Wonders of Japan


From the gleaming metropolis of Tokyo to the lovable Yudanaka snow monkeys to the intricate gardens of Kyoto, experience the wonders of Japan during the beautiful winter months.

Places Visited

SA (1N)- Tokyo (3N) - Yudanaka (2N) - Kyoto (3N) - SA (1N)

tour duration 11 Days from
tour price On Request
tour grade Moderate
tour type Private Tour
tour style Classic
Days 1-2 Fly to Tokyo
Fly overnight to the dazzling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan's capital city. Depending n your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. There is an optional tour to the Tokyo Skytree to enjoy panoramic views of the entire city before exploring Akihabara, the city's 'Electric Town', known for its hundreds of electronic shops selling a mind-boggling range of gadgets, gizmos, and devices that one way or another plug into the world of electricity as we know it.
Day 3 Explore Tokyo
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and youll find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Making use of the fantastic public transport, your tour starts at the famous Shibuya Crossing. Continue to the Meiji Shrine, the Shinto shrine dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, followed by Harajuku. In the afternoon, you'll head to Asakusa district to experience a more traditional side of Tokyo. Afterwards, take a leisurely cruise on the Sumida River to Hamarikyu Gardens to enjoy its delightful landscapes. (B,L)
Day 4 Mount Fuji & Hakone
Travel by coach to Hakone, the gateway to Japan’s most iconic landmark – Mount Fuji. Drive to the 5th Station of Mt Fuji where, weather permitting, you can take in spectacular views. Next head to Hakone National Park, take a boat trip on Ashi Lake. From the water, the panoramas of the country’s highest mountain and its surroundings are spectacular. Stroll around Hakone-en Garden before taking a cable car up Mount Komagatake for even more breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Return to Tokyo. (B,L)
Day 5 Travel to Yudanaka
With train tickets in hand, make your own way to the station and take the super-fast, superefficient bullet train through snow-cloaked landscapes to the city of Nagano, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998. In Nagano your touring is selfguided. You may like to visit the famous Buddhist Zenkoji Temple, founded in the 7th century and home to what is thought to be the first Buddhist statue ever brought to Japan. Afterwards, continue your journey deeper and take a local train into the northern peaks of the Japanese Alps to stay in the onsen resort town of Yudanaka. (B,D)
Day 6 Yudanaka Onsen
Today is a day at leisure which you can use to enjoy the sights of the hot spring resort of Yudanaka. The highlight is the Japanese Snow Monkeys soaking in the natural hot pools of the Jigokudani Monkey Park which is easily reachable from the town, or you can visit a sake brewery or the art-loving town of Obuse. Enjoy dinner at your ryokan. (B,D)
Day 7 Bullet train to Kyoto
Get yourself back on the train to Nagano, before enjoying a thrilling but comfortable ride on the famous bullet train as you speed through the countryside to Kyoto. The enchanting city of Kyoto, nicknamed the ‘City of Ten Thousand Shrines’, was capital for more than a thousand years; today it is a well-preserved legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. (B)
Day 8 Kyoto's Treasures
Taking public transport, a local guide will lead you on an indepth tour of this delightful city, that plays host to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines. As imperial capital for such a long period of time, Kyoto illustrates the development of Japanese architectural styles. Pay a visit to Kinkakuji Temple, the ‘Golden Pavilion’, before wandering through the famous zen gardens at Ryoanji Temple. Continue to the ornamental Nijo Castle, surrounded by stunning gardens and renowned for its decorated sliding doors and 'chirping' nightingale floor. (B)
Day 9 Explore Kyoto and more
There is so much to see in Kyoto that you have today to explore independently. For those who might want to take their explorations farther afield, a rail pass will be provided enabling you to use the day to visit one of the nearby cities. Choose Nara, also a former capital full of wonderful heritage; the attractive hillside city of Kobe; Osaka, known for its excellent gastronomy; or the friendly and laidback Hiroshima. (B)
Day 10 Fly Osaka to SA
Take the bullet train via Osaka to Osaka Kansai Airport and fly to SA, arriving home the same or following day. (B)

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On most Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking driver and you will be met by local guides at each site.

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Japan is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.


Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable to those with a reasonable amount of time to travel and who are interested in visiting some of the most famous cities in Japan during the winter period. This is a private tour so some meals are free to select your own dining venue, allowing you to immerse more into the culture. This tour is also suitable for those wishing to see the Snow Monkeys of Yudanaka. Please note, there are points in the itinerary where you will need to make your way between your hotel and the train station at your own cost.

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