Japan

Quick Facts

When to go:

Autumn and spring for the most pleasant weather but all year round there are extraordinary things to do and see.

Time difference:

    GMT+9 hrs

Prices:

From £3500 per person for more modest accommodation. 5-star itineraries from £5000 per person.

Recommended Read:

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is a wonderful introduction to the secretive world of Geisha traditions which really brings home the complexity of the culture.

Must pack:

Your tuned up singing voice.

Did you know?

Sumo wrestlers are prohibited from driving by the Sumo Federation on health and safety grounds.





Japan occupies a unique position in showcasing slick cities and sleepy verdant countryside; it’s a fully developed yet definitely ‘alien’ country. There is an allure to this fascinating and highly complex culture, but planning a holiday can seem daunting to a new visitor.

Therefore you might like to consider a gentle introductory tour of the country, or perhaps a more specific and focused trip. Perhaps you have an interest in gardens and design, or a yearning to learn how to make sushi or the intricate ritual of the tea ceremony. Maybe you want to head to the mountains for a remote alpine trek in search of the Asiatic bear. We can guide you through Tokyo nightlife to Kyoto temples, from flower arranging and calligraphy to scaling Mount Fuji.

The more you consider the extraordinary diversity in Japan the more confusing it can seem, and that’s where our expertise is useful. Not only in our depth of knowledge on the ground, but also in our ability to guide you through all the options to ensure you get the most out of your holiday, not forgetting that down-time you might need to recharge. The chances are that, once you’ve had a taste of Japan, it won’t be long before you plan your return to this mesmerising country.

These are just a few of the activities we’ve arranged for our clients in the past. One of them could be the defining reason for your whole holiday, or simply an afternoon diversion.

  • Plantlife/flora
    – Japanese garden design is perhaps the most famous in the world and with the access to some of the most beautiful private estates as well as public gardens and specialist guides, we’ll make sure you get the most out of your tours.
  • Traditional cultures
    – Where the start? Sumo, calligraphy, design, the lives of the Geisha – these are all elements which make up the traditional and complex culture of Japan. Everywhere you look you witness everyday occurrences which are guided by cultural norms steeped in history. You can chose to watch or you can let us guide you to the heart to find out more.
  • Trekking and hiking
    – Outside the cities there is stunning countryside. From gentle walking to serious volcano hikes, we can arrange expeditions just for you.
  • Getting there
    – Tokyo is about a 12-hour flight from London.
  • Getting around
    – Within cities underground networks are predictably clean, safe, efficient and often much faster than driving, although we can provide a car and driver if you would prefer. The famous bullet trains will get you between major cities in style and comfort, and Japan Rail passes often makes the most financial sense. Flying is quick and reasonably priced for greater distances. Once out in the countryside, for longer distances a car may be necessary, but equally there are some lovely walks or bike rides to take you from A to B which can be incorporated into a journey.
  • Weather
    – Provided you have the appropriate clothing, Japan is a year-round destination – there is huge diversity within a country which covers 20 degrees of latitude. Broadly speaking, travel in the winter months, November–February, and you’ll experience crisp days and stunning snowy carpets in the north, while in the south there can still be quite pleasant daytime temperatures. March–May brings warmer temperatures and of course the famous cherry blossoms, making this a very popular time to travel. July–September brings some rain and the main cities can be stiflingly humid, however, it is a great time to be in the northern island Hokkaido. Autumn brings pleasant temperatures like spring, with stunning autumn colours in place of the cherry blossoms and slightly fewer crowds.
  • Visa/ entry requirements
    – Tourist visas are issued on arrival.
  • Events (festivals, wildlife migrations)
    – Local events and festivals occur throughout the year. Japan’s most famous event is probably the cherry blossoms, which generally bloom in mid-March in the south and move gradually northwards into May. Sumo wrestling tournaments, theatrical processions and fire festivals dot the calendar, but there is too much to list in one place. If you are interested in festivals, or want to see one in particular, let us know and we’ll advise you on how to work it into an itinerary.
  • Honeymooners
    -It’s a far cry from the standard beach holiday but Japan offers a wonderful wealth of fascinating things to do which will make your honeymoon truly unique.
  • Young and Old Families
    -There are so many diversions in Japan from every conceivable outdoor pursuit to dancing, karaoke, cooking and so much more to keep everyone entertained.
  • Solo Travellers
    -Some of out solo travellers like to take one of our guides throughout, to give consistency and companionship to their tour. Some of the hotels we use are intimate places where guests naturally socialise of an evening. We also select a few choice group tours which we can recommend to those travelling alone, which are sometimes focussed on a particular theme, and sometimes more general.

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