Affordable adventure in the Far East's most intriguing country
Book now for £49
Group Size: Max 22
Trip code: OLJE
Duration: 9 days
This amazing 9-day trip from Tokyo to Osaka is a budget-friendly adventure that’s as kind on your eyes as your wallet. Experience contemporary Japan in high-rise Tokyo and Osaka with maid cafés, electronic stores, and the busiest intersection in the world, and step back in time to traditional Japan on the cobbled streets of Kyoto, with ancient temples, geisha ceremonies, and zen gardens. Taste the best yakitori of your life on Omoide Yokocho Alley, meet the cheeky residents of Monkey Mountain, and snap some incredible selfies in front of Mount Fuji. Add to that a bullet train or two, a Japanese language lesson, and an epic karaoke battle, and you’ve got a recipe for the adventure of a lifetime.
- Discover Kyoto’s lantern-lit alleyways, traditional teahouses and geisha culture
- Immerse yourself in kawaii, cosplay, and arcade games in Tokyo’s Harajuku and Akihabara
- Explore Arashiyama’s peaceful bamboo forest and meet the macaques on Monkey Mountain
- See Fushimi-Inari Shrine’s iconic orange torri gates in the morning before the crowds arrive
- Take a mouth-watering street food tour of Osaka’s neon soaked Dotonburi district
- Wander Hakone’s leafy mountain trails and take in epic views of Mount Fuji
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo. Fly into Japan’s legendary capital and make your way to our hotel in the Asakusa neighbourhood. Meet the rest of the group over a Japanese feast and a few sakes this evening before an evening visit to incense-scented Senso-Ji Temple.
Day 2: Tokyo districts. Pick up some simple Japanese and learn about local customs at an orientation meeting. Then explore kawaii, cosplay, and everything pink in Harajuku, see the Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi Park and hit the arcades and the maid cafés in Akihabara, Tokyo’s electric town.
Day 3: Tokyo free time & Shinjuku. Explore the city at your own pace today, before an evening in lively Shinjuku for the most amazing city skyline views and dinner in the yakitori shacks on Omoide Yokocho alley. Round off with a visit to Shibuya Crossing, the busiest intersection in the world.
Day 4: Hakone & Mount Fuji. Ride the Romance Car to the mountain town of Hakone. Wander the leafy hiking trails and snap some epic selfies with Mt Fuji in the background, before heading back to our guest house for a family-style dinner and a night on traditional tatami mat beds.
Day 5: Kyoto Gion district. Take the bullet train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart. Spend the evening discovering the lantern-lit alleyways, traditional teahouses and machiya (wooden townhouses), keeping your eyes peeled for geisha all the while, before dinner at a top yakitori joint.
Day 6: Fushimi-Inari & Kiyomizu-Dera. Ride the subway to Fushimi-Inari before dawn today to see its endless orange torri gates before the crowds arrive. Next up it’s Kiyomizu-Dera. Take in the views from its large wooden terrace, before an optional tea ceremony complete with kimono hire!
Day 7: Arashiyama. Hop on the train to the mountain town of Arashiyama. Take a peaceful walk through the emerald green corridors of the town’s famous bamboo forest before meeting some of the cheeky residents of Monkey Mountain.
Day 8: Golden Pavilion & Osaka. Visit the Golden Pavilion, a jaw-dropping lakeside building coated in gold leaf before heading to Daitoku-Ji to explore its amazing zen gardens. Then speed your way to Osaka, where we’ll take a street food tour of fluorescent Dotonburi before a karaoke session.
Day 9: Trip end. After breakfast it’s time to say our goodbyes and head for the airport. Sayonara friends!
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Most expensive: £1,052 December, 2023
Your trip starts on day 1 in Tokyo. There are no activities planned until a welcome dinner and temple visit this evening, so arrive at a time that suits you. There are 2 airports in Tokyo: Narita and Haneda. You’ll need to make your own way from either airport to our starting accommodation in the historic Asakusa area. Taxi takes around 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
The trip ends after breakfast on day 9 in Osaka. The nearest airport is Kansai International (KIX). You can get to the airport by bus, train, or taxi and your tour guide can help you book this.
All your accommodation is included on this trip. You’ll stay in hostels in epic locations. Rooms are multi-share dorm style (some single-sex, some mixed-sex)and are clean and comfy. Some hostels feature traditional tatami style beds on the floor.
4 breakfasts and 4 dinners are included on this trip. The rest of your meals can be bought locally and your guide can suggest places to suit your budget.
This trip is designed for those aged 18-39.
Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay. Short-term visitors with British passports no longer need to obtain a visa prior to travelling.
Please note: Visa rules are subject to change. You should check with the relevant embassies before travelling.