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13 Day Adventure Tour of Japan

Where history collides with a global powerhouse of future technologies

Action-packed itinerary! You will not only see all the main sights in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, but also fully immerse yourself in Japanese culture. There’s a sushi making lesson, a calligraphy class, a visit to the sumo district, trips to local bath houses ...

Why we rate it

  • Immerse yourself in Japanese culture
  • Learn to make sushi, sample samurai, meditation experience
  • Calligraphy class
  • Epic sites and off-the-beaten-track
  • Explore Japan’s beautiful countryside, with its shrines, temples and endless hiking trails
  • All hostels are safe, clean and hygienic and have their own unique charm. Standard accommodation is in dorm rooms but upgrading to a single, twin or double room is available on request.

Booking Conditions

Age Restriction: 60

Fitness Requirement: Low-moderate

What's included

  • All accommodation, transport, majority of activities, guiding.
  • Peace Memorial Museum
  • Sushi Making class
  • Kyoto cycling
  • Fushimi shrine
  • Calligraphy
  • Bamboo Forest
  • Hakone Ropeway
  • Samurai experience
  • A combination of  western and Japanese bilingual tour guides.
  • All taxes and charges.

What To Bring

  • Comfortable shoes to walk in
  • sunscreen in summer

Gallery

Itinerary

Day 1 : Welcome to Tokyo
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 the cityscape with an incredible view from atop the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. After lunching in Shinjuku, the first stop is the Asakusa temple. Wander up the shrine and explore the charming streets around it before trying your hand at one of Japan’s national obsessions – baseball, at a local batting cage. (400 JPY) Optional: You can either kick back with a drink or relax like a local at nearby bathhouse. (460 JPY)
Meals :None

Day 2 : Tokyo: Sushi and Super Mario
Breakfast is the freshest sashimi you’ve ever eaten at Tokyo’s iconic Tsukiji fish market. Marvel at the variety of fish and shellfish on offer, and catch a glimpse of the Tokyo fleet’s latest haul of prized blue-fin tuna. Discover how to make it all yourself with a lesson from a sushi chef, and then sample your produce. In the afternoon, visit Akihabara – Japan’s “electric town” and hub of Anime and Manga, and also home to Japan’s most famous J-pop group, AKB48. Have a “Made in Tokyo” experience at one of Akihabara’s maid cafes. The cost of entry and an order of food and drink is likely to be around 2000 JPY. Optional: Real-life Mario Kart! Choose a costume and race through the streets of Tokyo! (7,000 JPY) (PLEASE NOTE: to participate, you must secure an international drivers permit valid in Japan BEFORE the start of the trip).
Meals :None

Day 3 : Tokyo: Sumo and Samurai
First thing in the morning, head to Ryōgoku to discover Tokyo’s fascinating history at Edo-Tokyo Museum. Ryōgoku is known as Tokyo’s Sumo district; you may have a chance witness a Sumo wrestling training session. If training is not taking place on the day, you will still have a chance to see Japan’s National Sumo Stadium. Optional: For lunch, enjoy cooking a typical Sumo wrestler’s meal, called Chanko Nabe, from raw ingredients. In the afternoon, learn the ancient art of samurai and have the chance to see a live sword demonstration in Tokyo’s Samurai Museum. Optional: Robot Show experience in the evening. (7000 JPY)
Meals :None

Day 4 : Tokyo: Anime and Shrines
Kick off the morning with a trip to the Imperial Palace’s gardens, and learn about why Japan’s Imperial Family is so unique. It’s another afternoon of traditional-modern contrast in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. First stop is Harajuku, Tokyo’s fashion district. French maids, punks, goths, lolitas, technicolour hair – anything goes in Harajuku. Stand back and watch or grab some hair dye and get involved! After that, go to the Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Wander through the forest until you reach the shrine to the Emperor who began Japan’s transformation from feudal to modern society in the early 20th century. Walk to Shibuya to see the fruits of the transformation started by Meiji Restoration. Witness the sheer scale of one the world’s most famous people crossings – featured in Hollywood films like Lost in Translation and Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Meals :None

Day 5 : Kamakura: Surfing and Buddhas
After brunch in Tokyo, it’s time to say goodbye to the modern capital and hop on a train to Kamakura – Japan’s medieval capital and home to the first shoguns. Check out some of the town’s many ancient shrines, and then hike over to Kotoku-in temple to marvel at the Great Buddha statue, which stands at nearly 45ft tall and is made of solid bronze. Optional: The hostel is moments from the beach, and you can relax on the sand or try your hand at surfing. Surfboard rental options nearby. (3000 JPY for a day) There are lots of beachside bars where you can watch the sun go down.
Meals :None

