• LAND OF THE RISING SUN

    21 days from£4,365 PP
    Join our tour escorts Nelson and Barbara on an unforgettable tour of Japan, a country steeped in ancient tradition and fascinating cultures. Engage with friendly locals, and experience traditional Japanese customs first hand, from communal public bathing to enjoying meals sat on tatami mats instead of chairs.
    Begin your journey in the fascinating metropolis of Tokyo, where you will take in the sights on a guided city tour. Collect your vehicle and begin your exploration, from the Toshu-gu Shrine in Nikko, to a ride on the famous bullet train to Hiroshima Peace Park, driving against the backdrop of stunning Mount Fuji.

    A unique tour which is not for the faint-hearted, the Land of the Rising Sun enables you to experience the true Japanese lifestyle. The motorhomes, whilst compact and not equipped with all modern-day comforts, are a joy to drive, and you will encounter polite and courteous drivers on the road. Experience stunning views, delicious food and authentic cultures - this is a tour not to be missed.
     

    TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

    •          3 nights hotel in Tokyo with guided city tour
    •          Bullet train journey to Hiroshima with guided visit to the Peace Park
    •          Visit to Nara
    •          Visit to Matsumoto Castle
    •          Visit to Hikone castle
    •          Visit to Toshu-gu Shrine in Nikko (payable locally)
    •          Stunning views of Mount Fuji
    •          Kyoto city guided tour with overnight in central hotel

    21 DAY ESCORTED TOUR

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    Japan is a land of fascinating contrasts. From ancient temples steeped in history, to bullet trains and sky rise buildings, Japan is one of the most mesmerising countries on the planet.

    On the Land of the Rising Sun Escorted Tour you’ll begin by revelling in the bright lights and excitement of Tokyo. During the first few days you’ll be exploring the city and meeting the other people on your tour. Then after a few nights in a hotel in Tokyo, you’ll pick up your motorhome and that’s when your exploration of Japan really begins.

    For the rest of the tour you’ll be travelling around to a variety of famous landmarks including Toshogu Shine and Matsumoto Castle. One of your days will start early with a bullet train to Hiroshima to visit the peace park and the ruins left behind following the 1945 nuclear blast. Your trip comes to a close back in Tokyo after 19 days of travelling with one final day on your flight back to the UK.

    For more information please read our day-to-day itinerary.

    DAYS 1 - 4: TOKYO


    DAYS 1 – 2

    Fly from London to Tokyo where you will meet your Tour Escorts and transfer to a Tokyo hotel. Overnight Tokyo hotel.

    DAY 3

    After a full-day city guided tour of Tokyo, taking in the Asakusa and Nakamise districts, and the Meiji Shrine, you will enjoy a welcome meal in the company of your fellow travellers. Overnight Tokyo hotel.

    DAY 4

    Free time to explore Tokyo – this huge, wealthy and fascinating metropolis brings high-tech visions of the future side by side with glimpses of old Japan. In the afternoon, there will be a presentation from the motorhome company. Overnight Tokyo hotel.

    DAY 5

    Transfer to the motorhome depot to pick up your vehicle, stock-up on supplies and drive to the first campsite near the city of Tsukuba (40 miles). Overnight Tsukuba campsite.

    DAYS 6 – 7

    Drive to Nikko (90 miles), the home to the Toshogu Shrine (entrance payable locally), the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868. 2 nights Nikko campsite.

    DAY 8

    Today is a spectacular drive (72 miles) through the Japanese Alps. Call in at Lockheart Castle, a Scottish castle transported brick by brick from Scotland. Overnight Takayama campsite. 

    DAY 9

    Continue through the mountains to Matsumoto Castle (160 miles). The five-tiered, six-storied donjon is one of the oldest donjons in Japan and has been designated a National Treasure. Overnight Matsumoto campsite. 

    DAY 10

    A journey through the mountains on the short but interesting drive through the Japanese Alps to Hirayu (60 miles). Overnight Hirayu campsite.

    DAY 11

    Drive through Hida-Takayama, which retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town. Tonight we still stop over at a ‘michi no eki’, unique to Japan, a service area with a small selection of shops where you can park up for the night (52 miles). Overnight Shirakawago stopover.

    DAY 12

    Passing through Hikone on our way to the shores of Lake Biwa (150 miles), you can visit Hikone Castle, one of the four most beautiful castles in Japan with its three-layered chalk tower. Overnight Lake Biwa campsite.

