11-day Japan Plus Culture Tour | Tokyo to Osaka | The Dragon Trip

11-day Japan Plus Culture Tour

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From$3,856
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From$3,856
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11 days Tokyo to Osaka

11-day Japan Plus Culture Tour

On our Japan Plus tour, you'll get the excitement and adventure of our budget trip - with added comfort and some extra-special experiences throughout. From bustling Tokyo to foodie paradise Osaka - by way of Hakone, Kyoto and Hiroshima - this is the ultimate Japanese exploration.

From bustling modern cities to historic regions, from the mountains to rivers – our 11-day Japan Plus Culture Tour has it all. Get the best that Tokyo has to offer before catching a glimpse of Fuji in Hakone, then discover Japan’s rich history in beautiful Kyoto. Next, learn about Japan’s storied past in Hiroshima, explore the stunning Miyajima Island – and end up in ‘Japan’s Stomach’, Osaka. Soak in onsens, explore UNESCO World Heritage temples, take meditation classes and learn to make sushi like a local – Japan Plus gives you the Landing of the Rising Sun like you’ve never seen it before.

What's included on your trip

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Accommodation

Standard hotel accommodation throughout

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Adventure Leader

An amazing Adventure Leader in each city

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Local transport

Transport within Japan, including a 7-day JR pass

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Activities

A huge range of cultural excursions and activities are included

Itinerary & map

Japan Plus Culture Tour

Day 1: Tokyo 

Welcome to Tokyo, and the start of your Japan Plus Culture Tour! After arriving in the city, in the afternoon you’ll meet your Adventure Leader in the hotel’s lounge area for a trip briefing. In this, you’ll learn about what the next 11 days have in store for you, meet the rest of your group, and get some tips on keeping safe in Japan.  

We’re then welcoming you in style with a kaiseki dinner – a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. After that – we hope you’re good with heights! We’re taking you for the best view in the city, atop the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.  

Day 2: Tokyo 

You’re out & about bright and early today, with a morning visit to the Tsukuji Fish Market. It’s filled with shops and restaurants, and is one of the best places in the city to get fresh seafood – so why not have some mid-morning breakfast sushi?  

Next, we’ll carry on the water theme by taking you down to the Sumida River in the Asakusa district, bound for a boat! We’ll head up and down the River, getting some  spectacular views of the city.  

Back on dry land, we’ll explore the Asakusa district on foot, making sure to pay a visit to the world-famous Sensoji Temple – arguably one of the city’s most vibrant temples. The temple itself was completed in 645, and it’s now also home to a bustling market selling local snacks and traditional souvenirs.  

If Tsukiji gave you the taste for fish, you’re in luck! This afternoon, we’re taking you to a sushi-making class, where you’ll get the chance to create Japanese culinary staples with the help of a professional teacher.  

If you’ve still got some energy left, this evening you might fancy exploring the Roppongi area! 

 Day 3: Tokyo 

We’re starting the day off with a slice of true Japanese heritage – a visit to a Sumo stable!  You’ll get a chance to observe real-life Sumo wrestlers training, before we head out into the town of Sumo to explore the historic areas. Additionally, at lunchtime you might want to opt to eat like a wrestler too – and sample a chanko nabe lunch.  

In the early afternoon, we’re headed to the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Completed in 1920, it was built in honour of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Once you’ve explored here, you’ve got some free time in the wider Harajuku district to wander by yourselves, before we head off to the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world: Shibuya! Can you find the Hachiko statue? 

This evening is yours to spend as you please, and you might opt to head into Shibuya or Akihabara – be sure to ask your guide for more recommendations!  

Day 4: Tokyo & Hakone 

It’s time for a change of scenery, so we’re heading to the next stop on your Japan Plus Culture Tour – Hakone!  

We’ll arrive in Moto-Hakone just before lunch, ready to try out our sea legs. We’re climbing on board a boat cruise with a twist – it’s a pirate ship! We’ll cruise over Lake Ashi, and from the decks of this man-of-war you’ll see towering mountains, crystalline waters – and on a good day, Mount Fuji. We’re not back on land for long, because our next adventure takes us up into the mountain peaks via cable car!  

