Spend 10 days walking and hiking Shikoku's 88 Temple Pilgrimage Trail, visiting historic Buddhist temples along the way. You'll see pilgrims, easily identified by their white clothing and walking staff, who spend weeks on the trail visiting all 88 temples. As you explore castles, small villages, and larger communities, sample local specialties and stay in traditional inns or pilgrims' lodgings, you'll get a real taste of Shikoku's unique culture.
Japan Travel Insights
Explore the coast of the Sea of Japan, then head across southern Japan to visit towns and islands on the Seto Inland Sea. You'll spend twelve days discovering Japanese history and culture as you visit shrines, temples, castles, museums, and even a preserved silver mine. See how miso paste, sake, and pottery are made and soak in hot spring baths. You'll come away with a true appreciation for the traditions and history of southern Japan.
Traveling together as a family is such a special experience and this 14-day action-packed adventure is specifically designed with families in mind. With a mix of city, countryside and island time, it's the perfect way to take in all that Japan has to offer and create treasured family memories.
Traveling together as a family is such a special experience, and this 10-day action-packed adventure is specifically designed with families in mind. From Kanto to Kansai, this trip takes you from Tokyo and its modern, bustling streets to Kyoto with its tight hold on tradition. It's the perfect way to take in all that Japan has to offer while having plenty of family fun.
Spend four days exploring the historic Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Trail in Ehime Prefecture on this self-guided tour. You'll meet white-clad pilgrims dedicated to walking the entire trail as you visit several of Ehime's iconic Buddhist temples and discover Shikoku's pilgrimage traditions. Relax in a hot spring bath after a visit to Matsuyama Castle and enjoy local hospitality in shukubo (pilgrim lodgings) and ryokan (traditional inns).
Indulge your sense of adventure while soaking up history and taking in the scenery of Hiroshima, the Seto Inland Sea, and Shikoku. You'll walk, hike, cycle and paddle to temples, islands, shrines, and memorials and get a true sense of life in Seto Inland Sea communities. This trip is designed to accommodate travelers who are used to easy walks, hikes, and bicycle trips and is suitable for children ages 12 and up.
Embark on a journey through Japan’s cultural past with this immersive two-week itinerary. Starting in the modern capital of Tokyo, you’ll travel north to traditional mountain hot springs before making your way through the historic post towns of the ancient Nakasendo Trail. Wander through the 16th-century architecture of Takayama, discover the alpine valleys and traditional straw-thatched houses of Shirakawa-go, and step back in time to Imperial Japan in the historic capital of Kyoto. Spend a night with Buddhist monks at the mountaintop temples of Mount Koya before returning to Tokyo for a final evening in the city that never sleeps.
Experience the tranquil magic of a Japanese winter during this immersive 8-day itinerary. Starting in Kyoto, you’ll head to the snowy Kiso Valley to hike along the ancient Nakasendo Trail, spending each night in quaint wooden villages or hot spring inns. After a week spent savoring regional cuisine, snowshoeing through cedar forests, and soaking in natural mineral pools, you’ll spend a final night enjoying the hustle and bustle of Tokyo—the historic endpoint of the trail.
This unique 14-day tour will take you to the major cities and destinations of Japan as well as tour you through Tokyo's top hidden destinations that few tourists or tour companies explore. You will discover Tokyo's futuristic neon lights, explore rice fields during a homestay in Izumo, observe traditional temples with the company of deer in Kyoto, wander along pristine beaches in the mysterious Goto islands, and much more. As you travel through various destinations by steam train, a traditional boat, and a ferry—you will get both an intimate look into Japanese life as well as an exciting tour of Japan's top destinations.
Perfect for active walkers, this trip combines a four-day walk on Japan's Nakasendo Trail, which connected Tokyo and Kyoto during the days of shoguns and samurai, with a visit to three historic Japanese capitals, Tokyo, Nara, and Kyoto. You'll begin your trip in Tokyo, then take to the trail and stay in post towns once used as feudal-era stopover points. You'll visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nara, Yoshino, and Mount Koya, then spend two nights in Kyoto, where geisha still entertain well-heeled guests and Buddhist temples beckon.
Combine the natural beauty of the Japanese Alps with visits to historic post towns in this 6-day walking adventure. Hike across mountain passes and descend into villages filled with craft shops, gorgeous architecture, and picturesque streets, all while enjoying dramatic views of the alpine scenery. End your trip with an unforgettable hike through Kamikochi Wetlands, but not before sleeping each night in traditional onsen ryokans and enjoying daily hot spring baths.
