SEMI INDEPENDENT TOUR: Explore Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka on this 11-day guided Japan group tour which is packed with included activities and delicious Japanese meals. Take in the highlights of Tokyo by bike and watch a sumo training session. Ride the cable car for magnificent views of Mount Fuji, enjoy a steamy onsen bath at a traditional ryokan and take tea with a real Geisha in Kyoto. Throw Ninja stars at an included Ninja Experience, enjoy guided sightseeing in Kyoto and go kayaking to see the red torii gate of Miyajima Island.
Welcome to Tokyo!
On arrival in Tokyo, make your way to the start hotel. At 16:30 you will meet the rest of the group and your adventure leader at a welcome meeting on the roof of the hotel, where you can admire a giant Godzilla statue overlooking the meeting! We then head for an included welcome dinner at a nearby robot restaurant and enjoy panoramic views over the city from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
Overnight: Tokyo | Dinner
Tokyo by bike & sushi making
Today we tour Tokyo by bike! Our guide will show you around the Monzen-Nakacho area in downtown Tokyo and you will visit a local temple, as well as learning more about what life is like in the world's most populous city. We also visit Kiba Park and enjoy an included light lunch at an Izakaya, an informal bar popular in Japan. Those who wish to can also try some sake!
In the early evening, we cook up a storm with a sushi making class, and you will be able to enjoy your creations for dinner. The rest of the evening is free, we suggest heading to the Roppongi Hills area of the city for a drink or two.
Overnight: Tokyo | Lunch, Dinner
Sumo & Shibuya
We make an early start this morning to stroll around Tsukiji Market. Then, it's time to learn a bit more about Japan's national obsession! We start the day with a visit to the Sumo Stables, where wrestlers train for their matches. We can observe a training session and enjoy lunch with the wrestlers - you will have the chance to ask them questions about the sport and their routines.
We then head to the Harajuku area of the city where there is free time. You could visit Yoyogi Park or the impressive Meiji Shrine before we regroup at the famous Shibuya Crossing, the busiest pedestrian crossing in the entire world. You can join an optional helicopter ride over the city before the rest of the afternoon and evening is free. Perhaps you could head to Akihabara, the city's tech hub!
Overnight: Tokyo | Lunch
Views of Mount Fuji
Tokyo - Hakone. After breakfast this morning, we depart Tokyo and head for the mountains, and one mountain in particular... We ride the Kachi Kachi Ropeway from Lake Kawaguchi, enjoying spectacular views of Mount Fuji if the weather is in our favour. We enjoy a traditional lunch in a local village before heading to our accommodation for the evening.
We will be staying in Hakone at a hotel offering a traditional ryokan experience. A ryokan is a Japanese bath and sleeping house. You will have the chance to relax in a steamy onsen bath and will enjoy a mouth-watering multi-course Kaiseki dinner.
Overnight: Hakone (ryokan experience) | Lunch, Dinner
Mt Fuji sunrise & Kyoto
Hakone - Kyoto. There's an early start this morning but it's worth it as we watch a picturesque sunrise over Mount Fuji. Heading back to our ryokan, we enjoy a well-deserved breakfast and there's free time to enjoy another onsen bath before we head to the rail station and board our train to Kyoto.
After check-in, we head straight out again to enjoy a walk to see the UNESCO-listed Kiyomizu Dera Temple. We also wander down the narrow Pontocho Alley and enjoy an early evening picnic on the Kamo River.
Overnight: Kyoto | Breakfast, Dinner
Fushimi Inari Shrine, Geisha
This morning we visit the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is even more impressive in person than it is in the photos! We'll stroll through the red torii gates and have free time to see some of the smaller shrines in the area. Later, we enjoy tea with a real Geisha, and you can find out more about this ancient Japanese culture. There's free time in the early afternoon.
This evening we embrace a more modern Japanese tradition - cosplay karaoke! Join the fun and belt out a classic tune or hide at the back and make the most of unlimited drinks - it's up to you!
Overnight: Kyoto | Breakfast
Exploring historic Kyoto & Ninja Experience
A morning cycle ride through Kyoto should clear any bleary eyes from last night. Arriving at a Zen temple, we enjoy a tour of the site and a meditation class before climbing back on our bikes to visit two of Kyoto's main highlights. The lakeside Golden Pavilion of Kinkaku-ji is one of the most iconic landmarks in the entire country, and the Imperial Palace was the home of Japan's formidable emperors until 1869 when the seat of power moved to Tokyo. Today we also enjoy our included Ninja Experience, where you can have a go at throwing shuriken (ninja stars) and dress up as these ancient warriors!
