Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Ancient & Modern Japan tour
Hakone Hiroshima Ancient & Modern Japan Trip
Kyoto Nara Ancient & Modern Japan Trip

Ancient & Modern Japan

Exodus Travels Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
16 days
From: $ 5,979 $ 374 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Spot mysterious geishas in Kyoto's Gion district
  • Experience cherry blossom season or beautiful autumn colours
  • Watch the famous snow monkeys bathing in hot springs
  • Take the incredible high speed 'bullet train'
  • Explore temples in Kyoto and discover futuristic Tokyo

Short Description

Ancient wooden temples, raked-pebble Zen gardens and chanting Buddhist monks juxtaposed with space-age towers, neon lights and bullet trains; Japan’s captivating blend of old and new is legendary. As we explore the southern and western stretches of Honshu, Japan's largest island, we discover the country's unique culture amongst the serene shrines and gardens of Nara and Kyoto and the rarely visited mountainous heartland of castles and spas. Our last stop is the vast and futuristic capital city of Tokyo: sprawling, inimitably busy, welcoming and extraordinary.Explore Zen gardens, temples and the most iconic sights of Japan

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Kyoto
End City Tokyo

Destinations

Japan

Cities & Attractions

Hakone Hiroshima Kyoto Nara Tokyo

Age Requirement

16

No Single Supplement
See more

Trip Includes

  • 3 breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Group arrival transfer (for group flight)
  • Free departure transfer by shuttle service (must be booked in advance before trip commences with Exodus before departure if you wish to take utilise this service)
  • Japan Rail Pass

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Itinerary

Flight Inclusive

Day 1 Depart London.

The group flight to Kansai Airport (Osaka) departs in the afternoon from London.

Day 2 Arrive Kansai; transfer to Kyoto, an atmospheric city set amid beautiful hills

The trip starts in Kyoto, an atmospheric city set amidst beautiful hills. Those on the group flights from London will be met on arrival at Kansai Airport this evening and transferred to our hotel located in the city centre. * *

Day 3 Morning visit to Ninjo castle and Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion); afternoon guided walk through beautiful shrines and temples

With over 2000 temples, shrines and gardens, Kyoto is a treasure house of Japan's cultural heritage and remains undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. Unlike many other Japanese towns it escaped the ravages of both the Second World War and modern urban development thereby keeping intact much of the spirit and architecture of traditional Japan. Today we have an introductory tour of the city, starting with a visit to the impressive Nijo castle, built in 1603 as a residence for the Tokugawa shoguns, and the famous Golden Temple of Kinkakuji, built in 1397 as a summer villa for the shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga and immortalised in Mishima Yukio's novel, 'The Golden Pavilion'. At lunch we will head back to central Kyoto for a stroll at the famous Nishiki Market, known as 'Kyoto's Kitchen', which specialises in all things food related and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. Those who wish may opt to take a leisurely lunch at one of the local restaurants in the area or rest at the hotel. Later in the afternoon, we will have the opportunity to visit the stunning Kiyomiduzera temple and walk around historic Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. Packed with bars, restaurants and traditional teahouses, Gion is at its most atmospheric in the early evening, when the lanterns are lit and apprentice geisha will flit about the back streets on their way to their appointments.

Day 4 Day trip to Nara, ancient capital of Japan. Visit impressive UNESCO temples including Toda-ji, housing the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha

Today we make a day trip to Japan's ancient capital, Nara (approx. 1hr each way). With eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it's second only to Kyoto as a repository of Japan's cultural legacy. Our walking tour includes a visit to the most iconic temples and shrines, including the Todaiji Great Buddha temple. Built in 752 by the Emperor Shomu this enormous 15 meter tall bronze Buddha is housed in what is reputed to be the largest wooden building in the world. We also spend time in the Nara Koen park, famous for its large numbers of overfed and slightly unruly deer, and visit the attractive Kasuga Shinto shrine, before returning to Kyoto in the late afternoon.

Day 5 Free day in Kyoto; relax in one of the many zen gardens, walk the popular Philospher Path or experience a traditional tea ceremony

Today is a free day for individual sightseeing. With so much to see and do in Kyoto it can be difficult to know where to begin. Our advice is to start with a very early visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto's most important Shinto shrine and famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. Getting there before the crowds at sunrise is the secret for a magical experience. The rest of the day could be spent exploring one of the several well established and easy-to-follow walking tours that take in many interesting sights. The eastern part of Kyoto is particularly rich in temples and gardens, and one can spend the day in this area, perhaps strolling along the tree-lined canal known as the Philosophers' Path and taking time out for contemplation in one of the many intriguing Zen gardens that dot the hillsides. Another day-trip to consider would be to Arashiyama, a pleasant tourist district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and autumn colour seasons. If you are interested in Japanese arts and cultural activities, there is also the option of visiting a cultural show to see some of Japan's ancient traditions such as the tea ceremony and Japanese theatre (these can be arranged locally by your tour leader and subject to availability).

