Travel beyond the sites and sample authentic Japanese hospitality on our range of trips and tailor-made holidays to the Land of the Rising Sun. See the real Japan with On The Go.

Japan is a charming confluence of new and old. From glimmering skyscrapers and flashing neon lights, to Geishas and quaint traditional tea shops, Japan's distinct character sets it apart from the rest of Asia. Whether bedding down for the night in a traditional inn, sitting on a woven mat eating sushi or soaking in a natural hot spring, Japan offers travellers a unique cultural experience unlike any other. With a bounty of regional specialities and world-class restaurants, food lovers will discover culinary paradise in Japan’s extraordinary cuisine too.

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In Japan we offer small group tours and unique festival tours, as well as private itineraries that cover all the best places and tailor-made holidays designed especially for you.

Top Japan Travel Deals and Upcoming Tours

Trip NameStartsDepartingFrom USDDealMap
Best of Japan - 8 days Tokyo, Japan 14 Jul 2018 USD $4,046 was $4,495 10% off Best of Japan - 8 days Map
Tokyo to Takayama - 13 days Tokyo, Japan 22 Sep 2018 USD $6,476 was $7,195 10% off Tokyo to Takayama - 13 days Map
Land of the Samurai - 12 days Tokyo, Japan 22 Sep 2018 USD $6,296 was $6,995 10% off Land of the Samurai - 12 days Map
Tokyo to Beijing - 15 Days Tokyo, Japan 06 Oct 2018 USD $5,306 was $5,895 10% off Tokyo to Beijing - 15 Days Map
Takayama Festival - 11 Days Tokyo, Japan 05 Oct 2018 USD $6,835 Takayama Festival - 11 Days Map
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Japan Group Tours

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Best of Japan

8 days | FROM USD $4,295

Discover the best of Japan in just 8 days. Travelling from the modern...

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Land of the Samurai

12 days | FROM USD $6,495

On this wonderful 12 day group tour of Japan you’ll not only take in...

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Tokyo to Takayama

13 days | FROM USD $6,995

This 13 day adventure takes in the must-see sites of Tokyo and Kyoto...

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Snow Monkeys in Nagano | JapanSnow Monkey Explorer - 13 Days Map

Snow Monkey Explorer

13 Days | FROM USD $7,495

Watch Snow Monkeys bathing, explore Hemiji Castle and beautiful...

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Tokyo to Beijing

15 Days | FROM USD $5,695

Take in the highlights of Japan and China on this 15 day tour from...

Our Japan group tours start in Tokyo, the cutting edge capital with gleaming skyscrapers and bustling streets. A high speed rail journey out of the city reveals another side of Japan where spectacular landscapes abound, from iconic Mt Fuji to the pristine island of Miyajima. Other highlights include ancient Kyoto, the heart and soul of traditional Japan, and Hiroshima with its poignant Peace Park. All of our group tours are led by an experienced local tour guide who will be on hand to provide assistance along the way, organising your daily activities, providing a fascinating insight into the places you visit and giving you useful tips on where to eat, shop and visit during free time.read more

With a maximum group size of 16, our tours of Japan include arrival airport transfers and guided sightseeing. While in big cities we stay in modern 3 star hotels, we also sample some authentic Japanese hospitality at a traditional ryokan in Hakone - an essential experience in Japan. To get from A to B we use Japan's fast and efficient rail network with bullet trains travelling at speeds up to 320km per hour. Other forms of local transportation we use include buses, cable cars with spectacular mountain views, and a pirate-ship cruise on Lake Ashi.

Japan Festival Tours

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Takayama Autumn Festival | Takayama | Japan | Photo courtesy: Robert PaTakayama Festival - 11 Days Map

Takayama Festival

11 Days | FROM USD $6,835

Escorted Group Tour: Autumn in Japan is simply spectacular, as the...

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Cherry Blossom Festival | JapanCherry Blossom Festival - 13 days Map

Cherry Blossom Festival

13 days | FROM USD $7,395

Escorted Group Tour: See Japan in 2019! Springtime is possibly one of...

Each season of the year provides a unique reason to visit Japan at its most beautiful and we have a selection of festival tours timed perfectly to coincide with cherry blossom season in spring when the country blooms pink and the Takayama Festival in autumn to celebrate the changing of the leaves.

Japan Private Tours

Independent
Akihabara | Tokyo | JapanJust Japan - 8 days Map

Just Japan

8 days | FROM USD $3,175

Private Tour: Take in the buzz of Japan’s capital city, learn how to...

