"Tradition remains of paramount importance in Japan, but this is also the most high tech society in the world."

Touring in Japan

Tradition remains of paramount importance in Japan, but this is also the most high tech society in the world. Bullet trains hurtle across a landscape of cherry blossom and snow-capped mountains, geishas mingle with sharply dressed businessmen, and tranquil lotus ponds offer a moment for reflection in the shadow of neon-lit skyscrapers. Whatever you thought you knew about Japan is guaranteed to be turned on its head when you spend some time in this inimitably idiosyncratic country, and an escorted tour holiday is the perfect introduction.

Japanese cuisine is well known around the world, but even the most seasoned sushi aficionado may baulk at some of the things you’ll see on the menu. The best advice is to ignore your fears and dive right in, and that goes for all aspects of life in Japan. Sleep in a traditional ryokan, take a bath in a hot spring and immerse yourself in the rituals of a traditional tea ceremony. Shop till you drop in Tokyo’s buzzing Ginza and Akihabara districts, wander the atmospheric streets of Kyoto and take a moment to reflect on the sobering reality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is not just a country, it’s a full-on multi-sensory experience, unlike anywhere else on earth.

 

Touring Highlights of Japan

  • Japan is at its most picturesque in springtime, during the famous cherry blossom season when the landscape blooms pink.
  • The old ways of life still linger in Kyoto, home to hundreds of Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, tranquil gardens and some excellent traditional restaurants.
  • Tokyo is Japan’s hyper-futuristic capital, a mind boggling metropolis that simply can’t be missed. The sheer scale of the place is difficult to fathom, but an excellent public transport network makes exploring a doddle.
  • One of the highlights of a tour of Japan is the opportunity to stay in a ryokan, a traditional inn where guests sleep on futon beds laid out on tatami mats. This is an authentic Japanese experience, particularly popular in more traditional cities such as Kyoto.
  • Snow-capped Mount Fuji is one of the most recognisable symbols of Japan, though the climb to the top is not for the faint hearted. You may prefer to admire Fuji from a distance, but do be aware that the summit is often obscured by cloud.
  • Sumo wrestling is Japan’s national sport, an ancient form of combat that is wrapped up in ritual and tradition. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness sumo first hand, a truly fascinating spectacle.
  • A visit to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a sobering reminder of the colossal destructive power of the bombs dropped on Japan at the end of the Second World War, but it’s also an inspiring demonstration of the resilience of the human spirit.
  • Fans of Japanese food will relish the chance to sample the real deal when it comes to sushi, sashimi and a whole host of other, far more unusual delicacies.
  • Although less well known than Kyoto, the city of Kanazawa is one of Japan’s most important cultural centres, known for its beautiful castle garden and its samurai and geisha districts.
  • Hakone, an easy day trip from Tokyo, is the place to go for an authentic onsen experience, where you can enjoy bathing in hot springs against a mountain backdrop crowned by Mount Fuji.

Tour Types in Japan


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