11 days Tokyo to Osaka
11-day Japan Premium Tour
This 11-day premium tour of Japan combines living the high life with a whole series of hands-on experiences. This eclectic, fascinating nation is a true treasure trove of culture, and this trip is a riveting ride through buzzing cities, natural splendour, and gastronomic delights!
A heady concoction of contrasts, our Japan Premium Tour sees you explore Japan for its modernity and its tradition combined. From the bustling city of Tokyo to the ancient streets of Kyoto, the magnficent peaks of Hakone to the calm waters of Miyajima Island – this tour shows you the very best of Japan. With boat cruises, sushi-making, onsen visits, and unforgettable sumo experiences throughout, this 11-day adventure is designed to show you the very best that Japan has to offer – in style.
Itinerary & map
Day 1: Welcome to Tokyo!
Welcome to bustling Tokyo, and the start of your Japan Premium Tour! Today, you’ll meet you Adventure Leader in the lounge of your hotel for a trip briefing. In this, they’ll outline the exciting trip ahead of you, give you advice on adjusting to local life, and provide tips on staying safe while travelling.
After that, it’s off to a local restaurant for a delicious traditional welcome dinner – your first taste of Japanese cuisine! We’ll then whisk you off to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, where you’ll head to the very top for an incredible view of the cityscape.
Day 2: Tokyo
This morning, head to the Tsukiji Fish Market to see the local catches be brought in for sale. While you’re there, embrace the Japanese love of fish and enjoy some snacks! After this, we’ll head down to the Sumida river to board the Yakatabune cruise ship. As you coast down, take in the incredible sight of the city from the water.
Once back on dry land, it’s off to the beautiful Asakusa district! We’re heading to Sensoji Temple, one of the most vibrant and popular temples in the entire city, for a wander around the massive complex. Then, it’s time to put your culinary skills to the test in a sushi-making class! Meet with a professional instructor, who’ll assist you in the making (and eating!) of delicious, traditional sushi.
This evening, you’re free to explore the Roppongi area under your own steam – ask your guide for recommendations on how to spend your evening. Otherwise, you can spend your evening resting up, ahead of a busy day tomorrow!
Day 3: Tokyo
It’s an early start today, as you’re off to get up-close-and-personal with a key part of traditional part of Japanese culture: Sumo! You’ll head to a real wrestler training session in a working Sumo stable today, where you’ll get to watch them in action without the crowds. We’ll then shoot off for the Ryogoku district, where we can stroll around the town of Sumo – and stop for a Chanko nabe lunch. It’s the lunch of wrestlers!
This afternoon, we’re heading to the beautiful Meiji Jingu shrine to explore the area. We’ll then move into Tokyo’s pop-culture hub, Harajuku, to stroll the vibrant streets.
Have you ever wondered what the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world is? Well, it’s Shibuya – and you’re off to visit it next! While you’re there, go on a hunt for the Hachiko statue.
This evening, you’re free to do as you please. Why not head to Shibuya or Akihabara – Japan’s Electric Town? If you ask your guide, they’ll be able to give you recommendations of the very best places to spend your evening.
Day 4: Hakone
We’re swapping the city for mountains, as we depart Tokyo for the beautiful Hakone!
We’ll arrive at Hakone Yumoto Station by the famous ‘Romance Car’ train, which is renowned for its spectacular views of the national park. Once arrived there, we’ll have some free time to grab lunch before jumping on a bus to Lake Ashi.
We’ll then take to the water for a sightseeing cruise with a twist – it’s a pirate ship! Standing aboard the deck of the ship, cruise the clear blue waters of the lake – on a cloudless day, you’ll even glimpse the iconic Mount Fuji. You won’t be back on land for long, because we’ll move from the boat to a cable car, ready to ascend into the mountain peaks!
This afternoon, we’ll take you to a traditional Japanese onsen – hot baths. The waters around here are sulfuric, known for their healing properties. After this, change into your yukata (light kimono) and enjoy a relaxing evening amongst the mountains.
Day 5: Kyoto
After waking up in Hakone, it’s time to head to our next destination: Kyoto! You’ll head back into Tokyo, ready to catch a train in the mid-morning – a bullet train, of course! Be sure to grab an ekiben – a Japanese lunchbox – to eat on your journey. Arriving in the early afternoon, you’ll drop your things at your hotel before heading out and about in Kyoto!
