Dazzling Japan / 14 Days
This time we invite you to one of the most enchanting countries in the world, Japan!
Japan is a bewildering, beautiful country that is like nowhere else. It’s a place that both lives up to, and outdoes, any expectations you have upon arrival.It is full of contrastsand despite this being an enduring cliché -it truly is a place where the old and traditional coexist harmoniously with the modern and futuristic, a place where ancient traditions are fused with modern life as if it was the most natural thing in the world! From ancient temples to futuristic skyscrapers, tranquil tea ceremonies to over-the-top gaming arcades, relaxing hot springs to cosplay games, Japan has it all!
There are so many amazing places to see and things to do in Japan that it is a big challenge to put it all in one trip but we did our best to show you and let you experience the most fascinating aspects of the Japanese culture.This 14 days with us will be VERY intense -from experiencing theintoxicating life of Tokyo,exploringgeisha district in Kyoto to relaxing in the most charming villages and immersing yourself in the Japanese way of life.
You will learn to make the perfect matcha during a traditional tea ceremony, spend the night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) as well as the famous capsule hotel, take a meditation session with a Buddhist monk, learn how to make sushi at the world’s largest fish market,travel on the bullet train, soak in the hot springonsens, dine on one of the world’s most unique and exciting cuisines and so much more!
This trip is packed with extraordinary Japanese experiences,you willlearnsomething unique every day and we promise,it will be a trip you will never forget!!
Japan is one of the most fascinating countries in the world, but it can be challenging to explore and get beneath the surface,even for the most experienced travellers.That is why we only cooperate with the best local guides as we want you get the absolute most out of your time here.Wedon’t want you to just visit Japan,we want you tocome a little bit closer to understanding the real face of the modern life here and the unique Japanese way of life!
• April 3rd-April 16th, 2020 (5 places left)
• June 18th-July 1st, 2020 (4 places left)
• September 26th-October 9th, 2020 (12 places left)
We still have 2×100 £ Early Bird Discounts for our September 2020 Getaway! Please contact us before booking for your 100 £ off.
Trip Length: 14 days, 13 nights
Trip Style: Culture
Group Size: 4-14
Price: 3200 GBP
Day 1: Welcome to Japan!
Welcome to Japan!! Prepare to be dazzled by a capital city that’s bursting with unique quirks and innovations!
While we wait for the rest of the girls to arrive, we will spend the early afternoon settlingin,exploring the surroundings and getting to know each other.
Once everyone have arrived, we will explore the city together.
Tokyo is one of the world’s most exciting and eclectic cities, full of amazing restaurants, beautiful gardens, stunning modern architecture and a glittering neon-filled cityscape. But beyond the city lights and crowds, Tokyo is also full of quiet neighbourhoods with charming backstreets, where you’ll find locals going about their daily lives.
Our first stop will be exactly such place, the artsy district of Nakameguro,with the scenic Meguro River flowing through it,where you’ll find a laid-back scene of boutique galleries, trendy cafes and stylish bars. It’s one of the hippest areas of Tokyo,still off the tourist radar and this is where we will have our welcome dinner -your first taste of proper Japanese cuisine and a glimpse of real-life Tokyo! Afterwards we’ll head to the best spot in town to admire the city’s dazzling panorama of skyscrapers and neon lights.We will leave the busting Tokyo nightlife for another nightthough, when the jet lag wears off!
Day 2: Modern Tokyo-Shibuya/Electric Town/Shopping/Nightlife
We will be all rather jet-lagged today so we will have a late Japanese breakfast and then head to town.
First we will brave the insane Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, that has become synonymous in the global imagination with the city itself.It’s a top Tokyo photo spot so we will head to the nearby rooftop to get that perfect overhead shot!
We will meet our lovely local guide today and explore Akihabara, Tokyo’s ‘Electric Town’, a neon jungle of manga stores,anime, electronics, as well as plenty of Maid and Cat Cafes.
We will then head of Tokyo’s most quirky neighbourhood, fashion mecca of Harajuku and hunt for everything kawai.You will get lots of free time here to explore on your own and we will meet again in the late evening to experience that famous Tokyo nightlife!
