Japan guided excursions in 2023 and 2024: which one is best for you?


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After a lot pandemic-induced social isolation, group excursions are going to be the method to journey in 2023. And it’s simply as nicely, as a result of we simply so occur to design the perfect Japan group excursions on the earth. Palms-down. 

For plenty of individuals, Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation spot, and which means you wish to get it completely properHowever how have you learnt what proper” is for you? There are such a lot of unbelievable locations, from the very northern tip of Hokkaido to the scattered islands of the south. There’s limitless fascinating culture, from conventional Buddhist temples to cutting-edge modern artwork. What’s extra, every season reveals the nation in a fully new mild. How do you select? 

Fortunately for you, we’ve spent the previous 22 years serving to individuals do exactly that. That is our at-a-glance information to every of our small group excursions, and who will love them. 

Nonetheless have questions on the finish? Simply email [email protected] and we’ll be glad to reply them. 

Smiling travelers stare at the camera from their bicycles on a cycling tour in Japan Unmasked
Kibutsuhiko Shrine, one of many stops on the Kibi Plains biking route

Japan Unmasked 

Combining Japan’s must-see locations with a couple of little surprises, Japan Unmasked is ideal for individuals who wish to journey at a brisk tempo and uncover as many only-in-Japan experiences as attainable – with out breaking the financial institution. You’ll soak up large names comparable to Tokyo and Kyoto and get pleasure from basic experiences comparable to hot-spring bathing and a standard ryokan keep — however you’ll additionally pattern some extra uncommon fare: sleeping at a temple lodging in Nagano; wandering the willow-lined canals of Kurashiki; biking throughout the Kibi Plains. You’ll have to be comfy with continuous motion and staying in fundamental (however comfy) lodginghowever if that sounds such as you, Japan Unmasked is a superb introduction to Japan at actually improbable value. 

Important data:

13 nights

From £3,310 GBP ($4,303 USD / $5,958 AUD)

Discover out extra about Japan Unmasked.

A multi-colored pirate ship cruises on Lake Ashi, with lush forests in the background
Cross Lake Ashi on a pirate ship

Tokaido Path 

If in case you have restricted time and price range however you wish to see the perfect of Japan, that is the one for you. Combining three basic “Golden Route” locations (Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone) with a little bit of off-road exploration at lesser-known Lake Biwa, this tour strikes quick and packs within the experiences. Get an in-depth introduction to Kyoto’s geisha district with a neighborhood knowledgeable, discover the beautiful environment of Mount Fuji, absorb the electrical buzz of Tokyo, then get off the overwhelmed path to go to an island temple unknown to most guests to Japan. Obtained greater than 10 days? Discover your “Japan toes” with an knowledgeable tour chief, then set off by yourself independent journey. We are able to even plan that for you too. 

Important data:

9 nights

From £2,260 GBP ($2,665 USD / $3,690 AUD)

Discover out extra about Tokaido Path.

The wooden structure of Ginkaku-ji temple contrasts against a backdrop of red autumn leaves in Kyoto
Ginkaku-ji temple in Kyoto

Hidden Japan 

If you wish to see a aspect of Japan that almost all guests zoom previous on the bullet prepare, Hidden Japan ought to be on the prime of your record. Although it dips into well-known cities comparable to Kyoto and Hiroshima, Hidden Japan focuses totally on rural or uncommon locations, such because the serene temple neighborhood of Mount Koya and the “artwork island” of Naoshima. This implies it’s super-popular with second-time guests who wish to dig a bit of deeper into Japan, however it’s additionally improbable for first-timers who aren’t fussed about ticking off “must-sees”. If you happen to do wish to spend extra time in Kyoto or Tokyo, it’s simply prolonged, too. If in case you have an adventurous spirit and a curiosity to see what Japan is like away from the glitz and glamour of the massive-name sights, you’re going to completely love Hidden Japan 

Important data:

12 nights

From £3,990 GBP ($5,187 USD / $7,182 AUD)

Discover out extra about Hidden Japan.

