Best of Japan & China

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • APT

Can’t decide between visiting China or Japan? Why not visit both? In Japan, see Mt Fuji, take part in a tea ceremony, and learn how to make ramen, before zipping over to China to gorge on Peking duck, walk along the Great Wall and cruise the Yangtze.

  • In the former capital, Kyoto, interact with geiko or maiko during an evening of traditional entertainment and dinner.
  • Evocative and sobering, see the collection of items salvaged from the aftermath of the catastrophic atomic bomb.
  • Be the envy of your friends with a private chef-prepared buffet lunch along a quiet stretch of the Great Wall of China.
  • Japan
  • Asia
  • China
Tour Types
  • Land Journey
  • Rail
  • River Cruise
  • QANTAS Frequent Flyer
  • Small Group Journeys

Welcome to the Land of the Rising Sun! We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to spend however you like. Tonight, head back to your hotel for a welcome reception.

It’s your first full day in Japan. Begin your day with a visit to Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji. It’s then onto the Samurai Museum, where you’ll have the chance to learn all about these honour-bound warriors. For some retail therapy and a dose of local culture, head to Ginza, Tokyo’s most exclusive shopping mecca. The afternoon is yours at leisure before a welcome dinner.

The morning is off to an exciting start with a visit to the Sumo Museum, where you will gain an in-depth insight into Japan’s national sport. After, it’s time to see a sumo demonstration for yourself. If you’re up for it, you might like to try a round of wrestling. After lunch at a local restaurant, head to Asakusa for a wander through old Tokyo before passing Thunder Gate entrance to Sensoji temple. Next stop is the Tokyo Skytree, a television broadcasting tower and the tallest structure in Japan.

Hakone is a city renowned for its natural beauty, and that’s where you’re heading. En route, visit Honma Yosegi Museum to admire the Edo-period artisan crafts exhibition. After stopping for lunch, you’ll ride the Hakone Ropeway and, if the sky is clear, see Mt Fuji. Cap off your day with a visit to the Hakone Open-Air Museum.

Board a bullet train to Kanazawa. On arrival, visit the Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan’s most beautiful landscaped gardens. At the old castle town, a tour includes the Nagamachi Samurai district and the Nomura Samurai House, a traditional Japanese home from the Edo period. Dinner is at a local restaurant.

Head out this morning to explore the Higashi Chaya district, where you may spot some of Kanazawa’s geishas. Learn the history of gold leaf art and create your very own set of gold leaf chopsticks. The historic village of Shirakawa-go is your next stop. Take a stroll, admiring the Gassho-zukkuri farmhouses.

A bullet train takes you to Hiroshima, where, upon arrival, you’ll have free time. Tonight, choose where you’d like to go for dinner.

Spend the morning at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Once the political and commercial hub of the city, the park now stands as a sombre reminder of the importance of peace. From here, a brief ferry ride takes you to Miyajima Island, where you’ll see the iconic ‘Floating Torii Gate’. Drawing visitors from all over the world, the gate gives the illusion of floating atop the water at high tide.

Board the train bound for Kyoto. On arrival, you’ll take part in a tea ceremony, dressing in traditional Japanese attire, before strolling through Higashiyama district in the hopes of seeing a geisha.

Discover the cultural capital of Japan on a full day tour. Visit Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion), as well as Nijo Castle and its immaculate surrounding gardens. After lunch, the afternoon is yours to shape with your choice of activity. Tonight, enjoy a Signature Experience.

In the former capital, Nara, visit the iconic Todaiji temple, located within the popular Nara Park. Also coined ‘Deer Park’ by many, you’ll see hundreds of roaming deer who will enthusiastically bow in exchange for treats. Continue on to the Kasuga Taisha shrine, first established in AD768. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to Kyoto and stop by at the Sake Brewery Museum where you’ll relish the chance to sample the local brew. Cap off the day with a visit to the Fushimi Inari Shrine where you’ll receive a Shinto blessing by a priest.

Unleash your inner celebrity chef with a ramen making workshop this morning. When it comes to a delicious bowl of ramen, it’s all about the broth, seasoning, noodles and toppings. Have a go mastering the art yourself, and then enjoy your hard work for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is yours to while away however you like. Tonight, a farewell dinner is the perfect way to end to your trip.

A new day, a new country. We’ll meet you on arrival and transfer you to your hotel. After settling in, you’ll have plenty of time to relax.

