Japan & The Philippines with Ease
As the name suggests, our With Ease itineraries are leisurely paced trips that balance a country’s must-see highlights (without overdosing on history and culture), with plenty of R&R time. They are ideal for the first time visitor; designed to make the best use of your time without feeling rushed. This is a holiday after all!
At a glance
- Experience the flavours of the cosmopolitan city of Osaka.
- Spend an evening at the one of a kind Robot Show in Tokyo’s entertainment district.
- Join a tea master for a deeper insight in Japan's tea ceremony
- Keep your eyes peeled for dozing tarsiers at the Corella sanctuary
- Relax and unwind on one of Philippines beautiful beaches.
Osaka - 2 nights
Osaka is defined by its flamboyance, its fun-loving people, and fantastic food and drink; this is a place to indulge yourself and allow people to entertain you. The city's food and sake are world-renowned, thanks to plentiful supplies of high quality ingredients, and long-established merchants with preferential connections. Dotonbori is the best known district for food and nightlife, but you'll enjoy a mouth-watering tour of the city’s best streetfood experience in a more authentic local atmosphere.
Day 1 - Arrive Osaka, local food tour
On arrival in Osaka you will be welcomed by a Selective Asia representative, who will accompany you to your hotel via Osaka's public transport system.
In the late afternoon make your way to Tenma district for this evening’s food tour. A lively, unpretentious neighbourhood steeped in history, Tenma is home to Tenjinbashi-suji shopping street which claims to be the longest covered arcade in Japan, stretching more than 2.5 kilometres. The area’s maze of narrow streets and alleys come to life at night when locals flock to dine and relax in the many tiny bars and hole-in-the-wall eateries that open up. Forget Dotonburi - this is the place to get real local soul food, and your guide will show you where to find the classics.
Day 2 - Explore independently
Your day is at leisure and you may wish to visit Osaka Castle, arguably Osaka’s most famous landmark. Originally built in the late 1500s, the pretty wooden structure seems more charming than threatening, but it sits atop sheer stone ramparts that are now largely hidden by cherry trees, and withstood months of siege during the shogun era. Although the present castle was largely rebuilt in 1931, the views from the top floor of the surrounding gardens and city are stunning, and an excellent introduction to the city.
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Kyoto - 3 nights
Kyoto has long played a graceful historic counterpoint to Tokyo’s unrelenting urban buzz. This is a city of ancient Shinto shrines and immaculate Zen temples, professional geisha and Noh theatre, and the evocative wooden architecture of ‘old’ Japan. It's home to an astonishing 2,000 shrines and temples, including seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The oldest was established in the 6th century AD, and for miles around you can find soaring pagodas, along with the superbly decorated shogunate Nijo Castle, and markets selling well-made traditional crafts and decent antiques. Aside from its historic architecture and deep cultural connections, Kyoto is renowned for its cuisine, and the city boasts some of the best restaurants in Japan, several of which enjoy Michelin-star ratings. You’ll spend time in a traditional Kyoto townhouse learning historic arts, and explore some of the city’s heritage sites with a knowledgeable local guide.
Day 3 - Train to Kyoto, kimono wearing & tea ceremony
Catch the train to Kyoto, where you’ll meet your knowledgeable local guide for a string of hands-on cultural experiences, each carefully designed to introduce all your senses to some of Japan’s most refined and rarefied traditions. You’ll get a tour of a beautifully restored wooden townhouse, spend time learning how to put on and wear a kimono, before - suitably dressed - joining a tea master for a deeper insight into the tea ceremony and the meaning behind its ritual gestures. Afterwards you can enjoy a short introduction to origami.
Day 4 - Explore independently
Your day is at leisure to explore Kyoto. Your Destination Specialist will be happy to provide suggestions for ways to spend your time here.
