Small group escorted tour (maximum 12 travellers) – amazing colours.

Local knowledge is the key to the most rewarding travel experiences and this tour has been custom designed to offer you an amazing experience of Japan.  The tour traverses six prefectures of Japan to offer an impressive range of locations, landscape, cuisine, and experiences. Accommodation will include western style hotels and traditional ryokans (Japanese inns). Transportation in Japan will include private coaches, subways, local trains, and shinkansen (bullet trains).

This tour is for adults only and is especially suitable for the traveller with no Japanese language ability who is looking for a comprehensive introduction to this unique country.  The Japan tour will be coordinated and accompanied by an escort who will provide you with all the information you need to understand the culture and enjoy your trip. A detailed information booklet will provide information about locations visited and a background in aspects of Japanese history and culture.

DATES Meeting in Tokyo TBC
Finishing in Kyoto TBC
14 nights stay in Japan
Full escorted
Local transportation
Daily Breakfast
1 lunch
11 dinners
Admission fees for specified itinerary
Workshop and tours
2 local luggage transfers
Self-guided advice for free time
Support from your friendly tour leader
Pre-departure documents including detailed information booklet
Travel insurance
Meals admissions not specified in the itinerary


  • Tokyo cultural and modern icons
  • Tea experience at tranquil garden teahouse
  • Traditional ryokan stay with a dinner featuring an Aomori Nebuta Matsuri festival show and hot spring at Hoshino Resort Aomoriya
  • Private coach tour of autumn foliage in Hachimantai Towada National Park, Aomori
  • Historic town of Hiraizumi in Iwate
  • Traditional river boat ride through the dramatic natural scenery of Geibikei Gorge.
  • Paper making activity
  • UNESCO World Heritage Toshogu Shrine & autumn scenery in Nikko
  • A recreated Edo Village and movie set showcasing samurai, ninja, and geisha
  • Multi course banquet dinner at ryokan inn
  • One of Japan’s top 3 landscape gardens
  • Kanazawa old samurai residence and streets
  • Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage temples & shrines & gardens
  • Bamboo forest in Kyoto
  • Private dinner with a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha)

Additional information

twin shareTBC
single travellerTBC
Add flightTBC

Day 1: Meet in Tokyo

Meet your fellow travellers at a ‘welcome’ Japanese dinner.

Day 2: Tokyo

Visit the magnificent wooden buildings of Meiji Shrine, set in a tranquil forest adjacent to one of Tokyo’s busiest shopping areas.  Then moving on to exciting Shibuya, known for youth fashion and culture, you can see the famous Shibuya ‘scramble’ intersection before exploring your first incredible department store food hall and making your own selection for a casual lunch from the huge variety of tasty Japanese and foreign foods on sale.  After time to wander the shops, the tour will move on to Asakusa at the heart of the ‘shitamachi’ (low area) which retains an atmosphere of the past.  Asakusa is home to the ancient, vermillion coloured Sensō-ji, Tokyo’s oldest and perhaps most significant Buddhist temple.   You can enjoy wandering market style arcades of traditional Japanese souvenirs and crafts and find treasures in the world’s largest cookware market

Day 3: Tokyo

The third day in Tokyo will begin with a green tea service in a serene and beautiful private garden.  Then stroll through the modern architecture of upmarket Aoyama to bustling Harajuku for some crazy youth culture and characteristic shops.  The rest of the afternoon will be free for shopping or more sightseeing.  Dinner will be in the busy, night life area close to the hotel.

Day 4: Aomori

After heading north by train, there will be time to relax in a lovely hot spring, resort hotel before a traditional Japanese dinner with a floor show showcasing traditional festival music & dance, & the amazing Festival floats.

Day 5: Aomori

A half day sightseeing tour by private coach will take you into the heart of the Hachimantai Towada National Park to view the autumn colours of Oirase and Towada Lake.  Returning to the hotel there will be time to relax at the hotel again, bathe in the hot springs, or stroll through the grounds before a fabulous buffet dinner.

Day 6: Iwate

After transferring to Iwate prefecture by train, a private coach will continue the tour in the hillside, historic town of Haraizumi to view treasures and sites remaining from the 11th & 12th centuries, when this area prospered as the centre of the Tohoku region.  This night will be spent at a small, authentic Japanese inn in the small rural town of Geibikei.

