Japan cultural immersion vacation

“A two week Japan cultural vacation that is as much about hands on experiences as it is about place. From cooking to canoeing, immerse yourself in real Japan in Tokyo, Kyoto and Matsumoto. A small group tour. ”


Tokyo | Sumo tournament | Nagano | Sushi making | Canoe trip on Lake Hokuryuko | Matsumoto | Kyoto | Audience with trainee geisha | Roketsu cloth-dyeing experience | Stay at traditional ryokan inn

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12 May 2019
excluding flights
On Request
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 May 2019 departure
08 Sep 2019
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Sep 2019 departure

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Japan cultural immersion vacation


As well as visiting Japan’s most exciting cities, Tokyo and Kyoto, this tour takes us to a few places that you just won’t find in the guidebook. Togarinozawa Onsen is a tiny village deep in Nagano Prefecture. Here people work the land as they have for generations. We’ll travel by local train to get here, try the locally grown food, soak up the natural hot springs and have a go at farming techniques. Whilst here the tour leader and farm owner will make sure we follow the country code to ensure we have a minimal impact on the natural environment.

You’ll be encouraged to recycle throughout the tour, to refuse excess packaging and to leave no food waste. All customers receive a detailed Info-Pack before departure containing tips for going green in Japan, such as turning down the hotel room air conditioning, avoiding the use of disposable chopsticks and refilling your water bottle daily at the hotel as the tap water is safe to drink in Japan!


There is simply only one Japan. This is a magnificent country with a long history and unique traditional culture. Despite globalisation, Japan’s remains proudly different and we hope it continues to be so for future generations. That’s why we believe it’s important for visitors to learn about traditional arts and crafts, to support the local people still practising these things both economically and psychologically.

This tour includes the following unique experiences:
• Taiko drumming
• Yakatabune traditional river boat trip
• Sumo tournament
• Farm visits
• Hot spring bathing
• Sushi making
• Kimono wearing
• Tea ceremony
• Geisha district tour
• Pottery experience
• Roketsu cloth dyeing
• Soba making
• Paper making
• Knife sharpening

Will also visit some of Japan’s most important temples, stay in traditional inns (ryokan) and eat authentic Japanese cuisine. At each stop the tour leader (as well as a local geisha expert in Kyoto) will be on hand to explain the history and social importance of each experience, so you’re not just seeing Japan, but touching, tasting and most importantly understanding Japan as well.

1 Reviews of Japan cultural immersion vacation

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2017 by

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

Firstly - Sumo wrestling was an incredible spectacle. This won't be offered on all. Hands on Japan trips, but if you have the opportunity seize it with both hands. Secondly - Shrines and Temples are endlessly amazing.

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

Take a book that you can collect stamp impressions in (not postage stamps, but rubber stamps). Make sure it is fairly large as many of the temples, gardens,
train stations, etc.... offer some really exciting rubber stamps you can collect that are great tokens of your travels. Even small temples and shrines will have

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

Japan is a first world country, so needs little benefit from tourist. I did feel like the local operator made reservations (in restaurants and places to stay) in lesser
known places, so likely benefited smaller businesses.

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

It was great. I would highly recommend it

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