14 days from £2,299
Samurai, sushi, cherry blossom, cat cafes, and more!
Spectacular cities, iconic sights and cultural riches - Japan has it all. Explore it's unique blend of tradition and modernity on this incredible group tour from Tokyo to Hiroshima. Reach into the future in Osaka’s neon-lit arcades, channel the past with tea ceremonies and geisha sightings on Kyoto’s cobbled streets, find your spiritual side with visits to ancient temples and leafy shrines, and master some Japanese skills with a sushi masterclass and a kendo session with a bona fide samurai. We’ve hand-picked some seriously special stays on this trip too, from cool, contemporary hostels with pod-style rooms to working Buddhist temples with monk-cooked meals and tatami-style beds. You’ll never want to go home.
Day 1: Tokyo Touchdown
Fly into Tokyo and make your way to our accommodation in the Asakusa district. Meet the rest of the group over a delicious Japanese dinner tonight before exploring the iconic Senso-ji temple after the crowds have gone.
Day 2: Harajuku & Akihabara
Learn some basic Japanese customs and phrases before heading to bubble-gum scented Harajuku, home of Japanese teen pop culture. Check out the beautiful Meij Shrine in Yoyogi Park, before hitting the maid cafes and arcades of Akihabara, the city's electric town.
Day 3: Sushi & Shinjuku
Master your maki with a private sushi making class (veggie options available) before heading to Shinjuku for incredible views of the Tokyo skyline, authentic yakitori on Omoide Yokocho Alley, and the infamous Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing where up to 3,000 people cross at a time.
Day 4: Mount Fuji
Ride the 'Romance Car' to the mountain town of Hakone and spend the rest of the day soaking up spectacular views of Mt Fuji's snow-capped peak (weather dependent). This evening, enjoy a traditional Japanese Nabe dinner in our guesthouse before bedding down on tatami mats.
Day 5: Temple Stay
Speed through the countryside on a bullet train to historic Takayama where we'll sample some sake in a local brewery before spending the night in traditional shoji-screened rooms in a Buddhist temple. Wander the Zen garden, meditate, or just soak up the peace of your surroundings.
Day 6: Gion Geisha Tour
Start your day with a walk around the charming old town of Takayama, visiting a bustling morning market on the banks of the Miyagawa River. Then take another bullet train to Japan's cultural heart - Kyoto. Take a tour of the famous Gion district, keeping your eyes peeled for the mysterious geisha.
Day 7: Temples & Tea
Head to the Fushimi Inari Shrine before dawn today to wander its endless corridor of red torii gates before the crowds arrive. Then continue your spiritual odyssey with a visit to the mountain-top Kiyomizu-dera Temple before taking part in a traditional tea ceremony.
Day 8: Kendo Class
entirely covered in gold leaf. Next, it's Daitoku-ji, a leafy temple complex with beautiful gardens, before a traditional Kendo class taught by a descendant of a Samurai in the dojo where it all began.
Day 9: Monkeys & Karaoke
Take the train to Arashiyama where we'll wander through the vivid green Bamboo Forest before meeting the semi-wild macaques in the Monkey Park. Explore Arashiyama's verdant valleys on a private row boat before journeying to Osaka where we'll enjoy a night in neon-lit Dotonburi.
Day 10: Osaka Free Day
You've got a full day to explore Osaka at your own pace. Give your credit card a workout in Shinsaibashi Shopping District, treat yourself to some pampering in Spa World, or hit the arcades in Den Den Town. This evening, watch the sunset from Osaka Castle before dinner in foodie Shinsekai.
Day 11: Nara & Temple Stay
Take the short train journey to Nara. Explore the park, and meet the resident deer. Then head into the mountains to serene Koyasan. We'll stay in a working temple, getting to know the monks, exploring wooded shrines, and dining on a veggie feast sourced and prepared by the monks.
Day 12: Hiroshima Memorial
Start your day with some morning chanting with the monks, before a traditional temple style breakfast. Next stop: Hiroshima by bullet train and streetcar. Take a locally guided tour of the humbling Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and museum, before grabbing a bite to eat.
Day 13: Miyajima Island
Take the ferry to the enchanting island of Miyajima, where we'll see the giant torii gate which sits offshore, before exploring the rest of the tranquil island's natural landscapes and historic shrines. After dark, head out for one last night with the group and toast to your amazing adventure - kampai!
Day 14: Sayonara
Take one final walk round the Memorial Park, or a sunrise stroll along the river, before heading home with memories that will last a lifetime.
Accommodation & Meals
We’ve hand-picked some seriously special stays on this trip. From cool, contemporary hostels with pod-style rooms to traditional Japanese style accommodation with tatami mats, and working Buddhist temples with Zen gardens, you’ll get a real taste of modern and ancient Japan.
- Tokyo (3 nights): Cosy hotel in the historic Yanesan District with a 24 hour cafe and restaurant (twin rooms with bunk beds, air con, Wi-Fi, and shared bathroom).
- Hakone (1 night): Traditional Japanese-style accommodation in the tranquil Gora neighbourhood, boasting a huge terrace with sweeping mountain views, communal lounge, and rooms with traditional tatami mats and futons (twin or triple rooms with air con, Wi-Fi and shared bathroom).
- Takayama (1 night): Authentic Buddhist temple with Japanese Zen garden, traditional rooms with tatami flooring, paper-covered shoji screens, and wooden furnishings (multi-share rooms with shared bathroom).
- Kyoto (3 nights): Charming hostel in the historic Gion district with a latticework front, shared lounge and terrace (individual pods with air con, Wi-Fi, light and plug socket for each bed, and shared bathroom).
- Osaka (2 nights): Centrally located hotel five minutes from the lively Dotonburi district (triple rooms with air con, Wi-Fi, reading light and plug socket for each bed, and shared bathroom)
- Koyasan (1 night): Beautiful, working Buddhist temple in the heart of the mountains, with formal Japanese gardens, and rooms with tatami mats and futons (twin rooms with air con and shared bathroom)
- Hiroshima (2 nights): Well located hostel close to the Peace Memorial Park with communal kitchen and lounge (twin rooms with bunk beds, reading light and plug socket for each bed, Wi-Fi, air con and en suite bathroom).
Lots of our travellers are solo travellers, so when you book with us, we’ll pair you up with a like-minded roommate of the same sex. Our trips are great for couples or friends as well - just let us know you’re together, so we can be sure to put you in the same room.
7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners are included on this trip. You’ll have the freedom to eat wherever and whenever you like the rest of the time. Let us know in advance if you’ve got any dietary requirements.
Dates & Prices
To get a flight quote use the buttons below or call our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037.
Most expensive: £938 December, 2023
Arrive at either Tokyo Haneda Airport or Tokyo Narita Airport on day 1 of your tour or earlier. Airport transfers aren’t included on this tour, but you’ll get detailed information on how to get to the starting hostel in your welcome pack. You can check in any time after 2pm. There are no activities planned until a welcome meal this evening so arrive at a time that suits you
Your amazing trip ends in Hiroshima on day 14. Most people choose to fly home from Osaka which is around 1.5 hours train ride away. Alternatively, if you’d like to return to Tokyo after the tour finishes you’ll need to take the train which is around 4 hours away.
- The group size is maximum 22
- This trip is open to anyone over the age of 18, but tends to attract those aged 20-35.