Day 6 Day trip to Hiroshima; visit Peace Memorial Park and the pretty island of Miyajima

Today is our first experience of Japan's shinkansen (bullet train) as we speed our way to Hiroshima for the day (approx. 2hrs each way). Once in Hiroshima, we make a short excursion by local tram and ferry to the beautiful island of Miyajima; famous for the 'floating' tori (Shinto gate) of the Itsukushima-jinja Shrine. At high tide, when set against the backdrop of Mt Misen, this tori makes for one of the most beautiful and photogenic sights in Japan. In the afternoon we spend time at the A-Bomb museum and the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, both monuments to the fateful day in August 1945 when the city was selected as the target for the world's first wartime use of the atomic bomb. In the park burns a symbolic flame that will only be extinguished when the last nuclear weapon on earth has been destroyed. We depart Hiroshima late afternoon arriving back at our hotel in Kyoto in the evening.

Day 7 Travel from Kyoto to Takayama, a traditional old town set amid the 'Japanese Alps'; visit the Hida Folk Village 

Travelling by train through forested valleys we make our way this morning to the peaceful and attractive old town of Takayama (approx. 4 hrs) nestling sleepily in the centre of the majestic Hida Mountains. We spend two nights here and have plenty of time to appreciate the charm and ambience of this delightful place. In the afternoon we visit the Hida Folk Village, an interesting outdoor museum of traditional rural architecture set in pleasant landscaped gardens, located a short walk from our accommodation. We stay in a traditional Japanese style accommodation where we have the opportunity to experience the Japanese lifestyle and hospitality (please refer to the accommodation section for more information).

Day 8 Orientation tour in Takayama and free day to explore its peaceful shrines and temples

With over a dozen museums and galleries to suit all interests and several well-kept temples and parks, there are plenty of ways to spend a relaxing day in Takayama. We start with a short orientation tour around the morning market held daily along the banks of the Miyagawa River in the centre of town. Here amidst the friendly farmers with their familiar, and not so familiar, agricultural produce it is also possible to find some interesting souvenirs. Not so far away and of particular interest is the well-preserved collection of streets known as Sannomachi, where the many wooden built shops, restaurants and sake breweries give the area a mediaeval feel. For an insight into the life of medieval Japanese officials and the way they dealt (often not so compassionately) with those in their charge, a visit to the old Government House of Takayama-jinya is recommended. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town at your own pace: we recommend taking a stroll along the temple-line path called the Higashiyama Walkway and visit the several temples and attractions created by the mediaeval warlord, Kanamori Nagachika (1524-1600), who longed for Kyoto.

Day 9 On to the mediaeval village of Tsumago; short leisurely walk on the Nakasendo trail; train to Matsumoto

Today we travel by express and local trains to the historic castle town of Matsumoto (approx. 4hrs). Enroute, we visit the mediaeval village of Tsumago that has changed little from its heyday as a post town in the Edo period. This is the best preserved of the many staging posts along the old Nakasendo Way, which fulfils the same role it did in centuries past - offering food and refuge to travellers. Those who wish can join the leader for an optional 1hr walk through peaceful forest trails, starting by the Odaki and Medaki waterfalls and finishing in Tsumago. We reach Matsumoto late afternoon where we have time to relax and perhaps take a leisurely stroll after dinner to see the impressive castle by night.

Day 10 Visit the famous Matsumoto Castle and travel by train to spa town of Yudanaka; soak in a hot spring

This morning we visit the impressive Matsumoto castle. Founded in 1504, this castle, otherwise known as Crow Castle due to its black colour, is one of the two best preserved in Japan, most others having been destroyed following the Meiji Restoration. Its imposing six story donjon has been designated a national treasure. Please note that the castle preserves its original interior and structure, with very tall steps and steep staircases which some might find difficult to ascend and descend. We return to Matsumoto train station for our afternoon journey (approx. 3hrs) to the relaxing spa town of Yudanaka, which boasts some fantastic natural hot springs, where we spend a night in another Japanese-style accommodation.* *

Day 11 See the famous Snow Monkeys before travelling by train to Tokyo; evening orientation tour

