Journey through Japan
15 days from £1,799
- Soak up Japanese culture in Tokyo, Japan’s biggest and brightest city
- Wander through the beautiful bamboo forest in Arashiyama
- Visit the Tenryu-ji temple and feed monkeys high up in the Arashiyama Hills
- See the iconic Golden Pavilion and Imperial Palace in Kyoto
- Learn about Japan’s tragic past in Hiroshima
- Explore Osaka Castle and spend the night in a Japanese capsule hotel!
Explore the delights of Japan on this 15-day guided group experience. Starting and ending in the bustling streets of Tokyo, you’ll discover Japan’s finest cities and most beautiful natural landscapes. See the Giant Buddha in Kamakura, glimpse the peak of mighty Mount Fuji, cycle past the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, and learn about Japan’s tragic history in Hiroshima. Plus, you’ll enjoy unique insights into local culture, with visits to the Sumo district in Tokyo, a sword demonstration at the Samurai Museum, a Geisha experience in Pontocho Alley, and sake tasting at a brewery in Kyoto. It’s a fantastic odyssey through all things Japanese!
Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!
Day 1: Welcome to Japan! Arrive in Tokyo
Touch down in Tokyo and make your way into the city. Check into your accommodation and relax after your flight. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not head out and explore the streets around your accommodation? This is your first taste of Japan!
Day 2: Explore Tokyo
Enjoy a morning welcome meeting and get to know everyone else in the group, before climbing to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for a breath-taking view of the Tokyo skyline. Enjoy a Japanese lunch in Shinjuku before exploring Tokyo’s oldest temple, Asakusa Temple. Then, it’s time to have a go at a modern Japanese obsession: knocking home runs at a city batting cage (1 round included). Tonight, you can enjoy a few drinks with your group or opt to unwind like the locals at a Japanese bathhouse (extra cost).
Day 3: Tokyo Lifestyle
We’ll start off the day with some delicious fresh sashimi at a fish market, before brushing up on our cooking skills with a lesson led by professional cooking instructor. Discover Akihabara, home to Tokyo’s Anime and Manga stores, and enjoy another distinctly Japanese experience at a Maid Café, where we’ll be served drinks by extravagantly dressed maids (cost of entry and drinks not included). Tonight, you’re free to sample Tokyo’s restaurants and bars, or get involved with an awesome optional activity: a real-life Mario Kart experience. Dress up as your favourite character and race through the streets of Tokyo! (extra cost. International drivers permit required)
Day 4: Tokyo Culture
Regal grandeur is in order today as we visit the Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. We’ll then head off on a scenic forest walk to the Shinto shrine, dedicated to Empress Shoken and Emperor Meiji. This afternoon, we’ll visit the fashion spectacle of Harajuku and feel the busy crush of the iconic Shibuya crossing.
Day 5: Tokyo History and Fashion
We’ll begin the day with an early morning visit to Tokyo’s sumo district, and visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum. While here, you can choose to go and watch a sumo training session (extra cost). For lunch, we’ll eat like sumo and sample the diet of Tokyo’s finest wrestlers. This afternoon, we’ll visit Tokyo’s Samurai Museum, and watch a sword demonstration. Tonight’s optional activity is a robot show (extra cost), where you can see Japan’s impressive technological feats first hand!
Day 6: Kamakura
After a city brunch, we’ll board a train south to the coastal city of Kamakura. This was once Japan’s capital and home to the medieval leaders of the country. We’ll explore the area, taking in stunning ancient shrines, and then hike over to the Kotoku-In Temple and see an impressive 45ft-tall solid bronze Great Buddha statue! This afternoon is devoted to relaxation. Hit the beach, try surfing (extra cost) or unwind with a drink at sunset.