    DAY 13

    We will leave the motorhomes at the campsite and transfer to Kyoto for a guided visit of the city and stay over in a Kyoto hotel. Kyoto served as Japan’s capital and the Emperor’s residence until 1868 and countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today. Overnight Kyoto hotel.
     

     DAY 14

    An early start today as we have a long day taking the bullet train to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Park. Visit the ruins of the A-Bomb Dome building one of the few remaining buildings left partially standing after the nuclear blast of 1945. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant. After taking the train back to Kyoto (picnic meal provided), we will transfer back to the campsite. Overnight Lake Biwa campsite.

    DAY 15

    Drive to Nara to visit the Todai-ji Temple and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine in the company of the many deer that graze the lawns of Nara Park (50 miles). Overnight Tsukigase campsite.

    DAY 16 

    Today we will visit a local tea plantation as we continue east towards Hamamatsu (132 miles), on the Enshu-nada Sea, which hugs the Nakatajima Sakyu (sand dunes). Overnight Hamamatsu campsite.

    DAYS 17 – 18

    Today we will head up into the Fuji- Goko (Five Lakes) area (110 miles) with stunning views of Mount Fuji. We will stay on Kawaguchiko Lake – take a visit to Sai-ko Bats’ Nest Cave that is warm even in winter, or the Wind Caves of Fuji, where icicles bristle even in summer. 2 nights Five Lakes campsite.
     

    DAY 19

    Passing through Tokyo we head back to the motorhome depot with an overnight stop near to Narita (120 miles).
     

    DAY 20

    Return motorhomes and take the evening flight to London.

    DAY 21

    Arrive London. This ends the tour travel arrangements.

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • The services of experienced Tour Escorts
    • Return standard flights (London to Tokyo)
    • All airport taxes
    • 16 days campervan hire with unlimited mileage allowance
    • GPS, iPad and navigation system
    • Full propane tank
    • Third party vehicle insurance (payable excess Yen 50,000 for campervans, Yen 100,000 for motorhomes – credit card will be charged)
    • 14 nights site fees (includes electrical hook-up where available)
    • Three nights hotel accommodation in Tokyo including buffet breakfast
    • Transfers (as stated)
    • Guided Tokyo excursion
    • One night hotel accommodation in Kyoto including buffet breakfast
    • Guided Kyoto excursion
    • Bullet train excursion to Hiroshima, including guided visit, lunch and dinner
    • Welcome and farewell meals
    • Tour daybook
    Prices are per person based on two adults sharing a campervan – please ask for motorhome prices.
    EXCLUSIONS
    • Personal insurance – please ask for a quote
    • Campervan fuel or refills of propane gas
    • Refundable security deposit of Yen 50,000 for a campervan, Yen 100,000 for a motorhome
    • Extra insurance charge for drivers over 70
    • Drivers 75 and over are subject to increased excess charges
    • Meals and drinks (unless stated)
    • Excursions or entrance fees (other than those stated)
    • Road tolls (approx.. £400 depending whether you choose to use the motorways or rural roads)
    • Personal expenditure, tips, etc
    • Single supplements, extra person supplements – available on request
    • Showers are payable locally

    A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

    This tour is better suited for experienced campers.
     
    There are two types of vehicle, called locally a motorhome or campervan. Neither have showers, the campervan does not have a toilet (you can rent a portable toilet but it does take a lot of room in the unit). This is not an issue as public toilets are usually immaculately clean and the WC’s themselves are often technologically advanced - an experience in themselves. On all but 2 of the campsites used on the tour, the sanitation facilities are comparable to European campsites with good shower facilities – usually with a small charge.
    The motorhome is small by European standards (5m by 2.1m) and the campervan is compact (4.99m by 1.7m). They are well suited to driving on Japanese roads with automatic transmission. While cooking facilities in your vehicle are minimal, this is unlikely to be a problem as there are so many opportunities to eat out and try the local Japanese cuisine. 
    One of the highlights in travelling through Japan is a visit to an ‘onsen’ - payable public spa baths, separated according to the sexes. Bathers enter in the nude – most take a small hand towel to protect modesty. For cultural reasons the Japanese do not normally permit bathers with tattoos into onsen. However, with more foreign visitors coming to the country, as long as covering plasters are worn, this is not usually a barrier to entry now. It is also possible to find onsen with private facilities where the spa is limited to your own personal use.