Road Less Traveled Japan: Tokyo, Izu Islands, Osaka, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Takachiho, Kumamoto - 16 Days
This 16-day adventure is planned with nature lovers in mind, who also want a touch of Japan's urban highlights. You'll traverse the well-worn paths of the mountain monks, breathe in the history of temples which have endured for centuries, take a boat ride down Takachiho Gorge and test your endurance as you hike Mount Misen, off the coast of Hiroshima. This tour offers a nice balance of remote destinations rarely seen by tourists, combined with museum visits and culinary experiences in Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
Uncharted Japan: Tokyo, Tsuruoka, Izu Islands, Osaka, Kagoshima, Yakushima, Takachiho, Kumamoto - 16 Days
This 16-day adventure tour is specifically designed for nature lovers, where you'll visit remote destinations rarely seen by tourists, go on beautiful hikes with stunning scenery, and visit islands brimming with life. Leave the hustle and bustle of Tokyo behind as you traverse the well-worn paths of the mountain mystics, and enjoy a boat ride down Takachiho Gorge.
Explore the ancient capitals of Japan by foot on this walking tour along the country's oldest known road. Visit Tanzan Shrine, one of Japan's oldest Buddhist temples, and wander the streets of Nara's Edo-period merchant district. Walk through forests dotted with statues of the Buddha, and deepen your understanding of Japanese culture with an overnight stay in a ryokan (traditional inn) or minshuku (family-run guesthouse)—or, spend a night or two getting to know a local family with a Japanese homestay.
Enjoy the exceptional beauty of Lake Biwa on this 7-day cycling tour starting in Moriyama. Visit unique and historical villages such as Omi-Hachiman, Sugaura, and Harie, where you can sample local cuisine, learn about regional culture, and cycle along picturesque forest and beach paths. Stop at shrines, take a cable car to the top of Mt. Shizugatake, and enjoy a boat ride to the spiritual Chikubujima Island, all while sleeping at traditional guesthouses with onsen, hot spring baths.
This 6-day winter tour starts in the buzzy city of Matsumoto and continues into the scenic Japanese Alps for adventures like snowshoeing tours, cable-car rides, and peaceful walks through snow corridors. Stay in traditional alpine villages like Nagano and Oku-Hida where you'll sleep at onsen ryokan inns with relaxing hot springs. End your trip by preparing and eating traditional Japanese cuisine with locals before enjoying a little retail therapy in the city of Takayama.
Explore the breathtaking natural scenery of the Noto Peninsula in this 7-day cycling tour, starting in the bustling cities of Kyoto and Kanazawa. Cycle along coastal routes with stunning vistas overlooking the seaside, sandy beaches, and rice fields as you make your way to the charming villages of Togi, Wajima, and Suzushi where you'll stay in traditional, family-run guesthouses. Finish your trip on Notojima Island and in the town of Ogi, stopping at Sojiji Temple and a traditional hot-spring onsen before returning to Kyoto.
Explore the breathtaking natural scenery of the Noto Peninsula in this 6-day tour, starting in the bustling cities of Kyoto and Kanazawa. Cycle along coastal routes with stunning vistas overlooking the seaside, sandy beaches, and rice fields as you make your way to the charming villages of Togi, Wajima, and Suzushi where you'll stay in traditional, family-run guesthouses. Finish your trip on Notojima Island and in the town of Ogi, stopping at Sojiji Temple and a traditional hot-spring onsen before returning to Kyoto.
Discover the pristine natural landscape of Hokkaido on this 7-day winter itinerary. Japan’s second-largest main island is a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers, with snow-capped mountain ranges, serene forests, and deep crater lakes. Starting in Kushiro on the east coast, you’ll travel north, heading into the winter wilderness of Akan-Mashu National Park. Visit UNESCO World Heritage nature reserves, experience spectacular snow-covered landscapes, and spot rare wildlife unique to Hokkaido before ending your adventure on the magnificent Shiretoko Peninsula.
Explore mountain villages, snowcapped peaks, and Onsen hot springs on this 6-day winter journey into the heart of Japan’s Northern Alps. Start in the feudal castle town of Matsumoto, venture into the Oku-Hida Mountains to find biodiverse highlands and secluded Ryokan inns, and end your stay in Hida-Furukawa and Takayama for an unforgettable winter experience.
This active 9-day itinerary takes you on a memorable journey through central Japan's history and culture, from ultra-modern Tokyo to the historic imperial capital of Kyoto. In between, you'll visit the famous gardens of Kanazawa, cycle through traditional thatched villages of the Hida region, walk portions of the ancient Nakasendo Trail, and explore the preserved post towns of the Kiso Valley.
This diverse 10-day itinerary focuses on Japan's four major cities. Start in Tokyo, exploring the city's modern and ancient charms, before heading to traditional Kyoto, trendy Osaka, and inspiring Hiroshima. In between, you'll visit magical islands and bamboo forests, sample local cuisine, and experience the culture of four fascinating regions.