Pay a visit to the Kiyomizu Temple. One of the most popular tourist spots in the entire country, you can stand on its enormous wooden deck and take in views of the hillside and the city from up high. You’ll then explore the Higashiyama area, before moving onto Gion. Here, you’ll get a tour and watch a beautiful Geisha performance, in which you’ll learn about the history Geisha and the district.
Then for dinner, you’re free to explore the Gion area – here, you’ll find many traditional restaurants serving delicious Japanese cuisine.
Day 6: Kyoto
This morning, you’re paying a visit to one of Kyoto’s most iconic sights – the Fushimi Inari Shrine! Follow the wooded trails at the base of Mount Inari, which are flanked by almost 10,000 vermillion torii gates.
Then as soon as the sun’s over the yard arm, it’s off to the Gekkikan Sake Museum! Here, you’ll learn how to create sake traditionally, and even get to try some of the goods. Then we’re heading to Kyoto’s Kitchen – Nishiki Market! Find some delicious street food for you lunch, visit the shopping arcade, or join us for an optional excursion to the Ninja Museum!
This evening, we’re taking you for dinner by the river! We’ll head to a beautiful local restaurant where we can enjoy perfectly cooked meat and vegetables on a terrace overlooking the water.
Day 7: Kyoto
Start the day feeling Zen, with a meditation class at the Daisen-in Zen Temple. Discover your inner peace as you take a lesson with a Buddhist monk, before exploring the traditional gardens with a tour and attending a traditional tea ceremony.
We’ll then head to the Golden Pavillion at Kinkaku-ji – one of the most iconic temples in Japan, its beautiful gold exterior has earned it a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It’s back into the city for some free time to grab lunch, before we reconvene to head to the Imperial Palace and explore this historic site. Finally, end your day downtown, where you can either indulge in a spot of shopping or take your pick from the bars down Kiyamachi Street.
Day 8: Kyoto/Hiroshima
This morning, we’ll check out but drop our luggage before we head to visit Arashiyama. This beautiful district is famed for its delightful bamboo forest, which you’ll explore in style – on a rickshaw! While we’re in the area, we’ll also pay a visit to the Tenryu-ji Temple to see its delightful Zen gardens.
There’s time for a spot of lunch in Arashiyama, before we head back to the hotel to grab our things and depart for destination #3: Hiroshima. We’ll take the train to Osaka, where we’ll change to another bullet train and arrive in the evening.
After all that travelling, you’re probably hungry – so it’s a good job that we’re in an area known for its food! Try Hiroshima’s unique dishes like okonomiyaki or ekimae hiroba and then settle in for the evening.
Day 9: Hiroshima/Miyajima Island
Today, you’re heading to the beautiful Miyajima Island. After a train ride and a short ferry, you’ll arrive and be greeted by the view of the enormous torii gate at the Itsukushima Shrine. Don’t worry! We’ll get up close and personal with this shrine first of all, which at high tide appears to be floating on the calm waters.
It’s then time to climb to new heights, with a panoramic ropeway up to the top of Mount Misen. From here, you’ll see the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. It’s then back down to sea level for a spot of lunch.
In the afternoon, we take to the water to try your hand at sea kayaking! You’ll be instructed on the basic methods, and will get the chance to show off at sea before we had back to the hotel in Hiroshima, ready to spend a free evening in the local area.
Day 10: Hiroshima/Osaka
We’re moving on to Osaka today, but not before we spend a reflective morning learning about Hiroshima’s brutal history. Pay a visit first thing to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, to learn all about the catastrophic events of World War II and their impact on the area. You will also explore the Memorial Park, giving you time to reflect on a sobering visit.
We’re then ready to transfer to our final port of call on our Japan Premium Tour – Osaka! We’ll arrive in the city in the mid-afternoon, with time to settle in your hotel before venturing out into the city. Explore the Dotonbori district, known as the area’s entertainment hub. It’s filled with busy shopping arcades and endless spots selling regional specialties – so make sure you go out hungry!
You’ll then jump on a river cruise to get a magical view of the city. It’s a neon wonderland, and as the lights bounce off of the water, we challenge you to find a more exciting sight!
Finally, end your day with one last delicious meal with your group, as you find out exactly why the city is called ‘Japan’s Kitchen’!
