A lazer-guided, umami-flavoured, Hello Kitty fun machine where samurais battle Shiba dogs in naked thermal hot springs. If you’ve taken a holiday in Japan, you’ll know that that sentence makes a surprising amount of sense. This is a country that’s famously hard to read, so a local-led group tour is a pretty good idea. We’ll introduce you to Soba masters in Tokyo, lead you through tuna auctions and sumo stables, stay with Buddhist monks in Koya San and sing bad karaoke ‘til the wee hours in Osaka (all while sipping sake and gorging on market fresh sashimi). You ready? Kanpai!
|Departing||Trip name||Days||From NZD|
|Land of the Rising Sun||14||
|Japan Family Holiday||11||
Our Japan trips score an average of 4.69 out of 5 based on 376 reviews in the last year.
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
Japan Express is good for solo travelers who want to travel with others. It wasn't the right choice for us as a couple, since my spouse doesn't like to socialize as much, although I enjoyed the rest of the group. However, this tour also makes it fairly easy to do your own thing. My biggest problem was the amount of time spent traveling between cities - it essentially killed two days of the trip. That's something Intrepid could fix, so I don't know if it's true for all tours (our guide was asked to book slower trains - might be cheaper but took a lot longer). I would go again if I were solo.
Review submitted 20 Nov 2017
Walk the busy city streets of Tokyo
Experience the charms of the Sapporo Winter Festival
Delve into geisha culture in Kyoto
Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.
Depending on which trip you're on while in Japan, you may find yourself travelling by:
Travelling at speeds of up to 300 km/ph, Japan's Shinkansen (bullet trains) are known for their punctuality, safety and comfort - an awesomely efficient way to get around Japan.
Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.
When travelling with us in Japan you may find yourself staying in a:
Be immersed in deep spirituality and serenity while staying in a monastery in Japan. Meditate, contemplate and enjoy vegetarian food prepared by monks during this unforgettable experience.
Citizens of the USA, Australia and New Zealand are granted 90-day temporary visitor visas, while stays of up to three months are permitted for citizens of Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and a number of other countries.
Stays of up to six months are permitted for citizens of Austria, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Switzerland and the UK. Citizens of these countries will almost always be given a 90-day temporary visitor visa upon arrival, which can usually be extended for another 90 days at immigration bureaux inside Japan.
Tipping isn't customary in Japan and is not expected of you. Some inns or ryokans may leave a small envelope in your room where a small gratuity can be left for the maid staff.
Internet access is excellent in Japan, with one of the most developed high-speed internet networks in the world. Internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots are easily found in most cities and major towns.
Mobile phone coverage is excellent in Japan, but be aware that talking loudly on your phone in public places (like in train carriages) is frowned upon. If you want to use your mobile phone, ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive.
In Japan, toilets range from high-tech bidets to standard western-style flushable toilets to squat toilets, which are still common in Japan. Sometimes you may need to pay for toilet paper, which can usually be purchased from a vending machine nearby.
Drinking water from taps in Japan is considered safe. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water.
Major credit cards are accepted by some stores; however, Japan is still very much a cash culture and as such, some places may not accept credit cards. Ensure you carry enough cash to cover purchases.
ATMs are common in Japan, so finding one won't be a problem in most towns and cities but unfortunately many of them don't accept foreign-issued cards. However, you can access cash from non-Japanese bank accounts via the Cirrus and Maestro systems at all post office ATMs around the country, as well as ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience store.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. 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 insureance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Japan go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/japan/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.