Adventure Tours   >   Asia Adventure Tours   >  Iconic Japan

Iconic Japan Adventure Tour

Asia

  • Japan

In Japan, tradition and modernity are celebrated side-by-side in ways that often appear contradictory. Immerse yourself in this intriguing culture, beginning in sprawling Tokyo, one of the world's most innovative cities. Then head by rail into the countryside to visit traditional villages and tranquil shrines. Explore quaint geisha districts and inspiring gardens; savour the fresh flavours of Japanese cuisine; and get a glimpse of the ancient soul of this fascinating, futuristic country.


Itinerary Notes  

There are new Health & Safety Protocols for National Geographic Journeys tours. Please see here for full details and up-to-date requirements as they may change.


Joining Instructions  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

To get to Gracery Shinjuku Hotel:

*Please note, while we intend to use this accommodation as the starting point for your tour, on occasions due to availability, we will use alternative accommodation of a similar standard. Please refer to your tour voucher for your confirmed starting point.*

On Foot A 5-minute walk from JR Shinjuku station ( East exit )

From Haneda Airport
By train :Take the Keihin Express to Shinagawa Station. Change to the JR Yamanote line and get off at Shinjuku Station -East exit (approx. 50 minutes).
By limousine bus: Take the limousine bus to Shinjuku Station - West Exit or Busta (Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal) (approx. 60~85 minutes) then take a taxi for 5 mins.

From Narita Airport
By train: Take Narita Skyliner to Nippori Station. Change to the JR Yamanote line and get off at Shinjuku Station (approx. 60 minutes).
By limousine bus :Take the limousine bus to Shinjuku Station - West Exit or Busta (Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal) (approx. 120~150 minutes) then take a taxi for 5 mins.


If you have booked an arrival shuttle bus service with us:
Our driver will be waiting for you with a sign with the transfer company name "GREEN TOMATO" on it outside of the luggage hall.
Emergency Phone number : +81 50-1745-7272

Transfer time from Narita airport to the hotel is approx. 2 hours, and from Haneda airport is approx. 1.5 hours, depending on the number of stops and current traffic conditions.

Luggage restrictions on the included shuttle bus:

Maximum 2 suitcases or boxes per person are allowed to be accommodated except below items:
- Ski equipment
- Golf set
- Snowboard


Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day.

Upon arrival to your Joining Hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon), look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don't see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


Travel Insurance  

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Minimum Age  

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


Important Notes  

1. Tattoos
Tattoos are not common or widely accepted in Japan. There is no cause for concern, but do your best to cover your tattoos when possible and note that you may not be permitted to enter public spas or onsens (hot springs).

2. Rail Pass
Please note that only foreigners traveling as a tourist are able to use a Japan Rail Pass. If you are a Japanese citizen/resident or traveling on a student/business/military/diplomatic visa, please advise us at time of booking as you will not be able to take advantage of the rail pass.

3. Tokyo Included Activities
On some departures of this tour the activities on Days 2 and 3 will be swapped.

4. Luggage size restriction - Effective from May 2020 onwards
All G Adventures tours in Japan use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size. Any luggage brought on board the train must be less than 160cm in total. This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments.

As this tour includes city-to-city luggage transfers, this restriction affects your carry-on luggage on board the train.

5. ACCOMMODATION NOTE:
Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.


Group Size Notes  

Max 15, avg 12


Finishing Point Instructions  

Please note that your tour will finish in Kyoto. You have a few options below for travelling to one of the international airports in the area.

Direction from Oakwood Hotel Kyoto Oike

The nearest subway station is Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae station (approximately 2 mins on foot) or Karasuma Oike station (approximately 6 mins on foot).

To Kyoto station:

Take a subway (Tozai Line) for Uzumasa Tenjingawa, get off at Karasuma Oike station. It takes about 2 mins to get there. From Karasuma Oike station, take a subway (Karasuma Line) for Takeda or Shin Tanabe to Kyoto station. It takes about 6 mins to get there.

From Kyoto station to Kansai International Airport

You can access the airport by train or airport limousine bus at your convenience.

By Train - Take Limited Express Haruka takes about 80 mins ride. The train ticket fee is 3230~ 3630 JPY/per pax(depends on the seasonality)There is no transfer required till Kansai Airport.

