13 Day Budget Japan Tour | Adventures by The Dragon Trip

13-day Budget Japan Tour

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13 days Tokyo to Tokyo

13-day Budget Japan Tour

Every day on our epic 2 week budget Japan tour you’ll see a different side to this fascinating country. The daily contrast makes travelling here completely unique and – if done the right way – very ‘doable’ on a budget.

Travel with us through major regions, top destinations, epic sites and off-the-beaten-track locations to discover countless hidden gems. Pack in all of Japan’s highlights into two weeks at an affordable price.

Travel by high speed bullet train, sleep in dorm rooms in hostels, sing your heart out at karaoke bars, stock up on sushi and sake, visit Tokyo’s quirky cafes, and immerse yourself in Japanese culture. This is a trip for the young – and the young at heart – to really get under the skin of Japan.


MARCH 2020 FROM £459 Last few places!

APRIL – JUNE 2020 FROM £509

What's included on your trip

Hostel Icon

Including hostels & guesthouses

Group Adventure Tour Leader Icon
Adventure Leader

Epic Adventure Leaders in each city

Backpacking tour bus icon
Local transport

Transport within Japan, including a 7-day Japan Rail pass

Budget Travel Activities Icon

Tonnes included & optional activities can be added.
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Itinerary & map

Japan Budget Tour

Day 1 – Tokyo:

On the first day of your 13-day budget Japan tour, you will meet your Adventure Leader in the lobby of the Tokyo hostel in the morning. You’ll drop off your luggage and have a briefing, where you’ll discuss the itinerary and get to know your fellow travellers.

After your briefing, we’ll head to the Asakusa District and visit the Sensō-Ji temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple.

At lunchtime, you’ll feast on the freshest sashimi you’ve ever eaten! This will take place at Tokyo’s iconic Tsukiji Outer Market, where you’ll be amazed by the variety of fish on offer and catch a glimpse of the famous blue-fin tuna. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, don’t worry, as your Adventure Leader will let you know where you can grab a bite to eat.

After lunch, soak up the incredible views from the top of the Metropolitan Government Building and then take part in some optional activities. You can either experience one of Japan’s national obsessions (baseball, at a local batting cage) or kick back and relax with a drink – or bathe with the locals at a nearby bathhouse.

Day 2 – Tokyo:

In the morning, you’ll discover the Japanese art of sushi-making with an unforgettable lesson from a sushi chef, and then sample your creations for lunch!

Later, you’ll visit Akihabara, Japan’s ‘Electric Town’ and hub of Anime. It’s also home to Japan’s most famous J-pop group, AKB48. You will find venues specialising in manga and games, including the Tokyo Anime Center. Here, you can take part in an optional ‘Made in Tokyo’ experience at one of the Akihabara’s maid cafes.

In the evening, you can head to Golden Gai and experience Japanese nightlife!

Day 3 – Tokyo:

Start the morning with a trip to the unmissable Tokyo Imperial Palace – an abundance of gardens and galleries, with guided tours and castle ruins. Surrounding the home of the Emperor, the grounds are perfectly maintained and are a top attraction for visitors to the capital. Here, you’ll learn more about why Japan’s Imperial Family is so unique.

It’s another afternoon of traditional-modern contrast in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. Your first stop will be Harajuku, which is Tokyo’s fashion district, you will encounter punks, goths, technicolour hair – anything goes in Harajuku. Take in the industrial vibes – and if you want, grab some hair dye and get involved!

After this, you will make your way to Shibuya to visit the Meiji Shrine. This shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.

Then, you’ll head to the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world and iconic landmark, Shibuya Crossing. This is where you will find the Hachiko Statue. After, why not stop by the Cat Café MoCHA to make some furry friends while enjoying a cup of tea and slice of cake?

If you want to experience some more nightlife, you can explore the streets of Roppongi. If not, you can have a relaxing evening at the hostel.

Day 4 – Tokyo:

First thing in the morning, head to Tokyo’s Iconic area Odaiba to discover Tokyo’s magnificent cityscapes and the urban attraction of the city.