This evening we have another chance to visit an informal izakaya bar, as we enjoy an included group dinner down iconic Pontocho Alley.
Overnight: Kyoto | Dinner
Kyoto to Hiroshima
Kyoto - Hiroshima. We check-out this morning and drop our bags at the train station. We will enjoy a cruise along the Hozugawa River to see Kyoto from a different angle - watch the traditional life of locals from the riverside. We also walk through the bamboo forests of Arashiyama and visit the 14th century Tenryuji Temple of Zen Buddhism. Then it's back to the station as we board a bullet train to Hiroshima. Check-in on arrival before your first evening in the city is at leisure.
Today we make the short trip to Miyajima Island, famous for the iconic red torii gate which appears to float on the water. We'll enjoy some included sea kayaking so you can get close to the gate, and we also enjoy panoramic views of the island as we ride the Miyajima Ropeway cable car to the top of Mount Misen.
Returning to Hiroshima, there's an included okonomiyaki dinner this evening. These savoury pancakes are topped with cabbage, meat, and seafood and are a speciality in the area.
Overnight: Hiroshima | Dinner
Hiroshima memorials & Osaka
Hiroshima - Osaka. This morning we take a sobering but important visit to the Peace Memorial Museum to learn more about the tragic events of 1945 when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated by atomic weapons.
After our visit, we take the train to Osaka. There's a short evening river cruise and we visit a local arcade before enjoying our final group meal of the tour. Sample traditional Takoyaki before we enjoy a few drinks on a craft beer crawl. The highlight is Craft Beer House Molto which boasts incredible views from its location on the 31st floor of the Hankyu Grand Building.
Overnight: Osaka | Dinner
Return to Tokyo
Hiroshima - Tokyo. You adventure leader will see you safely onto a train back to Tokyo this morning, and our tour arrangements end on arrival back in the city. If you would like us to arrange post-tour accommodation then we can do this on request for you.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates marked with a 'G' are guaranteed. All dates are guaranteed to operate when there are 2 persons booked on the tour. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, Tokyo
Located just a 5-minute walk from Shinjuku Station, this upscale hotel boasts modern and stylish decor throughout, with exceptional amenities and unparalleled service to provide guests with an unforgettable experience. Each room at the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku is beautifully appointed with elegant furnishings and thoughtful touches such as quality bedding, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Guests can indulge in a range of culinary delights at the hotel's on-site restaurant, which offers a mix of Japanese and Western cuisine to suit every taste. The hotel also boasts a stunning rooftop terrace bar, providing breathtaking views of Tokyo's skyline. Look out for Godzilla who watches over the hotel from the roof!
Hakone Pax Yoshino, Hakone
A hotel fusing the modern with the traditional, Hakone Pax Yoshino offers a ryokan experience, complete with indoor and outdoor onsen baths and traditional multi-course Kaiseki meals. Accommodation is in traditional ryokan style, and guests will sleep in futon beds on a tatami (straw) floor. Rooms are air-conditioned and come complete with Japanese yukata robes and green tea-making facilities. The majority of rooms are also equipped with a balcony or verandah. There is complimentary Wi-Fi in communal areas of the hotel.
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae, Kyoto
This modern and stylish hotel is located in the heart of Kyoto, just a few steps away from Kyoto Station. Well-appointed rooms are designed to provide guests with a comfortable and relaxing stay. Each room is equipped with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, an electric kettle, and an ensuite bathroom with bathtub and shower. The hotel's restaurant is Vietnamese-themed and the breakfast menu consists of Japanese, Western and Vietnamese options.
Sheraton Hotel Hiroshima, Hiroshima
Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel is a 1-minute walk from Hiroshima Station, the hotel is situated in a convenient location for sightseeing in Hiroshima, with excellent access to Miyajima and Hiroshima city, and a short drive away from both Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Castle. The hotel offers excellent facilities including an indoor pool, spa and fitness facilities along with multiple dining options. Its rooms are spacious with a contemporary design and many offer sweeping views of Hiroshima.
Cross Hotel, Osaka
The Cross Hotel is a smart hotel located on Dotombori, one of the most famous and lively streets in all of Japan, never mind Osaka. The hotel has been recently refurbished in a sleek, modern design, giving it something of a boutique feel. Rooms are well designed and generously sized. The hotel is well located near a plethora of restaurants and bars in the surrounding streets and the onsite Lime Restaurant serves a buffet lunch and breakfast.