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Hakone cable car, Japan

Timeless Japan with APT

12-day escorted tour from £5,495 pp incl. flights

Special offer: Early Bird discount – Save up to £310pp


Short description

An escorted journey through Japan's cultural highlights


  • Learn the intricacies of sushi making during a hands-on workshop in Toyko
  • Admire the breath-taking mountain vistas from Shin-Hotaka Ropeway
  • Stay in a traditional timber Ryokan and enjoy a relaxing Onsen experience
  • Enjoy a cruise on picturesque Lake Ashinoko with views of Mount Fuji
  • Visit a sake brewery in Takayama for an insight into the sake making process

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Tokyo
  • 1 Night Hakone
  • 1 Night Matsumoto
  • 2 Nights Takayama
  • 1 Night Kanazawa
  • 3 Nights Kyoto
  • 1 Night Osaka


Recommended for:
City | Escorted tour | Food & wine | History & culture

Embark on an unforgettable escorted tour with Travelmarvel by APT journeying through Japan, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern innovation. Alongside a programme of guided touring, you’ll take part in hands-on cooking classes, relax with rejuvenating Onsen experiences and delve into the gastronomic delights of this multi-faceted country. You’ll travel across Japan exploring everything from sushi making in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, to the therapeutic hot springs of Hakone and the rich history of 400-year-old Matsumoto Castle. Along the way, learn the art of making traditional rice crackers in Takayama, and absorb the local residences within Kanazawa’s Samurai and Geisha districts. Immerse yourself in Japanese traditions with a tea ceremony in Kyoto, before rounding off your tour in Japan’s culinary capital Osaka, you’ll have a full day to explore Nara Park and meet the infamous Sika deer.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Tokyo

Your trip begins with complimentary airport lounge access, relax in style before boarding your flight to Tokyo. 

Day 2
Arrive Tokyo

On arrival into Tokyo you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to the Shibuya Excel Hotel where you’ll spend the next two nights. Conveniently located close to the Shibuya train station, you’ll be well positioned to explore the city and nearby Tokyo tower. This evening enjoy a special welcome dinner at a local izakaya-style restaurant for a chance to meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers.

Stay: Shibuya Excel Hotel, Tokyo (Superior)

Meals: D

Day 3

After breakfast a full day of exploring awaits, begin with a visit to Tokyo’s oldest temple, Sensoji Temple. Marvel at the impressive statues of the Gods of Wind and Thunder along with the grand five-storey pagoda. Afterwards, you’ll pass by the Imperial Palace home to the Japanese royals on route to Tsukiji Outer Market, for a chance to immerse yourself in the unique array of Japanese foods, from pickles to seaweed. For lunch you’ll take part in a hands-on sushi workshop for a chance to learn the intricacies of this Japanese speciality, before visiting Meiji Shrine. This Shinto shrine was built in 1920 to commemorate Empress Meiji and Empress Shoken, the surrounding lush forest provides an oasis of calm away from the bustling city and a peaceful opportunity to partake in traditional Shinto rituals.

Stay: Shibuya Excel Hotel, Tokyo (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 4

Today you’ll travel to Hakone, a mountainous town renowned for it’s natural beauty and cultural heritage, take a ride on the Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani Geothermal Valley; home to active sulphur vents and therapeutic hot springs. Later, continue to picturesque Lake Ashinoko and enjoy a cruise around the lake accompanied by breath-taking views of Mount Fuji. This caldera lake was formed 3,000 years ago during the eruption of Mount Hakone and today offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the stunning scenery, cultural experiences and outdoor activities. Make sure to try the local speciality of black eggs boiled in the hot springs, thought to add years to one’s life. Afterwards, perhaps partake in a traditional Onsen experience at your hotel, for the ultimate exercise in relaxation.

Stay: Hakone, Susukinohara Inchinoyu (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 5

This morning, following breakfast embark on the journey to Mount Fuji one of the world’s most recognizable mountains, stopping on route at Mount Fuji’s Fifth Station to enjoy views of the majestic snow-capped peak. On arrival enjoy a hands-on lunch where you’ll learn the art of making Japanese soba (buckwheat) noodles using traditional ingredients and techniques, before feasting on your creations. After lunch your exploration continues to the historic city of Matsumoto, take a stroll through the merchant district of Nakamachi where perfectly preserved Edo-style buildings line the streets followed by a visit to Japan’s oldest original castle, Matsumoto Castle to admire the elegant architecture of the five-storey fortress and absorb the rich history of Japan’s feudal past.

Stay: Matsumoto Hotel Kagetsu (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 6

Today you’ll explore further into Japan's mountainous terrain and marvel at the breath-taking alpine landscapes as you make your way to the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway in the Oku-Hida region. Ascend via cable car to an observation deck situated at an elevation of 2,156 meters, offering panoramic mountain vistas. Afterwards, journey to the charming mountain town of Takayama where you’ll spend the next two nights, the remainder of the day is yours to explore at your leisure. For dinner, consider a visit to the historic district known as Sanmachi Suji where the streets are lined with traditional eateries and sake breweries, indulge in the renowned Hida beef, a delectably tender type of Wagyu beef widely celebrated in this region.

