Japan cultural small group holiday

Just like Japan’s bullet train, this fully guided, small group trip zips around the country’s cultural cacophony smoothly, efficiently and at a very reasonable cost.
Tokyo Hakone National Park Stay in traditional ryokan inn Hot spring baths Kamakura Bullet train journey Kyoto
£2260To£2560excluding flights
10 Days
Small group
More info
Maximum Group Size: 14. All our tours have guaranteed single rooms with a mandatory supplement.
If you don't want to pay the supplement on our Essential tours, you can choose to share a room throughout with a fellow solo traveler of the same sex.
Make enquiry

Description of Japan cultural small group holiday

From the thrills of high-tech Tokyo to the serenity of Zen gardens and hidden temples in Kyoto, this journey along the ancient Tokaido highway is a fantastic introduction to Japan’s uniquely vibrant culture.

Visit Hikone castle on the shore of Lake Biwa, relax in the velvety-soft volcanic waters of Hakone’s hot spring baths, stroll among the geisha of Kyoto’s Gion district, and experience the sound of the Shinkansen (bullet train) thundering past at breath-taking speeds. Japan is a sensory experience like nowhere else. A feast for the eyes, ears and of course, the taste buds!

Combining modern, centrally-located business hotels with friendly traditional inns and transfers by public transport throughout; the Tokaido Trail provides a slice of every day Japanese life. You’ll have the chance to breakfast alongside suited salary men, experience the ordered chaos of *Tsukiji’s early morning tuna auctions and slurp steaming hot ramen noodles in a stand up bar under the railway tracks.

The included excursion day is an opportunity to visit any one of a number of fascinating destinations: The giant Buddha and tame deer of Nara; Himeji’s magnificent original samurai castle or perhaps the haunting Atomic War Museum and Peace Park in Hiroshima. The hardest part is deciding where to go.

This is a 9 night small group tour (maximum group size 14 people). You will be accompanied by a native English speaking tour leader who also speaks fantastic Japanese. All accommodation and transport between destinations are included as well as breakfast every day and one evening meal. How much else you spend on food, drink and sightseeing is up to you giving you lots of flexibility. Of course the tour leader will always be on hand with restaurant suggestions and day trip ideas.

Price information

£2260To£2560excluding flights
Maximum Group Size: 14. All our tours have guaranteed single rooms with a mandatory supplement.
If you don't want to pay the supplement on our Essential tours, you can choose to share a room throughout with a fellow solo traveler of the same sex.
Make enquiry

Check dates, prices & availability

Travel guides

If you haven’t been there, just talk to someone who has. People get hooked on Japan. On their rituals, quirkiness, history and innate welcoming nature...

Holiday information

Our top tip:
On your free day go to Hiroshima. Obliterated by the 1945 atomic bomb, its reconstruction into the merry metropolis that it is today represents Japan's post-war pacifism.
Trip type:
Small group, max 14 people.
Solo travellers have single room with NO surcharge, except in traditional accommodation.
Basic hotels plus two nights in traditional ryokan inns.
Tour guide, accomm., rail passes.
All breakfasts, one dinner included. Budget £3 for street food, £8-10 for dinner in modest restaurant.
Dietary requirements:
We can cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.


3 Reviews of Japan cultural small group holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 20 Mar 2018 by

We saw various places all of which were very interesting. There is not one particular place or experience that stands out over and above everything else. It was great to cover so much ground and there was a lot to do every day. Our tour leader was helpful and very knowledgeable. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

The entire trip was so awesome. Lots of exciting things to taste, see and experience. Great way to meet people who enjoy travelling as much as I do. Fantastic trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2016 by

Really enjoyed the variety of visiting different regions of Japan e.g. busy Tokyo, tranquil Hakone, beautiful Kyoto and Nara and Kamakura. Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


We keep our group tours to a maximum of 14 people for many good reasons. Firstly travelling in a small group makes it easy to take advantage of Japan’s excellent public transport system. Of course this is good for environmental reasons, but it also avoids that feeling of being in a “tour bus bubble”, cut off from local Japanese people that we’re sure you’re keen to meet!

Small groups also mean the tour leader can take you to some interesting restaurants and izakaya (Japanese-style pubs). (Please note only one evening meal in Kyoto is included, other meals suggested by the tour leader are optional.) Large groups only fit into big chain restaurants, but we’d much rather show you the interesting, independently owned places.

Japanese culture makes much of the changing of the seasons and the food you’ll eat on this trip is sure to reflect this. The tour leader will be sure to pick restaurants were the menu offers locally grown, seasonal specialities keeping those food miles down and introducing you to the best Japanese cuisine!


Although 10 days is not a long time to spend in Japan, we really pack the cultural learning in to take you beneath the surface Japanese culture. This way you’ll get a great appreciation of the Japanese way of life in both urban areas and rural communities.

In Kyoto we’ll spend the evening with a local guide for a walking tour of the Gion geisha district. The English speaking guide will invite us for a closer look at Geisha culture, explaining the history and traditional arts (tea ceremony, fan dancing, Shamisen) that maiko (apprentice geisha) spend years mastering. These days there are only a handful of geisha working in Kyoto. And yet it is important that they continue in order to pass these traditional arts on to future Japanese generations. As we wander the streets of Gion at dusk, we may even be lucky enough to spot a real geisha scuttling between tea houses.

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