Ancient & Modern Wonders

Explore two of the world’s most enthralling countries – Japan and China – on this astonishing Asia tour crammed with thrilling highlights.

On this wonderful – and wonderful value – tour, you’ll explore a host of must-see destinations, from historic Kyoto to electric Tokyo, from the glitz and steel of Shanghai to the iconic glories of Beijing, and from ancient Xi’an to friendly, forward-thinking Chengdu. As each wonderful day unfolds you’ll taste delicious food, encounter both ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity, and discover iconic sights from Mount Fuji to the Great Wall. Expect to return home enriched and enthralled by the extraordinary experience.

What does this price include?

  • 14 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at hotels in Osaka (3 nights), Mishima (1), Tokyo (2), Shanghai, (2), Beijing (3), Xi'an (1) and Chengdu (2), plus two nights on the aircraft
  • Six lunches and eight dinners
  • Return flights from London to Osaka, via Beijing (returning from Chengdu)
  • A flight from Tokyo to Shanghai
  • A bullet-train journey from Kyoto to Mishima
  • High-speed rail journeys from Shanghai to Beijing, from Beijing to Xi’an and from Xi’an to Chengdu
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Your holiday begins with an overnight flight to Osaka, via Beijing.

  • Arrive at Osaka’s island Kansai Airport, meet your tour manager and transfer to your hotel for the next three nights. Rest and relax after the journey.

  • Your exploration of the Land of the Rising Sun begins with a visit to what is probably Japan’s most celebrated castle, the remarkable fortress at Himeji. Entrance to the fortress and its adjoining Kokoen gardens are included, and after time here you'll return to Osaka to enjoy an evening in the bustling Dotombori district, known as Japan’s Kitchen thanks to its countless restaurants and street-food vendors.

  • Join your guide to discover magical Kyoto, Japan’s former imperial capital. See UNESCO-listed Nijō Castle, a 17th-century shogunate stronghold and a masterpiece of ornamental design surrounded by stunning gardens. Visit the famous Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, and the starkly beautiful dry-landscape Zen Buddhist garden at Ryoan-ji, and then perhaps enjoy lunch at the colourful Nishiki market, where hundreds of food-sellers hawk their wares in a noisy, friendly atmosphere.

    You’ll also visit the spectacular Kiyomizu–dera temple, among Japan’s finest and offering breathtaking views of the whole city from its lofty perch, and have the opportunity to stroll the lovingly restored streets of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka. Head to the ancient streets of the Gion district, and you might catch sight of geishas hurrying along.

  • Make the short journey by coach to Nara, Japan’s original Sixth-century capital, where sights will include the 1560ft-high Great Buddha at the Todai-ji temple, the sacred deer of the Nara Park and the colourful traditional lanterns at Kasuga Taisha shrine, one of Japan’s most important Shinto sites.

    Returning to Kyoto, you’ll visit the extraordinary red torii gates that line the snaking paths up the forested slopes to the outer shrine of the Fushimi Inari Taisha, and then transfer to the station to board a bullet train for the journey north to Mishimi, your gateway to iconic Mount Fuji and Hakone National Park.

    This evening, enjoy dinner – and perhaps a hot-spring Onsen bath – at your overnight hotel.

  • Today you'll journey north to beautiful Hakone National Park, which is dominated on clear days by the snow-capped cone of Mount Fuji. Search the horizon for views of the peak as you take a cruise on Lake Ashi and ride the cable car above the Komagatake Valley then continuing by coach to Owakudani, then travel through a volcanic landscape dotted with steaming fumaroles to Tokyo for a first evening in the Japanese capital.

  • Join your guide for a fascinating day exploring Tokyo, which will include the stunning bird's-eye view of the city from the observation floor of Shinjuku’s government buildings, the tree-lined avenues of Yoyogi park – the wooded haven in the heart of the city – the Meiji Shrine, and the gardens surrounding the Imperial Palace. See the ancient Buddhist Senso-ji temple and world-famous Shibuya Crossing, where thousands wait for ‘the green man’ to unleash a chaotic four-way sea of humanity.