As well as being home to some of Japan's best hot springs, the small spa-town of Yudanaka is mainly famous for being the gateaway to the famous Jigokudani Onsen or 'Snow Monkey Park'. Here, the indigenous macaque monkeys have discovered the benefits of descending from the hills to soak and play in hot baths - observing their behaviour up close is fascinating! This is the only tribe of monkeys anywhere in the world to bath in hot springs for warmth. The sight is most spectacular in winter, when snow covers the grounds and the hot steam creates some amazing visual effects but despite the name, the so called 'snow monkeys' actually inhabit the area year-round. To reach the park we walk for approx. 20-25 mins on an easy forest trail and we will have approx. 1hr free to admire and photograph these entertaining creatures. No visit to Japan would be complete without a trip to Tokyo. This afternoon, we travel from Yudanaka to the capital by bullet train (approx. 4hrs), arriving in the early evening. On arrival in Tokyo we'll transfer to our hotel and start exploring the bright lights of the big city at night.

Day 12 Optional trip to Hakone and Mount Fuji or to the lovely seaside town of Kamakura

For those wishing to see still more of this wonderful country, today is the last day of your Japan Rail Pass, entitling you to free train journeys to many destinations. One popular day-trip amongst tourists and Japanese alike looking for a break from Tokyo is Hakone, part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than 1hr and 30 mins by train. Famous for hot springs, natural beauty and the view of nearby Mt. Fuji, Hakone area also encompasses Lake Ashi, which can be toured by boat. Another alternative blissful escape from the city is the coastal town of Kamakura, offering numerous temples, shrines, historical monuments as well as panoramic hiking trails. For those not wishing to leave Tokyo, this day is free to soak up the atmosphere of this truly astounding city. Whilst being perhaps the most  energetic and futuristic city in the world, for a capital, Tokyo still remains a remarkably friendly, safe, manageable and delightful place to visit.

Day 13 A full day city tour of Tokyo including the Senso-ji Temple

Today we have a guided tour of Tokyo. Making use of the city's highly efficient tube system we can visit some of Tokyo's main attractions including Ueno (depending on season) and the lively Senso-ji Temple in the old entertainment district of Asakusa. We will also visit one of the city's parks or gardens which become especially spectacular during cherry blossom and autumn season. There is also some free time to discover other attractions at your own pace. For those with a head for heights we recommend an optional visit to the iconic Skytree Tower for breathtaking views of the city. With a height of 634 meters, it is the tallest building in Japan and the second tallest structure in the world at the time of its completion. In the evening, the possibilities for entertainment are almost limitless with Tokyo's nightlife as exciting as anywhere in Asia.

Day 14 Free day for further exploration; optional karaoke farewell night

Today has been left free for further individual exploration of Tokyo. Worth visiting is the Meiji Shrine; sourrounded by tranquil forest, this Shinto shrine is one of the most popular in Japan and combines traditional Japanese architecture with love for the nature. Or for those interested in culture or shopping, there are limitless opportunities with districts like Ginza, Harajuku and Shinjuku catering for all tastes and needs! Your leader will be on hand to advise how best to maximise your free day in Tokyo.   * *

Day 15 Depart Tokyo

Those on the group flights will be transferred to Tokyo airport this evening for the daytime flight to London. Please note that although late check out is not included in the cost of the trip, the hotel provides free lugagge storage facilities. 

Day 16 Arrive London

Arrive London



Land Only

Day 1 Start Kyoto

The trip starts in Kyoto, an atmospheric city set amidst beautiful hills. 

Day 2 Morning visit to Ninjo castle and Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion); afternoon guided walk through beautiful shrines and temples

With over 2000 temples, shrines and gardens, Kyoto is a treasure house of Japan's cultural heritage and remains undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. Unlike many other Japanese towns it escaped the ravages of both the Second World War and modern urban development thereby keeping intact much of the spirit and architecture of traditional Japan. Today we have an introductory tour of the city, starting with a visit to the impressive Nijo castle, built in 1603 as a residence for the Tokugawa shoguns, and the famous Golden Temple of Kinkakuji, built in 1397 as a summer villa for the shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga and immortalised in Mishima Yukio's novel, 'The Golden Pavilion'. At lunch we will head back to central Kyoto for a stroll at the famous Nishiki Market, known as 'Kyoto's Kitchen', which specialises in all things food related and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. Those who wish may opt to take a leisurely lunch at one of the local restaurants in the area or rest at the hotel. Later in the afternoon, we will have the opportunity to visit the stunning Kiyomiduzera temple and walk around historic Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. Packed with bars, restaurants and traditional teahouses, Gion is at its most atmospheric in the early evening, when the lanterns are lit and apprentice geisha will flit about the back streets on their way to their appointments.

