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Escorted Tours

China and Japan's Rail Odyssey including

Shanghai


Route:
  • UK
  • Kyoto
  • Tokyo
  • Beijing
  • Xi'an
  • Shanghai
  • UK

2 NIGHTS from £149pp

Tour Highlights
  • Explore the sights of Shanghai
  • City tours of Kyoto, Tokyo, Beijing & Shanghai
  • Visit Todaiji Temple & the deer of Nara Park
  • Stroll through the red Fushimi Inari gates in Kyoto
  • See snow-capped Mount Fuji from Hakone National Park
  • Visit the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden Palace
  • Marvel at the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an
  • Enjoy a geisha performance & sushi-making class

Extension from £149pp

Tour + Extension from £2648pp

To book call us on 0800 781 4893

Shanghai

Contrasting skyscrapers and traditional Shikumen houses form the skyline of Shanghai, perfectly reflecting the blend of Western cultures and Chinese traditions.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Kyoto

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Osaka, via Shanghai.

2
Kyoto

On arrival in Osaka, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the nearby city of Kyoto. The remainder of the day will be at leisure, allowing you to relax and settle in or explore the area around your hotel.

3
Kyoto

Experience traditional Japan at its finest as you tour Kyoto, a city of shrines, temples and geisha teahouses that boasts 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Enjoy double visions of gold as you witness the gold-leafed pavilion of Kinkaku-Ji and its shimmering reflection mirrored in the surrounding moat. Visit Fushimi Inari and stroll through a colourful arcade of vivid red 'torii', or shrine gates, inscribed with dedications to Inari, the god of rice. Browse the maze of food stalls in the 400-year-old Nishiki Market, bearing fresh produce, intriguing pickles and steaming bowls of udon noodles, then continue on to the geisha district of Gion. Spot geishas draped in lavish kimonos and explore the charming wooden buildings, teahouses and restaurants of the area before returning to your hotel.

  • Breakfast
4
Kyoto

A day trip to the nearby city Nara allows you to delve into the cultural legacy of Japan's ancient former capital. Visit the Buddhist complex at Todaiji Temple, home to the world's largest wooden structure and the colossal bronze Buddha statue nestled in its interior. Continue on to nearby Nara Park and watch over 1,200 deer roaming its greenery, perhaps purchasing some deer crackers to feed to these friendly park inhabitants. Travel back to Kyoto where this evening's entertainment allows you to experience an age-old tradition with a geisha performance and dinner.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
5
Kyoto to Tokyo

After breakfast, board your train bound for Tokyo and experience Japan's high-tech rail network, renowned for its speed, cleanliness and punctuality. Journey past rolling rural landscapes and through small, traditional towns as you follow the coastline, arriving in Tokyo later this afternoon for the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Breakfast
6
Tokyo

Tokyo's enchanting fusion of futuristic districts, centuries-old palaces, family-run ramen booths and streets dotted with cutesy anime depictions provides endless chances for exploration. A full day of sightseeing begins at Sensoji, Tokyo's oldest temple. Wander down Nakamise Shopping Street to reach the main hall and pagoda, where fragrant incense and Buddhist prayer chants fill the air. Follow in the footsteps of Japan's masterful sushi chefs as you learn more about this iconic dish at a sushi-making class then continue on to the area of Ginza, the country's biggest luxury shopping and entertainment district. Wander past luxe department stores, flashing neon signage and colourful buildings then end your tour in Akihabara Electric Town where a maze of elaborately decorated high rises houses gadgets and gizmos galore.

  • Breakfast & Lunch
7
Tokyo

Following breakfast, visit Hakone National Park, home to one of Japan's most instantly recognisable sights - the iconic Mount Fuji, fringed by thick forests and a crescent-shaped ring of shimmering lakes. Take a Hakone Ropeway cable car ride to a mountaintop station with spectacular vistas of the sparkling, blue waters of Lake Ashi and Fuji's snow-capped peak. From here, a short walking trail leads to Owakudani Valley, an active volcanic crater, where hot springs, bubbling pools and steam vents serve as reminders of the area's volcanic might.

