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Introducing Japan

An ancient way of life fuses with modern society in this bustling and iconic travel destination. Travelers fall in love (or renew their vows) with Japanese food and astonishing scenery of this mountainous archipelago dotted with modern cities.

When is the best time to visit?
Late spring and early autumn have traditionally been considered the best times to visit Japan, but more and more travelers are seeking trips to this mountainous county in the winter to take advantage of its snowy season. Skiers and snowboarders are flocking to Japan in December through March in search of the powdery, light snow the region is increasingly known for.

Where to go in Japan?
The possibilities are endless. Night owls will love the 24-hour food and drinking scene of bustling city centers like Tokyo and Osaka, older cities that are embracing the new with plenty of flair and energy. Rural travelers will enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shiretoko National Park in the mountains of Hokkaidō and the balmy subtropical islands of Okinawa.

How many days do I need?
Since there is so much to do in Japan and travel within the country via the high-speed bullet trains is so easy, visitors can opt for trips of any duration. To do any justice to this amazing country, spend at least a week and ideally up to three.

Japan Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Hike Japan's Nakasendo Trail - 5 Days

Step back in time and immerse yourself in nature on this five-day hiking trip along the historic Nakasendo Trail. Feudal lords and samurai once walked this mountain path connecting Kyoto and Tokyo, stopping at some of the historic 69 post stations to rest for the night. You'll follow in their footsteps as you trek through picturesque valleys, stay in idyllic villages, and relax in the thermal waters of hot springs along the way.

The full Kumano Kodo experience
Hiking Japan's Kumano Kodo - 11 Days

Get off the beaten path and onto the Kumano Kodo, a network of ancient pilgrimage trails in the remote Kii Peninsula. Trek to grand shrines, thermal hot springs, and the sacred Mount Koya, one of the most important sites in Buddhism. This self-guided trip is great for those looking to challenge themselves with full-day hikes through hilly terrain. You'll be rewarded, however, with unforgettable experiences as you follow in the footsteps of emperors.

The wonderful Nakahechi route
Kumano Kodo Self-Guided Tour - 6 Days

Get ready for an unforgettable village-to-village trek on the Kii Peninsula along sections of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail. Perfect for avid hikers, this self-guided tour will take you past thermal hot springs, grand shrines, and waterfalls as you walk in the footsteps of emperors.

The original paved stones of the old Nakasendo trail in central mountainous Japan
Self-Guided Walking Tour on the Nakasendo Trail - 10 Days

Take a walk through time on this 10-day self-guided tour of the Nakasendo Trail, part of feudal Japan's original network of highways. Travelers on the mountain path between Kyoto and Tokyo took several days to travel the distance, staying overnight in Juku post towns. You'll retrace their footsteps as you travel through serene forests, stay in historically preserved local inns by night, and explore the vibrant cities of Kyoto and Tokyo.

Kyoto, Japan
Japan's Culinary Heritage - 11 Days

Eat your way through the Land of the Rising Sun on this immersive culinary tour. Get to know Japanese history and culture through its legendary cuisine, and treat your taste buds to everything from home-brewed sake to the freshest sushi, to delectable street food and a fancy gourmet feast.

Japanese Cycling Adventure - 7 Days

The beautiful ancient city of Kyoto is the spiritual home of Japan and the perfect base for this week-long cycling adventure. Explore the streets of Kyoto by bike and venture further afield as you delve into Japanese culture and cuisine. Take an exhilarating ride from the city to sacred Mount Koya and around the region's stunning landscape for an unforgettable vacation.

Japan Travel Essentials

All you need to know to get started planning the perfect trip
Brilliant momiji maple at Nanzenji, Kyoto in late November
Best Time To Visit Japan

Japan is famous for its Spring cherry blossoms and its changing colors in Autumn, but there are beautiful places to see in every season. Japan stretches from subtropical...

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto
Essential Japan: Top 10 Things to Do & See

Crescent-shaped islands surrounded by deep blue sea, Japan has everything from Buddhist temples to great beaches. Home to both a robot restaurant and an ancient rainforest, it's...

Iriomote Island, Okinawa (© Yuri Awanohara)
Guide to Japan's Main Regions

Japan is roughly the size of California, with thousands of islands offering a huge variety of things to see and do. You can experience some of the world's best powder skiing in...

Our Latest Japan Content

Young women preparing to dance at a Hiroshima festival
6 Best Local and Cultural Experiences in Japan

If you want to make friends on your trip to Japan, show an interest in Japanese culture—even younger generations are eager to share their heritage. The country's top cultural activities happen year-round, so you'll have no trouble taking part. From local festivals to cat cafés, there's something in this list for every traveler.

Beyond Hotels: 5 Unique Lodging Options in Japan

Only in Japan can you bunk in a Buddhist temple one night and rent your own sleeping pod the next. High-tech Japan lovingly reveres its cultural traditions—making for the best kind of culture shock. Enjoy this dynamic country with a range of unique overnight options.

Ultimate Guide to Nikko: Japan's Urban Escape

Just a two-hour train ride from the bright lights of Tokyo, you'll find the urban escape of your dreams. Nikko offers centuries-old shrines to explore, natural hot springs with views of brilliant fall foliage, and Japan's first Western-style hotel. Get out of the city and dive into historic Nikko with this ultimate guide.

