Iconic Japan    *alt*

12 days, from £3401
G Adventures
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Japan delights in contrasts, revering the past while embracing the future. Begin your 12-day adventure in glittering, massive Tokyo, then head by rail into the countryside to visit traditional villages and tranquil shrines. On strolls through geisha districts and restorative visits to ancient temples and gardens, feel the power of the here and now.

What's Included: National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Tsukiji Sushi Experience, Tokyo
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Zen Buddhist Meditation, Kyoto
National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Kembu Masters, Kyoto
Hands-On: Chopstick and Gold Leaf Painting Experience, Kanazawa-shi
Hands-On: Zen Tea Ceremony, Kyoto. Tour of Tokyo including Meiji Jingu Shrine and Asakusa and Harajuka districts. Walking tour of Tsumago Village and countryside. Kaiseki dinner. Visit Kanazawa samurai and geisha districts. Visit Nomura Family Samurai Residence and Myoryuji Ninja Temple. Visit Himeji Castle. Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Excursion to Miyajima Island. Tour Kyoto and Nara including Fushimi Inari, Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Visit Gion Geisha district. Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights: Explore the modern and traditional sides of Japan, Relax at a traditional Inn, Ride a ferry to Miyajima to see the famous floating torii, Learn the art of meditation from a local monk

Group Size Notes: Max 15, avg 12

Meals Included: 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Meals: Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures knows that worldwide, local cuisines define the cultures. We think sampling regional delicacies are intrinsic to truly experiencing the country. We want you to be able to try foods according to your individual tastes, comforts, and budgets.

Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. At times, meals will be taken together as a group. Other times, your CEO will point you in the direction of several delicious options, and you will have free time to pick and choose at will. Often in Japan it is fun to get some snacks and beverages with the salarymen in the evenings at small restaurants, and other times it is fun to sit with a few friends at a sushi train.

Your CEO will always strive to cater for all dietary requirements/preferences, but please keep in mind that Vegetarianism/Veganism is very uncommon in Japan so this may mean a more limited selection for you.

Transport: Bullet train, express train, local train, ferry, metro, taxi, public bus, walking.

Minimum Age: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

Max Pax: 15

Travel Style:National Geographic Journeys

Physical Grading:3 - Average


 Day 1 Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo at any time today. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city.

Additional Notes:
On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan's world famous transportation system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto's extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.

As well, there is a lot of walking on this trip, every day - please ensure you have an average level of fitness and can walk unaided for long periods of time. A good pair of walking shoes are highly recommended.

We will use a baggage transfer service, so you will not have to worry about carrying your bags on and off trains as we travel. As such, you will not have access to your bags during transfer from each city - we recommend using a day pack for anything you may need during the transfer day, as well as to carry any valuables.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

 Day 2 Tokyo (1B)

In Harajuka we catch a glimpse of the pop culture phenomenon of Kawaii. Directly translated as "cute", this Japanese popular culture movement is reflected, through various avenues of entertainment, toys, personal style, attitude and cuisine.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by metro and on foot.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Harajuku Visit
Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) Visit
Asakusa Orientation Walk


 Day 3 Tokyo (1B, 1L)

This afternoon, enjoy some free time exploring Tokyo. Opt to visit Ueno park and the museums, Akihabara for cutting edge electronics, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, walk the grounds of the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just stroll the streets, looking for the traditional life that still lies just under the modern surface.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by metro and on foot.

Included Activities:
Tsukiji Fish Market Visit
Tsukiji Sushi Experience


 Day 4 Tokyo/Tsumago (1B, 1D)

Ryokan are traditional Inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around), and kaiseki meals (often served in the comfort of your own room); a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and local immersion. The Ryokan is a simple, traditional Inn with few amenities and shared facilities, have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan?s unique customs.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train, bus and on foot.

Included Activities:
Tsumago countryside and Village walk


 Day 5 Tsumago/Kanazawa-shi (1B)

Continue by train to the historic city of Kanazawa. Explore the ancient Samurai culture with a walk through the well-preserved Nagamachi Samurai district and visit to the Nomura Samurai family residence.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public transportation and on foot.