There’s so much to see and do in China’s capital. Your first full day in Beijing begins with a tour of Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest city square. You’ll then enjoy your first Signature Experience. The afternoon is at leisure before an evening indulging at an authentic Peking duck banquet.

Today you will make your way to the Great Wall of China. Tonight, there is an option of sightseeing.

Seize the day with a choice of sightseeing. Later, on your way to the airport, explore the modern 798 Art Zone, a contemporary art district in Beijing. Fly to Yichang. On arrival, we will transfer you to your ship – the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer.

Draw back the curtains this morning to the spectacular scenery of the Three Gorges region. At the Three Gorges Dam, take a tour of the Three Gorges Project and exhibition. Back on board, pass through the longest of the Three Gorges, Xiling Gorge, cruising through Yellow Ox Gorge and under Huangling Temple. Toast the journey with a captain’s welcome reception and a special welcome dinner.

At Badong, a ferry takes you to a traditional Chinese sampan (longboat). Paddle down the river, looking around at the rich surrounding forest and towering rock formations. The nose of your sampan touches the shore at a local riverside village, where you’ll sneak a glimpse of rural Chinese life. Continue to Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge. Later, you might like to attend an arts and crafts lesson on board.

Start your day with a Tai Chi class up on the ship’s observation deck. Drop anchor at Fuling, a sleepy town along the Yangtze. Here, visit the 816 Underground Project, an old nuclear site hidden in the mountains. Shape your afternoon with a choice of activity. Perhaps attend a Chinese brush painting and calligraphy demonstration. You may prefer to play Mahjong, the ancient tile-based game. Or learn a little Mandarin. If you’re feeling peckish, opt for a dumpling making lesson run by the ship’s chef. Tonight, the Emperor’s farewell dinner includes a Chinese banquet feast.

Disembark your cruise in Chongqing where you’ll board your high speed train to Chengdu. Upon arrival, head out for a stroll along the lantern-lined Jinli Old Street to peruse the local stalls and cafes. Choose where in your hotel you’d like to dine tonight.

The morning is off to a delightful start with a Signature Experience. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to spend how you wish.

After breakfast head to the airport for your flight to Xi’an. This afternoon, join a city tour. Visit the ancient city wall, constructed in the 14th century during the early Ming Dynasty. Tonight, choose your sightseeing.

Today you will explore one of the oldest cities in China. Head to a clay factory where terracotta soldiers are still being made. Spend the afternoon at the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum.

Today you’ll fly to Shanghai. On arrival, jump on the high-speed Maglev train which travels at an exhilarating 300 kilometres per hour. From Jesuit cathedrals, Jewish synagogues and Buddhist temples, you’ll notice right away the diverse range of architectural styles in Shanghai.

This morning, head down to Shanghai’s waterfront for a Tai Chi lesson taught by a master. Veer off the beaten path and discover a new side to Shanghai with a vintage convertible Jeep ride. Later, stop at the Jin Mao Tower and take an elevator to the 88th floor viewing deck, where you’ll be whipping out your camera to capture those panoramic views of the city. This evening, enjoy your final Signature Experience.

Craft your day with a choice from three sightseeing experiences. A special farewell dinner is the perfect way to end your trip.

Your journey draws to an end. We’ll transfer you to the airport for your onward flight home

Touring with APT

It’s the extra little things APT think of that make your journey totally unforgettable. Whether it’s the inspirational destinations; eye opening experiences; or the fact that so much is included in the price, rest assured APT takes care of everything.

Learn from expert inside knowledge whilst you explore iconic sites – as well as discovering undiscovered gems at lesser known locations. Experience a new perspective on the world as the sights, sounds and flavours of unfamiliar cultures are vividly brought to life by their hand-picked local guides. And enjoy the unparalleled level of care and attention APT has refined over 90 years of family ownership.

APT offer a choice of Luxury or Essential river cruises and tours (Essential holidays are operated by APT Travelmarvel). There’s so much included from excursions, tipping, port charges and flights. Luxury even includes private home-to-airport  transfers and a range of Signature Experiences, giving you once-in-a-lifetime moments. And because everyone is different, the Freedom of Choice concept allows you to tailor your sightseeing in select locations, your way, at no additional cost.

But it’s the attention to detail in their personal service that truly sets APT apart. Their guests think so too. They’ve given them a 5 star TrustPilot rating.

Delight in every detail. That’s the APT Difference.


tour details

This tour is operated by APT

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Meals:26 breakfasts, 19 lunches, 18 dinners
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