From the scenic snow-capped tip of Mount Fuji and ancient temples of Kyoto to the bustling neon streets of Tokyo, Japan is a haven of iconic beauty, delicious cuisine and deep-rooted culture. As spring approaches, and the peak of winter passes, March and April set the stage for beautiful new beginnings in Japan. With blossoming cherry trees and green shrubbery bursting to life in the subtropical sun, touring Japan in these transformative months is a must.
And how better to explore these mystic lands and discover its exquisite beauty than with the UK’s Number 1 Japan Specialist? Wendy Wu Tours offer exclusive once in a life-time experiences, thoughtfully designed to ensure your journey is truly unforgettable. With award-winning guides, who will tend to your every need as you travel beyond the beaten track and through the heart of Japan, your exploration of this amazing country will be one you’ll never forget and never want to end.
Want to know more? With so many carefully crafted tours to choose from, with amazing savings up to £500pp, we have selected one of our favourites! (And we couldn’t resist popping a bonus tour at the end of the blog for those of you who like a wackier adventure.) Read on to find out some of the wonders that await you on these unforgettable tours!
Wendy Wu’s most extensive and most popular tour, Japan Uncovered, will see you spend 17 glorious days immersed in Japanese culture. With international flights, daily tours and entrance fees, overseas accommodation, transportation and even 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 15 dinners all included, this idyllic holiday has everything except a bow on top. From modern cities to historic rural landscapes, experience all the wonderful parallels of this fascinating country.
Day 1 - 3: Your Unforgettable Adventure Begins
Begin your adventure in Osaka, a charming city packed with fun, food and festivities. Ascend to the top of Osaka’s historic Castle to see modern and ancient designs collide as you take in the breath-taking views of expansive castle grounds encased by neighbouring skyscrapers. Take a short trip to Japan's first capital Nara, and stroll through Nara Park to the wondrous Todaiji Temple. Surrounded by traditional Isuien Gardens, let the sound of trickling waters and rustling maple trees transport you to this natural paradise, secluded from the outside world. Finish your time in the Kansai region with a cruise along the Yodogawa River before departing towards the reborn city of Hiroshima.
Fun Fact: Osaka is the birthplace of Bunraku, the old art of Japanese puppet theatre.
Day 4 - 7: The Epitome of Traditional Japan
There is much to see as you journey towards the now vibrant city of Hiroshima. From quaint traditional gardens to timeless ancient temples, the journey through Chugoku will take you off the beaten path to discover the relics of Japan, suspended in time. A city veiled by tragic history, Hiroshima now stands resurrected, as a spirited city that is a joy to explore. Take a moment to reflect on its war-torn past by visiting the Peace Memorial Park and Museum before hopping on the bullet train set for the enchanting city of Kyoto. Over the next few days, you will be immersed in the epitome of traditional Japan. From visiting Japan's most famous zen garden and seeing the 'Golden Pavilion' to experiencing the age-old rituals of a traditional tea ceremony with a tea master – this section of your journey will allow you to truly appreciate the ancient cultures of this otherworldly country.
Fun Fact: Typically, in Japan broken tea bowls are not thrown away. Instead the cracks are joined together with urushi and then covered with gold powder. This process is known as Kintsugi and symbolises why we should cherish our scars.
Day 8 - 10: Wondrous Sights, Artistic Delights and Washi Paper
The start of your second week brings with it new adventures. If art is a passion of yours, then a stop at Kanazawa’s 21st-century Museum of Contemporary Art, is a unique opportunity to view a magnificent collection of artistic talent. But the creative side of this trip doesn’t end there! Stop in Gokayama for a spot of lunch before releasing your inner artist and getting hands on in a washi paper making workshop. Your tour then takes you into the heart of the Hida Mountains to Takayama where you can explore all the rich historical heritage this city has to offer. Meander the Miyagawa morning market, taking in the sights of traditional houses, sampling the fresh produce and browsing an array of local handcrafted items. What’s not to love?
Fun Fact: There are whole towns dedicated to the art of Washi Paper. Washi no Sato, which in English literally translates to the village of washi paper, is a great example!
Day 11 - 14: Majestic Mountainscapes, Serene Springs and Snow Monkeys!
Venture deeper into the Japanese Alps, through the mystic mountainscape to discover some of the more wild locals that call this wondrous place home- The Japanese Snow Monkeys. Watch as they relax and play in the steaming hot springs of Jigokudani Monkey Park and take this time to reminisce on your fantastic journey so far. The Snow Monkeys are not the only ones who can enjoy the blissful serenity of Japan’s hot springs. As you travel to the Fuji Five Lakes area, voyage along the peaceful waters of Lake Ashi towards the volcanic Owakudani Valley and delve into the natural hot springs of Mount Hakone yourself. Enjoy a moment of true tranquillity as your next and final stop transports you to a city like no other.
Fun Fact: There are around 150 wild Snow Monkeys living in Jigokudani Monkey Park
Day 15 - 17: Neon lights and unforgettable nights in Tokyo
As you step foot in the dazzling capital city of Japan, your extraordinary journey over the last two weeks through ancient landscapes will now seem like a distant world. Bursting with neon lights, this multicultural epicentre is a beacon for worldly travellers. A high-tech metropolis with deep traditional roots, Tokyo intertwines its juxtaposing characteristics to create a city that is completely unique. Spend your remaining days soaking up its eclectic culture; witness the famous Shibuya Crossing, stroll the vibrant Asakusa district, enjoy the ambiance of Sensoji or explore the Imperial Palace East Garden- the choices are endless! Take the time to soar to the top of the 634-metre Skytree observation deck to see the never ending cityscape below and, to mark the final night of your unforgettable trip, board a traditional yakata boat for a sunset dinner cruise. What a perfect end to an unbelievable journey.
Fun Fact: Tokyo has the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.
As promised, a sneaky little extra tour that we just couldn’t resist telling you about! If you want to explore all the wild, wonderful and wacky places that Japan has to offer then this is the tour for you.
As well as experiencing the iconic cities of Japan, Wendy Wu takes you beyond the bright lights and to the very edges of the beaten map to discover a unique side of this faraway land. Here are some of the highlights included in this extraordinary 13 day tour:
- Stay in a traditional ryokan and bathe in the natural hot spring pools
- Experience the wacky Robot Restaurant in the buzzing ward of Tokyo
- Perfect the art of traditional Japanese drumming in a local Taiko class.
- Stay in a Buddhist lodge and join the monks for their daily morning service
- Watch an exhilarating Sumo Wrestling Tournament
- Take a rickshaw ride through a bamboo forest
- See the Japanese Snow Monkeys in their natural habitat
- Witness the rituals involved in the preparation and pouring of matcha tea in a traditional tea ceremony
Sounds amazing right! With unbelievable savings, flexible booking guarantee, low deposits and one free travel date change included in your booking, there has never been a better time to embark on this bucket list adventure.
So what are you waiting for? Uncover Japan with Wendy Wu.