Cars transit in the famous Shibuya crossing, under the light of neon signs

J-Pop & Go 

J-Pop & Go is the tour for individuals who wish to expertise Japan “now”, with out ignoring Japan “then”. A crash-course in fashionable Japanese popular culture, it’ll immerse you in an eye-popping wonderland of manga, anime, neon sign-covered alleyways, loopy fashions and even crazier gadgetry — however it’ll additionally introduce you to Zen meditation on the temples of Kyoto, conventional life on the island of Miyajima, and exquisite surroundings surrounding Mount Fuji in Hakone. Although many J-Pop & Go travellers are card-carrying J-culture devotees, you don’t must know your Ghibli out of your Gundam Wing to get pleasure from this tour; the stability of youth tradition experiences with basic locations makes this an outstanding Japan introduction for curious individuals of all ages. 

Important data:

10 nights

From £2,900 GBP ($3,770 USD / $5,220 AUD)

Discover out extra about J-Pop & Go.

A canopy of cherry blossoms cover a stone bridge over a small canal in Kyoto's Gion district
Cherry blossoms in Kyoto

Japan Enchantment 

Japan Enchantment travellers are on the lookout for extra than simply cultural immersion — they’re on the lookout for an actual deal with. Assume champagne by the fireplace in Hakone, assembly an apprentice geisha in Kyoto, a luxurious kaiseki feast in Nikko, and deep-dive cultural experiences led by knowledgeable native guides in basic locations. That is the sort of tour the place you’ll by no means have to fret about catching a prepare as a result of your non-public bus might be ready at your door, and the place getting again to your plush resort room within the night is as thrilling as leaving it within the morning. In fact, a premium expertise means the next price ticket, and Japan Enchantment is for individuals who need to splash out — bubelief us, you gained’t remorse a penny. 

Important data:

14 nights

From £6,100 GBP ($7,930 USD / $10,980 AUD)

Discover out extra about Japan Enchantment.

Red bridge over river in Nikko, with red autumn colors in the forest
Nikko’s lovely Shinkyo Bridge

A Northern Soul 

Like Hidden Japan, A Northern Soul is the tour for individuals who wish to get actually off the overwhelmed observe. Whether or not you’ve been to Japan earlier than and wish to expertise one thing new, or you’re visiting for the first time and wish to keep away from the same old vacationer path — this can be a actual journey in a rugged, lovely, and endlessly beguiling a part of Japan. Anticipate unbelievable World Heritage Websites devoid of crowds, cosmopolitan cities the place foreigners are nonetheless a novelty, and rural cities thriving regardless of the devastation of the 2011 tsunami. You’ll have to be ready for traditional-style futons and restricted entry to Western meals, however the pay-off is an actual immersion in a aspect of Japan as-yet untouched by mass tourism, the place the surroundings is spectacular, the crowds are non-existent, and the welcomes unfailingly heat. 

Important data:

14 nights

From £5,640 GBP ($7,332 USD / $10,152 AUD)

Discover out extra about A Northern Soul.

Sea eagles perch atop the ice pack in Rausu harbour
Spot Steller’s sea eagles on a drift ice cruise from the harbour at Rausu

Winter Highlights 

In contrast to most of our itineraries, Winter Highlights attracts a really particular sort of particular person: outdoors-loving, animal-mad, and positively not averse to chilly fingers and toes! Heading north into snowy Hokkaido, this tour could have you recognizing Steller’s sea eagles from an icebreaker cruise, watching red-crowned cranes carry out their mating dance within the snow of Tsurui, and visiting the onsen-bathing “snow monkeys” within the mountains of Yudanaka. Although wildlife is the main target of the journey, there’s loads of tradition thrown in too — together with temple-hopping in Kyoto, and the unbelievable ice sculptures of the Sapporo Snow Competition. It might not appropriate for youths or sun-seekers, however past that, all it’s essential to get pleasure from Winter Highlights is a love of nature and a way of journey. 

Important data:

14 nights

From £4,500 GBP ($5,850 USD / $8,550 AUD)

Discover out extra about Winter Highlights.

