Japan…Temples and Geishas
*This experience runs on selected Sundays – (Prices may vary according to departure dates)
*Rooms are en-suite and twin where possible. If you are a solo traveler, you will always be sharing a room with someone of the same sex
12 days of the old, new and futuristic Japan
Visiting 1 country: Japan
Japan blends a mix of traditional and ultra-modern in Tokyo, temples and geishas in Kyoto, and culinary capital Osaka. Robot bars, a Kyoto day trip, too-big-for-the-bowl udon, a Buddhist prayer service, the Hiroshima Peace Museum and a folk village visit (with cat cafes for good measure) will introduce you to the land known for its down-to-the-second precision.
Day 1: Tokyo, Japan
Sushi trains, karaoke, gadgets, temples and cat cafés. Get excited, get very excited. You’re in Tokyo. On our city tour, spot the Sensoji Temple, dance under its giant red lantern and wander along nearby 500-year-old Nakamise Street selling mochi (sticky rice cakes) and geta (wooden shoes). Also, Shinjuku and Harajuku = amazing! Later, bond over a welcome dinner. Work that chopstick magic and feast on authentic goodies. It’s gonna be an awesome 12 days!
Day 2: Tokyo
Free day to hit the ground running in Tokyo. Head over to Odaiba, the man-made island in Tokyo Bay or check out Akihabara, where stores scream for the attention of anime fans and gamers.
Day 3: Tokyo
Today, why not take a visit to the happiest place on earth: Tokyo Disneyland (optional). If you want something else, take the option to visit the Robot Restaurant – it’s legit. You’ll never look at restaurants back home the same again.
Day 4: Tokyo to Takayama
This morning we pack our bags and travel at 320km/h on the bullet train before heading up to the Japanese Alps. Cue a short orientation tour upon arrival. Tonight stay in a ryokan – a traditional Japanese inn. All the authentic feels. Finish off the day with an optional hida beef foodie experience.
Day 5: Takayama
Start off the day at the morning riverside markets. Then, make sure you get your walking shoes on as we embark on a half day city tour of Takayama. There’s also a sake brewery visit and an excursion to Hida No Sato folk village this afternoon.
Day 6: Takayama to Hiroshima via Miyajima
Jump on a ferry to Miyajima with its wild deer (aww!) and shrines galore. End your island jaunt watching the sunset behind the floating torii gate.
Day 7: Hiroshima to Koyasan
First up, Hiroshima, where we explore the Peace Museum to pay respects to the victims of the atomic bombing. Later, make your way to Mount Kōya, one of the world’s most sacred mountains (with 117 temples atop it) and the headquarters of the Koyasan sect of Japanese Buddhism. Tonight, feast on a traditional Buddhist meal.
Day 8: Koyasan to Kyoto
Start with a Buddhist prayer service, then explore the cobblestone walkway lined with Shinto Torii gates to the Okunoin mausoleum and its 10,000 lantern Torodo Hall. Later, it’s time for Kyoto. Japan’s traditional capital is home to over 2,000 temples and shrines. It’s also the prime manufacturing hub for kimonos – a good place to pick up some new threads. Later we check out Fushimi Inari, the head shrine of Inari. Trust us, it’s beautiful.
Day 9: Kyoto
Find your zen place at the Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion and Ryōan-ji Temple all before lunch. Have you had your udon noodle fix yet? Note to self: essential. This afternoon you’re off to Nijo Castle to channel your inner samurai and visit the Heian Shrine – built to honour the anniversary of the capital’s foundation in Kyoto.
Day 10: Kyoto
A free day to frolic. Get out of town and visit the lush Arashiyama bamboo forest, or go on a day trip to Nara. Cue deer roaming the streets. Do the optional and dress up like a maiko or samurai later.
Day 11: Kyoto to Osaka
Today, visit the Insta-worthy corridors of torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. Land in Osaka via train, then get ready for our farewell dinner.
Day 12: Osaka
After breakfast it’s sayonara to the Land of the Rising Sun. Swap numbers and plan that next adventure together.
IN DEPTH: CULTURAL & HISTORICAL
1 Week +
- Welcome dinner in Hakuba
- Farewell dinner in Tokyo
- Hakuba Ski Pass (days 2–7)
- Local train to & from Hakuba
We endeavor to select a combination of good quality hotels, hostels and guesthouses (where you actually stay will depend on your trip) that reflects the character of the local area. The accommodation is also as centrally located as possible. We strive to keep the cost as affordable as possible.
Your trip will stay in a range of accommodation. Hotels are three and four-star quality. Guesthouses are basic, yet comfortable, and hostels are clean and modern.
Please be aware that some rooms, especially those in major urban centres or older cities, may be smaller than what you are used to in other parts of the world. Standards and ratings may also be different to your home country.
Rooms are en-suite and twin where possible and will depend on what you have booked. If you are a solo traveller, you will always be sharing a room with someone of the same sex.
If you are travelling as a couple and would prefer to have a double bed, please officially request a double room to us. We never presume that two people travelling together are a couple, even if you share the same surname, unless informed otherwise.
We aim to make sure that breakfasts are included every morning in the accommodation (except on the first morning). They are usually ‘continental breakfasts’, which are typical in most countries. A typical breakfast may consist of cereals with milk or yoghurt, bread, croissants, cold meats, cheese and a range of spreads, with fruit juice, tea or coffee to drink. It is rare to get a hot breakfast in Asia. Though, on some occasions, there may be some hot food available as well. Please bear in mind that food varies across each country we visit in Asia.
Included evening meals are in local restaurants or in the included accommodation. In most cases, table water is provided with the meals and if you wish to purchase additional drinks you can do so at your own expense.
If you have any dietary requirements, we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise us when you book. Please be aware that although we will do everything in our power, we cannot guarantee that every restaurant we eat in will be able to cater to all of your dietary needs, particularly in Asia. Also, we cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.
- 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners
- 6 nights in hotel accommodation
- Small group
- Awesome Trip Leader
Small modern air conditioned vehicle and a bullet train.
Meet at 8am in Tokyo
Approximately 9am in Osaka
Please note that this experience has a maximum age limit of 40
On all trips we have arranged extra activities that we think will enhance your travel experience, but you have a choice as to whether or not you will participate. These are not included in the cost of your trip. They are usually organised on a group participation basis and should be taken into consideration when budgeting your spending money.
None of the Optional Activities on your trip are operated by us, nor do they form part of your contract with us. Should you participate in any Optional Activities your contract will be with the local supplier and their conditions will apply.
Please note: while we make every effort to keep these prices as accurate and up-to-date as possible, they are subject to change and in rare circumstances the actual price may vary slightly to what is published here.
Japan – Tokyo
Robot restaurant € 58
Tokyo Disneyland € 60
Japan – Kyoto
Dress as a Geisha € 77
Dress as a Samurai € 63
One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing the nightlife and entertainment each city has to offer. However, amidst the fun and excitement, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety as well. Before you hit the road with us, it’s important to be aware of the following:
When you’re on a night out, remember to avoid walking alone, particularly through deserted areas like beaches and back streets. Always stick together, take a taxi where possible, and keep a note of your accommodation details so you can find your way back to your fellow travellers if you become separated.
In some countries, alcoholic measures can be considerably larger than what you may be used to. Try to keep track of what you’re drinking, and if you see one of your trip mates looking a little worse for wear, take them back to your accommodation. Be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.
It’s also important to be aware that what you might consider harmless flirting may be interpreted differently in some countries. Be yourself and have fun, but don’t be naïve, and be mindful of the signals you are sending out so that you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.