Gion geishas

14-day Japan tour

Classic Japan - with a sprinkle of extra fun!

Length

14 Days

Group size

4-12 travellers

Travel style

Explorer

Best of Japan

Trip highlights

Explore buzzing Tokyo

Tea ceremony in Kyoto

Foodie delights in Osaka

Marvellous Mount Fuji

The "Indico Travels" experience

Travel with others in their 30s and 40s

Stay in a temple with monks

Visit a bamboo forest

Night in a capsule hotel

Japan: a country whose food, culture, lifestyle we are aware of anecdotally - but what about diving into Japan to explore it for real?

For this 14-day fully guided itinerary, we have picked the absolute highlights the East Asian nation has to offer, and have sprinkled them with some quirky extras for you. Meet sumo wrestlers, sleep in a monastery and explore bright lights of Tokyo. Let your Japanese guide welcome you and other curious travellers in their 30s and 40s to taste, marvel and meditate your way through the Best of Japan!

Fushimi Inari
Temple water
Kyoto

Map

Itinerary

Motsunabe
Atago-Shrine Fukuoka
Fukuoka by night

Meals included: Dinner

After a journey accross the skies… Here you are! You collect your luggage and, once you've passed through the gates of Fukuoka's small airport, you head back to your hotel. Settle in, freshen up and set off on your very first excursion to the Land of the Rising Sun!

Fukuoka, located on the island of Kyushu, is the ideal city for a smooth arrival. Less sprawling and less chaotic than the rest of the archipelago, you can immerse yourself in Japanese life with ease, accompanied by your guide on a stroll along the banks of the Naka River.

Genbaku Domu in Hiroshima
guide
Peace Park in Hiroshima

Riding the Shinkansen, a futuristic train

Atomic Bomb Dome

Peace Park Memorial

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Transportation: Train (2:00h), By Foot (2:00h)

After a good night's sleep, you explore the streets of Fukuoka. It's through this warm atmosphere, these smells and colours that you really begin to immerse yourself in the local Japanese life.

And that's just for starters! At lunchtime, you board one of the world's fastest train, the Shinkansen. One bento (traditional travel meal) later, you arrive in Hiroshima.

You may be surprised by the calm and serenity of the city: what you have in mind, as we all do, is the fateful event that befell Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. Little Boy, the first atomic bomb in history, exploded right above the building now known as the Genbaku Domu (Atomic Bomb Dome).

In an atmosphere of emotion and remembrance, but also of hope for the future, you stroll through the Peace Memorial Museum.

Note: In Japan, check-in at the hotel always starts at 3pm. You will still leave your luggage at the hotel and settle in as soon as you return from our walk, in the late afternoon.

Floating Torii in Miyajima
Ausblick von Berg Misen
Deer in Miyajima

Climb Mount Misen

Floating Torii

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Transportation: Train (1:00h), By Foot (3:00h), Boat (1:00h)

This morning, you head for the port of Miyajima-guchi, where you will embark for the island of Miyajima. As soon as you arrive, you will be approached by curious deer. You can stroke them without fear, as they are used to visitors. However, these friendly, inquisitive but above all greedy beasts will not hesitate to steal whatever food you may have… Be careful with your cakes!

You begin this excursion with a visit to the Itsukushima Shinto shrine and its floating torii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, like many Japanese on pilgrimage, you'll take the mystical ascent of Mount Misen… by cable car! Enjoy the view from the highest point in the land of the deer.

It's getting late now, so you return to the ferry and head back to Hiroshima for a well-deserved meal in an izakaya, a typical Japanese bistro. In this convivial atmosphere, you can't fail to notice the businessmen relaxing after a long day's work. If you like beer, now's the time! Too classic you say? How about a little shochu?

Todaiji
Deer in Nara
Bouddha in Todaiji

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, you set off for Nara. If you were already beginning to miss the little Miyajima deer frolicking around, you'll find their cousins here, just as eager for attention (and treats!). But you're not here (just) for the deer.

You've come to discover the Todaiji, the Great Temple of the East, founded in the 8th century. You can't help but be enchanted by this very special city as you head for the Yoshikien, where you will get to enjoy three types of traditional Japanese gardens in one spot.

After this visit, you are back on the road to a land that is truly unknown to the general public and even to most seasoned backpackers. Mount Shigi is a hidden gem located near the city of Nara, a sacred hill home to several Buddhist temples. The perfect place to sleep after a spiritual pilgrimage, wouldn't you agree? After you marvel at the sight of the Chogosonshi-ji, you prepare for an evening with the monks, who prepared a traditional vegetarian shojin ryori meal just for you.

Tsutenkaku Tower in Osaka
Short stop in Dotonbori, Osaka
Osaka Castle

Tsutenkaku Tower in the Shinsekai district

Osaka castle

Stroll through Dotonbori

Umeda Sky building

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Transportation: Subway (1:00h), By Foot (3:00h)

Last night, you were lucky enough to catch an intimate glimpse of Japan. But this afternoon, it's on to the modern world as you set off for Osaka! As soon as you take your first steps into the heart of the city, you'll feel the city's more open-minded atmosphere and quickly understand why Osaka is known for its eccentricity!