Day 7: Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi
This morning, we’ll marvel at some stunning landscapes as we board a cable car on the Hakone Ropeway! Enjoy the stunning views across Lake Ashi, and the volcanic Owakudani valley. On a clear day, you may even get a glimpse of the stunning Mount Fuji. Once we get off the cable car, we’ll sample a local delicacy: black eggs! We’ll then board a three-tiered pirate ship and cross beautiful Lake Ashi. Tonight, you'll have the opportunity to try sake, Japan's national drink!
Day 8: Kyoto
This morning, we’ll board a bullet train to Kyoto. This lightning speed train covers 440km in just 2 hours, so hold onto your hats! Once we arrive, we’ll head to Kiyomizu Temple, a stunning UNESCO world heritage site that’s nestled among colourful trees and offers spectacular views across Kyoto.
Tonight, enjoy the city’s fantastic night-scene. Visit jazz-clubs packed with students, and late-night bars serving exotic tipples. We also recommend a trip to Pontocho alley to sip sake at a lantern-lit restaurant and try to catch a glimpse of the region’s enigmatic geishas. You can also catch a live traditional geisha performance, complete with tea ceremony, traditional music, arrangement of flowers and a puppet show!
Day 9: Arashiyama
Kick off this morning with a trip down the stunning Hozugawa River on a traditional raft. We’ll then discover the bamboo forest of Arashiyama, a peaceful and enchanting walkway of sun-dappled greens and browns. Climb up to Monkey Park, where you can feed the resident monkeys and marvel at the impressive panoramic views of Kyoto.
We’ll then visit the Tenryu-ji temple, one of ancient Kyoto’s most important monuments. A highlight is the Dharma Hall, with its dragon eye mural that seems to follow you around the room. This evening, be prepared to show us your vocals with a fun-fuelled night of karaoke (extra cost)!
Day 10: Kyoto
Have a free day to explore Kyoto. Why not head to Fushimi to see the area’s evocative temples before passing through the corridors of stunning red torii gates and hiking the temple trails, one of the most famous hikes in Japan.
You can also wander the Philosopher’s Path with its many temples and shrines, or explore the tranquil grounds of the Eikando and Nanzenji temples. If you fancy a more multi-coloured day, you could visit the International Manga Museum.
Day 11: Kyoto
Begin the day with a spot of serenity as a Buddhist monk teaches you the art of meditation in a majestic temple. Also discover one of Kyoto’s icons – the Golden Pavilion. Tiers of shimmering gold form a celestial sight through the trees, and the magical aura is almost tangible. A walk around the lake is a must – check out the reflection of the temple in its tranquil waters. Next, we’ll board bikes and cycle to the Imperial Palace before hopping onto another bullet train to Hiroshima.
Day 12: Hiroshima
It’s a sobering but important start to the day as we visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. We’ll find out about how the impact of Hiroshima’s past has resulted in the valuable work that the city does to spread peace and advocate for a nuclear-free world. We’ll climb Mt. Misen for incredible views. We’ll then board a ferry to Miyajima Island to see the Itsukushima shrine and the inspiring floating torii gate. The temple buildings sit on stilts, so prepare to be awed as you walk through the corridors and catch a glimpse of the ocean beneath you (entrance to the shrine is an additional cost). Enjoy a free evening to relax and explore.
Day 13: Osaka
Another day, another city! This morning, we’ll hop on a bullet train to Osaka, arriving in time to grab a delicious lunch in the Nanba or Shinsaibashi area. We’ll then take the train to Osaka Castle and wander around the colourful Dotonbori riverfront.
Our tour is almost over so we’ll spend the evening celebrating this fantastic experience. So head out for an unforgettable night of drinking, eating, and playing in Japanese arcades. We’ll spend the night in a capsule hotel, an icon of modern Japanese life and possibly some of the most unique accommodation you’ve stayed in!
Day 14: Head back to Tokyo!
It’s our final day today before the trip comes to an end! It’s time to catch our final bullet train bound for Tokyo. Spend your evening back where you started, returning to your favourite restaurants or trying something new.
