Blushing cherry blossoms, neon nightlife, kooky cartoons and quiet monastic communities – one thing Japan doesn’t lack is colour.
Japan is at once strangely familiar and utterly strange, stoic and brash, quietly conservative and hyper avant-garde. The clamouring fish markets and silver skyscrapers of Tokyo are only one side of the story. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find pockets of tranquil beauty unlike anything else in Asia – the scent of delicate sencha tea, mountain shrines in Nikko or the fleeting glimpse of a geisha in Gion.
What people say
This is a well organised and varied tour of two major centres and four other centres. It was a good balance between active and more leisurely days. Other than breakfasts, evening meals etc were in local Japanes restaurants, all varied in cuisine, but great value.
Japan travel highlights
Stay with monks with Koya San
Stay in a real Buddhist monastery in the small mountain community of Koya San. Join in meditation ceremonies and shed your inhibitions in a Japanese onsen.
Try fresh sashimi in Tokyo
Visit Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Markets early to see Japan’s seafood industry in all its chaotic glory, and to try the freshest sashimi you’ll ever taste.
Find a geisha in Kyoto
Magnificent temples, stunning gardens and gorgeous geishas abound in Kyoto, the ancient heart of Japan's unique culture.
Our Japan trips
Articles on Japan
Japan holiday information
Local culture of Japan
Geography & environment
Shopping guide to Japan
Japan festival calendar
Food & drink in Japan
Japan travel FAQs
The following countries do NOT require a visa to travel in Japan:
- Australia: No - not required
- Belgium: No - not required
- Canada: No - not required
- Germany: No - not required
- Ireland: No - not required
- Netherlands: No - not required
- New Zealand: No - not required
- South Africa: Yes - required in advance
- Switzerland: No - not required
- United Kingdom: No - not required
- USA: No - not required
Obviously this is not a comprehensive list. Check on your local consulate website for more information regarding visas in Japan.
Tipping isn’t expected in Japan (although it’s always appreciated). Some ryokans or small inns may leave an envelope in your room where you can leave a gratuity for the made staff, but it’s not an obligation.
As you’d expect in one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, internet access is readily available and very very fast.
Mobile services are excellent in Japan, even in the more mountainous regions. But please be aware that talking loudly on your phone (particularly on public transport) is considered rude. Don’t forget to activate global roaming on your phone if you’d like to make international calls.
Toilets in Japan range from high-tech flushable toilets (with heated seats and a control panel) to squat toilets. Most public toilets and restaurants will provide both. Sometimes you may need to pay for toilet paper, which can be purchased from a vending machine nearby.
- Bento box = 1000 yen
- Bowl of ramen = 700 yen
- Beer = 700 yen
- Snack from a convenience store = 300-400 yen
Drinking tap water in Japan is considered very safe. For environmental reasons, consider buying a refillable bottle or canteen instead of relying on bottled water.
Most credit cards will be accepted by larger department stores, however the vast majority of Japanese businesses operate in cash only.
ATMs are common in Japan, although many of them won’t accept international cards. This isn’t a problem, as 711s can be found on nearly every street corner in the major cities, and each one features an international-friendly ATM. You can also withdraw money at any post office.
Yes. All Peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their Japan group tours. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day.
For a current list of public holidays in [country] go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/[country]/public-holidays