Upon arriving in Odaiba, walk to Joypolis, the indoor amusement park produced by the game company Sega. It has most high-tech rides in the world, and you can enjoy your free time with free rides ticket.

Once you’re done in Joypolis, you’ll meet in front of the Love Sign by Aqua city, and then walk down to see the actual size Gundam Statue. You’ll head back to hostel, and then the rest of the day is yours!

Day 5 – Tokyo & Kamakura:

Today you’re off to a new destination: Kamakura! After breakfast in Tokyo, it’s time to say goodbye to the modern capital and hop on a train to Japan’s medieval centre. Kamakura is a seaside Japanese city south of Tokyo. Once the political centre of medieval Japan, today, Kamakura is a resort town with many Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines.

Upon arrival, you have the option to rent a surfboard and head to the beach, as the hostel is moments away from the coast – or you can make the most of this opportunity to sunbathe. There are beachside bars where you can relax with a drink.

Later on, you will explore some of the town’s many ancient shrines, and then hike over to Kotoku-in Temple to marvel at the solid bronze Great Buddha statue, which stands at nearly 45ft tall – even after a tsunami! Afterwards, you will hike to Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine, or you can kick back in one of the many seafront bars to watch the sun go down.

Day 6 – Hakone:

Say goodbye to Kamakura, as you hop on a series of trains and buses to Hakone station. When you arrive, you’ll hike along the Old Tokaido and enjoy lunch near Moto-Hakone. Hakone used to be a checkpoint to control traffic along the Tokaido, the highway which linked Tokyo with Kyoto during the feudal Edo Period, and today, a passage of the old Tokaido is located along the shore of Lake Ashi.

Later, climb aboard a sightseeing cruise with a twist – it’s a pirate ship! From the deck of this ship, you’ll cross the Lake Ashi’s clear blue waters and, on a cloudless day, get an unforgettable view of the famous Mount Fuji.

You’ll take the Hakone Ropeway for a great cable car journey that drops you at Owakudani, an active volcanic zone where you can try black eggs – a local delicacy coloured by the sulphuric water they’re boiled in.

Spend the evening soaking in the sulphuric water of a traditional Japanese outdoor bath, called an ‘Onsen’. (Please note: those with tattoos may not be able to enter an ‘onsen’ in Japan as tattoos are associated with gang culture – you can read more about it here)

Change into your kimono after a long hot bath, and you’re ready to learn about the art of Japanese rice wine during a sake tasting session! You’ll listen to an introduction about how sake is made, the different varieties, and you’ll top it off with tasting opportunities to truly understand the art.

Day 7 – Kyoto:

Today, you’re off to Kyoto via bullet train. You’ll zoom across the country, covering around 273 miles in two hours, leaving plenty of time to experience Kyoto later in the day and evening. After leaving your luggage at the hotel, we’ll set off for the Kiyomizu Temple, one of the most iconic Buddhist temples in Japan – and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Later on, you’ll have some free time in the Gion Area. Here, you can wander through Pontocho alley in the Geisha District. In the evening, you’ll have option to explore the city centre of Kyoto or return to the hostel with the group.

Day 8 Kyoto, Arashiyama:

Today, another jam-packed day awaits you. First, you’ll board the beautiful Hozugawa River cruise. From here, you’ll arrive at Togetsukyo Bridge, where we’ll head across to the Arashiyama Monkey Park. Here, you can feed the monkeys or simply enjoy the panorama of Kyoto below.

After an optional lunch, we’ll pay a visit to Tenryu-Ji Temple to see its breathtaking Zen garden. Following this, we’ll leave the temple to take a hike through Arashiyama’s Bamboo Forest. After that, we’ll leave for Kyoto city, where we’ll partake in a calligraphy class.

This evening, it’s karaoke time!

Day 9 – Kyoto:

Take a breather and relax your vocal cords after the previous night’s exertions – today, you have a free day that’s yours to enjoy! If you’ve got the energy, we suggest taking a gentle amble to look at the majestic temples which adorn the Philosopher’s Path.

