Day 1 Train Tokyo to Kyoto
For the journey between Tokyo and Kyoto you will be travelling by Shinkansen. We will be supplying you with individual Hikari Shinkansen (Reserved Seat) Ordinary Class tickets. The Tokaido Shinkansen line was the first of Japan’s famous ‘Bullet’ Train lines to open and traverses the 343 miles between Tokyo and Osaka. When the 00 series trains with their distinctive bullet-shaped noses first started running in October of 1964 (just in time for the Tokyo Olympics) journey time to Osaka was over 4 hours. Today the same trip can be done in just 2 hours 35 minutes! Your journey time to Kyoto will be between 2h17 and 2h45. Keep a look out of the right hand windows of the train for Mt. Fuji. But don’t be disappointed if you can’t see her as she is a notoriously shy mountain.
Hikari Shinkansen (Reserved Seat) – Ordinary Class (3)
Kyoto – Introduction
Kyoto, established in 794 was Japan’s capital for over 1000 years. Even today when the capital has moved to Tokyo, Kyoto retains its unique position as the country’s historical, cultural and artistic centre. Kyoto was not heavily bombed during the Second World War and despite its fair share of concrete and neon it remains a living museum of Japan’s great artistic heritage and home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and nearly 2000 temples and shrines. In addition to numerous temples and shrines, Kyoto is also famous for its gardens (many of which are attached to temples), its Geishas and traditional crafts.
Heianbo Ryokan 平安坊旅館
In Kyoto you will stay three nights at the Heianbo, a traditional ryokan located near to Higashi Honganji temple for which it used to act as a temple lodging. The ryokan is just a short walk from Kyoto station and is near to subway and bus stops as well making it an ideal base for exploring Kyoto. The rooms are traditional Japanese style with futons and low “Kotatsu” tables. Although it is a traditional wooden building, the Heianbo does have free internet access available in the lobby. Your stay includes a traditional Japanese style breakfast served in the dining room.
Kansai Thru Pass (3 Days)
Valid for 3 days, your package includes the Kansai Thru Pass which covers all the non-JR transport in the Kansai area. This includes subways, buses and several private railway lines covering the entire region. The passes will cover your day trip to Nara as well.
Day 2 Kyoto
Today enjoy a full day tour of the city by public transport with a private guide. Your guide will come to the Heianbo Ryokan at around 9:00 AM and take you on tour that will encompass some of the more famous sights but also some lesser known places of interest. Today there will be no fixed itinerary and entrance fees and transport will be paid on the day (you’ll also have to cover the guide’s transport). This is to give you the maximum flexibility to enjoy each place in your own time. Your guide will give you a call at your hotel the day before to discuss the arrangements. Please let us know in advance if there are any sights you particularly wish to see as we can pass this information onto the guide for you. Your day of guiding will finish at around 5:00 PM with the guide either dropping you back at the Heianbo Ryokan or anywhere else in the city you wish to spend the evening.
Day 3 Full Day to Nara
Today, a full day visit to Nara with a private guide. Your guide will come the Heianbo Ryokan at around 9:00 AM and travel with you to Nara and back on the Kintetsu line. . Your day of guiding will finish at around 5:00 PM . Entrance fees and meals are not included.
Day 4 Train from Kyoto to Kansai Airport
Sadly your adventures in Japan are at an end. You will be travelling on the Haruka Express from Kyoto to Kansai Airport. Journey time is in the region of 76 minutes. You will be supplied with Ordinary Class reserved seat tickets for this journey.
What to Expect
Duration 4 days
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.