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Grand Trans Siberian Railway

Departing: Tokyo, Japan - 30 days
Countries visited: Japan, Russia and Mongolia

This extraordinary rail journey spans a third of the globe. Experience traditional Japan and remote Mongolia, and ride the grand Trans Siberian Railway from Vladivostok to the old Tatar capital of Kazan, en route to Moscow. Graceful imperial St. Petersburg is the perfect climax to this historic journey.

  

 

Itinerary

Day 1. Tokyo
Busy Tokyo with its bright neon lights and towering skyscrapers is the start of your Grand Trans Siberian Railway adventure.  

Day 2. Tokyo and to Takayama
The morning is yours to explore this dynamic city before boarding a bullet train that will take you on a swift smooth ride to Nagoya and onto your next destination - Takayama -  also known as "Little Kyoto'. 

Suggested sightseeing: Tokyo - Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Skytree, Asakusa Kannon Temple,  Nakamise one of the oldest shopping areas in Japan.  

Day 3. Takayama to Kanazawa
Mid morning you begin your travels to Kanazawa, home to Kenrokuen one of the great three gardens of Japan, and once the outer garden of the city's castle.   

Suggested sightseeing: Takayama - Hida Folk Village,  Kanazawa -  Nomura House and Kenrokuen Garden

Day 4. Kanazawa to Kyoto via Nara
Continue south onto Nara, the country's first permanent capital. Next stop - Kyoto, one of Japan's oldest capitals.    

Suggested sightseeing: Nara - Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Jiniya

Day 5. Kyoto
Quiet temples, sublime gardens, colourful shrines and scurrying geisha's - traditional Japan still lingers in this fascinating city.

Suggested sightseeing: Kiyiomizudera, Sanjusangendo, Kinkakuji, Nijo Castle, Ninezaka Sannenzaka, Gion. 

Days 6-7. To Russia's Far East
Your final destination in Japan is Sakai Minato where you board the ferry for your voyage to Vladivostok. 

Days 8-9. Welcome to Russia
Formerly a top-secret naval base of the Soviet Union, Vladivostok was long sealed off from the outside world. For over 100 years this has been the legendary eastern terminus of the Trans Siberian Railway and its historic railway station was recently restored to its former grandeur.  After a night in Vladivostok make your way to the railway station to board the Trans Siberian Railway as travellers have done for over a century.  

Suggested sightseeing: Rusky Island, Eastern fleet, History Museum, Vladivostok fort, Mermaid statue.

Days 10-11. Trans Siberian Railway
All aboard the Trans Siberian Railway! Journey across eastern Siberia to the Buryat city of Ulan Ude. 

Day 12. Ulan Ude
Located in the middle of the vast Siberian steppe, Ulan Ude is a centre of Buddhism in Russia. Don't miss the world's largest statue of Lenin's head!  

Suggested sightseeing: Ivolginsk Datsan, Lenin statue and Ethnographic Museum. 

Day 13. To Mongolia
The Trans Mongolian Railway carries you south, across the border to Mongolia's capital of Ulaanbaatar.  


Days 14-17. Welcome to the lands of Genghis Khan
Observe the strong Buddhist culture, years of Soviet alliance, and newer western influences of Mongolia's quirky capital before venturing beyond the city, across the steppe to the pristine wilderness of Terelj National park.  

On Day 17 return to Ulaanbaatar before rejoining the train onwards to Siberia. 

Suggested sightseeing: Ulaanbaatar - National History Museum, Sukhbaatar Square, Gaandan Khiid, Zaisan Memorial

Day 18. Aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway
Leaving Mongolia and Sukhbaatar and travelling beyond the Russian border town you continue west along the southern shore of the world's deepest freshwater lake - Baikal. 


Days 19-21. Irkutsk and Lake Baikal
Almost in the geographical centre of Asia, Irkutsk first made its fame as a stopping place on the caravan route from China. The city today still boasts 18th century churches and is renowned for its brightly painted shutters and log houses decorated with wooden lacework. 

Beyond the city and following the fast flowing Angara River upstream lies the great lake of Siberia, Baikal, which contains one fifth of the world's freshwater and as the world's largest it has dimensions and scale spectacular in every sense.

Suggested sightseeing: A day trip to Lake Baikal and Wooden Architecture Museum, Trans Siberian Monument, local history museum, Decembrists Museum.

Days 22-23. Trans Siberian Railway
Depart Irkutsk aboard the Trans Siberian Railway. 

Days 24-25. Kazan and on to Moscow
Welcome to Kazan, the capital of the Tatarstan Republic. A highlight of your stay will no doubt be Kazan's magnificent Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

In the evening of Day 25 climb aboard your overnight train bound for Moscow.

Sugessted Sightseeing: Kazan Kremlin, Bauman Street, the Central Market & Volga River Cruise

Days 26-27. Moscow
Now well and truly out of the shadow of the Iron Curtain, Moscow has reasserted its place amongst the great cities of the world once again. Easily seen and often glistening in the sunlight are the golden domes of the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. See the delightful cluster of multi-coloured onion-shaped domes of St. Basil's cathedral with Red Square beyond. 

Suggested sightseeing: Tretyakov Gallery, Church of Christ the Saviour, Kremlin, Red Square, Metro, Boat cruise, Pushkin Gallery.

Days 28-29. Depart Moscow and arrive St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a magical city with a long list of attractions, in fact the entire city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of beautiful palaces and monuments including the Winter Palace that houses the world famous Hermitage Museum.

Suggested sightseeing: St.Issacs Cathedral, Hermitage, Canal trip, sightseeing: Summer Palace, Russian Gallery.

Day 30. St Petersburg - Journey Concludes
Linger longer and venture beyond the city limits to the playgrounds of the Russian Tsars. Our Travel Advisors can make it happen - just ask them how!





 

Essentials

Transfers
All arrival transfers are included once you have begun this journey.  

Hotels

Choose from ‘Classic’ or ‘Traveller’.

Meals

Many breakfasts (20) are included.  

Sightseeing

The suggested sightseeing in these itineraries is not included in the prices shown. You are free to arrange this locally or we can arrange this for you in advance separately. 

2 berth rail supplement - Optional
Only available when 2 people travel together. Available on all rail sectors.

Visas
Required for Mongolia & Russia. Sundowners Overland will provide all required visa invitation letters and full visa support including detailed visa guidelines.

Accommodation: 

Hotels - 13 nights (twin share)
Siberian Guesthouse/Homestay - 2 night (twin share)
Ferry - 2 nights (8-berth) 
Trains - 10 nights. Comfortable 4 berth sleepers (optional 2 berth rail supplement also available).
Mongolian ger - 2 nights