Take in the extraordinary sights and spectacles of Japan
Steeped in centuries of culinary tradition, Japan is nothing less than a treasure trove of exotic cuisine, potent sake and sweet delights. From Kyoto to Tokyo, our adventure takes us into the heart of Japan, enjoying a smorgasbord of treats in a variety of settings. To complete the recipe, we mix in plenty of culture and top it off with some of Japan's best attractions. Be tempted by tempura, savour your sushi and tickle your tastebuds, as we discover the endless variety of Japan and its cuisine.
What better way to see Japan than by the country's famous railway system? It's clean, efficient and we include a 7-day Japan Rail Pass in the trip price so there's no need to worry about the logistics or costs of transport between cities. All you need to worry about is whether to choose ramen or yakitori for dinner
Spend the night in a traditional Japanese ryokan, sleeping on an authentic tatami mat. These family run inns are a true travel experience
Surrounded by monks and tranquil scenery, an overnight temple stay in Koya-san is as peaceful and unique as it sounds
This trip affords you a good balance of included activities and free time, with plenty of optional activities to keep you busy and a helpful leader to steer you in the right direction
A good degree of fitness is recommended for this trip as there is a lot of walking involved (up to 10 kilometres each day), particularly around Kyoto and the mountain towns which are best seen on foot. Bring comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to spend most of the day on your feet.
We recommend packing light and smart for this trip as you'll be required to carry your own luggage between train stations and to hotels, which can include going up and down multiple flights of stairs in crowded areas. At some destinations, larger luggage will be forwarded on ahead of you, so it'll be easier to get around if you have a smaller overnight/day pack.
On this trip we stay at some traditional Japanese 'ryokans', which means you'll be sleeping on the floor on a tatami mat. This is an important thing to consider if you have problems with your back or knees, as the surface is really firm and there may be no other furniture (ie. chairs) in the room.
While we aim to book as many nights at small, family run ryokans and guesthouses, the recent huge increase in tourism to Japan has put a lot of pressure on accommodation. On occasion, we may need to change accommodation to hotels in order to be able to operate your departure without itinerary changes.
We like to encourage travellers to indulge in traditional Japanese 'onsens' while in the country as it is a quintessential local experience. This means bathing naked in the presence of others of the same gender. While the experience can feel strange at first, most of our groups end up enjoying this activity. If you feel uncomfortable with bathing naked, please feel free to skip taking part.
The best way to traverse the country of Japan is by public bus and train. This means the transport used on this trip isn't private and you'll be sharing with the locals. This is a great opportunity to rub shoulders with Japanese residents.
Decorative tattoos are uncommon in Japanese culture and therefore you may receive curious and sometimes disapproving looks from locals. Generally, nobody will make a comment about your tattoos but please endeavour to wear modest clothing and be aware that you may not be able to enter public onsens.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Classic Japan trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A 7 day Japan Rail Pass is included in the price of your trip (validated on Day 3). For those wishing to stay and travel longer in Japan, a Japan Rail Pass extension (total 14 days) is available.
2. A Single Supplement is currently not available for this trip due to limited rooms at many of our properties.
Our Classic Japan trips score an average of 4.79 out of 5 based on 42 reviews in the last year.
This was a brilliant tour and I would recommend it for anyone who has never been to Japan before. It was busy and exciting, overall an amazing experience of the country.
Review submitted 16 Jul 2017
Classic Japan, May 2017. A good balance of destinations, activities and mostly comfortable accommodation. Thanks Kazu for your careful planning and organisation, to ensure we made the most of our time, sampled delicious food and had great fun! Thanks fellow group members for the shared experiences.
Review submitted 25 Jun 2017