Japan Tours & Trips 2020
Filter to find perfect
Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
Rivers & Seas Visitied
Attractions & Cities Visited
Activities & Interests
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flight & Transport Inclusions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
Impacted by Climate Change
- Surrounded in tranquil scenery, an overnight Buddhist temple stay in Koya-san is as peaceful and unique as it sounds. It’s the perfect place to stop and explore between Kyoto and Hiroshima.
- With three nights spent in Tokyo, you’ll cover the top sights with your small group and have free time to see at your own pace. With so much to do, you have the power to decide in Japan’s capital.
- A visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park is a sobering but important experience for understanding the tragedies of Japan’s not so distant past – do so with the local knowledge of your leader to show you the way.
- Spend a memorable night with an included dinner in a traditional Japanese ryokan in tiny Tsumago – one of the best-preserved Edo-era towns along the ancient Nakesendo Highway.
- Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra-modernity as you zip from city to town with your included 7-day Japan Rail Pass, including the Shinkansen. Travel has never been so easy!
- Explore historic Imperial Palace (Tokyo)
- See the majestic Mt. Fuji
- Visit Hakone National Park
- Opportunity to see the Shirakawago (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Visit Ancient town in Takayama
- Sightseeing in Kyoto
- Enjoy a Hida beef dinner and sake tasting at a local sake brewery.
- Experience a traditional kaiseki dinner with Geisha show in Kyoto.
- Participate in a sushi making class given by a professional sushi chef.
- Try your hand at the centuries-old art of the Japanese tea ceremony, gold leaf decorating and stenciling.
- Travel by the famous Shinkansen bullet train.
- Explore the famous Ginza district, the first Western-style shopping district in Japan where modern and history blends.
- Take in magnificent views of Mt. Fuji from the Hakone Ropeway.
- Visit multiple UNESCO sites including Shirakawa-go, Nijo Castle, Itsukushima Shinto Shrine and Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
- It’s true – Japanese people take incredible pride in their cuisine. Explore a country where food is taken seriously, all the way from the station tonkatsu restaurant to a high-end sushi establishment.
- Travel by Shinkansen to the Japanese Alps and taste succulent wagyu beef in the 17th-century Edo period town of Takayama – the definition of a melt-in-your-mouth moment.
- Snack on awesome and adventurous street food in the unofficial culinary capital of Osaka and master the skill behind making the famous takoyaki (octopus and pickled ginger in batter).
- Discover the traditions, culture and history behind tea in Kyoto during a private ceremony with a long-time practitioner of this art with your small group.
- Venture into mountainous Koya-san, spending the night in a monastery and discovering shojin ryori – a traditional vegetarian Buddhist meal with over 800 years of history.
- Soar high above Lake Ashi and (on a clear day) get a glimpse of glorious Mt Fuji on a ride on the Hakone ropeway.
- Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra modernity of Japan’s bullet trains as you zip from place to place with your included 14-day Rail Pass.
- Explore traditional Japanese culture in Edo-period Takayama and visit a folk village, tour a 600-year-old market and a enjoy a sake brewery tasting.
- Visit the Peace Park for moving insight into the devastation of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, then cruise to peaceful Miyajima Island where wild deer roam the streets.
- Finish your tour with three nights in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital and home to literally thousands of temples, the Gion District where Geisha entertain the wealthy elite and renowned Kyoto sushi.
- Japan is a year-round destination with something in store for every season, and this Land of Rising Sun looks especially spectacular in winter. We are taking you to some of the best winter destinations in Japan on this trip, mixed with the other must see highlights too.
- There’s no better way to get around Japan than the country’s famous railway system. Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra-modernity as you zip from place to place with your included 14-day Japan Rail Pass.
- Enjoy some proper winter experiences in Yamagata and Yunadaka, admiring the unique 'snow monsters' and watch the snow monkeys enjoy their hot onsen in snow.
- Stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and sample simple home-cooked fare in Edo-era Takayama. Explore local markets, the Hida Folk Village and perhaps stop by a sake brewery.
- A visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park is a sobering but important experience for understanding the tragedies of Japan’s not-so-distant past.
- Finish off your time in the Land of the Snow Monkeys in Kyoto, the country’s 'cultural capital' and home to a stunning selection of temples, tea houses and frozen-in-time Zen gardens.
- Visit the country in a relatively quiet time, esp. in Takayama and Kyoto, that'll allow you more time to enjoy each destination without the crowds.
