Take a mind-blowing tour of historic, cultural and modern Japan
Ever-welcoming and always fascinating, Japan is a land of ancient cultures, austere traditions and groundbreaking technology. Experience the best that this diverse country has to offer from the excitement of lively Tokyo to the sacred resting places of shoguns at Nikko. Feast on local delights at a Takayama market, make a sobering visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park and explore magnificent Kyoto temples. Discover ancient castles, lush countryside and fascinating feudal history on this authentic travel adventure. If you pack a good sense of humour and leave all inhibitions behind, the Land of the Rising Sun rarely disappoints.
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 and 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.
The town of Hakone is one of our favourite destinations. Not only are there glimpses of Mt Fuji from here on a clear day and picture perfect hiking trails, this is also one of the best places to experience an outdoor onsen – hot springs bath.
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 14-day Japan Rail Pass. Here is why you don't want to miss train travel in Japan: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/japan-trains/
Stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and sample simple home-cooked fare in Edo-era Takayama, explore local markets, the Hida Folk Village and perhaps stop by a sake brewery.
A visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park is a sobering but important experience for understanding the tragedies of Japan’s not so distant past.
Finish off your time in the Land of the Rising Sun with two days in Kyoto, the country’s “cultural capital” and home to a stunning selection of temples, tea houses and frozen-in-time zen gardens.
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. 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.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Japan: Land of the Rising Sun trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A 14 day Japan Rail Pass is included in the price of your trip (validated on Day 2). For those wishing to stay and travel longer in Japan, an Japan Rail Pass Extension (total 21 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. 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 Japan: Land of the Rising Sun trips score an average of 4.68 out of 5 based on 231 reviews in the last year.
Japan is a combination of fun, crazy-busy cities and awesomely beautiful parks and countryside. Luke, our trip leader, grew up in Japan, educated in England and was a superb guide. There is a LOT of walking done on this trip. If that is a problem for you, do yourself and your fellow travelers a favor and consider another trip. Washer/dryers are available at most of the stops so pack light and you will enjoy the travel days much more.
Review submitted 19 May 2018
This trip was a great way to see some of the beautiful sights of Japan without having to worry about organising transport and accommodation. I left it fairly late to book the trip and the inclusion of the 14 day JR Rail Pass was a great time and money saver!
Review submitted 13 May 2018