Welcome to Japan


Traditional Culture

On the surface, Japan appears exceedingly modern, but travelling around it offers numerous opportunities to connect with the country's traditional culture. Spend the night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), sleeping on futons and tatami mats, and padding through well-worn wooden halls to the bathhouse (or go one step further and sleep in an old farmhouse). Chant with monks or learn how to whisk bitter matcha (powdered green tea) into a froth. From the splendour of a Kyoto geisha dance to the spare beauty of a Zen rock garden, Japan has the power to enthral even the most jaded traveller.

Food

Wherever you are in Japan, it seems, you're never more than 500m from a great meal. Restaurants often specialise in just one dish – perhaps having spent generations perfecting it – and pay close attention to every stage, from sourcing the freshest, local ingredients to assembling the dish attractively. Moreover, you don't have to travel far to discover that Japanese cuisine is deeply varied. The hearty hotpots of the mountains are, for example, dramatically different from the delicate sushi for which the coast is famous. It's also intensely seasonal, meaning you can visit again at a different time of year and experience totally new tastes.

Outdoors

Japan is a long and slender, highly volcanic archipelago. It's over two-thirds mountains, with bubbling hot springs at every turn. In the warmer months there is excellent hiking, through cedar groves and fields of wildflowers, up to soaring peaks and ancient shrines (the latter founded by wandering ascetics). In the winter, all this is covered with snow and the skiing is world class. (And if you've never paired hiking or skiing with soaking in onsen, you don't know what you've been missing.) Meanwhile in the southern reaches, there are tropical beaches for sunning, snorkelling, diving and surfing.

Dynamic Cities

The neon-lit streetscapes of Japan's cities look like sci-fi film sets, even though many of them are decades old. Meanwhile, cities such as Tokyo and Osaka have been adding new architectural wonders that redefine what buildings – and cities – should look like. There's an indelible buzz to these urban centres, with their vibrant street life, 24-hour drinking and dining scenes, and creative hubs that turn out fashion and pop culture trends consumed the world over. Travel is always smooth and efficient, whether you're using the subway to get around or the shinkansen (bullet trains) to go from one city to the next.


Top experiences in Japan

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Japan activities

$139.15 Day Trips & Excursions

Mt. Fuji, Lake Ashi and Bullet Train Day Tour from Tokyo

After morning pickup at select hotels or designated meeting location in Tokyo, relax as your deluxe coach cruises along a scenic 2.5-hour route to Mt Fuji Visitor Center. Learn about the history and geology of Japan’s highest mountain from your guide and the informational exhibits about the revered mountain. From the second floor observation deck, you can get great views of Mt Fuji on a clear day. After seeing the Visitor Center, return to your coach and proceed to Mt Fuji’s 5th Station, located about halfway up the mountain at 7,545 feet (2,300m). Take in the shrines, torii gates and shops that sell souvenirs, along with views of Mt Fuji and the surrounding lakes (subject to weather conditions). Soak in the invigorating atmosphere of 5th Station; you might even spot some climbers preparing for their adventure. Then have time to enjoy Japanese-style lunch (if you select the "+ Lunch" option at checkout). Otherwise, you have the option to buy your own meal.After having a bite to eat, drive to nearby Lake Ashi, located in Hakone National Park. Step aboard your boat for a short cruise across the lake. Admire the spectacular scenery of pristine waters surrounded by Mt Komagatake, Mt Fuji and other mountains. Disembark from the boat and head to the Mt Komagatake Ropeway, an aerial tram that takes you from the shores of Lake Ashi to the top of Mt Komagatake. Have time to walk around the mountain top and take in amazing views of Lake Ashi, the Owakudani volcanic valley and majestic Mt Fuji. After visiting Hakone, transfer by coach to the evening bullet train (Shinkansen) for your return to Tokyo, where your guide will tell you how to get back to your hotel.Please note: Views around Mt Fuji are always subject to weather conditions as mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable. Visibility tends to be better during the colder months, in the early morning and late evening.

$55.72 Transfers & Ground Transport

Tokyo Narita International Airport Arrival Transfer to Hotel

Upon arrival at Narita International Airport (NRT), simply proceed to the arrivals terminal. A professional and friendly shuttle service representative will be waiting for you with your name on the name board. No prior reconfirmation is required.Offering door-to-door service, this Tokyo arrival shuttle transfer is an easy start to your vacation in the 'vertical city'!The covered areas include any hotel or ryokan within Central Tokyo's fifteen wards or the Maihama area. Central Tokyo's fifteen wards include: Arakawa Bunkyo Chiyoda Chuo Edogawa Koto Minato Ota Shibuya Shinagawa Shinjuku Sumida Taito Toshima Though they will be briefed on your destination, we cannot guarantee an English-speaking driver. Local operator can provide an English-speaking assistant upon request for a fee of JPY 6,000.Please click 'View Additional Info' for detailed meetup locations.At time of booking, you MUST include the following flight and hotel details: Airline Flight Number Arrival Date and Time in Japan Hotel Name, Address and Phone Number Total Number of Luggage