Alternatively, you could check out the Todaiji Temple and deer Park in Nara, or the Fushimi Inari Shrine. It features thousands of showstopping red torii gates, and is located in the southern part of Kyoto.

Day 10 – Kyoto & Hiroshima:

Today you’ll cycle around Kyoto like a local! First, you’ll ride over to a Zen temple where you can discover your inner peace with a meditation led by a Buddhist monk. Then, we’ll continue our Kyoto adventure and head off to admire an iconic image of Kyoto: the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-Ji. Walk around the mirror pond, and prepare to be mesmerised by the shimmering golden reflection of the Pavilion on the water.

After lunch, jump back on your bike and cycle around to the Imperial Palace, before bidding farewell to this magical city. In the afternoon, you’ll take another bullet train and venture further west to Hiroshima.

Day 11 – Hiroshima:

Hiroshima, a modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Today, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the 1945 event. Here, 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 train ride and 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. Just offshore, you will see an enormous torii gate standing in the sea, and at low tide, you can walk across the sand to take a closer look.

Following this, you’ll make your way back to the hostel and enjoy a free evening to relax.

Day 12 – Osaka:

This morning, another bullet train will take you to Osaka – you’ll arrive in time for lunch in the Shinsaibashi area.

After enjoying your typically Japanese lunch of yakitori, ramen, sushi or whatever takes your fancy, it’s a short subway ride to the Osaka Castle. The castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, as it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century. Take a stroll around the castle that rises above the moat, and don’t forget to check out the nine-level dungeon.

Then, it’s time for a free afternoon. You can choose to explore more of Osaka on your own, have the ultimate Japanese shopping experience in Shinsaibashi – or have a rest!

This evening, you’ll start the night off by competing to become the Dragon Trip Arcade Challenge Champion. You’ll eat, drink, game, and enjoy the endless Dotonbori and Namba night scenes.

Day 13 – Osaka:

Say goodbye to your fellow Dragons over breakfast in Osaka before catching your final bullet train back to Tokyo – where you’ll arrive at 13:42pm.


Our Japan budget tour package price includes the following features:

  • A bilingual, epic Adventure Leader throughout the entire trip
  • Transport within Japan, including a 7-day Japan Rail pass
  • Accommodation (including hostels and guesthouses)

Please note: Accommodation is in dorm rooms as a standard on our Japan budget tours.
Upgrade options (to single, twin, or double rooms) are available, please contact us for more information. Please note that accommodation upgrades are not available in Hakone and Osaka.

Our included activities on Japan budget tour:

  • Panoramic city views from the Metropolitan Government building (Tokyo)
  • Tsukiji Outer Market (Tokyo)
  • Asakusa district and Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)
  • Sushi-making class (Tokyo)
  • Explore Akihabara (Tokyo)
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace Nijubashi Bridge (Tokyo)
  • Imperial Palace East Gardens (Tokyo)
  • Head to Meiji Shrine (Tokyo)
  • Visit the famous Shibuya Cross and Hachiko statue (Tokyo)
  • Visit the Daibutsu Buddha located in the Kotoku-in (Kamakura)
  • Hike to Zeniairai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine (Kamakura)
  • Hike along the Old Tokaido (Hakone)
  • Take the Hakone sightseeing cruise from Moto-Hakone to Togendai (Hakone)
  • Ride the ropeway to Owakudani (Hakone)
  • Soak in a traditional Japanese Bath, called an Onsen (Hakone)
  • Sake tasting session, only for travellers aged 20+ (Hakone)
  • Kiyomizu Dera (Kyoto)
  • Take a cruise down the Hozugawa River (Kyoto)
  • Visit the Iwatayama Monkey Park (Kyoto)
  • Tenryuji Temple (Kyoto)
  • Walk through Arashiyama Bamboo Forest (Kyoto)
  • Cycling city tour (Kyoto)
  • Daisen-in Temple: Meditation class (Kyoto)
  • Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji (Kyoto)
  • Calligraphy class (Kyoto)
  • Visit the Peace Memorial Museum (Hiroshima)
  • Day trip to Miyajima island (Hiroshima)
  • The Great Torii (Hiroshima)
  • Osaka Castle (Osaka)


The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the tour as per our terms & conditions.

