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Traditional kimonos

Japan tours

Japan works in a unique way and planning a visit requires a certain degree of expertise in the quirks of the local system. The language barrier and cultural differences can be intimidating at first and having your tour planned by someone with in-depth local knowledge can vastly simplify the process.

Our specialists have travelled extensively around Japan and can provide valuable advice on the most convenient ways to get around, the best guides to use and the best places to stay. Their itinerary ideas work as a starting point when planning your route and can be tailored to your interests to create a bespoke tour of the country.

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Audley Travel specialist Jo

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Japan specialists

Our recommended tours in Japan

These itineraries are designed to give you some suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Japan, and they showcase some of the routes that we’ve found work particularly well. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely for you by one of our specialists based on your particular tastes and interests.

  • Japanese red crown crane courtship dance, Japan

    Wildlife & hot springs of Hokkaido

    • Hiking in the Daisetsuzan National Park.

    • Skiing in Furano or Niseko on world class powder.

    • Seeing the Snow Festival in Sapporo in February.

    • Watching the Red-Crested Crane mating rituals in Kushiro.

    • Keeping an eye out for bears in Shiretoko.

    15 days from €6,385pp

  • Shrine, Nikko

    Tohoku Discovered

    • Hot spring bathing in rural inns.

    • Climbing the beautiful peaks of Dewa Sanzan.

    • Driving through spectacular mountainous scenery.

    • Watching a local summer festival.

    • Looking out over Matsushima Bay for sunrise.

    16 days from €7,415pp

  • Bon odori drummer, Japan

    Theme parks and family fun in Japan

    • Learn the 'ways of the sword' in kendo training techniques.

    • Day tickets to Tokyo Disneyland/Disneysea and Osaka's Universal Studios.

    • Explore the mysterious Gion Geisha District with the help of your private guide.

    • Enjoy a private Taiko drumming lesson in Kyoto.

    • Visit the snow monkeys of Yudanaka and enjoy hot springs at a traditional inn.

    14 days from €7,765pp

  • Takachiho Gorge, Kyushu

    Best of Kyushu Japan self-drive

    • Explore the beautiful volcanic mountains and dramatic Mount Aso caldera of Aso-Kuju National Park.

    • Take a boat ride down the striking Takachiho Gorge, amid tumbling waterfalls and picturesque mountain cherry trees.

    • Visit the hot springs of Kurokawa to stay in a traditional inn.

    • Spend time in the Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park of Nagasaki.

    • Explore the picturesque gardens and samurai residences of Chiran.

    18 days from €8,575pp

  • Japanese Snow Monkeys, Yudanaka Onsen

    Japanese Alps explorer

    • Dramatic and beautiful mountainous scenery.

    • Hiking, light walking and serious mountaineering opportunities.

    • Winter sports on excellent powder snowfall until May.

    • Hot spring bathing, onsen and traditional accommodation.

    • Snow monkeys at Yudanaka Onsen.

    16 days from €9,420pp

  • Traditional Geisha

    Grand tour of Japan

    • Walk the Nakasendo Highway between Tsumago and Magome.

    • Visit Kanazawa's beautiful Kenroku-en garden.

    • Stay in a traditional Buddhist temple lodging.

    • Spot geisha in Kyoto with an expert guide.

    • Spend several days in cosmopolitan Tokyo.

    22 days from €10,210pp

  • Temple roofs & autumn leaves, Nikko

    Luxury Japan

    • Watch a live sumo training match.

    • Geisha walk in Gion and cookery course, Kyoto.

    • Hot spring bathing in Hakone.

    • Walking the Nakasendo Highway, Tsumago.

    • Helicopter ride over Tokyo.

    16 days from €17,145pp

  • Romon Gate, Fushimi Inari, Kyoto

    Deluxe grand tour of Japan

    • Experience traditional Japanese hospitality with several ryokan stays.

    • Immerse yourself in the vibrant modernity of Tokyo.

    • Gain insight into Japanese culture with the Women's Association of Kyoto.

    • Take a walk through the Geisha district of Kyoto with our top guide.

    • Relax in a hot spring spa in the Japanese Alps.

    23 days from €24,070pp

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Some of our favourite travel guides

Geisha spotted during cycling tour of Kyoto

What it’s like to stay in a machiya, a traditional Kyoto townhouse

If you’re after a typically Japanese stay during your time in Japan, a ryokan isn’t your only option. Japanese specialist Clio describes what it’s like to stay in a machiya, a traditional wooden townhouse that’s a signature of Kyoto.

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Snow monkeys of Yudanaka

Visiting Japan with your children

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Tokyo Bay, Japan

Value Japan: how to make your money go further

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Geisha of Japan

What to do in Japan: our highlights guide

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Chureito Shrine in Kawaguchi-ko

Mount Fuji

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Yoshikawa Ryokan, Kyoto

Stay in a ryokan

A stay in a ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, is a highlight of any trip to Japan, with wonderful hospitality, food and bathing.

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Drive through Shiretoko

Driving in Japan: the logistics

In this how-to guide, our Japan specialist Toby explains what it’s like driving around Japan. We’ve asked him some practical questions about traffic, navigation and the quirks of Japanese motoring.

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Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa

Gardens of Japan

From Kenrokuen’s venerated views to gardens hidden deep in the countryside, specialist Amanda recommends her preferred gardens to visit in Japan. She also explains what makes Japan’s gardens so interesting and why gardening is an important national art form.

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Backyard Garden, Tsumago, Japan

Honeymoons in Japan

Honeymoon couples looking for a cultural adventure will be spoiled for choice in Japan. Country specialist, Layla, discusses some of the highlights for those wishing to honeymoon here.

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Driving in Hokkaido

Driving in Japan: Hokkaido Island

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is a volcanic, alpine-forested wilderness with bubbling hot springs and vivid-blue caldera lakes. Japan specialist Toby explains how you can make the most of your visit by self-driving across the island.

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