Day 11: Osaka/Tokyo
Sadly, today marks the end of your Japan Premium Tour. You’ll transfer back from Osaka to Tokyo, ready to either continue your journey or fly home.
What's included on your trip
Including boutique hotels, luxury stays, and a stay in a traditional Ryokan!
Epic Adventure Leaders in each city
Transport within Japan, including a 7-day Japan Rail pass
What you will experience
Sightseeing in Hakone
Visit the area known for the iconic Mount Fuji. Take a sightseeing cruise on a pirate ship across Lake Ashi, before you head into the mountains on a ropeway.
Sea Kayaking in Miyajima
Get out into the open water around the delightful Miyajima Island on this active experience. Learn the basics as you kayak around the beautiful torii gate at Itsukushima!
Join a Buddhist monk as you start your day the right way, with a meditation class. Find your Zen by taking part in a traditional tea ceremony.
Tokyo River Cruise
Board a Yakatabune cruise ship as you take in the stunning views of the bustling Tokyo from the Sumida River.
Learn the art of traditional Japanese cuisine with a professionally-taught workshop in sushi-making – and sampling!
Head to a Sumo training centre to get a look at Japan’s Sumo culture that the crowds don’t get to see. Explore the Ryogoku area and eat a traditional chanko nabe lunch.
Onsen in Hakone
Take time to truly relax with a luxurious experience in hot springs. Enjoy the hot baths amidst the mountainous majesty of Mount Fuji.
Take a tour of Kyoto’s Gion area and learn about the history of Geisha, before getting the chance to watch a traditional Geisha performance.
Find your Zen with a meditation class led by a Buddhist Monk, and learn the art of the ancient tea ceremony.
Take to the water in Miyajima Island, as you kayak past beautiful shorelines, verdant hills, and stunning torii gates.
Where you will stay
Want a giant dinosaur face sticking out of your hotel? Tick. This place is a comfortable haven amidst the quirky mayhem of Shinjuku.
This luxury spot is located in the heart of the city and is designed to give you a pampered experience in this buzzing area. Enjoy the spa – or a delicious cocktail in the bar.
Hakone Pax Yoshino
This charming onsen hotel is nestled amidst the mountains of Hakone. Hot springs, chilled vibes and some heavenly food as you enjoy the delights of this ryokan experience.
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto-ekimae
These rooms fuse modern technology with traditional materials and provide a charming spot amidst the enclave of temples, bars and the nearby Kyoto Tower.
Cross Hotel Osaka
This chic and stylish spot is in the heart of one the best districts of Osaka. Eat and drink to your heart contents in nearby Dotonbori and then sleep soundly in the comforts of this comfortable hotel!
Our 11 Day Japan Premium 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 boutique hotels, luxury hotels and a stay in a traditional Ryokan)
Please note: Accommodation is in twin occupancy as a standard on our Japan premium tours.
Upgrade options (to single) are available, please contact us for more information. Please note that accommodation upgrades are not available in Hakone and Osaka.
Our included activities on our Japan Premium tour:
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tokyo)
- Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo)
- Yakatabune cruise ship (Tokyo)
- Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)
- Sushi-making class (Tokyo)
- Sumo experience, with chanko nabe lunch (Tokyo)
- Meiji Jingu Shrine (Tokyo)
- Hakone sightseeing cruise & ropeway (Hakone)
- Onsen experience (Hakone)
- Gion tour (Kyoto)
- Geisha Performance (Kyoto)
- Fushimi Inari Shrine (Kyoto)
- Sake Museum & sampling (Kyoto)
- Meditation Class (Kyoto)
- Daisen-in Zen Temple tour & tea ceremony (Kyoto)
- Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji (Kyoto)
- Imperial Palace (Kyoto)
- Arashiyamam Bamboo Forest rickshaw tour (Kyoto)
- Tenryu-ji Temple visit (Kyoto)
- Mijyajima Island excursion & ropeway (Hiroshima)
- Sea kayaking (Hiroshima)
- Hiroshima Peace Museum and Memorial Park (Hiroshima)
- Dotonbori River Cruise (Osaka)
- 3 Dinners
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.
On this Japan Premium Tour, accommodation is twin occupancy at a range of boutique hotels, luxury hotels and ryokans. You can upgrade to a single room for $1,200 or £875
The Japan Premium Tour 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 $220 or 21 days for $370.
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 can also 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.