All about the 13 Day Japan Tokyo to Tokyo Adventure Tour
Our 13 day Tokyo to Tokyo Japan tour is the perfect adventure holiday for you to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and see Japan's beautiful countryside. On tour, you will learn to make Sushi, take a Calligraphy class plus see endless shrines, temples, and Japanese architectural triumphs. Get off the beaten track on this trip, for a cultural assault to the senses.
You will stay in safe and clean and rather funky hostels on this trip and we include all your transport, which varies from night trains to buses. You will have both western and Japanese guides to show you the wonders of this fabulous country. Most activities are included on our Japan tour.
This tour starts in the frenzied Tokyo, with 4 days of eating, bathhouses, markets, gardens, and Sumo. Yes, that's Sumo wrestling- check out where the wrestlers live and train plus try your hand at Samurai. Tokyo is like 40 cities in one, so much to see and do! There is plenty to attract you to Japanese culture here in Tokyo; temples, food, people, technology, Karaoke. 4 busy fun days to open your eyes to the madness of Japan.
Then you will visit Kamakura, the ancient town where you will see the Giant Buddha. Here you can relax and chill out and experience the beauty of Japan in the countryside. You will then take the Hakone cable car where you will see Mount Fuji. An iconic place to visit in Japan. Take a pirate ship ride on the lake to see fantastic views of Mount Fuji. Hop aboard the famous Bullet train to Kyoto. The beating heart of Japanese culture, where locals go to learn about their culture. Here you will visit the Geisha district, Japans traditions revealed as you eat a meal amongst the wood panels and lanterns.
On Day 8 its time to hike the Bamboo forests of Arashiyama Monkey Park. Plus temple visits and adventure rafting, this is an action-packed day. The Golden temple is a highlight, take a bike ride to this area. In the evening, after a traditional meditation course with a monk, of course, party with one of Japans best exports, Karaoke! Get over your hangover from the night before by visiting Fushimi Inari, where you will contemplate shrine after shrine. Day 10 you will pedal around Kyoto on a bike visiting the imperial palace. Then we take you to Hiroshima, to learn about the tragic past. Hiroshima is a city that's vibrant and modern, preparing for the Olympics in 2020 in Japan.
Its back to a big city on Day 12 and 13, and in Japan the big cities are BIG! Osaka, here you will eat more Japanese cuisine and marvel wide-eyed at the madness of the shopping malls and endless entertainment. Big night out in Osaka for one last night out in Japanese culture and more Karaoke. Then its the bullet train back to Toyko where you can stop to reflect on your amazing Japan trip and take your flight to the next destination.
Major destinations,top-rated attractions plus a few hidden gems and off the beaten track inclusions means you will see it all on this 13-day adventure tour through Japan.
13 Day Japan Tokyo to Tokyo Adventure Tour Itinerary - 13 days
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 the nearby bathhouse. (460 JPY)
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 bluefin tuna. Discover how to make it all yourself with a lesson from a sushi chef, and then sample your product. 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. Suggested independent activity: Real-life Mario Kart! Choose a costume and race through the streets
of Tokyo! (6,000 JPY) (PLEASE NOTE: to participate, you must secure international drivers permit valid in Japan BEFORE the start of the trip.)
First thing in the morning, head to Ryōgoku (sumo district) to discover Tokyo’s fascinating history at Edo-Tokyo Museum. While in Ryōgoku and with luck on your side, witness a Sumo wrestling training session in the morning. For lunch, enjoy a typical Sumo wrestler’s lunch.
Learn the ancient art of samurai and have the chance to see a sword demonstration in Tokyo’s Samurai Museum. Optional: Robot Show experience in the evening.* (7000 JPY)
*If you plan to attend the Robot Show please have 6000 JPY prepared to hand over to the Adventure Leader at the pre-departure briefing, this is so we can make a reservation at the discounted price.
Kick off the morning with a trip to the Imperial Palace’s gardens, and marvel at the grandeur on the show. It’s another afternoon of traditional-modern contrast in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. First stop is the Shinto shrine to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Wander through acres of 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. After that, go to Harajuku, Tokyo’s fashion district, to see the fruits of the transformation started by
Meiji. French maids, punks, goths, lolitas, technicolor hair – anything goes in Harajuku. Stand back and watch or grab some hair dye and get involved! Walk to Shibuya just in time for a rush hour to see 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.
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.
The hostel is moments from the beach and you can relax on the sand or try your hand at surfing. Surfboard rental options close by. (3000 JPY for a day) There are lots of beachside bars where you can watch the sun go down.
Start off by taking the Hakone Ropeway – an epic cable car journey that drops you at Oowakudani. On a clear day, you can gaze at Mount Fuji in all its glory. There, you can also sample black eggs – a local delicacy colored by the sulphuric water they’re boiled
in.Next up is 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.Spend the evening soaking in the sulphuric water of a traditional Japanese outdoor bath, called an onsen.(Please note: those with tattoos cannot enter the onsen.)