By Airport Limousine Bus - From Kyoto station Hachijo-guchi to Kansai Airport about 90-100mins ride. The bus fee is 2600 JPY / per pax. The bus tickets can be purchased at the bus ticket service (1F in Kyoto Avanti)

From the hotel to Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport) :

Take Airport Limousine Bus from Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae bus stop (In front of Hotel Okura Kyoto) to Itami Airport. It takes about 60-75 mins, 1,340JPY/per pax. The bus tickets can be purchased in the bus.


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Max Pax  

15


What's Included  

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Tsukiji Sushi Experience, Tokyo
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Zen Buddhist Meditation and Calligraphy, Kyoto
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kembu Masters, Kyoto
Your Hands-On Moment: Chopstick and Gold Leaf Painting Experience, Kanazawa. Tour of Tokyo including Meiji Jingu Shrine and Asakusa and Harajuku districts. Walking tour of Tsumago Village and countryside. Kaiseki dinner. Visit Kanazawa samurai and geisha districts. Visit Nomura Family Samurai Residence and Myoryuji Ninja Temple. Visit Himeji Castle. Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Excursion to Miyajima Island. Zen meditation experience. Tour Kyoto and Nara including Fushimi Inari, Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Jan - Sep). Visit Gion Geisha district. Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Group Leader Description  

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.


Meals Included  

11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner


About Accommodation  

A mix of Western style hotels (10 nights) and Japanese traditional inns (1 nights).

Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, most Japanese hotels do not have designating non smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deoderize rooms before check in.


Departure Tax  

Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Highlights  

Explore the modern and traditional sides of Japan, Relax at a traditional Inn, Ride a ferry to Miyajima to see the famous floating torii, Learn the art of meditation from a local monk


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Solo Travellers  

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Accommodation  

Hotels (10 nts), traditional Inn (1 nt, shared facilities).


Packing List  

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Snow Boots
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Warm waterproof jacket

Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Toiletries (required) (Shampoo, bodywash, soap, etc.)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Swimwear
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test

Smart Dress:
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Note: During the colder months (Nov-Apr) the mountains can be very cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes. During summer (Jun-Sep) temperatures be very hot and humid. Lightweight breathable clothing is recommended.


Laundry  

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels but this is very expensive. Your leader can show you self service coin laundries in larger cities. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.


Detailed Trip Notes  

Travel in Japan is easy, clean, fast and efficient, however please be aware that English is still not widely spoken, however a lot of patience, a sense of humour and a respect for the local culture goes a long way in any Asian country and will greatly enrich your experience.


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


What to Take  

It's essential to pack as lightly as possible for rail travel in Japan. All G Adventures tours use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size.

Any luggage brought on board the train must be less than 160cm in total (calculated as the sum of the height + width + depth of your luggage). This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments. As this tour includes city-to-city luggage transfers, this restriction only affects your carry-on luggage on board the train.

This tour includes a city-to-city luggage transfer service known as "takuhaibin” in Japan, so you will not have to worry about carrying your large luggage on and off trains as we travel. Please note that you will not have access to your bags during the transfers from city to city, and will not be reunited with your large luggage until the following day. On these days, we recommend using an overnight bag (under 160cm in total) for anything you may need, including valuables.


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Health  

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical information pertaining to the country you are travelling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the CEO, they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.


Local Dress  

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples, mosques or other holy sites.


Transport  

Bullet train, express train, local train, ferry, metro, taxi, public bus, walking.


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change or flight cancellation within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, please call the emergency contact number to advise of your new arrival flight information. If you do not, we will not be able to rearrange your arrival transfer and you will need to make your own way to the starting hotel at your own expense. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

Arrival transfer representative: +81 50-1745-7272
(this is only for travelers who book arrival transfer through G )

G Adventures Local Office (Japan)
During office hours, Mon-Fri (Excluding national holidays) 9:00-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6823-2336 (2nd contact +81 80 6779 1851 or +81 70 9034-2336)
From within Japan: 1st contact 03-6823-2336 (2nd contact 080 6779 1851 or 070 9034 2336)

After office hours emergency number
Primary phone: +81 80 6779 1851 or +81 70 9034 2336 (from within Japan: 080 6779 1851 or 070 9034 2336)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


Optional Activities  

Tokyo
- Ginza Shopping (Free)
- Ueno Park Visit (Free)

Kanazawa
- Kanazawa Castle Visit (Free-320JPY per person)
- Kenroku-En Garden Visit (320JPY per person)


Trip Specific Safety  

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Meals  

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures knows that worldwide, local cuisines define the cultures. We think sampling regional delicacies are intrinsic to truly experiencing the country. We want you to be able to try foods according to your individual tastes, comforts, and budgets.

Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. At times, meals will be taken together as a group. Other times, your CEO will point you in the direction of several delicious options, and you will have free time to pick and choose at will. Often in Japan it is fun to get some snacks and beverages with the salarymen in the evenings at small restaurants, and other times it is fun to sit with a few friends at a sushi train.

Your CEO will always strive to cater for all dietary requirements/preferences, but please keep in mind that Vegetarianism/Veganism is very uncommon in Japan so this may mean a more limited selection for you.


Money Exchange  

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.

Every Post Office and 7-11 Convenience store has an ATM machine that accepts Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards. At times, Maestro/Master Card/Cirrus have been problematic at these machines, so please bring a back-up card.

Credit Cards should not be relied upon for purchases as they are not widely accepted, except in some restaurants and department stores. Money can be exchanged at Post Offices and some banks and hotels in major cities, however it can be a very slow process.


Tipping  

Tipping is not practiced in Japan. Leaving money at restaurants, in taxis etc will simply cause confusion!

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is highly appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person, per day can be used.


Rooming and "My Own Room" Exceptions  

Night 4 has a shared bathroom


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here

Day 1 Tokyo

Arrive at any time.

On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan's world famous transportation system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto's extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.

As well, there is a lot of walking on this trip, every day - please ensure you have an average level of fitness and can walk unaided for long periods of time. A good pair of walking shoes are highly recommended.

Please note: We will use a baggage transfer service, which is included in the cost of your tour, so you will not have to worry about carrying your bags on and off trains as we travel. As such, you will not have access to your bags during the transfers from city to city, and will not be reunited with your luggage until the following day. On these days, we recommend using an overnight bag for anything you may need, including valuables.

Luggage size restriction - Effective from May 2020 onwards
All G Adventures tours in Japan use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size. Any luggage brought on board the train must be less than 160cm in total. This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments.

As this tour includes city-to-city luggage transfers, this restriction affects your carry-on luggage on board the train.

Day 2 Tokyo

Spend the day exploring vibrant Tokyo-one of the world's most populous cities-by public transit. Experience the traditional side of the Japanese capital on a visit to the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife. We then get a glimpse of the city's quirky, modern side on a walk through Harajuku, a centre of Japanese pop culture and a great place to sit back and people watch.

In Harajuka we catch a glimpse of the pop culture phenomenon of Kawaii. Directly translated as "cute," this Japanese cultural movement is reflected through various avenues of entertainment, toys, personal style, attitude, and cuisine.

On some departures of this tour the activities on Days 2 and 3 will be swapped.

Please note that the new JR Pass validation policy asks travellers to come to the office counter to activate their JR Pass.

Day 3 Tokyo

This morning, set out to visit the Tsukiji fish and seafood outer market. Learn about Japan's massive fishing industry, and round off the experience with a sushi-making class. Learn how to identify the freshest fish, prepare, fillet, and present; then enjoy a taste of your tasty creations.

After your sushi lunch, take a stroll in Asakusa, the historic heart of Tokyo.

Opt to visit Ueno park and the museums, Akihabara for cutting edge electronics, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, walk the grounds of the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just stroll the streets, looking for the traditional life that still lies just under the modern surface.

Day 4 Tokyo/Tsumago

Depart Tokyo by train. Disembark at Nagiso and continue to a local minshuku, a traditional Japanese bed-and-breakfast, where we'll spend the night. Enjoy a walk through the countryside, passing lush farms and rice paddies into Tsumago, a protected cultural area dating to the Edo period. Explore the charming town, where motorized vehicles are prohibited on the main street during the day and phone lines and power cables hidden from view to preserve its traditional feel. Back at our minshuku, feast on a kaiseki meal-a ritualistic multi-course dinner emphasizing artful presentation and fresh ingredients.

