Tokyo & Kyoto Holidays: An Overview

Japan may not feature high on everyone's travel wish lists, but trust us - it should. There are few more rewarding destinations to visit, in terms of sights, sounds and particularly tastes, but the devil is very much in the detail, and that's where Original Travel comes in. We've now visited many of the highlight destinations, and can make the whole travel experience as smooth as possible with hotel and bullet train reservations and recommendations of the best things to see and do, and places to sample the quite simply sensational local cuisine.

Miranda is here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Of all the places in the Original Travel portfolio Japan is the one that requires the most expert advice, given language barriers and the sheer alien nature of the country. We look forward to explaining how to visit in style.

Tokyo and Kyoto: the Detail

There can be a temptation to try to cram too much into a short stay, but we can put together tailor-made itineraries according to your specific requirements. Tokyo and Kyoto are a shoe-in, but after that the options are endless, with the mountainous northern island of Hokkaido - home to sophisticated ski resorts and Sapporo beer - to consider, or the less-explored southern island of Kyushu and it's onsen hot springs and stunning volcano treks.

The largest island, Honshu, has much besides Tokyo and Kyoto including the revered and perfectly conical Mount Fuji, the deeply moving Hiroshima Peace Park and the elegant wooden houses of the UNESCO Heritage town of Takayama.

Despite some of the distances involved, travelling around Japan can be a hugely civilised experience. Anyone with (bitter) experience of the British rail system will only marvel at the whole process, as bullet and local trains adhere to their schedules literally to the second, and station attendants bow to trains as they leave the platform. Imagine that happening on the Waterloo & City Line of a commuting morning.

All in all this is - in our humble opinion - a destination as fascinating as any on the planet. Uncannily familiar on some levels yet completely 'other' at the same time, Japan is an endlessly fascinating destination that will reward all those intrepid enough to explore her.


Original Highlight

Head to the Gion area of Kyoto at dusk to see the Gieko and Maiko rushing between jobs in the tea houses. Wandering around the little back streets is like stepping into a time warp - or onto the set of Memoirs of a Geisha.

Miranda, Original Traveller

A note on price

Two weeks travelling around Japan and the Honshu region, including visits to Tokyo, Kyoto, Hakone and Hiroshima will cost from £4,300 per person including international flights. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 10°C / 50°F
  • Rainfall — 4cm / 1.9 inches
  • Water Temp. — 17°C / 62°F
Flight from London

11:30 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +9 hrs

Top picks for Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

If style, service and skyline views are the requirements, the Mandarin Oriental is the answer. Guests check in on the 38th floor of the Mitsui Tower with panoramic views over the bustling shopping and business district of Nihonbashi.

Where to stay

Aman Tokyo

Aman Tokyo

Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

The super chic Aman brand makes its debut in one of the world’s global cities with the opening of Aman Tokyo. Occupying the top six floors of the recently-built Otemachi Tower this five star urban sanctuary sits high above the buzzing metropolis with predictably fantastic views.

Where to stay

Hoshinoya Kyoto

Hoshinoya Kyoto

Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

Hoshinoya Kyoto ryokan (traditional inn) is located on the banks of the Ooigawa river in the scenic Arashiyama area on the outskirts of the fascinating city of Kyoto. Devoid of high rise buildings and with its beautiful Togetsukyo Bridge and Tenryuji Temple, this area of Kyoto is a real taste of the old capital.

Where to stay

Aman spa


Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

On the Japanese island of Honshu, Amanemu is set within the Ise-Shima National Park on the Kii Peninsula. The new Aman Resort boasts spectacular views over Ago Bay and its mesmerising waters are scattered with islets and oyster rafts.

Where to stay

The Peninsula Tokyo

The Peninsula Tokyo

Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

The Peninsula Tokyo is a five star hotel near the Imperial Palace in the Marunouchi business district with great views across the Tokyo cityscape.

Where to stay

Palace Hotel Tokyo

Palace Hotel Tokyo

Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

The Palace Hotel, so named because it overlooks the Imperial Palace gardens, was completely re-built for its 2012 grand opening.

Where to stay

Explore Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

We had a wonderful time, unforgettable. Thanks for the amazing organisation, everything was perfect!


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