Intro to Japan
10 or 14 days from $2,841
- Learn how to make sushi from a master in Tokyo’s legendary fish market
- Stay overnight in an ancient Japanese temple in Takayama
- See the famous geisha of Gion in Kyoto
- Learn Kendo from a descendent of the Samurai
- Cruise Lake Ashi by pirate ship for amazing views of Mount Fuji
- Do crazy Japanese karaoke in Osaka’s neon-lit Dotonbori district
Experience the best of Japan over 10 or 14 days on this action-packed group tour. Kicking off in the bright lights of Tokyo, you’ll enjoy city tours and cultural experiences, before journeying south to Hakone and Takayama. Then tick off historic Kyoto and electric Osaka. If you’ve taken the 14-day option you’ll continue on to Nara, Koyasan and Hiroshima too! There are tons of awesome activities including a sushi-making class, robot show, kendo session, boat trip and a unique overnight experience in a traditional temple. It’s the perfect introduction to this incredible part of the world.
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Day 1: Touch down in Tokyo. Your tour begins in the sparkling city streets of Tokyo. Arrange your flight to arrive today and make your way from the airport to your traditional Tokyo hostel in the Asakusa area. Meet the rest of your group and your guide at an evening welcome meal. Dinner included.
Day 2: Tokyo Tour. Wake up this morning and get to grips with Japanese culture at a language class. Then, it’s time to hit the streets and start exploring! Visit the brightly coloured pop-culture hub of Harajuku, and then tuck into a bento box lunch in Yoyogi Park. The afternoon sees you delving into the electric streets of Akihabara, before rounding off the day with a visit to Senso-ji Temple. Breakfast included.
Day 3: Sushi Making & Robots. Learn how to roll sushi and fry tempura at a sushi making class at Tsukiji Fish Market. Climb up the Tokyo Government building for an unbeatable view of the city skyline, and then tuck into dinner in the Omoide Yokocho alley. The evening is dedicated to a uniquely Japanese experience: a robot show! You’ll finish with a visit to the iconic Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing, one of the busiest crossings in the world. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 4: Hakone & Mt Fuji. Leave Tokyo behind and journey south to the mountain slopes of Hakone. Take a cable car through the mountains on the Hakone Ropeway and bask in the glorious views of Mount Fuji on the horizon. Then board a pirate ship and strike out across the glimmering waters of Lake Ashi. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 5: Takayama Temple. Board a bullet train and rip across the countryside to Takayama, a UNESCO World Heritage town that dates back to the Edo period. You’ll be staying in a gorgeous temple, sleeping on simple tatami mats that look out onto a stunning Japanese garden. This afternoon, sample traditional sake, the fiery Japanese spirit, and bliss out as you relax in your beautiful temple surroundings.
Day 6: Kyoto and Gion. Wake up refreshed in your temple room and then wander the beautiful old town on a guided tour. Check out the market on the banks of the Miyagawa River and then transfer to colourful Kyoto by bullet train. This stunning place is famous for its incredible temples and lamp-lit alleyways. Wander the gorgeous Gion district and keep your eyes peeled for Geishas.
Day 7: Martial Arts and Meditation. Visit the Golden Pavilion today, a golden temple that is perfectly reflected in still lake waters. Then, discover the tranquil Daitoku-ji temple complex. Next up, you’ll head to an authentic dojo to participate in a Kendo class, led by a Bushido Samurai instructor. After learning some key moves, you’ll unwind with a short, guided meditation. Breakfast included.
Day 8: Bamboo temples and bamboo forests. Visit the Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Fushimi-Inari Shrine, arriving early to miss the peak tourist time. Take the train to Arashiyama and discover the green-dappled walkways of the bamboo forest and hike up to Monkey Mountain. Enjoy the views from the summit and then climb down to the river to board a private row boat and explore the area from the water. Breakfast included.
Day 9: Osaka. Grab some last-minute souvenirs from Kyoto and then board a train to your final destination, Osaka. Stroll around the buzzing Dotonbori district, a sensory overload of sound and colour, and enjoy an included food tour which introduces you to some of Japan’s finest dishes. Then it’s time to round off this tour with a bang: an all-you-can-drink karaoke session! Breakfast & dinner included.
Day 10: Trip end or Osaka (14 day only). If you’ve chosen the 10-day option, your adventure ends today. If you’re here for 14 days you’ve got free time in Osaka this morning. Later, meet the group at Osaka Castle and explore the beautiful grounds before heading to Shinsekai for dinner. Breakfast included.