Day 6 : Hakone: Fuji views
Take a series of trains and buses to the beautiful Lake Ashi, where you’ll board a pirate ship! From the deck of this triple-decker man-of-war, you’ll cross the lake’s clear blue waters and get an unforgettable view of Mt. Fuji on a cloudless day. Take the Hakone Ropeway – an epic cable car journey that drops you at Oowakudani, an active volcanic zone where you can try black eggs – a local delicacy coloured by the sulphuric water they’re boiled in. Spend the evening soaking in the sulphuric water of a traditional Japanese outdoor bath, called an onsen (please note: those with tattoos may not be able to enter onsen in Japan).
Meals :None

Day 7 : Kyoto: Bullet train to Kyoto and Pontocho Alley
Next stop is the station to board your first bullet train – to Kyoto. You’ll zoom across the country, covering around 440km in little more than two hours, leaving plenty of time to experience Kyoto later in the day and at night. In the afternoon, wander the hillside streets to the stunning Kiyomizu Dera temple. The city is famous for its history, temples, shrines and – of course – stunning geishas. It also has a large student population and thriving music scene… Kawaramachi is a good place to start. There are bars, jazz clubs and plenty of Izakaya pubs. Attend a live geisha performance, which also features a tea ceremony, puppet show, traditional music, flower arranging and more. For something quintessentially Kyoto, you can wander through Pontocho alley, full of lanterns and intimate wood-panelled restaurants. Quietly sip on sake and look out for geishas wandering past.
Meals :None

Day 8 : Kyoto: Bamboo Forest, Monkeys and Karaoke
Start the day with a two-hour boat trip down the Hozugawa River. In your traditional wooden raft, driven by guides, you’ll cruise through rocky ravines and experience the rush of rapids as you meander through the Arashiyama Hills (weather dependent). Head across to the Arashiyama Monkey Park. It’s a tough climb up, but at the top you can feed monkeys or simply enjoy the panorama of Kyoto below. Visit Tenryu-Ji Temple, one of the most important from the areas five great zen temples. The temple’s gardens, designed in the 14th century, are a real show-stopper. After leaving the temple, hike through Arashiyama’s Bamboo Forest. Optional: In the evening, sing your heart out doing one of Japan’s favourite pastimes – karaoke. As part of the price, you’re able to drink as much as you like! The karaoke comes with a twist, but you’ll have to come on the tour to find out what it is… (2100 JPY for 90 minutes)
Meals :None

Day 9 : Kyoto: Shrines, sake and calligraphy
Take a breather and relax your vocal cords after the previous night’s exertions – You have free time all morning! Suggested Independent: if you feel you have the energy we would suggest taking a look at the majestic temples that adorn the Philosopher’s path. Suggested Independent: Alternatively, you could check out the International Manga Museum. In the afternoon, the group gets back together and heads over to one of the oldest sake breweries in Kyoto. A short tour of the museum is followed by a tasting experience. You’ll even get to bring home a souvenir! Next go to Fushimi Inari Shrine where you will see torii, torii and more torii. This is a truly remarkable place where a beautiful hiking trail will take you through a corridor of thousands of bright red gates. Finish the day with a Calligraphy Class taught by a local master!
Meals :None

Day 10 : Kyoto: Cycling and tranquility
Today we cycle all day around Kyoto like a local! First, we ride over to a zen temple where you can discover your inner peace with meditation led by a Buddhist monk. After your journey of tranquillity, see an iconic image of Kyoto: the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-Ji. Walk around the mirror pond and prepare to be mesmerised by the shimmering golden reflection of the pavilion on the water. After lunch, jump on your bike and cycle around to the Imperial Palace, before bidding farewell to this most magical of cities. Another bullet train will see you venture further west, bound for Hiroshima.
Meals :None

Day 11 : Hiroshima: Peace and Island walks
At the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, you will find out how this city came to suffer the consequences of the world’s first atomic bomb, but you will also learn that Hiroshima is now the standard bearer for a peaceful and nuclear-free world. After a train ride and short ferry trip to Miyajima Island, you’ll reach the Itsukushima shrine. To avoid angering the gods on the island, the main temple buildings were built on stilts on the shores of the island. Just offshore, you will see an enormous torii gate standing in the sea. At low tide you can walk across the sand to take a closer look. Take the ropeway and hike to the top of Mt. Misen. The view of the great torii gate standing within the Seto Inland Sea is considered one of the three most beautiful views in all Japan.
Meals :None

Day 12 : Osaka: Arcades and Castle
Another bullet train will take you to Osaka, your final destination before heading back to Tokyo. You’ll arrive in time for lunch in the Shinsaibashi area. After enjoying your fill of yakitori, ramen, sushi or whatever takes your fancy, it’s a short subway ride to Osaka Castle. Take a stroll around the castle that rises above the enormous moat, and then check out the nine-level donjon. In the afternoon, explore more of Osaka on your own, have the ultimate Japanese shopping experience in Shinsaibashi or rest up. Shenanigans in Namba await in the evening… Start the night off by seeing if you can be the Dragon Trip Arcade Challenge Champion, and then walk through the Dotonbori riverfront and prepare to be blasted by neon. The eating, drinking, gaming and clubbing options around Dotonbori and Namba are endless – fill your boots! In the evening, you will sleep at a capsule hotel – small, intimate, private and quintessentially Japanese.
Meals :None

Day 13 : Osaka: Farewell
Say goodbye to your fellow Dragon Trippers over brunch in Osaka before catching your final bullet train back to Tokyo to finish up or continue on your travels!
Meals :None

Pickups

start + finish

Tokyo, Japan

We meet at 10:00 on the first morning at Tokyo House Inn. This is where we stay the first night and is in Shinjuku- a fun, buzzing central part of Tokyo. We will provide clear instructions how to get here from the airport. It takes approx 1 hour to get here from the airport. We can deal with late arrivals and you will be back in Tokyo by 4pm or can get a flight out of Osaka at after midday on day 13.

