Premium Japan

12 Days | Ancient culture, celebrated cuisine and stunning scenery come together in Japan

4.8 out of 5 based on 126 reviews submitted.
USD $7,089
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Experience Japan’s perfect harmony of ancient tradition and a modern way of life on this 12-day Premium adventure through the cultural heart of the country. You’ll start among Tokyo’s soaring skyscrapers, making your way to Hakone’s mountainous hot springs and find the meaning of relaxation in a cloud of fragrant steam. Then, head to Takayama, which delights with its Edo-era beauty. Shirakawa-go immerses you in charming countryside life before you discover the intriguing cultural diversity of Kyoto. Find a passion for peace in Hiroshima, take a sushi-making class with an expert, soak away your worries in an onsen and travel with a local leader who will share the rich variety of their country as you visit temples, castles, shrines and holy mountains.

Trip overview

Map of Premium Japan including Japan
Tokyo, Japan
Kyoto, Japan
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
This trip generates 53 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.
Premium accommodation

Our best 4-star accommodation and the highest level of service

Premium experiences

All must-see locations plus authentic experiences exclusive to Premium

Premium knowledge

Trips led by our most experienced and highest-rated local leaders

Why you'll love this trip
  • Soak up some quintessentially Japanese Exclusive Experiences, including a sushi making class and a guided meditation session with a Zen Buddhist monk.
  • Unwind among the beauty of nature at your Feature Stay accommodation in the hot springs town of Hakone – with mountain views, a traditional ryokan design, modern comforts and a private onsen (thermal pool) for each room, you’ll find relaxation here!
  • Visit the sobering Hiroshima Peace Park and be reminded of this city’s history with a guided tour. Learn about how the city is recovering and is now dedicated to promoting world peace.
  • Soak up Japan’s natural beauty – with stays in mountainous Hakone, glimpses of Mt Fuji, a stroll around the stunning island of Miyajima and the views of the Japanese alps in the ancient village of Shirakawa-go.
  • Take a half-day tour of Tokyo – wander Asakusa (the temple district), explore the buzzing Shibuya area, find a treat in a depachika (underground food hall), chill out in Yoyogi Park, discover the thriving Harajuku district and get a birds-eye view of the city from Shibuya Sky.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

Is this trip right for you?
  • 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.
  • This trip travels primarily on public transport, as it is so efficient and convenient in Japan. Fast trains are used to move between cities, as well as public buses and metro. In order to make the travel easy, we have included luggage transfer (one piece of luggage) between destinations when we are travelling on the train. But please ensure you are still packing light for the trip. You will be expected to transport your luggage through the train stations.


Map of Premium Japan including Japan



11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners


Boat, Public Bus, Cable Car, Ferry, Metro, Bullet Train, Train


Hotel (10 nt), Hakone Feature Stay (1 nt)

Premium Inclusions
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support
  • Tokyo - Welcome dinner
  • Tokyo - Sensoji Temple
  • Tokyo - Shibuya walking tour
  • Tokyo - Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Tokyo - Yoyogi Park
  • Tokyo - Shibuya Sky with Drink
  • Tokyo - Tsukiji Outer Market
  • Tokyo - Sushi Making Class
  • Hakone - Cable car/Ropeway
  • Hakone - Lake Ashinoko boat cruise
  • Takayama - Leader-led walking tour (with street food sampling)
  • Takayama - Showa Museum
  • Takayama - Shirakawago Village
  • Takayama - Morning Market visit
  • Hiroshima - Okonomiyaki dinner
  • Hiroshima - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Hiroshima - Miyajima Island day trip
  • Miyajima - Itsukushima-jinja Shrine
  • Hiroshima - Peace Park & A - Bomb Dome
  • Hiroshima - Peace Museum
  • Himeji - Himeji Castle
  • Kyoto - Gion District walk
  • Kyoto - Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
  • Kyoto - Daitokuji Temple
  • Kyoto - Zen Buddhism meditation session
  • Kyoto - Fushimi Inari-Taisha
  • Kyoto - Sake Brewery & tasting
  • Kyoto - Final dinner
Add on activities
  • Tokyo - Tokyo National Museum - JPY1000
  • Miyajima - Mt Misen Cable Car - JPY2000
  • Kyoto - Nara Tour - JPY10000
  • Kyoto - Kiyomizu-dera - JPY400
  • Kyoto - Nijo Castle - JPY800
  • Kyoto - Arashiyama Bamboo Forest - Free
  • Kyoto - Tenryuji Temple - JPY600

