12 Day China & Japan’s Imperial Cities

12/27/2018 through 12/17/2019
06/29/2018 through 12/31/2019
Kensington Tours

12 Day China & Japan’s Imperial Cities

Age-old rivals and at times bitter enemies, the cultures and histories of China and Japan share common roots. Step back across the gulf of time with us on this captivating journey that explores the ancient and modern capitals, religious centers, and cultural hotspots of these Asian giants on a luxurious, life-changing experience.

After getting settled in Beijing, the adventure begins northeast of the city with a private wine tour at Chteau Changyu, a French-style chteau in the rolling hills of the Miyun District. Refreshed, you’ll walk the imposing Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, where its 22 watchtowers gaze out across the mountains. Back in the city, visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites and the world’s largest public square on a privately guided tour of Tiananmen Square, the lavish 178-acre Forbidden City palace complex, and the peaceful Temple of Heaven. You’ll also be granted exclusive access to the Forbidden City’s rarely visited Shu Fang Zhai Palace, where Emperor Qianlong lived as a boy. Finally, dine out on Peking duck, Beijing’s signature dish, at a popular restaurant before moving on to your next stop: Xi’an.

In addition to serving as the preferred home of China’s imperial dynasties, Xi’an boasts one of the country’s most significant Muslim populations. You’ll discover this first-hand on a private twilight walking tour of the bustling Huajue Xiang market en route to witness the musical fountain at the famous Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Next, come face-to-face with the city’s most famous residents, the Terra-Cotta Warriors, on a private full-day tour of their museum before stepping inside the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to get a glimpse at its collection of sacred Buddhist artifacts and murals.

Few places blend the past with the future as seamlessly as Shanghai, your next stop. You’ll discover this first hand on a private tour of the French Concession neighborhoods of Tianzifang and Xintiandi where you’ll see traditional and modernized examples of stone-arch shikumen architecture on your way to dinner and a spectacular performance by the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe. Later, marvel at the Shanghai Museum’s 120,000-strong collection of artifacts, visit the famous Jade Buddha Temple and unwind amid the serene confines of Yu Garden before bidding a fond zeh wèh to China and crossing the East China Sea to your next stop: Japan.

With so much to see and do, Tokyo can be an overwhelming place for the first-time visitor and savvy veteran alike. With the help of a private guide, you’ll see the Japanese capital as it was meant to be seen. After exploring the must-sees of atmospheric Asakusa, including the revered Sensoji Temple, the Meiji Shrine, and the Nakamise and Omotesando shopping streets, head downtown to tour peaceful Ueno Park and nearby Ameya Yokocho, a bustling market under the elevated rail lines.

The adventure ends in Kyoto, where the Japan of the imagination lives. First, get a taste of traditional Japan on a private walking tour through Higashiyama, home to temples, pagodas, and ancient shrines before dining out at one of the city’s top restaurants. Later, explore Kyoto’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites on a private tour that takes you to the fabled Kinkakuji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), through the narrow lanes of the Nishiki Market (famed for its seasonal cuisine and only-in-Kyoto delicacies), and your choice of the stunning Sanjusangendo Hall and its 1,001 wooden Kannon statues, or Kiyomizu Temple, blessed an utterly stunning view of the city.

Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard.


Day 1 Beijing
Day 2 Beijing
Day 3 Beijing
Day 4 Xian
Day 5 Xian
Day 6 Xian
Day 7 Shanghai
Day 8 Shanghai To Tokyo To Welcome
Day 9 Tokyo
Day 10 Tokyo To Kyoto
Day 11 Kyoto
Day 12 Kyoto

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