Japan Tours & Holidays

Small Group Tours & Tailor-Made Holidays

Overview

Japan has lured untold numbers of adventurers since Marco Polo first introduced it to the world back in the 13th century as "Zipangu - the Land of Gold."

Japan offers great cultural variety, colourful and inspiring natural attractions beautifully interwoven by four distinct seasonal changes, not to mention the hospitality of its people. Here you'll find an impressive mix of cutting-edge technology and super efficient public transport systems alongside peaceful oriental gardens and ...

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Meet the Experts

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Group tours

Travel to Japan with like-minded people on one of our small group tours (usually max size 12), featuring knowledgeable local guides and an expert tour leader.

TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAYS

Whether you want to travel on one of our award-winning itineraries or build your own journey from scratch, our expert consultants will help create the perfect tour for your tastes and budget. Below are a few suggestions of the kind of trips we can offer, all of which can be tailored to you.

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

HIGHLIGHTS OF JAPAN

BEST EXPERIENCES

Study life as a Samurai and Ninja

Study life as a Samurai and Ninja

Enter the Dojo and learn all about two of the most iconic professions in pre-modern Japan. You will learn the skills and techniques used by samurai and ninja alike to carry out their missions and leave with a greater appreciation of the samurai way of life.

Learn about the secrets of Kanazawa

Learn about the secrets of Kanazawa

This amazing city has is drenched in history and culture. Experience the secrets of a city which long been considered the home of Japanese high culture and traditional handicrafts. Explore the Kenrouken Gardens, one of the five great gardens in Japan.

Explore Tokyo at night

Explore Tokyo at night

Toyko is a city that comes to life at night. Witness the transition as the stoic daytime locals let their hair down and immerse yourself in a tour that will provide an altogether different perspective of the Japanese capital.

Discover Japan’s famous cuisine

Discover Japan’s famous cuisine

Embark on a Kyoto food tour that will tantalize the taste buds as you dive into the world of Japanese cuisine. Enjoy sake tasting at a machiya then step into the kitchen and join a local culinary expert for a fun, interactive culinary experience.

Kayak in the Kiso Valley

Kayak in the Kiso Valley

Experience the tranquillity of Lake Shizenko, a natural lake that is surrounded by a thick forest. Board a kayak and cruise around this beautiful lake where the remains of submerged trees rise from the lake like ghosts resulting in a stunning work of nature.

Peddle through Kyoto

Peddle through Kyoto

A bike ride that is certain to delight the culturally curious, as you pedal through magical backstreets on this unique guided tour. Discover hidden teahouses, spot Geishas gracefully crossing the road and encounter scenes of Japanese daily life at every turn.

Witness the atomic fallout

Witness the atomic fallout

One of Hiroshima’s most poignant and prominent features, the Peace Memorial Park, covers 120,000 square metres of parkland. In marked contrast to the surrounding buildings, its walking trails lead you through a serene setting of lawns and woodland.

Taste sake in the countryside

Taste sake in the countryside

Visit the small town of Saijo, famed throughout Japan as the finest producers of sake anywhere in the country. The streets around the station are lined with breweries. Sample Sake from eight of Saijo's breweries whilst learning about the brewing process.

Walk the Ancient Nakasendo Trail

Walk the Ancient Nakasendo Trail

Journey through time along a famous section of the Nakasendo Trail. Walk through pristine forests and enjoy the tranquillity of the Japanese countryside passing atmospheric post villages with well-preserved period buildings.

TOP PLACES TO VISIT

Kanazawa

Home to a famous castle, a Samurai quarter and a fascinating Geisha district, Kanazawa enjoys a historical pedigree that can trace its origins back centuries. The air raids of the Second ...

Kyoto

Japan's ancient capital and the country's seventh largest city, Kyoto lies at the cultural heart of this intriguing nation. Home to no fewer than 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which include ...

Okinawa

Part of an archipelago of some 160 islands, the Okinawan islands lie between Kyushu and Taiwan. With its deserted beaches, clear warm waters and marine life of all shapes and sizes, it is the perfect ...

Tokyo

Japan's largest city and its capital since 1868, Tokyo is a city of remarkable energy and innovation. A captivating fusion of the old and the new, this constantly changing metropolis is filled with ...

Hiroshima & Miyajima

Surrounded by the saw-toothed peaks of the Choguki Mountains, Hiroshima is surely one of Japan’s most emotive settings. Sandwiched between the narrow plains and rugged ...

Kiso Valley

A quaint little town on the historic Edo Period Nakasendo highway surrounded by the Kiso Valley. Although bigger than many of the other post-stations, the atmosphere of the town remains quiet and tranquil,...

OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY

Luxury | Hotel

Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Kyoto

The Hyatt Regency Kyoto is a stylish luxury hotel ideally located in Japan’s enchanting cultural capital. A short walk from Kyoto’s geisha district and boasting superb facilities and great cuisine, the…
Premium | Ryokan

Iwaso, Miyajima

Transforming into a sea of colour in spring, the Iwaso ryokan is situated in a beautiful part of Momijidani Park. Founded in 1893, this classic Japanese inn was the first establishment to open its…
Premium | Ryokan

Komanoyu Ryokan, Kiso-Fukushima

The Komanoyu Ryokan is only a 15-minute drive from Kiso-Fukushima Train Station. Delve into the traditional Japanese lifestyle in this ryokan, a Japanese-style inn, which caters for Westerners. The…
Premium | Hotel

Nikko Hotel, Kanazawa

The four-star Nikko Hotel is a 29-storey, high-rise building that was designed by a Japanese-French team who succeeded in giving it a boutique hotel ambience despite its size. Its lobby exudes a French…
Superior | Traditional Accommodation

Onyado Tsutaya, Kiso-Fukushima

During 320 years of business as an inn on the Nakasendo Road, this minshuku has remained largely unchanged with hot spring water from the holy Ontake Mountain. The inn has great respect for traditions…
Luxury | Hotel

Park Hyatt Hotel Tokyo, Tokyo

Occupying the top 14 floors of the Shinjuku Tower, the five-star Park Hyatt offers elegant interiors and spectacular views. Considered to be one of the finest hotels in the city, on a clear day you can…
Premium | Hotel

Sainoniwa Hotel, Kanazawa

The Sainoniwa Hotel is surrounded by four gardens that change colours with the seasons. The interior design of the rooms is a fusion of modern Western and traditional Japanese styles. You will have the…
Luxury | Hotel

Sheraton Grand, Hiroshima

Situated in front of Hiroshima’s main railway station, the four-star Sheraton Grand is ideally located for accessing the city’s downtown area. Providing a choice of standard, deluxe and club category,…

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WHEN TO GO

Japan is an archipelago of island, stretching some 3000km from north to south, so experiences some variations in climate. Japan enjoys four distinct seasons and generally summers are hot and sticky with high rainfall, winters cool to cold with sunny days and a mild spring and autumn. Rainy season is June, hot and muggy. The exceptions are the island of Hokkaido in the north which experiences arctic winters and the south which is generally warmer.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Health and Vaccinations

There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Japan though you should be up-to-date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. Malaria is not present in Japan, but we recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments.

Currency

In Japan the official unit of currency is the Yen.

To check out the latest exchange rate for the places that you are visiting you can go to www.oanda.com.

Cultural Sensitivity

While Japanese culture and customs can be confusing at first, as a foreigner you are generally not expected to understand them. In fact, many Japanese take a pride in the belief that their culture is extremely complex and impossible for the foreigner to comprehend. You will likely be forgiven for any minor cultural gaffs you make. However, it is important to show respect for the Japanese and their beliefs, as in any other country you visit.

Language: Try to learn a few phrases before you go. The language is not too hard to pick up and there are very few sounds difficult for an English-speaker to pronounce. The Japanese will never make fun of you if you make a mistake.

Language & Religion

Although Japanese is the official language in Japan, many people can speak English, and tourists will not struggle to find their way around big cities with no knowledge of Japanese phrases. It is recommended to have destinations like hotels, restaurants and attractions written in Japanese so that they may be shown to taxi drivers, people on the street, and others who might provide assistance. All Japanese learn English at school but can listen and read English better than they can speak it.

Shintoism, which is indigenous to Japan, and Buddhism, which was introduced to Japan in the sixth century, are the two main religions in Japan. Many Japanese practice religions, celebrating birth and marriage in accordance with Shinto rites while following Buddhist ceremonies for funerals and memorial services. Shintoism, which originated as a way of dealing with ancient people’s fears of demons and the supernatural, has no written doctrines. A Shinto place of worship is referred to as a shrine. The Buddhist place of worship is a temple. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all by the constitution.

Time

Japan is 9 hours ahead of GMT. A useful website to check the time zone differences is www.worldtimezone.com.

Food and drink

Travellers can enjoy world-famous cuisine whilst in Japan as it really is the food capital of the world: with 302 Michelin stars awarded to restaurants in its capital city and 26 three-Michelin-star restaurants in the country (tied with France for most in the world), there are just as many fine dining options as there are sushi and noodle joints!

Travelling Solo In Japan

All of our small group tours are designed to cater for solo travellers: the number of solo travellers will vary from tour to tour, but usually over half will be travelling alone. Get all of the excitement of discovering new places combined with the security of travelling with an organised group, with like minded people.