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JAPAN

Wed 1 May - Sun 12 May
(11 nights, 12 days)

Return flights from London:

Outbound: London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda

Wed, 1st May: 09:10 -  07:00 (+1 day)

Flight time:13 hr 50 mins

Inbound: Tokyo Haneda to London Heathrow

Sun, 12th May: 08:50 - 15:45 (same day)

Flight time:14 hr 54 mins

ACCOMMODATION

1 May (Flight)

 

  • Overnight flight to Tokyo.

2 - 6 May (Tokyo) 4 nights

6 - 8 May (Kyoto, Ohara) 2 nights

  • Ryokan Seryo

    • Suite with Private Open-Air Bath (Breakfast & Dinner for 2 included)

    • Check-in 3:00pm // Checkout 12:00noon

    • Address: 22 Oharashorinincho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 601-1241

    • Google Maps Location

8 - 11 May (Kyoto, Gion) 3 nights

11 - 12 May (Tokyo) 1 night: ​

  • Villa Fontaine Grand Hotel​

    • Has direct access to the airport. You can walk to Haneda Terminal 3 in 10 mins

    • Superior King Room (No breakfast i​ncluded)

    • Check-in 3:00pm

    • Address: 2 Chome-7-1 Hanedakuko, Ota City, Tokyo 144-0041

    • Google Maps Location

12 May (Flight)

  • Day flight back to London.

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DETAILED ITINERARY

Tokyo (東京, Tōkyō) is Japan's capital and the world's most populous metropolis. It is also one of Japan's 47 prefectures, consisting of 23 central city wards and multiple cities, towns and villages west of the city center. Before 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. Previously a small castle town, Edo became Japan's political center in 1603 when a dude called "Tokugawa Ieyasu" established his feudal government there. A few decades later, Edo had grown into one of the world's largest cities. With the restoration of the Emperor in 1868, the capital moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo ("Eastern Capital"). 

Getting around:​ Subway or Taxis.

Taking the subway is great (and an experience), but it is kinda hectic and confusing coz the Subway is run by two entities, which sometimes means two tickets (you can read more about it here). 

You can hail taxis anywhere and that tends to be the cheapest and quickest option (down side is the drivers often don't speak English). Your other option is to download the GO App which is Tokyo's main taxi booking app. Uber does work but it's not got the biggest network and apparently can take a while to get a booking.

1 May (London to Tokyo Flight)

  • 09:10: Overnight flight to Tokyo.

  • When I check you in I'll see if you can upgrade.

2 May (Tokyo)

  • 07:00: Land in Tokyo Haneda Airport

  • 08:00: Taxi to your hotel (30 mins): Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier

    • Taxi will cost anything from £25-£50.

    • There are a bunch of Mitsui Garden Hotels so make sure you're going to the right one.

    • Google Maps Location

  • Early check in (pending: I need to call hotel)

17:00 - 18:30: Sushi Making Experience at "Sushi Bar Yachiyo" (BOOKED)

  • Booked​​ for the two of you at this other 100yr old sushi house. 

  • The chef doesn't speak English so I've requested an English translator.

  • I told them about your peanut allergy and selected one vegan option.

  • This is the exact location to head to: Google Maps.

19:00 - 19:30 TeamLab (BOOKED)

  • 15 min walk from your hotel

  • Digital Artworks (you've probably seen online!), selling out pretty quickly.

  • This is the only slot left available to book. Sorry it's so late.

  • You can enter anytime between 7pm and 7:30pm and stay as long as you like.

 

Suggestions for rest of the day:

Anytime: Tokyo Tower

  • 20 min walk from your hotel

  • Eiffel-tower like hotel that's a big Tokyo landmark. It's the red tower in the pic below.

  • Right next door is a temple complex as well.

Anytime: Roppongi Hills

  • 10 min walk from your hotel

  • Entertainment and shopping complex​ (tap link to read more about it)

  • Head to Tokyo City View observation deck for "one of the best" views over Tokyo (the photo below is the view).

11:00 - 14:00: Lunch at International House of Japan (Tea Garden)

  • ​5 min walk from your hotel​

  • Tap link to see their menu

Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier

​​

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3 May (Tokyo)

10:00 - 15:00 Customised walking tour

  • £236 for private tour (only option available).

  • 5 hrs in total, but can be totally customised to what you want.

  • Would be a great first full day intro to Tokyo.

