This is an ideal trip for those that like a hectic and jam packed itinerary just like I do. This won't appeal to everyone as it does involve buses, trains and lots of mocing around! Visiting two of my favourite places (well I have lots of favourites actually)! It includes all accommodation and transportation costs between cities/countries and flights, luggage, accommodation.
I've picked all good hotels with private bathrooms but if you wanted to stay in a less central area or would be willing to share then this cost could come down significantly.
***Please note visa costs are extra, please ensure you check***
Leaving Manchester you'll fly to Xi'an (a short stop en-route).
You'll arrive in Xi'an in the early hours of the morning and at your own cost (taxi or public transport) you'll make your way to Xi'an Anxiety City. Officially this place is a 'hostel' but I stayed here myself a couple of years ago and it was beautiful. Rooms were simple but clean and the staff were great. The room has a private bathroom and it is easy to walk to the city walls (hire a tandem if you get chance). You can also get the bus from near the accommodation to the Terracotta Warriors which cost just a few pence on public transport. You'll stay in Xi'an for just two nights. You could stay just one night and then catch the overnight train if you wanted to save on accommodation costs but the Chinese overnight trains are really not great.
You'll catch the bullet train to Beijing where you will spend 4 nights. Beijing is an amazing place and with good planning you can easily fit a lot into 4 days, I'd recommend a hike with Beijing Hikers if you really want to visit the wall and avoid the tourist trail. Not forgetting the Forbidden City and the huge range of temples and palaces and if that's left you with an appetite then head for some Peking duck.
On the evening of 04/05 you'll fly to Tokyo. Although you'll arrive on 05/05 it will be 1am so I've booked a hotel from 04/05 so you can check in as we found that in Japan often there was quiet strict check in and check out time. In Tokyo you will stay for 4 nights at the New Shinjunku. This is an ideal location as it is near public transport and also near the government building for great views of Tokyo. I've stayed here myself and I really liked the location and there is also convenience stores nearby too as well as cheap-eats.
You'll catch the bus today to Kawaguchiko which is easy to do using the highway buses which is what I used when I visited. You will then stay for 3 nights which is plenty of time to explore the 5 lakes area and hopefully catch a glimpse of My Fuji. I stayed at K's house myself and rooms have traditional bamboo matting and can be a bit hard but you do get use to them. It was an ideal base and literally faced Mt Fuji so wasa great place to base yourself.
I've allowed 5 nights in the Kyoto area as I totally think it is worth it! Kyoto has so many amazing places to visit, the range of temples, gardens and side trips are plentiful. You'll stay at the Urban Hotel Kyoto Nijo as a base but I'd recommend trips to Arashiyama, Himenji and also Gion. You will activate your rail pass which is 7 days (I've included the cost of a rail pass in this trip but depending on exactly what you want to see and do it may be cheaper to get individual trips).
You'll catch the train to Hiroshima today. You'll stay for 2 nights at the Hiroshima Ark Hotel. The Peace Memorial is a really interesting visit but certainly visit Miyajima Island to see the floating gate and the wild deer.
On 18/06 you'll make you way back to Osaka from Hiroshima for your flight. As you have a very long stop in Helsinki I've included a night at the Airport hotel, but you could look at alternatives to save on cost.
Long haul flights book at Opodo £568.98
Book 2 nights in Xi'an £45.90 https://www.ebookers.com
Train Xi'an to Beijing book at https://www.china-diy-travel.com/en
estimated cost 515.50cny)£61.26
Book 4 nights in Beijing £197.58 https://www.ebookers.com
Book 2 flights from Beijing to Tokyo £398.91
Book 4 nights in Tokyo £207.33 https://www.ebookers.com
Book Shinjunku to Fuji 5 Lakes Bus 1750jpy pp/£25.07 total book at http://highway-buses.jp/fuji/
Book 3 nights in Kawaguchiko £207.37 https://www.ebookers.com
Book 2 nights Hiroshima £190.08 https://www.ebookers.com
Two Rail Passes £410 book on http://jrpass.com
1 night in Helsinki £85.13 https://www.ebookers.com