Kyoto, Koya-san and more on a cultural crusade
Steeped in centuries of tradition and full of culinary prowess, Japan is awash with sights to see and histories to uncover. From Kyoto to Tokyo, spend 12 days exploring the heart of Japan, with memories of the Edo era, sobering warfare sites, lush natural landscapes and eclectic neighbourhoods to discover. Be tempted by tempura, savour your sushi and sip some sochu as you discover the endless variety and diversity of Japan with your small group, all headed by a local leader who knows all of the best places to go. What’s stopping you embarking on a cultural escapade to the home of geisha, torii, sake and nori?
Due to current restrictions, this trip will not depart until at least October 2022. See our Travel Alerts page for more information.
Surrounded in tranquil scenery, an overnight Buddhist temple stay in Koya-san is as peaceful and unique as it sounds. It’s the perfect place to stop and explore between Kyoto and Hiroshima.
With three nights spent in Tokyo, you’ll cover the top sights with your small group and have free time to see at your own pace. With so much to do, you have the power to decide in Japan’s capital.
A visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park is a sobering but important experience for understanding the tragedies of Japan’s not so distant past – do so with the local knowledge of your leader to show you the way.
Spend a memorable night with an included dinner in a traditional Japanese ryokan in tiny Tsumago – one of the best-preserved Edo-era towns along the ancient Nakesendo Highway.
Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra-modernity as you zip from city to town with your included 7-day Japan Rail Pass, including the Shinkansen. Travel has never been so easy!
Japan is best to explore on foot. 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 the tatami mat floor, tiny bathrooms and proximity to other guests as comfortable as more western-style hotels and beds. This is an important thing to consider if you have problems with your back or knees, as the surface is really firm and there may be no other furniture (eg chairs) in the room. Read more about ryokans here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/traditional-japanese-ryokan/
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. At some destinations, larger luggage will be forwarded on ahead of you, so it'll be easier to get around if you have a smaller overnight/day pack.
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 Classic Japan trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT JAPAN: it's essential that you read 'Passports, visas and entry requirements' section in Essential Trip Information first before booking your trip so that you fully understand the current requirements in place for travelling to Japan.
If you book the trip within 30 days before departure, please ensure that 1) you request a copy of the Agreement Form with your booking agent and return a signed copy within 2 business days 2) check with your local consulate and ensure that you'll have enough time to get the tourist visa for your trip. Normal booking conditions apply for any bookings within 30 days before departure. It may take 7 business days to confirm a booking and issue ERFS certificate when the trip is on request.
1. Please note that individual travel is still not allowed in Japan. All ground arrangements will need to be organized by a certified tour operator and will need to be reflected in your visa application. A guide is compulsory for foreign tourist’s entire stay in Japan but free time is allowed as long as the guide stays in the same overnight accommodation and is able to assist in case of emergency. Therefore, we are not able to organize any pre/post trip extensions. If you experience issues with your flights to arrive and depart as per our trip dates, please contact your booking agent and we’ll try our best to assist.
2. A Single Supplement is currently not available for this trip due to limited rooms at many of our properties.
3. At some destinations, larger luggage will be forwarded on ahead of you, so ensure you also have a smaller overnight/day pack with you for essentials. Please check itinerary for details.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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