Stay: Takayama Ouan (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 7

This morning, after breakfast enjoy a stroll through the vibrant Miyagawa Morning Market for total immersion in the local culture, browse the stalls of handmade treasures and sample traditional Japanese street food. After, take part in an o-sembei making workshop where you’ll learn the art of making traditional rice crackers; you’ll be taught how to shape, flavour and roast your own rice crackers for an insight into the culinary traditions. Later this afternoon you’ll visit a local sake brewery for an insight into the craftsmanship and artistry behind the creation of this beloved beverage, and an opportunity to savour the diverse flavours during a tasting experience. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore at your leisure.

Stay: Takayama Ouan (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 8

Today the exploration continues to the historic city of Kanazawa, you’ll stop along the way at the alpine village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its collection of original gassho-zukuri style farmhouses, some of which date back 250 years. Continue to Kanazawa for a walking tour of the city, admire the perfectly preserved wooden tea houses as you wander through the Geisha district. Soak up the traditional residences within the Samurai districts and immerse yourself in the culture of Japan’s historic warriors. Don’t miss a stroll through Omicho Market to sample the abundance of gourmet delights whilst you soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

Stay: Amaneku Kanazawa (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 9

This morning the day begins with a visit to 17th century Kenrokuen gardens for a peaceful immersion into nature and Japanese garden design, you’ll find meticulously manicured lawns, tranquil ponds, water fountains, traditional stone lanterns and pagodas and an array of beautiful flowering fauna and flora. Afterwards, journey to Kyoto where you’ll check into your hotel for the next three nights, enjoy an evening stroll through the streets and lookout for beautiful Geisha and Maiko as you take in the sights.

Stay: Noku Kyoto (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 10

After breakfast your journey through Kyoto commences with a visit to Sanjusangedo temple, marvel at the impressive architecture of the 120-metre-long great hall where you’ll be greeted by a thousand statues of Kannon crafted from Japanese cypress wood and adorned with gold leaf. Afterwards, step inside Kinkakuji Temple also known as the Golden Pavilion due to it’s façade covered entirely with gold leaf, take a walk through the surrounding tranquil gardens and Arashiyama Bamboo Forest followed by a visit to Tenryuji temple. As the day draws to a close, you'll be treated to a tea ceremony—an opportunity to immerse yourself in the art of brewing, serving, and savouring this revered beverage, which holds a central place in Japanese traditions.

Stay: Noku Kyoto (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 11
Visit Nara

After an early rise the day begins with a visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine where you’ll have a glimpse into Japan’s spiritual traditions, walk through the distinctive vermilion torii gates lining the path to sacred Mount Inari. Afterwards, you’ll continue to Nara for a fascinating insight into Japan’s ancient history and cultural heritage. Begin your exploration with a visit to Todaiji Temple, one of Japan’s most iconic and historically significant temples. Admire the grandeur of the Great Buddha Hall, home to the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha. Take some time to explore surrounding Nara Park, you’ll find a vast green space dotted with temples, shrines and picturesque gardens, accompanied by the infamous friendly wild deer. Next, make your way to Kasuga Taisha Shrine to admire the stunning vermilion-coloured buildings and atmospheric pathways lined with thousands of stone lanterns donated by worshippers.

Stay: Noku Kyoto (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 12

The last stop on your journey through Japan is the vibrant metropolis of Osaka. Begin with a visit to the Umeda Observatory atop the iconic Umeda Sky building, soak up panoramic views of the cityscape from the multiple observation decks. Afterwards, continue to Dotonbori with a photo-stop on route to admire the impressive five-storey structure of one of Japan’s most spectacular landmarks; Osaka Castle. Dotonbori is renowned for its street food scene, so be sure to try local delicacies including okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes), takoyaki (octopus balls) and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers). Enjoy some time wandering the streets lined with boutiques, restaurants and souvenir shops and soaking up the lively atmosphere before savouring a Farewell Dinner at a local sukiyaki restaurant.

Stay: Osaka Excel Hotel Tokyu (Superior)

Meals: B D

Days 13
Return to UK

After a final breakfast you’ll be transferred to Kansai International Airport for your onward flight to the UK arriving the same day.



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

12-day escorted tour
from £5,495 pp incl. flights


Special Offer

Early Bird discount: Save up to £310 pp.

Book by: 30 June 2024


  • International flight from London to Tokyo and from Osaka to London
  • Airport return transfers and all transfers within Japan
  • 11 nights' accommodation in 4* (Superior) hotels 
  • 18 meals including 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Touring including full day tour of Toyo including sushi making workshop, a cruise on Lake Ashi, a stop at Mount Fuji's Fifth Station and Matsumoto Castle, o-sembei making workshop in Takayama, Kyoto and Osaka sightseeing and Nara day trip  
  • Services of a Travelmarvel Tour Director
  • Tipping

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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