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Travelers love kimkim

"Kimkim is the perfect solution for independent travelers who are too busy to plan it all themselves" - Gayle R., traveled with kimkim in October 2019

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. Learn more

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. Learn more

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. Learn more

Getting Around Japan
Most visitors to Japan fly into one of Tokyo's two airports, Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport (Tokyo International). Trains connect both airports to downtown Tokyo, and from there, extensive and efficient rail networks carry passengers to destinations on Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Learn more

Explore trips by duration: 5 days · 6 days · 7 days · 8 days · 9 days · 10 days · 11 days · 12 days · 14 days · 16 days

Japan Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Sunrise in the post town of Narai, Japan
Map of Hike Japan's Nakasendo Trail - 5 Days
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 to rest in historic jukus, or Edo-era post towns, each night. You'll follow in their footsteps as you trek through picturesque valleys, explore idyllic villages, sleep in traditional inns, and relax in the thermal waters of hot springs along the hike.

The full Kumano Kodo experience
Map of Hiking Japan's Kumano Kodo - 11 Days
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 and thermal hot springs on this self-guided trip, 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 original paved stones of the old Nakasendo Trail
Map of Walking the Historic Nakasendo Trail - 10 Days
Walking the Historic Nakasendo Trail - 10 Days

Take a walk through time on this 10-day Japan tour. The highlight of this journey is a self-guided walk on the Nakasendo Trail, a historic walking route that's part of feudal Japan's original network of highways. Historically, travelers on the mountain path between Kyoto and Tokyo took several days to travel the distance, staying overnight in jukus (post towns or post station villages). You'll retrace their footsteps as you meander through serene forests, dip in thermal springs, and rest in local inns by night, taking time to explore the vibrant cities of Kyoto and Tokyo at the start and end of the trip.

Tokyo's Shinjuku Park
Map of Classic Highlights of Japan - 14 Days
Classic Highlights of Japan - 14 Days

Welcome to Japan! On this two-week journey around the main island, Honshu, you'll enjoy a mix of cultural sightseeing and active adventures. Visit sacred temples and shrines, cycle through the countryside, and wander around Tokyo's most fashionable neighborhoods. From the history of Hiroshima and the wonders of ancient Kyoto to the historic farmhouses of Shirakawa-go and the quiet island of Miyajima, there's so much to see and do.

The wonderful Nakahechi route
Map of Kumano Kodo Self-Guided Tour - 6 Days
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 Kiyomizu-dera Temple overlooking Kyoto's skyline
Map of Japan's Big Four: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka & Hiroshima - 10 Days
Japan's Big Four: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka & Hiroshima - 10 Days

This diverse 10-day itinerary leads you through Japan's four major cities. Start in Tokyo, exploring the city's ultra-modern technology and ancient monuments. Then head to the quiet shrines of traditional Kyoto, the buzzing food scene of trendy Osaka, and the historic landmarks and lively downtown of Hiroshima. Along the way, you'll visit beautiful islands and bamboo forests, sample regional delicacies on a food tour, see sumo wrestlers in action, and try locally produced sake and whiskey.

Make the Most of Your Time in Japan

Have a fixed number of days? Maximize the things to see and do during your visit
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
How Many Days Should You Spend in Japan?

Japan is made up of hundreds of islands that extend for nearly 2,000 miles. How many days should you spend exploring, and where should you focus your time? From an action-packed...

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo's Sumida Park
Map of 7 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
7 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries

With a week to spend in Japan, some travelers choose to focus on Tokyo, adding in side trips to Hiroshima and Mount Fuji. If you're eager to get away from the crowds and neon...

Japan's Traditional temples illuminated at night
Map of 10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries

With ten days in Japan, travelers can choose from a great range of options. Those interested in urban life and Japanese culture might opt for a tour of Japan's major cities —...

A quiet street in Kyoto
Map of 14 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
14 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries

With two weeks to spend in Japan, you can go on a classic tour around the country's highlights—including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima—or opt for an itinerary that focuses...

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...

Japan Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip

Japan Destination Guides

Detailed travel guides for the main regions of the country
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...

Coral reefs of Okinawa
Ultimate Guide to Okinawa

Okinawa's attractions have something for everyone. They cater to cocktail-sipping beach bums, history buffs, and active adventurers alike. The island is fairly small, so even a...

Our Latest Japan Content

Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo
Map of Explore Nature in Traditional Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto & Osaka - 9 Days
Explore Nature in Traditional Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto & Osaka - 9 Days

Explore Japan's natural beauty and intricate rituals on this fascinating 9-day itinerary. In Tokyo, you'll travel back in time by wandering the streets in a kimono. Head to Hakone to cruise on Lake Ashi, enjoy spectacular views of Mount Fuji, and finish the day in soothing natural thermal springs. Continue to Kyoto for Buddhist temples, gardens, palaces, and shrines, then end in Osaka to revel in the city's dynamic "foodie" districts.