This evening, you’ve got a free evening to relax in a traditional Japanese onsen. Grab your robe and soak in the sulfuric waters – renowned for their healing properties!  

Dinner tonight is in your accommodation – a delicious kaiseki dinner.  

Day 5: Hakone & Kyoto 

After a delicious breakfast in your accommodation, you’ve got a couple more hours to get some last minute zen at the onsen before we depart for Kyoto.  

We’ll jump on a train and arrive in the early afternoon, with enough time for us to drop our luggage before we start exploring. You’ll explore the beautiful Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded over 1000 years ago. Set into the hillsides over Kyoto, on the site of the Otowa Waterfall, as well as exploring the temples grounds you’ll also get spectacular views across the city.  

Back in the city centre, we’ll take you on a tour of Kyoto’s most famous geisha districts – and one of the most photogenic spots around – Gion. Not content with simply showing you around, however – we’ll also take you to a traditional geisha show, where you can learn about the area, the history of geishas, and enjoy a delightful performance.  

The evening is yours to explore Kyoto in search of something yummy for dinner. If you head back into the Gion area, you’ll find many traditional restaurants serving Japanese cuisine.  

Day 6: Kyoto 

Up and at ‘em! Your morning kicks off with a visit to the Fushimi Inari Shrine – arguably one of the most famous sites in Japan. This incredible Shinto shrine is famous for containing almost 10,000 bright red torii gates, which line trails that lead into the foothills of Mount Inari.  

Spend some time wandering the pathways and taking into the beautiful views, before we head to Nishiki Market. Once here, you’ll have some free time to grab lunch in ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’ from one of over 100 shops and restaurants.  

In the early afternoon, we’ll rendezvous for a visit that’ll leave you thirsty indeed… the Sake Museum! This entire museum is dedicated to the history, creation, and culture of Japanese rice wine. The rest of the afternoon is yours to do with as you please!  

Day 7: Kyoto 

Start your day by discovering your inner peace. We’ll pay a visit to the Daisen-in Temple for a very special meditation class, led by a Buddhist monk. Once we’re all nicely relaxed, we’ll head into the temple’s traditional Zen garden to take a look around – there’s a reason it’s known as one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan!  

We’ll then pay a visit to another of Kyoto’s most iconic sites – the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Zen temple is covered in gold leaf, sending shimmering reflections across the pond it stands over.  

The Imperial Palace is our next stop! The former place of residence for Japan’s Imperial family until 1868 – when the country’s capital moved to Tokyo – it’s today a historic attraction filled with beautiful traditional buildings, courtyards, and gardens.  

After a busy day of sightseeing, the evening is yours to do as you please. Why not head into the downtown area to make the most of Kyoto’s nightlife?  

Day 8: Kyoto & Hiroshima 

We’re checking out of our accommodation this morning – but we’re not leaving Kyoto yet! After dropping our luggage to be looked after, you’ve got the option of boarding a rickshaw for an adventurous sightseeing tour of the Arashiyama district!  

We’ll spend some more time here this afternoon, and you can stop to grab some lunch before we visit the iconic Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. This grove is filled with towering stalks of bright green bamboo, making it a natural wonderland. While you’re here, you’ll also explore the delightful the Tenryu-ji Temple gardens – home to ponds, landscaped zones and traditional structures, it’s a masterclass in Japanese garden design.  

This afternoon, it’s time to whiz off to the next stop on your Japan Plus Culture Tour – Hiroshima. We’ll grab the train, arriving into the city in the evening… just in time for you to grab some sleep!  

Day 9: Hiroshima & Miyajima Island 

This morning, we’re departing for the beautiful Miyaijma Island. After a train ride, we’ll jump on the ferry to take us across – here, you’ll get amazing views of our first stop, the Itsukushima Shrine. This enormous torii gate stands on the seabed – at high tide, it looks like it’s floating, but at low tide you can walk out to get a closer look.  

It’s then time to get a better vantage point of the entire island, as we take the ropeway to the top of Mount Misen – or, if you’re feeling fresh, you can hike up! From over 500 meters up in the air, you can see the Seto inland sea & islands.  

