Ancient Empires of China & Japan


The ultimate tour for those wishing to combine the very best of two ancient nations. Join us on an incredible journey from Beijing to Tokyo by road, boat, rail and air on this epic three-week tour!

What’s Included

-Fully Inclusive - Touring with Guides and entrance fees - Included Meals - 18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 18 Dinners - International flights and current taxes - 18 nights in 3+/4 star accommodation - Visa fees for UK passport holders - Cruises - Li River Cruise, Huangpu River Cruise, Tokyo Bay Cruise - Max Group Size: 28 - Physical Rating: 1. Walking, some steps and time on your feet

Full Itinerary

Day 1-2: Fly overnight to Beijing

Fly overnight to China's historical capital, Beijing. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

Day 3: Walk on the Great Wall

This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that surrounds it. In the afternoon, enjoy the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace. End the day enjoying a traditional Peking Duck dinner.

Day 4: Explore the Forbidden City

Begin the day soaking up the harmonious ambience of the glorious Temple of Heaven where you can mingle with the locals and watch or participate as they practise Tai Chi, dance or play cards. Next, take a leisurely stroll in a traditional hutong neighbourhood and visit a family at home, to learn about life living in the hutongs. Later, head to Beijing's symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square, before entering the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City to explore this complex full of imperial riches.

Day 5: Travel to Xi'an

Board the bullet train to the ancient city of Xian. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Shui Jiao dumpling dinner and a lively Tang Dynasty dance show.

Day 6: Terracotta Warriors

After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life-sized warriors, followed by a visit to the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate them. Later, stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th-century city walls that enclose Xi'an's old town.

Day 7: Fly to Guilin

Visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and then fly to the beautiful city of Guilin.

Day 8: Cruise the Li River

Take a relaxed cruise along the Li River to the charming town of Yangshuo. Around every river bend is a view to take your breath away as jagged karst peaks tower over rural scenes of lush greenery, grazing buffalo and local fishermen. Here, enjoy some time strolling along West Street and visit the local markets.

Day 9: Visit Reed Flute Cave

Return to Guilin. En route, see the colourful stalagmites and stalactites of Reed Flute Cave and visit the South China Pearl Factory.

Day 10: Fly to Shanghai

Begin today with a stroll around Ronghu Lake and admire the Sun and Moon Pagodas – two towering examples of traditional Chinese Buddhist architecture before flying to the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai.

Day 11: Explore Shanghai

Shanghai is China's great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th-century temples. Start with a visit to the peaceful Yu Garden, pass through the old town and visit the Silk Factory. View the city at night from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise.

Day 12: Goodbye China, Hello Japan

It's time to say goodbye to China and hello to Japan! Fly to the vibrant city of Osaka.

Day 13: Osaka Castle

Explore Osaka Castle, take a short cruise along the Yodogawa River and stroll through vibrant Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample local delicacies for lunch. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this fascinating city.

Day 14: Discover Okayama & Kurashiki

Transfer by bullet train to Okayama and visit Korakuen Garden, one of the 'Three Great Gardens of Japan. Continue to Kurashiki to explore the beautifully-preserved Bikan Historical Quarter, where the streets along the banks of the Kurashiki River are lined with white-walled kominka (traditional houses). Continue to Hiroshima, a vibrant and forward-thinking city.

Day 15: Explore Hiroshima & Miyajima

Hop on a ferry to the holy island of Miyajima and visit Itsukushima Shrine. Return to Hiroshima and find a moment to reflect at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, paying homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Later, ascend to the observation deck of Orizuru Tower and enjoy the panoramic views.

Day 16: Travel to Kyoto

Transfer by bullet train to Kyoto, imperial capital for 1,000 years. Visit Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan's most famous Zen garden and Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the 'Golden Pavilion'.

Day 17: Explore Kyoto

Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, remarkable for its 10,000 torii gates and then head to Nishiki Market, also known as 'Kyoto's Kitchen' with its lively open-air market specialising in all things food! Also visit a restored wooden Japanese townhouse to experience the rituals of a tea ceremony and try your hand at the traditional art of origami.

Day 18: Bullet Train to Hakone

Transfer by bullet train to Hakone. Upon arrival, enjoy a boat trip on Lake Ashi before venturing up the Komagatake Ropeway where the views of the surrounding landscape and Mount Fuji will be breathtaking, but weather dependent of course! Later, continue to Tokyo, Japan's capital city.

Day 19: Contrasts of Tokyo

Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you will find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Begin at the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree, before wandering through the old district of Asakusa. Stop to explore the ancient Buddhist Sensoji Temple and drive past the Imperial Palace Plaza. Later, soak up the atmosphere at the peaceful Meiji Jingu Shrine. End your tour with a dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay.

Day 20: Fly Tokyo to UK

Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.

Hand Picked By

Carla Wilson

Having travelled with Wendy Wu myself, I can personally recommend them as well organised, customer focussed and an all-round fantastic operator to work with. Being experts in all things Far Eastern, their tours are planned and well executed by staff that know these destinations inside out. The best part is that Wendy Wu take away all the guess work. All excursions, meals and visas are included in the price you see in the brochure!

Carla Wilson

Additional Information

  • Date: Various departures for 2024
  • Board Basis: Full board
  • Duration: 19 nights
  • Departure Airport: London Heathrow
  • Guide Price: From £6,690pp
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