Temples wait serenely beneath tree blossom as walls rise and fall far beyond the horizon. Welcome to the best of Japan and China, a two-week tour of immersive history, iconic culture, and incredible nature. Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Shanghai are destinations that are enshrined in legend and yours to explore. Both of these countries offer an engaging adventure as the modern meets the ancient, leaving you two incredible cultures that will command your senses and your interest.
Tokyo – Touch Down in a Throbbing Megalopolis
Touch down in Tokyo and take some downtime to relax at your hotel and get yourself energized, and then head out with your local guide, not to any particular attraction, but to explore the most interesting neighborhoods. First impressions of Tokyo can be baffling as the enormous city pulses with life as contemporary culture is on display at every street corner. Begin to explore, and you can find subtleties, as each neighborhood is a little different from the next. Enjoy Shibuya, where great crowds of people cross the road beneath flashing neon. Move next to Harajuku, where the colors of subculture youth liven a park. Take in Ginza for a journey through fashion boutiques and 22nd-century design. It will be a journey from Japanese pop culture through striking architecture, to food halls and dinner at a legendary noodle shop, and a perfect beginning to your vacation.
Tokyo – Highlights of Old and New Tokyo
Hakone – Shinkansen, Ryokan and Kaiseki Ryori
Kyoto – Exploring the Spirituality
Kyoto – Legendary Temples From a Distant Time
Beijing – Contrasts and Charms
Beijing – Highlights of Old and New Beijing
Beijing – A Day at the Great Wall
Xian – A Fabulous Walled City and the Terracotta Warriors
Guilin – More of Xian and Cruising the Karst
Guilin – Relaxing Along the River and Visiting Local Villages
Shanghai – The Experience Changes Once Again
Shanghai – Highlights of Old and New Shanghai
Shanghai – Departure
- Bask in the beauty of Kyoto, where hundreds of temples have been breathtakingly preserved
- Feel your feet upon the Great Wall of China and visit different sections of the mega-structure
- Cruise serenely down the Li River, past the karst from Guilin to Yangshuo
- Discover the best of Tokyo, a city that timelessly blends old and new
- Feast your eyes on the Terracotta Warriors, just one iconic highlight in and around the imperial city of Xian
- Bathe in hot springs, experience a ryokan, dine on kaiseki ryori, and travel on a first-class Shinkansen bullet train
- Explore the best of Beijing, where spectacular history meets a bustling modern megalopolis
- End the vacation in Shanghai, where the old and new come together in distinctive parts of the city
- Japan and China are full of small pleasures; steamed dumplings, meeting with a monk, colorful parks, quiet landscapes and so much more
Temples rise evocatively amid the forest with each tier a little more exquisite than the last. Locals mingle outside the walled cities, including one that was once forbidden. Limestone karst dots the river, and you can travel serenely by boat. Mountains and cities carpet a valley, and then you can zoom through on a Shinkansen bullet train. In Shanghai, you can go in search of the finest steamed dumplings, while in Hakone you sit down for the complete kaiseki ryori feast. Welcome to the best of Japan and China with two weeks in two countries that blur the old with the new. Culture and tradition still ring true here, even if the city facades suggest otherwise. History is everywhere, juxtaposed with contemporary thinking, and the natural beauty is beyond what you may be expecting, superlative as it takes you away from it all.
New experiences are more than just every day here, as sometimes it will feel like every single moment is bringing something new. The impressions are endless, and it will take a while to reflect and recollect on what you have experienced. Often, it will be the small moments that leave the longest impression, be it a guide, a backstreet, a journey, or something that only you caught with your eyes. And while the destinations you visit are both legendary, each visitor’s experience is entirely different. In Japan, you will have two nights in Tokyo, a night of tradition around the Hakone hot springs, and then a full 48 hours in Kyoto. Fly next for three nights in Beijing, which includes the Great Wall, to be followed by 24 hours in Xian, two tranquil nights in Guilin, and the contrasts of bustling Shanghai.
There are extraordinary sights to behold, of course. You will see Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, all of the World Heritage Kyoto temples, the Terracotta Warriors, and Beijing’s historic core. Local delicacies and styles provide another experience, such as a ryokan in Hakone, village visits near Guilin, and discussing Zen with a Buddhist monk. The Japanese journeys are very memorable, first-class Shinkansen trains providing a snapshot of the country. In China, you can fly between destinations with expedited travel within a very large country. Hotels are handpicked to place you in the center of the action, surrounded by all the new impressions with guides that are experts in their craft, slowly revealing their little corner of the world. In just two weeks, it will begin to feel as though you have had many years of new travel experiences, and that’s the real beauty of these two countries. Consider learning more about our travelers’ best travel experiences by reading their travel reviews from China and Japan.
$4,363 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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