You arrive in the Shinsekai district and see Osaka's ‘Eiffel Tower’, the Tsutenkaku Tower, peeking out from between the narrow, bustling streets. You then head for the Namba district and then Dotonbori street, before taking a diversion to the Namba Yasaka shrine, whose lion's mouth façade is unique in Japan.

For lunch, dare to try Osaka's speciality, takoyaki, crispy pastry balls filled with octopus!

In the afternoon, you'll discover the historic role Osaka has played throughout the Japanese eras with a visit to Osaka Castle. A true symbol of prestige for the locals, you can admire its façade, both aesthetic and defensive.

Umeda Sky Building 5
Burg Osaka
Universal Studios Japan

Meals included: Breakfast

Transportation: Train (1:30h)

Today you have the choice between a free day in Osaka (you can go to Umeda and look at the bustling city with impressive buildings and get some shopping done) or a thrilling journey to Universal Studio Japan (which has the Nintendo theme park included) for an additional cost.

Kinkakuji Tempel
Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Gion geisha

Gion district

Kinkakuji the Golden Pavillon

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Transportation: Public Bus (2:00h)

Impatient to discover the beating heart of a thousand-year-old Japan, you set off for a marvel of heritage: the aptly named Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku-ji.

You could spend hours admiring its splendour, but the Arashiyama district with its bamboo garden is already calling your name.

This afternoon, you will explore the Gion district, known throughout the country for its Geishas (or Geiko, as the locals say). If you're lucky, you might come across one of the 250 women living in Kyoto. Whatever the case, you'll discover the tranquillity inherent in machiya houses, the city's traditional architecture.

Philosophenweg
Kyoto Museum of traditional crafts
Ein schöner Laden in Kyoto

Meals included: Breakfast

You've only been visiting Kyoto for two days, and you're already feeling at home: you're used to the Japanese routine that surrounds you. Yet you can't help but marvel at the immense Japanese castle of Nijo-jo.

The philosophers' path in the north-east of Kyoto with the Ginkaku-ji is a very nice method of calming down and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, that is unique to Kyoto.

For a more pop-cultural option, you can visit the Kyoto Manga museum, where you can see the evolution of the Japanese comic market.

Fushimi Inari
Der Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha

Walk under the Torii of Fushimi Inari Shrine

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Transportation: Train (1:00h)

Just out of bed, you're on your way to Fushimi Inari. You couldn't leave Kyoto without seeing the 10,000 torii! The fact that you're up early this morning means you can enjoy the magic of this place without the crowds of tourists about to take over. For around two hours, you wander through the mystical gates among the trees and beings of the forest.

Already you're back on the road. With the ancient capital at your back, you take a country train into the surrounding mountains. You watch the landscape go by, as you're on your way to Japans biggest mountain.

Fuji-crazy
Fuji San
Fuji cookie

Mount Fuji, the Sacred Mountain of Japan

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Transportation: Private Bus (5:00h)

You're on your way to meet a fundamental symbol of Japanese culture. Today, like Hokusai and so many others, you feel small. Today, you are admiring Mount Fuji.

Take a 30-minute walk to the Mount Koyodai observatory for a complete view of the mountain. Let's hope the weather holds out, as Mount Fuji is pretty shy.

You'll then make a diversion to Oishi Park, where you can admire Mount Fuji from a different point of view and Lake Kawaguchi amidst the plants.

After the relaxation outside the big cities, it's time to make our way onto Japans bustling capital.

Shibuya Tokyo
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Meiji Jingu

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Meiji Jingu Shrine in the heart of Yoyogi Park

Walk in the trendy district Harajuku

Shibuya district

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

You've seen Japan with its small and medium-sized towns, its countryside, its nature and its traditional elegance. But this morning, as you step out into the street, you sense that this place is different. Tokyo, a sprawling megalopolis with a population of nearly 14,000,000, is opening its doors to you. Today, you are lost in the roar of its thousands of streets.

At the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, you try in vain to find a limit to this ocean of concrete. But once you arrive in Shibuya, you realise that despite the dizzying density of the capital, the flow is peaceful.

This feeling is confirmed as you pass through Yoyogi Park. That's what Tokyo is all about: wide open spaces. You are now heading towards the Meiji Jingu complex, a shrine dedicated to the emperor of the same name, the first ruler of modern Japan.

However, another emblematic district remains on your list for the day: Harajuku, renowned for its colourful urban art.

Sensoji
Akihabara
Maid Café in Tokyo

Walk in the traditional district Asakusa

Akihabara district

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

You stroll through the peaceful streets of Asakusa, the old quarter of the eastern capital. The shrines and wooden houses could almost remind you of Kyoto.

But a few metro stops further on, you're plunged into the multicoloured hive of the electric city, Akihabara. After these two weeks, the extreme polarity of Japan no longer holds any secrets for you. You'll understand the perfect balance, the complementarity of skyscrapers with a thousand signs and Zen temples with a thousand lanterns.