Day 5 - Nijo Castle, Zen garden & Arashiyama shrines
Meet your guide for a tour of some Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. Start with Nijo Castle, an ornamental structure surrounded by stunning gardens, built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate. The main building was completed in 1603 and is known for its distinctive architecture and chirping ‘nightingale’ floors. Continue to Ryoan-ji, the site of Japan's most famous Zen garden, and home to the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Visit the picturesque district of Arashiyama, a popular destination since the 8th century (!) thanks to its striking bamboo forest and elegant shrines, taking in Togetsukyo (‘Moon Crossing’) Bridge over Katsura River, and making your way to the bamboo forest path on the west side of the river, where you may well hear the bamboo creaking as it sways in the breeze.
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Tokyo - 3 nights
Tokyo is one of the world's most captivating cities, and has seen revolutionary changes over the last few centuries. The shogun’s castle has transformed into the Emperor’s Palace, the samurai dwellings have exploded upwards into gleaming skyscrapers, and millions of people have poured in from all over the country, animating their capital into a vast energising urban sprawl. Your stay here begins with the gaudily exuberant Robot Restaurant.
Day 6 - Train to Tokyo, Kabukicho Robot Restaurant
Make your own way by train from Kyoto to Tokyo and on to your hotel. Once you’ve checked in, your day will be at leisure until the evening, when it's time to venture into Kabukicho, Shinjuku’s red-light district, in time to catch the famous Robot Restaurant - a rather bizarre performance which mixes neon, techno, robots and dancers in a flashy floorshow the likes of which you’ve probably never seen... at least outside Tokyo.
Day 7 - Fish market & historic city tour
Sample the freshest sushi you'll ever taste today at the Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the world's largest fish markets. Your guide will accompany you through the narrow streets of this traditional neighbourhood and help you order super-fresh sushi from one of the shops by the market. Finish your brunch in a graceful Edo-era garden, where you can taste frothy matcha in its elegant tea house. You'll then take to the Sumida River for a boat cruise to Asakusa, one of the city's oldest Geisha districts, and home to 1,400 year old Senso-ji (‘Asakusa Kannon’) Temple - Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist site. Visit Yanaka, another traditional area, where you'll see one of the oldest and largest cemeteries in Tokyo, with over 4,000 shrinelike graves including those of the Tokugawa clan, who ruled Japan as shoguns throughout the Edo era. The cemetery even has its own police station, and its avenues are lined with cherry trees. If time permits, your guide will introduce you to some interesting temples and shrines. The streets of Yanaka are lined with authentic craft shops, original restaurants and small coffee houses, and the remainder of your day will be at leisure to explore.
Day 8 - Explore independently
Your day will be at leisure to explore Tokyo at your own pace. Alternatively, you can venture beyond Tokyo to explore the popular seaside city of Kamakura or head into the mountains of Nikko National Park.
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Panglao Island - 4 nights
The island province of Bohol is known for its gorgeous beaches, enticing coral reefs and striking geographic formations of caves, waterfalls and the evocatively-named Chocolate Hills. The main island’s forested interior is home to an endangered, endemic primate - the adorable bug-eyed tarsiers - that peep between the leaves in their sanctuary home. The 70-plus smaller surrounding islands, chief of which is Panglao, are a hub of world-class diving where you can see schools of tuna and mackerel, groups of snapper and the occasional black-tipped shark, swimming around the otherworldly coral, as dolphins breach out in the bay.
Day 9 - Fly to the Philippines, ferry to Bohol
Your morning is at leisure until your departure for Narita Airport for your onward flight to Cebu in The Philippines, where you will connect for your ferry to Bohol. Upon arrival you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel on Bohol’s Panglao Island, where the remainder of your day is at leisure.
Day 10 - Relax on Panglao Island
Spend a day at leisure in Panglao’s picture-perfect paradise, laying on the beach, snorkelling in the shallows or trekking to hidden waterfalls.
Day 11 - Tarsier sanctuary, Chocolate Hills, river cruise
Head over the bridge to Bohol, driving through a bucolic landscape of coconut plantations and small villages, to the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella. Wander through a small section of the sanctuary, keeping your eyes peeled for dozing tarsiers, and possibly meeting famous conservationist ‘Tarsier Man’ Carlito Pizzaras. Continue inland to a viewpoint near Carmen, for panoramic views across Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills. This unique landscape of conical hills, covering an area of 20 square miles, turns brown during winter, making them look like domes of chocolate, but is lush green during summer. Soak up the scenery before driving south to Loboc for a leisurely cruise along a picturesque section of river, with palm trees and jungle foliage lining the banks, enjoying a typical Filipino lunch as you travel.