Day 3 Day trip to Nara, ancient capital of Japan. Visit impressive UNESCO temples including Toda-ji, housing the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha

Today we make a day trip to Japan's ancient capital, Nara (approx. 1hr each way). With eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it's second only to Kyoto as a repository of Japan's cultural legacy. Our walking tour includes a visit to the most iconic temples and shrines, including the Todaiji Great Buddha temple. Built in 752 by the Emperor Shomu this enormous 15 meter tall bronze Buddha is housed in what is reputed to be the largest wooden building in the world. We also spend time in the Nara Koen park, famous for its large numbers of overfed and slightly unruly deer, and visit the attractive Kasuga Shinto shrine, before returning to Kyoto in the late afternoon.

Day 4 Free day in Kyoto; relax in one of the many zen gardens, walk the popular Philospher Path or experience a traditional tea ceremony

Today is a free day for individual sightseeing. With so much to see and do in Kyoto it can be difficult to know where to begin. Our advice is to start with a very early visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto's most important Shinto shrine and famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. Getting there before the crowds at sunrise is the secret for a magical experience. The rest of the day could be spent exploring one of the several well established and easy-to-follow walking tours that take in many interesting sights. The eastern part of Kyoto is particularly rich in temples and gardens, and one can spend the day in this area, perhaps strolling along the tree-lined canal known as the Philosophers' Path and taking time out for contemplation in one of the many intriguing Zen gardens that dot the hillsides. Another day-trip to consider would be to Arashiyama, a pleasant tourist district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and autumn colour seasons. If you are interested in Japanese arts and cultural activities, there is also the option of visiting a cultural show to see some of Japan's ancient traditions such as the tea ceremony and Japanese theatre (these can be arranged locally by your tour leader and subject to availability).

Day 5 Day trip to Hiroshima; visit Peace Memorial Park and the pretty island of Miyajima

Today is our first experience of Japan's shinkansen (bullet train) as we speed our way to Hiroshima for the day (approx. 2hrs each way). Once in Hiroshima, we make a short excursion by local tram and ferry to the beautiful island of Miyajima; famous for the 'floating' tori (Shinto gate) of the Itsukushima-jinja Shrine. At high tide, when set against the backdrop of Mt Misen, this tori makes for one of the most beautiful and photogenic sights in Japan. In the afternoon we spend time at the A-Bomb museum and the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, both monuments to the fateful day in August 1945 when the city was selected as the target for the world's first wartime use of the atomic bomb. In the park burns a symbolic flame that will only be extinguished when the last nuclear weapon on earth has been destroyed. We depart Hiroshima late afternoon arriving back at our hotel in Kyoto in the evening.

Day 6 Travel from Kyoto to Takayama, a traditional old town set amid the 'Japanese Alps'; visit the Hida Folk Village 

Travelling by train through forested valleys we make our way this morning to the peaceful and attractive old town of Takayama (approx. 4 hrs) nestling sleepily in the centre of the majestic Hida Mountains. We spend two nights here and have plenty of time to appreciate the charm and ambience of this delightful place. In the afternoon we visit the Hida Folk Village, an interesting outdoor museum of traditional rural architecture set in pleasant landscaped gardens, located a short walk from our accommodation. We stay in a traditional Japanese style accommodation where we have the opportunity to experience the Japanese lifestyle and hospitality (please refer to the accommodation section for more information).

Day 7 Orientation tour in Takayama and free day to explore its peaceful shrines and temples

With over a dozen museums and galleries to suit all interests and several well-kept temples and parks, there are plenty of ways to spend a relaxing day in Takayama. We start with a short orientation tour around the morning market held daily along the banks of the Miyagawa River in the centre of town. Here amidst the friendly farmers with their familiar, and not so familiar, agricultural produce it is also possible to find some interesting souvenirs. Not so far away and of particular interest is the well-preserved collection of streets known as Sannomachi, where the many wooden built shops, restaurants and sake breweries give the area a mediaeval feel. For an insight into the life of medieval Japanese officials and the way they dealt (often not so compassionately) with those in their charge, a visit to the old Government House of Takayama-jinya is recommended. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town at your own pace: we recommend taking a stroll along the temple-line path called the Higashiyama Walkway and visit the several temples and attractions created by the mediaeval warlord, Kanamori Nagachika (1524-1600), who longed for Kyoto.

