From the neon lights of buzzing Tokyo to ancient temples on snowy mountain tops, Japan is a feast for the senses and this 13-day tour is the most amazing way to experience it. You'll walk the streets of one of the world's busiest and most futuristic cities, watch monkeys bathe in hot springs, roll your sushi, visit ancient shrines and castles, get taught to wield a sword by a Samurai master, stay overnight with monks in a 1000-year-old Buddhist temple and much more. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
You will get to experience Japan's rich food and drink culture with a visit to the Tsukiji fish market and a brewery visit for beer and sake tasting. See the Jigokudani snow monkeys, explore Shiga Kogen National Park, enjoy a pirate ship cruise on Lake Ashi and a cable car ride over Mount Fuij. The tour also includes access to Osaka Castle, Arishiyama Bamboo Forest and Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion, plus an overnight stay at a Buddhist temple including meditation, a night temple walk, morning prayer and fire ceremony.
Day 1: Arrive and Meet Your Group
Once you arrive and check-in at the hotel, you'll then have plenty of time to recover from your flight and relax before you meet everyone in your group.
Day 2: Tokyo City Tour and Nightlife
First up is a visit to the Senso-Ji Temple, before heading over to the stunning Meiji Shrine. Next up, we discover colourful Harajuku as well as the iconic Shibuya Crossing. Later, we'll experience some of Japan's quirky restaurants and tiny bars in Shinjuku.
Day 3: Fish Market, Sushi class and Arcades
Today, we'll discover the organized mayhem of the Tsukiji Fish Market. Afterwards, a sushi master will teach you the art of rolling your fresh sushi. This evening, we'll head for the bright lights of Akihabara. From classic arcade games to the insanity of Japanese photo booths, you'll soon learn why they call this Electric City.
Day 4: Nagano, Sake tasting and Brewery Visit
Today we board our first Shinkansen, the famous bullet train, and rocket through the Japanese countryside at over 200 mph. Once in Nagano, we'll get a chance to taste locally brewed sake. Our home tonight is a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn where we'll sleep on bamboo mats.
Day 5: Snow Monkeys and Shiga Kogen National Park
Today, we head into the mountains to see the famous Snow Monkeys. These Japanese Macaques play among the trees in summer, whilst in winter you'll catch these guys bathing in natural hot springs to escape the cold. We'll then explore the lakes and forests of the Shiga Kogen National Park, a beautiful site year-round.
Day 6: Nagano to Hakone
Leaving Nagano behind, we'll shoot off again by bullet train to stunning Hakone, a spot famous in Japan for its jaw-dropping views of Mount Fuji.
Day 7: Hakone to Osaka
We'll spend the morning exploring the stunning region of Hakone by a pirate ship and cable car, where on a clear day you'll have unrivalled views of Mount Fuji. Next up is Osaka, where we'll head out to the vibrant Dotonbori canal region for dinner and then a party in the crazy neon nightlife.
Day 8: Osaka Castle
Spend the morning relaxing or exploring Osaka's awesome shopping. Later we'll visit the incredible Osaka Castle, first built over 400 years ago. Here we'll learn about Japanese history and Japan's ancient warriors, the samurai.
Day 9: Koyasan Temple Stays
We head back to the mountains today for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of staying overnight in a 1000 years old Buddhist Temple in Koyasan. Here, we'll be taught meditation by the monks, served their traditional cuisine and have a guided night-time stroll through Japan's largest cemetery. We'll spend another night sleeping in a traditional Japanese style surrounded by the beauty of the temple grounds.
Day 10:Koyasan to Kyoto
Today, we wake up early for an unforgettable experience of watching the Buddhist monks perform their morning prayer service and fire ceremony. We'll be served breakfast by the monks before travelling to our last destination, Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital. When we arrive, there'll be time to chill in our awesome accommodation before heading out for dinner and drinks.
Day 11:Bamboo Forest, Golden Pavilion and Geishas
Make sure your phone's charged today. First up is the Instagram famous Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama. We then head to the beautiful Golden Pavilion, a temple covered entirely in gold, before visiting Gion, the famous home of Japan's beautiful and mysterious Geishas.
Day 12: Fushimi Inari and Samurai Experience
Today, the endless bright Torii gates of Fushimi-Inari await us. In the afternoon, we will be taught how to wield a traditional sword by a sensei descended from the Samurai. Experience the finesse of these weapons as you channel your inner warrior and slice through rolled bamboo.
Day 13: Check Out and Onward Travel
Your amazing 13-day adventure comes to an end. You can either check out and make your way back home, stay on longer in Kyoto or continue your travels in Japan.