Kyoto to Tokyo small group holiday in Japan

Japan is a treat to explore – peaceful temples, friendly people, a fascinating culture, amazing food – and this well balanced tour reveals it all in 12 days.
Three nights in Kyoto optional: cookery class, hire a bike Koya-san castle at Himeji Hiroshima Miyajima Island Itsukushima shrine Tsumago night in a ryokan hike a short section of Nakasendo Highway Matsumoto three nights in Tokyo full day tour and free day
£4000To£5115excluding flights
12 Days
Small group
More info
Single supplement £205.
Last minute
Late availability on these dates: 03 Mar, 10 Mar, 17 Mar
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Description of Kyoto to Tokyo small group holiday in Japan

This Kyoto to Tokyo small group holiday in Japan takes you through the heart of this fascinating country, discovering temples and shrines, castles and hiking trails, riding the Bullet train and, of course, tucking into the sensational tempura, sushi and noodles. This is a well balanced trip, with a mix of included activities, travel to famous cities but also smaller, less well known spots, and lots of free time so you can explore at your own pace. A knowledgeable tour leader will be with you throughout, to offer advice and steer you towards the best experiences.

Begin by spending three nights in beautiful Kyoto, once the capital of Imperial Japan. Visit the city’s most celebrated sites, including the beautiful Ryoanji Zen Garden, Nijo Castle and the golden Kinkakuji Temple. In the evening, wander the streets of Gion, too, the entertainment district at the heart of geisha culture. You’ll have a full free day here – you might like to join a cookery class or hire a bike.

From here, see the abundance of temples dotted through beautiful scenery at Koya-san, and even stay in one overnight, before travelling to Hiroshima to learn more about its sobering Second World War history. You’ll have the chance to stay overnight in a traditional inn, called a ryokan, in Tsumago, a small but beautifully preserved Edo era town along the ancient Nakesendo Highway. You’ll also have the chance to hike some of the Highway, too. Travel on to Matsumoto where you can see its famous castle and finish your trip with three nights in big, buzzing Tokyo.

We use Japan’s brilliantly run and ultra modern rail system for most of the travel, and a seven day Japan Rail Pass is included in this trip. You’ll also have the chance to ride the famous Bullet train, too, zipping around the country in comfort.


Price information

£4000To£5115excluding flights
Single supplement £205.
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...


1 Reviews of Kyoto to Tokyo small group holiday in Japan

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The cherry blossom in Japan.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take an umbrella, be ready to walk a lot and have fun.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, especially the local hotels amd ryokan.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. Very good guide (Kimi) who went beyond the holiday description, taking us on tours, and explaining the local customs. We explored other tours before booking with this company and this was best value for money.

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.


Much of the travelling on this trip is done on the famous Bullet train. Journeying by rail produces significantly less carbon emissions per passenger than travel by either air or car, making this one of the most environmentally responsible methods to explore this magnificent country. All travellers in the group will be encouraged to travel with refillable water bottles and purification tablets rather than purchasing water in plastic bottles to minimise waste and your group leader will also be on hand to advise on the responsible discarding of rubbish throughout the trip, recycling wherever possible.
We are a big supporter of the protection of endangered species around the world. It is against our Responsible Travel policy for leaders to take passengers to places that use cruel practices or supply or serve foods that are on the endangered species list, such as whale, turtle, tiger, bird’s nests, pangolin and shark.


There are many activity options enabling you to interact with local people and learn and understand their traditions. We of course do what we can to demonstrate respect for local culture and tradition. While Japan is known for its 'out there' fashions overall, it is quite a conservative country. We spend time at temples, working monasteries, holy shrines, recreated villages and castles, cooking schools and ancient gardens. At these places it is important to be respectful to the staff and other visitors by wearing clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. During your visit you will receive hospitality from local families and people. A great way to reciprocate is to bring a small gift from your country, eg. animal figurines, pens, flags or stickers.
The accommodation for this trip is a mix of small locally owned and operated ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) and guesthouses, where our patronage is directly supporting local families. Our gracious hosts will help guide you around traditional practices and living arrangements. An outdoor onsen (hot spring bath) is a real highlight of a guesthouse stay. There are separate baths for males and females, and as no clothes or swimming costumes are allowed in the hot springs - it's time to shed those inhibitions!

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