Day 8 On to the mediaeval village of Tsumago; short leisurely walk on the Nakasendo trail; train to Matsumoto

Today we travel by express and local trains to the historic castle town of Matsumoto (approx. 4hrs). Enroute, we visit the mediaeval village of Tsumago that has changed little from its heyday as a post town in the Edo period. This is the best preserved of the many staging posts along the old Nakasendo Way, which fulfils the same role it did in centuries past - offering food and refuge to travellers. Those who wish can join the leader for an optional 1hr walk through peaceful forest trails, starting by the Odaki and Medaki waterfalls and finishing in Tsumago. We reach Matsumoto late afternoon where we have time to relax and perhaps take a leisurely stroll after dinner to see the impressive castle by night.

Day 9 Visit the famous Matsumoto Castle and travel by train to spa town of Yudanaka; soak in a hot spring

This morning we visit the impressive Matsumoto castle. Founded in 1504, this castle, otherwise known as Crow Castle due to its black colour, is one of the two best preserved in Japan, most others having been destroyed following the Meiji Restoration. Its imposing six story donjon has been designated a national treasure. Please note that the castle preserves its original interior and structure, with very tall steps and steep staircases which some might find difficult to ascend and descend. We return to Matsumoto train station for our afternoon journey (approx. 3hrs) to the relaxing spa town of Yudanaka, which boasts some fantastic natural hot springs, where we spend a night in another Japanese-style accommodation.* *

Day 10 See the famous Snow Monkeys before travelling by train to Tokyo; evening orientation tour

As well as being home to some of Japan's best hot springs, the small spa-town of Yudanaka is mainly famous for being the gateaway to the famous Jigokudani Onsen or 'Snow Monkey Park'. Here, the indigenous macaque monkeys have discovered the benefits of descending from the hills to soak and play in hot baths - observing their behaviour up close is fascinating! This is the only tribe of monkeys anywhere in the world to bath in hot springs for warmth. The sight is most spectacular in winter, when snow covers the grounds and the hot steam creates some amazing visual effects but despite the name, the so called 'snow monkeys' actually inhabit the area year-round. To reach the park we walk for approx. 20-25 mins on an easy forest trail and we will have approx. 1hr free to admire and photograph these entertaining creatures. No visit to Japan would be complete without a trip to Tokyo. This afternoon, we travel from Yudanaka to the capital by bullet train (approx. 4hrs), arriving in the early evening. On arrival in Tokyo we'll transfer to our hotel and start exploring the bright lights of the big city at night.

Day 11 Optional trip to Hakone and Mount Fuji or to the lovely seaside town of Kamakura

For those wishing to see still more of this wonderful country, today is the last day of your Japan Rail Pass, entitling you to free train journeys to many destinations. One popular day-trip amongst tourists and Japanese alike looking for a break from Tokyo is Hakone, part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than 1hr and 30 mins by train. Famous for hot springs, natural beauty and the view of nearby Mt. Fuji, Hakone area also encompasses Lake Ashi, which can be toured by boat. Another alternative blissful escape from the city is the coastal town of Kamakura, offering numerous temples, shrines, historical monuments as well as panoramic hiking trails. For those not wishing to leave Tokyo, this day is free to soak up the atmosphere of this truly astounding city. Whilst being perhaps the most  energetic and futuristic city in the world, for a capital, Tokyo still remains a remarkably friendly, safe, manageable and delightful place to visit.

Day 12 A full day city tour of Tokyo including the Senso-ji Temple

Today we have a guided tour of Tokyo. Making use of the city's highly efficient tube system we can visit some of Tokyo's main attractions including Ueno (depending on season) and the lively Senso-ji Temple in the old entertainment district of Asakusa. We will also visit one of the city's parks or gardens which become especially spectacular during cherry blossom and autumn season. There is also some free time to discover other attractions at your own pace. For those with a head for heights we recommend an optional visit to the iconic Skytree Tower for breathtaking views of the city. With a height of 634 meters, it is the tallest building in Japan and the second tallest structure in the world at the time of its completion. In the evening, the possibilities for entertainment are almost limitless with Tokyo's nightlife as exciting as anywhere in Asia.

Day 13 Free day for further exploration; optional karaoke farewell night

Today has been left free for further individual exploration of Tokyo. Worth visiting is the Meiji Shrine; sourrounded by tranquil forest, this Shinto shrine is one of the most popular in Japan and combines traditional Japanese architecture with love for the nature. Or for those interested in culture or shopping, there are limitless opportunities with districts like Ginza, Harajuku and Shinjuku catering for all tastes and needs! Your leader will be on hand to advise how best to maximise your free day in Tokyo.   * *

Day 14 End Tokyo

The tour ends this morning for land only client.  Clients who are booked on the group flights to London will be transferred to Tokyo Narita Airport in the evening. If you are not travelling on the group flight, it is possible to have a free shuttle service departure transfer to Narita or Haneda Airports. Please contact our Operations team for more information or to request this.