Ville de Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo
Karaoke

Explore the Metropolis on your own

Karaoke night in Tokyo

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Because this is your journey, and these last moments are unique, you take advantage of a free day in the capital. You can grab a rice dumpling from the local konbini and eat it on the road, or sit back and relax in the little restaurant you spotted the day before. Either way, once you've had your fill, you're spoilt for choice: the Edo-Tokyo museum, the wacky cat, owl or even snake bars, and the city's Korean quarter are all open to you… If that's not quite your cup of tea, perhaps you'll do a bit of shopping in the Ginza district?

Flight

It's your last morning in Japan. If you'd like to stay in Tokyo for longer, we can help arrange accommodation for you. Arigato - thank you - for the shared adventure and have a safe journey home!

Dates & Prices

Start date

End date

Info

Availability

Price

5

Jun

2024

18

Jun

2024

Full

From

USD 3,400

5

Jun

2024

18

Jun

2024

Full

From

USD 3,400

28

Oct

2024

10

Nov

2024

Available

From

USD 3,400

28

Oct

2024

10

Nov

2024

Available

From

USD 3,400

15

Nov

2024

28

Nov

2024

Available

From

USD 3,400

15

Nov

2024

28

Nov

2024

Available

From

USD 3,400

12

Aug

2025

25

Aug

2025

Available

From

USD 3,400

12

Aug

2025

25

Aug

2025

Available

From

USD 3,400

13

Sep

2025

26

Sep

2025

Full

From

USD 3,400

13

Sep

2025

26

Sep

2025

Full

From

USD 3,400

1

Nov

2025

14

Nov

2025

Available

From

USD 3,400

1

Nov

2025

14

Nov

2025

Available

From

USD 3,400

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

Info

Single Room Upgrade

The trip includes accommodation in a shared twin room. Treat yourself to a private single room for USD 509!

What's included

All listed activities & entrance fees (except those highlighted as optional)

Daily breakfast, as well as meals marked as "included" in the daily itinerary

Tour guide throughout (English speaking)

Accommodation in a shared twin room

Single room available for an additional fee, depending on availability

What's not included

International flights (please only book after we've confirmed the departure)

Airport transfers (can be booked separately)

Insurances policies

FAQs

As a tour operator, we are not allowed to give specific vaccination recommendations for liability reasons. We strongly recommend that you consult your local doctor or, even better, a qualified doctor specialized in tropical diseases in good time before your trip. Here are some relevant links for residents of several countries: UK: Gov.uk, USA: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Germany: Auswärtiges Amt.

Please note that for our Colombia tour, a yellow fever vaccination is not mandatory.

As soon as we have confirmed that the minimum number of participants for your trip has been reached and the trip is therefore guaranteed to take place, you can book your flights. The trip will be confirmed or cancelled at least 45 days before departure. We will be happy to give you tips on booking flights! By the way: it is in our interest to fill the trips as soon as possible, so we do our best to confirm them as soon as possible.

A trip is guaranteed to take place when the minimum number of participants has been reached. If you have already booked before the minimum number of participants has been reached, we will let you know, so you can book your flights. We will confirm or cancel the trip no later than 45 days before the scheduled departure date. If a trip has to be cancelled unexpectedly, you will of course receive a 100% refund of your deposit or any other payments made.

We can arrange an optional airport pick-up for you for a fee (just ask us when you’ve booked your tour), and we will also be providing detailed information on how to get to the hotel by public transport, as most people will. Osaka is a popular tourist destination and the journey into town from the airport by train is a common route for international travellers to take! At the end of the tour, we’ll also be very happy to give you instructions on how to get to the airport in Tokyo, or can arrange a transfer for a fee. Just ask!

We are an English speaking company based in Berlin. Our tours are led in English and co-travellers are international English speakers.

You may cancel your place on our tours at any time. If you have booked our Flexi fare, you can cancel for free up to 65 days before your departure. You may also choose to rebook to a different date or tour, which costs 50 Euro, if no other irredeemable costs have been incurred by us.

a) General cancellation fees (as a percentage of the booking price):

For bookings in the CLASSIC fare:

  • up to 65 days before departure 20%
  • from the 64th to the 30th day before departure 25%
  • from the 29th to the 15th day before departure 45%
  • from the 14th to the 7th day before departure 60%
  • from the 6th day before departure 80%
  • on the day of departure and in case of no-show 90%

For bookings in the FLEXI fare

  • up to 65 days before departure 0%
  • from the 64th to the 30th day before departure 20%
  • after 29 days before departure, cancellation fees are identical to those in the CLASSIC fare

Indico Travels reserves the right to claim a higher, specifically calculated compensation instead of the above cancellation flat rates if Ventura can prove that significantly higher expenses were incurred than the applicable cancellation flat rate.

For more information on our cancellation policy, you can have a look at our Terms & Conditions.

Best of Japan
Explorer

From

USD 3,400




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