Footsteps of the First British Samurai [Tokyo, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Fukuoka]

Product Code: FTFBS
From £ 1,545 /pp

[Self-Guided] 11 days

 Japan400 commemorates the start of diplomatic, trading, scientific and cultural relations between Britain and Japan in 1613.
It celebrates the spirit of discovery and mutual regard that has inspired many successful collaborations and a remarkable friendship between two societies on opposite sides of the world.

We'd like to invite you to embark on an amazing journey through some of the best stories that mark this heritage and discover the origin of some of the Japanese flavours we've adopted in modern day Britain - such as green tea, ramen and sake.

Must see Tokyo and Kyoto are included in the itinerary, and you'll also have the chance to head off the beaten track to Shizuoka and Fukuoka prefectures.

Don't miss this unique chance to explore Japan; please see a day-by-day description of your tour here.


Included in this tour:

☑ Breakfast daily

☑ 2 lunches

☑ Dinner in Shizuoka at Fugetsuro (multicourse meal only: beverages not included)

☑ Airport meeting assistant

☑ Tokyo morning tour, Kyoto full day tour, Fushimi Tour, Uji tea tour. All tours will have an English-speaking guide

☑ Entrance to the Tokyo Edo Museum

☑ Transfers: Narita airport transfer by Limousine Bus; Fukuoka airport transfer by taxi; 7 Day Japan Rail pass

☑ As with all our packages we can add, subtract or modify this package to suit your individual needs and make your perfect holiday




