If you’re planning your first trip to Japan, it can be difficult knowing where to start, so consider taking an escorted tour of this wonderful city.
The Best Escorted Tours of Japan
Japan is probably most well known for its vibrant and lively capital city, but there is so much more to this island nation that you need to discover. From hot spring baths in the Japanese Alps to beautiful monasteries on Mount Koya, there are endless things to see and do. You won’t be able to fit everything in one trip, but there are high quality escorted tours of Japan, which offer detailed planned out itineraries. Each tour is designed to cater for specific interests, so you are bound to find one that appeals to you. Here are ten of the best tours of Japan that you can take.
Explore the glorious Tohoku region which stretches all the way up to the northern tip of Japan’s Honshu island. This is a remote region of Japan which encompasses stunning scenery, idyllic mountains, rugged national parks and astounding temples. In 2011 it was unfortunately hit by an earthquake and tsunami, but luckily most areas were unaffected by the disaster. Inside Japan Tours offer a 15 day Northern Soul small group tour which includes a boat ride in Matsushima Bay, a visit to tsunami-hit Ishinomaki, and a taiko drumming session on Sado Island. This makes it one of the best Japan tours to explore everything that the North has to offer.
If you’re seeking luxury Japan tours focusing on Japanese history and culture, the Cox & Kings group offer a 11 day trip focusing on Japan’s cultural treasures. Start your journey with a guided tour Tokyo and take a trip to Mount Fuji before visiting places including Asakusa Kannon Temple, the Tokyo National Museum and Imperial East Garden. Travel to the beautiful Kanazawa and visit the tranquil Kenroku-en garden as well as the castle. Then journey down to the ancient capital Kyoto with its many temples and shrines, and learn about the modern history of Hiroshima before visiting the picturesque Miyajima.
Cherry Blossom - Essence of Spring
Travel to Japan in the spring to witness the beautiful cherry blossoms provide a stunning pink and white backdrop to some of Japan’s wonderful cities and landmarks. Japan tour companies offer a 7 day Cherry Blossom Tour which gives you the opportunity to travel to Tokyo and Kyoto and see the best places where cherry blossoms bloom. Along the way you will see the stunning Sensoji Temple, Tokyo Tower, and iconic Mount Fuji. These Japan holiday tour packages allow you to experience the efficient transport of Japan and take a ride on a bullet train to Nara so you can see the friendly deer at the Nara Deer Park. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture by partaking in a traditional tea ceremony, and look out for real geishas in Kyoto’s Gion District.
See Japan at its coldest and whitest and enjoy one of the best escorted tours of Japan in winter. Inside Japan Tours offer a 14 night Winter Highlights tour which showcases the best attractions of the cold season including snow sculptures and rare birds. Visit the Sapporo Snow festival and take a tour of one of Sapporo’s breweries before enjoying a guided tour Tokyo cruise down the Sumida River. Then embrace nature by going red-crowned crane and owl spotting on the Kushiro Marshes, and visit the famous bathing monkeys of Yudanaka.
See the sights of Japan on two wheels by taking a fun cycling tour of Japan. Explore has a 12 night Cycle Japan tour which takes you from the Imperial old capital of Kyoto to the current capital city of Tokyo. During your journey a Japan local tour guide will show you along scenic coastal landscapes in the Noto Peninsula, past historic temples and traditional tea houses in Kyoto and the beautiful gardens of Kenrokuen. Don’t worry you won’t be pedalling the whole time. There are a couple of bullet train rides to break up the cycling, and a soothing soak in the hot spring baths in Wakura Onsen to ease any aches endured during your bike ride.
Mount Fuji and the Japanese Alps
Japan is famous for its stunning mountain scenery, so if you enjoy exploring the outdoors, consider taking one of the best escorted tours of Japan mountains. Exodus provides a 14 night tour which takes you hiking up Mount Fuji to see the sunrise over the mesmerizing Japanese Alps. You also get to ascend the peak of the Japanese Matterhorn, Mount Yarigatake. In addition to witnessing breathtaking views on top of the mountains, you are given the chance to explore Kyoto, Japan’s beautiful ancient capital, and the futuristic Tokyo.
Real Food Adventure
Pack your chopsticks and get ready for an unbelievable gastronomic experience. Take a Tokyo escorted tour of Michelin starred restaurants as well as numerous local specialist restaurants offering unusual cuisine. If you’re a foodie you need to book the 12 day Real Food Adventure tour offered by Japan tour companies like Intrepid Travel. This trip has a Japan local tour guide to take you through an amazing array of culinary experiences that let you sample a taste of the many cuisines that Japan has to offer. However the trip doesn’t just involve eating. Wet your appetite by learning to make soba noodles and visit Tokyo’s massive fish market before taking part in a Kyoto home cooking class.
Take in the sights of Japan on foot, and enjoy a guided walking tour from Kyoto to Tokyo. The Nakasendo Way is a fully guided 11 day tour ran by Walk Japan which explores one of Japan’s ancient highways. Nakasendo was a popular trail in the 17th century and was often crowded by travellers including feudal lords, samurai, itinerant merchants and pilgrims. It is now a quiet road which offers one of the best Japan tours walking routes through scenic countryside, rural villages and lush forested mountains. During the journey you will travel through Hikone, Sekigahara, Magome, Tsumago and Narai before finishing in Tokyo.
Enjoy Japan luxury tours with a fun eight night trip with Abercombie & Kent. Experience different sides of Japan by having a Tokyo escorted tour before exploring the culture rich ancient Kyoto. Participate in a Shinto ceremony in the ancient Toshogu Shrine, and ride a bullet train past the astounding Mount Fuji. Then venture into the hot spring villages of Hakone. By booking luxury Japan tours, you will be staying in some of the top hotels in Japan, including the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, the Ritz-Carlton in Osaka.
Island Hopping Japan Holiday Tour Packages
Take a break from temples and skyscrapers and experience Japan luxury tours of the Yaeyama Islands. Located on southernmost Okinawa between Japan and Taiwan, the subtropical islands are famous for their amazing landscapes of white sand beaches and clear waters. Inside Japan Tours arrange a 12 night stay which gives you the opportunity to visit several islands including Ishigaki Island, with its beautiful beaches and coral and marine life. Take a ferry to the island of Taketomi and ride on a cart drawn by water buffalo, then kayak and trek through the jungle of Iriomote before snorkelling in the waters of the Kerama Islands.