Day 12 - At leisure on Panglao
Another day to relax and enjoy the beach.
Day 13 - Depart Panglao Island
Your day is at leisure until your transfer to the airport.
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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.
Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.
|Hotel class||Price per person (based on total # travelling)|
|2 persons||3 - 4||5 - 6|
Hotel Gracery ShinjukuA brand new hotel addition in the heart of the up-and-coming, lively Kabukicho area of Shinjuku, the Hotel Gracery has the advantage of a wide and varied range of shops, bars and restaurants on its doorstep.… See more
Hotel Vista PremioWhen it comes to city hotels, it’s all about a central location and the Hotel Vista Premio certainly ticks this box. Tucked away in a quiet side street, just off the main Kawaramachi Dori road, the city’s highlights are on the doorstep... See more
Cross Hotel OsakaThis modern urban property sits plum in the centre of Osaka, making it perfect for exploring Japan’s second largest city, with popular locations like Dotonbori and Osaka Castle within very easy reach... See more
Amorita ResortPerched high atop a limestone cliff, overlooking dramatic seascapes, the Amorita Resort is an idyllic tropical retreat that promises romantic seclusion and family fun in equal measure... See more
Park HotelAs much of an art gallery as a hotel, the Park Hotel is a ‘Design Hotel’. Thought-provoking design and architecture are an essential element of the property.… See more
Swissotel NankaiA well-received and smartly presented hotel with superb views across Osaka, the Swissotel Nankai offers reliable, good value accommodation within easy reach of the city’s many attractions... See more
Eskaya Beach Resort & SpaA relaxing tropical island resort on lovely Panglao Island, the Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa is easily reached from Manila with an hour’s local flight followed by a short drive... See more
Palace HotelOriginally built in the early 1960’s and an iconic property of the time, the Palace Hotel was razed to the ground in 2009 and completely rebuilt, re-opening in 2012 with a more up-to-date look... See more
Hyatt Regency KyotoSituated in a secluded old district in central Kyoto, the stylish Hyatt Regency is conveniently close to several important temples and the National Museum, as well as key transport hubs for exploring the city and beyond... See more
The St. Regis Osaka
Boasting the largest hotel rooms in Osaka, some of the best views over the city and an enviable location in the heart of Osaka’s most exclusive neighbourhood, The St Regis is arguably the most sought–after property in town.
Donatela HotelDonatela Hotel is a blissfully tranquil Bohol Island resort, whose lush botanic gardens are sprinkled with a selection of private, characterful guest villas. Though not on the beachfront, the views are sublime... See more
Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.
These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).
- Extend your holiday with a few days relaxing in one of Japan's excellent hot spring resorts, where you can soak in volcanic waters and enjoy some leisure time in a truly Japanese style.
At Selective Asia we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget.
While many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.
The important stuff
Please note: Japanese hotel contracts are extremely seasonal in comparison to most of their Asian counterparts and therefore you should expect surcharges at various times of the year, including weekends, not just during peak seasons such as Christmas, New Year and Cherry Blossom. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.
- English speaking, local guide
- All accommodation listed
- All train tickets and rail passes as listed
- Luggage forwarding service as listed
- 4G Wi-Fi To Go Package in Japan
- Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
- All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals listed
- International flight reconfirmation
- Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
- Entry visas
- International airport departure taxes
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Drinks, other than water on activity days
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
- Travel insurance
- All other services not listed in 'inclusive'
All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.
FlightsWe will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.
VisaYou may require a visa to enter Vietnam. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.
PassportPlease ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.
InsuranceYou will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.
Vaccinations and Malaria PreventionYou will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.
Booking ProcedureOnly once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.
Travelling ResponsiblyWe care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.
Our tailor-made service costs you no extra
This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...
Your own private guides & drivers
You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.