Crowds walk toward the big red gate of Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest temple
Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple

Basic Japan 

If you happen to needed to encapsulate Japan — with all its contrasts and contradictions —  in a single two-week journey, Basic Japan can be it. In fact, you possibly can by no means do such a factor, however this tour’s good stability of rural and concrete, exercise and rest, historical past and modernity, is as tremendous an introduction to this advanced nation as we are able to think about. Distinction the frenetic power of Tokyo with leisurely hikes in idyllic Kamikochi, hop from izakaya events in Osaka to iconic Fuji views in Hakone, then spherical all of it off with a number of the world’s most opulent temples in storied Kyoto. First-timers, return guests, younger youngsters, solo travellers, older {couples}… We not often say {that a} tour has one thing for everybody, however on this case it’s true. 

Important data:

13 nights

From £4,840 GBP ($6,292 USD / $8,712 AUD)

Discover out extra about Basic Japan.

Young woman in kimono smiles at the camera with cherry blossoms behind her
Spring in Gion, Kyoto

Spring Class 

Japan’s cherry blossom is without doubt one of the world’s final journey experiences, and that is the last word cherry blossom tour. In fact, nature has its whims — Japan’s cherry bushes bloom at a barely totally different time yearly — however Spring Class provides you with the perfect probability of experiencing the sakura at its peak. Meaning visiting locations at totally different elevations, the place the cherry bushes bloom at totally different occasions, and touring a number of the most lovely landscaped gardens in Japan to see the blossoms at their most interesting. Itinerary-wise, you possibly can name it “Golden Route meets Better of the Japan Alps”, so that you’re assured a improbable introduction to the nation’s basic locations, too. If you happen to dream of visiting Japan at its most lovely and joyful, becoming a member of in picnics beneath the bushes and seeing basic locations towards a cover of pink, Spring Class is the tour for you. 

Important data:

13 nights

From £5,020 GBP ($6,526 USD / $9,036 AUD)

Discover out extra about Spring Class.

Western tourists copy the moves of a teacher when practicing Taiko drumming
Attempt your hand at conventional Taiko drumming

All-In Japan 

Overlook what you suppose you realize about all-inclusive holidays, as a result of All-In Japan is totally different. You would possibly name it the last word in curated journeyIt has all of the stress-busting advantages of a standard bundle tour, and but it additionally has the distinctive aptitude of an expertly designed and tailor-made journey. Each single expertise, each information, each resort and each meal is a spotlight, fastidiously chosen out of hundreds of attainable choices. The place different all-inclusive excursions would possibly hustle you to buffet restaurants and staged experiences, we’ll take you to specifically chosen eating places and have you ever participating in genuine, hands-on cultural workshops. The end result of our 20 years exploring Japan, this tour is for individuals who wish to sit again, hand the reins to the consultants, and discover out why that is our favorite nation on the earth. 

Important data:

12 nights

From £6,150 GBP ($7,995 USD / $11,070 AUD)

Discover out extra about All-In Japan.

A rice field on the Nakasendo Way hike between Magome and Tsumago
A stretch of the Nakasendo Manner hike between Magome and Tsumago

Strolling the Nakasendo and Past

Bookended by Tokyo and Kyoto, and likewise taking within the citadel metropolis of Matsumoto, Strolling the Nakasendo and Past is well-suited to solo people who wish to expertise some nice mountain climbing, however aren’t fairly able to go it alone. As a lot as we love Japan’s public transport, generally it’s price slowing down and savouring a quieter tempo, and this tour encapsulates that ‘gradual journey’ idea completely – supplying you with the chance to get a really feel for native communities across the Shin-Etsu Path space and alongside the Nakasendo Manner, whereas having fun with Japan’s spectacular surroundings up shut, slightly than from a Shinkansen window as you pace by on the prepare. Plus  we are able to’t stress this sufficient  mountain climbing + onsen adopted by ice-cold Asahi beer is one in every of life’s best pleasures. Be a part of us on tour and also you’ll quickly discover out why. 

Important data: 

11 nights 

From £2,500 GBP ($3,250 USD / $4,500 AUD) 

Discover out extra about Strolling the Nakasendo and Past. 

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