Classic Tours

The Samurai Experience

Tour Overview

14-Day Fully Escorted Tour from £4,395

Immerse yourself in the rich and beautiful legacy of honourable samurais and sage shoguns on this comprehensive tour, from the ancient Shogunate shrines and temples, via the ultra-modern Shinkansen, to the cutting-edge cities born out of centuries of striving for perfection and precision.

At a Glance

  • 3 nights in Tokyo
  • 1 night in Hakone
  • 1 night in Matsumoto
  • 3 nights in Kyoto
  • 2 nights in Hiroshima
  • 1 night in Osaka
  • 1 night in Tokyo

Tour Highlights

  • Cruise on Lake Ashi with views of Mount Fuji
  • Visit to Miyajima Island
  • Bullet train journey to Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka
  • Sightseeing in Tokyo, Nikko, Kamakura, 
Matsumoto, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima

Tour Itinerary

  1. London to TokyoYour door-to-door driver takes you to London Heathrow for your non-stop, overnight British Airways flight to Tokyo.
  2. TokyoArrive in Tokyo this morning and check in to the centrally-located 4* Keio Plaza Hotel, your home for the next three nights. The rest of today is free for you to relax.
  3. TokyoTour the sophisticated and vibrant city of Tokyo this morning taking in many of the major sights. Begin with the forested Shinto shrine of Meiji Jingu and the Imperial Palace Plaza. Continue to the Asakusa Kannon Temple and the Nakamise arcade before passing the afternoon at leisure, exploring at your own pace. B
  4. NikkoSpend a full day in the nearby region of Nikko. Visit the Toshogu Shrine, journey up the 48 hairpin zigzags of Irohazaka Driveway to the stunning blue waters of Lake Chuzanji and the 97-metre cascade of Kegon Waterfall. This afternoon, head back to Tokyo. B
  5. Tokyo to Kamakura and HakoneEn route to Hakone today, take a break in Kamakura, site of the first Shogunate capital. After visiting the Kotokuin Temple, continue on to the Owakudani Valley before taking a cruise on Lake Ashi for stunning views of Mount Fuji. Reaching Hakone, the 3* Hakone Palace Hotel is your home. B
  6. Hakone to MatsumotoTravel by road north to the Nagano region and the town of Matsumoto. Visit the former Kaichi School and Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan’s finest historic castles before checking in to the 3* Hotel Matsumoto Tokyo Inn. B
  7. Matsumoto to KyotoJourney by rail today as you board the Wide View Shinano for Nagoya, before taking the JR Super-Express Nozomi bound for Kyoto. Reaching Kyoto, check-in at the 4* Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto, in the heart of the city, for the first of three nights. An afternoon free. B
  8. KyotoExplore Kyoto on a full-day city tour, including Ryoanji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a beautiful Zen garden; the elaborate Ninomaru Palace with its corridors of creaky floorboards to warn of an assassin’s approach; the cliff-top hall of Kinkakuji Temple and the Heian Shrine, a mini replica of the first Imperial Palace and shrine. There will also be a chance to take part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. B
  9. Nara and KyotoHead to Nara, site of Japan’s first permanent capital and take a morning orientation tour. Explore the Todaiji Temple, built in 752 AD and home to one of the largest bronze statues in the world – the Great Buddha is considered a National Treasure. Next, visit Nara Park, where more than 1200 tame deer roam around the groves of cedar, oak, andromeda and wisteria and view the peaceful forested shrine of Kasuga Taisha. The afternoon is free in Kyoto. B
  10. Kyoto to HiroshimaTake the high-speed Shinkansen bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima, with a brief city tour on arrival. Check in at the central 4* Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima for a two-night stay. B
  11. Miyajima Island and HiroshimaThis morning, journey to Miyajima Island and visit the sixth-century Itsukushima Shrine. Explore the Momijidani Valley Park (Maple Valley) at the base of Mount Misen’s forested slopes, before going back to Hiroshima city. Visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, symbolising the wish for everlasting peace. B
  12. Hiroshima to OsakaBoard the Shinkansen Super-Express bullet train to Osaka for a short tour. The city’s sights include the monumental Osaka castle, the two sky-scraping Umeda Sky Buildings, which are linked by the Floating Garden Observatory on their 39th floors and the Minami shopping district. Settle in at the 4* Nikko Hotel, set in the heart of the city. B
  13. Osaka to TokyoDepart Osaka this morning and head back by rail to Tokyo for one night at the 4* Keio Plaza Hotel. B
  14. Tokyo to LondonHead to Narita Airport this morning for your British Airways flight to London Heathrow, where your door-to-door driver will meet you and take you home. B

Tour Extras

Travel Notes

This spectacular and comprehensive tour is designed for those who want a thorough insight into Japan and its attractions.

Our creative scheduling means that although we pack a lot in on this tour, you’ll find the overall pace is fairly relaxed. All hotels we’ve chosen are of a high standard.

You’ll need to pack an overnight bag for your one-night stay in Matsumoto and your two-night stay in Hiroshima as space is limited on the train.

Tailor Your Tour

Unescorted extensions
Spend extra nights in Tokyo at the Keio Plaza hotel from £150 per night based on two sharing.

This does not include the £25 extension supplement, transfers or any applicable flight supplements.

Something special
Choose a truly Japanese experience in Hakone (Day 5) – stay in a traditional Ryokan, complete with a Japanese-style washroom (toilet and wash basin) and futon for £125 per person including dinner.

Enjoy a more comfortable flight in World Traveller Plus on British Airways (supplement from £700 return).

Tour Price

Departure dates and prices:

Month Departure Date Price
March 2013 Sunday 17th £4,395
April 2013 Sunday 7th £4,525
May 2013 Sunday 12th £4,425
September 2013 Sunday 8th £4,425
March 2013 Sunday 16th £4,445
April 2013 Sunday 6th £4,575
May 2013 Sunday 11th £4,475
September 2013 Sunday 7th £4,475

See other Thomas Cook Tours escorted tours in these destinations: JapanAsia


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