LAND OF THE RISING SUN

Join 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 Toyko, 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.
 

20 DAY ESCORTED TOUR

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 Toshu-gu 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 we have a long drive through rural Japan to Matsumoto Castle (145 miles). The five-tiered, sixstoried donjon is one of the oldest donjons in Japan and has been designated a National Treasure. Overnight Matsumoto campsite.

DAY 9

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

DAY 10

Drive through 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 11

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 12

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 13

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 14

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.

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DAY 15

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 16 – 17

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 18

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

DAY 19

Return motorhomes and take the evening flight to London.

DAY 20

Arrive London. This ends the tour travel arrangements.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  •          3 nights hotel in Tokyo with guided city tour
  •          Visit to Toshu-gu Shrine in Nikko (payable locally)
  •          Visit to Matsumoto Castle
  •          Visit to Hikone castle
  •          Visit to Nara
  •          Kyoto city guided tour with overnight in central hotel

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • The services of experienced Tour Escorts
  • Return standard flights (London to Tokyo)
  • All airport taxes
  • 15 days campervan hire with unlimited mileage allowance
  • GPS, iPad and navigation system
  • Full propane tank
  • Third party vehicle insurance (payable excess Yen 50,000 – credit card will be charged)
  • 13 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 meal
  • Farewell meal
  • Tour daybook
  • Road atlas and map of Japan
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 350,000
  • 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.
  • Extra insurance charge for drivers over 70
  • Single supplements, extra person supplements
    • available on request.

A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

This tour is better suited for experienced campers. Communal public bathing is normal in Japan. ‘Onsen’ are payable public spa baths, separated according to the sexes. Bathers enter in the nude. 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.
Showers on campsites are normally payable locally – some campsites have public bathing rather than showers. There are two types of vehicle, called locally a motorhome or campervan. Neither have showers, the campervan does not have a toilet. 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. 
Even 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.