Embark on an ultimate adventure through Japan's fascinating past and present, civilization and nature, people and art
Ever-welcoming and always fascinating, Japan is a land of ancient cultures, austere traditions and groundbreaking technology. Join us on this ultimate journey that takes you from the futuristic neon lit Tokyo to the dense forests of the southern island of Yakushima, cleanse your mind and soul in the sacred temples in Nikko, Kyoto and Kotohira, feast on local delights at a Takayama market, be wowed at the creativity of modern art at Naoshima Island, make a sobering visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, try for an Indiana Jones stunt crossing the vine bridge at Iya Valley or trek through the dense forests in Yakushima over which princess Princess Mononoke watches.
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, it rarely disappoints
What better way to see Japan than by the country's famous railway system? It's clean, efficient and we include a 21-day Japan Rail Pass in the trip price.
This trip affords you a good balance of included activities and free time, with plenty of optional activities to keep you busy and a helpful leader to steer you in the right direction.
Some of the accommodation is in traditional Japanese ryokans. Sleep on the floor on a tatami mat, keep warm beside an irori hearth and bath in an onsen or shared bathroom facilities.
This 24 day adventure zips you through the highlights of Japan, so you'll get a comprehensive understanding to this amazing country
A good degree of fitness is recommended for this trip as there is a lot of walking involved (up to 10 kilometres each day), particularly around Kyoto which is best seen on foot. Bring comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to spend most of the day on your feet.
We are not able to offer a Single Supplement on this trip due to limited rooms at many of our properties and high demand for accommodation in Japan.
While we aim to book as many nights at small, family run ryokans and guesthouses, the recent huge increase in tourism to Japan has put a lot of pressure on accommodation. On occasion, we may need to change accommodation to other hotels in order to be able to continue to operate your departure without itinerary changes.
Some of our accommodation includes shared bathing facilities with set times for men and women. Some properties may also have a curfew by which all guests must have returned for the night (usually around midnight).
We recommend packing 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.
As there are few activities included, you will have plenty of options offered by your leader for you to choose from. 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. This is a great trip for those who appreciate a bit of independence and want to customise their journey to their own interests.
We like to encourage travellers to indulge in traditional Japanese 'onsens' while in the country as it is a quintessential local experience. This means bathing naked in the presence of others of the same gender. While the experience can feel strange at first, most of our groups end up enjoying this activity. If you feel uncomfortable with bathing naked, please feel free to skip taking part.
Decorative tattoos are uncommon in Japanese culture and therefore you may receive curious and sometimes disapproving looks from locals. Generally, nobody will make a comment about your tattoos but please endeavour to wear modest clothing and be aware that you may not be able to enter public onsens.
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.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Ultimate Japan trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A 21 day Japan Rail Pass is included in the price of your trip.
2. A Single Supplement is currently not available for this trip due to limited rooms at many of our properties.
3. This is a combination trip, which will help save you from the hassle of making multiple bookings. But please note that your group composition and tour leader may change on Day 13.
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.
Start and finish time:
Your trip will start at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned on the final day. You may depart at any time of the day.
There's not much time planned for Tokyo and Osaka at the beginning and end of the trip. We highly recommend you plan some extra time in both cities and we are happy to help you with that. Please consult your booking agent if you plan to do so.