    Later, why not visit one of Omote-sando’s Parisian-style cafés or discover the shops and stores of Ginza, Tokyo’s equivalent of Fifth Avenue, before returning to your hotel at the end of an exciting day?

  • You'll have an early start, this morning, as you say goodbye to your Japanese guide and transfer to the airport for the three-and-a-half hour flight to Shanghai, and to start the second, Chinese, sector of your oriental adventure.

    Once in Shanghai, you'll meet your tour manager at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Catch a first glimpse of the grand colonial buildings lining the famous riverside Bund before dinner, this evening.

  • Today, you'll have a guided introduction to this amazing city dominated by the gigantic skyscrapers of modern-day Shanghai, including the rocket-shaped Pearl TV Tower from which you’ll enjoy a bird’s-eye view. You’ll also visit the fascinating Shanghai City History Museum, take a tour of Old Shanghai, at the heart of which is the 16th-century Yuyuan classical Chinese garden, and visit an ancient silk-making centre.

    After a fascinating day, enjoy dinner at the hotel.

  • Board a high-speed train for the journey north to the Chinese capital, where you'll spend the next three nights. Upon arrival, by way of introduction, you'll head to beautiful Temple of Heaven in Tiantan Park, the great Ming Dynasty shrine that was at the heart of ceremonial life in the city for five centuries.

    This evening, enjoy a traditional Peking Duck dinner.

  • Another unforgettable day awaits, as you travel out of the city to Mutianyu. Here amid steep, forested hills, part of the Great Wall has been carefully preserved and a cable car provides a spectacular view of the structure. You’ll also visit the majestic and tranquil Summer Palace at Yiheyuan before returning to the capital for the evening.

  • Enjoy a fascinating guided tour of the Chinese capital, visiting the famous attractions that lie in the heart of this teeming city. Famous Tiananmen Square is the site of Chairman Mao’s tomb, the Great Hall of the People, the museums of Chinese History and of the Revolution, and is the gateway to the Forbidden City. This vast palace complex was home to 24 Chinese emperors, who lived in unimaginable splendour behind its imposing walls.

    You’ll also have the chance to wander the ancient hutongs, Old Peking’s fast-disappearing labyrinth of narrow alleyways and hidden courtyard houses, before enjoying a last night in the city.

  • Today you'll travel by train to China’s ancient capital. On arrival in the city you'll head to the city walls (China’s best preserved), and then take in the preserved Big Goose Buddhist pagoda.

    Later, enjoy dinner and your first night in this fascinating treasure-trove of a city.

  • This morning, you’ll visit the legendary Terracotta Army of the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shi Huang. An estimated 8,000 lifelike foot-soldiers, horsemen and charioteers were discovered in their vaults in 1974, and are now one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions. Close by, the yet-to-be-excavated tomb of the emperor is said to contain a vast underground city.

    After this extraordinary visit, you'll board another high-speed train for the three-and-a-half-hour journey to Sichuan province and the relaxed, modern city of Chengdu, where you’ll stay for the last two nights of the tour.

    Dinner this evening will give you an opportunity to sample traditional Sichuan cuisine.

  • One of the highlights of your whole tour will be today's visit to Chengdu's Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre, where you’ll learn about these wonderful creatures and the steps being taken to ensure their survival. After your visit you'll be able to enjoy the wonderfully relaxed atmosphere of the city. Modern developments contrast with the ancient Buddhist Wenshu Temple, the traditional teahouses of People’s Park and the colourful shops of old Jinli Road.

    This evening, a last dinner brings the opportunity to reflect on the wonders of the past two weeks.

  • After a leisurely morning and a final lunch, you'll be transferred to the airport for your daytime flight back to the UK. You'll arrive home this evening after a unforgettable holiday to two astonishing Asian nations.


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Japan & China – Wonders of the Orient Touring Hotels

You will be staying in a series of comfortable hotels that are conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

View Hotels

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

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