Highlights of Japan & The Philippines
These leisurely paced trips are specially designed for first-time visitors who want a perfect balance of exploring a country's highlights and enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation. We understand that time is valuable, so our itineraries are carefully crafted to make the best use of your time while ensuring you don't feel overwhelmed with too much history and culture. Whether you're looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of stunning landscapes or indulge in rejuvenating activities, our With Ease itineraries offer a perfect blend of exploration and relaxation.
- Experience the flavours of the cosmopolitan city of Osaka.
- Spend an evening at the one of a kind Robot Show in Tokyo’s entertainment district.
- Join a tea master for a deeper insight in Japan's tea ceremony
- Keep your eyes peeled for dozing tarsiers at the Corella sanctuary
- Relax and unwind on one of Philippines beautiful beaches.
Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Bohol
After passing through customs and luggage collection, you're met by an airport guide who will give you your trip documents and direct you to the private service which takes you to your hotel. After checking in, spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Your day is at leisure and you may wish to visit Osaka Castle, arguably Osaka’s most famous landmark. Originally built in the late 1500s, the pretty wooden structure seems more charming than threatening, but it sits atop sheer stone ramparts that are now largely hidden by cherry trees, and withstood months of siege during the shogun era. Although the present castle was largely rebuilt in 1931, the views from the top floor of the surrounding gardens and city are stunning, and an excellent introduction to the city.
Catch the train to Kyoto, where you’ll meet your knowledgeable local guide for a string of hands-on cultural experiences, each carefully designed to introduce all your senses to some of Japan’s most refined and rarefied traditions. You’ll get a tour of a beautifully restored wooden townhouse, spend time learning how to put on and wear a kimono, before - suitably dressed - joining a tea master for a deeper insight into the tea ceremony and the meaning behind its ritual gestures. Afterwards you can enjoy a short introduction to origami.
Your day is at leisure to explore Kyoto. Your Destination Specialist will be happy to provide suggestions for ways to spend your time here.
Meet your guide for a tour of some Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. Start with Nijo Castle, an ornamental structure surrounded by stunning gardens, built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate. The main building was completed in 1603 and is known for its distinctive architecture and chirping ‘nightingale’ floors. Continue to Ryoan-ji, the site of Japan's most famous Zen garden, and home to the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Visit the picturesque district of Arashiyama, a popular destination since the 8th century (!) thanks to its striking bamboo forest and elegant shrines, taking in Togetsukyo (‘Moon Crossing’) Bridge over Katsura River, and making your way to the bamboo forest path on the west side of the river, where you may well hear the bamboo creaking as it sways in the breeze.
Make your own way by train from Kyoto to Tokyo and on to your hotel. Once you’ve checked in, your day will be at leisure until the evening, when it's time to venture into Kabukicho, Shinjuku’s red-light district, in time to catch the famous Robot Restaurant - a rather bizarre performance which mixes neon, techno, robots and dancers in a flashy floorshow the likes of which you’ve probably never seen... at least outside Tokyo.
Sample the freshest sushi you'll ever taste today at the Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the world's largest fish markets. Your guide will accompany you through the narrow streets of this traditional neighbourhood and help you order super-fresh sushi from one of the shops by the market. Finish your brunch in a graceful Edo-era garden, where you can taste frothy matcha in its elegant tea house. You'll then take to the Sumida River for a boat cruise to Asakusa, one of the city's oldest Geisha districts, and home to 1,400 year old Senso-ji (‘Asakusa Kannon’) Temple - Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist site. Visit Yanaka, another traditional area, where you'll see one of the oldest and largest cemeteries in Tokyo, with over 4,000 shrinelike graves including those of the Tokugawa clan, who ruled Japan as shoguns throughout the Edo era. The cemetery even has its own police station, and its avenues are lined with cherry trees. If time permits, your guide will introduce you to some interesting temples and shrines. The streets of Yanaka are lined with authentic craft shops, original restaurants and small coffee houses, and the remainder of your day will be at leisure to explore.
Your day will be at leisure to explore Tokyo at your own pace. Alternatively, you can venture beyond Tokyo to explore the popular seaside city of Kamakura or head into the mountains of Nikko National Park.
Your morning is at leisure until your departure for Narita Airport for your onward flight to Cebu in The Philippines, where you will connect for your ferry to Bohol. Upon arrival you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel on Bohol’s Panglao Island, where the remainder of your day is at leisure.
Spend a day at leisure in Panglao’s picture-perfect paradise, laying on the beach, snorkelling in the shallows or trekking to hidden waterfalls.
Head over the bridge to Bohol, driving through a bucolic landscape of coconut plantations and small villages, to the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella. Wander through a small section of the sanctuary, keeping your eyes peeled for dozing tarsiers, and possibly meeting famous conservationist ‘Tarsier Man’ Carlito Pizzaras. Continue inland to a viewpoint near Carmen, for panoramic views across Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills. This unique landscape of conical hills, covering an area of 20 square miles, turns brown during winter, making them look like domes of chocolate, but is lush green during summer. Soak up the scenery before driving south to Loboc for a leisurely cruise along a picturesque section of river, with palm trees and jungle foliage lining the banks, enjoying a typical Filipino lunch as you travel.
Another day to relax and enjoy the beach.
Your day is at leisure until your transfer to the airport.
English speaking, local guide
All accommodation listed
All train tickets and rail passes as listed
Luggage forwarding service as listed
4G Wi-Fi To Go Package
Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
All meals listed
International flight reconfirmation.
International airport departure taxes
Any meals not listed in the itinerary
Drinks, other than water on activity days
Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
All other services not listed in 'inclusive'