AT TRAVELSPHERE YOU GET SO MUCH INCLUDED IN OUR ESCORTED TOURS

Ancient to Modern - China & Japan

18 Days from £5,039.10

This exciting tour is the perfect way to see China's most iconic sights. Beginning with a sightseeing tour of vibrant Shanghai, you'll then fly to Xian and see one of the world's most remarkable sights, the famous Terracotta Army. Beijing is your next stop, where you'll see highlights including Tiananmen Square, the incredible Forbidden City and fascinating Temple of Heaven. The Great Wall of China passes within about 40 miles of Beijing and we'll discover it at Badaling, before a visit to the beautiful Summer Palace.
There are few places on Earth where the contrast between traditional and modern is quite so marked as in Japan and you'll discover many of its incredible highlights. Visit dazzling Tokyo, admire incredible views of Mount Fuji, see the beautiful Matsumoto Castle and visit the traditional city of Takayama. After riding the famous Bullet Train to Kyoto, you'll spend three nights exploring this charming city before heading to Hiroshima and uncovering its poignant history. Your journey ends in bustling Osaka, where you'll visit Osaka Castle and have some free time for shopping if you wish.​

Departure from: Mar 2021 - May 2021

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YOUR HOLIDAY INCLUDES

  • ​​Return indirect flights from Heathrow with Air China via Beijing
  • 16 nights in 4-star hotels plus 1 night in flight
  • 28 meals: 16 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners and welcome drink
  • Local flavours in China: Afternoon tea on the Bund in Shanghai
  • Local flavours in Japan: Sushi-making demonstration
  • High-speed train in China: Journey on the High-speed China Railway (CRH)
  • High-speed train in Japan: Journey on the iconic Bullet Train
  • Travelsphere Tour Manager and Specialist Local Guide
  • Overseas transfers and other transportation
  • Porterage in China
  • Audio Guide​




Included holiday highlights

  • ​Tour the exciting city of Shanghai
  • Visit the ancient Xian City Wall
  • The world-famous Terracotta Army
  • Beijing, including the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square
  • The iconic Great Wall of China
  • The stunning Summer Palace , Beijing
  • Tour of Japan's capital, Tokyo
  • Hakone, gateway to Mount Fuji
  • Cruise on Lake Ashi
  • Cable-car ride over Owakundi Valley
  • Matsumoto Castle, Japan's oldest existing castle
  • Visit a wasabi farm
  • Takayama, a traditional city in the mountains
  • Shirakawago visit
  • Sightseeing in Kyoto including Nijo Castle
  • Kinkakuji Temple
  • Arashiyama and rickshaw ride through a bamboo forest
  • Visit the historic city of Nara
  • Hiroshima sightseeing tour and Miyajima Island
  • Tour of Osaka including Umeda Floating Garden and Osaka Castle

Your Itinerary

HIDE FULL ITINERARY

Day 1 UK - Shanghai

​Today you will fly to Shanghai.

Day 2 Shanghai

​On arrival you will be met by a Local Guide and we will transfer you to your hotel. 
Shanghai is a fascinating city and at its heart is the Huangpu River and the famous riverside boulevard, the Bund, which is lined with magnificent former colonial buildings. Why not start your holiday with an optional cruise along the river this evening. You'll see many of the city's famous sights, including the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the dramatic skyline of the Pudong business district.

Day 3 Shanghai

​Your sightseeing begins in earnest today with a tour of vibrant Shanghai, one of the fastest developing cities in China, if not the world. We'll introduce you to the busy Nanjing Road, said to be the world's longest shopping precinct and you'll also see the Old Town, the Yu Yuan Gardens and visit the ornate Jade Buddha Temple.
Explore the famous waterfront of the Bund with its varied architecture. Here you will enjoy an afternoon tea, an English tradition immensely popular in Shanghai.
This evening you have a chance to watch the incredible Shanghai Acrobats. Be prepared for an amazing spectacle if you choose to join this optional excursion, which also includes dinner.

