“Most people don’t realise that you can do Japan on a shoestring. And certainly not tailor made. But here it is and, in Japanese style, beautifully packaged and created with care. ”
Tokyo | Hakone National Park | Hot spring baths | Night in traditional ryokan or inn | Kyoto | Bullet train journey
Description of Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring
Japan has long been thought of as one of the world’s most expensive holiday destinations, but this needn’t be the case with our 7 night Price Cruncher package. This exciting self-guided trip takes you to Japan’s must-see cities Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as Hakone National Park in the shadow of Mount Fuji.
It’s a joy to travel in Japan on a shoestring; everywhere is clean and spotless, trains are always on time and there’s no such thing as a rip-off ‘tourist price’. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality; in Tokyo and Kyoto you’ll stay in well located business hotels, and in Hakone your accommodation is a traditional Japanese ryokan (guest house) complete with hot spring baths. A light breakfast is included every morning. We've even thrown in a tea ceremony experience in Kyoto - an traditional Japanese art form that is a thing of beauty.
All transport between destinations is included and one of your journeys will be on the world famous Shinkansen bullet train, an essential Japan travel experience! Also included are local transport passes in Tokyo (the Manaca card) and a Hakone Freepass which covers the local buses, mountains railways, cable cars and even a pirate boat which take you through spectacular scenery and great Fuji-san views.
All of our customer receive a detailed Info-Pack. This includes all the essential information you will need to make your transfers and get to your hotels, as well as all manner of useful sightseeing and cultural tips to help you along your way e.g. where to spot a geisha, how to visit an early morning sumo stable and the best cheap, local food to eat. You will also have the security of our Japan office - on hand at any time should you experience any sort of difficulty during your holiday.
Please note: In order to keep travel costs down, this trip is designed to start in Tokyo (either at Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda Airports) and finish in Kyoto with a departure from Osaka Kansai Airport. For this you will need an "open-jaw" flight ticket into Tokyo and out of Osaka Kansai. Alternatively if you would prefer to fly home from Tokyo we can tailor the itinerary to take you back to the capital.
TOKYO (no meals) | Arrive Tokyo Narita Airport and use the included Manaca Intercity transport card to take a train into Tokyo. Your accommodation is a business hotel in the historic Asakusa district near Senso-ji Temple.
TOKYO (breakfast) | A free day of sightseeing in Tokyo. You Info-Pack will have lots of ideas and advice such as taking in the views from the top of the Skytree, wandering around Hamarikyu Garden or browsing the crazy fashion shops in Harajuku.
TOKYO (breakfast) | Another free day in Tokyo. Be sure to check out the nightlife in the neon-lit Shinjuku and Shibuya districts.
HAKONE (breakfast) | Take a highway bus to Hakone National Park (2 hours). Explore the national park with the included Hakone Freepass which is valid on the mountain railways, cable cars, local buses and a pirate ship which criss-cross this beautiful region which offers stunning views of Mount Fuji. Tonight’s accommodation is a traditional Japanese ryokan with an outdoor hot spring bath.
KYOTO (breakfast) | Take the world famous Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto (2 hours). Here you will stay in a business hotel in Kyoto’s downtown area among charming local restaurants and craft shops.
KYOTO (breakfast) | There is so much to see in the imperial capital from the Golden Temple to Kiyomizu-dera, the bamboo groves of Arashiyama and the tunnels of red torii gates lining the mountain at Fushimi Inari. In the evening head to Gion and you might just spot a geisha scuttling between tea houses.
KYOTO (breakfast) | A free day to further explore Kyoto or pay on the day for a day trip to Nara, home of the big Buddha statue, the original samurai castle of Himeji, or infamous Hiroshima for a moving visit to the Peace Park.
DEPART (breakfast) | Shared shuttle bus transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport (2 hours).
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Our top tip:
Bathe as much as you can – it is a massive part of Japanese culture and very cheap if you seek out the public sento bathhouses.
