Ancient Empires—Beijing to Tokyo
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From Jan 20

Explore two ancient nations in 16 well-packed days on this unique journey that takes you from the epic lengths of the Great Wall of China to the poetic views of Mt Fuji. Hop aboard trains and ferries and face an army of Terracotta Warriors for a historical encounter you won't soon forget. Spend nights in a traditional ryokan and a shukubo temple lodging for an authentic Japanese experience. Our CEOs will take you off the beaten track to reveal the cultural treasures of the region’s ancient sites.

  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Supplier Tour ID: ACCJ.C/254616
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Beijing, China
  • Finishes: Tokyo, Japan
  • Age requirement: 12 +
You will Visit
  • Beijing
  • Xi'an
  • Shanghai
  • Osaka
  • Kōyasan
  • Hiroshima
  • Kyoto
  • Hakone
  • Tokyo



Day 1: Beijing

Arrive at any time.
Is Beijing top of your must-see list? Booking pre-trip accommodations will let you do Beijing your way before meeting up with the group.


Day 2: Beijing

Enjoy an included visit to the Great Wall.
Head out of town to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Spend time wandering around, taking photos, and picking up souvenirs.


Day 3: Beijing/Xi'an

Take the Beijing metro to visit the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Later, board a fast train to Xi'an.


Day 4: Xi'an

Visit one of China's greatest archaeological treasures—the Terracotta Warriors. After, the day is yours to explore as you wish.


Day 5: Xi'an/Shanghai

Say goodbye to Xi'an this morning and hop on the fast train to the bustling city of Shanghai.


Day 6: Shanghai

Train to Suzhou today for a day exploring in the city. Admire Suzhou's classical gardens, canals, bridges and museums.


Day 7: Shanghai

After an orientation walk along Shanghai's famous Bund, you are free to explore the delights this modern Chinese city has to offer.


Day 8: Shanghai/Osaka

Hop on a flight from Shanghai to Osaka. Take the evening to explore the city.
Board a flight from Shanghai to Osaka and enjoy a free night exploring the cityscape.


Day 9: Osaka/Kōyasan

Depart early and travel to the centre of Buddhism in Japan and sleep in a temple atop the 800m Mt Koya. Savour a traditional dinner of shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine). Watch the monks pray in the morning.
Journey to Mt Koya, a religious centre founded in 816 by the Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi. The train ride up the mountain is possibly one of the finest rail journeys in Japan. For the final steep ascent, switch to funicular and then hop on a bus to reach the monastery.

In the evening, dine on shojin-ryori, typical vegetarian cuisine, and relax in a yukata, or kimono.


Day 10: Kōyasan/Hiroshima

Watch the monks pray in the morning and enjoy a traditional breakfast before travelling to Hiroshima. This afternoon, visit the Peace Park and Memorial Museum commemorating the events of 1945.
Early morning offers the chance to observe the monks praying. Breathe in some fresh mountain air before a vegetarian breakfast, then start the journey back down the mountain via bus, train and funicular.

Later, board a train to Hiroshima, a historically significant city, marked by the explosion of the first atomic bomb in 1945.


Day 11: Hiroshima

Take a ferry ride over to the sacred island of Miyajima to see the famous floating Torii Gate. Opt to hike around Mt Misen.


Day 12: Hiroshima/Kyoto

Travel to Kyoto and start exploring. Visit the impressive Nijo Castle and gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening, explore the geisha district of Gion on a CEO-led walking tour.


Day 13: Kyoto

Enjoy a visit to the beautiful Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine and walk under the bright torii gates. Opt to shop, stroll along the riverbank, or explore another of Kyoto's many temples with free time.


Day 14: Kyoto/Hakone

Take a boat ride on Lake Ashino-ko, and hopefully catch a glimpse of majestic Mt Fuji. Enjoy a stay in traditional ryokan accommodation, feast on a Japanese multi-course kaiseki meal, soak in the natural hot springs, and sleep on a futon.
Travel to Hakone, a town in the hills famous for its onsens, or natural hot springs. Stay in a traditional ryokan, with its own private onsen.

In the evening, enjoy the ryokan, savouring a complex meal of traditional Japanese foods, followed by a recommended soak in the onsen.


Day 15: Hakone/Tokyo

Head to Tokyo with time to do some last-minute shopping.
Arrive before noon to Tokyo, with time to explore this energetic metropolis.

Opt to visit Ueno park and the museums, Akihabara for cutting edge electronics, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, walk the grounds of the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just stroll the streets, looking for the traditional life that still lies just under the modern surface.


Day 16: Tokyo

Depart at any time.

    • Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your Discover Moment: Shanghai Your Local Living Moment: Overnight in Mount Kōya Temple, Kōyasan
    • Great Wall excursion and entrance (Beijing)
    • Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City guided tour
    • Terracotta Warriors excursion (Xi'an)
    • Master of the Nets Garden visit (Suzhou)
    • Shanghai orientation walk
    • Chinese acrobat performance (Shanghai)
    • Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum visit
    • Miyajima excursion with floating torii gate visit
    • Nijo Castle and gardens visit (Kyoto)
    • Gion walk
    • Fushimi Inari shrine visit
    • Lake Ashino-ko boat ride
    • Traditional ryokan stay with kaiseki meal
    • Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    • Hotels (13 nts), mountain monastery (1 nt, shared facilities), traditional inn (1 nt, shared facilities)
    • 4 breakfasts, 2 dinners
    • Train, local bus, air-conditioned bus, walking, metro, bullet train, plane, ferry
    Group Leader
    • CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout except on the flight from China to Japan, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Meet the ancient Terracotta Warriors
  • Visit the Great Wall of China
  • Sleep in a temple atop Mt Kōya
  • Get a bird's-eye view of Mt Fuji from a cable car
  • Stay in a traditional ryokan