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 on this independent private tour.

Places Visited

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

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo
Upon arrival in Tokyo, you will be transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. You may wish to take an optional tour to the Tokyo Skytree.
Making use of the fantastic public transport, your guided city tour starts at the famous Shibuya Crossing. Continue to the Meiji Shrine, followed by a walk around Harajuku. In the afternoon, you’ll head to the Asakusa district to experience a more traditional side of Tokyo. Afterwards, take a leisurely cruise on the Sumida River to Hamarikyu Gardens. (B,L)
Travel by coach to Hakone, the gateway to Japan’s most iconic landmark – Mt Fuji. Drive to the 5th Station of Mt Fuji where, weather permitting, you can take in spectacular views. Next head to Hakone National Park and take a boat trip on Lake Ashi. 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 Mt Komagatake for even more breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Return to Tokyo and make make own way back to hotel from either Ginza or Shinjuku. (B,L)
With train tickets in hand, make your own way to the station and take the super-fast bullet train through stunning landscapes to Nagano. In Nagano, your touring is self-guided. Afterwards, continue your journey by local train into the northern peaks of the Japanese Alps to the onsen town of Yudanaka. A shuttle bus will take you to your ryokan. Dinner will be a Japanese traditional kaiseki meal. (B,D)
Touring today is self-guided. You may wish to visit the Japanese Snow Monkeys soaking in the natural hot springs of the Jigokudani Yaen-Koen, visit a sake brewery or the art-loving town of Obuse. Enjoy dinner at your ryokan. (B,D)
Take the local train back to Nagano, before continuing by bullet train to Kyoto. The enchanting city of Kyoto, nicknamed the ‘City of Ten Thousand Shrines’, is a well-preserved legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. (B)
Taking public transport, a Local Guide will lead you on an in-depth tour of this delightful city, which is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines. Visit Kinkaku-ji Temple, the ‘Golden Pavilion’, before wandering through the famous Zen gardens at Ryoan-ji Temple. Continue to the fascinating Nijo Castle, surrounded by exquisite gardens and renowned for its decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floor. (B)
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, your rail pass enables 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)
Your arrangements end after check-out this morning. You can use your JR Pass to transfer to Kansai airport. (B)

Also Available

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 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:

Shoulder and high season, Christmas and New Year's Eve dinner surcharges apply.

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.