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IJT Superior Spirit of Honshu

7 Nights: from £2600 (excluding international flights)
Discover Honshu, the main island of Japan, on this superior grade fully escorted small group tour. The best of Tokyo and Kyoto combined with a stay in a luxury hot springs ryokan on the scenic Izu coastline.

Tokyo and Kyoto are the must-see cities of Japan and with an overnight stay in off the beaten track Izu Peninsula in between, our IJT Superior Spirit of Honshu tour is the perfect trip for anyone looking for a short group tour packed with inclusions. 

Led by retired businessman and experienced IJT tour leader Mr Yasuhiko Ota, the tour opens with a three night stay in Tokyo with accommodation in the heart of old town Asakusa. You'll have plenty of time to explore its lively backstreets packed with open-fronted restaurants and traditional stores as well as the impressive Sensoji Temple - perhaps pick up an omikuji fortune and learn what your future has in store!

A full day seeing the sights of the capital will be followed by a day trip to Nikko, home of the vast Toshogu complex of temples and shrines. Constructed over 21 years following the death of the first Tokugawa Shogun in 1616, this elaborate collection of buildings set amidst towering Japanese cypress trees, showcases the finest craftsmanship of the period. Look out for the dazzling carvings of dragons, lions and elephants and of course the iconic, "see-no-evil, speak-no-evil, hear-no-evil" monkeys.

Day 4 will see you leaving for the mountains and jagged coastline of the Izu Peninsula. Travelling by private microbus our itinerary will take in some of the best sites with possible stops including the MOA Museum of Art, the Jogasaki volcanic coast line, the Shimoda History museum and the Jikkoku Pass which on clear days offers dramatic views of Mount Fuji. If we miss Fuji-san today do not worry; on Day 5 we'll be taking a ferry journey across Suruga Bay from where, weather depending,  Japan's most famous icon can be seen towering over the coast - the sight that met sailors of old approaching Japan for the first time.

Our journey through Japan concludes with a three night stay in Kyoto, capital of Japanese history and culture. Here, you'll have the chance to enjoy the company of a Geisha at a private appointment in the Gion District, as well as being introduced by an expert local guide to a few of the World Heritage sites, gardens and traditional arts of the city. Lastly, a day trip to nearby Nara with its giant statue of Buddha and friendly sacred deer will round off your stay in Japan.

Accommodation has been carefully chosen to be of a very good 4 star grade in Tokyo and Kyoto whilst on the Izu Pensinsula we stay in a lovely beachside Japanese-style inn with a top class kaiseki meal included - choose your fish fresh on arrival! Take a walk on the sands or enjoy a treatment in the spa before relaxing in a soothing natural hot spring bath; a quintessential Japanese experience.

With high quality accommodation throughout and first class rail travel on the famous Shinkansen 'Bullet Train', Spirit of Honshu brings you the quintessential sights of Japan whilst travelling in style.  

We have timed the departures of this tour to catch some very special seasons and events:

Early March: the first cherry blossom on mainland Japan reaches the Izu Peninsula in early March. Our departure is perfectly timed to coincide with the early March Cherry blossom festival on the Izu Peninsula.

April: The blossom reaches Tokyo and Kyoto in April and we have timed this departure to catch the full bloom.

Mid-May: May is 'green season' and one of the most pleasant times temperature-wise to be in Japan. The gardens are particularly lush and tourist sights tend to be nice and peaceful.

Late October: We have timed this departure to catch the stunning autumn leaves which put on a magnificent display especially on the Izu Peninsula and in Kyoto.

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Victoria - Spirit of Honshu, May 2014   starRating
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Price

Tour Price from £2600
Full Price Details
The price shown here is for the land arrangements only and does not include international flights. If you would like a quote for your flights, please ask.

 
Whatís Included:
  • Full time services of your expert IJT Tour Leader
  • Expert local guide for a full day in Kyoto
  • 7 nights accommodation including a deluxe ryokan (Japanese style inn) near Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula
  • All transport between destinations in Japan including bullet train rides and airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Meet and Greet upon arrival at Narita Airport
  • A mix of Western and traditional Japanese style breakfasts everyday
  • 4 sumptuous evening meals
  • Sumida River boat cruise & Hamarikyu gardens in Tokyo
  • Tokyo transport card
  • Day trips to Nikko and Nara
  • Geisha event with dancing, photos and the tea ceremony in Kyoto
  • Selected entrance fees and local transport
  • Luggage forwarding between Tokyo & Kyoto
  • InsideJapan Tours' complimentary Info-Pack
Whatís NOT Included:
  • International flights
  • Some additional local transport (buses, subways taxis)
  • Some entrance fees (including those for shrines temples and museums)
  • Baggage handling - you will be expected to carry your own bags for the duration of the trip

Important Information

Maximum Group Size:  10

Single Supplement: This tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour.

