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JapanSushi, sake and sumo experience

  • Off the beaten track
Trip highlights
  • Local cuisine
    Local cuisine
  • Sport
    Sport
  • Mountain
    Mountain
  • Sightseeing
    Sightseeing
  • Local culture
    Local culture

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Day 1: Welcome to Tokyo!

Welcome to Tokyo, the biggest city in the world! After settling into your accommodations, and getting orientated to your trip with a visit from one of our representatives, you'll head to one of our favorite all-you-can-eat wagyu beef restaurants in the city. Enjoy the succulent mouthwatering flavors of A5 quality wagyu as you get reacquainted with one another after a year apart!

If you're not too jetlagged, head to a nearby Japanese izakaya (bar) to sample the different varieties of shochu, sake, and umeshu on offer as you toast to another adventure together.

Visited:
Tokyo

Day 2: From the Imperial Palace to a Go-kart Tour

Before diving headfirst into the exciting world of anime, you'll start the day slowly (and get close to royalty) with a meander through the beautiful expanse that is the Imperial Palace Gardens. Drink in the sun, sweet-smelling fruit and sheer beauty of these gardens as you also learn a bit about the imperial family history. Right in the center of the city, the architecture in the surrounding area is also absolutely amazing.

After a relaxing morning, get ready to delve into the anime, manga and electronic mecca that is Akihabara with a guided tour. Packed with gaming arcades, comic book and anime stores, virtual reality experiences and dozens of 'otaku' (die-hard anime fans) roaming the streets - it's a definite eye-opening experience into a rather quirky side of Japanese culture . Akihabara is also a great place to stock up on any electronics you may need with every corner boasting some kind of new or used electronics store. Lunch at a maid-cafe (think 'kawaii' waitresses with cat ears singing songs and serving very 'kawaii' food) is an experience you will not be forgetting any time soon!

In the evening don your favorite Mario character outfit as you zoom through Tokyo's streets and take in the neon city lights during a heart-racing go-kart tour (International Drivers License needed).


Day 3: Sumo, Sushi and all things Future-Tech

Today you'll get a deeper insight into some traditional and spiritual aspects of Japanese culture. Begin at a morning sumo training session in Ryogoku, where you'll witness the skill and power of these traditional athletes. More ceremony than sport, Sumo wrestling began centuries ago as a ritual to entertain the gods. You'll the head to what was previously the largest fish market in the world, Tsukiji. This area is packed with sushi stalls and other seafood shops and is a must for anyone who loves sushi. After getting your fill of fresh sashimi, uni and maguro; you'll shift gears and travel into the future with a trip to Odaiba.

Start your time on this artificial island at TeamLab, a permanent digital art exhibition on the island that gives new meaning to the term 'modern art.' Be prepared to follow art along the walls, gasp in awe, and take loads of photos. Car enthusiasts can visit the nearby Toyota City Showcase. Check out the latest innovations in the technology zone, reminisce about the old days in the vintage car collection rooms, or test-drive a favorite car on their private track (an international driving license is necessary). 

End your evening in Shibuya, visiting the iconic Shibuya Crossing before exploring the area's great restaurants, bars, and nightclubs for a fun-filled night out!

Visited:
Tokyo, OdaibaShibuya-machi

Day 4: All about the food!

The morning will be free for you to recover after a night out as you leisurely start the day. For the early risers, this will be the perfect opportunity to explore some of your own interests in the bustling city that is Tokyo.

Later in the day, get a taste of what Tokyo has to offer with a tour of some of the city's most famous foodie areas, tastings included! Japan has been dominating the culinary scene for the past few years, and one location at the heart of this is Tokyo. Packed with hundreds upon hundreds of fantastic restaurants, from high-end Michelin-star establishments to backalley holes-in-the-wall dishing up the most marvelous food, this city has everything.

We can also arrange a visit to one of Tokyo’s sake tasting centers which may be a fun way to learn what sake goes best with which foods as you travel! Drink as much or as little as you want at this center which offers over 80 different kinds of Japanese sake and shochu.

Visited:
Tokyo

Day 5: Mountains and Hot Springs in Hakone

Today, you’ll depart from Tokyo and head into the mountains. No trip to Japan would be complete without seeing one of the country’s most iconic natural landmarks–the majestic Mt.Fuji, and one of the best places to see it is in the region of Hakone.

A scenic cruise across the lake, followed by a ropeway right to the top of Mt. Owakudaniwill reveal stunning views of the surrounding forest, and of course, Mt. Fuji. This mountain city is also famous for its onsen hot springs which you will find at or nearby your traditional ryokan inn.