- From the ultra-modern to ancient traditions, this express adventure will introduce you to some of the many faces of Japan in a short amount of time.
- Visit the little town of Nikko – packed with World Heritage-listed temples and picture-perfect hiking trails, and one of the best backdrops for a soak in a steaming onsen.
- Eat your way from Tokyo to Kyoto with plenty of chances to try all kinds of delicious street food, sake, snacks and surprises – from a hearty bowl of ramen to world-class sashimi.
- Even getting from place to place is fun in Japan! Ride the renowned Shinkansen bullet train and make use of public transport day passes to get to and from the activities you choose.
- With a local leader to show you around, a new group of friends to explore with and plenty of free time for discovery, you’re guaranteed to get the most out of Japan’s wondrous sights.
- Spend half a day uncovering Tokyo on a sightseeing tour with a Local Guide
- See the grand Imperial Palace and the buzzy neighbourhood of Shibuya
- See the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku & Shibuya Crossing.
- Visit Asakusa Sensoji Temple & Nakamise Street
- So many great destinations and so much free time to see them your way. All the benefits of group travel with a leader and new buddies to explore with, without having to pay for anything you don’t want to do.
- Immerse yourself in all things Japanese right from the get go in the varied neighbourhoods of Tokyo. From the geek subculture of Akihabara, historical Asakusa and Ueno, to the wild side of fashion in Harajuku and the nightlife of Roppongi – each suburb is almost like a city of its own.
- Shed your inhibitions and soak in an onsen – the traditional hot springs turned public baths. Yes, you'll be naked but don't be scared. We have a complete guide to onset etiquette here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/japan-onsen-guide/
- Rail passes are included, allowing you to zip between cities at bullet speed.
- Hiroshima Peace Park & Museum is a sobering, but vital, destination for all travellers to Japan to gain insight into tragic events of the nation’s past.
- Spot a geisha or two in the famed Gion District or get zen in a temple garden in Kyoto.
- Live your samurai fantasies in feudal-era Kanazawa. We’ve heard there is also excellent sake to be sampled here and plenty else: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/why-kanazawa-is-japans-best-kept-secret/
- You can’t leave Japan without having a night out at a karaoke bar. Trust us, they will check at immigration.
- Explore Kyoto on a couple of nearby hikes for a different perspective on the life and culture in this notable city, as well as visiting some sites of natural and religious significance.
- Experience two of the main religions in Japan – Buddhism and Shintoism – by following the footsteps of ancient pilgrims on their quest for faith along the Koya-san and Kumano Kodo trails.
- Discover two of the major cultural hubs of Japan on foot, walking the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto and strolling through the Dotombori district in Osaka.
- Join in on the morning prayers and share a traditional shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian) meal during an overnight temple stay in Koya-san, deep in mountainous Wakayama prefecture.
- Soak in an ancient onsen after a day of trekking in Yunomine – there's no better way in Japan to relax and rejuvenate, as well as understand local cultures, than in the natural mineral waters of a hot spring.
- Explore the unique island of Naoshima, transformed from a sleepy fishing community into a world class art destination, with sleek and stylish museums and artworks that sit in harmony with the landscape.
- Join locals hiking along trails to hidden temples, being awed at some of the country's impressive castles or in one of Japan's oldest hot spring baths - Dogo Onsen.
- Feel like Indiana Jones as you cross the kazurabashi (vine bridges) of the hidden Iya Valley, a remote retreat of deep gorges and lush mountains on Shikoku island.
- Uncover the different characters of the cities of Nagasaki and Osaka, from the former’s thought-provoking Peace Park and Museum to the latter’s busy streets where the motto is ‘eat until you drop’.
- Venture into the thick and mysterious cedar forests on Yakushima, encounter Yakushika deer or Yakuzaru monkey, or relax at the seaside onsen.
- Savour local flavours from Tokyo to Kyoto with chances to try all kinds of sumptuous street food, sake, snacks and other surprises – including the best sushi, of course.
- Relax on a short cruise down the Sumida River in Tokyo, taking in the sights of iconic buildings and alighting at the delightful urban oasis of Hama Rikyu gardens.
- The coastal city of Kamakura offers a variety of experiences – ancient statues, hiking through lush green and past half-hidden temples, views of Mt Fuji and plenty of time to relax beachside.
