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The land of the rising sun is full of breathtaking natural landscapes, amazing historical landmarks, and polite, friendly people. Read the below for more information:
Small group tours
Group tours visiting during the best seasons to travel, spring and autumn with their displays of cherry blossom or autumn leaves.
Enjoy your own private tour with a mixture of transfers, sightseeing excursions, accommodation and transport all in one easy package. not bound by fixed departure dates.
These are tailor-made packages where we create your own individual package of accommodation and transport, plus any other extras you need.
Japan's capital and one of the most populous cities on Earth, Tokyo is a bustling place offering vast choices of shopping, entertainment, culture, and dining to visitors. Skyscrapers, hi-tech digital screens, and all the features of 21st-century life do not mean the loss of the past. Look a little deeper, and you will find old traditions and features from the past living side-by-side with the modern way of life.
Kyoto is the essence of old Japan. The city was the country's capital and residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868. Traditions are cherished here, and this is reflected in the buildings, shrines, and daily life of the old districts. Among its many famous buildings are Kiyomizu-dera, a magnificent wooden temple supported by pillars off the slope of a mountain, Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and Ryoan-ji, famous for its rock garden. Kyoto has a modern side as well, as a major city and educational centre.
Hakone is the mountain escape from city life in Tokyo, centred around Lake Ashi and the iconic Mt Fuji. Famous for its hot springs, many of its hotels and ryoken – traditional inns – have hot spring baths. Dominating the area is the snow-capped Mt Fuji, the dormant volcano that is such an iconic image of Japan.
The city's compact size and layout means that it is easily explored by foot. Nicknamed "Little Kyoto" the town's wealth of museums, galleries, shrines, and temples provide plenty of things to do and see. The beautifully preserved Sanmachi Suji district is lined with old wooden merchants' houses and shops.
Although not as well-known as Kyoto, Kanazawa is certainly a match for it in its evocation of old Japan. Best known for the beautiful Kenroku-en Garden, dating from the 17th century and regarded as one of the three most beautiful in Japan, it also has well-preserved samurai and geisha districts. In addition, there is a wealth of museums and shrines to explore.
The name of Hiroshima is today linked to the dropping of the world's first atomic bomb in 1945. The Peace Memorial Park is a reminder of that day and it promotes a message of peace. It is also the jumping-off point for Miyajima Island, home to one of Japan's iconic images – that of the vermillion-red torii gate that seems to float on the sea at high tide.
Mt Koya is the centre of the Shingon Buddhist sect that was introduced to Japan in the 9th century. The temple was constructed by the sect's founder, and his mausoleum forms the centre of numerous temples and shrines on the mountain. It is also one of the best places to experience an overnight stay at a temple lodging, where you can experience a monk's lifestyle, eating vegetarian food, and attending prayers.
Japan's first permanent capital, Nara, is historically important, not least for its many Buddhist shrines as the place where Buddhism first flourished. Chief among these is Todai-ji, a vast wooden building that houses the great bronze Buddha and presides over the park filled with tame deer. Known as the "cradle of Japanese arts and crafts" the town is peacefully set among scenic woodland.
Osaka is Japan's third largest city, and the birthplace of traditional kabuki theatre. Today it is a vibrant city known for its cuisine. The reconstructed Osaka Castle forms the centrepiece. Exciting shopping and nightlife districts include the Dotonbori district with its gaudy neon signs, Den Den town and Umeda.
Nagano is high in the mountainous Japanese Alps. Reliable snowfall makes this a popular ski resort in winter. Nagano City is built around the ancient Zenkoji Temple, one of Japan's most popular. Nearby Yudanaka is home to the snow monkey park where visitors can see the monkeys bathing in the warm hot springs.
Kyushu is the southern of Japan's main islands, verdant with lush green subtropical vegetation. Volcanic activity can be seen in the active Mt Aso and the many hot springs, which supply Japan's best onsen or hot spring baths, of which the best is Beppu. There is also much history, scenery and landscapes to be explored.
One of Japan's UNESCO World Heritage sites, the villages lie high in the remote mountains and are famous for their traditional 'gassho-zukuri' houses - wooden houses with steeply-pitched thatched roofs designed to deal with the heavy winter snowfall.
Okinawa Island is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands that lie in an arc off the southern coast of Japan's main islands. With white sandy beaches, clear waters and its own unique culture, it makes an ideal relaxation destination at the end of a tour of Japan.
Lying halfway between Okinawa and Japan, Ishigaki is Japan's southernmost city. The island has a beautiful coastline with magnificent beaches and excellent hiking trails in the island's centre. Nearby Taketomi Island, although only a short 15-minute ferry ride, is a world away and a microcosm of traditional culture.
Kyoto's shrines and temples have beautiful gardens. One of the most famous is the Zen garden at the Daitoku-ji Temple. You can have a special tour of this and the best of the gardens suitable for the season, whether it be spring or autumn or other seasons to see the plants of each at their best.