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13 daysDepart 07 Dec 2022Return 20 Dec 2022
Total $3,568.98
Not Available
69  x weekly from $51.72

Sushi, snow monkeys, and samurais

Tokyo, Japan

Think you know Japan? Think again. In fact, we bet you didn’t know that almost 70 per cent of Japan is covered in forest. Or that the Japanese invented no-melt ice-cream. This once-in-a-lifetime tour will show you the incredible diversity of this amazing island nation. You’ll spend 13 days, travelling from the world’s largest megacity (Tokyo), to ancient temples, bustling seafood markets, and the snow-capped mountains of Shiga Kogen National Park. You will explore Osaka, ride the bullet train, drink sake, and learn how to make sushi.  


  • 12 nights / 13 days accommodation (twin-share)
  • English speaking group leader & local guides 
  • Visit temples, shrines and castles as you deep dive into Japan’s rich and fascinating history
  • Get up close to the famous red-faced snow monkeys of Jigokudani
  • Cruise around Hakone by pirate ship and cable car, for outstanding views of Mount Fuji
  • Learn how to wield a samurai sword under the watchful eye of a Samurai descendant
  • Sleep in the company of monks in a 1000-year-old Buddhist temple
  • Please see itinerary for detailed day to day tour information. 

Travel Validity

Valid for Departures

  • 04 Jan 2022
  • 20 Jan 2022
  • 09 Feb 2022
  • 18 Feb 2022
  • 06 Mar 2022

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo

Kon’nichiwa and welcome to Tokyo. Today you’ll arrive at one of the world’s buzziest, most forward-thinking cities. Checking in to your hostel, you’ll then meet up with your travel crew and get excited for the adventures to come.


Day 2: Arrive in Tokyo temples, culture & tiny bars

Today is all about discovering all that Tokyo has in store. First up, we’ll pay a visit to one of the country’s oldest temples, Senso-ji Temple, before checking out the Meiji Shrine. Colourful, eclectic and fashion-forward Harajuku is up next before we brave the iconic Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest intersection. After dinner we’ll squeeze into one of the impossibly tiny bars in the district of Shinjuku. 


  • Breakfast.
Day 3: Sushi class & the electric city

The organised chaos of the vast and impressive Tsukiji Fish Market is first on the agenda. We’ll then meet up with a sushi master to try our hand at the art of sushi rolling, before venturing over to the futuristic sights and sounds of Akihabara. Known locally as the ‘Electric City’, it’s famous for its arcades, maid cafes, Japanese photo booths, and all things modern. 


  • Breakfast and lunch.
Day 4: Bullet train & sake tasting

Now’s your chance to experience Japan’s famous bullet train. Shooting out of Tokyo at over 320 km/h, we’ll reach Nagano just in time for a sake tasting, Japan’s national drink. Feeling decidedly buzzed after our visit to the local brewery, we’ll then settle into our Ryokan style hostel, where you’ll be sleeping on traditional tatami mats and Japanese style futon bedding. 


  • Breakfast.
Day 5: Snow monkeys

We’ll be venturing out into the mountains today to spot the region’s famous snow monkeys or Japanese Macaques. These red-faced troublemakers play amongst the trees in the summer months & warm by bathing in the natural hot springs once winter hits. Enjoying the fresh mountain air, we’ll then take our time exploring the gorgeous lakes and forests of the Shiga Kogen National Park. 


  • Breakfast.
Day 6: Nagano to Hakone

It’s back on board the bullet train this morning, this time bound for Hakone. Famed for hot springs, natural beauty, and (of course) Mount Fuji, we’ll check in to our fashionable hotel that comes complete with its very own onsen.


  • Breakfast.
Day 7: Exploring Hakone

You might not be walking the plank, but you will be exploring Hakone by pirate ship (and cable car) this morning, keeping eyes peeled for views of snow-capped Mount Fuji. We’ll then journey on to Osaka, and head straight out to explore the vibrant canal region of Dotonbori. Dinner will be on us, where we’ll fuel up for a night out, Osaka style.


  • Breakfast and dinner.
Day 8: Osaka Castle

This morning you’ll have time to yourself to chill and maybe squeeze in a spot of shopping before we head out as a group to visit the 400-year-old Osaka Castle. Looking like something straight out of a fairy tale you’ll struggle not to get house envy as we explore the grounds and hear stories of Japanese history and legends, including the country’s most famous warriors, the Samurai. 


  • Breakfast.
Day 9: Buddhist Temple stay

Ready for something extra special? Today we have just the thing - an overnight stay in a 1000-year-old Buddhist temple. Leaving Osaka behind we’ll travel to the mountains for the town of Koyasan, where we’ll be welcomed into the temple by the resident monks. They’ll teach us meditation, serve us their traditional foods, and lead us through a night-time stroll of Japan’s largest cemetery.


  • Breakfast and dinner.
Day 10: Koyasan & Kyoto

It’s an early start today, but well worth it to watch the Buddhist monks perform their morning prayer ritual and fire ceremony. We’ll then be served breakfast before travelling on to our final destination, Kyoto. After checking in to our boutique hostel, you’ll have time to yourself to explore Japan’s ancient capital. 


  • Breakfast.
Day 11: Bamboo forest & the Golden Pavilion

Green, lush and vibrant, the Insta-famous Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama is our first stop today. Photos snapped, we’ll then head to the luxurious Golden Pavilion, so named for being covered entirely in gold, before finishing our day in the district of Gion, best known for being the home of Japan’s beautiful and mysterious Geishas. 


  • Breakfast.
Day 12: Fushimi-Inari & samurai experience

Ending our trip on a high, today we’ll visit the famous Torii gates of Fushimi-Inari. One of Japan’s most iconic and photographed shrines, the orange gates stretch all the way up the mountainside. This afternoon, and perhaps saving the best till last, you’ll then learn how to wield a traditional samurai sword under the watchful eye of a sensei, a descendant of the Samurai. 


  • Breakfast and dinner.
Day 13: Depart Kyoto

Your unforgettable 13-day adventure comes to an end today. Those flying home will make their way to the airport, or keep living the dream and extend your stay in Kyoto or Japan with our help and the new friends you’ve made. 


  • Breakfast.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance 
  • Any applicable visas.
Terms and Conditions
  • All accommodation is twin, triple or quad share. private room upgrades are not available. 
  • Solo travellers will be accommodated in a twin share room with another passenger of the same gender.
  • Triple and quad share rooms apply as detailed above, due to unique traditional stays.