13 days

From £5,445

Activity Level:


The origin of the Japanese garden lies in simple, gravel-covered forest clearings where the gods could manifest themselves. Over the centuries the gardens have evolved into an idealized reflection of the natural landscape through the careful use of stone and water features, trees, plants and moss. They are places of exquisite beauty, where the eye is led gently to perfectly framed views, often ‘borrowing’ a distant landscape as part of the picture being created. Trees and plants are carefully chosen for certain qualities of form, colour or texture, all of which combine to create an atmosphere of calm and contemplation. Autumn and spring foliage is particularly highly prized.  Many of the most notable gardens are in and around Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, and we will have three full days exploring both public and private gardens here. We have included a variety of different styles: landscape gardens, stroll gardens, pond-and-island, each with its own particular charm and beauty. One of the best known is Kinkaku-ji, with the three-tiered Golden Pavilion at its heart. Another highlight of our stay in Kyoto is dinner with a Maiko, an apprentice geisha or, more correctly, geiko, the highly accomplished traditional hostess of Japan.

From Kyoto we travel by Bullet Train to Tokyo, where there will be further garden visits, including Hamarikyu. There is so much more to Japan than gardens, of course, and we have also included a wide range of other visits and excursions reflecting the unique culture of the country. Highlights include the historic town of Omi Hachiman, the Imperial Palace Garden in Tokyo and a cruise on Lake Ashi, beneath the snow–capped peak of Mount Fuji. We also offer an optional excursion to Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park. We spend our final full day in Kamakura, which includes a visit to the Great Buddha and Hase Temple and is rounded off with a farewell Japanese-style dinner at a local restaurant.

Tour highlights:

  • The temples and gardens of Kyoto, probably the finest in Japan
  • Stepping back in time to old Japan at Omi Hachiman
  • Watching the deer roam free in Nara Park
  • Riding the bullet train to Tokyo
  • The enormous Buddhas at Todaiji and Kamamura
  • Stunning scenery in Hakone, including the iconic Mount Fuji
  • The pulsating light show that is Tokyo at night
  • Dinner with a Maiko in Kyoto

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Your Departure date

Today's Price

Deposit: £520 Single supplement: £1,500

Includes flights

Meet your Experts

Colin Crosbie

Colin Crosbie was the Head Gardener to Her Majesty The Queen Mother in Windsor prior to taking up the position of Curator at RHS Garden Wisley, and is currently the President of the Scottish Rock Garden Club.

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Bamboo Forest, Kyoto
Tour dates & prices

Included in your cost:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals - as per the itinerary
  • London pre-flight Executive lounge access
  • Train travel
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout
  • All visits as outlined in the itinerary
  • Services of a professional tour manager & local guides


Optional Excursion (Hiroshima) - On request

Tour Departure Tour ID Departure date Return Date Guided by Price Deposit Single supplement Offer Availability
8 November 2023 BJPG231108 8 November 2023 (Wednesday) 20 November 2023 (Monday) Colin Crosbie £5,445
(inc. flights)
£520 £1,500 Book your trip
27 March 2024 BJPG240327 27 March 2024 (Wednesday) 8 April 2024 (Monday) £6,795
(inc. flights)
£520 £1,500 £5,845.50
save £949.50
Book your trip
6 November 2024 BJPG241106 6 November 2024 (Wednesday) 18 November 2024 (Monday) £6,595
(inc. flights)
£520 £1,500 £5,665.50
save £929.50
Book your trip
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