Ever-welcoming and always fascinating, Japan is a land of ancient cultures, austere traditions and groundbreaking technology. Join us on this ultimate journey that takes you from the futuristic neon lit Tokyo to the dense forests of the southern island of Yakushima, cleanse your mind and soul in the sacred temples in Nikko, Kyoto and Kotohira, feast on local delights at a Takayama market, be wowed at the creativity of modern art at Naoshima Island, make a sobering visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, try for an Indiana Jones stunt crossing the vine bridge at Iya Valley or trek through the dense forests in Yakushima over which princess Princess Mononoke watches. Discover ancient castles, lush countryside and fascinating feudal history on this authentic travel adventure. If you pack a good sense of humour and leave all inhibitions behind, it rarely disappoints
- Japan is a year round destination with something in store for every season: cherry blossoms in spring, stunning leaves in autumn and snow and ice in winter.
- This trip is a great balance of included activities in each destination and plenty of free time for other optional fun, all backed by a helpful leader to steer you in the right direction of the best experiences.
- The town of Hakone is one of our favourite destinations. Not only are there glimpses of Mt Fuji from here on a clear day and picture perfect hiking trails, this is also one of the best places to experience an outdoor onsen – hot springs bath.
- There’s no better way to get around Japan than the country’s famous railway system. Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra modernity as you zip from place to place with your included Japan Rail Pass. Here is why you don't want to miss train travel in Japan: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/japan-trains/
- Stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and sample simple home-cooked fare in Edo-era Takayama, explore local markets, the Hida Folk Village and perhaps stop by a sake brewery.
- A visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park is a sobering but important experience for understanding the tragedies of Japan’s not so distant past.
- You'll have abundant time to explore Kyoto without a rush, the country’s “cultural capital” and home to a stunning selection of temples, tea houses and frozen-in-time zen gardens.
- Explore the unique island of Naoshima, transformed from a sleepy fishing community into a world class art destination, with sleek and stylish museums and artworks that sit in harmony with the landscape
- Join locals hiking along trails to hidden temples, being awed at some of the country's impressive castles or in one of Japan's oldest hot spring baths - Dogo Onsen.
- Feel like Indiana Jones as you cross the kazurabashi (vine bridges) of the hidden Iya Valley, a remote retreat of deep gorges and lush mountains on Shikoku island.
- Uncover the different characters of the cities of Nagasaki and Osaka, from the former’s thought-provoking Peace Park and Museum to the latter’s busy streets where the motto is ‘eat until you drop’
- Venture into the thick and mysterious cedar forests on Yakushima, relax at the seaside onsen or see giant turtles lay eggs in the night in the summer months
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