This two-week itinerary takes you on a whirlwind tour through Japan's greatest highlights. Walk the streets of hyper-modern Tokyo and Osaka, hike to a sacred Buddhist monastery at Koyasan, soak in hot springs under Mount Fiji, and step back in time in historic Kyoto. From ancient temples to futuristic art shows, vibrant cities to secluded mountaintops, you'll experience a little bit of everything on this adventurous journey.
October is, arguably, the best month to travel to Japan (although this will depend on what you want to experience!). Temperatures in most places are still warm, but the intense humidity and increased rainfall of summer has subsided. Autumn leaves begin appearing at higher elevations and more northern latitudes. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in October.
September in Japan tends to be a month of two faces: earlier in the month, temperatures remain high and a second rainy season hits, bringing typhoons to some parts of the country. Later in the month, conditions are better for getting out and about, with warm but not overly hot temperatures, and clear skies. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in September.
August is the hottest month of the year in Japan, and conditions are generally quite uncomfortable, with high humidity and hot nights. But, there are exceptions to this, and having a great time in Japan in mid-summer depends on knowing the best places to go, and the right experiences to enjoy. Here's what you need to know about traveling to Japan in August.
July is mid-summer in Japan, and while temperatures aren't quite so high as in August, they are pretty hot. Add intense humidity to the mix, and conditions can be quite uncomfortable. But, conditions aren't the same across the whole country: Hokkaido is much more temperate, and the beaches of Okinawa are a good retreat at this time of year. If you find yourself in Japan's major cities in July, you can also enjoy many traditional summer festivals. Here's how to have a good time in Japan in July.
June is the start of summer in Japan, and also the rainy season. Temperatures and humidity are high in many parts of the country, but June tends to be more comfortable than late summer. If you want to experience a Japanese summer, June is a better option than July and August, and if you know where to go, you can have an enjoyable and comfortable time in Japan in June.
May is a great time to travel to Japan, as the temperatures are generally warm but not as stifling and humid as they'll become in the summer. The extremely busy Golden Week holiday earlier in the month should be avoided, but if you're coming later in the month you'll find many places busy but not uncomfortably crowded. Here's what you need to know about traveling to Japan in May.
The arrival of spring brings warmer temperatures throughout the country, as well as more visitors. Aside from the increased crowds, April is a great time to visit Japan as it avoids the cold winter and the wet, humid summer. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in April.
March is on the cusp of winter and spring in Japan, with different parts of the country leaning more towards one than the other. The country's famous cherry blossom parties begin in more southern locations later in the month, when the sakura bloom. Northern parts of the country are still quite wintry, and you can still ski. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in March.
February is mid-winter in Japan, and along with January, is the coldest moth. But, winter varies enormously throughout the country, with warm temperatures in the islands of Okinawa in the south, very cold temperatures and heavy snow on the western side of Honshu and Hokkaido, and moderately cold temperatures elsewhere. But, there are relatively few tourists at this time of year, and the spectacular Sapporo Snow Festival is one reason (among many) to visit Japan in February.
December is the start of winter across Japan, but what that means in reality varies from north to south and east to west. In the northern island of Hokkaido, expect temperatures below freezing and snow. In southern parts of Kyushu, earlier in the month, you may still see autumnal colors. Here are a few important things to know about visiting Japan in December.
By November, Japan has well and truly entered autumn mode. Towards the end of the month, the leaves on the trees turn red and gold in central and southern parts of the country, and leaf-viewing parties are second only to flower-viewing parties to the Japanese. Temperatures are mild in many places, and rainfall low, so November is a great time to travel to Japan.
January is mid-winter in Japan, but because it's such a long country with many climatic zones, mid-winter can mean everything from deep snow and sub-zero temperatures to pleasantly warm and sunny. It's not peak tourism season, but there are still many things you can enjoy, both indoors and outdoors. Here's what you need to know about traveling to Japan in January.
This exciting itinerary goes beyond normal expectations by including a diverse range of activities for an authentic travel experience. Immerse yourself in Japan's state of the art tech in Tokyo and visit an interactive art museum on the man-made island Odaiba prior to traveling to Fujikawaguchiko where you can look at the famous Mount Fuji volcano while relaxing in an onsen hot spring. You will then depart for Nagoya and visit interactive robots as well as the Ise Jingu Grand Shrine before a bullet train takes you to Kanazawa which has many historic samurai homes and the charming village Gokayama and finally, you will tour your final destination Kyoto by bicycle and discover breathtaking temples as well as the lively city culture.
Venture beyond the major cities with this 10-day adventure through Japan’s most stunning natural and cultural wonders. Starting in glittering Tokyo, you’ll visit ancient shrines, climb mountain peaks, and enter lush bamboo forests before ending your journey in historic Kyoto.