Day 7: Iwate-Nikko

Start the day with a traditional, wooden river boat ride through the dramatic cliffs of Geibiki Gorge.  Shop for traditional paper products and try your hand at making Japanese paper. Then the tour will reconnect with the main train lines to transfer to the town of Nikko set at the entrance to Nikko National Park and offering scenic mountain autumn colours of landscapes, waterfalls, lakes, wild monkeys, hot springs, and hiking trails.

Day 8: Nikko-Kanazawa

Spend the morning at Edo Wonderland, a vibrant, Japanese history & culture theme park showcasing life in the Edo period and featuring ninja, samurai, and geisha performances.  In the afternoon, the magnificent buildings of UNESCO World heritage Toshogu Shrine will amaze you with their lavish and intricate decorative features. The shrine comprises more than 12 buildings set in the forest, including a 5-storey pagoda.

Day 9: Kanazawa

Travelling by private coach through the mountains of Nikko National Park there will be lots of opportunities to admire the landscape and view the autumn colours during the drive to a train station to board the bullet train for Kanazawa near the northern coast.

Day 10: Kanazawa

Travelling on a circular bus route you will visit a preserved tea district where you can visualize the secret lives of Japanese courtesans while wandering through a historic geisha house, visit a gold leaf museum, and shop for fabulous local products. Sightseeing will continue to see the castle park, amble through another one of the three most beautiful gardens of Japan, and view a small museum of traditional arts and crafts. In the afternoon the tour will go on to explore old samurai streets and a former residenceand view traditional silk painting.

Day 11: Kanazawa

This day you are free to relax, wander at will, or join an optional tour in the region.

Day 12: Kyoto

After transferring by train to the ancient capital of Kyoto, the afternoon will be spent in the riverside district of Arashiyama, home to the famous Sagano Bamboo Forest walk and the lovely garden of Tenryuji.

Day 13: Kyoto

In the morning, there will be a guided tour of Nijo Castle showcasing the beautiful interiors and the famous nightingale floors. Then it’s on to the bustling, narrow Nishiki food market street known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, and some free time to explore the traditional arcade shops.  In the afternoon walking through the ancient pathways of the Higashiyama area filled with characteristic buildings and traditional shops, will lead to the magnificent Kiyomizudera temple and views over Kyoto.  Heading down through the historic district of Gion might be rewarded with a glimpse of geisha or apprentice strolling the quiet back streets or making their way to an evening appointment.

Day 14: Kyoto

A tour by private coach will take you to see the unique raked garden of Daisen-in, the zen temple of Genko-an where the traditional architecture captures views of autumn colours and the play of light, and lastly to the famed golden pavilion of Kinkakuji.  The final night in Kyoto will be a perfect farewell dinner offering a traditional Japanese kaiseki meal with entertainment by an apprentice geisha.

Day 15: Tour finishes in Kyoto

Tour finishes after breakfast at the hotel in Kyoto. You can fly home from Osaka Kansai Airport or use the Japan Rail Pass to travel to other city. You will receive detailed information on how to access to your departure port.

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review
February 18, 2019

Hi Mitsue and Jenni,
Thank you both for putting together such a terrific trip! I loved my first visit to Japan and it certainly won’t be my last one. I can’t believe that we saw and experienced so much in such a short time. It was intense but it also had a good balance of free time.
Jenni, you are the best tour leader I have come across by a long way and you certainly went above and beyond yesterday when you helped me with my last bits of shopping. And, guess what! My big suitcase was only 19.4kg. I thought it would be more after all the last minute things that I just had to get. All the breakables got home safely and I look forward to using them.
Mitsue, I’m sure that you know already that Jenni is a wonderful tour leader and I want to add my praises to the list that I’m sure you have already. She is very organised but also very flexible and so we were all able to see and do things that we enjoyed. And I admire her energy and her tact and diplomacy in situations which could have been difficult. Nothing was too much trouble for her and she made sure that we all enjoyed our tour and I think that we all felt a lot more confident exploring a country where we couldn’t speak or write the language and where some of the food and customs were completely unfamiliar to us. I am amazed that we saw and experienced so much in such a short time.
I got home this morning and it’s taken a real effort to get used to life in Perth again. Possibly that’s because I didn’t sleep much on the plane so my brain’s not working very well. It seemed strange to be driving a car again – and I’m really missing those Japanese toilets, vbg.
Thank you again for one of the best holidays that I’ve ever had. I’m already thinking about when I can return to that amazing country.

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