Hopping between Golden Gai’s closet-sized bars, we will take you to a casual and authentic izakaya (Japanese-style gastropub), where you can enjoy a truly Japanese-style atmosphere and sample a delicious and eclectic variety of Japanese foods. We will lead you down secret back streets to discover bars and restaurants that may look like apartments or office blocks from the outside, but are actually home to the tastiest food in town. This is a quintessential Japanese experience and one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and mingle with locals! After the dinner,the adventure will continues with an evening bar crawl,Japanese style.
Day 3: Tradititional Tokyo-Imperial Palace/Meiji Shrine/Buddhist Temple/Asakusa
As we already mentioned, Tokyo is a city of contrasts. This front-line capital famous for its pioneering modernity, iconic landscapes of neon and soaring skyscrapers is also dotted with peaceful parks, shrines, temples and adored gardens. Despite its mania for anime, pop culture, fashion and everything new, the city embraces an ancient heritage evident in the temples and shrines scattered amongst the vast skyrises.
This is the part of town we will discover today.We will visit The Imperial Palace,Meiji Shrine, historic wooden houses of Asakusa, the Buddhist temple Sensoji and private bonsai gardens so we can escape from the hyperactivity of the lively streets.
Day 4: Nikko,Japan’s Mystical City
Today we wake up early and head to a lovely,neighbouring village of Nikko, to get a little break from this intoxicating city! Located high in the mountains, Nikko is one of the top spots in Japan to explore the scenic and the sacred.It has been a center of Shinto and Buddhist worship for many centuries and Nikko National Park offers the most scenic, mountainous landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs and hiking trails that we will explore today!
Day 5: Tsukiji Fish Market/Sushi Making Classes/Ginza/Time Off
After traditional Japanese breakfast a chilled exploratory walk,we will check out the iconic Tsukiji Market this morning (well,the remaining parts of it), the world’s biggest fish market,where we will also learn to make the perfect rolls from the sushi master!
We will then explore the nearby Ginza area (aka Tokyo’s 5th Avenue) before leaving you with free time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon exploring the city.
Tokyo is one of the world’s most fascinating cities, and just wandering the streets of this megalopolis is a great experience with new sights, sounds and tastes around every corner. From cat cafes to Samurai museums, there are plenty of things to see and do in this magnetic city of contrasts!
Day 6: Takayama-Sake/Chill
Today we are leaving Tokyo behind and making our way to the historic town of Takayama, located in the Japanese Alps, famous for the sake and tatami making.
The town was established in the 16th century and a stroll in the Sanmachi Suji district, where you’ll find well-preserved generations-old inns, shops and taverns,is the best place to start exploring.
Takayama’s sake is renowned throughout Japan, in large part thanks to the area’s clear water, and we will be visiting one of the town’s many sake breweries for a taste of the local specialty.
We’ll spend a magical afternoon and night in a lovely town located deep in the Japanese countryside, where you will literally feel like you stepped back in time.Way back in time.
Day 7: Takayama-Hot Springs/Local Market/Hiking
We will spend the morning relaxing with a soak in the traditional onsen and then we will explore this gorgeous village together.
There is a lively morning market held on the town’s central Miyagawa River, and this is where we will head for breakfast. We will take another,longer walk in the Sanmachi Suji district, the traditional home of Takayama merchants and sake brewers, which has been preserved in almost exactly the same state as 300 years ago.
If we will want to get out of town for some exercise and activity, there are great hiking opportunities in the beautiful surrounding countryside!
Day 8: Kyoto-Gion Geisha District
Today we’ll travel to the spiritual capital of Japan, Kyoto. The train trip takes a few hours, so to make the ride is most enjoyable we will make sure to pick up an eki-ben (train station bento lunch box).
One of the most culturally rich cities in the world, Kyoto is what many travellers dream of when envisioning Japan.Home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, this ancient city showcases the heart and soul of traditional Japan.
You could easily spend weeks wandering its back streets, generations-old craft shops and restaurants, ancient temples and gardens! It's where robed monks shuffle between temple buildings, prayer chants resonate through stunning Zen gardens, and the faithful meditate on tatami-mat floors.