Activities that aren’t included:

  • Shopping, snacks on Hoppy Street or go for Happy Hour Beers (Tokyo)
  • Japanese Bathhouse – approx ¥5oo per person (Tokyo)
  • Night out in Roppongi – approx ¥1000 if you go to a club with an all you can drink fixed fee from 7-11pm (Tokyo)
  • Chanko-Nabe lunch – approx ¥1500-¥2000 per person (Tokyo)
  • Cat Cafe MoCHA – Basic: ¥200/1o min + plus tax, Unlimited drinks: ¥350 + tax, Cat treats: ¥500 + plus tax (Tokyo)
  • Maid Cafe – Entry fee: ¥500/60min excluding tax, food and drink aprox. ¥1500-¥2500 per person (Tokyo)
  • Night out in Golden Gai (Tokyo)
  • Kartoon Karting – £100 pp (Tokyo)
  • Japanese Onsen & have dinner nearby (Hakone)
  • Amazake – approx. ¥500 per person (Hakone)
  • Walk along Pontocho Alley – all restaurants here are very expensive and need to be booked ahead, so we suggest having dinner nearby (Kyoto)
  • Ramen dinner at Kairikiya – approx. ¥1000-¥1500 per person (Kyoto)
  • Karaoke – approx. ¥1000-¥1500 per person (Kyoto)
  • Ninja Experience – £40 (Kyoto)
  • Okonomiyaki at Okonomiyaki village – approx ¥1500-¥2000 per person (Hiroshima)
  • Ekiben – lunch (Osaka)
  • Shopping in Shinsaibashi and Namba areas near Capsule Hotel (Osaka)
  • Visit Tsutenkaku, an iconic tower famous for its neon lights (Osaka)
  • Night out in Osaka (Osaka)
  • Takoyaki Dinner (Osaka)
  • Arcade challenge (Osaka)
  • Karaoke bar (Osaka)
  • Nightclub (Osaka)

Optional Activities

Most of our optional activities can be booked during your trip through your Adventure Leader however there are a couple that are so popular, that they must be booked in advance to guarantee availability. They are listed below:

• Kartoon Karting – £100pp (Tokyo)
• Ninja Experience – £40pp (Kyoto)

To find out more about these activities and to reserve your space, please contact a member of our reservations team. Please note that to secure a place on the Kartoon Karting experience, you need to book at least 4 weeks before the trip starts, and must apply for International Driving Permits to join.

Room Upgrades

On this budget Japan tour, accommodation is in hostel dorm rooms as standard. The price of a single room upgrade for the trip is £550 and a double room upgrade is £375 per person. Please note that accommodation upgrades are not available in Hakone and Osaka.

Additional Services

This trip includes a seven day Japan Rail pass which expires on the last day of the tour. If you’re staying on in Japan after the group tour has ended, you can upgrade your Japan Rail pass to 14 days for £165 or 21 days for £275. If you wish to upgrade and extend this pass, please contact The Dragon Trip at least two months prior to your trip starting.

We can also arrange for additional accommodation before or after the group tour to allow you to acclimatise to the jet lag or relax after an action packed couple of weeks.

We do not book airport transfers. The best and more affordable way of getting to/from Tokyo’s airports is by public transport. Our sales team can recommend the best way of reaching our hostels depending on the airport you are flying in to.

A deposit is required to make a reservation on our Japan tours, with the balance due 70 days prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply).

The deposit is 10% of the group tour price (unless stated otherwise). If you book on to our Japan tours less than 70 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.

No bookings can be accepted within 40 days of a trip departure date.

Visit our FAQs page. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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