that provides a link to most major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. The name ‘Shinkansen’ is also used to refer to the trains that run on the network – which are perhaps better known as ‘Bullet Trains’. Renowned for their punctuality, comfort and safety, the trains are frequent and fast, regularly running at speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h). The trains offer comfortable reclining seats and large windows and there are usually refreshment trolleys selling snacks and beverages.

Hakone Hotel, Hakone

Hakone Hotel, HakoneAlso known as the Fujiya Hotel Lake View Annex, the 4-Star Hakone Hotel in Hakone enjoys a superb location on the shores of Lake Ashi and offers fantastic views of Mount Fuji. The hotel has two restaurants: a Teppenyaki restaurant and Il Miraggio, which offers French cuisine. there is also a lakeview lounge and a bar, as well as gardens on the lake shore, a souvenir shop and a hot spring bath. The air conditioned rooms come with a telephone, television, internet connection, hot water jugs, a Japanese tea set, fridge and a hairdryer.

Hotel Granvia Hiroshima, Hiroshima

Hotel Granvia HiroshimaThe lovely Hotel Granvia Hiroshima is our hotel whilst in Hiroshima. This hotel is located close to JR Hiroshima Train Station, and is a perfect base from which to conduct our explorations whilst here. In the hotel, there is a sky restaurant on the 21st floor, which offers wonderful views across the city. There is also a steak house, Japanese and Chinese restaurants, a lobby lounge, and a karaoke bar. The well-appointed rooms contain fantastic amenities, such as a television, air-conditioning, a minibar, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

Kyoto Tokyu HotelOur hotel in Kyoto is the 3-Star Kyoto Tokyu Hotel. Located within walking distance of many of the beautiful Buddhist temples that dot the city. The rooms are minimalist yet comfortable, and come well equipped with tea making facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi, and complimentary toiletries. The hotel itself boasts amenities such as a gym, a spa, a beauty salon, and a currency exchange machine.

Hotel Buena Vista, Matsumoto

Hotel Buena Vista, MatsumotoSet in the heart of Matsumoto, the 4-Star Hotel Buena Vista boasts a broad range of eateries, featuring Japanese, Chinese and French cuisine, plus a cafe, bar and a bakery. Rooms come equipped with a telephone, television and other facilities typical of a Japanese hotel of this standard.

Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Osaka

Sheraton Miyako HotelThe 4-Star Sheraton Miyako Hotel is our hotel whilst in Osaka. Located right next to some excellent public transport links, taking us all over this incredible city, this is a wonderful base from which to explore. Decorated in elegant and neutral colours, this hotel is a fascinating mixture of traditional and modern. The rooms are comfortable, and come with a television, a minibar, tea making facilities, air-conditioning, and an en-suite bathroom. The four restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, and there is also a bar and a café. As well as dining, there is also a health club on site, and a flower shop and beauty salon.

Hotel Associa Takayama, Takayama

Hotel Associa TakayamaThe 4-Star Hotel Associa Takayama is our base whilst in Takayama. Located at the edge of a beautiful and verdant forest, this hotel boasts of some fantastic amenities, including a restaurant, serving a plethora of delectable Japanese food, a lounge, and a bar, perfect for relaxing in after a long day of exploration. Other leisure facilities include a tennis court (payable locally) and a karaoke room. All of the guest rooms have spectacular views of the surrounding area, and come well equipped with an en-suite bathroom, a sitting area, tea & coffee-making facilities and a television.

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo

Keio Plaza Hotel, TokyoThe 4-Star Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo is located close to Shinjuku railway station and is ideally placed for exploring the city. The hotel has a wide range of restaurants serving Japanese, Chinese, Korean and European cuisine, as well as a coffee shop, cocktail and tea lounge, and two bars including the Sky Bar, which offers magnificent views over Tokyo from the 45th floor. There is a drugstore, boutiques, beauty salon (payable locally) and guests have complimentary use of the hotel’s outdoor pool (seasonal) and gym. The contemporary western-style rooms are equipped with air conditioning, television, tea and coffee making facilities, minibar, hairdryer and a safe and most offer excellent views over the city.


We offer a selection of upgrades and ‘add-ons’ designed to help you make the most of your holiday – and make it even easier!

Extend your stay

Many of our guests choose to spend additional nights before or after their trip.


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