Enduring marvels in a place unlike any other

Located in the Pacific Ocean, off the eastern coast of Asia’s mainland, this volcanic archipelago is the setting for an enthralling adventure that transports us across ancient cultures and modern cities. Explore the many sides of Japan, from Tokyo’s urban buzz, to countryside temples and samurai fortresses.

Highlights

  • Explore Tokyo's fish market before a sushi class

  • Ride the rails of the bullet train

  • Spend two nights in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn

  • Visit Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park and Museum

  • Experience tranquility at Kyoto's famed Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine

Itinerary for Japan

Day 1: Tokyo

Konichiwa! Meet your Local Leader and fellow travelers this afternoon at a welcome meeting. A walking tour of the contemporary city of Tokyo leads to the Shinjuku’s Memory Lane, a historic alley of restaurants dating back to the 1940s. The best spot in Tokyo to sample local “fast food,” it’s ideal for trying Japan’s diverse flavors including yakitori (grilled chicken skewers). (d)

  • Arrival transfers are included on a shared shuttle basis
  • Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant
  • Our hotel in Tokyo: Hotel Niwa

Day 2: Tokyo

At Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, the world’s biggest market trolleys are piled high with crates of local catch. Explore the narrow aisles filled with spectacular creatures before learning the art of making sushi. We’ll visit the Asakusa area, a traditional temple district where Sensō-ji, the city’s oldest temple, was founded in A.D. 648. (b, l)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Lunch will be the results of our sushi class
  • Our hotel in Tokyo: Hotel Niwa

Day 3: Tokyo > Takayama

Ride the rails of the bullet train to the Edo period town of Takayama, located in the Japanese Alps. A stop at a prized sake brewery provides a tasting of this time-honored rice wine. Enjoy two nights here in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn). (b)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Our traditional Japanese Inn (ryokan) in Takayama: Takayama Ouan

Day 4: Takayama

Get closer to the culture today as we explore the morning markets in the Gifu Prefecture, where villages are nestled among the mountains. Dating back 600 years, each morning at 6 a.m. the local women set their stalls. Here you can try a bag of miso wrapped in leaves, soybean candy or the delicious marshmallow treat — owara tamaten. Visit the Hida Folk Village, an outdoor museum where we learn how traditional farmhouses that withstand cold temperatures and snow are built. The rest of the day is left unscripted for you to write your own adventure. (b)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Our traditional Japanese Inn (ryokan) in Takayama: Takayama Ouan

Day 5: Takayama > Hiroshima

We travel by train to Hiroshima for a poignant visit to the Genbaku (A-Bomb) Dome and the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Both places stand as symbols of peace and as remembrance of the victims of the first ever wartime use of the atomic bomb in August 1945. (b)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Our hotel in Hiroshima: Hiroshima Tokyu REI Hotel

Day 6: Hiroshima

This morning, we ferry to the serene and enchanting island of Miyajima, home to the Shinto shrine of Itsukushima. Explore Momaji Park, where you can walk among its simple natural beauty, or take a cable car to the top of Mount Misen. Tonight, we dine like locals on okonomiyaki, a type of savory pancake cooked in front of us. (b, d)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Dinner is at a traditional restaurant known for the okonomiyaki dish
  • Our hotel in Hiroshima: Hiroshima Tokyu REI Hotel

Day 7: Hiroshima > Kyoto

Departing Hiroshima, we venture to Japan’s impressive samurai castle at Himeji, once home to over 10,000 samurai families. Wander the moats, towers and walled alleyways before continuing to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan for over 1,000 years. Free time here gets you acquainted with the city. (b)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Our hotel in Kyoto: The b Kyoto Sanjo

Day 8: Kyoto

How will you explore Kyoto today? Experience a bicycle backstreet tour, including parks, pavilions the Tofuku-ji Temple and gardens, and the Daitokuji Temple. Or, explore the city like a local with an Insider Expert, who takes you to sights including Nijō Castle, via subway. (b)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Our hotel in Kyoto: The b Kyoto Sanjo

Day 9: Kyoto

A short train journey brings us to Kyoto’s famed Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, one of the most photographed sights in the city. Venture further than most, and appreciate the quiet corners and stunning city views. Try the delicious artisan coffee and homemade cakes from the locally owned Shrine Café before a walk around the Nishiki Market, also known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen.” Tonight, we cap off our adventure with a delicious Japanese feast. (b, d)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Dinner will be at a local restaurant
  • Our hotel in Kyoto: The b Kyoto Sanjo

Day 10: Kyoto

Your adventure through the Land of The Rising Sun ends today. (b)

  • Breakfast is full buffet
  • Departure transfers are included on a shared shuttle basis

Things to know before traveling to Japan

The official currency of Japan is Yen (JPY).

Japan is predominantly a cash society and locals carry large amounts of cash for daily business.

International credit cards can usually only be used at major department stores or large restaurants but cash from non-Japanese bank accounts can be withdrawn via the Cirrus and Maestro systems by direct debiting (as well as Mastercard and Visa cash advance). This is now available at all post office ATMs around the country, as well as 7 Eleven convenience store ATMs, making it very easy to get access to cash throughout the trip at each location 24 hours a day.

You will easily surpass your 10,000 steps a day on this trip, in fact most travellers are surprised at how much distance they end up covering just exploring places on foot! Make sure your shoes are comfy and you are fit enough to spend most of each day on your feet.

In Takayama we will be staying in a ryokan, which is a Japanese-style inn. It’s a great taste of tradition, and typically consists of a futon mattresses on the tatami mat floor, as well as smaller bathrooms than more western-style hotels, and sometimes no other furniture (ie. chairs) in the room. Please also be aware that you would normally be required to change to slippers when entering into your room in a ryokan.

Some ryokans may have a curfew when travelers need to be back in the accommodation – this is usually around midnight.

Be prepared to pack light and smart for this trip as you’ll be required to carry your own luggage between train stations and to hotels, which can include going up and down multiple flights of stairs in crowded areas. At some destinations, larger luggage will be forwarded on ahead of you, so it’ll be easier to get around if you have a smaller overnight/day pack.

In Asia the dress standard is typically more conservative than it is back home. When packing, try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you covered, but cool.

The Japanese daily diet contains gluten (ie. in flavorings such as soy sauce) and seafood (dashi, or fish stock, is the basis of most dishes, even vegetable ones), so we highly recommend that vegetarians, vegans and celiacs do their own online research before travelling about some of the options that might be available to them. While our leaders will assist you whenever they can, there may be some included meals that are fixed in advance and not flexible, such as those included at ryokans, and cannot be modified for different diets. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavor to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it’s important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarize yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ask your travel agent or Club Adventures team member for insurance options at time of booking.

Add-ons available before and after your trip to see the most of Japan

Pre-Night Add-ons

TOKYO - $530 USD per room, double occupancy or $395 single occupancy


Post-Night Add-ons

KYOTO - $580 USD per room, double occupancy or $315 single occupancy


Optional Tours

We’ve already included everything you need to see! While there are no optional tours on this tour, your Local Leader can always point you in the right direction for you to write your own adventure.

10 days, from $4,999 USD