Travelling from super-modern Tokyo, to villages, castles and temples that remain unchanged from the times of the Shogun and Samurai, this trip covers the very best of Japan.

Back to Japan Tours

Why We Love It

Visit the tranquil Miyajima Island

Observe the famous snow monkeys

Learn about Samurai in Kanazawa

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Day by day Itinerary

Simply Japan

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Day 1


Our trip starts in Japan’s action-packed capital city of Tokyo.

Day 2


We explore Tokyo on foot and using the metro system. The afternoon is free to explore other areas such as the trendy back streets of Harajuku or the skyscraper district of Shinjuku. (B)

Day 3


Today is a free day in Tokyo. Visiting beautiful Hakone National Park is a great way to spend the day, discovering the stunning views of Mount Fuji. Your tour leader will help with details of what to do. (B)

Day 4

Tokyo - Nagano

A train journey of just under three hours takes us to the pretty town of Matsumoto, flanked on each side by the Japanese Alps. The town’s 500-year-old castle is Japan’s oldest and features a moon viewing pavilion, a hidden floor for Samurai and various booby traps to aid its defence. (B)

Day 5


Travelling by train and private bus, we make our way to Jigokudani Onsen, home to Japan’s famous snow monkeys. Later, we head to our temple lodgings. Furnished with tatami mats, futons and paper walls we enjoy an authentic Japanese experience. The rooms are twins with shared toilet and bathing facilities. (B)

Day 6

Nagano - Kanazawa

Wake at sunrise to watch the monks performing their rituals. Later, we travel by train to Kanazawa. We wander around the atmospheric Samurai District, learning about how the warrior class lived and died. (B)

Day 7


Today is a free day to make the most of Kanazawa. A great option is to wander around the colourful stalls at the town’s Omicho market or visit a ‘chaya’, or teahouse, where guests are entertained by Geisha. (B)

Day 8

Kanazawa - Takayama

Travel to Takayama by train, a city that retains a traditional feel and is famous for its dark wooden merchants’ houses. There are several sake distilleries in the old town and we’ll try some of the city’s famous brew. We overnight in a family-run minshuku, sleeping in twin rooms with tatami mats, futon beds, shared bathroom facilities and meals cooked and served by the host family. (B)

Day 9

Takayama - Hiroshima

Today we journey by train to Hiroshima. Completely destroyed on 6 August 1945 by an atomic bomb, Hiroshima has risen from the ashes. We visit the moving Peace Memorial Park and museum on the site of the 1945
A-bomb hypocentre. (B)

Day 10


After breakfast, we take a ferry to Miyajima. As we arrive we get a great view of the floating torii gate, these red gates appear to float on the water. After exploring the island, we take the ferry back to Hiroshima. (B)

Day 11

Hiroshima - Kyoto

After breakfast, we journey by train to Kyoto. The imperial capital for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto has more than 2,000 temples and shrines. (B)

Day 12


After breakfast, we journey by train to Kyoto. The imperial capital for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto has more than 2,000 temples and shrines. (B)

Day 13

Kyoto - Osaka

The morning is free in Kyoto before travelling to Osaka. Arriving in Osaka, we’ll take a walk around the Namba area, where miles of covered arcades criss-crossed by canals open to charming back streets. (B)

Day 14


Our trip ends after breakfast in Osaka. (B)

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*Conditions apply: The offer is available for all bookings on small group adventures to Japan made between 01 August and 31 August 2019. We regret the offer cannot be applied retrospectively to existing bookings. The offer is applicable on any available departure date, and is available on the following trips: JS, QJS, JPH, JIF, CJA, WJP and CJH. Please quote “Japan Offer” when confirming your booking over the telephone to qualify for the offer. Alternatively type “Japan Offer” online when asked if you would like to enter a discount code when booking. The extra night is at the start of your trip in Tokyo or in Kyoto on a bed and breakfast single or twin room basis as required. A free transfer from the airport to your hotel is included in the offer. The sushi making will take place on your extra day, before the group trips begin. Details of the sushi making class will be sent to you by Explore approximately four weeks before your holiday begins. The offer can be used in conjunction with the Explore loyalty scheme and group discount offer (see website), but not with any other promotion. The offer is subject to availability and we reserve the right to withdraw it at any time.