This trip will take you to all the places you shouldn't miss on your first trip to Japan. Discover both the traditional and modern sides of Japan at shrines and temples, witness technological innovation at an amazing digital art exhibition and a crazy robot cabaret, and get involved in hands-on cooking and craft classes. This 13-day tour is a perfect introduction to the best of Japan.
This 12-day trip combines the best of Japan's major cities, historic places, and natural areas. You'll explore Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, as well as to the beautiful mountainside town of Nikko and the relaxing hot springs of Hakone. Enjoy everything Japan has to offer, including its culture, art, temples and shrines, and tasty, traditional cuisine.
Along with two major cities–modern Tokyo and traditional Kyoto–this itinerary also takes you to the beautiful mountainside areas of Nikko and Hakone. The former is a place of much spiritual significance, and the latter is one of the best areas in the country to experience the Japanese hot springs. A mixture of old-meets-new Japan, this trip has all you need to experience multiple sides of the country.
This weeklong trip to Japan packs in plenty of exploration, so you can discover a good amount of the country’s culture and history. Experience life in bustling Tokyo, and then immerse yourself in a slower way of living among the mountains and temples of Kyoto. In between your visit to both major cities, you’ll get to relax, kick back, and soak in the rejuvenating hot springs of Hakone.
This short-yet-sweet five-day trip to Japan is packed with experiences to make the most out of your time. Covering two of the major cities–Tokyo and Kyoto–this trip has all you need to experience two completely different, yet equally beautiful, sides of Japan. In Tokyo, you’ll experience progressive technology in Odaiba and dine at a Robot Restaurant. In Kyoto, you’ll learn about Japanese traditions, including geisha culture and the arts. Enjoy sushi making, and tour the most famous shrines and temples along the way.
This 14-day trip takes you to the major cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, where you'll experience a mix of modern culture and timeworn traditions. You'll also venture to the temples and shrines in Nikko and a hot springs retreat in Hakone. The last leg takes you to Nara, known for its free-roaming deer, and Hiroshima, where you'll witness the flourishing rebuild of one of Japan's most historically significant towns.
This 10-day itinerary follows the path of Japan's ancient Tokaido Highway (the Golden Route) from the skyscrapers of ultra-modern Tokyo to the cultural heart of Kyoto. In between the two cities, you'll stop in the beautiful town of Hakone to soak up Mount Fuji views, hot springs, and excellent museums. Traveling by bullet train, your flexible Japan Rail Pass offers plenty of day-trips for a truly customizable adventure.
On this scenic trip, you'll visit two of the largest cities in Japan: Tokyo and Osaka. However, your itinerary will mostly focus on some of the lesser-known islands surrounding the mainland. Hachijojima has some of the best stargazing in the country, Aogashima is a tiny, beautiful volcanic island, and the Goto islands have an impressive history with stunning beaches. Discover a side of Japan most visitors never get to see!
The combination of historic and modern beauty makes Japan the ideal vacation destination. On this journey of old world-meets-new world, you will explore the progressive city of Tokyo, along with strolling through pockets of old Japan. Excursions into the hot springs of Gero Onsen and the gardens of Kanazawa will allow you to experience the preservation of nature. Even still, you can channel Japan’s past–in present-day–by taking up residency in a thatched-roof farmhouse in Shirakawa-go, connecting with long-time local artisans in Takayama, and exploring the ancient temples of Kyoto.
Equally known for its vibrant city life and mountainous beauty, Japan offers a well-rounded visit, filled with liveliness, adventure, and variety. On your 12-day journey, you will explore the high-energy tech and fashion trends of Tokyo, enjoy the breathtaking views and temples of Kyoto, and relax at a hot springs retreat in Hakone. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture, complete with the exceptional, authentic dining of Osaka.
Revitalizing hot spring baths, multi-course dinners made from fresh, local ingredients and the comfiest pillows you’ve ever tried, Ryokan hotels are an unforgettable way to experience traditional, Japanese luxury. Read on to learn the history and offerings of this unique lodging experience and the best places to stay.
Japan’s museums aren't all serious affairs. Sure, some of them deal with classic museum topics like art and history—but many go for the charming, quirky, or downright bizarre, focusing on collections that are so obscure, you won't find them anywhere else in the world. Visit the seven spots in this list to catch a unique exhibition or to check out the extraordinary architecture,
Discover both the traditional and modern sides of Japan as you visit various shrines and temples, witness technological innovation at an amazing digital art exhibition and crazy (in a very good way) robot show, and get involved in a few hands-on cooking and craft classes. For a trip which aims to give you the best overview of Japan as possible, you can't do any better.