A quiet street in Kyoto
Map of 14 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
14 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries

With two weeks to spend in Japan, you can go on a classic tour around the country's highlights—including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima—or opt for an itinerary that focuses specifically on culture and history. Travelers with children love a family-oriented tour featuring hands-on activities, like sushi-making classes and a samurai sword-fighting course, plus visits to two major theme parks. Adventurous visitors opt for an off-the-beaten-path journey around Japan's hidden gems or an active trip around the country's wintry landscapes.

Japan's Traditional temples illuminated at night
Map of 10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
10 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries

With ten days in Japan, travelers can choose from a great range of options. Those interested in urban life and Japanese culture might opt for a tour of Japan's major cities — Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. Or get away from the bright lights and big crowds, choosing a trip through Japan's natural wonders, from towering bamboo groves to mountain peaks to rivers lined with cherry blossom trees. If you're traveling with children, consider a family-friendly journey that includes a visit to a ninja theme park and a ride on one of the world's steepest roller coasters. Adventure seekers should not miss the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of samurai on a self-guided walking tour of the Nakasendo Trail. Learn more about your options by reading over the itineraries below.

Japan Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Japan map: Guide to Japan's Main Regions
Guide to Japan's Main Regions
View article
Japan map: How to Spend 3 Days on Okinawa
How to Spend 3 Days on Okinawa
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Japan map: 14 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
14 Days in Japan - 5 Unique Itineraries
View article

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Japan
Travel specialist Alan Williams

Alan Williams

I want to provide you with the best experience that you can possibly have while in Japan. My aim to help you dive deep into the culture and to see Japan from every angle. From its high-speed,...

read more...
Travel specialist Malissa Esquivias
active 1 day ago

Malissa Esquivias

My mission as a destination expert is to guide you through the beautiful yet rarely visited countryside of Japan and help you better navigate the bustling cities teeming with culture. Let's...

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Travel specialist Christine Mayol
active 1 day ago

Christine Mayol

We are a client-focused travel experts in Japan. We specializes in more personalized travel plans for families, groups, couples and individuals. Depends on your preferences, we will help you make...

read more...
Travel specialist Xavier Puig

Xavier Puig

My goal is to assist you in making your Japan dreams come true! Wether it is enjoying an onsen experience in Hakone whilst admiring Mount Fuji, to a mystical pilgrimage through Kumano-Kodo,...

read more...

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Why travelers love kimkim

Custom trips for independent travelers who are too busy to plan

Customize your trip with the help of a local travel specialist

Kimkim has handpicked the world’s top local travel specialists so you will have peace of mind and an unforgettable trip that meets your exact requirements.

Authentic travel experiences

Kimkim’s local specialists ensure that you will have the best experience based on up-to-date local insights. On top of that, the vast majority of your money will go straight to support and grow local economies.

Secure & easy booking

Once you are happy with the trip, you can easily book via kimkim’s secure payment platform.

Local support during your trip

You can always reach your local specialist with a quick message or call in case you hit a snag during your trip, or simply want some great local recommendations.

100% satisfaction guarantee
Kimkim offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not fully satisfied with us, we’ll work with you to make it right.
kimkim trips are 100% climate neutral
A portion of every kimkim trip goes toward the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. Learn more
BBB A+ rated

Kimkim is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.

Seller of Travel Registration number: CST #2136279-40.
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Trip Reviews for Japan

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Spectacular, Once in a Lifetime Vacation!
Japan | Mar 1 - Mar 9, 2020

R
Robin L.
Parole, MD | Reviewed on Mar 14, 2020

If you seek a spectacular once in a lifetime adventure in the Heart and Soul of Japan, KimKim will create a unique trip experience, specifically built around your individual interests and passions! 
Soleil was the creator of our unique Japan adventure, and she did a highly commendable job.  She gave generously of herself during the extensive planning phase, and throughout our entire 9 day Japan adventure to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka!   
Gibwa, from our Japan support team, greeted us at the... read more

If you seek a spectacular once in a lifetime adventure in the Heart and Soul of Japan, KimKim will create a unique trip experience, specifically built around your individual interests and passions! 
Soleil was the creator of our unique Japan adventure, and she did a highly commendable job.  She gave generously of herself during the extensive planning phase, and throughout our entire 9 day Japan adventure to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka!   
Gibwa, from our Japan support team, greeted us at the airport and we traveled together by train to our hotel where we checked in and went over our trip package, containing various train cards, show and tour vouchers.  Soleil had left several very thoughtful gifts in our room for my daughter, based upon her interests in a particular Japanese culture.  What a very  thoughtful surprise this was! 
Our Japan support team checked in with us daily to ensure we felt supported if we had any questions or concerns.  Our trip was so well detailed, but also gave us huge flexibility to change up along the way if we wanted, which we loved!  
The cooking classes, food tours and other very unique tours and adventures which Soleil planned for us were highly enjoyable!  Some of our favorites were the Ramen and Gyozo cooking class by Chef Yumi, (who was incredible) the absolutely fabulous food tours by Arigato Japan, and the beautiful Hozugawa River Cruise!!!  
Soleil additionally ensured that everyone along the way celebrated my daughter's college graduation while we were with them! Thank you so much Soleil!  
I am extremely happy we chose KimKim to help us create and execute our highly unique and fabulous trip to Japan!  It was truly AMAZING!  A very heartfelt thank you to Soleil and the entire Japan support team, who spoke perfect English, by the way!  
*Also, a very special thank you to Anne Kyle, CEO of Arigato Food Tours, Japan,  for her very generous heart and truly awesome food tours!  Her tour guides Haruka and Anna were fabulous!!!