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. For 2023-2024, we are unable to offer a complimentary arrival transfer in Tokyo. Our previous operator is no longer in business, and we haven’t been able to source a reliable alternative supplier. Please see the joining point instructions for information on how to get to your hotel.

2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

3. It is essential you pack light and compact for rail travel in Japan. One piece of big luggage is included for transfer from destination to destination on this trip when we are travelling on the train. For any additional luggage to be transferred, additional charges will apply. There are size restrictions for luggage on Shinkansen trains if you plan to take them with you. Luggage over 160–250 cm may require an additional JPY1000 fee per train journey. Luggage over 251 cm will NOT be permitted on the Shinkansen trains. Please notify your group leader at the welcome meeting if your luggage is over 160–250 cm so they can help you make the necessary arrangements. Please review the Packing section of the ETIs for more details on luggage transfers.

4. We are not able to book airport shuttle service between Kyoto and Kansai Airport at the moment. Your leader will be able to advise on best ways of getting to Kansai Airport in Osaka.

5. All rail travel is included in the price of this trip, but you will no longer be travelling on a Japan Rail Pass. This is to ensure that we can secure seat reservations without you needing to queue at the ticket counter, and to remove the possibility of you travelling in busy, unreserved seat cars during peak season. It will also increase the train options available, including more bullet train options, making journeys faster and more efficient.

6. Double rooms in Japanese hotel rooms can be smaller than you may be used to (e.g. 20 square meters). Every effort will be made to accommodate double room requests. However, during busy periods, there may be occasions when we are unable to offer a double room, so a twin room will be provided.

Essential Trip Information

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.

Read Essential Trip Information


4.8 out of 5 based on 126 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Catherine · Traveled May 2024
I have no objection + agree to you using this review with any or all of the comments herein
Review submitted 25 May 2024

Barbara · Traveled May 2024
Great overview of Japan. We traveled to many wonderful places using public transportation. Our guide, Yuji, made the trip so special with his planning, knowledge, organization, and effective communications.
Review submitted 24 May 2024

Elizabeth · Traveled May 2024
This was one of the best trips of my life! I love a full itinerary and our days were packed. I feel like I got to see all the highlights of Japan and still got to have unique and intimate experiences I couldn’t have found myself. Our guide Yuji was incredible. He was timely, informed, approachable, and personal. He made us laugh and went out of his way to make sure our needs were met and gave us great recommendations for our free time. I’m ready to go back and do another Intrepid trip to Japan.
Review submitted 23 May 2024

Amanda · Traveled May 2024
Yuji, our tour guide was absolutely phenomenal in every way and made the tour extra special. The accommodations were excellent and the itinerary was great. Just make sure you’re fit enough to walk a lot!!
Review submitted 19 May 2024

Margery · Traveled May 2024
I highly recommend the Premium Tour of Japan. Our tour guide was highly experienced, well-prepared, thoughtful, warm, deeply knowledgeable, energetic, and exceeded expectations for meeting individual and group needs and desires. She exuded pride in Japan and is a global ambassador for her country. She offered recommendations about food, shops, museums, sites, transportation options, and more. The trip was well sequenced and included a wide range of cities and interesting, varied activities. The hotels and meals were excellent across the board. Recommend packing very lightly given the fast pace and luggage shipping between destinations. Our tour leader facilitated wonderful memories from our 12-days in Japan that we will treasure. We are most grateful and appreciative.
Review submitted 20 May 2024
Premium Japan
USD $7,089