Discover Japan's excellence on this trip through Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka
Helloooo Japan. Get your fix of Japanese culture with temples, sushi and shopping in Tokyo before soaking up Kanazawa’s crazy samurai culture. Get down with your world history at Hiroshima, spy geishas in Kyoto’s Gion district and get your Tina Turner on at an Osaka karaoke bar. Whatever happens, you'll be sipping sake like a pro by the end of this trip.
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So many great destinations and so much free time to see them your way. All the benefits of group travel with a leader and new buddies to explore with, without having to pay for anything you don’t want to do.
Immerse yourself in all things Japanese right from the get go in the varied neighbourhoods of Tokyo. From the geek subculture of Akihabara, historical Asakusa and Ueno, to the wild side of fashion in Harajuku and the nightlife of Roppongi – each suburb is almost like a city of its own.
Shed your inhibitions and soak in an onsen – the traditional hot springs turned public baths. Yes, you'll be naked but don't be scared. We have a complete guide to onset etiquette here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/japan-onsen-guide/
Rail passes are included, allowing you to zip between cities at bullet speed.
Hiroshima Peace Park & Museum is a sobering, but vital, destination for all travellers to Japan to gain insight into tragic events of the nation’s past.
Spot a geisha or two in the famed Gion District or get zen in a temple garden in Kyoto.
Live your samurai fantasies in feudal-era Kanazawa. We’ve heard there is also excellent sake to be sampled here and plenty else: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/why-kanazawa-is-japans-best-ke...
You can’t leave Japan without having a night out at a karaoke bar. Trust us, they will check at immigration.
Your leader will take you on orientation walks in each destination, giving you tips on things like supermarkets, places to eat and ATMs and recommendations of fun things to see and do. For more in depth exploration you can head off on your own or with other members of your group, or for the days we are in Kyoto and Tokyo, book one of our excellent Urban Adventures day tours. Public transport to get to various sites is easy and cheap, but do take the cost of transport into account when planning your budget for activities.
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 mattresses on a 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.
We are tapping into the booming hostel scene in Japan. In Tokyo and Kyoto, you won't be staying in twin share hotels, but rather they'll be cool hangouts with shared facilities.
This trip is specifically for 18-29s, but if you are after an open age trip in the Basix style, check out Japan Express (CJRB) trip.
Renovation works on Miyajima's famous floating torii gate started in June 2019. During the renovation works, the torii gate is covered up under a partially transparent scaffolding. Furthermore, a bridge is being built on the left side of the gate (when viewed from the shrine) to aid the renovation works. A date for the completion of the renovation works has not been set yet, but the works are expected to take at least one year.
Trip departures are unavailable.
There are currently no scheduled departures on our Essential Japan trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is not currently available on this trip due to limited rooms at many of our properties.
2. A 7-day Japan Rail Pass is included on this trip. This pass will be validated on Day 3 of the trip with the assistance of the tour leader, but you won't be able to use the pass prior to that. An extension to 14-day or 21-day pass is available to purchase, but you can only use the extended pass for travels after the trip. Please note that you can't purchase the Rail Pass or extensions once in Japan.
3. Transport from one destination to the next is included, however to get around to optional activities in your free time you will need to buy your own public transport pass - your leader will assist you with the best value options.
4. 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.
5. We are tapping into the booming hostel scene in Japan. In Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, you won't be staying in twin share hotels, but rather they'll be cool hangouts with shared facilities. Please note you may stay in mix-gender dorms in the hostels.
6. 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 your travel agent or an online booking engine if you are planning to stay longer in Japan.
7. It is essential you pack light and compact for rail travel in Japan. From May 2020 there will be size restrictions for luggage on Shinkansen trains. Luggage over 160-250cm may require an additional 1000 JPY 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 over 160-250cm so they can make the necessary arrangements.
8. Renovation works on Miyajima's famous floating torii gate started in June 2019. During the renovation works, the torii gate is covered up under a partially transparent scaffolding. Furthermore, a bridge is being built on the left side of the gate (when viewed from the shrine) to aid the renovation works. A date for the completion of the renovation works has not been set yet, but the works are expected to take at least one year.
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.View Essential Trip Information