Tour of Japan

Company : The Dragon Trip
Activities: Career Break / Tours / Cultural Tours
Country: Japan
Location : Japan
Duration: 1 week to 2 weeks
Approx Costs: 1250 to 1500 £ Pound (UK)
Tour Code : TDT JP 13

The Dragon Trip has created a tour of Japan! It takes in some of nation's highlights, stunning scenery and offers incredible cultural experiences too.

Every day on a Japan backpacking trip you'll see a different side to this fascinating country. The daily contrast makes travelling in Japan totally unique and, at the same time, extremely doable on a budget...

From hi-tech metropolises to unspoilt countryside; from dinner served by robots to traditional tea ceremonies; from crazy J-Pop culture to Geishas and sumo; from ryokan bed and breakfasts to Tokyo sleeping capsules; from Zen Buddhist temples to manga and anime studios. Japan is firmly back on the backpacker bucket list and we’re here to help you tick it off with the most fun-filled, action-packed tour possible!

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Tokyo

Take in the cityscape from the top of a skyscraper, then head back down to earth to experience one of Tokyo’s buzziest districts, Shinjuku. Cap off your first day with a relaxing tea in a cat café before exploring the endless eating and drinking options on offer in Tokyo by night.

  • Arrive in Tokyo and meet your adventure leader in the lobby of the hostel- listen to your Japan briefing and hear about the itinerary and introduce yourself to the group. You will be able to drop off your bag at this point as well.
  • Take in an incredible view from the top of the Toyko Metropolitan Government Office building and get a sense of the vastness of the city
  • Head over to Shinjuku to be immersed in the city’s commercial centre; shop, eat or just experience the hectic nature of the city centre.
  • Have a drink at one the city’s cat cafés in the company of new feline friends
  • Sample cuisine at an Okonomiyaki restaurant- these are savoury pancakes and then visit the various izakaya (drinking establishments) and potentially end your night in one of Shibuya’s nightclubes

 

Day 2 – Tokyo

The morning begins with a karate lesson from a local sensei. Then test your creative mettle at an anime masterclass. In the afternoon, take in the serenity of Sensou-ji temple before sampling the delights of a Tokyo bath house.   

  • Wake up in time for the morning class at a local dojo where you will learn the ancient martial art of karate.
  • Express your more creative side with an anime demonstration and class
  • Head over to the Sensou-ji temple to see the oldest Buddhist temple in the city
  • Wander around the contemplative garden and grab some souvenirs
  • An evening of relaxations with a trip to a local Jakotsuyu – a bath house with a variety of baths and saunas to unwind in.

 

Day 3- Tokyo

Prepare your own sashimi breakfast under the watchful eye of a local sashimi master at Tokyo’s iconic Tsukiji fish market. Head into the hills to see Emperor Meiji’s shrine, and then for a total contrast check out the quirky centre of J-Pop culture in Harajuku. Wash it all down with a beer at the Sapporo brewery. 

  • An early start to visit the famous Tsukiji fish market
  • Have a cooking lesson from a sushi chef before sampling your produce with a sushi brunch
  • Take in the Shinto shrine, amidst forestry surrounding, before going to the modern district of Harajuku where you can witness the fashionistas strutting their stuff and have a drink at a maid café!
  • Discover the secrets of the local beer with a visit to the Sapporo Brewery followed by a tasting session.

 

Day 4 – Takaosan Mountain

Head to Tokyo’s sumo district to see where the wrestlers live and train, and then try your hand at the country’s other obsession – baseball – in one of the city’s numerous batting cages. Get your first taste of Japan’s beautiful outdoors with a hike up the sacred Takaosan Mountain on the city’s outskirts.

  • Go for breakfast in the city’s sumo district and wander around the places where the wrestlers live and train
  • Practice your batting at one of the city’s baseball cages
  • An afternoon of hiking with a trip out to the Takaosan mountain- a moderate hike of a few hours with scenic views and lots of temples dotted along the route
  • Take in the last sights and sounds of Tokyo in the evening or just relax after the hike

 

Day 5- Kamakura/Fujisawa

Leave the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and take a train to Kamakura, Japan’s medieval capital. Explore the town’s shrines and finish off at the Great Buddha statue at Kotoku-in temple. Sip on sake and sing your heart out in a karaoke box in Fujisawa.

  • A hearty brunch to start the day in Tokyo before heading over to the station and onto Kamakura- the medieval capital of Japan.
  • Visit the ancient shrines and Kotoku-in temple which plays host to the Great Buddha statue
  • Journey over to Fujisawa and spend the evening taking part in a typically Japanese pursuit; karaoke

 

Day 6- Mount Fuji/Hakone

Enjoy your first stunning view of Mount Fuji on the Hakone cable car. At Oowakudani you can gaze at the mountain to your heart’s content while sampling eggs cooked Fuji-style – in the sulphuric water beneath you. Cap off the day crossing Lake Ashi on a pirate ship, with Mount Fuji providing the perfect backdrop. 