Hakone has so many other things to do, and its backdrop encourages you to experience the outdoors. The mystical Hakone Shrine and Old Tokaido Road, which dates back to the Edo era, are among the popular stops to make while in town. 

As an optional add-on, the town boasts an onsen theme park you can visit. The park offers guests the opportunity to experience more than 20 different types of hot springs, including baths which allow you to bathe in liquids like wine, coffee, green tea, and sake! For those seeking a more conventional experience, simply relax in the open-air hot springs and saunas, or enjoy a more stimulating adventure with a visit to the waterslides, cave baths, and splash pools.

Visited:
TokyoHakone

Day 6: Learn the Way of the Samurai in Kyoto

Japan's former capital, Kyoto, is bursting with history, and a lot more traditional than Tokyo. Things here move at a much slower pace and the people tend to be a lot more laid back. One of your first stops in Kyoto will be one of the most famous shrines in Japan, the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Featured in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, this shrine has over 10,000 picturesque red torii gates donated by people and various businesses from all over Japan. A short hike to the top of the small mountain also reveals an amazing panoramic view of Kyoto.


For your next activity make your way to an ancient samurai house to learn about the moral code and try your hand at the sword-fighting techniques these warriors used. See who of you comes out on top as the ultimate samurai as you wield your katana swords in this bound-to-be-memorable activity! You'll also get a two-for-one as you experience a short session of zen meditation.


In the evening, take a walk through the bustling streets of Pontocho. Right next to the Kamogawa River, this area is packed with restaurants and bars.

Visited:
TokyoKyoto

Day 7: A day in Osaka

Today you will make your way to the nearby city of Osaka which could be described as Tokyo's younger and cooler brother. The vibe is very different to the east side of the country and while Kyoto is often called the 'traditional capital', Osaka is a bit more modern and a lot more edgy than its neighbor.

A must-see is Osaka castle which will give you an amazing panoramic view of the city. Its nearby park is the perfect place for a picnic and absolutely beautiful if you happen to be there during the cherry blossom season.  (Optional: a traditional gozabune boat ride in the castle's moat will allow you to get a closer look at the castle's walls and take in the magnificent structure from a slightly different view).

Osaka isn't called the Kitchen of Japan for no reason! The trendy Dotonbori area is full of fantastic street foods where you can get a taste of the region's specialty dishes, takoyaki and okonomiyaki, amongst other things. Make sure to go with an empty belly! This area is also full of and great clubs and karaoke booths for another night out in one of Japan's buzzing cities.

Note that if you start early enough, we could also fit in Nara with it's deer-filled temples on this day.

Visited:
KyotoOsaka

Day 8: Bamboo Groves and Temples in Arashiyama

Just outside of Kyoto is the tranquil area of Arashiyama, where you'll start your day traveling down the Hozugawa River on a traditional Japanese boat cruise. This will give you incredible views of the river and surrounding forest and you may just catch the end of the cherry blossom season where the banks are covered in these iconic pink and white flowers.

The district’s centerpiece is the sprawling Tenryuji Temple, a World Heritage Site that includes picturesque and ancient landscape gardens. Its gorgeous and otherworldly bamboo grove is the star attraction of Arashiyama, and it's easy to devote hours to exploring the meandering trails. Nearby, you'll find Nonomiya Shrine and the Iwatayama Monkey Park, where macaques roam freely.

If you're up for a walk, head to a unique temple that houses hundreds of statues, all carved by different people. Look closely, and you'll find some of these Buddhist statues sporting glasses and carrying cellphones.

Note: A special experience we can offer you is not only the opportunity to see a master Japanese swordsmith at work, but the chance to actually forge your own kogatana (basically a mini samurai sword)!

Visited:
OsakaArashiyama

Day 9: Farewell!

Today you'll bid farewell to Japan and reflect on all the fantastic memories you've made during your trip! Board the early morning bullet train to Tokyo to fly out of there later in the day, or head straight to Osaka International depending on where you've booked your return flights from. Sayonara, until next time!

Visited:
Arashiyama, Osaka

TokyoAkihabara-ekiOdaibaShibuya-machiHakoneKyotoOsakaArashiyama

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

SeasonPrice Per Adult
Average trip price
All year round $1,950

Included in the price:

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • In-trip ground transportation
  • Activities according to your customized trip
  • Airport transfers
  • 24/7 local agency support
  • Trip creation with an expert local agent

Not included in the price:

  • Arrival and departure flights
  • Meals and beverages not indicated
  • Personal expenses
  • Service gratuities
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance
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