You’ll have the afternoon free to settle in, and this evening we will begin our immersion into the city on a private walking tour of Gion-the famous geisha district.
As we slowly meander your way through the narrow lanes and hidden alleys of this enigmatic district, our private guide will teach us all about the history and reality of Kyoto’s geiko (as geisha are called in Kyoto). Although we can’t promise you will see one,is one of the best ways to learn about Japan’s most misunderstood profession.
Afterwards, we’ll stroll along the charming lantern-lined Pontocho Alley, before spending the rest of the evening in an izakaya where we will enjoy a steady stream of sake and flavour-packed local dishes!
Day 9: Explore Kyoto-Nishiki Local Market/Traditional Tea Ceremony
Kyoto is considered as culinary centre of Japan and as such is crammed with everything from Michelin-starred restaurants, chic cocktail bars, cool cafes and sushi spots, food halls, izakaya, craft-beer bars and old-school noodle joints.We will start our morning by heading straight to the best place to immerse yourself in Kyoto’s cuisine-Nishiki Market. In addition to a colorful variety of fresh produce and seafood, you’ll find incredibly photogenic seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, including tsukemono (Japanese pickles), white miso, Kyoto-style sushi, Japanese sweets and soo much more!
With its roots as the cultural capital of the country, it's no surprise that many traditional arts and crafts are kept alive by artisans from generation to generation. We will wander the streets downtown past machiya (traditional Japanese townhouses) in the Nishijin textile district to find ancient speciality shops from tofu sellers, washi (Japanese handmade paper) and tea merchants, to exquisite lacquerware, handcrafted copper chazutsu (tea canisters) and indigo-dyed noren (hanging curtains).
Today we will also experience the profound spirituality of the tea ceremony!
As you may know, matcha plays a very important role in Japan. Let's find the concept and philosophy behind this performing art. At first, you will learn the basic concepts and ideas of tea ceremony. You will also learn how to behave in a tea room and appreciate its decoration. Next, you'll watch a demonstration of "the way of tea". We think you will love the quiet and serene atmosphere of the ceremony! And finally we will make your own tea. We will tell you how to drink it, and also serve you a specially selected Japanese cake.We promise,the green tea will never taste the same again!
Day 10: Kyoto:Golden Pavilon/Zen Gardens/Bamboo Forest
Today we’ll explore the former imperial capital, visiting some of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. We will start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), one of Kyoto’s most famous temples.
There’s something magical and very Japanese about a bamboo forest with its towering green stalks swaying in the breeze. By far the most popular bamboo forest in Japan is in Arashiyama in Kyoto, which is considered one of the top things to see in Japan and this is where we will head this afternoon.
You will have the rest of the day to explore Kyoto.
Day 11: Nara-the Magical Deer City
With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, the cutest roaming deer, and a stunning Japanese gardens, you will love spending a day in Nara!
Once an ancient capital of Japan, Nara is home to some of the country’s most important cultural places, including the world’s largest wooden structure: awe-inspiring Daibutsu (Great Buddha), a towering figure first cast in the 8th century. Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines dot the landscape, and sacred deer wander the city’s green spaces.
We will head back to Kyoto in the evening for the final walk through the narrow lanes and hidden alleys of charming Kyoto.
Day 12: Explore Koyosan/Buddhist Temple
Today we will leave Kyoto behind and head to Koyosan. Located in a peaceful wooded area ,south of Kyoto, Koyasan is the headquarters of the Shingon school of Buddhism, and home to more than 100 temples and monasteries.
It is one of the best places in Japan to experience a stay in a Buddhist temple and that is exactly what we are going to do! Aside from the chance to stay in a shukubo (temple lodging), Koyasan’s most famous landmark is the otherworldly Okunoin Cemetery, one of Japan’s most sacred sites and that is what we will explore today.
Day 13: Koyosan-Relax/Meditation/Onsen
As our Japanese adventure comes to an end shortly, we will have a very relaxing day today: morning meditation session with the Buddhist monk, followed by the delicious traditional breakfast, soaking in hot springs, exploring the nearby forests and chilling to our hearts content!
