Journey Through Japan
Explore the Land of the Rising Sun over 10 or 14 days
Book now for £49
Group Size: Max 22
Trip code: OLJD
Duration: 10 or 14 days
Konichiwa Japan! From Zen temples and geisha to samurai warriors and sushi, there’s nowhere else like it. This epic 10- or 14-day group tour takes you to the highlights and hidden gems of the Land of the Rising Sun, from buzzing Tokyo to traditional Kyoto. Visit a maid café in Tokyo’s Harajuku, challenge your buddies to a dance game in Akihabara’s arcades, get spiritual with a night in a traditional temple, take tea with the geisha in Gion, hit the dojo for a samurai-led kendo session and learn your maki from your ngiriwith a sushi masterclass! With a dedicated group leader, local guides, and a group of ready-made mates, there’s no better way to explore this unique Asian country.
- Have a go at hand-rolling your own sushi at the world famous Tsukiji Fish Market
- Get your zen on with a night in a traditional Japanese temple
- Learn the respectful martial art of Kendo from a descendant of the Samurai
- Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and meet Gion’s geiko and maiko in the ancient city of Kyoto
- Take a food tour of Osaka’s neon-lit Dotonbori and enjoy a Japanese Karaoke session
- Explore Hiroshima’s moving monument to the city’s tragic past with a local guide
Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo. Konichiwa Japan! Arrive in the buzzing neon-lit metropolis of Tokyo and make your way to your starting hotel. We’ve lined up a special Shabu-Shabu welcome dinner, followed by a visit to Tokyo’s most famous temple, Senso-Ji.
Day 2: Harajuku and Akihabara. Explore the bubble-gum scented home of Japanese teen pop culture, Harajuku. Then grab a bento box and head into Yoyogi park for a picnic lunch, Tokyo style. Zen out in Meiji Shrine, before making tracks to the bright lights of Akihabara.
Day 3: Sushi class and Shinjuku. We’re headed to Tsukiji Fish Market today for a sushi masterclass. Later we’re off to Shinjuku for epic views from the Tokyo Government building, street-food in OmoideYokocho, and the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, Shibuya!
Day 4: Hakone and Mt Fuji. Sayonara Tokyo! We’re hopping on the ‘Romance Car’ to Hakone today. Explore the National Park, including the one-and-only Mount Fuji. Tonight, share a Nabe dinner, watch the sun go down from the roof, and bed down on tatami mats.
Day 5: Takayama temple stay. Speed your way to Nagoya on a bullet train, before winding through the mountains to Takayama. Take a tour of the beautifully preserved Old Town and taste some sake before spending the night in a traditional Japanese temple.
Day 6: Takayama and Kyoto Gion tour. Grab a spot of lunch in Takayama’s old town before heading to Japan’s cultural heart, Kyoto where we stay right in the centre of Gion district. This evening, snap some selfies in front of Gion’s wooden houses, take tea in an ochaya, and keep your eyes peeled for mysterious geiko.
Day 7: Kyoto temples and shrines. We’re up before dawn today to visit the oldest shrine in Kyoto, Fushimi-Inari, with its line of bright orange tori gates. Then explore the Buddhist temple of Kiyomizu-dera before a traditional tea ceremony, with optional kimonos!
Day 8: Golden Pavilion, temple gardens & kendo. This morning we’re headed to the jaw-dropping Golden Pavilion, followed by the temple gardens of Daitoku-Ji. Channel your inner warrior this afternoon with a Kendo class led by a descendant of a Japanese Samurai!
Day 9: Bamboo forest and Osaka. Take the train to Arashiyamawhere we’ll visit the bamboo forest, meet the cheeky residents of Monkey Mountain, and take a private row-boat trip before boarding another train to vibrant Osaka for a food tour followed by an all you can drink Karaoke session!
Day 10: Trip end or Osaka Castle and Shinsekai. If you’re on the 10 day trip, it’s time to say your farewells to the gang. If you’re staying on for the full 14 days, spend the morning exploring Osaka. This evening, pay a guided visit to Osaka Castle before dinner in Shinsekai.
Day 11: Nara Park and Koyasan Temple. Take the train to Nara and meet the resident deer, before heading to Koyasan. Stop for some of the most picturesque views at Okunoin Cemetary (trust us, you will love it). You’ll be living the temple life with a night in a working temple, including a vegetarian dinner made from ingredients sourced by the monks in the local area.
Day 12: Koyasan and Hiroshima. Wake to the sound of the monks chanting before a traditional “temple style” breakfast. Then take the bullet train to Hiroshima where we’ll visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to learn about the city’s tragic past.
Day 13: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island. Head to beautiful Miyajima Island. Visit the island’s famous shrine, take in views of the gate, and explore the temples before travelling back to Hiroshima. We’ll celebrate our Japanese adventure over a group dinner tonight.
Day 14: Trip end. And just like that, our amazing Japanese trip has come to an end. After breakfast, take one last walk around the memorial park or check out the river before continuing your travels in Japan or heading home. See you next time!
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Most expensive: £1,052 December, 2023
Fly into either Tokyo Haneda Airport or Tokyo Narita Airport and make your way to our starting accommodation in Nippori. You can check in any time after 2pm. There are no activities planned until a welcome meal this evening.
If you’re taking the 10 day trip, your trip ends in Osaka. If you’re on the 14 day trip, your adventure ends in Hiroshima. Your guide can help with booking airport transfers or onward travel.
9 or 13 nights of accommodation are included on this trip. You’ll be staying in twin, triple or multi-share rooms in a selection of hand-picked accommodations, from modern hostels to traditional Japanese guesthouses. You’ll even spend an unforgettable night on tatami mats in a stunning temple (two nights if you opt for the 14-day trip)! Below is an example of the types of amazing accommodation you can expect on the trip (subject to change):
- Tokyo - Sakura Hotel Nippori (twin)
- Hakone - Gora Gaku Guesthouse (twin or triple tatami mats)
- Takayama - Zenkoji Temple (multi-share)
- Kyoto - Ryokan Hostel Gion (individual pods)
- Osaka - Hotel WBF Namba Motomachi (triple)
- Koyasan - Daimyoo-In Temple (twin tatami mats)
- Hiroshima - We Base (twin)
4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners are included on the 10-day trip, and 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 4 dinners are included on the 14 day trip. This includes a make-your-own sushi session at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, an Osaka food tour, and an epic Shabu-Shabu welcome dinner! Please be aware that vegetarian and vegan options are limited in Japan and therefore we would encourage vegetarians and vegans to bring additional snacks to Japan.
You’ll need to be 18 years old or over to join this trip.
British citizens do not need to obtain a visa before travelling to Japan for short-term stays. If you’re planning a longer stay or to work, you’ll need to consult your nearest Japanese consulate for advice. As part of travelling to Japan, you must submit information to the Japanese authorities before you fly. For arrivals on or after 14 November, MySOS will no longer be used and you must use the Visit Japan Web site for pre-flight procedures. Your passport will need to be valid for the duration of your stay.