- With your local leader to show you the way, you’ll not only see the hotspots like Tokyo’s Shibuya and Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari-Taisha, but you’ll go behind the tourist map to local neighbourhoods and places less visited.
- Even getting from place to place is fun in Japan! Ride the Shinkansen bullet train, hop on public transport and take the renowned Enoden train line at different stages of your small group adventure.
- There’s no better way to get around Japan than the country’s famous railway system. Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra-modernity as you zip from place to place with your included Japan Rail Pass. Here is why you don't want to miss train travel in Japan: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/japan-trains
- Explore the unique island of Naoshima, transformed from a sleepy fishing community into a world-class art destination, with sleek and stylish museums and artworks that sit in harmony with the landscape.
- Feel like Indiana Jones as you cross the kazurabashi (vine bridges) of the hidden Iya Valley, a remote retreat of deep gorges and lush mountains on Shikoku island.
- Uncover the characters of the cities of Nagasaki and Osaka, from the former’s thought-provoking Peace Park and Museum to the latter’s busy streets where the motto is ‘eat until you drop’.
- Venture into the thick and mysterious cedar forests on Yakushima, relax at the seaside onsen or see giant turtles lay eggs in the night in the summer months.
- Japan is a year round destination and winter is one of the best times of the year to to experience it. the streets are lit up at night and blanketed in snow, the markets are bustling a piping hot bowl of ramen tastes especially good when it is below zero outside!
- This is a brief but full trip that gets the most out of the northern region of hokkaido in a relatively short amount of time.
- Venture far afield to the remote lake akan and appreciate the beauty and fragility of the winter home of endangered cranes.
- Stroll along the snow covered canals of otaru and try your hand at the local art - kitakarou glass blowing.
- The winter ice and snow festivals here are world famous for its huge and elaborate sculptures. make sure you get your camera out and have your batteries charged as you will take far more photos than you expected!
- Warm up after your winter wanderings with visits to some of japan's best-known breweries and whiskey distilleries.
- If your timing is right, you’ll marvel in the lights and wonder of the Snow Light Path festival in Otaru – one of the region’s oldest festivals to celebrate the winter wonderland that Hokkaido is.
- Escape the icy conditions by relaxing with a soak in a steaming onsen – a traditional Japanese hot spring.
- Discover the Ainu people at a village visit in Lake Akan. This indigenous community of Hokkaido have a rich culture and long-withstanding traditions which you will be able to learn about on your visit.
- Go in search for a quintessential image of Japan – the symbolic red-crested crane. These elegant birds inhabit the Kushiro region, and with a knowledgeable guide on hand, you’ll see them in all their glory.
- Dodge the winter crowds with an unforgettable journey to World Heritage-listed Shiretoko National Park, with a guided tour through the forest in search of Hokkaido’s endangered species.
In order to see Travelstride Select deals you must sign in. We’ve negotiated with many of the world’s best travel companies to save you money! Get the best experiences, save up to $700 per person, and be a hero to your travel companions!
With FREE membership you:
- Save up to $700 per person!*
- Access private deals and offers
- See personalized trip recommendations
- Save favorite trips
Top Japan Experiences
Visiting the museum and Japanese gardens in Tokyo's Imperial Palace that exhibit traditional Japanese art and history
Seeing the shrines in Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple
Visit to Kinkaki-ji also known as the Temple of Golden Pavilion
Enjoying a Japanese tea ceremony (or chado), appreciating the unique way that green matcha tea is prepared and served
Climbing Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain
Hiking in the Yakushima forest or the Sagano bamboo forest
Paying respects at Hiroshima Peace Park and museum, a tribute to the victims of Hiroshima bombing
Seeing to Himeji Castle, built during medieval period for defense purpose
Chanting with Buddhist monks in the early hours of the morning at a Monestary in Koyasan
Soaking in a traditional onsen, sans clothes, as per the Japanese custom
Walking among the many zen temples and gardens in Kyoto
Visiting one of the may popular themed cafes, from animal to anime
Admiring the cherry blossoms of spring, an annual ritual known as hanami
Indulging in sushi and kobe beef, soba noodles, ramen and sake to your heart’s content
Wandering through Kyoto’s Gion district to see geishas in traditional kimonos
Watching a sumo match, a sport that dates back at least 2,000 years to the Edo period
Japan Trip Reviews
985 Japan Tour Reviews - Summary 93% Recommend
All Japan tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.6 for all Japan trips.