Take a tour to both the modern and ancient capitals of Japan. Experience the colour and excitement of Tokyo along with the beauty and intrigue of historic of Kyoto.
Welcome to Japan! Upon arrival at Narita International Airport clear customs with your luggage and make your way to the Arrivals Lobby.
Take the escalator downstairs to the train station and at the JR East Travel Service Centre (06:30 – 21:45) issue your Japan Rail Pass.
Board the Narita Express train from Narita Airport to Shinagawa Station. (65 min) Your accommodation at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel is a two minute walk across the road from the Takanawa Exit of JR Shinagawa Station. Shinagawa is the ideal place to stay for its convenient access to wide range of restaurants and shops. Shinagawa Station is a major stop on the JR Yamanote Line loop system which circumnavigates Tokyo.
Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 1/3
This morning you will be collected from the Shinagawa Prince Hotel at 07:50am for your Tokyo Morning Tour operated by Japan Holiday Tours. Your tour will disband in the Ginza shopping district at approximately 1:00pm. You will be guided by an English-speaking Japanese local and transported by coach to the following sites:
Tokyo Tower - Enjoy a panoramic view of the famous Tokyo skyline from the main observation platform;
Meiji Shrine - The finest example of Japanese shrine architecture nestled in a peaceful, picturesque park containing over 120,000 trees;
Imperial Palace East Garden - Enjoy a pleasant walk in the East Garden of the Imperial Palace, of historical interest and scenic beauty. (Mon. & Fri. Visit Imperial Palace Plaza, Double Bridge, instead of East Garden) Visit the inner moat, 15-feet thick walls and gnarled pine trees surrounding the 250-acre fortress, home of the Emperor and Empress);
The tour disbands in the Ginza shopping district. Take time to explore the Ginza's famous upmarket shopping, numerous department stores and wide range of boutiques, galleries and dining. The basement of any Japanese department store is home to an incredible food court where foods are expertly prepared and presented for sale.
Next, board a Toei Subway Asakusa Line train from Higashi-Ginza Station to Asakusa Station (11 mins) to visit the nearby Sensoji Temple (popularly known as Asakusa Kannon Temple), Tokyo’s oldest and most impressive temple which is said to have been founded in the 7th century. Nakamise Dori, the colourful shopping promenade, extends from Kaminarimon Gate to Hozomon Gate and is an excellent place to buy everything from kimono to traditional sweets. Positioned across the road from Kaminarimon Gate the Asakusa Rickshaw tour guides await to guide you around the area by rickshaw.
Time permitting, using your Pasmo Card board an Asakusa Subway Line train from Asakusa Station to Asakusabashi. (3 min) Change trains to a JR Chuo/Sobu Line train to Akihabara Station. (2 min) To most foreign visitors Akihabara is known as "Electric City" due to hundreds of electronic stores found in this district. In recent years Akihabara has become home to a number of shops specialising in Japanese animation "Anime and Manga" which is growing increasingly popular around the world.
Next travel two stops north of Akihabara to Ueno Station and visit the Ameyoko Ueno Markets. There are over 500 shops that sell everything from basic foods to high-class imported goods at reasonable prices and is always crowded with local shoppers.
In the evening return to Shinagawa Station using the JR Yamanote Line.
Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 2/3
Continue to explore the highlights of Tokyo. From Shinagawa Station board a JR Yamanote Line train to Shibuya Station. (12 mins)
At Shibuya Station, exit via Hachiko-Guchi Exit for the famous Shibuya crossing. Enjoy a light refreshment at the Starbucks across the road as you sit by the window overlooking the bustling pedestrian crossing. Shibuya is an area popular among young people and rich in cinemas, cafes, restaurants, department stores, fashion-store buildings and boutiques.
From Shibuya Station it is only one stop north to Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line.
For lunch, explore the selection in the side alleys off Takeshita Dori - the lively street that leads out from Harajuku Station (Takeshita Exit) and which prides itself as the font of new teenage Tokyo street fashion. Bargain hunters will enjoy a visit to ‘Daiso’ to delight in what you can buy for only 100 yen!
Running almost parallel to Takeshita Dori is Omotesando, a long street lined with international boutique brands.
From Harajuku Station, board a JR Yamanote Line train two stops north to Shinjuku Station – the busiest train station in Japan! Take time to explore some of the great shopping that surrounds the station. A walk to Takashimaya Times Square and an exploration of a shop called Tokyu Hands which sells a range of unique gadgets is recommended.
