This gap year trip, organised by the experts at StudentUniverse, is perfect if you want to step a little outside your comfort zone and see a whole new side to the world. The package includes all your flights, two multi-day tours (one in China, one in Japan) and quite a bit of accommodation. It’s also been built to be totally flexible, so you can factor in as much independent travel or sightseeing as you want!
As with all StudentUniverse gap year adventures, this itinerary is totally flexible, so if you’d like to add/subtract/change anything at all, just let your consultant know!
The Unleashed in the East package kicks off with a flight from London to Beijing. This takes around nine-and-a-half hours direct, giving you plenty of time to rest before you touch down in China’s ancient, massive capital city.
If you choose to arrive a couple of days early in Beijing ahead of joining your first organised tour, you can spend some time finding your feet and exploring the city at your own pace. You might find a sprawling street market to sample the weird and wonderful food on offer, explore the beautiful grounds of the Summer Palace, before taking a boat tour to Beijing Zoo to see the pandas. The choice is yours.
The first organised tour of this trip is a whirlwind adventure around some of the most incredible sights China has to offer. Beginning in Beijing, you’ll visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square, before taking the train to Xi’an to see the famous Terracotta Warriors. After that you’ll head back east to Suzhou, considered by many in China to be the most beautiful city in the country, before moving on to your final stop, the futuristic metropolis of Shanghai.
Now you have plenty of free time to explore Shanghai at your own pace. The main draw is the towering, science-fiction skyline across the Bund River, packed with insanely tall skyscrapers. Climb the Shanghai Tower, the second-tallest building in the world, for unparalleled views of one of the largest cities in the world.
When you’re finished in Shanghai it’s time to fly to the next city on your itinerary – Tokyo! This only takes around four hours, giving you plenty of time to catch your breath before arriving in Japan’s capital city.
Arriving in Tokyo a day or two before your next organised tour of the trip gives you a chance to adjust to the energetic pace of this incredible city. Explore the streets, seek out all the delicious food, and get ready for the experience of a lifetime.
The second organised tour of your trip brings together all the major highlights of Japan. After a few days in Tokyo visiting robot bars and cat cafes, you’ll get to see temples and geishas in Kyoto, eat your fill of Japanese cuisine in Osaka, and marvel at the beauty of snow-capped Mount Fuji. You can choose between a 7-day express tour, covering the 3 major cities, or the longer 12 day highlights tour which covers cities and more rural Japan.
All that’s left is to fly back to London, a flight that takes roughly twelve hours, giving you plenty of time to rest and recuperate before land back home.