  • Breakfast
8
Tokyo to Beijing, China

Bid farewell to Japan as you transfer to the airport for your flight to Beijing, China. Touch down in China's capital city, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel in time for dinner.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
9
Beijing

China's dynamic capital is built on an impressive scale, with its imposing monuments serving as reminders of its imperial past. Today's full-day tour takes you around the highlights of the city, starting with Tiananmen Square, where you'll explore the world's largest public square under the watchful eye of Chairman Mao's large, central portrait. From here, enter the vast Forbidden Palace and wander its 9,999 rooms and chambers before travelling onward to the tranquil Temple of Heaven. Later tonight, experience one of China's top delicacies as you savour a crisp, fragrant Peking duck dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Beijing to Xi'an

Today's excursion starts at the iconic Great Wall, constructed over 2,000 years ago to guard the Chinese Empire against Mongol invaders. Stroll along a section of this amazing structure which stretches over 5,500 miles, crossing deserts, grasslands and mountains. Travel back into the city and browse the old, traditional calligraphy and bookshops of Liulichang Antique Culture Street and the historic stores of Qianmen Dashilan, where some of China's most notable silk stores are located. In the evening, board an overnight sleeper train as you travel to Xi'an, taking in the night-time scenery that passes you by.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Xi'an

On arrival in Xi'an, you will be met and transferred to your hotel before setting out in the afternoon to visit Xi'an's City Wall, a long stretch of fortifications which is the oldest in China and provides dramatic views over the city.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Xi'an

Taking nearly four decades to complete and over 700,000 workers, Xi'an's Terracotta Warriors were built to protect China's first emperor in his afterlife. Explore this impressive underground mausoleum, and the 8,000 extraordinarily sculpted warriors, bronze chariots and preserved weapons on display. Continue on to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the Muslim Quarter, home to historic mosques and a labyrinth of market stalls selling everything from souvenirs to edible delicacies. Later this evening, travel back in time as you watch a colourful Tang Dynasty dancing show.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
13
Xi'an to Shanghai

After breakfast, board your bullet train and travel west to Shanghai. On arrival, experience your first taste of this fast-paced metropolis with a visit to the Bund, Shanghai's waterside walkway, followed by a stroll along Nanjing Road to observe the world's busiest shopping street. Check into your hotel in time for dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
14
Shanghai

Shanghai, China's biggest city, is also its most international. Enjoy the colonial-era and traditional Chinese elements of the city on today's tour. Explore the tranquil pavilions, rockeries and ponds of Yu Garden, the tree-lined avenues and chic eateries of the French Concession and the charming alleyways of the Old Town before taking in the ancient artefacts of the Shanghai Museum. Later, an optional evening river cruise down the Huangpu River that runs through Shanghai gives an excellent vantage point of the city's skyline.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
15
Shanghai to the UK

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK or continue on to your chosen extension.

  • Breakfast
16
Shanghai

Enjoy an extended 2-night stay in Shanghai spending your time at leisure.

  • Breakfast
17
Shanghai

Explore the city of Shanghai during your stay and take in the incredible blend of Western culture and Chinese tradition which makes this city famous.

  • Breakfast
18
Shanghai to UK

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Your Meals

In Japan, breakfast is always served in your hotel each morning and will be western style. Lunch and dinner, where included, will either be taken at your hotel or at a local restaurant. In China, breakfast is always western style and served in the hotel each morning. Lunch and dinner will be taken in local Chinese restaurants and served with either one beer or soft drink.

Important Information

Visas

Japan
UK passport holders don't currently need to obtain a visa prior to departure. A tourist visa will be issued on arrival for a duration of 90 days when you show your passport (must be valid for at least six months from the date you are due to leave Japan). Visa, arrival and departure requirements are subject to change and obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the traveller and not Mercury Holidays. We recommend you check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy prior to departure for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding visas and passport validity.

