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ITSGJ - Grand Trans Siberian Railway - Independent

Experience traditional Japan and remote Mongolia, and ride the grand Trans Siberian Railway from Vladivostok to the old Tartar capital of Kazan, en route to Moscow. Graceful imperial St. Petersburg is the perfect climax to this historic journey.


Group size
Tour Provider Sundowners Overland
Number of Days
Price From
AUD $10,120
Start Location
Tokyo, Japan
End Location
St Petersburg, Japan
Age Range
Avg. 40+
Group Size
1 to 15
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Adventure, Self Guided
Physical Rating
Moderate to Challenging
Tour departure dates
01 Jan 201801 Jan 2019Please see web site for departure detailsAUD $10,120
Day 1: Arrive Tokyo
Tokyo, a city of awe-inspiring skyscrapers, an impressive modern metro system and limitless technology this is where we start our Grand Trans Siberian Railway Journey.
Day 2: Tokyo and to Takayama
Spend the morning exploring this dynamic city. Take some time to visit the Meijii Shrine and Asakuna Kannon Temple before a Shinkansen 'Bullet Train' takes you on a swift smooth ride to Nagoya and from there an express train to the tranquility of Takayama, or 'Little Kyoto'.
Day 3: Takayama to Kanazawa
Take the time to relax in this town of wooden houses, wander the streets where the lattice-bay windows entice you to sample some sake or view the traditional handicrafts of the region before boarding the train to Kanazawa. Kanazawa is one of the jewels of Japan, where the Samurai, merchants, geisha and lords have left an everlasting mark. Here you have the opportunity to visit the city's best-known attraction, the beautiful Kenrokuen, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.
Days 4-5: To Kyoto via Nara
Early this morning continue your journey south via rail. Next stop Kyoto, one of Japan's oldest capitals. Quiet temples, sublime gardens, colourful shrines and scurrying geisha's - traditional Japan still lingers in this fascinating city. Kyoto unlocks her treasures of the Golden Temple, the Geisha district or Gion and Kiyomizudera Temple set on a hillside overlooking the city.
Days 6-7: Across the Sea of Japan
Your final destination in Japan is Sakai Minato where you board the two-night ferry to Vladivostok in Russia's Far East.
Day 8: Welcome to Russia!
Once a top-secret naval base of the Soviet Union, Vladivostok and its 19th century buildings are now revitalised. Spend the afternoon at your leisure. Hop on ferries to remote beaches on former navy-only islands or head to higher ground for spectacular views of Golden Horn Bay.
Days 9-11: Vladivostok to Ulan Ude
Spend the morning discovering the fascinating history of the city and port, perhaps visit the Local History Museum and the Vladivostok Fortress Museum before entering the historic railway terminus to board the Trans Siberian Railway as travellers have done for over a century. There is a feeling of excitement as your Trans Siberian journey begins. During your time on board you will get to know fellow passengers as we relax in the comfortable four-berth compartment that is your home for this leg of the 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, evoking a relaxed and peaceful city vibe. Here you will see the world's largest statue of Lenin's head, and have the opportunity to meander around the 18th -19th century merchant houses that line the main street, locals refer to as 'Arbat Street'. Later make your way to the outskirts of the city to one of Russia's spiritual highlights, the picturesque Ivolginsky Datsan.
Day 24: Kazan to Moscow
Enjoy your final day in this atmospheric city. Perhaps visit the Museum of Soviet Life before climbing aboard your evening train bound for Moscow.
Day 22-23: Kazan
Welcome to the picturesque and historic city of Kazan, the capital of the Tatarstan Republic and the Muslim Capital of Russia. Built on the intersection of two rivers, Kazan has endured a tumultuous history. Today, Tatars, the descendants of the Golden Horde and the occupants of the city before the Russians, make up about 43% of the population, maintain their own language, as well as culture and are extremely proud of their history. The fusion of Islamic and Russian architecture conveys an exotic feel. Be sure to visit Kazan's magnificent Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 19-21: Irkutsk and the Trans Siberian Railway
Return to Irkutsk. Almost in the centre of Asia, Irkutsk is home to beautiful 18th century churches, brightly painted shutters, log houses decorated with intricate wooden lacework as well as a captivating story of high society exile. Modern administrative blocks and soaring bridges reach out across the Angara River in this beautiful town known as the 'Paris of Siberia'. Discover the city's wonderful historic sights and perhaps visit the Local History Museum before boarding your late night train to Kazan around midnight. Join the Trans Siberian Railway and travel via Novosibirsk, Omsk and Yekaterinburg booming over the steel bridges spanning Siberia's nerve system of five thousand rivers to Kazan.
Days 17-18: Lake Baikal
After an afternoon arrival into Irkutsk transfer to the shores of Lake Baikal for a two-night stay in the lakeside village of Listvyanka. Enjoy a full day at the lake exploring the landscapes as well as Listvyanka with its traditional houses and beautiful wooden church. You also have the opportunity to gain an insight into the lake and its inhabitants with a visit to the Limnological Museum.
Day 13: To Mongolia
Leaving the Trans Siberian Railway for the Trans Mongolian Railway we now head south, across the border and into Mongolia, bound for Ulaanbaatar.
Day 15: To Terelj National Park
In the afternoon it is time to travel out across the grasslands, through the countryside that was once the home to Genghis Khan and his Golden Horde, to the pristine Terelj National Park. Here you will spend the night in a traditional Mongolian nomad ger (felt tent), amongst spectacular rock formations and wild rolling hills. Living among nomadic families and their grazing livestock we can explore nearby valleys or just relax and enjoy the area.
Day 14: Ulaanbaatar
Arriving into the capital in the early hours of the morning you have the day to explore the city's monuments and museums, reflecting on the different cultures and people that make up this quirky city. Mingle with ruby-robed monks at Gandan Khiid, take in the panoramic views from Zaisan Memorial or see the fascinating display of historical artifacts in the National History Museum.
Day 25-26: Moscow
Early morning brings you into the capital. With its palatial underground rail system draped with chandeliers and palaces and public buildings restored to their former glory this city will amaze you! Here you will have ample time to explore the echoing vastness of Red Square, the splendid twirled cupolas of St. Basil's across the cobblestones, and the Kremlin itself that fabled palace-fort of gilded domes where you have the opportunity to marvel at the exquisite collection of royal treasures in the stunning Armoury Chamber.
Days 16: Ulaanbaatar to Russia
Returning to Ulaanbaatar you have some time to further explore the city before rejoining the train in the afternoon to continue north to Siberia. Leaving Mongolia at Sukhbaatar and travelling beyond the Russian border town you continue west along the southern shore of the world's deepest freshwater lake Baikal.
Day 27-30: St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is the perfect end to this astonishing journey and offers a treasure trove of wonders for you to take in during your final days, including the world-renowned Hermitage Museum, housed in the Winter Palace.