JP2 JAPAN BY RAILSEARCH TOUR
with Kyushu Island Extension
Bullet Train to Hakone; Hakone Outdoor Museum; Historic Takayama; Kyoto: Temples & shrines; Hiroshima: Peace Memorial Park; Aso-Kuju National Park: five cone volcano; Nagasaki: feudal castles, samurai houses, Meiji-era villas; smoking volcanoes
Breakfast and dinner (mostly at local restaurants) are included daily. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for restaurant staff, porters, local guides. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.
Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) air taxes, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, not included meals.
Seasonality and Weather
Our spring tour can expect cool-warm temperatures with moderate humidity. April dates can expect daytime high temperatures of about 18-23 C (66-72 F), with chilly mornings and evenings. Our spring date is set to coincide with cherry blossom season (exact timing and location is reliant on weather conditions and can vary year to year). Our later spring date (May) should showcase azaleas and rhododendrons in some locations.
Rain showers can occur at any time, though their likelihood decreases the later we get into the fall. Our fall date coincides with the beginning of the cooler and drier time of year and should coincide with autumn leaf colour.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Our primary means of transportation throughout Japan is via the very efficient rail system, including the famous Shinkansen, or Bullet Train. Distances are not great and most journeys are only a few hours duration. A combination of buses and taxis will be used elsewhere as part of our local sightseeing programme.
The tour is physical in that it is busy and that YOU MUST BE ABLE TO MANAGE YOUR OWN BAGS ONTO / OFF TRAINS AND IN TRAIN STATIONS. Japanese stations can be large and crowded and may not have escalators or elevators. You must pack VERY lightly, preferably in "wheelie" type, soft-sided baggage or backpacks that you can fit into the overhead luggage compartments in the trains. You must also be steady on your feet and be able to endure some heat and long days. We have numerous walking tours and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces.
All hotels are centrally-located, Western style, air-conditioned, 3-4 star standard with private bath facilities. Laundry service is available at most hotels (except Hakone) for a rather high price. All hotel rooms are well equipped and usually include coffee/tea making facilities. Most hotels have hairdryers and irons. Some hotels have indoor/outdoor swimming pools.
NOTE: Specially designated non-smoking rooms are generally not available in Japan (they are unfamiliar with the concept). We automatically request non-smoking rooms wherever they are available, though we cannot promise this. Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins. Porters are generally available (see 'Inclusions').
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local guides at various locations.
10-21 (plus Tour Leader)
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