Self-guided, tailor-made trip.
Solo travellers welcome. Surcharge for single room.
Budget city hotels plus one night in traditional ryokan or inn.
Accomm., airport transfers, public transport passes, Kyoto guide, Tea ceremony.
All breakfasts, 1 dinner included. Budget £3 for fast street food, £8-10 for modest dinner.
“Up in the Hakone National Park, they boil eggs in the naturally hot water. They say that eating one of those eggs lengthens your life by five years.”
Learn more about this itinerary in Responsible Travel's interview with Ruth Hubbard, the product manager for this tripRead full interview here
Responsible tourism: Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring
All journeys on this trip are by public transport and you’ll be amazed at how many different forms of transport you’ll use! Train, subway, local bus, mountain railway, cable cars, funicular railway, pirate boat, tram and you could even hire bikes to explore Kyoto – details of which will be in the Info-Pack.
Hotel staff in Japan are aware of environmental issues, so do look out for recycling bins in the hotels and also outside convenience stores. We give all clients an ‘Eco-Card’ which you can leave on the hotel room bed asking staff not to replace linen and towels.
All of our customers receive a list of tips for going green in Japan. We encourage clients not to overuse the air conditioning in summer or heating in winter. Tap water is safe to drink in Japan so you can avoid buying bottles of water from the ubiquitous vending machines. Our Info-Pack provides lots of recommendations for local restaurants and shops.
The Fuji Hakone Guest House has been welcoming international visitors to Hakone National Park for more than 30 years. Run by the very hospitable Takahashi family, you are sure to receive a warm welcome - as well as an introduction into traditional Japanese culture. Rooms here are Japanese-style; that means you'll need to take your shoes off before stepping on to the soft tatami mat floors. Simple instructions are provided in English to guide you through your stay in a traditional inn; where to take your shoes off, how to lay out your futon bedding and how to use the outdoor hot spring bath (hint: you have to take all your clothes off and wash thoroughly before getting in the bath!). The staff organise various cultural events including kimono wearing and Shamisen music performances. They'll also happily teach you how to make origami crane or write your name in katakana!
In July and August, the Fuji Hakone Guest House is a convenient springboard for climbing Mount Fuji. Please ask if you would like to fit this in your Price Cruncher package.
Reviews of Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 28 Feb 2017 by Owen Cawley
Meeting a Maiko (trainee Geisha) in Kyoto was a fantastic experience! Exploring the old city of Kyoto with an amazing guide was also wonderful! Fantastic, the absolute best holiday we have been on! Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Oct 2016 by Anne Davies
Absolutely brilliant. We were a little anxious beforehand as we had not participated in a group tour before but we certainly do so again provided it was with your organisation! Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Aug 2016 by Rachel Nash
Excellent!...Taking a day out between the big cities to relax in a traditional style Ryokan was fantastic. Something we wouldn't have considered if we'd tried to book everything ourselves.Read full review
Reviewed on 31 May 2016 by Cat Pickup
A holiday of a lifetime...Dinner in the evening was the best kaiseki of our trip - the fish salted and fresh with the most minimal food miles - straight from the fish ponds outside.Read full review
Experiencing Japan- a fascinating, different and wonderful country to visit. We loved Tokyo and Kyoto and all the sights there.Read full review
Reviewed on 21 Apr 2015 by Jennifer Whiteside
I absolutely adored Hakone...That entire leg of the journey was my favourite. I wish we'd had more time there. It was so relaxing, but at the same time there was mountain to explore! ...Our tour operators were fantastic, they couldn't do enough for us.Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Sep 2015 by Caitriona Tomlinson
This was an excellent and memorable holiday and both my daughter and I judged it a great success. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Sep 2015 by Caitriona Tomlinson
This was an excellent and memorable holiday and both my daughter and I judged it a great success.Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Aug 2015 by Perwina Whitmore
The most memorable part is hard to identify as the whole experience was fantastic. Excellent!Read full review