Day 4 Shanghai - Xian

​After breakfast we're going to set off for the airport and take a flight to Xian, the 'City of Eternal Peace'. On arrival in Xian we'll visit its ancient and beautifully preserved City Wall before we transfer you to your hotel. 
This evening you have the opportunity to join an optional excursion to watch the famous Tang Dynasty show, with dinner included. The show you will see is performed by the world-renowned Shaanxi Song and Dance Troupe, the largest performing group in Western China, and promises to be truly entertaining.​

Day 5 Xian - Beijing

​Today's the day that you are going to see one of the world's most remarkable sights, the Terracotta Army at Li Shan Mountain. Discovered in the 1970s by farmers digging a well, this collection of at least 6,000 life-size terracotta figures was interred in 200 BC with the first Qin emperor. The warriors, representing individuals of the Imperial Guard, are grouped in battle order, rank by rank. Some are mounted on horse-drawn chariots and others are armed with spears, swords and crossbows. This dazzling display of Chinese military power is quite simply breathtaking.  
We then board a high-speed train and head to our next destination, Beijing. With a three-night stay here, we'll have ample time to discover so much of this fascinating city.

Day 6 Beijing

​Beijing is an extraordinary city, where ancient temples and palaces stand beside the vast 20th century civic buildings created by Chairman Mao and his people.
You're going to explore today on a sightseeing tour that will take you to Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. From here we will pass through the Gate of Heavenly Peace into the incredible Forbidden City, the largest palace complex in the world. Prepare to be blown away by its size and the magnificent buildings that house the Imperial Palace from which China was ruled for hundreds of years.
After lunch we'll take a guided tour of the Temple of Heaven, which was built during the Ming Dynasty in 1420. It sits within a vast park and during your tour you'll see amazing collections of Chinese bronzes, porcelain, paintings and other treasures.
This evening is yours to enjoy at leisure, or if you want to carry on exploring, we offer an optional rickshaw ride along the city's narrow streets and alleys known as hutongs. In these traditional residential areas we will visit local families and learn about their day-to-day lives. We'll also head to a restaurant, where dinner is included.​

Day 7 Beijing

Today will we visit to the Great Wall of China. Winding its way through the hills of northern China, this iconic structure passes within about 40 miles of Beijing, and that's where we visit it, at Badaling. It's wide enough to allow five horsemen to ride abreast at this point, and you'll have plenty of time to walk along the historic ramparts.
When we return to Beijing this afternoon, we'll head to the Summer Palace, which is surrounded by hills and set beside the Kunming Lake. You'll have time to admire the views and soak up its tranquil beauty.
This evening, we bid farewell to China and enjoy Beijing's most famous dish, Peking Duck.​

Day 8 Beijing - Tokyo

​We will transfer you to the airport today for your flight to Tokyo. After time to settle in, why not head out for stroll to get your bearings.​

Day 9 Tokyo

​Your explorations of Japan begin here in dazzling Tokyo and take you first to the Meiji Jingu Shrine. This collection of buildings and tranquil grounds is dedicated to the first emperor of modern Japan. Next we'll transfer to the district of Asakusa, where you'll visit the fascinating Sensoji Buddhist temple, and head to the vibrant Nakamise shopping street.
In the afternoon we're going to visit the Tokyo Tower and make a stop close to the spectacular Imperial Palace. This is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan, so make sure you bring your camera! Tonight we'll head to a restaurant for a welcome dinner.​

Day 10 Hakone & Mount Fuji

​A spectacular sight awaits us today, as we journey to Hakone. This is the gateway to Mount Fuji, Japan's highest mountain, and the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The scenery here is breathtakingly beautiful and we'll take a cable-car ride over the Owakudani Valley to admire views of mountains, sulphur hot springs and crystal-clear Lake Ashi. 
The lake formed thousands of years ago in the crater of a dormant volcano, and we'll take a tranquil and scenic cruise across its waters.  At the hot springs, you'll have a chance to try the local delicacy of 'black eggs'. Cooked in the sulphur, eating just one egg is believed to add seven years to your life! We'll also make a photo stop at a great spot close to Mount Fuji, so you can capture its stunning beauty if the weather is on our side.​

Day 11 Tokyo - Takayama

​Your next base is Takayama, and a day of discoveries starts with a visit to the ancient and perfectly preserved Matsumoto Castle. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Japanese Alps, it's the country's oldest five-tiered wooden castle and has been designated a National Treasure of Japan.
In the afternoon we're going to tour Daio Wasabi Farm to see how Japanese horseradish is grown. The farm has a number of large fields where the wasabi plants grow and we will admire them from specially designed walking trails. To round off your visit, why not treat yourself to a wasabi-flavoured ice cream!​

Day 12 Takayama

​Our day out today starts early at Miyagawa morning market, where you'll see and even sample the region's exotic fruit and vegetables. We'll then have the chance to see a traditional house and enjoy some free time in Takayama. 
One of Japan's most scenic areas is Shirakawago, located along the Shokawa River. We'll head here later to take in wonderful sights of pine-covered mountains and centuries-old thatch-roofed farmhouses.​