The address is: 1 Chome-12-27 Okubo, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-0072, Japan

 

Optional Excursions

Optional Activities (Available to sign up on tour with your guide)

  • Scenic Tour / Sightseeing

Available Extras

Extras

  • Flights to and from Japan
  • Aside from the many free unmissable activities The Dragon Trip offers you, we also offer some extra activities which are great value for money, safe and fun.
  • Food and drinks
  • Any train/bus tickets for journeys made after the trip
  • Accommodation is not provided the night before Day 1 of your trip or for the night of the last day of your trip.

Visa

Nice and easy! They’re are available upon arrival for over 60 countries including the UK, US, Canada, Australia and EU countries.

Insurance

We require all our customers to have backpackers travel insurance when coming on the trip. Please bring details of your travel insurance along with you. In the event of an accident, we may need contact your insurance company on your behalf, so we will need the insurance company’s name and phone number and your policy number.

Packing suggestions

  • Passport
  • Travel insurance policy
  • Japanese yen or credit/debit card
  • Photocopies of insurance policy, bank cards, passport photo page, visa
  • Student card if you have one, as there are a few student deals on the trip
  • Camera and charger – Japan is a photographer’s dream!
  • Small first aid kit with medicine for diarrhea, paracetamol, disinfectant etc.
  • A big bag and a small rucksack. We sometimes get separated from our big bags, so you’ll need to keep your valuables with you in a small bag.
  • Sensible walking shoes
  • Flipflops
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts/skirts
  • Swimming costume
  • Lightweight waterproof
  • Towel
  • Washbag

No Credit Card or Booking Fees!!

Need More Information

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A one of a kind travel experience. Explore the incredible Japan on this immersive small group tour. Here you will get to experience the very best of Japan with the locals.

Recent Independent Reviews

  • On Go Overseas 18/11/17

    This was my first trip outside of my country and was really nervous since I could not speak the language. But with help of our leader and the awesome people I got to know and become friends and had the time of my life! I could always count on the leader to know what to do and helped us all bond. The hostels we were placed in were clean comfy and the staff always did there best to make me comfortable. He did not hound us to go fast or yell at us I felt very comfortable around him.

    On Go Overseas 18/11/17

    This was my first tour to japan and I absolutely loved it! The tour guide was fun and easy to talk to. I’ve really enjoyed my time on the tour making new friends! Would recommend this tour to anyone. I’m glad that I will take away new memories and treasure them for ever. The activities on the tour was so enjoyable too and I felt relaxed about the tour and didn’t feel uneased. I would look into doing more tours in the future.

    On Tour Radar 10/09/18

    This tour was fantastic, absolutely loved the itinerary, I felt like we did so much. The customer service beforehand was excellent, my questions were always answered promptly and helpfully. Our guide was brilliant, really knowledgeable and helpful, I never felt like I had to do something. Wouldn't hesitate to book with them again.

     

    On Tour Radar 29/11/17

    Fabulous experience on this tour!!! I don't think that I would have seen and done as much as I did if going on my own through Japan. Shanna was an excellent tour leader and was ever so patient and accommodating to the group's wants and needs!!! I couldn't have asked for a more knowledgeable, enthusiastic and outgoing leader!! The accommodations met and even exceeded my expectations at some locations. I would recommend the Tokyo to Tokyo tour to anyone who wants a truly backpackers experience.

    On Go Overseas 18/11/17

    Travelling via public transportation allowed us to connect with ordinary Japanese people. The diversity of trips and experiences gave us a wonderful glimpse of an amazing country and has encouraged me to want to revisit Japan on my own. Will definitely be back to Japan as there’s too much to see.

    Favourite experiences include the food and the Tokyo Municipal Building.

    All this was helped by the great group of people I found myself traveling with.

    On Go Overseas 18/11/17

    The dragontrip was a great way to experience the highlights of Japan! The trip covered various cities which explored a great mix of culture and modern everyday life. Got to explore many different aspects of the cities such as food, temples, shrines and museums. The accommodation of hostels we stayed at were clean , tidy and the staff were friendly. The guide was knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. The group was targetted towards young adults who want to explore culture, history and also the booming nightlife of Japan has to offer! Overall the trip was short and sweet and covered the right amount of cities in the time frame and was all laid out!