China
A visa is required for entry into China. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £189.00 when calling the Travel Visa Company, they will advise you of the most up to date fees. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are valid for unlimited trips to China for 2 years from the date of issue. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however, please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time.

Insurance

You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:

Age in YearsUp to 6465 - 7475 - 85
Up to 17 days cover£39£69£99
For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24 hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Direct will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Flight Information

Your initial flight is to Kansai International Airport in Osaka is with China Eastern Airlines (MU) via Shanghai. Please note your baggage allowance may vary. Please refer to the bottom right of your E-ticket receipt for the correct allowance. Hand luggage cannot exceed 5kg & 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your local guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times. Please note: there is no guide for the extension options.

Currency Information

The currency in Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY). You can purchase the currency before you travel but you will probably get a better exchange rate if money is exchanged when in Japan. You can buy Yen at foreign exchange banks and at the airport. Credit, debit and prepaid cards from international brands are accepted at a wide variety of places in the major cities within Japan. Outside of these, cards may not be widely accepted, although you will be able to withdraw cash in the local currency across the country at ATMs at 7 Eleven shops. The currency in China is the Renminbi, known as RMB or CNY. It is often referred to as the yuan. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. US Dollars are widely accepted in China should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £400 - £500 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal PriceBook Now
2018 Dates
26 Sep 201812 Oct 2018£199£3099£3298Book Now
10 Oct 201826 Oct 2018£199£2999£3198Book Now
24 Oct 201809 Nov 2018£179£2899£3078Book Now
14 Nov 201830 Nov 2018£179£2799£2978Book Now
28 Nov 201814 Dec 2018£149£2699£2848Book Now
05 Dec 201821 Dec 2018£149£2499£2648Book Now
2019 Dates
09 Jan 201925 Jan 2019£149£2799£2948Book Now
06 Feb 201922 Feb 2019£149£2849£2998Book Now
27 Mar 201912 Apr 2019£199£2949£3148Book Now
24 Apr 201910 May 2019£199£2999£3198Book Now
08 May 201924 May 2019£199£2949£3148Book Now
12 Jun 201928 Jun 2019£179£3049£3228Book Now
10 Jul 201926 Jul 2019£179£3049£3228Book Now
28 Aug 201913 Sep 2019£199£3099£3298Book Now
25 Sep 201911 Oct 2019£199£3099£3298Book Now
09 Oct 201925 Oct 2019£199£2999£3198Book Now
06 Nov 201922 Nov 2019£179£2799£2978Book Now
04 Dec 201920 Dec 2019£149£2499£2648Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Itinerary changes

Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. The schedules of the domestic airlines are subject to frequent changes. For this reason, we have indicated approximate times only. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction & weather conditions may lengthen the driving times.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Yuan

Average Flying time

11 hours

Min/Max temperature

-2 °C / 29 °C

Spoken languages

Mandarin, English

When to go

Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Kyoto

Tokyo

Beijing

Xi'an

Shanghai

Shanghai

What to pack
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhat
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera and charger
  • Travel plug multi adaptor - The voltage in China is 220 Volts.In Japan, the electricity supply is 110/120 volts and two or three flat pin plugs
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Small day pack for excursions
  • Waterproof, lightweight jacket
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Lightweight clothing
  • Sweater
Tour Dossiers
Other Extensions
  • Hong Kong
    Add a 3 night stay in Hong Kong

    3 nights from £499pp

    View
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Hotels & Accommodation

Other Extensions

Add a 3 night stay in Hong Kong
Tour Route
  • UK
  • Kyoto
  • Tokyo
  • Beijing
  • Xi'an
  • Shanghai
  • Hong Kong
  • UK

Towering skyscrapers form the backdrop to Hong Kong's busy harbour whilst the street markets that fill the teeming alleys remain untouched by western influences. Explore Hong Kong and Kowloon at your own pace during this extension which includes a half day city tour.

This add-on tour must be taken at the end of the main tour.

3 nights
from £499pp
View Extension
View Extension

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