Discover Japan's excellence on this trip through Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka
Helloooo Japan. Get your fix of Japanese culture with temples, sushi and shopping in Tokyo before soaking up Kanazawa’s crazy samurai culture. Get down with your world history at Hiroshima, spy geishas in Kyoto’s Gion district and get your Tina Turner on at an Osaka karaoke bar. Whatever happens, you'll be sipping sake like a pro by the end of this trip.
Due to current restrictions, this trip will not depart until at least October 2022. See our Travel Alerts page for more information.
So many great destinations and so much free time to see them your way. All the benefits of group travel with a leader and new buddies to explore with, without having to pay for anything you don’t want to do.
Immerse yourself in all things Japanese right from the get go in the varied neighbourhoods of Tokyo. From the geek subculture of Akihabara, historical Asakusa and Ueno, to the wild side of fashion in Harajuku and the nightlife of Roppongi – each suburb is almost like a city of its own.
Shed your inhibitions and soak in an onsen – the traditional hot springs turned public baths. Yes, you'll be naked but don't be scared. We have a complete guide to onset etiquette here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/japan-onsen-guide/
Rail passes are included, allowing you to zip between cities at bullet speed.
Hiroshima Peace Park & Museum is a sobering, but vital, destination for all travellers to Japan to gain insight into tragic events of the nation’s past.
Spot a geisha or two in the famed Gion District or get zen in a temple garden in Kyoto.
Live your samurai fantasies in feudal-era Kanazawa. We’ve heard there is also excellent sake to be sampled here and plenty else: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/why-kanazawa-is-japans-best-ke...
You can’t leave Japan without having a night out at a karaoke bar. Trust us, they will check at immigration.
Your leader will take you on orientation walks in each destination, giving you tips on things like supermarkets, places to eat and ATMs and recommendations of fun things to see and do. For more in depth exploration you can head off on your own or with other members of your group, or for the days we are in Kyoto and Tokyo, book one of our excellent Urban Adventures day tours. Public transport to get to various sites is easy and cheap, but do take the cost of transport into account when planning your budget for activities.
You will easily surpass your 10,000 steps a day on this trip, in fact most travellers are surprised at how much distance they end up covering just exploring places on foot! Make sure your shoes are comfy and you are fit enough to spend most of each day on your feet.
In some destinations you may be staying in a ryokan, which is a Japanese-style inn. It’s a great taste of tradition, however not everyone finds futon mattresses on a tatami mat floor, tiny bathrooms and proximity to other guests as comfortable as more western-style hotels and beds. Read more about ryokans in our Accommodation section of the Essential Trip Information.
We are tapping into the booming hostel scene in Japan. In Tokyo and Kyoto, you won't be staying in twin share hotels, but rather they'll be cool hangouts with shared facilities.
This trip is specifically for 18-29s, but if you are after an open age trip in the Basix style, check out Japan Express (CJRB) trip.
Renovation works on Miyajima's famous floating torii gate started in June 2019. During the renovation works, the torii gate is covered up under a partially transparent scaffolding. Furthermore, a bridge is being built on the left side of the gate (when viewed from the shrine) to aid the renovation works. A date for the completion of the renovation works has not been set yet, but the works are expected to take at least one year.
Trip departures are unavailable.
There are currently no scheduled departures on our Essential Japan trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT JAPAN: it's essential that you read 'Passports, visas and entry requirements' section in Essential Trip Information first before booking your trip so that you fully understand the current requirements in place for travelling to Japan.
If you book the trip within 30 days before departure, please ensure that 1) you request a copy of the Agreement Form with your booking agent and return a signed copy within 2 business days 2) check with your local consulate and ensure that you'll have enough time to get the tourist visa for your trip. Normal booking conditions apply for any bookings within 30 days before departure. It may take 7 business days to confirm a booking and issue ERFS certificate when the trip is on request.
1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is not currently available on this trip due to limited rooms at many of our properties.
2. Please note that individual travel is still not allowed in Japan. All ground arrangements will need to be organized by a certified tour operator and will need to be reflected in your visa application. A guide is compulsory for foreign tourist’s entire stay in Japan but free time is allowed as long as the guide stays in the same overnight accommodation and is able to assist in case of emergency. Therefore, we are not able to organize any pre/post trip extensions. If you experience issues with your flights to arrive and depart as per our trip dates, please contact your booking agent and we’ll try our best to assist.
3. Transport from one destination to the next is included, however to get around to optional activities in your free time you will need to buy your own public transport pass - your leader will assist you with the best value options.
4. We are tapping into the booming hostel scene in Japan. In Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, you won't be staying in twin share hotels, but rather they'll be cool hangouts with shared facilities. Please note you may stay in mix-gender dorms in the hostels.
5. It is essential that you pack light and compact for rail travel in Japan. There are size restrictions for luggage on Shinkansen trains. Luggage from 160cm to 250cm may require an additional JPY1000 oversize luggage fee per train journey. Luggage over 251cm will NOT be permitted on the Shinkansen trains at all. Please notify your tour leader at your Welcome Meeting if your luggage is from 160cm to 250cm so they can make the necessary arrangements.
6. Renovation works on Miyajima's famous floating torii gate started in June 2019. During the renovation works, the torii gate is covered up under a partially transparent scaffolding. Furthermore, a bridge is being built on the left side of the gate (when viewed from the shrine) to aid the renovation works. A date for the completion of the renovation works has not been set yet.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.View Essential Trip Information