Transport: Please note that some transfers are by public transport making use of Japan's first-rate transport network. All the hotels and ryokan have been chosen for their location close to the nearest station. However, you will have to carry your bags for short distances and some stations do not have escalators. We highly recommend that to make your stay more enjoyable you pack reasonably light. Large suitcases will be an inconvenience to you. A moderate case or bag with wheels are most appropriate for this tour.

Accommodation: The accommodation in Tokyo and Kyoto have full ensuite bathroom facilities. The accommodation in Shimoda offers en-suite toilet facilities, however the bathing facilities consist of shared natural hot-spring baths which can be used privately. 

International Flights: This tour starts in Tokyo for arrivals at Tokyo Narita Airport or at Tokyo Haneda Airport and finishes in Kyoto for departures from Osaka Kansai Airport. Add-ons back to Tokyo can easily be arranged. Please ask us for details.

Meet and Greet: This is available from Tokyo Narita Airport or Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Check-in: Please note that rooms at the Tokyo hotel are available from 2pm. (You can however securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time).

 

Day by Day Itinerary


Day 1 Tokyo

Meals: Dinner

Welcome to Japan! You will be met on arrival at the airport and will transfer to our hotel in the heart of the historic Asakusa district of Tokyo. This evening we have included a welcome dinner and your tour leader will brief you on the itinerary ahead. Sensoji temple (Tokyo's oldest) is a short walk from our hotel and this atmospheric district makes for a great base from which to enjoy the beguiling capital city of Japan.

Day 2 Tokyo

Meals: Breakfast

Your tour leader will lead a full day tour of Tokyo today taking in the the city highlights. We will cruise down the Sumida-gawa river from Asakusa to the scenic Hamarikyu gardens in the centre of town. From here we will head to Meiji shrine, majestically set in forested grounds and then we will explore Shinjuku including the chance for some great city views from atop the Tokyo Metropolitam Government Building.

Day 3 Nikko

Meals: Breakfast

A day trip to the World Heritage shrines and temples of Nikko today. This is Ota-san's home and so very special to him - and we think it will be to you too! The intricately decorated shrines are Japan's most spectacular and are all set in a beautiful forested area. Don't miss the famous Shinkyo bridge and of course the 'see no evil' monkeys as well. Transport is by direct express train from Asakusa, our base in Tokyo.

Day 4 Shimoda

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

We board a private coach today to take us from Tokyo south through the scenic rural Izu Peninsula. En-route we will stop off and enjoy some of the Japanese countryside with blossom in March and April, verdant hills and countryside in May and autumn leaves in October. We will also visit the port of Shimoda, famous as the entrance point to Japan for Commodore Perry's 'black ships', before heading to our hot springs ryokan for the night. Our luxury stay here includes a sumptuous banquet dinner and of course free use of the hot spring baths.

Day 5 Kyoto

Meals: Breakfast/Dinner

On to Kyoto, Japanís Imperial capital. We travel by private coach to the small port of Toi where a ferry service will take us across the Suruga Bay. If the weather is clear then fantastic views of Mt. Fuji can be enjoyed from the deck. It is then on by Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto where we are staying in the centre of town. This afternoon we have the privileged honour of meeting a Kyoto geisha, one of Japanís most iconic artisans. As the private audience in a teahouse, we will learn about geisha culture firsthand, have a chance to see traditional dancing, take photographs and ask questions if you wish.

Day 6 Kyoto

Meals: Breakfast

We have a private coach at our disposal in Kyoto today for a full day of sightseeing and we will be accompanied by a local professional guide. This city really is the centre of Japanese history and culture and today we will get a taster of some of the very best of the many Unesco World Heritage sights. Visits will include the Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji temple as well as time in the Arashiyama district where we will see Tenryuji temple and its bamboo grove.

Day 7 Nara

Meals: Breakfast/Dinner

An even older capital city than Kyoto, today's destination is Nara. Famous for its Todaiji Temple which was for centuries the largest wooden building in the world and the giant Budhha statue kept there-in, we will also explore Nara park and meet the local population or friendly deer. This is a lovely day trip to a beautiful city compact enough to cover on foot at a leisurely pace. Back in Kyoto this evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner - another culinary treat and a chance to compare stories and experiences of the tour. Kampai!

Day 8 Depart

Meals: Breakfast

Alas time to depart! The airport transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport is included in the tour price. If you need to depart from Tokyo or wish to add any extra nights to your stay, please ask us for details.

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Photos


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Pricing Information

2014
Tour Price: £2600
Single Supplement: £400
Extra Nights  
Pre-Tour: Twin Share pp £90     Single pp £120 
Post-Tour: Twin Share pp £90    Single pp £120
 

Accommodation


Asakusa View Hotel

Tokyo

Superior Hotel

Located in the heart of Tokyo's most traditional district, the Asakusa View Hotel offers 5 star accommodation and friendly service. Directly outside the hotel is Tokyo's newest subway line, the Tsukuba Express which links Asakusa with Akihabara electronics district. The View Hotel is the best hotel in this area and as the name suggests, the upper floors command great views over Tokyo, with the sky bar a great place to unwind at the end of the day whilst enjoying a drink and the spectacular view. An official Sky Tree affiliated hotel, the Asakusa View enjoys great views of Tokyo's new world-beating tower. The hotel has a pool and fitness centre (extra charge applies).