Day 14: Goodbye Japan
Today marks the end of our Japanese adventure so we head back to where we started-Tokyo. You’ve left the tourists far behind by wandering through the back streets of eastern Tokyo, trekking through the ancient temples and mountain shrines, and chilled in hot springs. You’ve tasted the proper Japanese cuisine, and revelled in sake sessions. You’ve been dazzled by the neon landscapes of Japan’s leading cities, and recharged in the peace of a countryside. From sushi-making and serene bamboo forests to meditation classes with a monk, it’s been 14 days of intense exploring but we are pretty sure you will back for more to this enchanting country!
- You will be free to leave around 2pm
This trip was carefully designed to give you a real insider access to Japan's lifestyle, culture and rich history. Over 14 days with us you will:
- Explore the highlights and hidden local gems of Tokyo, one of the world’s most exciting cities
- Visit Kyoto, the ancient capital and home to many world-class UNESCO sites
- See the most amazing and charming towns of Japan: Nara, Nikko, Takayama and Koyasan
- Dine in some lovely local spots and delightful eateries to experience the Japan's vibrant dining scene
- Try green tea ice cream and pretty much green tea everything!
- Spend at least 1 night in Traditional Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) sleeping on futons and tatami mats
- Spend the night in Buddhist temple and join a morning meditation session with a Buddhist monk, to find your inner zen
- Sleep in a famous “capsule hotel”
- Experience Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife
- Learn the Art of the Tea Ceremonyin a traditional Kyoto Townhouse
- Drink sake like a local
- Learn to make best sushi from the sushi master!
- Visit the Tsukiji world’s biggest fish market
- Brave the famous Shibuya Crossing
- Eat sushi right off a conveyor belt
- Experience the quirky café scene of Tokyo-think Maid Café/Cat Café
- Go shopping at Harajuku’s most fashionableTakeshita Street
- Learn all about the geisha world in the Gion district of charming Kyoto
- Visit centuries-old crafts shops in the backstreets of Kyoto
- Immerse yourself in Japanese culture in onsen-Japaneese hot spring ritual
- Experience one of the most curious and unique shopping scenes in the world
- Hunt the best ramen in Tokyo
- Ride the world-famous shinkansen (bullet train)
- Hop between Golden Gai's closet-sized bars
- Love and appreciate the beautiful presentation of absolutely everything!
- See the infamous "Kawaii culture" of Japan and take your photos in Instagram hotspots
- Explore Akihabara—the Tokyo district known as the anime capital of Japan!
- See the world’s most stunning bamboo forest
- Explore the most iconic Shrines and Temples of Japan (and learn the difference)
- Get a lovely surprise from us!
- Experience Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife
- Get lots of free time to explore and relax on your own
- Come closer to understanding the unique Japanese way of life
- Most importantly, have an amazing opportunity to meet,connect and share this experience with other awesome women from around the world!
HERE'S WHAT IS INCLUDED IN OUR PRICEIncluded:
- An amazing itinerary crafted to let you see and experience the most fascinating aspects of the Japanese culture!
- Extensive pre-departure information to help you prepare for the trip
- 13 nights accommodation in traditional hotels, Japanese flats, capsule hotels, ryokans and Buddhist temple
- All Ground Transportation,including the shinkansen bullet train (excluding Airport Transfers)
- 13 delicious breakfasts,6 lunches and 4 dinners with us in delightful local spots
- Sake Tasting
- Entry to all Attractions mentioned above
- Photoshoot in Tokyo’s most picturesque spots
- Meditation session with a Buddhist monk
- Sushi Making Class(or Ramen/Gyoza)
- Visit in Onsen-Japaneese hot spring ritual
- Traditional Tea Ceremony
- The care of Passionate Nomans Adventure Leader and Local Guides
- Flights& Visa (if necessary)
- Airport Transfers(can be arranged)
- Food and Entries not mentioned above
- Alcoholic Drinks(except when mentioned)
- Travel Insurance