Day 5 Tsumago/Kanazawa

Continue by train to the historic city of Kanazawa, the seat of the powerful Maeda clan during the Edo period. Venture to Nagamachi, the city's well-preserved samurai district located at the foot of Kanazawa Castle, and learn about the lifestyle of Japan's ancient, elite warrior class. We'll also visit the Nomura residence, the beautifully restored home of a wealthy samurai family, boasting a collection of antique heirlooms and a stunning garden.

Day 6 Kanazawa

Spend the day exploring Kanazawa. Visit the Myoryuji Temple-commonly known as the Ninja Temple-which doubled as a military outpost, and discover its many hidden defenses and escape routes. Take a walk through the Higashi Chaya geisha district and gain insights into geisha culture, viewing one of the district's traditional wooden houses. Then visit a local craft studio, where we'll learn about the city's time-honoured crafts and learn to paint chopsticks with gold leaf.

Day 7 Kanazawa/Hiroshima

Travel by bullet train to Hiroshima. Here, we'll pay a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, located in the heart of the city, which commemorates the tragic atomic bombings of 1945. Take your time to wander through the park, pausing at memorials dedicated to the victims of the attack, and visit the moving statue of Sadako Sasaki at the Children's Peace Monument, a reminder of the thousands of young lives lost as a result of the bombings.

The large Peace Park in the centre of the city is an extremely moving place dotted with memorials of those known to have been killed in the explosion and others who died as a result. A burning flame waits in the park to be extinguished when all nuclear weapons in the world have been destroyed.

Day 8 Hiroshima

Catch a ferry to Itsukushima Island, popularly known as Miyajima. Here, you'll find one of Japan's most beautiful and sacred temples, the 12th-century Itsukushima Shinto shrine. This UNESCO World Heritage site is built over the water, with a red torii or wooden gateway that appears to float at high tide. Spend the afternoon at leisure and explore on your own.

Day 9 Hiroshima/Kyoto

This morning, visit the World Heritage-listed Himeji Castle, widely considered Japan's most spectacular and best-preserved castle. The castle was completed in the early 17th century and features an elegant white facade with multiple wooden roofs. Later, we hop on a train to Kyoto, which served as Japan's imperial capital for more than a thousand years. Explore the city's stunning temples, shrines, and gardens at leisure. This afternoon, take a guided stroll through the lantern-lined streets of Gion, Kyoto's renowned geisha district.

As the Imperial capital, Kyoto is an essential part of any visit to Japan. Kyoto has some of the most magnificent temples in Japan which date back centuries. There are said to be 2,000 temples, shrines, palaces, museums and traditional gardens in Kyoto. Use your time to wander past huge wooden structures and multi-storied pagodas, all linked with famous walkways.

Day 10 Kyoto

This morning, we visit a local temple to learn about the history and practice of Zen Buddhism in Japan. Meet with a local monk for a lesson in Zen meditation and calligraphy; then head to the shimmering Kinkakuji, or “temple of the golden pavilion,” one of Kyoto's most magnificent sites. Later, we'll learn the basics of samurai etiquette and the practice of kembu, or traditional Japanese swordplay. Try your hand at this delicate art form, and witness a memorable performance by kembu masters.

Day 11 Kyoto

Venture to the breathtaking Fushimi Inari shrine just outside of Kyoto, dedicated to the Shinto god of rice. Walk under the temple's iconic red gates, where a scene from Memoirs of a Geisha was filmed. Spend the rest of the day discovering ancient Nara, the site of Japan's earliest capital. Visit the impressive Todaiji temple-home to the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world-and wander the walkways of Kasuga Taisha, one of Japan's most sacred Shinto shrines.

Day 12 Kyoto

Depart at any time.

For travellers flying out of Kansai International Airport (KIX), please find the public transit options below (please note that taxis can become quite expensive in the late hours)

1) By train - departing from Kyoto station, the limited express "Haruka" Train goes directly to the airport. The last train to the airport leaves Kyoto station at 20:30.
2) By bus - departing from Kyoto station, with several stops along the way. The last bus to the airport leaves Kyoto station at 22:10.

Timetable Reference: http://www.hyperdia.com

Details

Prices from: €5579.10

Duration: 12 Days

Service Level: Upgraded

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Physical Grading: 3 - Average

Trip Type: Small Group



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