Local specialist: Soleil Ponce
Soleil
Soleil Ponce
Local specialist in Japan | Reviewed on Mar 14, 2020

Hello Robin,

First of all, thank you so much for radiating positivity during the entire Japan trip despite of COVID-19 issues. We sincerely appreciate that and we're glad that you like our preparation for your Japan trip. Best wishes and congratulations again to Kat for her graduation. We hope to see you again here soon ^_^

Best Regards,

Soleil

Best trip ever because of Kimkim
Japan | Oct 24 - Oct 28, 2019

C
Candyce K.
| Reviewed on Nov 18, 2019

I cannot begin to write a review that can give my friends and my experience traversing the Nakasendo Trail in Japan. I think a large part of this amazing time was the service provided by Kimkim and the team. We did not use a guide but honestly, this group is so organized, they gave us almost step by step instructions on how to hike the trail, going to far as to provide pictures of junctures so that we could not get lost even if we tried.
All our train tickets, itinerary and inn... read more

I cannot begin to write a review that can give my friends and my experience traversing the Nakasendo Trail in Japan. I think a large part of this amazing time was the service provided by Kimkim and the team. We did not use a guide but honestly, this group is so organized, they gave us almost step by step instructions on how to hike the trail, going to far as to provide pictures of junctures so that we could not get lost even if we tried.
All our train tickets, itinerary and inn reservations (including food restrictions) were all handled ahead of time with no necessary added work on our part. In fact, due to the typhoon that occurred just prior to our trip, a Kimkim agent came to our inn with updated instructions and amended train tickets to accommodate the change in plans due to problems on the trail. I have never, never experienced such service in my life.
This is what I would say, if anyone is considering walking the Nakasendo Trail, please trust your trip to Kimkim. Yes, you can do it yourself, and yes it might cost to give it over to this company. However for peace of mind and even looking back on it now, it was the smartest move and the best money I have ever spent on a trip.

Local specialist: Patrick Marsh

A very well thought out trip
Japan | Sep 26 - Oct 14, 2019

peter
peter e.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Nov 02, 2019

A very well thought out trip working around 2 Rugby world cup matches which inevitably constrained the itinerary to a degree. The information provided before and during the trip was excellent and where we had guides they were very good, it was nice to be met at the airport and talked through using the train system and to set up our japan rail pass. We became confident in using the transport systems much more quickly than we would have left to our own devices.
Hotel choices were well judged... read more

A very well thought out trip working around 2 Rugby world cup matches which inevitably constrained the itinerary to a degree. The information provided before and during the trip was excellent and where we had guides they were very good, it was nice to be met at the airport and talked through using the train system and to set up our japan rail pass. We became confident in using the transport systems much more quickly than we would have left to our own devices.
Hotel choices were well judged with great locations and were a better standard than I expected for the cost of the tour. We took up a couple of suggestions that we wouldn't normally have gone for and were glad that we did - the evening guided food and drink tour in Osaka was particularly memorable.
We started with a few days in Tokyo then travelled down to Hiroshima and over to Miyajima Island - that was a highlight despite the iconic Tori gate being covered in scaffolding. We then got the train back up to Kyoto where we were based for 4 nights, as well as visiting numerous sites here we also did day trips to Nara - must visit, loved the deer and Himeji castle where we were shown round by a volunteer guide - these were available at numerous sites and very knowledgeable.
The station hotel in Kyoto was probably our favourite in Japan - great rooms, facilities and location and good restaurant recommendations by the concierge.
Next we went back to Tokyo for 3 days and met up with some friends for a couple of days watching England beat Argentina, visiting the robot restaurant and going on a bar/restaurant crawl, we also really enjoyed the team labs borderless digital art gallery.
From Tokyo we did a loop through the mountains first to Kanazawa, we then stopped at the world heritage site village of Shirakiwa-go in the mountains on the way to Takayama. We stayed for 2 nights in a ryokan in Takayama to coincide with the autumn festival - a lovely town and great experience. From here we got the bus to Matsumoto where we visited the castle and art museum.
Our last stop on the trip was Yokohama - very near Tokyo but quite a different feel with a very interesting waterfront. Unfortunately the England v France match was cancelled as Typhoon hagibis passed through on the saturday - it was eerie spending a day in the hotel with everything shut down.
The weather was beautiful the next morning and we managed to get tickets to watch Japan beat Scotland - a memorable last night in Japan before our flight home next morning.

Local specialist: Jeff Aasgaard
Jeff
Jeff Aasgaard
Local specialist in Michigan and Japan | Reviewed on Nov 02, 2019

Peter,

I was so happy to read your very kind review and to see all of the photos you took. I am glad you had a wonderful time and even tried a few new activities like the evening tour in Osaka.

I hope that you are able to return to Japan and will contact us again.

Thank you,
Jeff Aasgaard