From the West Exit of Shinjuku Station walk 10 minutes through the high-rise business district to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building to view the city skyline which is best seen at night. (9:30am-10:30pm / free entry)
Return to Shinagawa from Shinjuku on the JR Yamanote Line. (20 mins)
Stay: Shinagawa Prince Hotel - 3/3
Check-out of the Shinagawa Prince Hotel and from Shinagawa Station board a Hikari bullet train to Kyoto Station. (150 mins)
Your accommodation at the Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo is a 2 minute walk from the Hachijoguchi Exit of the station.
After check in, commence exploring the sights of Japan's old capital. Board a subway train 2 stops to Shijo Station for the busiest shopping district in Kyoto. There are a number of cafes, restaurants and shops to explore. Next, walk down to the Nishiki Food Market. (10 mins from Shijo Station) Here you can try various Japanese foods from traditional sweets to fresh seafood.
In the late afternoon walk towards Gion, Kyoto's famous entertainment district which is open until late at night. Gion is the one place in Japan where you may see Maiko or Geisha scampering between appointments. As darkness falls, watch the traditional lanterns gradually come to life as you wander down tiny alleys housing a variety of restaurants offering tempting cuisine.
Stay: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - 1/3
Today you will be collected by your tour guide, to commence your exploration of the ancient city of Kyoto.
Please make your way to the Sunrise Tours Desk (B1F) within the Avanti shopping complex and arrive 10 minutes prior to the official pick up time. The Avanti shopping complex is directly opposite the Hachijo East Exit of Kyoto Station. At 08:30am, you will be collected to join your Kyoto Morning Tour operated by Sunrise Tours. Your English-speaking local guide will take you by bus to Nijo Castle, the Golden Pavilion and the Kyoto Imperial Palace (on Mon., or Tue. if Monday is a public holiday, May 14-17, late Dec.-early Jan., visit Higashi Honganji Temple instead). The tour will disband at approximately 1:30pm.
In the afternoon, board a local bus to the base of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Walk up this attractive winding road lined with colourful souvenir and craft shops. Kiyomizu-dera is famous for its giant wooden stage overlooking panoramic views of Kyoto and its main hall purely constructed of wood and sustained by huge columns and beams without the use of a single nail, screw or bolt.
Be sure to visit the Sky Plaza Observation Deck on top of Kyoto Station for a free panoramic view of the surrounding area of Kyoto. This modern station also contains a large shopping mall, specialty shops and restaurants.
Stay: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - 2/3
A full day of sightseeing awaits you in Nara. But first, take a trip to visit Kyoto's famous Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. Anyone who has seen Memoirs of a Geisha will be familiar with the thousands of red Torii gates which stretch towards Mt Inari.
From Kyoto Station, board the JR Nara Line to JR Inari Station. (5 min) Follow the signs and the walking path leading up to the shrine. It is one of the oldest Shinto Shrines in Kyoto and is famous for its thousand red torii gates which lead up the mountain. The shrine is dedicated to Inari - the Shinto god of rice, commerce and business. Each of the torii gates have been donated by different Japanese businesses.
From JR Inari Station continue on to Nara. (40 min) Here, you can find peace of mind and natural beauty as you uncover the many treasures of Japans former capital (710-784AD).
From JR Nara Station all of the sightseeing is within comfortable walking distance. Walk through the town towards Nara Park. Should the weather be kind you may like to have your lunch in the picturesque Nara Park amongst the many tame deer that roam the area. At the end of the Park is the World Heritage listed cultural asset Todaiji Temple - the worlds largest wooden building, which houses the Giant Buddha that soars 16 metres in height. Return to Nara Station via Nara-machi, an old precinct full of traditional houses, shops and tearooms in calm and pleasant surroundings, giving a good contrast to the great temples and old burial mounds.
Board a JR Nara Line train back to Kyoto Station in the evening.
Stay: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo - 3/3
Spend your last morning in Kyoto completing any final sightseeing or shopping.
For those departing from Osaka, take the Haruka train to Kansai International Airport. (80 min)
For those departing from Tokyo, board a bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo (3hrs). Within Tokyo Station, change trains and take the Narita Express train to Narita International Airport. (80 min)
Please note all airport trains need to be reserved in advance. Make sure you check in for your flight at least two hours prior to its departure.
Japan Package Tours will be happy to prepare you a personalised itinerary to suit your budget and preferences.
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