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Price From $ 5,979
Price Per Day: $ 374 per day
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Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Sep-29-2019Oct-12-2019$ 6,749Yes7 spots left Reserve
Oct-06-2019Oct-19-2019$ 6,749Yes5 spots left Reserve
Oct-13-2019Oct-26-2019$ 7,079Yes1 spots left Reserve
Oct-20-2019Nov-02-2019$ 7,299Yes1 spots left Reserve
Oct-21-2019Nov-03-2019$ 6,849Yes8 spots left Reserve
Oct-27-2019Nov-09-2019$ 7,079Yes3 spots left Reserve
Nov-10-2019Nov-23-2019$ 7,149YesLimited Reserve
Mar-15-2020Mar-28-2020$ 6,049No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-16-2020Mar-29-2020$ 6,199Yes8 spots left Reserve
Mar-19-2020Apr-01-2020$ 6,049No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-22-2020Apr-04-2020$ 6,199No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-23-2020Apr-05-2020$ 6,599Yes7 spots left Reserve
Mar-26-2020Apr-08-2020$ 6,679Yes8 spots left Reserve
Mar-29-2020Apr-11-2020$ 6,749Yes2 spots left Reserve
Mar-30-2020Apr-12-2020$ 6,379No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-02-2020Apr-15-2020$ 6,379No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-05-2020Apr-18-2020$ 6,549Yes7 spots left Reserve
Apr-06-2020Apr-19-2020$ 6,549Yes8 spots left Reserve
Apr-12-2020Apr-25-2020$ 6,679Yes5 spots left Reserve
Apr-13-2020Apr-26-2020$ 6,199No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-19-2020May-02-2020$ 6,199No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-20-2020May-03-2020$ 6,049No8 spots left Reserve
May-10-2020May-23-2020$ 5,979No8 spots left Reserve
May-11-2020May-24-2020$ 5,979No8 spots left Reserve
May-17-2020May-30-2020$ 6,049No8 spots left Reserve
Sep-20-2020Oct-03-2020$ 6,049No8 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2020Oct-10-2020$ 6,049No8 spots left Reserve
Oct-04-2020Oct-17-2020$ 6,049No8 spots left Reserve
Oct-11-2020Oct-24-2020$ 6,049No8 spots left Reserve
Oct-18-2020Oct-31-2020$ 6,199No8 spots left Reserve
Oct-19-2020Nov-01-2020$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2020Nov-07-2020$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2020Nov-21-2020$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
Nov-15-2020Nov-28-2020$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-14-2021Mar-27-2021$ 6,199No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-15-2021Mar-28-2021$ 6,199No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-18-2021Mar-31-2021$ 6,449No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-21-2021Apr-03-2021$ 6,549No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-22-2021Apr-04-2021$ 6,549No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-25-2021Apr-07-2021$ 6,549No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-28-2021Apr-10-2021$ 6,549No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-29-2021Apr-11-2021$ 6,549No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-01-2021Apr-14-2021$ 6,549No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-04-2021Apr-17-2021$ 6,549No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-05-2021Apr-18-2021$ 6,449No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-11-2021Apr-24-2021$ 6,449No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-12-2021Apr-25-2021$ 6,449No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-18-2021May-01-2021$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-19-2021May-02-2021$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
May-09-2021May-22-2021$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
May-10-2021May-23-2021$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
May-16-2021May-29-2021$ 6,279No8 spots left Reserve
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Ancient & Modern Japan

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Ancient and Modern Japan

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I really enjoyed the trip. Japan was everything I expected and more. So much
so that I want to return in the next couple of years. I loved the fact that
quite a few of the train journeys were made by bullet train. We were
fortunate to be in Tokyo whilst the Cherry Blossom was in flower. Big tick on
the bucket list.
I enjoyed Kyoto. One of the reasons I want to return to Japan is to spend
some more time in Kyoto. One of the highlights was the first sighting of
Mount Fuiji - from the bullet train. Don’t think you can get more iconic
than that. I enjoyed Matsumoto. I could have spent another day / half day
there. Standing in Hiroshima at the iconic site of the exhibition hall was
thought provoking. Takayama was good. Actually there wasn’t a location I
didn’t like. I omitted the trip to see the snow monkeys though, choosing to
spend a morning in Obuse instead to visit the Hokusai museum and wander round
the town before rejoining the group.