Back at sea level, the afternoon is spent exploring Miyajima Island some more, before we head back to Hiroshima in the early evening. Once we’re back in the city, you have the option of joining your group for an okonomiyaki dinner. This traditional grilled pancake is a staple of the region, making it a perfect way into the culinary culture of the area.  

Day 10: Hiroshima & Osaka 

We start the day early today, ready to depart to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This site is one of the most important places to visit on any trip to Japan, and commemorates the atomic bombing of Japan during the Second World War. Opened in 1955, it’s dedicated to educating visitors on the history of the bombing, the region, and the events – as well as calling for lasting world peace.  

You’ll explore with the help of an audio guide, before spending some free time grabbing lunch before we get ready to transfer. We’re moving onto the final location on our Japan Plus Culture Tour – Osaka!  

We’ll arrive in the evening, just in time to take a boat ride down the canal, through the Dotonbori district! This bustling, vibrant area is the heart of Osaka, and the river is lined with amazing bars and restaurants. However, there’s no need to panic about where to eat your final meal – we’ve got you sorted. We’re taking you out for a takoyaki dinner, followed by a craft beer crawl that will help you explore ‘Japan’s Stomach’ in style.  

Day 11: Farewell 

Sadly, today marks the end of your Japan Plus Culture Tour. You’ll grab the bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo in the morning, where your trip comes to an end.  

Photos

Our Japan Plus Culture Tour package price includes the following features:

  • An experienced Adventure Leader to guide your trip.
  • Transport within Japan, including a 7-day Japan Rail pass.
  • Accommodation in hotels throughout the duration of the trip.

 

Our included activities on Japan Plus:

  • Welcome kaiseki dinner (Tokyo) 
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tokyo) 
  • Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo) 
  • Sumida River cruise (Tokyo) 
  • Asakusa visit & Senso-ji Temple (Tokyo) 
  • Professionally-led sushi making class (Tokyo) 
  • Sumo stable visit (Tokyo) 
  • Meiji Shrine (Tokyo) 
  • Shibuya Crossing visit (Tokyo)  
  • Lake Ashi boat cruise (Hakone) 
  • Hakone ropeway (Hakone) 
  • Onsen stay (Hakone) 
  • Kaiseki dinner (Hakone) 
  • Kiyomizu-Dera Temple (Kyoto) 
  • Gion district tour & geisha show (Kyoto) 
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine (Kyoto) 
  • Sake Museum (Kyoto) 
  • Meditation class & Daisen-in Temple visit (Kyoto) 
  • Golden Pavilion (Kyoto) 
  • Imperial Palace (Kyoto) 
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Forest & Tenryu-Ji Temple (Kyoto) 
  • Miyajima Island day trip, including Itsukushima Shrine and ropeway (Hiroshima) 
  • Peace Memorial Museum visit (Hiroshima)
  • Dotonbori boat ride (Osaka) 
  • Takoyaki dinner (Osaka) 
  • Craft beer crawl (Osaka) 

Drones

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.

Unless specified otherwise, food and drinks throughout the tour are not included.

Activities that aren’t included:

  • Free time & independent activities in Tokyo 
  • Chanko nabe Sumo lunch in Tokyo 
  • Free time & independent activities in Kyoto 
  • Arashiyama rickshaw tour in Kyoto 
  • Free time & independent activities in Hiroshima 
  • Okonomiyaki dinner in Hiroshima 

Chanko Nabe Sumo Lunch

Please let us know if you are vegetarian, as this can be catered to. Unfortunately, we regret to note that vegans are unable to eat the Sumo Lunch – however, your Adventure Leader will be able to help make suitable arrangements. Due to supplier availability, the Lunch is unavailable on some departure dates. For more information on any of these, contact info@thedragontrip.com.

Room Upgrades

On the Japan Plus Culture Tour, accommodation is in twin hotel rooms as standard. The price of a single room upgrade for the trip is £875 – please note that accommodation upgrades are not available in Hakone.

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. Prices are listed below:

  • Pre/post-night private room in Tokyo – £350

 

We do not book airport transfers in Japan. 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 hotels depending on the airport you are flying in to, and you’ll also get specific information on making your way to the accommodation in your Booking Pack. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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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