  • Spend the morning in the shadow of Mount Fuji and go on a cable car that takes you up to Oowakudani where you will able to take amazing photos of the mountains
  • Samples black eggs – one of the region’s local delicacies
  • Board a pirate ship on Lake Ashi and relax whilst taking in more mountainous vistas
  • Head over to Odawara to spend the evening and discover one of the country’s smaller cities.

 

Day 7- Odawara/Kyoto

After a quick look around Odawara Castle, take the bullet train to Kyoto. Experience the timeless traditions of ancient Japan in Kyoto’s Geisha district before settling in for a meal surrounded by wood panels and lanterns in Pontocho alley.  

  • In the morning- check out the Odawara castle and wander amidst the grounds
  • Take a bullet train to Kyoto and watch the world whistle by
  • Wander around Kyoto and have a drink at some of the Kawaramuchi bars
  • Grab dinner in Pontocho alley- renowned for lanterns and wood-panelled restaurants

 

Day 8 - Kyoto

Temples, temples, temples. Witness Kyoto’s devotion to zen by exploring the Philosopher’s Path and the many temples that adorn the hills surrounding the city. Relax in hot springs to the north of the city and then spend the evening in the Gion district spotting Geishas or being transformed into one for the evening.

  • A morning of temples starts with a visit to the Kiyomuzu temple which has incredible views of the Koyasu Pagoda from the wooden terrace
  • Walk down the Philiospher’s path and check out both the Eikando and the Nanzenji temples
  • Optional: Hot springs in the northern hills
  • An evening in the Gion district where you can either just witness the Geishas or dress up as one
  • Optional: A kabuki play at one of the country’s oldest theatres; Minami-za.

 

Day 9 – Arashiyama/Kyoto

Hike through the Arashiyama bamboo forest and the Arashiyama Monkey Park where your exertions will be rewarded with great views of Kyoto. Visit the Tenryu-ji temple and relax in the pristine gardens ahead of a rafting trip down the Hozugawa River.

  • Spend the morning hiking through the Arashiyama bamboo forest before climbing up to the Monkey Park.
  • Feed the monkeys or take in the city views from the peak
  • Visit the Tenryu-ji temple and go to the famous gardens
  • Relax on a boat trip down the Hozugawa river- go down the river in a wooden raft and go through ravines and rapids

 

Day 10- Kyoto

Shutterbugs will adore the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji temple. Then it’s back into the hills for a wander around the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine complex, and a slice of mindfulness to finish the day with a meditation session in a local temple.

  • Wake up early to get to the Golden Pavilion at the Kinkaku temple and wander around the lake
  • Calm yourself amsidst the tranquil Buddhist rock garden of Ryoanji
  • Take the train to Fushimi Inari Taisha- where you can see the Shinto shrine amidst the wooded hills
  • Hike through the hills accessible through the corridors of red gates
  • Meditate with a Buddhist monk in a city temple

 

Day 11- Hiroshima

Learn about the Hiroshima’s tragic past and its subsequent recovery and pacifist mission at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Take a ferry to the Itsukushima shrine, built on stilts above lapping water. Then it’s time for steady hands in an evening calligraphy class.

  • Go to Hiroshima via bullet train, drop off your bags and then go to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum where you can witness the scene of one of the 20th century’s defining moments
  • Take a ferry over to Miyajima island and visit the Itsukushima shrine
  • An evening of calligraphy – a demonstration and lesson in this ancient art

 

Day 12 - Osaka

Another Japanese megacity with endless eating, drinking and entertainment options. There’s also an impressive castle. Be sure to visit Shinsaibashi and the Dotonbori riverfront in the evening. Hit the arcades and sprawling shopping malls before settling in for your final night out at the Kamikaze bar.  

  • Take a bullet train over to Osaka and grab lunch in the central city district of Nanba
  • Visit the Osaka castle and walk around the rampart walls, the vast park and nine level donjon
  • Enjoy an evening of excess at the Dotonbori riverfront with shopping, arcades and some of the country’s hippest bars!

 

Day 13- Osaka

Say goodbye to your fellow Dragon Trippers over a farewell tea ceremony.

  • Take a bullet train back to Tokyo before bidding farewell to your new friends.

 

Travel

  • Boat / Ferry
  • Bus / Coach
  • Internal Travel

Accomodation

  • Accomodation Included
  • Hostel - Dormitory
  • Hostel - Room

Tour Price

Included: Accommodation, Transport, Guiding plus a whole load of activities and cultural experiences...

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