Japan cultural small group vacation

“Just like Japan’s bullet train, this fully guided, small group trip zips around the country’s cultural cacophony smoothly, efficiently and at a very reasonable cost. ”


Tokyo | Hakone National Park | Stay in traditional ryokan inn | Hot spring baths | Kamakura | Bullet train journey | Kyoto

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06 Nov 2021
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12 Mar 2022
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28 May 2022
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18 Jun 2022
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22 Oct 2022
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05 Nov 2022
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Our top tip:
On your free day go to Hiroshima. Obliterated by the 1945 atomic bomb, its reconstruction into the merry metropolis that it is today represents Japan's post-war pacifism.
Trip type:
Small group, max 14 people.
Solo travelers have single room with NO surcharge, except in traditional accommodation.
Basic hotels plus two nights in traditional ryokan inns.
Tour guide, accomm., rail passes.
All breakfasts, one dinner included. Budget £3 for street food, £8-10 for dinner in modest restaurant.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

We keep our group tours to a maximum of 14 people for many good reasons. Firstly traveling in a small group makes it easy to take advantage of Japan’s excellent public transport system. Of course this is good for environmental reasons, but it also avoids that feeling of being in a “tour bus bubble”, cut off from local Japanese people that we’re sure you’re keen to meet!

Small groups also mean the tour leader can take you to some interesting restaurants and izakaya (Japanese-style pubs). (Please note only one evening meal in Kyoto is included, other meals suggested by the tour leader are optional.) Large groups only fit into big chain restaurants, but we’d much rather show you the interesting, independently owned places.

Japanese culture makes much of the changing of the seasons and the food you’ll eat on this trip is sure to reflect this. The tour leader will be sure to pick restaurants were the menu offers locally grown, seasonal specialities keeping those food miles down and introducing you to the best Japanese cuisine!

The Impacts of this Trip

Although 10 days is not a long time to spend in Japan, we really pack the cultural learning in to take you beneath the surface Japanese culture. This way you’ll get a great appreciation of the Japanese way of life in both urban areas and rural communities.

In Kyoto we’ll spend the evening with a local guide for a walking tour of the Gion geisha district. The English speaking guide will invite us for a closer look at Geisha culture, explaining the history and traditional arts (tea ceremony, fan dancing, Shamisen) that maiko (apprentice geisha) spend years mastering. These days there are only a handful of geisha working in Kyoto. And yet it is important that they continue in order to pass these traditional arts on to future Japanese generations. As we wander the streets of Gion at dusk, we may even be lucky enough to spot a real geisha scuttling between tea houses.


3 Reviews of Japan cultural small group vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 20 Mar 2018 by

We saw various places all of which were very interesting. There is not one particular place or experience that stands out over and above everything else. It was great to cover so much ground and there was a lot to do every day. Our tour leader was helpful and very knowledgeable. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

The entire trip was so awesome. Lots of exciting things to taste, see and experience. Great way to meet people who enjoy traveling as much as I do. Fantastic trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2016 by

Really enjoyed the variety of visiting different regions of Japan e.g. busy Tokyo, tranquil Hakone, beautiful Kyoto and Nara and Kamakura. Read full review

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