Japan golden route vacation

“A very well priced 10 day self-guided tour of Japanís cultural and natural highlights, with added extra and expert guide to help get your head around Kyoto and Tokyo.”

Highlights

Tokyo | Kyoto | Guided tours in Tokyo and Kyoto | Hakone National Park | Night in traditional ryokan inn | Hot spring baths

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Take cash as ATMís are tricky and don't fear being robbed. Welcome to crime-free Japan. Now there's a USP.
Trip type:
Self-guided tour, but with guides at chosen spots.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Surcharge for single rooms.
Accomm:
Good standard hotel and 1 night in traditional ryokan inn.
Included:
Accomm., transfers, transport passes, tour guide 2 days.
Meals:
All breakfasts, 2 dinners included. Budget £3 for fast street food, £8-10 for unflashy dinner.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Japan golden route vacation

Environment

This trip makes use of Japan's excellent public transport system for environmental reasons, but also because it is fast, efficient and the most fun way to travel; all part of the Japanese experience!

You'll receive a pair of reusable chopsticks at the start of this trip to avoid the use of wooden disposable chopsticks. Thousands of disposable chopsticks are thrown away each year in Japan; usually after less than 10 minutes of use. The manufacture of disposable chopsticks results in huge deforestation in neighbouring countries such as China, and after use, thereís the problem of landfill and pollution from incineration.

We encourage all accommodation on this trip to reduce energy as part of our annual supplier survey. We provide clients with cards requesting hotel staff not to replace towels and linens, to save water, energy and reduce the use of potentially harmful detergents.

Japan is big on recycling so look out for separate bins in the accommodation and outside convenience stores.

Community

All the accommodation on this trip is Japanese owned and run, and in Hakone you'll experience the traditional way of doing things at a historic ryokan such as bathing in a hot spring bath, sleeping on futons, wearing slippers (not shoes!) and a light kimono around the building.

Dinner is included at the Hakone ryokan, a chance to eat seasonally, locally produced cuisine. Our Info-Pack contains details of local restaurants and craft shops for the other places on your itinerary.

In Tokyo and Kyoto you'll spend the day with Japanese guides who will give you the local lowdown on each city and really help you understand the culture and history of all the sights you see. For example many temples have legends attached; stories that youíd never get to know if you just wandered around by yourself. Why not ask the guides to teach you some Japanese etiquette tips, to show you how to write your name in Japanese or to recommend restaurants that you might be otherwise too scared to try; they can translate the menu for you and introduce you to new dishes.

Reviews of Japan golden route vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Knowing that I was actually in Japan! Always dreamed of going.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If you can, definitely go the self guided route. I was covering so much ground on a daily basis and it is so easy to get around. The people are very helpful too.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I believe so. I only used public transport throughout the vacations. Stayed in a family guest house and ate at family owned restaurants in areas such as Hakone.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It blew away all my expectations in all honesty. I will definitely be booking my next trip through Responsible Travel again. The question is where to next??

Reviewed on 25 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Staying in the traditional hotel ryokan with the onsen and experiencing the traditional dinner and breakfast. The fantastic rail network of shinkansen was fabulous.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The package was very well put together, but do not try and do it all. There is so much to see, do and learn that I would advise to try and do less but in more depth. The information in the pack was useful and relevant and up to date, with lots of good ideas and tips. There was a lot of information on culture, local custom and practice and places to see and visit and I would recommend anyone to make use of the information to plan their day. We found the mobile WIFI dongle that we got at the airport very good and we had constant access to google maps, email, phone etc as often the WiFi in hotels is weak.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we found all the hotels had 'green options' and locals were performing the various services that we had requested.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We would recommend everyone to use this vacation provider for a first trip to Japan as the package was very well put together and executed. Everything was right, correct and we did not have any single disappointment. All the transport arrangements, tickets and timings were perfect. The hotels were cleverly chosen to reflect the various different specialties of the area, and were of a high standard at a reasonable cost. We did not find any language barriers, and even the private tour guides had outstanding English. There was always someone to speak to from the company if you needed any further assistance or advice. We found their advice and planning resulted in us having the best vacation ever.

Reviewed on 11 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Two highlights - 1. taking a leisurely stroll from the 'Silver Temple' in Kyoto along the Philosopher's Walk where we met few others, totally peaceful and a
lovely escape from the sightseeing crowds of Kyoto. Collecting my 'stamps' along the way when we did a tiny part of the Kumano Kodo
2. Walking between small villages where the villagers nod gently then carry
on tending their smallholdings, then dipping into the shade of the forest for the next bit of the trek.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Use this tour operator to help you plan and guide you.....Tim made our trip so easy to navigate and we became increasingly confident using the the Shinkansen (bullet trains), local buses, trains and the subway and he had identified some great places to stop and explore so when time was tight we didn't 'dither' about what to explore.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We frequently used small local restaurants where the locals went to eat and chat therein supporting local business.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent and an experience we will remember for a long time.... we have told the Mume hotel in Kyoto ( super tiny hotel with 7 bedrooms and a fabulous
owner and staff ) we will come back!
Over 300 photos taken.... an indication of our enthusiasm to capture the glorious sights.

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


My visit to Japan has reset my stereotypical views of the Japanese people I am ashamed to say. My previous experience has been of the large groups that travel with tour operators all over the world and don't appear to interact with
'foreigners'. However, we found them to be so friendly, welcoming and
helpful even when not asked! This was such a lovely thing to experience and I feel an apology is due.

Aside from thisKyoto was wonderful and would have loved more time thereThe Shinkansen are such an amazing experience, quite easy to become a train spotter as witnessing their speed is spectacular

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Please use the public transport it is such an amazingly easy way to travel, seems daunting at first but will soon become second nature. Signs are in English, certainly in Kyoto, hakone and Tokyo. The equivalent to an Oyster card is amazing, can use on all the hundreds of vending machines and we emptied ours
at the 'family Mart' at our final destination buying a sandwich

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Certainly we used all local services and businesses. Entrance fees of course
continue to contribute to upkeep of historical sites

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Simply spectacular! So well organised, thorough guidance on itinerary and rail links, cannot fault it.

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Our time spent in Hakone. Despite not being able to see much due to a Typhoon the Gora Tensui was a fantastic Ryokan and great
place to relax in a storm.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Leverage the baggage transfer service. It made traveling on the train much simpler as we could forward our large bags and use
smaller suitcases for shorter 2 day stays.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes and taking the Shinkansen is a great way to travel.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent and good value for money

Reviewed on 19 May 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We enjoyed it all. The travel arrangements all worked perfectly. Hotels were fine. Amy at the tour operator was terrific.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


6 hour day tour of Tokyo was a bit stressful for seniors, in the amount of stairs and walking particularly between subways. The guide could have given us more options for traveling.
Two tour guides to Geisha district were poor and overly talkative The tour and experience was great. The two tour guides in Tokyo and daytime Kyoto were wonderful.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?



4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent

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