Few countries in the world can match Japan for its fascinating juxtaposition of old and new. To main ‘gaijin’ (foreigners) this national identity is manifested in visions of white-gloved attendants jamming passengers into commuter trains in busy cities, of robot toilets and conveyor belts of sushi… but the truth of it is that Japan is a complex, courteous, friendly and immaculately cultured land, where the real experience lies in the deeply engrained culture history and traditions.

For the perfect introduction why not join of the Tauck’s extremely popular ‘Essence of Japan’ tours, a 13-night exploration of Southern Honshu Island spinning an unforgettable round trip out of the modern day capital city of Tokyo. With the benefit of high-speed travel on the famous ‘bullet trains’, this comprehensive journey is a kaleidoscope of sights and invariably, those special Tauck moments, prepared by their industry-leading tour directors.

Discover the revered customs and unique sense of beauty that pervades both in bustling cities and the dramatic landscapes. Explore castles, temples, shrines, a samurai home and world class gardens. Discover the cultural treasure trove of the ‘1000 year’ ancient capital city of Kyoto. Drive from Kanazawa through the ‘Japanese Alps’ to take a cruise on Lake Ashi, with impossibly beautiful views across to Mount Fiji. Enjoy the serenity of a Japanese tea ceremony, make sushi, taste sake and take joy in tradition.