From temples to tempura, onsens to okonomiyaki and skyscrapers to sake, join us for the ultimate Japan adventure.
On a journey from the bright neon lights of Tokyo to the cultural capital of Kyoto, you’ll see the best Japan has to offer – including the highlights and the hidden gems. Our Japan trips offer something for everyone, whether you’re a family or a foodie, a nature lover or a city slicker. Slurp ramen and learn how to roll sushi like a pro in Tokyo, relax and unwind in a steamy onsen in Hakone, catch a glimpse of an elegantly-attired geisha in Kyoto or experience the peaceful energy of Hiroshima—all while mixing with locals and experiencing the real Japan.
Our Tokyo to Kyoto tours
Toyko to Kyoto highlights
Tokyo to Kyoto tours reviews
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
There’s never a bad time to travel to Japan but the most popular months to visit are March, April, and May as the weather is mild and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The warm weather (with low humidity levels) of September, October and November are also suitable months to visit Japan – you’ll even be treated to landscapes coloured with oranges, reds, and browns for autumn. While winter can be cold, this is the best time for snow activities such as skiing, snowboarding and snow festivals. On the other hand, the summer months see high humidity levels that can be uncomfortable for travellers who aren't accustomed to the heart.
Under the current restrictions, a visa is required to enter Japan as a tourist. We recommend you apply for a visa no later than one month before your departure date as it can take a few weeks to be processed. Please contact your local consulate or embassy for more information.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Tokyo and Kyoto are two of Japan's most popular destinations, and for good reason! But just because they're popular doesn't mean there aren't any hidden gems to discover – especially with a local leader by your side. Below are some of our top picks of what to see and do in these bustling cities.
- Hit up a karaoke bar in Tokyo
- Sample sushi at Tsukiji Outer Market
- Take a walk down the eclectic alleyways of Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane)
- Visit Senso-ji – the city’s oldest temple
- Relax on a short cruise down the Sumida River
- Discover quirky fashion and pop culture in Harajuku
- Find your inner zen at Meiji Jingu Shrine
- Discover Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavillion)
- Admire the flora in Kyoto's Botanical Gardens
- Explore Nijo-jo Castle
- Visit the stunning Shimogamo Shrine
- Learn about geisha culture in Gion District
- Pick up a bargain in Nishiki-Koji Market
- Walk among giant bamboo in Arashiyama Forest
Travellers who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community shouldn’t have any issues as violence, outright hostility or overt discrimination is extremely rare. However, Japan’s older generation still holds conservative values when it comes to queer sexuality and non-binary gender expression, especially those that live in regional areas.
Same-sex relationships are considered legal in some districts (such as Tokyo); however, same-sex marriage hasn’t been legalised yet. Public displays of affection are often frowned upon, regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation, so keep that in mind when you’re out in public.
Read more about travel in Japan