Included Activities:
Nagamachi Samurai District Walk
Visit Nomura Family Samurai Residence

Local bus

 Day 6 Kanazawa-shi (1B)

Continue exploring Kanazawa, visiting the Myoryuji Ninja Temple and walking through the Higashi Geisha district. The city is also renowned as a centre of traditional arts and crafts and we delve into these traditions with a chopstick and Gold Leaf Painting Experience. Opt to visit the stunning gardens or original castles.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus and on foot.

Included Activities:
Ninja Temple Visit
Chopstick and Gold Leaf Painting Experience
Higashi Geisha District Visit

Local bus

 Day 7 Kanazawa-shi/Hiroshima (1B)

The large Peace Park in the centre of the city is an extremely moving place dotted with memorials of those known to have been killed in the explosion and those that died as a result. A burning flame waits in the park to be extinguished when all nuclear weapons in the world have been destroyed. A tram ride through the city takes you to the Peace Park.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train, public transportation and on foot.

Included Activities:
Hiroshima Park and Peace Memorial


 Day 8 Hiroshima (1B)

Enjoy Miyajima Island, a famous wooded island located in the Inland Sea, not far from the coast near Hiroshima. Here you will find perhaps the most photographed site in Japan - The Floating Torii Gate. Designated as one of Japan's '3 Most Beautiful Views', the shrine itself dates back to the 6th century and is designed in a pier like structure. Mere 'commoners' were not allowed to set foot on this holy place.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public transportation, ferry and on foot.

Included Activities:
Miyajima Island Visit


 Day 9 Hiroshima/Kyoto (1B)

As the Imperial capital, Kyoto is an essential part of any visit to Japan. Kyoto has some of the most magnificent temples in Japan which date back centuries. There are said to be 2,000 temples, shrines, palaces, museums and traditional gardens in Kyoto. Use your time to wander past huge wooden structures and multi-storied pagodas, all linked with famous walkways.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by train, public bus and on foot.

Included Activities:
Himeji Castle
Gion Walk


 Day 10 Kyoto (1B)

This morning, visit a local temple to learn about the history and practice of Zen Buddhism in Japan. Here we meet with a local Monk who will talk about Buddhism and instruct us in Zen meditation and calligraphy. Also enjoy and participate in a traditional tea ceremony.After, spend the day exploring sites around Nara, visiting the stunning Todaiji Buddhist Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.

Included Activities:
Zen Buddhist Meditation
Zen Tea Ceremony

 Day Trip to Nara

Todai-ji Buddhist Temple Complex
Visit Kasuga Grand Shrine

 Day 11 Kyoto (1B)

Continue to explore Kyoto including a visit to the famous Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion and the stunning Fushimi Inari ancient shrine at the base of the mountain of the same name. After, we learn about the etiquette of the samurai as well as the practice of basic kembu, and take a lesson on how to use the Japanese sword. Then, enjoy a performance by Kembu masters which includes short poems, which were traditionally written by Samurai about major events in their life. Later, take some time to explore on your own, opt to visit museums, temples and zen gardens, or stroll to the Inari Gates.

Additional Notes:
Wear your comfortable shoes - today we will get around by public bus, metro and on foot.

Included Activities:
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Visit
Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion Visit
Kembu Masters

 Day 12 Kyoto (1B)

There are no planned activities today and you are free to depart at any time.

Dates and Prices

Mon 01-Apr-2019£3,779
Mon 08-Apr-2019£3,779
Mon 15-Apr-2019£3,779
Mon 22-Apr-2019£3,639
Mon 29-Apr-2019£3,639
Mon 13-May-2019£3,639
Mon 27-May-2019£3,639
Mon 10-Jun-2019£3,639
Mon 24-Jun-2019£3,639
Mon 22-Jul-2019£3,499
Mon 19-Aug-2019£3,499
Mon 02-Sep-2019£3,499
Mon 16-Sep-2019£3,499
Mon 14-Oct-2019£3,639
Mon 28-Oct-2019£3,639
Mon 11-Nov-2019£3,639
Mon 25-Nov-2019£3,639
Mon 16-Dec-2019£3,639
Mon 13-Apr-2020£3,499
Mon 31-Aug-2020£3,499
Mon 14-Sep-2020£3,499

Tour Map