  • Spots to include:

    • Tsukji Fish market (Tokyo's massive famous fish market)

    • Harajuku District (where all the cosplay lot hang out) 

    • Shibuya crossing

  • They could also tick off all the spots you're keen to hit up like:

    • ​Akihabara: Kutobokia store​

    • Ginza: Dover Street Market

    • Parco Mall: Nintendo Store, Capcom, Shonen Store & Pokemon Centre

Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier

4 May (Tokyo)

07:30 - 10:30: Sumo Wrestling Practice Experience (£90 per person)

  • Must be pre-booked (soon)

  • Getting to a tournament or match is tough, so this seems to be the next best thing!

  • Lasts 3 hours and you get to visit a Sumo "stable" (tap link above to find out more)

Anytime: Explore the Asakusa Area

  • This is one of the oldest parts of Tokyo and often called the temple district.

  • It's home to the "Senso-ji" - the city's oldest temple and a "must see" in Tokyo. Read more here.

Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier

5 May (Tokyo)

Day to chill or head out shopping.

Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier

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​​6 May (Tokyo to Kyoto, Ohara)

11:00: Check out and head to Tokyo train station

  • Check out time is actually 12noon so if you wanted to stay longer you could.

11:30: 'Shinkansen' bullet train to Kyoto

  • Takes about 2.5 hrs (£78/person).

  • You have to pre-book and pick up tickets from a station.

14:30: Taxi to Ryokan Seryo

  • Trip is about 45 mins and takes you to the countryside just outside of Kyoto.

  • I'll pre-book a taxi once we sort train times.

15:00: Checkin and chill out for the night.

  • Just a reminder that your breakfast & dinner is included at the Ryokan Seryo.

For your first two nights in Kyoto, you'll be staying in the Ryokan Seryo:

  • A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese Inn, which means your room and (sometimes) the entire building are built in traditional style.

  • There's a certain degree of old-fashionedness and formality with staying in one.

  • If you want to read more about them head here.

Accommodation: Ryokan Seryo

7 May (Kyoto, Ohara)

  • Ohara is a cute-as-hell little town in the mountains of Northern Kyoto.

  • The most famous thing to visit is the Sanzenin Temple, which is right next to you hotel, but there are also other temples to visit.

  • Your Ryokan has an Onsen (Japanese hot spring) so you can use the public one or the private on in your room.

  • Read more about Ohara here.

Accommodation: Ryokan Seryo

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Kyoto (京都, Kyōto) was Japan's capital and the Emperor's residence from 794 to 1868. It's one of the country's top ten largest cities with 1.5 million inhabitants. Over the centuries, Kyoto was destroyed by many wars and fires, but due to its historic value, the city was dropped from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and escaped destruction during World War II. You've got a bunch of templesshrines and other historically significant structures that survive in the city today and are well worth a visit!

8 May (Kyoto, Gion)

12:00:​ Check out and head back to Kyoto

15:00: Check in at hotel Celestine

Suggestions for afternoon:

Anytime: Explore the Gion district 

Accommodation: The Celestine Hotel Gion

9 May (Kyoto, Gion)

Kyoto has some lovely temples, markets, shrines and experiences.

Below is a list of places you could visit on your own or on a tour with a guide.

  • Kinkakuji Temple. The iconic Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. 

  • Fushimi Inari Shrine. Shinto Shrine famous for its 1000s of red "Tori" gates.

  • Arashimaya District. Bamboo groves and temples.

  • Nishiki Market. Narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants

  • Pontocho. One of Kyoto's best dining streets (with options like yakitori to traditional & modern Kyoto cuisine).

Experiences:

Accommodation: The Celestine Hotel Gion

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10 May (Kyoto, Gion)

Osaka day trip

  • Train takes 20-30 mins and they leave every 30 mins (tickets are £4/each approx)

 

13:00-15:00: Soba Noodle Making at a temple!

  • Booked for the two of you.

Things to do

Experiences

Accommodation: The Celestine Hotel Gion

11 May (Kyoto to Tokyo)

Figured you may want a relaxed morning before you head back to Tokyo for the night. 

12:00: Check out and grab bullet train back to Tokyo.

Your hotel is connected to Tokyo Haneda Terminal 3, so you can literally walk to the airport in the morning.

Accommodation: Villa Fontaine Grand Hotel​

12 May (Tokyo to London)

  • 08:50: Day flight back to London.

  • When I check you in I'll see if you can upgrade.

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