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Kiyomizu Temple | Kyoto | JapanGeisha & Gyoza - 8 days Map

Geisha & Gyoza

8 days | FROM USD $2,965

Private Tour: Get lost in the organised chaos of Tokyo, catch a...

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See Mount Fuji & Peace pagoda on our range of Japan toursLand of the Rising Sun - 14 days Map

Land of the Rising Sun

14 days | FROM USD $5,115

Private Tour: Travel like the Tokyoites do in Japan’s capital city,...

Independent
Osaka Castle | Osaka | JapanKonnichiwa Japan - 14 days Map

Konnichiwa Japan

14 days | FROM USD $4,925

Private Tour: After fully exploring Tokyo head to Nagano and Matsumoto...

Join us in Japan on one of our private tours for your independent adventure. Given Japan's excellent transport system, getting around is fairly hassle free and makes it easy to combine a wealth of cultural sights and experiences in one hit. Whether you’d like to shop in Tokyo, experience Osaka's vibrant nightlight, meet geishas in Kyoto or soak in a hot spring in Kinosaki Onsen - our private tours in Japan have you well-looked after.

Discover the best of Japan with our range of 2017 tours

Tailor-made Holidays

Journey to Japan on an exclusively designed tailor-made holiday based on your unique preferences. Whether you want to explore Japan's ultra modern cities like Tokyo and Osaka or its quieter rural towns like Takayama and Tsumago, our expert team are on hand to recommend best places to visit and unique experiences to add for a holiday to remember. You can choose your standard of accommodation and we'll present you with options ranging from traditional ryokans to international standard hotels.

Japan Day Tours and Excursions

Experience the best that Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima have to offer on our wide selection of day trips and excursions from watching Sumo practice, visiting Mt Fuji, walking tours of the best sites and lots more.

Best of Tokyo Bus Tour

9 hours
FROM USD $92.81

Tokyo's top attractions, a cruise on Tokyo Bay, the Imperial Palace, Senso-ji Temple, Tsukiji Fish...

Watch Sumo Wrestling Morning Practise

60 to 180 hrs
FROM USD $79.20

Spend the morning watching authentic sumo wrestling practise at a sumo stable. An unusual and highly...

Morning Sightseeing of Tokyo

3 hours 30 minutes
FROM USD $51.04

A great overview of Tokyo in 3.5 hours. Discover top draw cards including Tokyo Tower, Asakusa...

Full day Mt Fuji Tour

9 hours 30 minutes
FROM USD $111.64

Travel by A/C coach and discover the World Heritage listed Mt. Fuji, visiting Lake Kawaguchi, Oshino...

Nikko National Park

11 hours
FROM USD $125.60

Scenic shrines, spectacular countryside, the ornate complex of Toshogu Shrine, Lake Chuzenji & Kegon...

Fushimi Inari and Sake Brewery Tour

3 hours 30 minutes
FROM USD $120.58

Take a tour of Kyoto’s Inari district on this guided morning tour with a walk through the iconic...

Kyoto Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

9 hours
FROM USD $125.60

Cover the highlights of Kyoto on this full-day guided sightseeing tour with highlights including...

Samurai School: Samurai for a Day

2 hours
FROM USD $65.13

Become a samurai for the day at Kyoto’s samurai school, trying your hand at Japanese...

Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle

10 hours
FROM USD $139.56

Explore the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara on this full-day tour that includes Nijo Castle,...

Todaiji Temple, Deer Park & Kasuga Shrine

5 hours 30 minutes
FROM USD $70.71

Spend an afternoon discovering the historic treasures of Nara including Todaiji Temple, Deer Park...

Osaka Temples, Gardens and Kofun Tombs

7 hours
FROM USD $290.00

A full day private tour by luxury car of key sites of Osaka taking in temples, gardens, the famous...

Small-Group Guided Evening Food Tour of Osaka

3 hours
FROM USD $139.00

Visit some of the less-visited parts of Osaka on this 3-hour Osaka food tour by night with a local...

Discover Kyoto, Nara and Kobe from Osaka

13 hours
FROM USD $88.44

Take a day trip around the best of what the Kansai region has to offer on this guided tour that...

Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari Tour from Osaka

8 hours
FROM USD $428.00

Leave the buzz of Osaka behind for a day spent exploring the famed red gates of Fushimi Inari and...

Private Full Day Hiroshima Tour

6 hours
FROM USD $576.83

Cover the highlights of Hiroshima and learn all about the history of the city on this private guided...