Misa was wonderful. So calm, patient and organised. Nothing was too much
trouble. She helped me plan out the train journey to Obuse. She did a good
job of herding us and keeping us together, especially in the face of one or
two individuals who didn’t always appreciate the importance of timing and
one who I think was seeking travel advice for an extended stay that was over
and above Misa’s remit.....


Enjoy!


Fantastic trip. Was a once in a life time for me but I would love to return.
Japan was everything I expected and more.


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Great Trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We had booked this trip to mark our 40th wedding anniversary and it did not
disappoint.

The travel arrangements all worked very well and our accommodation was of a
very good standard.

We had a brilliant guide, who introduced us to a series of memorable
experiences, including our first taste of authentic Japanese cooking.

The trip lived up to our expectations and was very much in line with what had
been set out in the Trip Notes.
In no particular order......
Seeing Mt Fuji appear through the clouds
Travelling on the Shinkansen......seriously quick!
Seeing the contrast between the countryside and the built up areas as we
travelled around
Walking The Philosophers Path in Kyoto.....very peaceful
Seeing the macaques at Yukanada...the babies in particular were very
entertaining
Experiencing early morning rush hour on the Tokyo Metro
Appreciating the cleanliness of the country...no litter to be seen anywhere
Feeling welcome in a strange land


Misa is an excellent leader and nothing was too much trouble for her.
She went out of her way to make sure that we all enjoyed our time in Japan.
On arriving in our hotel room in Kyoto on the first evening, we found that
she had left us a card and gift for our anniversary.
The daily arrangements for travel were a masterclass in organisation, always
done with a smile.
Misa gave up her own time to make sure that we could all make the most of our
free days.
Some of the group found the food choices challenging, so Misa put a lot of
effort into finding dishes to suit their dietary requirements.
We learned a lot about Japanese culture and history from Misa and her charm
and grace was simply an extension of how we were received by Japanese people
in general.


Realise that the food in Japan is totally different from what you are used
to. Read the Trip Notes carefully and bring your own snacks and/or be
prepared to shop in the local small supermarkets. We had never eaten Japanese
before and found that most things were delicious.

Everywhere you go, the toilets are spotless. Most do not have hand dryers or
paper towels, so do as the Japanese do and carry a small towel or flannel
with you for hand drying.

There is quite a bit of walking and steps, so make sure you have your walking
legs on!


It’s a great experience, well worth trying.


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An unforgettable holiday

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
I loved this trip! We have seen a variety of places and we have learnt learn
so much about the Japanese culture.

Overall this trip is well organised and I thing that there is a good balance
between free and organised time.
I really enjoyed staying at the ryokans, the meals we had there and the onsen
experience.
The most memorable temple was Daishō-in on the island of Miyajima. The
atmosphere was amazing and it felt very spiritual.
I found the visit to Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park and Museum very
touching
It was great to be able to see the snow mountain monkeys and spot Mt Fuji
from our hotel room window in Tokyo!
I loved all the food that we have been able to try
Last but not least I loved the kindness and the composure of the Japanese
people, their respect towards other people and nature, the technology, the
cleanliness ... In a nutshell, I will treasure every moment.


Misa is very organised, knowledgeable, kind and patient. She was very
attentive and always made sure we were all right. She has given us very good
tips of what to do in our free time. One evening, when she should have been
free to rest, she has accompanied me and my husband to the district of Gion
in Kyoto's as we had not been able to go with the rest of the group on the
previous evening due to personal commitments. She also accompanied the group
to Hakone for a day trip on her free day.
She has definitively go out of her to ensure all the participants had a good
time and has thought us a lot of the Japanese culture.


In our group there were people with very specific dietary needs. I think that
they have found it a bit difficult at times to find the right food for them.
People with special dietary needs (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, coeliac) might
find it a bit challenging to find the right food for them at all times.


I would love to go back one day!


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The serene and the frantic

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A good balance of the ancient and modern, as the trip title suggests.
Travelling by public transport helps to convey the flavour of "normal" life
in the country rather than a whistle-stop tour of "tourist" destinations.
The overall sense of order and respect for others, even in crowded city
centres. The attention given to presentation - of food and everything else.


Ayaka took great trouble to ensure we optimised our time by being fully
prepared: helpful annotated maps, advice on tickets, and so forth. She took
us to a variety of types of restaurant for the optional meals, which are not
in the programme, but where in fact the majority of the group chose to eat
together. And she was great fun !


