WHAT TO EXPECT
Japan is a highly modern and innovative country, rooted in ancient traditions and culture. For first-time visitors, Japan can be a total culture shock, full of the quirky, the wonderful, and the unusual everywhere you go. This trip will take you from the traditional parts of Japan’s more remote regions to the fast-paced and futuristic city of Tokyo. Throughout the trip, you’ll try some of Japan’s authentically prepared cuisine that will delight your palette and expand your horizons.
Expect a mix of learning, exploring, the outdoors, new experiences (ninjas and nude Japanese hot springs!), unique nightlife with bars and karaoke, and tons of delicious and interesting new foods. There will be lots of new traditions and customs, places and people that are bound to make this travel experience a truly unique and unforgettable one!
For the love of
TEMPLES AND SHRINES
All accommodations in centrally-located 3-4 star hotels (shared twin/double rooms, when possible)
8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners with some drinks included
Bullet train tickets
Cycle tour in Kyoto
Day trip to Hiroshima
Theme-bar night out
Visit to famous shrines, Fushimi Inari Shrine
Night in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn
Day trip to Ise with traditional Seafood lunch
Peace Memorial Park Guide
Tokyo intro tour
Trip Manager throughout
Flights (fly into Osaka or Kansai International Airport and out of Tokyo)
Mandatory trip insurance
Meals not mentioned (budget around $450+, depending on personal eating/drinking habits)
Incidental Expenses (like taxis - budget $300)
day by day
*Itinerary is indicative fo 2022 and is subject to minor changes
Day 1 - Kyoto
Fly into Kansai International Airport or Osaka International Airport and make your way to the charming, historical city that used to be the capital of Japan: Kyoto, famous for its traditions, gardens and temples.
Check-in to your hotel in the late afternoon and get settled in.
This evening, you’ll enjoy a popular contemporary Japanese dinner at a local izakaya and get to meet your new travel crew for the next 9 days.
Day 2 - Kyoto
MEDITATIOn + NINJAs
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before jumping on a bike and making your way to some beautiful city parks.
You’ll get to witness an ancient temple and partake in zen meditation lessons. Afterwards, fuel up on a ramen lunch before your next activity.
Get your game-face on this afternoon and prepare for ninja lessons, where you’ll get to learn all about the ancient shinobi ways and even get to see the traditional garments and weaponry.
The evening is yours to spend as you wish. We recommend exploring some unique parts of town, including the Geisha District and the Kamogawa River.
Day 3 - Hiroshima
GLIMPSE OF HISTORY
Enjoy breakfast before you head out on an early train to see and learn about the history of Hiroshima, how it was reconstructed from tragedy, and where it stands today as one of the most modern cities in the world.
At lunch time, you’ll get to enjoy a delicious traditional, local dish: Okonomiyaki.
The afternoon is yours to continue exploring the area, including the beautiful island of Miyajima, or head back to Kyoto at your own leisure.
Day 4 - Kyoto
Today is a free day.
There’s lots to do in Kyoto - we suggest heading to the Nishiki Market for lunch and exploring the nearby bamboo forest of Arashiyama.
In the evening, grab your new crew and head to the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine for a beautiful sunset.
At night, we’ll continue the fun and take the party over to Kyoto’s many unique and small theme bars.
Day 5 - Ise Peninsula
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
This morning you’ll have breakfast before taking a train out to Ise Peninsula, a more remote coastal region.
At lunch time, you’ll enjoy a local seafood barbecue and learn about the traditional Ama culture - Japanese female free-divers who collect shellfish that end up on your plate.
This evening you’ll be staying in a traditional Japanese ryokan. This unforgettable experience is unlike any other and defines traditional Japanese hospitality and involves sleeping on traditional style futons that are on the floor and communal spaces.
Day 6 - Tokyo
REMOTE TO CITY
Enjoy breakfast in the ryokan and head out to explore the charming streets of Oharaimachi, lined with traditional buildings, shops and restaurants. Then visit Ise Grand Inner Shrine — one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan, thought to house one of the country's three crown jewels.
This afternoon you’ll jump on a train and make your way to Tokyo for the final stretch of your trip.
Check-in to your new hotel in the city, and get ready for skyscrapers, technology, and the traditional and modern...all in one of the world’s largest cities.
Day 7 - Tokyo
TASTE OF TOKYO
In the late morning, we’ll head to a famous local fish market before arriving to our first activity (and lunch spot) for the day: a sushi making class, where you’ll get to try your hand at arranging and rolling your own sushi.
In the afternoon, you’ll explore more of Tokyo with your crew and get to visit some popular districts and parks.
At night, come together with the group and head out to the local bars to experience Tokyo’s nightlife through its wonderful small bars and karaoke hubs.
Day 8 - Tokyo
Today is a free day.
This is one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world, so there will be tons to see, do and try.
We recommend visiting Teamlab to experience futuristic digital art exhibits and afterwards, explore more of Tokyo’s unique and bustling districts.
In the evening, we’ll share celebratory cocktails and dinner with the group to cheers to an awesome trip!
Day 9 - Tokyo
This is our last morning in Japan.
We’ll share one last breakfast with the group before we say farewell and head our separate ways.
Note: There are two airports in Tokyo to fly out of, including Narita International Airport and the Haneda International Airport.
"I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." -MARY ANNE RADMACHER
Just for fun
Japan's volcanoes make up 10% of the world's total volcanoes.
Sumo wrestling is Japan's national sport.
Book your arrival flight into Kansai International Airport, or Osaka International Airport, and take public transportation to Kyoto; Book your departure flight out of Tokyo from either the Narita International Airport or the Haneda International Airport.
Everything in Japan is smaller from hotel rooms to portion sizes .
Public transportation: Japanese trains are so efficient and traffic in the cities is highly congested, so this whole trip is done on public transport. Try and pack lightly.
For one night we stay in a traditional ryokan. It is completely unique and certainly a fascinating insight into Japanese culture. It will include staying on traditional style futons that are on the floor.
Cherry Blossom traditionally is between April - May
June is the rainy season but it usually does not rain every day
Note for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free: Japan considers foods without the actual meat of an animal (such as beef broths) to be vegetarian. This may present difficulties for travelers with dietary restrictions, as it is hard to adjust foods or finds foods that don't use grains or fish. While your guide can help you understand what you're ordering, it will be up to you to do your research on foods to meet your dietary preferences and furthermore, will not be guaranteed that you will be able to find meals that fit your needs in the group meals that are included.
Covid-19 vaccination is required for this trip.
GOod to know
The national language is Japanese
Everything is very, very small. Though cleverly designed, expect small spaces for accomodation.
Japan is one of the most expensive places to visit in the world, and therefore will not be a luxury trip, despite the higher costs.
Japanese cuisine is delicious, creative and stunning, but it will definitely challenge your palette’s comfort zone.
Japanese culture is completely different from anything else you’ve experienced before; be ready to expand your horizons.
This trip will offer a mix of ancient and modern, old and new.
Manners are important in Japan and showing respect, as you would in any country.
It is generally a quieter country, despite bustling cities and tourist-heavy areas.
Fly into OSAKA (ITM) or Kansai (KIX)
You'll need to be in Kyoto by 2pm on Day 1, however with the recent amount of flight delays we recommend planning to arrive a day early just to be safe.
Fly out of Haneda (HND) or Narita (NRT)
Fly out of Tokyo at any time on day 9 or extend your trip and enjoy a few more days in Japan.
Want to check out flights for your trip?
Feel free to also set up flight alerts to Osaka and from Tokyo so you can grab the best deal!