Small Group Tour IJT Essential

Samurai Express

7 Nights: from US$1667 Trip Code: 18JS

A compact tour visiting some of the best cultural and modern cities that Japan has to offer, during the popular Spring season presenting the possibility to see the famous Cherry Blossom bloom. Read more >

This fast-paced tour covers cities and checkpoints once connected by the old Tokaido Road which was frequented by samurai and citizens alike during the Edo Period. 

Beginning in Tokyo amongst the towering, neon-lit skyscrapers your tour leader will take you to one of his favourite restaurants for your first introduction to Japanese cuisine. You'll also have time to cruise along the Sumida River before alighting at the peaceful Hamarikyu Gardens, former samurai gardens, nestled in the heart of the city. 

Heading south-west you'll have time to see more of Japan's stunning natural beauty in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. If luck is on your side you may even get a glimpse of Mount Fuji! Your evening here will be spent relaxing at a traditional Japanese inn or ryokan, surely a highlight in itself. Don't miss out on your chance to take a dip in the natural onsen hot spring baths, a perfect way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.

In Kyoto, the ancient capital, you will have plenty of opportunities to explore some of the city's temples and shrines often surrounded by meticulous and picturesque Japanese gardens. Spend an afternoon rubbing shoulders with a maiko, or trainee geisha, as the samurai once did, and enjoy a private tea ceremony experience.

During your time in Kyoto you'll also have time to make a day trip to Hiroshima, the site of the world's first atomic bomb attack and Miyajima, a beautiful island in the bay opposite Hiroshima city - home to hundreds of friendly deer and the iconic "floating" torii gate.

We recommend booking at least one extra night to check in and relax before the tour begins.

Important Practical Information

Group Size: 4 - 14

Fitness: Even when not using public transport, sightseeing in Japan often involves walking between sights, climbing up steps in temples and being 'on the go' for much of the day. To enjoy any of our Small Group Tours you should be of moderate fitness, able to walk and climb stairs without difficulty and able to maintain a pace that is comfortable for the majority of the group.

Single Supplement: This tour does NOT have a single supplement. Single travellers are guaranteed a single room in western style accommodation (6 nights in total). However, singles will be asked to share a room in the Japanese-style accommodation with a group member of the same sex (1 night in total). 

Transport: Please note that all transfers are by public transport making use of Japan's first-rate transport network.

Luggage: We highly recommend that to make your stay more enjoyable you pack reasonably light. Large suitcases will be an inconvenience to you. A small case or bag with wheels or a rucksack are most appropriate for this tour as you will have to carry your bags for short distances and some stations do not have escalators or elevators/lifts. You will also need a small overnight back-pack (for up to two nights) for use when we forward our main bags to the next location.

Accommodation: The hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto are equipped with full en-suite facilities (attached bath, shower and toilet). The Fuji Hakone Guest House has its own natural hot spring baths and shower, which can be used privately, but does not have baths or toilets attached to the rooms.

International flights: This tour starts and finishes in Tokyo for arrivals and departures at Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Check-in: Please note that rooms at the first Tokyo hotel are only available from 3pm. (You can, however, securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time).

At a glance

What's Included >

What's included

  • The full-time services of your IJT tour leader
  • Seven nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast every day and one evening meal
  • All transport between destinations in Japan
  • Seven-day Japan Rail Pass
  • IC transport card with 2,500 yen credit for city transport
  • Two-day Hakone Free Pass
  • Luggage forwarding from Tokyo to Kyoto
  • Your InsideJapan Tours Info-Pack
  • Entry fees to Kiyomizu Dera temple in Kyoto and Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Museum
  • Private local guide for a day in Kyoto

What's NOT included:

  • International flights
  • Local transport when not covered by one of the included passes
  • Baggage handling and luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified
  • Any entrance fees not listed in the inclusions

View full price information >

Tour Price Information

  • Tour Price: From US$1667

Extra Nights

  • Pre-Tour: Twin Share pp US$101 Single pp US$116
  • Post-Tour: Twin Share pp US$123 Single pp US$145

Tour Highlights

  • Stay in a traditional ryokan inn and enjoy hot spring baths in Hakone National Park
  • Ride the famous shinkansen bullet train
  • Afternoon tea with a maiko, a trainee geisha
  • Explore hyper-modern Tokyo and historical Kyoto
  • Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Museum

For more information email us: [email protected] or call: 303 952 0379

What, where, when and how...

Samurai Express - 8 Days - Accommodation

Samurai Express - 8 Days - Booking

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