1 Arrive Beijing
On arrival in Beijing, be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This evening, savour a Welcome Dinner. Stay Three Nights: Beijing, Novotel Peace Hotel (D)
2 Beijing, Forbidden City
This morning, visit Tiananmen Square, one of the world's largest city squares. Continue to the Forbidden City. Steeped in history, it is the former home to an ancient line of Chinese emperors. After lunch, explore the World Heritage-listed Summer Palace. (B/L)
3 Beijing, Great Wall of China
Discover China's greatest icon, the Great Wall of China. Take in breathtaking views during a cable car ride to the Mutianyu section, one of the best-preserved parts of the wall. Return to the city later, passing by the Beijing National Stadium (the Bird's Nest) and the bubble-covered Water Cube. Continue to a cloisonné factory and enjoy a guided tour, learning about Chinese cloisonné. Tonight enjoy an Insider Experience. (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: This evening, sample Beijing's most iconic dish with a delicious banquet of Peking Duck at a local restaurant.
4 Beijing, Xi’an
This morning after breakfast, visit the Temple of Heaven, an imperial complex of religious buildings founded in the first half of the 15th century. Stay Two Nights: Xi'an, Grand Mercure (B)
Insider Experience: This afternoon, board a high-speed train headed for Xi'an.
Known for its remarkable collection of Terracotta Warriors, a discovery of Xi'an awaits today. Admire the excavation pits that have housed the thousands of sculptures since around 210 BC. Every sculpture is unique, with distinct facial features, hairstyles, postures and clothing. Spend the afternoon on a guided tour of Xi'an, taking in some of its most famous sights, including the Great Mosque, the lively Muslim bazaar and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: This evening, indulge in a traditional Chinese dumpling banquet.
6 Xi’an, Chengdu
After breakfast this morning, you will embark on a high-speed train journey to Chengdu where 'you'll be transferred to your hotel. The charming Tibet hotel tastefully combines traditional Tibetan decor with modern furnishings. Stay Two Nights: Chengdu, Tibet Hotel (B/D)
Insider Experience: Board a high-speed train to Chengdu.
After your Insider Experience and lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Buddhist Wenshu Monastery and learn about the ancient structure. Finish your day with a visit to the charming Jinli Street where bright lanterns light up the path. (B/L)
Insider Experience: Spend the morning at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Here 'you'll learn all about how the pandas are being protected.
8 Chengdu, Chongqing, Embark Ship
Following breakfast at your hotel, travel to Chengdu's Renmin Park. Also known as the People's Park, this lush garden is a hub for locals. Sample a range of teas at a teahouse before travelling by train to Chongqing where you will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before boarding your river ship. Kick back and begin your relaxing three-night cruise along the Yangtze River. Stay Three Nights: Yangtze River, Century Sun (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: Travel by train to Chongqing.
Today will be spent exploring Shibaozhai, an isolated peak rising from the northern bank of the Yangtze River. On the river side of the hill sits a magnificent red twelve-storey pavilion built during the Qing Dynasty. Tonight 'you'll enjoy a Captain's Dinner. (B/L/D)
10 Scenic Cruising, Shennv Stream
This morning, set off on a shore excursion to Shennv Stream, a small tributary of the Yangtze River with its narrow gorges and picturesque mountain sides. Much of the landscape remains in a pristine state due to the light boat traffic which travels through here. This evening, enjoy a traditional Chinese buffet dinner back on board the ship. (B/L/D)
11 Maoping, Disembark Ship, Wuhan
Bid farewell to your river ship and disembark in Maoping. Spend the morning at the Three Gorges Dam Site and take in the colossal scale of the world's largest hydropower project. Stay: Marco Polo Wuhan (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: Later today, depart on a high-speed train bound for Wuhan.
12 Wuhan, Shanghai
Today begins with a visit to the Yellow Crane Tower, a five-storey yellow tiled marvel sitting at the top of Snake Hill. Perhaps explore the city's streets at your own pace, or spend some time in your hotel relaxing. Stay Two Nights: Shanghai, Pullman Jing'an (B/L)
Insider Experience: Later, transfer to the station and catch a high-speed train to Shanghai where 'you'll spend the evening at leisure.
After your Insider Experience, it's time to experience Shanghai's bustling bazaar before visiting the historic Jade Buddha Temple. After lunch, explore the Bund, a famous waterfront area home to an impressive collection of European style buildings. Continue to Shanghai's French Concession and wander through the leafy streets. This evening 'you'll get to taste the traditional flavours of Shanghainese cuisine during a dinner at Xianqiangfang Restaurant. (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: This morning, take part in a tea ceremony at a traditional teahouse in Yu Garden.