Don't worry about whether it's cherry blossom time: there are plenty of
beautiful sights anyway. Be prepared to pay cash for meals if the group eat
together.


The first ryokan didn't quite live up to expectations; it was in a more urban
environment than we'd imagined.


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A great experience, a wonderful country and an amazing tour leader.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A fantastic tour with so much to see in such a short time. Our group leader
(Ayaka Tsukamoto) kept us informed of historical and cultural details
throughout the tour and she also went out of her way to ensure that
everybody was able to get what they wanted from the free time available..
It is difficult to choose any single inspirational moment from the serenity
of the temples when you got away from the crowds, the friendliness of the
people or the rush you feel when bullet trains go shooting through the
stations at high speed. However, we were lucky to have fantastic views of
Mount Fuji on a fun jaunt around Hakone on the various modes of transport.


Ayaka Tsukamoto was a brilliant tour leader who was tireless in her
enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring we had a fantastic and fulfilling tour.
Even on our free days she helped by ensuring we used the most effective
transport to maximise our time and in recommending places to visit and where
to eat. She took us to restaurants that we would not normally have chosen and
these were some of the best restaurants that provided us with great
experiences along with the authentic cuisine.

Throughout the tour she kept us informed of historical and cultural details
and amused us with her anecdotes that gave us an insight into growing up in
Japan.


This is a tour with lots of walking and some long days so that you get the
most out of your time on holiday. Using public transport gives you more
contact with the friendly Japanese people and is much more ecological than
using coaches.


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AOP 180512

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
I have just returned from AOP 180512,it was quite a rewarding trip, we saw
lots in our travels there was great variety from the rural countryside and
small towns to the wonder that is Tokyo.It might be an idea to indicate in
the title that travel is exclusively by train (AOP......by train).We had the
most fantastic hotel in Kyoto, our hotel in Tokyo was very good also,both
were next door to the subway which made travelling around very easy,all train
stations have english signs and announcements.There are many many historical
and cultural sights to visit and lots of shopping opportunities. This
country has everything. It also feels very safe,people can leave their
belongings unattended. I witnessed this on several occasions. There are lots
of food options also.......
There were many moments that come to mind

Mount Fuji appearing out of the cloud.
The hustle and bustle of Tokyo
Visiting Hiroshima
Travel by bullet train


Our tour leader Ayaka Tsukamoto looked after us all very well. She is
particularly good at her job,we were always kept supplied with maps that had
all the places of interest marked and any other information that we
requested. I have a food allergy and she took particular care that food was
always suitable for me.I especially thank her for that.......


Pack your bags and go....


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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 18

Accomodations

10 nights comfortable premium hotels with en suite rooms, 3 nights ryokans (traditional Japanese guesthouses, some with shared facilities)
Travel by train, bus, metro, ferry and private minibus
Includes weekly railpass and journeys on the Shinkansen (bullet train)
All sightseeing is on foot
Special cherry blossom and autumn colours departures

Age Notes

Min. Age: 16

Additional Information:

  • 10 nights hotels and 3 nights ryokans/minshukus (traditional Japanese guesthouses) 
  • 14 days land only / 16 days flight inclusive
  • Sightseeing on foot and 2 short daywalks 
  • Group normally 6 to 18, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by train, bus, metro, ferry and private minibus
  • Special cherry blossom and autumn colours departures

Trip ID#:

exodus-AOP

Trip Excludes

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Meals Included:

Dinner: 3 breakfasts and 3 dinners included. Japanese cuisine is usually one of the main highlights of any trip to Japan. It is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes which are usually prepared with seasonal ingredients. Seafood is very is common, and it usually comes grilled or deep fried. Sushi and sashimi aside, other staple dishes include Soba or Udon noodles, Sukiyaki (meat, fish and vegetables cooked in broth) and Yakiniku (grilled meat). The included dinners are usually taken at ryokans (traditional guesthouses) which will serve a /kaiseki/ style dinner, a multi-course meal including a dozen of tiny dishes prepared with locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. When food is not included, your leader will always be on hand to recommend the best local eateries and arrange some group meals for a full immersion in Japan's varied and excellent cuisine.  Please note that in Japan the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free, strict vegetarian (no fish/seafood) or vegan is minimal or non-existent. The group meals arranged by the tour leader will be in traditional eateries where the choices of vegan dishes may be limited to simple salads or boiled rice. However in Kyoto and Tokyo a number of vegan restaurants are available.  It may also be a good idea to bring with you some foodstuffs that you normally consume, or to supplement meals with snacks purchased in the local convenience stores. Please advise us at time of booking you have any specific dietary requirements.

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