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 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… Kawaramuchi 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-paneled restaurants. Quietly sip on sake and look out for geishas wandering past.
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) Hike in the morning through Arashiyama bamboo forest on the western outskirts of Kyoto. After getting lost in the maze of bamboo paths and shrines, 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. Then take a look around the Tenryu-ji temple. It’s the most important of the area’s five great zen temples. The temple’s gardens are the real show-stopper. Designed in the 14th century, they have survived the fires and wars that damaged the buildings and have remained in pristine condition for centuries.
Make sure you also visit the Dharma Hall. Look up at the dragon’s eyes in the mural on the ceiling –they’ll follow you everywhere!
In the evening, sing your heart out doing one of Japan’s favorite pastimes – karaoke. As part of the price, you’re able to drink as much as you like, all night! The karaoke comes with a twist, but you’ll have to come on the tour to find out what it is… (3000 JPY)
Take a breather and relax your vocal cords after the previous night’s exertions – or if you feel you have the energy we would suggest taking a look at the majestic temples that adorn the Philosopher's path. If you want to ensure your morning is truly relaxing, dive into the Eikando and Nanjenzi temples to experience a dose of tranquility. Alternatively, you could check out the International Manga Museum. In the afternoon, we head over to Fushimi where you will see shrines, shrines and more shrines. This is a truly remarkable place with a whole host of shrine-covered walkways.To get onto the beautiful hiking trails at the back of the complex, you’ll pass through corridors of thousands of bright red gates. After this, we head over to the sake breweries. A tour is followed by a tasting experience
It’s an early start to see an iconic image of Kyoto: the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji temple. Start the day with a slice of meditation. Discover your inner peace with a Buddhist monk taking you on a journey of tranquility in a city temple.
Walk around the lake and prepare to be mesmerized by the shimmering golden reflection of the pavilion on the water. Jump on bikes to cycle around to the Imperial Palace, before bidding farewell to this most magical of cities. Another bullet train will see you venture further westbound for Hiroshima.
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 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. Pass through the corridors and look down at the ocean beneath your feet. 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. Get incredible views of the water and city in the background. It is also a lovely walk amidst the forested route atop this visually stunning island.
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 Nanba or Shinsaibashi area. After enjoying your fill of yakitori, ramen, sushi or whatever takes your fancy, it’s a short train ride to Osaka Castle.
Take a stroll around the castle that rises above the enormous moat, and then check out the nine-level donjon. Shenanigans in Shinsaibashi and the Dotonbori riverfront await next… For the ultimate Japanese shopping experience, dive into the covered shopping arcade at Shinsaibashi. See if you can be the Dragon Trip arcade challenge champion, and then walk through Dotonbori and prepare to be blasted by neon. The eating, drinking, gaming and clubbing options around Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi are endless – fill your boots! Why not kick-start your night with a beer on us at the city’s famous Kamikaze bar? In the evening, you will sleep at a capsule hotel – small, intimate, private and quintessentially Japanese.
Make the most of Osaka’s famous food and share a final brunch together in the morning. Say goodbye to everyone on the trip before catching the bullet train back to Tokyo to finish up or
continue on your travels.
Feb 19, 26
Mar 5, 8
May 7, 10, 14, 21, 24, 28
Jun 4, 11, 18, 25
Jul 2, 9, 16
Sep 3, 6, 10, 17, 24
Oct 1, 8, 15, 18, 22, 29
Nov 5, 12
Additional dates from February 2019 to be advised.
Important NotesThings you need to know about this tour
Before setting off on your Japan adventure tour, there are a few things that are good to know. Here at The Dragon Trip we have put together a list of useful tips to help guide you throughout, in order to have the best time possible!
Clothing: People with tattoos cannot enter to Onsen (hot springs). If you have a small tattoo, please bring plasters if you wish to enter. Bring slip-on shoes (there is a lot of taking your shoes on/off in Japan). Take your shoes off whenever entering a living room. Never walk with outdoor shoes on a tatami mat (wooden mats). There is a laundry option in hostels everywhere (if you are on our trip, do it in Kyoto as this is where you have the longest time)!
Eating and Drinking: Supermarkets have good eating options for those on a budget, especially ones near train stations (Kyoto, Hiroshima). You can drink the tap water in Japan, so refill water bottles! Don’t buy convenience store water as this is relatively expensive. Be adventurous with food – so many great restaurants, which just sit 4 or 5 people and have English menus, so go and do some exploring!
Getting around: Trains and metros in the big cities can be confusing, so perhaps try using a great app called Hyperdia (can’t be used offline). Generally, Japan is very safe, but always be careful when doing activities such as hikes (uneven ground) and at the fish market (indoor traffic)!
Currency: The small copper coin with a hole in and no number is 5 yen. Watch out for cover charges in bars! Currency: 1 yen = 1US$cent (subject to exchange rate) ATMs in 7/11 usually accept visa / master cards- a lot of other ATMs don’t. Never tip in Japan
General: American style plugs – two flat pins. The country calling code is +81. Police 110 Fire/Ambulance:119. Always be polite