Day 13 Takayama - Kyoto

​A journey by train this morning takes us to Nagoya, where we board one of Japan's famous Bullet Trains bound for Kyoto.  We'll start the sightseeing as soon as we arrive in historic Kyoto. It's filled with fascinating temples, ancient buildings and splendid gardens, and we'll see highlights including Nijo Castle, built in 1603 for the first Shogun of the Edo Period. We'll also admire the Sanjusangendo Temple, the longest wooden building in Japan, which houses 1,001 unique carved statues of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy.​

Day 14 Kyoto

​We'll start the day by viewing the Kinkakuji Temple with its Golden Pavilion. Next we're heading to the beautiful district of Arashiyama, where a rickshaw ride through a bamboo forest promises to be an exhilarating experience. Sit back and enjoy the sight of the towering stalks swaying gently in the wind and casting shadows on the path. A sushi-making demonstration and lunch are also included before an afternoon of exploration in Nara. This historic city is where we'll find the Todaiji Temple, one of the most famous in Japan, and the Deer Park with its hundreds of free-roaming deer. where you can purchase crackers and feed the deer. We'll also visit Kasuga Taisha, the most celebrated shrine in Nara.​

Day 15 Kyoto - at Leisure

​How you spend today in Kyoto is entirely up to you. You could take part in a Kendo lesson, a modern martial art which uses bamboo swords, or maybe enjoy a more genteel experience, a tea ceremony. Kyoto is the birthplace of this traditional ceremony and there are a number of places which offer you a chance to experience it for yourself.
If you fancy a spot of retail therapy, Downtown Kyoto has plenty to offer, including department stores and a wonderful food market. Alternatively, you could opt to learn more about Japanese culture on a Kimono-wearing experience.

Day 16 Kyoto - Hiroshima

​We're taking another Bullet Train today, and this time it will transport us to Hiroshima. This city is infamous as the target of the first-ever atomic bomb, dropped by the US at the end of the Second World War.
You'll tour this rebuilt city and nearby Miyajima Island, taking in views of the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO-listed site built over water. You'll also see the Peace Memorial Park, a vast area of open land dedicated to the promotion of world peace, and the Atomic Bomb Dome. This building stood at the epicentre of the devastating bomb blast and has been preserved as a lasting reminder of that tragic event.  
Tonight we'll get together for a farewell dinner. We'll head to a restaurant and try okonomiyaki, savoury pancakes served with a variety of toppings including seafood, vegetables, pork and noodles.​

Day 17 Hiroshima - Osaka

​Osaka is the final destination of your tour, and you'll journey here by road, so this morning is all about relaxing and admiring the view from your window. You'll spend the rest of the day discovering Osaka Castle and the Floating Garden Observatory at the top of the Umeda Sky Building.

Day 18 Osaka - UK

​Your hotel is located close to the city's main shopping and entertainment district, so there's plenty to keep you busy today. Make your way to the upmarket stores along Midosuji Street, the so-called Champs-Élysées of the East.  Later, we'll transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving later the same day.​


Accommodation

Every hotel you will stay in on your holiday is hand-picked by us. We relish the challenge of finding the right accommodation for each and every tour, whether it's chosen for its location, its facilities or its downright quirkiness.

HIDE ACCOMMODATION ITINERARY

Day 2 - 3 :

Greenland Jiulong Hotel
The 4-star Greenland Jiulong Hotel is ideally located in the north bund area of Shanghai.

Hotel facilities include a selection of restaurants, bar and a gym. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, hairdryer and a TV.

Day 4 :

Holiday Inn Xian Big Goose Pagoda
Holiday Inn Xi’an Big Goose Pagoda guestrooms all feature flat-screen televisions, satellite channels, work desks with ergonomic seats and high-speed Internet access. The hotel has a fitness centre, spa, bar and restaurants.

Day 5 - 7 :

Radisson Blu Hotel
Radisson Blue Beijing is located 20 kilometres from Beijing Capital International Airport, short walk from the rail station, multiple subway lines and bus stops. Also near to Beijings attractions such as the New CIEC and the Forbidden City. Hotels facilities include the Huang Du Restaurant, Royal Cafe, The Grill, The Bar and fitness centre. Bedrooms have private facilities.

Day 8 - 10 :

New Otani Hotel
Located in Akasaja in the city centre of Tokyo. Hotel facilities include free Wi-Fi, restaurants, bar, spa & gym, garden, shops and private bedroom facilities.