Day 11: Koyasan. Take the train to Nara and discover the temples, shrines and deer of Nara-koen Park. Then travel to Koyasan, a small Buddhist community deep in the forest. You’ll stay tonight in a working temple where you’ll learn about the monks’ daily life and enjoy a special vegetarian meal.
Day 12: Hiroshima. Start the morning by joining the monks’ chanting, before tucking into a traditional ‘temple style’ breakfast. Later, make your way to Hiroshima, where we’ll explore the moving Hiroshima Peace Park and visit the museum before grabbing a bite to eat.
Day 13: Miyajima Island. Head to picturesque Miyajima Island. Explore the temples and forests of the island before visiting the shrine for views of its famous floating torii gate. Then head back to Hiroshima for a last night out with the group.
Day 14: Trip end. Pack your bags, say your farewells and head home or continue with your travels. See you again soon!
- 9 or 13-nights’ accommodation
- 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 3 dinners (10 day)
- Or 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 4 dinners (14 day)
- Tour guide
- All on-trip transport
- Culture and language class
- Harajuku tour
- Meiji Shrine visit
- Akihabara tour
- Tsukiji Fish Market visit
- Sushi making class
- Robot restaurant
- Shibuya Crossing visit
- Mt Fuji viewing
- Cable car in Hakone
- Pirate ship cruise on Lake Ashi
- Sake tasting
- Traditional temple stay
- Takayama Old Town tour
- Takayama morning market walk
- Gion walking tour
- Golden Pavilion visit
- Daitoku-Ji walk
- Kendo class and guided meditation
- Monkey Mountain climb
- Arashiyama Bamboo Forest visit
- Arashiyama boat tour
- Dotonbori street food tour
- Karaoke night in Osaka
- Osaka Castle visit (14 nights only)
- Nara visit (14 nights only)
- Koyasan temple stay (14 nights only)
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park visit (14 nights only)
- Hiroshima Peace Museum visit (14 nights only)
- Miyajima Island visit (14 nights only)
- 24-hour emergency support
- Travel insurance
- Airport transfers
- Most meals, snacks and drinks
- Optional activities
If you’re on the 10-day trip, 9 nights of accommodation are included on this tour. If you’re on the 14-day trip, 13 nights are included. You will mainly stay in twin or triple-share rooms, with one night spent in a multi-share temple room. You’ll stay in a range of accommodation from modern hostels to traditional Japanese guesthouses and stunning temples!
If you’re on the 10-day trip, 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners are included. If you’re on the 14-day trip, 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners are included. You’ll need to buy the rest of your meals yourself. It’s a great opportunity to sample local food and soak up Japanese culture! Please be aware that vegetarian and vegan options are limited in Japan and therefore we would encourage vegetarians and vegans to bring additional snacks.
Your tour begins on day 1 in Tokyo. Arrange your flight into Narita or Haneda airport and make your own way to your accommodation in the city. The easiest way to do this is by public bus or train. If you arrive before the trip start date we can arrange pre-trip accommodation for you at an additional cost. Speak to your travel adviser.
If you’re on the 10-day tour, your trip ends in Osaka on day 10. The nearest airport is Osaka International (ITM). A return airport transfer is not included but is easy to arrange. If you’re on the 14-day tour your trip ends in Hiroshima. The nearest international airport to Hiroshima is also Osaka. The easiest way to get back to Osaka is by train, which takes around 3 hours. Your guide can help arrange your onward travel. Please ensure you leave plenty of time to get to the airport.
The minimum age to join this group trip is 18 years old. There are quite a few walking activities in this tour, and so a fair level of fitness is required.
British nationals will be granted a 90 day visitor visa on arrival in Japan, which can be extended for a further 90 days while in Japan if needed. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
When’s The Best Time Of Year To Visit?
Any time! Each season is great in its own way. From cherry blossoms in the spring, to beautifully coloured leaves in the autumn, beaches in the summer and snow dusted scenes and steaming onsen in the winter, there’s no down season in Japan.
Is Japan Expensive?
Japan is probably not as expensive as you think. While it’s more pricy than other Asian destinations like China and Thailand, it’s generally cheaper than the UK. With many of your meals and activities included in the trip price it shouldn’t break the bank!
Do I Need To Speak Japanese?
Japan is a relatively easy place to travel for non-native speakers. English signs and speakers can be found in most major tourist destinations. Also, you’ll have a tour guide with you to help with getting around. Learning some helpful phrases before you travel will be greatly appreciated by locals though.