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.
Japan is a year round destination with something in store for every season: cherry blossoms in spring, stunning leaves in autumn and snow and ice in winter.
This trip is a great balance of included activities in each destination, big cities and smaller gems, plenty of free time for other optional fun, all backed by a helpful leader to steer you in the right direction of the best experiences.
There’s no better way to get around Japan than the country’s famous railway system. Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra-modernity as you zip from place to place with your included 7-day Japan Rail Pass. Your leader will organise all the logistics so all you need to worry about is whether to choose ramen or yakitori for dinner.
Surrounded tranquil scenery and an overnight temple stay in Koya-san is as peaceful and unique as it sounds and the perfect place to stop between Kyoto and Hiroshima.
A visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park is a sobering but important experience for understanding the tragedies of Japan’s not so distant past.
Spend a memorable night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese-style inn) in tiny Tsumago, one of the best preserved Edo-era towns along the ancient Nakesendo Highway. Enjoy a traditional dinner here and take a short walk to a nearby village.
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 matresses on the tatami mat floor, tiny bathrooms and proximity to other guests as comfortable as more western-style hotels and beds. 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. Read more about ryokans in our Accommodation section of the Essential Trip Information.
Be prepared to pack 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.
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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.
3. Due to the rapid increase in tourism in Japan and in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics it has been necessary to go outside our traditional tour leader sources. As a result our passionate, professional and trained tour leaders may be local Japanese or long term foreign residents in Japan.
4. At some destinations, larger luggage will be forwarded on ahead of you, so ensure you also have a smaller overnight/day pack with you for essentials.
5. We are currently unable to book pre or post tour accommodation at our start & finish point hotels due to limited room availability. We recommend booking a hotel of your choice through an online booking engine if you are planning to stay longer in Japan.
Our Classic Japan trips score an average of 4.78 out of 5 based on 51 reviews in the last year.
This was our first time traveling with Intrepid, or any other tour group. We loved the pace of the trip, which let us see so much more than we could have otherwise. Our guide was very organised and looked after us. We loved the food! Transport was amazing, with precision timing! Travel light and expect a lot of walking - at least 5 miles/day, usually more. Hiroshima, Koyasan, Kyoto, and Tokyo are must-see. Tsumago and Matsumoto might be better in the spring. Visiting Japan in the fall was fantastic though - highly recommended!
Review submitted 29 Nov 2017
A well organised, interesting and fun trip with a fantastic Japanese guide who spoke excellent English and always went out of his way to help everyone on the tour. Highly recommended.
Review submitted 21 Nov 2017