Japan Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Guide to Japan's Main Regions
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How to Spend 3 Days on Okinawa
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Hidden Gems of Japan: Discovering Unique Places to Visit
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Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel specialists with a passion for Japan
Travel specialist Jeff Aasgaard
active 8 hours ago

Jeff Aasgaard

I first moved to Japan when my father was transferred to Hiroshima when I was in college. This experience changed my life. When I returned to the US to finish my degree changed my major to...

read more...
Travel specialist Fabrice Barbin
active 17 hours ago

Fabrice Barbin

I have been traveling Japan for 17 years and decided to make it my home in 2013. Using my own experiences traveling in Japan, I am now lucky to be able to share my passion for this country and...

read more...
Travel specialist Natalie Collar
active 3 days ago

Natalie Collar

As a team of well-travelled people who speak at least two languages and have all lived in Japan, it's difficult to stand out as an InsideJapan travel consultant. But our jaws nearly hit the floor...

read more...
Travel specialist Nicole Rhoden
active 1 hour ago

Nicole Rhoden

My name is Nicole, and I’ll be your dedicated InsideJapan ToursTravel Consultant! I'll be your point of contact throughout the planning process to help your trip go as smoothly as possible. In...

read more...

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Trip Reviews for Japan

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim
Louise

Discover the nakasendo trail, Japan - Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2018

Traveler: Louise I. - Local specialist: Andy Moser

Thanks to kimkim, our 4-night, 5-day Nakasendo adventure in October was amazing. We have been highly recommending it to friends and family. All arrangements were professionally, efficiently and patiently handled by our pre-travel contact Andy, our trip guide Atsuko-san and our local guide from Usui Toge to Yokokawa, Riki-san. The online information was very helpful and was among the deciding factors for joining our Nakasendo group. A delicious kaiseki dinner in Kyoto with Atsuko-san on... read more

Thanks to kimkim, our 4-night, 5-day Nakasendo adventure in October was amazing. We have been highly recommending it to friends and family. All arrangements were professionally, efficiently and patiently handled by our pre-travel contact Andy, our trip guide Atsuko-san and our local guide from Usui Toge to Yokokawa, Riki-san. The online information was very helpful and was among the deciding factors for joining our Nakasendo group. A delicious kaiseki dinner in Kyoto with Atsuko-san on the night before our hike for our group of 12 set the tone for the beautiful breakfast and dinner settings we experienced during the entire trip. The accommodations were comfortable and full of atmosphere, whether the inn we stayed at was rustic and charming (Tsutamuraya in Otsumago and Iseya in Narai) or refined and charming (Komanoyu Ryokan outside of Kiso-Fukushima and Nakadanaso Ryokan in Narai). All the towns we passed through were so enjoyable to explore, but I especially loved the historic beauty of Magome and Tsumago. We were so impressed by Atsuko-san's attention to every detail, like arranging four different options on the last day to meet the needs of those traveling directly to Tokyo, those who chose to visit Karuizawa first, those who wanted a longer hike and the rest of us who chose to ride up to Usui Toge and then hike down to Yokokawa. Atsuko-san even escorted us from Tokyo Station to the frenetic and huge Shinjuku Station in order to point us in the right direction. Well done, kimkim and Oku Japan!

Gwen

Discover the nakasendo trail, Japan - Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2018

Traveler: Gwen P. - Local specialist: Andy Moser

We planned our trip with Andy who was accessible and communicated clearly. He made special arrangements for those that needed them. Once we got to Japan, our trip was amazing.
Akosan was such a gracious, accommodating, professional, knowledgeable guide. Despite the disparate needs of our group, she never made us feel that we were asking too much and always accommodated us. She took the time to listen and then shared her wonderful cultural and historical wisdom. She made the trail come... read more

We planned our trip with Andy who was accessible and communicated clearly. He made special arrangements for those that needed them. Once we got to Japan, our trip was amazing.
Akosan was such a gracious, accommodating, professional, knowledgeable guide. Despite the disparate needs of our group, she never made us feel that we were asking too much and always accommodated us. She took the time to listen and then shared her wonderful cultural and historical wisdom. She made the trail come alive! We had different hiking abilities-all were accommodated with sometimes as many as 4 options in a day provided. We transited with ease between locations, as Akosan was always organized and on schedule. SHe is a master at time management and set reasonable expectations for all of our schedule.
from the WE all had little needs and accommodations were top notch. We enjoyed

Discover the nakasendo trail, Japan - Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2018

Traveler: Clarence P. - Local specialist: Andy Moser

It was a wonderful experience from the start of the planning with the Kimkim team through the actual hike with Ako-san. Andy and the team were very responsive to our needs and went out of their way to celebrate my wife's birthday with a cake at our initial dinner. Our guide was fantastic in her service and knowledge of the trails and the history. She explained fully what was happening and gave us many options to take. If we do another hike or tour in Japan (which we will) we will request... read more

It was a wonderful experience from the start of the planning with the Kimkim team through the actual hike with Ako-san. Andy and the team were very responsive to our needs and went out of their way to celebrate my wife's birthday with a cake at our initial dinner. Our guide was fantastic in her service and knowledge of the trails and the history. She explained fully what was happening and gave us many options to take. If we do another hike or tour in Japan (which we will) we will request specifically for Ako-san. I would highly recommend to anyone to use this company and their guides. Thank you for a wonderful time.