Day 11 - 12 :

Associa Takayama Resort Takayama
The 4-star Associa Takayama Resort is situated in Takayama.

Hotel facilities include a restaurant and a bar. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning and a TV.

Day 13 - 15 :

Kyoto Tokyu Hotel
The 4-star Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is ideally located within reach of Kyoto''s main tourist attractions.

Hotel facilities include a restaurant and a bar. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, TV, complimentary Wi-Fi and tea/coffee-making facilities.

Day 16 :

Hotel Granvia Hiroshima
The 4-star Granvia Hiroshima is ideally located within easy reach of the main tourist attractions of Hiroshima.

Hotel facilities include a selection of restaurants and a bar. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, TV and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Day 17 :

Hotel Nikko Osaka
Hotel Nikko Osaka is a deluxe hotel located in a prime area of central Osaka. The hotel faces the famous tree-lined Mido-suji Avenue, the city's main boulevard.


Dates and Prices

You have chosen to arrange your own flights and transfers and meet us at your first hotel. Please see essential information for full terms and conditions.

 
TOUR DURATION
DEPARTURE DATE
DEPARTURE
PRICE FROM
STATUS
 
 
DEPARTURE
DATE
DEPARTING
FROM
DEPARTURE
WAS
NOW
STATUS
 

MON 15 MAR 21

London (Heathrow)

£5,798.00

£5,238.10

Available

Outbound
British Airways

Monday 15 March 2021

Departs

13:35 London (Heathrow)

Arrives

07:55 Shanghai (Pu Dong)

Operated by

British Airways

Inbound
British Airways - BA

Thursday 01 April 2021

Departs

11:40 Osaka (Kansai)

Arrives

16:00 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

British Airways

MON 15 MAR 21

London (Heathrow)

£5,599.00

£5,039.10

Available

Outbound
Air China

Monday 15 March 2021

Departs

15:00 London (Heathrow)

Arrives

08:15 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Operated by

Air China

Air China

Tuesday 16 March 2021

Departs

10:30 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Arrives

12:40 Shanghai (Hongqiao)

Operated by

Air China

Inbound
Air China - CA

Thursday 01 April 2021

Departs

09:00 Osaka (Kansai)

Arrives

11:20 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Operated by

Air China

Air China - CA

Thursday 01 April 2021

Departs

14:10 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Arrives

17:45 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

Air China

MON 12 APR 21

London (Heathrow)

£6,098.00

£5,508.10

Available

Outbound
British Airways

Monday 12 April 2021

Departs

13:35 London (Heathrow)

Arrives

07:55 Shanghai (Pu Dong)

Operated by

British Airways

Inbound
British Airways - BA

Thursday 29 April 2021

Departs

11:40 Osaka (Kansai)

Arrives

16:00 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

British Airways

MON 12 APR 21

London (Heathrow)

£5,899.00

£5,309.10

Available

Outbound
Air China

Monday 12 April 2021

Departs

15:00 London (Heathrow)

Arrives

08:15 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Operated by

Air China

Air China

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Departs

10:30 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Arrives

12:40 Shanghai (Hongqiao)

Operated by

Air China

Inbound
Air China - CA

Thursday 29 April 2021

Departs

09:00 Osaka (Kansai)

Arrives

11:20 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Operated by

Air China

Air China - CA

Thursday 29 April 2021

Departs

14:10 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Arrives

17:45 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

Air China

MON 24 MAY 21

London (Heathrow)

£6,198.00

£5,598.10

Available

Outbound
British Airways

Monday 24 May 2021

Departs

13:35 London (Heathrow)

Arrives

07:55 Shanghai (Pu Dong)

Operated by

British Airways

Inbound
British Airways - BA

Thursday 10 June 2021

Departs

11:40 Osaka (Kansai)

Arrives

16:00 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

British Airways

MON 24 MAY 21

London (Heathrow)

£5,999.00

£5,399.10

Available

Outbound
Air China

Monday 24 May 2021

Departs

15:00 London (Heathrow)

Arrives

08:15 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Operated by

Air China

Air China

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Departs

10:30 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Arrives

12:40 Shanghai (Hongqiao)

Operated by

Air China

Inbound
Air China - CA

Thursday 10 June 2021

Departs

09:00 Osaka (Kansai)

Arrives

11:20 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Operated by

Air China

Air China - CA

Thursday 10 June 2021

Departs

14:10 Beijing (Capital Intl)

Arrives

17:45 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

Air China

Prices are based on twin occupancy of a double or twin bedded room. Single occupancy supplements will apply. Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.