- Tokyo - Sensoji Temple district and temple, Harajuku, Takeshita street, Meiji Shrine & Shibuya Crossing
- Kamakura - Big Buddha Statue, Hokokuji Zen temple and the Bamboo Forest and delightful village atmosphere. Opt to take part in a Tea Ceremony
- Lake Kawaguchi located within Fuji Hakone Izu National Park - spectacular mountain scenery and views of Mt Fuji
- Staying in a ryokan - sampling Japanese hospitality, bathing in natural hot springs, wearing a Samue (casual Kimono) and sleeping on a futon
- Kyoto - UNESCO listed Nijo Castle, Sanjusagen-do Temple with its 1000 life-like statues & Kinkakuji (Golden temple) Temple
- Kyoto - walking tour of the famed Geisha district (Gion), with its ancient cobbled streets, streams, bridges and quaint teahouses and the opportunity to see Geisha and Maiko en route to their next engagement
- Shanghai - Plaza Tower, The Bund and Old Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden, Huangpu River skyline of Pudong City
- Xi’an – Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Quarter & City Wall bike ride
- Badaling - Great Wall of China at Badaling
- Suzhou - Grand Canal boat trip and Lingering Garden
- Beijing – Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, rickshaw ride around the Hutongs, Pearl Market and evening Chinese acrobatic performance
Take in the highlights of Japan and China on this 15 day tour from Tokyo to Beijing. See the impressive Nijo Castle and the Geisha district of Kyoto, stroll through the bamboo forest in Kamakura, climb the Great Wall, encounter Emperor Qin's incredible Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, sample Japanese and Chinese cuisine and much more.
Day 1: Tokyo
Saturday. Welcome to Japan! Upon arrival in Tokyo you will be met at either Narita or Haneda International Airport by your guide. Travel by train into the heart of the city and check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure.
Day 2: Toyko Sightseeing - Sensoji Temple district, Harajuki & Shibuya
Taking the subway to Asakusa, today we explore the capital. Our first stop is the lively Sensoji Temple district, home to Tokyo’s first temple and scores of craft stalls and interesting souvenirs. After lunch, we head to Harajuku, a magnet for the young and fashionable Tokyoites with its hip shops and cafes. Whilst here we will explore the impressive Meiji Shrine where the emperor Meiji and his wife are enshrined. We then head to Yoyogi Park where we can see bands playing, drum circles, dancers and busking – this is a popular hangout for locals especially on Sundays. Our final stop for today is one of the busiest intersections in the world, Shibuya crossing. The famed junction has no less than 7 pedestrian crossings and when the traffic lights turn red a wave of pedestrians, up to a 1000, converge onto the intersection from every direction. Known as 'the scramble', it's a well-practised art to duck and weave with sportsman like agility to avoid collision, which we'll watch from the second floor of Starbucks. Total walking distance today: Approx 8 - 10km. Tonight, is at leisure, though if travelling in January, May and September you might like spend the evening watching a Sumo tournament (bookings must be made in advance) Please see our trip notes for more info.
Day 3: Kamakura
Tokyo - Kamakura - Tokyo. After breakfast, we board a train for our hours journey to Kamakura, Japan’s first feudal capital and a popular seaside location, with a quaint village life feel and some stunning Zen temples. Here we’ll visit the iconic bronze Big Buddha and the Zen Temple of Hokokuji with its beautiful bamboo garden. Here you can drink tea and learn about the tea ceremony before walking the cobbled shopping district - adorned with lovely locally made items and returning to Japan’s bustling capital for the night.
Day 4: Tokyo
Tokyo Edo Museum - today we enjoy a guided tour of this museum that houses some of the city’s best original artefacts and replicas of Edo-era buildings and landmarks, along with several large-scale models. Focusing on the lifestyle and culture experienced by Tokyoites over the city’s 400-year history. The rest of today is free for you to further explore independently.
Day 5: Hakone
Tokyo - Lake Kawaguchi. This morning we travel by highway bus (with luggage forwarding) to Lake Kawaguchi, located at the foot of Mt Fuji in the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. The scenery is stunning with panoramic views of a snow-capped Fuji most of the year. Upon arrival, we’ll travel along the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway and visit the observatory. For tours staying at Lake Kawaguchi between 15 Apr – 28 May each year we'll visit the Springtime Fuji Shibazakura (Phlox Moss) Festival, held at Motosu Lake, where the landscape is covered in a vibrant, hot pink moss with Fuji as the backdrop. No trip to Japan would be complete without sampling authentic Japanese hospitality at a traditional ryokan (a Japanese inn), which is where we’ll bed down tonight. At the ryokan, sample tasty local cuisine and take a relaxing dip in the natural hot spring baths.
Day 6: Kyoto
Lake Kawaguchi – Kyoto. This morning offers the opportunity to hike along the foreshores of the beautiful lake, before traveling by bus to Mishima, on wards to Japan’s ancient and cultural capital, by bullet train to Kyoto. Kyoto is home to an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines and one of the most culturally rich cities in Asia. Here we enjoy a guided tour of the famous statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy at Sanjusagen-do Temple, where one thousand life-size statues of Kannon are made of Japanese cypress clad in gold leaf. Standing in 10 rows of 50, each hand crafted and slightly different from the next. Our next stop is Gion, for a walking tour of this famous Geisha district. After you may wish to watch a cultural performance at Gion Corner Theatre where you'll have the opportunity to watch a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) performing.