$88.88 Tours & Sightseeing

Tokyo 1-Day Tour: Meiji Shrine, Asakusa Temple, Bay Cruise

After morning pickup from selected hotels, travel by comfortable coach to the Meiji Shrine, which was dedicated to the Emperor and Empress in 1926. Hear from your guide why the Meiji Shrine is Tokyo’s most popular and important Shinto shrine while you stroll around the buildings and gardens. Return to the coach and drive past the towering Japanese House of Parliament en route to the Imperial Palace East Garden. Located outside the Imperial Palace on the grounds of a former Edo-era castle, the expansive grounds contain a tea pavilion, traditional Japanese garden, a moat and stone walls.Next, walk along Nakamise Shopping Street, a colorful promenade lined with food stands and souvenir shops that leads up to Tokyo's oldest and most significant Buddhist temple, Asakusa Kannon Temple (also known as Senso-ji). Your guide takes you through the market to tour the magnificent architecture, shrines, and Japanese gardens around the temple. Leave Asakusa Kannon Temple and drive by the celebrated Ginza shopping district with its eye-popping neon lights, department stores and giant theaters. Then sit down for a Western-style lunch at Pastel-Tei restaurant, which overlooks Hamarikyu Garden, Tokyo’s only surviving seaside garden from the Edo period. (In 2017, you'll head to Yurakucho to join a traditional Japanese dance activity before enjoying a lunch buffet.)When you finish your meal, board a large boat for a 1-hour cruise around Tokyo Bay. Snap photos of Tokyo’s skyline and iconic sights such as Rainbow Bridge. At the end of your cruise, check out the futuristic waterfront shopping district called Aqua City Odaiba. Keep an eye out for architectural fancies in this area, including the Fuji TC Building, Tokyo Big Sight, and Telecom Center.Your tour ends at Tokyo Station as you make your own way to your hotel.Please note: On Mondays, Fridays and other days when the Imperial Palace East Garden is closed, you will visit Imperial Palace Plaza instead.

$64.64 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Tokyo Robot Cabaret Evening Show Ticket

Arrive 40 minutes early at the Robot Restaurant in the red-light district of Kabukicho for your show (time depending on the option selected). After checking in, wait in the lounge until you are escorted to your seat for the evening entertainment known as the robot cabaret. Watch in amazement as neon tanks come out to battle alongside Godzilla, robots, samurais and ninjas. Dancing girls in colorful outfits join dinosaurs and pandas on stage against a backdrop of video screens. Flashing lights, accompanied by taiko drums and loud techno-style music, illuminate the performance of massive female robots – truly a spectacle not to be missed! Revel in this one-of-a-kind cabaret show for about one hour. You’ll have plenty to rave about at the end of this highly entertaining musical show!

$88.15 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament

Meet your group at Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal or Ryogoku View Hotel (near the stadium) in the afternoon, and head to Ryogoku Sumo Hall.Stop by the Sumo Museum where you can learn about this 1,500-year-old Japanese cultural tradition before you continue to the arena to watch the real thing. See important sumo-related items on display, such as woodblock prints, folding screens and ceremonial aprons from as far back as the Edo period.Next head into the the Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Feel the excitement during an opening ceremony called dohyo-iri, where your guide will start to explain what's happening at the amphitheater. You'll watch a series of sumo wrestlers grapple in the elevated ring — made of clay and covered in a layer of sand — from your B-class reserved seat on the second floor. Consult your brochure and sumo-ranking list for the day’s events; junior division sumo matches are held first, proceeding the higher-ranked matches slated for later in the day. Another way you'll know when the big matches are on: the makuuchi (senior-division wrestlers) wear kesho-mawashi, or ceremonial apron.Put on your headphones and listen to English commentary throughout the approximate 2.5-hour match, following along during each lightning-speed match of one minute or less. Watching the sumo matches is the main event, but there are other things to enjoy at the arena. Check out the championship flags in the entrance lobby, purchase a bite to eat from one of the vendors at any time, and don't forget to browse the various sumo-related goods on sale.Afterward, your guide accompanies you to Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal and explains directions back to your hotel. If you select the dinner option, you’re taken to a nearby restaurant.Optional Upgrade: DinnerUpgrade your experience to include dinner at a local chanko or sukiyaki restaurant, most likely run by a former sumo wrestler. Enjoy chankonabe, a hearty stew that is the traditional food of sumo wrestler, or sukiyaki, a dish consisting of thin slices of meat, tofu, and vegetables cooked in a soy sauce-based broth. Your guide will not join you for dinner, leaving you to make your own way back to your hotel.

$55.72 Transfers & Ground Transport

Tokyo Hotel to Narita Airport Shared Departure Transfer

Transfers are available from any hotel or ryokan within the fifteen wards of Tokyo and the Maihama district of Urayasu. Your shuttle will pick you up from the main lobby of your hotel three hours before your flight departure time. When making a booking, you are required to provide your flight details as well as your Tokyo or Maihama hotel details. Departure Airline Departure Flight Number Departure Date and Time Hotel Name, Address and Phone Number Total Number of Luggage The covered areas include any hotel or ryokan with a sign on the building within Central Tokyo's fifteen wards or the Maihama area. Central Tokyo's fifteen wards include: ArakawaBunkyoChiyodaChuoEdogawaKotoMinatoOtaShibuyaShinagawaShinjukuSumidaTaitoToshimaThough they will be briefed on your pickup point, we cannot guarantee an English-speaking driver. Local operator can provide an English-speaking assistant upon request for a fee of JPY 6,000.Your transfer will be confirmed within 24 hours of booking and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver. It's that easy!