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.”


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

Travel Team

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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.
Solo travelers welcome. Surcharge for single rooms.
Good standard hotel and 1 night in traditional ryokan inn.
Accomm., transfers, transport passes, tour guide 2 days.
All breakfasts, 2 dinners included. Budget £3 for fast street food, £8-10 for unflashy dinner.

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.

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!

We recommend you purchase 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 recommend clients request 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.

The Impacts of this Trip

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.


18 Reviews of Japan golden route vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 13 Oct 2019 by

The most exciting part of the vacation was the rugby. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2019 by

This was a very varied and comprehensive introduction to the country. The cities were really interesting and undoubtedly Kyoto's multiple sites make it a bit of a gem but we really enjoyed the smaller towns like Kanazawa and quiet and peace of Mount Koya. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Jun 2019 by

The fabulous gardens in Shinjuku Tokyo were memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 May 2019 by

Sailing across Lake Ashi on a pirate ship was the most exciting part of our vacation ! Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Aug 2018 by

It was a fantastic experience for my children. Vacation of a lifetime. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2018 by

The most memorable part would have to be a takoyaki party in Osaka, where we all communally prepared the dish together. The Buddhist morning prayers in Koya-San were also quite memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Jan 2018 by

Eating the local foods and staying in local accommodation was the highlight. Excellent. It was a very busy vacation with a lot going on everyday. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2018 by

Highlights were places where the crowds were less and we could take more time to get a sense of place. This was mainly in the small shrines and temples and also on Miyajima island. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Oct 2017 by

The japanese alps, Miyajima, Hiroshima, cooking class, visit to Maiko, cycling - actually. Everything! The trip was fantastic, really well organised - we just had to arrive and enjoy! Read full review

Reviewed on 31 May 2017 by

The most memorable was the boat ride down the Hozugawa River starting at Kameoka and a JR train journey from Kyoto that is reasonably short. It was a real experience, and made worry free by the superb back-up of the tour operator. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to recommend them. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 May 2017 by

It's hard to identify just one most memorable or exciting part - everything was amazing. The culture, the people, the food, the scenery, the transportation. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 May 2017 by

The most memorable was Himeji Castle with cherry blossom in full bloom! Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2016 by

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?? Read full review

Reviewed on 25 May 2016 by

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. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Oct 2016 by

(The vacation was) Excellent...over 300 photos taken.... an indication of our enthusiasm to capture the glorious sights. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2016 by

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

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2014 by

Excellent and good value for money Read full review

Reviewed on 19 May 2014 by

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

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