Japan Highlights

8 Days | Travel from Tokyo to Kyoto, sampling all the sake in between

4.8 out of 5 based on 50 reviews submitted.
Explorer
Rail
From
EUR €2,520
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Home of the sumo, the geisha, sake, karaoke, onsen and izakaya – Japan is a true feast for all of your senses. This 8-day journey hits all the right spots giving you a true appreciation for the land of the rising sun. Absorb the bustle of Tokyo before heading into the countryside for a farmstay with local tea harvesters and a quiet hike featuring spectacular views of Mt Fuji. Travel on a futuristic bullet train to Kyoto and step into history before wrapping up your adventure in the foodie paradise of Osaka.

Trip overview

Map of Japan Highlights including Japan
Start
Tokyo, Japan
Finish
Osaka, Japan
Theme
Explorer, Rail
Destinations
Japan
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
CJSH
This trip generates 38 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • This is THE trip to take in Japan – a cultural and culinary whirlwind from the streets of Tokyo to the eats of Osaka.
  • Explore the many sides of Shibuya in Tokyo, from busy intersections to rooftop city views and from the tranquillity of the ancient Meiji Shrine to quirky Harajuku.
  • Settle into rural Japanese life at a local farmstay, where you might help harvest tea and prepare a home-cooked, farm-to-table feast and hike a quiet country trail passing through tea plantations and featuring the unmissable view of Mt. Fuji along the way.
  • Ride the rails like the locals, from lightening-fast bullet trains to scenic mountain rails offering seasonal views of cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.
  • Immerse yourself in the history and tradition of Kyoto among shrines, geishas and a 300-year-old sake brewery, and follow it up with the mouth-watering street food in Osaka.

Is this trip right for you?
  • Japan is best to explore on foot – in fact most travellers are surprised at how much distance they end up covering just exploring places when walking! Make sure your shoes are comfy and you are fit enough to spend most of each day on your feet.
  • 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.

Itinerary

Map of Japan Highlights including Japan

Inclusions

Meals

1 breakfast, 2 dinners

Transport

Public Bus, Metro, Local Train, Bullet Train

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Farm Stay (1 night)

Activities
  • Tokyo - welcome meeting and orientation walk
  • Tokyo - Sensoji Temple
  • Tokyo - Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Tokyo - Shibuya walking tour
  • Tokyo - Shibuya Sky Observation Platform
  • Kawane - Farm Stay & Home-cooked Dinner
  • Kawane - Tea Farm Visit & Tea Brewing & Tasting
  • Kawane - Scenic Train Ride
  • Kawane - Home-cooked Japanese Breakfast
  • Shizuoka - Tokai Nature Trail Soft Hike
  • Shizuoka - Nihondaira Yume Terrace​ (Mt. Fuji viewing platform)
  • Kyoto - Gion District walk
  • Kyoto - Nishiki-Koji Market
  • Shizuoka - Shimizu Fish Market & Brunch
  • Kyoto - Fushimi Inari-Taisha
  • Kyoto - Sake Brewery Visit & Tasting
  • Osaka - Dotombori and Kuromon Street Food Walking Tour
Add on activities
  • Tokyo - Tsukiji Fish Market - Free
  • Tokyo - Shinjuku-gyoen - JPY500
  • Tokyo - Yoyogi Park - Free
  • Tokyo - Imperial Palace - Free
  • Kyoto - Gion Corner cultural centre - JPY5500
  • Kyoto - Imperial Palace - Free
  • Kyoto Tower - JPY900
  • Kyoto - Bike hire (per day) from - JPY1200
  • Kyoto - Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) - JPY500
  • Kyoto - Ryoanji Zen Garden - JPY600
  • Kyoto - Arashiyama Bamboo Forest - Free
  • Kyoto - Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-Michi) - Free

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is currently not available for this trip due to limited rooms at our chosen accommodation.

2. 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.

3. We are currently unable to book pre or post trip accommodation at our start and finish point hotels due to limited room availability. We recommend booking a hotel of your choice through your booking agent.

4. This trip does not include a Japan Rail Pass. You will need to buy your own train tickets for any independent rail travel you wish to do in Japan pre or post tour.

5. Please note that there are generally less double rooms in Japanese hotels, even those in Western style. While every effort will be made to accommodate double room requests, this may not always be possible.

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Essential Trip Information

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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 based on 50 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Robin · Traveled May 2024
We’ve just finished this tour and found it to be a fantastic way to quickly cover some major spots in Japan. . Our tour guide Nono was terrific - friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and well organised. Read the extended itinerary- this is very fast paced with lots of walking (sometimes with luggage) so you need to be reasonably fit. Mostly buy your own food but it’s quite cheap. The farm stay was a highlight. The hike mostly uphill but with some flat sections to recover in.
Review submitted 29 May 2024

Hema · Traveled May 2024
My first solo trip on a tour with intrepid was brilliant, I had the most amazing guide in Yuki, so knowledgeable, organised kind and social. We had a great mix in the group so it was a fab first experience, I’ll be booking more trips in the future. Highly recommend Japan highlights!!
Review submitted 19 May 2024

Michelle · Traveled April 2024
A great introduction to Japan! A mixture of city and country experiences. Catching public transport was a breeze and accommodation options were close to amenities and of good quality.
Review submitted 03 May 2024

Anne · Traveled April 2024
This eight day tour was packed with so much variety and smooth local travel, from bullet train, local train and bus. It was a whirlwind of exceptional experiences, with a lovely guide keen to show us Japan at its best. Kelly succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The highlights of Japanese culture, dining and scenery were revealed as well as fascinating positive interactions with locals. Totally went beyond expectations. ! Thank you so very much Kelly!
Review submitted 29 Apr 2024

Debra · Traveled April 2024
I think you need to review activity level on this trip. I did an Intrepid trip to Iceland in July which was rated the same level as the Japan trip. In Japan there was significantly more walking and although I didn’t have a problem, some were not prepared to the amount or pace of walking.
Review submitted 27 Apr 2024
Japan Highlights
From
EUR €2,520