Private Miyajima Rickshaw Tour

Flexible
FROM USD $41.76

Discover one of the most scenic spots in Japan on this private guided tour of Miyajima Island that...

Japan tour reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.65 out of 5 based on 20 recent reviews — See All Japan Reviews

Yuki was a wonderful guide who seemed to think of everything. She was particularly good at telling us where we had to meet next which we found a bit confusing at first but we soon realised it was so that if anyone became separated from the group they knew where they had to be next. Yuki was brilliant at spotting anyone straying and sprinted after them at an impressive speed! We all appreciated her efforts at performing magic tricks to entertain us whilst staying at the ryokan and teaching us origami whilst on the Bullet train.

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy everything was from being met at the airport on day 1 by a local guide to having Yuki buy my ticket and direct me how to get back to the airport for my flight to Shanghai.

The room was tiny for 2 people at Yaesu Terminal hotel but the location and cleanliness compensated. Elsewhere I was impressed with the hotels.

The only thing I really disliked and felt was very poor value was the shabu shabu meal. It was not to my taste (it appeared to have no taste at all!), very expensive compared to meals we had locally and a complete let down. I have no interest in eating as much as I can and much preferred the Keiseki at the ryokan which was a lovely surprise! The ryokan experience and the onsen were a highlight of the trip.

I felt that the cultural experience in Gion should have been a prebookable option as it was almost offered as an afterthought so we were too late to get seats and ended up sitting on the floor. I think clients would welcome the chance to prebook seats and learn about the Chinese culture.

For the more affluent clients a chance to spend some time with a Geisha would be good. I understand some hotels now offer this and I would have been intrigued as would some of my fellow travellers.

It was amusing that most of the blossom had blown away and the moss had yet to arrive which just reinforced how you cannot be sure of anything where Mother Nature is the boss and how important it is to stress this to my clients. As I will say to my clients it really didn't matter because we were having such a good time regardless.

James our main Guide in China was fairly quiet but always smiling. I got the impression he's been doing his job a while and was more laid back than Yuki. Alison our guide in Xian seemed young and inexperienced. She didn't explain everything there was to see at the Wild Goose Pagoda and I felt slightly disappointed.

I can imagine that sharing a compartment and facilities on the overnight train might not be for everyone but I was lucky in having 3 companions I got on well with, thanks to whoever put us together, and it was good fun. I was very grateful that we had time to shower at our hotels the next morning.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, the organisation was excellent, the standard of the hotels exceeded my expectations and I loved waking up to somethign new and exciting every day. I will be recommending On the Go Tours to my Travel Counsellor colleagues and my clients and I hope very much to do another tour in the future. ”  

Julie Welfare • Submitted 22 May 2018

'Happy' (her name in Japanese means happy) our tour guide was incredible. She made this trip interactive, personal and enjoyable. Excellent execution of knowledge and skills. Thank you.”  

Fatima Naidoo • Submitted 17 Apr 2018

We did this tour for our honeymoon and it was fantastic! I'd recommend this trip to everyone. Our tour guide made Japan extra special. She went above and beyond to find information and recommendations for anything not included on the tour. She was polite, accomodating, very informative and was one of the main reasons our experience was so very special. We look forward to visiting Japan again and would love to have 'Happy' as our host again. ”  

Kara Richards • Submitted 17 Apr 2018

Frequently asked questions about our touring holidays in Japan

Will I visit Mt. Fuji?

Japan's most iconic peak features on all our itineraries with a night spent beside Lake Kawaguchi, a picturesque body of water that sits beneath Mt. Fuji. Here you'll get to soak up the views of the snow-capped mountain and ride the ropeway to the summit of Mt. Kachi Kachi for even more impressive panoramic vistas of Fuji and the surrounding area.

Will I get to ride a bullet train on your Japan trips?

Yes you will. The journey from Hakone to Kyoto on our group tours includes a trip on the famous bullet train - known as the shinkansen in Japanese. The train journey takes less than two hours and covers a distance of 364km.

What type of accommodation will I be staying in?

You'll mostly be staying in good value and well-located hotels that offer Western amenities. For an authentic Japanese experience, we spend one night in a traditional ryokan - an ancient style of inn. Here you'll get to enjoy Japanese hospitality, sleep on a futon surrounded by tatami mats and dine on freshly prepared meals.

Will I get to see geisha on your Japan tours?