Hanafubuki

Izu Peninsula

Deluxe Ryokan (JP)

Set amongst the trees of a woodland grove, the Hanafubuki is a luxury ryokan especially noted for its impressive selection of natural hot spring baths, its lovely, individually decorated Japanese style rooms and its beautiful location. The ryokan is located in the heart of the natural beauty of the Izu Peninsula and, although easily accessed from Tokyo, you will feel a million miles away form the busy metropolis. The Jyogasaki suspension bridge is just 20 minutes walk from the inn and forms part of a scenic coast path that is just footsteps from the inn. In fact, weather permitting, the English speaking manager leads a guided walk every morning which you are more than welcome to join. Boat trips and a hike up the dormant Mt. Omura volcano are also all possible from here. There are 7 different hot spring baths to enjoy at the inn including outdoor baths of all shapes and sizes many of which are available for private use. Meals are a real treat and you will have a choice of three different dining rooms, each beautifully decorated and overlooking the lantern lit trees and pathways of the ryokan. Dinner is traditional kaiseki style but there is a choice of courses available as well a selection of different breakfast options. This is a beautiful inn with caring staff who will ensure you have a relaxing stay.

Hotel Granvia Kyoto

Kyoto

Superior Hotel

Located at Kyoto Station in what is most of the amazing buildings you will see anywhere in the World, the Granvia has a reputation as being amongst the best hotels in the city offering modern style and luxury along with first class service. The rooms are a good size and the interiors stylish and well designed. The location at the bustling hub of Kyoto Station is an ideal base from which to explore the city as all city buses and the subway come to Kyoto Station, as well as being the perfect location when making a day trip outside the city.

Tour Dates
Tour Starts Tour Disbands Price Status
2014
19 Oct 2014 26 Oct 2014 £2600 ASK US
2015
Currently there are no departures available for this year. Please contact us using the enquiry form or call us - UK (0)117 370 9740 / USA 303 952 0379 / AUS 028 011 3229
2016
Currently there are no departures available for this year. Please contact us using the enquiry form or call us - UK (0)117 370 9740 / USA 303 952 0379 / AUS 028 011 3229

Whatís Included:
  • Full time services of your expert IJT Tour Leader
  • Expert local guide for a full day in Kyoto
  • 7 nights accommodation including a deluxe ryokan (Japanese style inn) near Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula
  • All transport between destinations in Japan including bullet train rides and airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Meet and Greet upon arrival at Narita Airport
  • A mix of Western and traditional Japanese style breakfasts everyday
  • 4 sumptuous evening meals
  • Sumida River boat cruise & Hamarikyu gardens in Tokyo
  • Tokyo transport card
  • Day trips to Nikko and Nara
  • Geisha event with dancing, photos and the tea ceremony in Kyoto
  • Selected entrance fees and local transport
  • Luggage forwarding between Tokyo & Kyoto
  • InsideJapan Tours' complimentary Info-Pack
Whatís NOT Included:
  • International flights
  • Some additional local transport (buses, subways taxis)
  • Some entrance fees (including those for shrines temples and museums)
  • Baggage handling - you will be expected to carry your own bags for the duration of the trip

Important Information

Maximum Group Size:  10

Single Supplement: This tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour.

Transport: Please note that some transfers are by public transport making use of Japan's first-rate transport network. All the hotels and ryokan have been chosen for their location close to the nearest station. However, you will have to carry your bags for short distances and some stations do not have escalators. We highly recommend that to make your stay more enjoyable you pack reasonably light. Large suitcases will be an inconvenience to you. A moderate case or bag with wheels are most appropriate for this tour.

Accommodation: The accommodation in Tokyo and Kyoto have full ensuite bathroom facilities. The accommodation in Shimoda offers en-suite toilet facilities, however the bathing facilities consist of shared natural hot-spring baths which can be used privately. 

International Flights: This tour starts in Tokyo for arrivals at Tokyo Narita Airport or at Tokyo Haneda Airport and finishes in Kyoto for departures from Osaka Kansai Airport. Add-ons back to Tokyo can easily be arranged. Please ask us for details.

Meet and Greet: This is available from Tokyo Narita Airport or Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Check-in: Please note that rooms at the Tokyo hotel are available from 2pm. (You can however securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time).

 
Inside Japan Tours - Independent British Travel Awards 2011 - Best Tour Operator To East and Central Asia
The Guardian, The Observer - Travel Awards 2010 Winner - Best tour operator (small)
Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009