Day 7: Kyoto - Nijo Castle, Golden Pavilion & free time
Morning visit to the famous Nijo Castle, one of the city’s most impressive UNESCO sites. Built by the first Tokugawa shogun in 1603, the exquisite Nijo Castle is a wonderful example of Momoyama architecture. Next, we visit one Japan's most visited temples, the stunning Zen Buddhist temple of Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) which is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto World Heritage Site. Set upon a small lake with landscaped gardens the large completely gilt structure is impressive as it is beautiful Temple and the top two floors of the monument are completely covered in gold leaf. This afternoon offers free time for you to relax or to further discover the many sights of Kyoto independently. You might wish to hire a Kimono and walk the streets as many Japanese do or take part in a cooking lesson. Or opt to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its winding path which is lined by thousands of bright red torii gates, just a short train ride away from the main Kyoto station, this must-see sight is free to visit and is open 24 hours a day.
Day 8: Kyoto
Saturday. Take the train (unescorted) from Kyoto Station to Osaka Airport for your flight to Shanghai (flight not included). Arrive Shanghai Airport and included transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or head out and explore the city. Please note: The flight from Osaka - Shanghai is not included in the cost of this tour. China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Air China, Japan Airlines all fly direct. If you provide us with your flight details, we will be there to meet you at Shanghai airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Day 9: Shanghai
Today we embark on a guided tour of Shanghai, taking in sites including the lofty Plaza Tower, tranquil Yu Garden, the Old City and the bustling Bund. Shanghai is a city with a turbulent history and a promising future offering the best of the old and the new, with grand colonial architecture engulfed by gleaming skyscrapers. This evening we enjoy a cruise on Huangpu River and dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 10: Suzhou
Shanghai - Suzhou - Xi'an. Ancient Suzhou is reminiscent of Venice, with its series of canals, picturesque waterways and classical gardens. We enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal, a tour the Lingering Garden - a beautiful classical Chinese garden dating back from the Ming Dynasty and visit a silk workshop. Later we return to Shanghai for our overnight train to Xi’an.
Day 11: Xi'an
Arrival Xi'an and transfer to our hotel for breakfast, check in with time to freshen up before heading out to explore Xian. We start with one of Xian’s most iconic landmarks, the iconic Big Wild Goose Pagoda, followed by the vibrant Muslim Quarter. Later we enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the Xi’an City Wall. Dating back to 1370 the 12m-high walls are some of the few remaining urban fortifications still standing in China today. Tonight, we welcome you to join the optional Tang Dynasty Show, which includes dinner, a traditional performance and transfers (bookable locally).
Day 12: Xi'an
Xi'an - Beijing. Emperor Qin’s 2,200 year old famous life-sized Terracotta Warriors and horses were designed to offer protection to the emperor in the afterlife. This morning we explore the archaeological site, where 7,000 clay warriors stand in military formation in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger and no two faces are alike. Later we visit the clay workshop, specialising in making replica figurines of the Terracotta Warriors. After dinner, we board the overnight express train bound for Beijing.
Day 13: Beijing
Morning arrival into Beijing. Today’s highlights include Tiananmen Square and the sprawling Forbidden City, boasting some 9999 rooms, the city within a city was once the sole preserve of the Chinese emperors. This afternoon we take a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs before watching a Chinese Acrobatic performance this evening.
Day 14: Great Wall
The famous Great Wall! The now partially ruinous Great Wall stretches 6000 kilometres across barren hills, deserts and mountains, from east to west in northern China and was constructed over a period of 2000 years. The wall is steep in sections but the photo opportunities are well worth the effort. After lunch we visit a jade carving factory before heading to the bustling Pearl Market where you'll find anything from jewellery and clothing to gadgets and DVDs.
Day 15: Beijing
Saturday. Our Chinese adventure comes to an end today. Hotel check out and transfer to the Beijing Capital Airport, to meet your onward flight.
- 12 nights 3 - 4 star accommodation (including 1 night in a traditional Japanese inn)
- Shanghai - Huangpu River cruise
- Xi’an - bike ride on medieval City Wall
- China airport arrival transfer from Shanghai Airport on day 8 and departure transfer to Beijing Capital Airport on day 15
- Escorted by a licensed English speaking Japanese/Chinese tour guide/s for groups of 6 or more, English speaking specialist guides at local sites
- All transportation and transfers - buses, trains and rail passes (including Suica Swipe Card)
- 2 overnight trains (4 berth soft sleeper cabin)
- Rickshaw ride through Beijings' Hutongs
- Chinese acrobatic performance
- Lake Kawaguchi & Mt Fuji - Kachikachi-yama Ropeway and observatory. For tours staying at Lake Kawaguchi between 14 Apr – 28 May each year we'll visit to the Fuji Shibazakura (Moss Phlox) Festival with Mt Fuji as the backdrop
- Japan airport arrival transfer by train from Narita or Haneda International Airport to tour hotel on day 1. Departure transfer (unescorted) - by train or bus from Kyoto Station to Osaka Airports (ITM & KIX) on day 8
- Guided sightseeing and walking tours in Tokyo, Kamakura, Lake Kawaguchi, Kyoto, Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi'an, Beijing and Badaling
- Baggage forwarding service from Tokyo to Kyoto (one bag per person)
- Suzhou - historic Grand Canal cruise
- Lake Kawaguchi
- Great Wall
From humble roots taking intrepid travellers budget-style to Egypt On The Go now enjoy the privilege of taking tens of thousands of customers to over 60 exciting countries around the world on all sorts of budgets. One thing remains, however, and that is their commitment to authentic and accessible cultural experiences in the very heart of our destinations.