We can't guarantee that you'll catch sight of a geisha while visiting Japan but chances are good as Kyoto is one of the best places to see them and we include Kyoto on all of our Japan group tours. We include a walking tour of Gion, the city's most famous geisha district and there will be free time to revisit in the early evening when geisha are often moving between appointments.

I don't eat fish. Will this be a problem in Japan?

Whilst fish is an important part of the Japanese diet, there's plenty else on the menu. Chicken and beef feature prominently, whether cooked on a hot plate in a delicious teriyaki sauce or deep fried and accompanying an egg. Noodles and rice form the basis of many meals and vegetarians can opt for tempura (lightly battered and fried) vegetables and various forms of tofu. For more information on food in Japan, check out our Top Travel Tips page. Let us know of your dietary requirements at time of booking so we can ensure suitable meals are provided at our ryokan.

How big are your Japan tour groups and what is the age of your travellers?

Our escorted tours in Japan have an average group size of around 8-10 travellers with a maximum group size of 16. Our popular Cherry Blossom Festival itinerary fills up quickly and travels with a group size of 18. Our Japan holidays generally attract those aged between 30 and 70 with an average of age of around 45-50.

I want to see Japan at its most beautiful. When do you recommend I visit?

Most people would agree that the best time to visit Japan is either in the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). In spring you can witness delicate pink cherry blossoms decorate the landscapes while in autumn these colours give way to fiery reds, oranges and yellows. Our travel guide has further information on the best time to visit Japan.

Recent Travel Articles on Japan


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Eight Cultural Experiences You Can Only Have in Japan Article Image
Top 5s and 10s

Eight Cultural Experiences You Can Only Have in Japan

April 18, 2018 • Hannah Lane

Japan’s distinct character has always set it apart from the rest of Asia. Thanks to its long...

Phlox Moss and Japan’s Unknown Flower Festival Article Image
Festivals and Events

Phlox Moss and Japan’s Unknown Flower Festival

April 9, 2018 • Hannah Lane

Springtime is possibly one of the best times to visit Japan. And it’s impossible to think of...

10 of the World’s Best City Parks Article Image
Top 5s and 10s

10 of the World’s Best City Parks

March 28, 2018 • Hannah Lane

Surrounded by towering skyscrapers, roaring traffic and crowded streets, sometimes all you want to...

New Japan and China Tour
Combine the best of the Far East

You can now explore the gleaming metropolises of Tokyo and Shanghai, and the historic imperial cities of Kyoto and Beijing in one go with our 15 day Japan and China combined itinerary. Travelling in a group and escorted by local guides, start in Tokyo before visiting Mt. Fuji and end your Japanese adventure in Osaka to fly to Shanghai and head north for the Terracotta Warriors and Great Wall.

Japan Map

Highlights of our Japan tours

From thoroughly modern cities to charming historic towns, Japan has a long list of highlights as well as plenty of unique experiences. For a first-time visitor there are some standout destinations that you'll find on our selection of Japan tours. Here are some of the best.

Kyoto

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Ginkaku-Ji Temple | Kyoto | Japan

Enjoy a walking tour of the popular Gion geisha district and explore the exquisite Nijo Castle and gleaming Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) with free time to discover Kyoto at your own leisure.

Hakone

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Lake Ashi in Fuji Hakone National Park | Hakone | Japan

Admire the views of iconic Mount Fuji from the shores of Lake Kawaguchi in Fuji Hakone Izu National Park where you'll travel along the Kachikachi-yama Ropeway and visit the observatory.

Tokyo

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Akihabara | Tokyo | Japan

Start all of our Japan tours in the buzzing capital of Tokyo where a guided tour takes in the lively Sensoji Temple district, fashionable Harajuku, the impressive Meiji Shrine and the Shibuya crossing.

Miyajima

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A beautiful sunset decorates the sky over Miyajima Island in Japan

See the UNESCO-listed red torii Gate (Itsukushima shrine) that stands lonely in the sea, visit quiet Shinto shrines and take the cable to the top of Mt Misen with a day trip to Miyajima island.

Hiroshima

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The Atomic Bomb Dome | Hiroshima | Japan

Confront the horrors of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima with a visit to the Peace Park and Museum, the iconic A-Bomb Dome and the Children's Peace Monument known for its paper cranes.

Kamakura

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Soak up the quaint village feel of Kamakura and visit the Big Buddha Statue, the peaceful Hokokuji Zen temple and the Bamboo Forest with the chance to take part in a Tea Ceremony.