Japan small group holiday by bullet train

Starting and finishing in Tokyo, spend two nights in the country’s top spots, with plenty of visits included and three nights in gorgeous traditional inns.
Tokyo Hakone NP Kamikochi National Park Osaka Kyoto Tea ceremony with maiko overnight stays in traditional ryokan inns Hot spring baths Takayama Matsumoto
Price
£4140To£4570excluding flights
Duration
14 Days
Type
Small group
Group size
4-14
Reviews
More info
This tour has a single supplement.
This guarantees a single room throughout the tour except for the 2 nights in Kamikochi where single travellers might be asked to share with another group member of the same sex.
Single supplement from: £900 to £940.
Make enquiry

Description of Japan small group holiday by bullet train

This small group tour has a maximum number of 14 participants and the full time services of an expert tour leader. Honshu is Japan’s largest island and this trip covers the classic experiences this exciting country has to offer: the bright neon lights of Tokyo; Osaka for the best street food; imperial Kyoto home to shrines, temples, gardens and geisha; and the stunning traditional architecture of Takayama and the awe-inspiring peaks of Kamikochi National Park in the Japanese Alps.

We'll start and finish in Tokyo, a city of pulsating energy, giving you three nights to explore here. It’s not all fast paced though; the capital has pockets of calm in among the skyscrapers, such as tranquil Hamarikyu Garden, Meiji Shrine and Senso-ji Temple.

The world famous Shinkansen (bullet train) whisks us to down-to-earth Osaka and the serenity of Kyoto’s Zen gardens. We’ll stop off in Hakone National Park en-route to take in the natural hot spring baths and the views of Mount Fuji. On July and August departures you can opt to do an overnight climb to Fuji’s summit to see the sun rise over Tokyo.

No trip to Honshu would be complete without the Japanese Alps, for craft markets, sake breweries, beautiful wooden buildings and gorgeous mountain scenery.

We’ll spend several nights in traditional inns (ryokan) in Takayama and Kamikochi to complete our adventure in the land of the rising sun.

Price information

£4140To£4570excluding flights
This tour has a single supplement.
This guarantees a single room throughout the tour except for the 2 nights in Kamikochi where single travellers might be asked to share with another group member of the same sex.
Single supplement from: £900 to £940.
Make enquiry

Check dates, prices & availability

Travel guides

Japan culture
The Japanese welcome is part of the country’s makeup, not only to foreigners but from neighbour to neighbour. Which means that travelling here is simp...
Japan railway
With super-fast, super-efficient shinkansen bullet trains connecting practically every major city, and the potential to head up into the mountains too...

Holiday information

Our top tip:
Don’t be shy of hot spring baths. Learn the etiquette, immerse and converse.
Trip type:
Small group, max 14 people.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Surcharge for single rooms.
Accomm:
Good standard hotels and 2 nights in traditional ryokan inns.
Included:
Accomm., tour leader, rail and other transport passes, most activities.
Meals:
All breakfasts, 7 dinners included. Budget £3 for fast street food, £8-10 for modest dinners.
Dietary requirements:
We can cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Reviews

8 Reviews of Japan small group holiday by bullet train

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 01 Nov 2019 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was the train travel and scenery. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Jun 2018 by

The most exciting elements were the cultural differences and beauty of Japan. The most memorable was the stunning 'Japanese Alps' at Kamicochi. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Nov 2016 by

Autumn colours were wonderful and the temples were most interesting. Excellent, with attention to detail, which made the tour very easy for the group. Hotels very good. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2016 by

Very good itinerary that included cities and countryside and a variety of types of accommodation. There was plenty of optional free time to explore one your own if you wanted. Brian, the tour leader was conscientious and helpful, we were particularly impressed that he met us at our hotel on arrival in Japan in spite of the very late hour. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2016 by

We particularly liked Takayama. We had the experience of staying in Ryokan and were fully exposed to Japanese breakfasts...Very good itinary, Good logistics. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2015 by

A ten plus. The whole trip was fantastic, from the neon lights of Tokyo to the countryside around Takayama. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2015 by

It was fabulous and everything and more than we expected! Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2014 by

Excellent thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it. The whole holiday was memorable as we went from the busy metropolis of Tokyo to the quiet of the Japanese Alps. 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.

Planet

Japan is probably most famous for its cities; neon-spangled skyscrapers, crowded zebra crossings, the bullet trains and human-esque robots. But on this tour we also head for the countryside, particularly the unspoiled landscape of Kamikochi National Park high in the Japanese Alps.

We’ll be following in the footsteps of Banryu, a priest who was the first person to scale the Kamikochi mountains to worship nature according to the Buddhist doctrines. On our tour we’ll continue in this tradition, respecting the Kamikochi country code: not to disturb animals, not to damage wild plants and not to leave any litter.

Since 1909 regulations for the preservation of mountain plants in Kamikochi has been enforced and the Japanese rock ptarmigan, antelope and char are all protected animal species. In 1965 the local community established “Kamikochi Preservation”, a volunteer group. By behaving in a responsible manner during our stay in Kamikochi, we’ll be supporting the group’s work and helping to maintain the virgin nature of the national park for future generations.

People

We hate the idea of travelling in a ‘tour bus bubble’, talking only to your fellow travellers and not interacting with the communities we pass through. That’s why this tour is conducted entirely by public transport. Hopping on the Hiroshima trams and the Tokyo subway, or sitting next to commuters on the bullet train gives you plenty of opportunity to talk to local Japanese people. The Japanese are excellent hosts; polite, welcoming and proud of their traditional culture. So why not ask a local how to write your name in Japanese or fold an origami crane?

On this tour we’ll spend 6 nights in traditional accommodation known as ryokan or minshuku. Here we’ll experience authentic Japanese living. Taking our shoes off at the door, we must wear slippers around the inn and just socks on the tatami mat floors in our guestrooms. Our beds are thick futon mattresses laid on the tatami. In Kamikochi there are no en-suite bathrooms; instead we’ll use the communal baths (men and women separately). Etiquette dictates that you must wash yourself fully before climbing into the big tub for a soak. And strictly birthday suits only! But don’t worry, the tour leader will explain all these social rules and the reason behind them to deepen our understanding of Japanese culture.

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