14 Shanghai, Tokyo
Transfer to Shanghai airport for your flight to Tokyo. Tonight meet your Japan Great Rail Journeys Tour Escort for dinner. Stay Two Nights: Tokyo, Keio Plaza Hotel (B/D)
A full-day tour of Tokyo begins with a trip to the Edo Tokyo Museum or the Miraikan. Next it's onto the Asakusa Kannon Temple and Hamarikyu Garden, where 'you'll have the chance to sample authentic tea and sweets at a Japanese tea house. Afterwards, pay a visit to the Meiji Shrine and the famous Shibuya Crossing before returning to your hotel for an evening at leisure. (B)
16 Tokyo, Hakone
Enjoy a tour of Odawara before taking a ride on the Hakone Ropeway to the Togendai station, nestled on the shores of the tranquil Lake Ashi. Enjoy a relaxing cruise around the lake before continuing on to your hotel for the evening. Stay: Hakone Hotel (B/D)
Insider Experience: Today you will make the journey to Odawara by train, travelling in a ‘Romancecar' (observation car) on the picturesque narrow gauge line.
17 Mt Fuji, Matsumoto
This morning, travel to Mt Fuji, arguably Japan's most distinctive landmark. Driving along the foot of the famous mountain, and disembark for an Insider Experience. Continue to Matsumoto and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Stay: Matsumoto, Buena Vista Hotel, or similar (B)
Insider Experience: Disembark at the Mt Fuji Visitor Centre to learn more about the snow-capped peak.
18 Matsumoto, Takayama
Enjoy an Insider Experience at Matsumoto Castle this morning. En route to Takayama 'you'll stop at Hirayu Onsen, one of Japan's famous traditional open-air baths. Continue on to the picturesque town of Takayama, set atop brilliant hills. On a guided walking tour, see sights including the Old Jinya House and Kami Sannomachi. Stay: Takayama, Associa Hotel (B)
Insider Experience: This morning, venture to Matsumoto Castle, an impressive five-storey fortress.
19 Takayama, Nagoya, Hiroshima
After a morning visit to the Miyagawa markets, enjoy an excursion to the nearby Hida Folk Village. Stay Two Nights: Hiroshima, Granvia Hotel (B)
20 Hiroshima, Miyajima Island
Today, travel by train and ferry to Miyajima Island. Translated to ‘Shrine Island', the wooded island is home to the famous Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto shrine which appears to float in the island's waters at high tide. During your time here 'you'll enjoy a walking tour and see cheeky wild deer. This afternoon is set aside for you to discover the other sites of Hiroshima at your own leisure. (B)
21 Hiroshima, Kyoto
This enjoy some Insider Experiences at Hiroshima's World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum. Afterwards, travel by bullet train to Kyoto for another Insider Experience. Stay Three Nights: Kyoto, ANA Crowne Plaza or similar (B/D)
Insider Experience: This morning visit Hiroshima's World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum.
Venture to some of Kyoto's beautiful formal gardens this morning and enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. Afterwards, take a tour of Kyoto's most famous landmarks including the Nijo Castle, built in 1603; Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) which has an exquisite Japanese garden; and Kiyomizu Temple, a historic Buddhist temple that offers impressive views over Kyoto. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. (B)
Insider Experience: Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto's gardens this morning.
23 Kyoto, Nara
Today 'you'll enjoy a day trip to Nara, a picturesque city with charming narrow streets and an abundance of impressive temples. See the beautiful Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world and its Great Buddha and Nigatsu-do Shrine. Founded in 745 by Emperor Shomu, Todai-ji is a vast Buddhist temple complex that was constructed as a symbol of imperial power. Its famous Buddha towers overhead at 15 metres tall and is the largest Buddha statue in Japan. Later it's time for a stroll through Nara's famous Deer Park, home to over 1,200 wild deer who freely roam the park, grazing on the spacious lawns. (B)
24 Kyoto, Osaka
Travel to Osaka where 'you'll enjoy a guided tour that includes a visit to the Umeda Observatory in the iconic Umeda Sky building. Here you will enjoy panoramic views over Osaka and its castle. Spend your final evening with fellow travellers during a Farewell Dinner. Stay: Osaka, Sheraton Miyako (B/D)
25 Depart Osaka
Transfer to Osaka airport after breakfast for your onward flight. (B)