Day 15: Tour ends
Your trip ends today and there are no activities scheduled. Say your goodbyes, swap numbers and memories and then it’s time to make your way to the airport or head off on more travels! We hope to see you for your next amazing experience!
Please note activities and itineraries are subject to change.
Please note: Between 20th September and 2nd November 2019, the Rugby World Cup will be taking place in Japan. This will be an exciting time to travel in the country as rugby fever grips the nation! This high profile sporting event may affect your trip in certain ways. Popular tourist sites may be busier, and public transport will be more crowded than usual as rugby fans travel around the country. Seat reservations on bullet trains may not be possible, and your group may be required to stand for some or all of the journey. Your group may also not be able to sit together in some restaurants and bars due to crowds. The local team may make adjustments to your itinerary in response to these unusual local conditions. Please contact a travel advisor for more information.
- 14 nights’ multi-share accommodation
- All transport between included destinations
- Entrance to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
- Asakusa Temple visit
- Sashimi preparation lesson in Tokyo
- Edo-Tokyo Museum entrance
- Sword demonstration at Samurai Museum
- Imperial Palace and Shinto shrine visit
- Lake Ashi Pirate ship trip
- Hakone Ropeway cable car journey
- Geisha performance in Kyoto
- Arashiyama bamboo forest hike
- Monkey Park excursion
- Sake tasting
- Imperial Palace cycling trip in Kyoto
- Meditation session with a Buddhist monk
- Hiroshima visit
- 24-hour emergency support
- Travel Insurance
- Airport Transfers
- Optional Activities
- Meals, snacks and drinks
14 nights of accommodation are included as part of this trip. You’ll be staying in range of hostels or inns, mainly on a single-sex, multi-share basis. In the capsule hotel in Osaka, you will stay in an individual capsule on single-sex floors. A unique Japanese experience!
Food and drink are not included in the trip cost, but your guide will take you to affordable restaurants. We recommend budgeting £15-£20 a day for food and drink, but the amount you spend does depend on your taste and budget. A simple meal such as a bowl of ramen costs approximately £2 but high class sushi will be more expensive.
You should arrange your flight to arrive into Tokyo Airport (also known as Narita International Airport) or Haneda Airport at any time on your programme start date. An arrival transfer is not included, but it is easy to make your way into the city by taxi/public transport.
You are free to depart from Tokyo Airport at any time on your programme end date (day 15 of the itinerary). A return airport transfer is not included.
For great flight prices, please contact our flight specialist on 01892 277037.
Although airport transfers are not included with this programme, it is still important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your Online account, or alternatively, you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years.
It is your responsibility to arrange the correct visa/s for your time away. British passport holders can enter Japan for stays of up to 90 days without a visa. However, you may be required to show evidence of onward travel or a return flight ticket upon arrival into Japan. All other nationalities should consult their nearest Japanese Embassy for the latest visa and immigration advice.
I Am Travelling With A Partner. Can We Book Private Rooms?
Yes, private double and single rooms are available at extra cost. Please contact a travel advisor for details on prices for private rooms. In the capsule hotel in Osaka, you cannot share a room. You will be booked into an individual capsule on single-sex floors.
What Is The Food Like In Japan?
Modern Japanese people enjoy a variety of traditional food, including many seafood dishes as well as a multitude of foreign cuisine. One can easily find Chinese, Korean, and Thai dishes as well as non-regional American, French, and Italian foods. Sushi shops are among the most popular restaurants. National specialities include Teriyaki (marinated beef/chicken/fish seared on a hot plate), Tempura (deep fried seafood and vegetables), Sushi (slices of raw seafood placed on light and vinegary rice balls – very tasty and refreshing) and Sashimi (slices of raw seafood dipped in soy sauce).
Can I Bring A Drone To Film My Trip?
There is a no drone policy on this trip, but feel free to bring phones/cameras to take lots of pictures and videos!