DateDescriptionMeals
Day 1Arrive to Narita Airport by your own arrangements. Meet an English-speaking assistant in the arrival area. The assistant will arrange your Limousine Bus to near your hotel. 
Stay in Tokyo hotel
None
Day 2Join a morning tour of Tokyo. The tour pick up is located next to your hotel. First, enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo from the observation deck of Tokyo Tower, and then take a stroll around the Imperial Palace Plaza, where you can savour the splendid view of the moats and walls around the seat of Japan's imperial household. In Asakusa you can browse the many colourful stores lining the Nakamise walkway leading up to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo's oldest and most famous Buddhist temple. See Ueno, an area with a popular zoo and park en route to the station, and then the tour will disband upon arrival at Akihabara or Tokyo Station. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Stay in Tokyo hotel
Breakfast
Day 3Free time at leisure. You may go for a stroll along Nihonbashi. 'Anjin-dori Street' is named after Anjin Miura, the Japanese name given to William Adam, the first British navigator who came to Japan, and who lived on this street in what is today the Nihonbashi district of modern Tokyo. He was the inspiration for the character of John Blackthorne in James Clavell's bestselling novel Shogun. He was given a house near Nihonbashi by Shogun Tokugawa leyasu who had taken him on as an advisor; Nihombashi was close to leyasu's castle in Edo (the old name for Tokyo). Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) brought a long period of civil wars to an end and united all of Japan; "Shogun" was the Japanese military rank and historical title of the hereditary military governors of the time.
Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum (entrance included) to see and learn what Tokyo was like in the days of William Adams and Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Stay in Tokyo hotel
Breakfast
Day 4Travel by Bullet Train to Shizuoka, home to Tokugawa Ieyasu and his favourite tea. Free time at leisure. We suggest you visit Sempu Castle: it was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1586 and later served as his retirement home. Throughout its history, Sumpu Castle was destroyed and rebuilt many times. With the Meiji Restoration in the late 1860s, the Tokugawa family was stripped of its power and the country's new rulers dismantled the castle. In recent decades, efforts have been made to restore parts of the former castle. The East Gate and an adjoining guard tower were reconstructed according to original construction plans. The reconstruction can be entered and exhibits informative models and displays about the castle. You can try local tea in the teahouse in the beautiful Japanese garden. Kunozan Toshogu shrine is dedicated to the famous leader Tokugawa Ieyasu. Over a thousand stone steps zig zag up the mountainside to Kunozan Toshogu, allowing for impressive views of Suruga Bay and the ocean along the way. Visit Nihondaira, one of Japan's most scenic spots. In Nihondaira Tea Hall various teas are available for sale, and hands–on experience of picking tea leaves is offered in mid April–early October.
In the evening change into your dinner clothes and indulge in a Japanese multicourse dinner at the old Tokugawa Shogunate residence Fugetsuro, enjoying its beautiful garden and outstanding traditional Japanese architecture. 
Stay in Shizuoka hotel
Breakfast Dinner
Day 5Transfer by Bullet Train to Kyoto and then make your way to the countryside around Uji to visit tea fields. Depending on the season and weather, you may have a chance to experience some tea farming work. Enjoy a lunch of tea soba (buckwheat noodles), tea tasting and Japanese sweets with a certified tea instructor, and take 2 free sample bags per person of your choice of tea with you. At the end of your tour, you can make your way back to Kyoto, but before that we recommend heading to the beautiful town of Uji nearby: along the river stands the Byodo-in Temple, inscribed as a World Cultural Heritage Site, and Ujikami-jinja Shrine, known as the oldest shrine structure in Japan. In the evening, visit Gion district: this is one of the famous entertainment and geisha quarters. In the Edo Period, ochaya (geisha houses) were built in this area. It still retains its tranquil, old-fashioned charm.
Stay in Kyoto hotel
Breakfast Lunch
Day 6Explore the ancient imperial capital with a Kyoto full day walking tour. The tour starts at 08:35 from Kyoto station. Enjoy highlights of the city such as Kiyomizu temple: this architectually unique temple has a main hall on a steep slope with a wooden platform supported by pillars, from which a panoramic view of Kyoto can be enjoyed. See Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Heian Jingu Shrine and Sanjusangendo temple. Drop off service is available.
Stay in Kyoto hotel
Breakfast Lunch
Day 7Fushimi Inari and Sake tasting tour Visit the Sake Museum in Fushimi and taste some samples of Japan's finest sake, then stroll through peaceful hills lined with thousands of red torii gates. Fushimi was blessed since olden days with high quality underground water and still retaining its traditional appearance. In a corner of this town, precious sake making tools are preserved and the history of Japanese sake will be explained in an easy-to-understand way. After the tour, you will enjoy tasting Ginjo-shu (sake) and plum wine. Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is on of the most famous Shinto shrines. It is well known for the numerous red Torii gates on the hill behind the shrine, donated by faithful followers. Totalling more than 10,000, these Torii form a vermilion tunnel about 4km long.
Stay in Kyoto hotel
Breakfast
Day 8Transfer to Fukuoka using your JR Pass. Free at leisure. Fukuoka (Hakata) is one of Japan's culinary capitals, historically known for its miso factories (dating back to the late 1800s) and sake production, plus street food - make sure to try the city's famous yatai street food stalls for dinner. Ramen is especially popular, and not just in Japan: Hakata ramen restaurants are taking over London with traditional thin egg noodles in a pork (tonkotsu) soup. Other highlights of the city include Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, Komyozen-ji Temple, with its stone, moss and white sand gardens, and the 'Hakata-machiya Furusatokan' hall in front of Kushida-jinja Shrine. A century-old folk house has been moved here to serve as a museum introducing the old lifestyle and culture of Hakata, including demonstrations of hand weaving of Hakata-ori textiles and traditional craft production.
Stay in Fukuoka hotel
Breakfast
Day 9Free time in Fukuoka. Alternatively, you can use your JR pass to visit Kagoshima and then take a ferry trip to admire the spectacular active volcano Sakurajima. 
Stay in Fukuoka hotel
Breakfast
Day 10Free time in Fukuoka. Alternatively, you can use your JR pass to visit Nagasaki is the historic link between East and West, and home to the famous British adventurer Thomas Glover. Glover's home stands as a monument to British architecture in Japan. Other must see spots include the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, and the nation's oldest wooden Christian church, O-ura Tenshu-do, which even today exudes an exotic atmosphere. Dejima Island (now part of the city) was the sole trading spot with foreign countries from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Nagasaki City has been advancing an ambitious restoration plan since 1996, and is working to restore Dejima. Japan's first Protestant Seminary, built in the 19th century, was renovated in 1998, becoming the Nagasaki Dejima Museum of History. Inside the museum the culture of Dejima during the Isolation Period (including examples as Japan's trade with Portugal, England and Holland and the eating habits seen at the Dutch Trading House), is displayed in models and graphics. Currently some 10 buildings throughout the area have been restored, and you can experience life as it was at that time at this newly enclosed fan-shaped "Dejima." There is also a miniature model of Dejima which was reproduced on a scale of 1/15 to show what the area was like before being reclaimed in 1904. Southeast of Dejima is the Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown - Nagasaki was and still is a truly international city. 
Stay in Fukuoka hotel
Breakfast
Day 11After breakfast at your hotel, the tour ends. A pre-booked taxi will drive you to Fukuoka airport to board your flights home.Breakfast

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