Cherry Blossom Dates
Pay in full discount on selected dates. Save $460 pp!

from pp Twin Share

$4,599
Book Now with only a $99 deposit pp
Single Traveller
$5,568 pp
Pay in full discount on selected dates. Save $460 pp!

from pp Twin Share

$4,599
Book Now with only a $99 deposit pp
Single Traveller
$5,568 pp

14 Day Japan Premium Small Group Tour

14 Day Japan Premium Small Group Tour

This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

Escorted Type
Fully Escorted

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Pace
Moderate Pace

These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.

Group Size
Small Group

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
Small Group Tour
18680 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Small group tour, with no more than 20 travelers
✓ Incredible sightseeing including breath-taking Mt Fuji, the UNESCO sites of Shirakawa-go Village and Golden Pavilion, and the charming old towns of Takayama and Kanazawa
✓ 13 nights in deluxe 4-star accommodation
✓ Breakfast daily and 2 dinners
✓ Travel on the famous Shinkansen bullet train
✓ Fully escorted by a professional English-speaking tour guide
✓ Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
✓ In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

✈ Needing international airfares to accompany your Inspiring Vacation? You will be able to access our flight portal after securing your package to add international airfares to your booking.

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
Hotel It Osaka Shinmachi or Similar

Welcome to Osaka, Japan! Upon arrival at Kansai Airport, clear customs and immigration before you make your own way to your accommodation.

Hotel
Hotel It Osaka Shinmachi or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, we travel the short distance to Nara. Visit Tōdai-ji (Great Eastern Temple), famed for its Great Buddha Hall, which remains one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. This impressive building houses a 15m-tall bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. Following this we'll wander through gorgeous Nara Park, where more than 1200 tame sika deer roam freely.

We will then head back to Osaka and stop at Osaka Castle. We will then finish our day with a tour of Osaka's central food and entertainment area, Dotonbori, where we will also enjoy a welcome dinner together.

Hotel
Kyoto Tokyu Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today we will take the super fast shinkansen bullet train from Osaka to Kyoto.

Upon reaching Kyoto, we will first visit Kinkakuji, otherwise known as the Golden Pavilion. This is a Zen temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold. The site is set within a beautiful classical Zen garden. The detailed architecture of Kinkaku-ji incorporates three distinct architectural styles – Shinden, Samurai, and Zen.

Next we'll visit magnificent Fushimi Inari Shrine. Famous for its thousands of vermilion torii (shrine gates), which straddle a network of trails behind its main temples, the Fushimi Inari Shrine is incredibly photogenic. The trails lead into the forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233m and belongs to the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. 

Hotel
Kyoto Tokyu Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today is a full free day to spend in Kyoto. This golden city was once the capital of Japan and sits on the island of Honshu. It's famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. Beautiful Geisha are often found in the Gion district.

Optional Tour - Kyoto Tea Ceremony

Learn the secrets of Sado, the Japanese tea ceremony, from a qualified tea instructor.

Tea Ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony (known as sado or chado in Japanese) is a Japanese tradition that has become an art form. 
More than just about preparing and drinking tea, it is a formal way for a guest to enjoy a host's hospitality, far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

Itinerary
Today enjoy your tea ceremony experience in the heart of Kyoto. Make your own way to the venue and enjoy this unique traditional Japanese experience.

The Japanese tea ceremony is a traditional ritual influenced by the principles of Zen Buddhism in which powdered green tea, or matcha, is prepared and served by a host in a quiet setting. 

Enjoy tasting traditional Japanese confectionary with your green tea.

Start time: approx 3:00pm. 

Inclusions

  • Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony
  • Qualified tea instructor
  • Taste Japanese traditional confectionary

Exclusions

  • Transportation to the activity is not included and must be self-arranged
  • Personal expenses and anything not stated 
Optional Tour - Kyoto Taiko Drumming Experience

Get a taste of authentic Japanese culture and learn a new skill while having fun.

Taiko Drumming
Taiko is an ancient form of percussion using large drums.
The drums come in a range of sizes, from medium-sized katsugi okedo drums that are slung across the body, to massive odaiko drums that are as large as a car!

Itinerary
Make your way to this experience on your own.

Today enjoy a one-hour long group taiko drumming class.

You will learn the basic taiko technique and a traditional song, as well as the interesting history of taiko in Japan. Experience Japanese culture first hand. No prior experience or Japanese language skills are required.

Inclusions

  • Taiko lesson by professional Taiko drum instructors
  • Japanese Drums and sticks
  • Taiko performance (1 to 2 songs)

Exclusions

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Food and Drink
  • Personal expenses and anything not stated 

Hotel
Hotel Nikko Kanazawa or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

This morning we visit Nijo Castle, the former residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period, and a designated UNESCO world heritage site.

Then we will make our way to Arashiyama to see Togetsu Bridge and the Bamboo Grove, iconic sights of Western Kyoto. We then continue to the city of Kanazawa on the northwestern shore of Honshu, once the base for the powerful Maeda clan. During World War II, Kanazawa was Japan’s second largest city (after Kyoto) to escape destruction by air raids. This means that parts of the old castle town, such as the Nagamachi samurai district and chaya entertainment districts, have survived.

Hotel
Hotel Nikko Kanazawa or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today we will explore the castle town of Kanazawa. First up is a visit to Omicho Market, where you can try some local favorites, such as fresh seafood and gold leaf ice cream.

Next, we visit Kenrokuen Garden. This is one of Japan's three best landscape gardens, and is considered the most beautiful of them all.

Finish up your day by taking a stroll down the streets of Higashi Chaya, a geisha district in Kanazawa known for its quaint old buildings and teahouses.

Hotel
Hotel Associa Takayama Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast we’ll travel to Shirakawa-gō Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has more than 100 'Gassho-style' houses, which feature steeply-pitched roofs. Built many hundreds of years ago, these historic houses stand together in a beautiful natural setting. From the site’s observation deck you can enjoy a panoramic view of this unique village, its thatched-roof houses sitting among gorgeous mountain scenery.

Afterwards, we continue to Takayama.

Hotel
Hotel Metropolitan Nagano or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Before leaving Takayama we'll stop at Kamisannomachi Street in Takayama’s Old Town, a wonderfully well-preserved slice of old Japan, with houses and shops dating back to the Edo period (1600-1868). As well as the charming architecture, there are several quaint cafés and a number of old saké breweries to explore. Then we will visit the open air museum of Hida Folk Village, followed by Takayama Jinya, the former local government office which was in use from 1692 right up until 1969. Next, we visit Matsuri no Mori (Festival Museum), an impressive

museum about the famous Takayama Matsuri (festival) that is held twice a year in the town. Before leaving Takayama, we visit Yatai Kaikan (Festival Float Exhibition Hall) where some of the centuries old festival floats are on display to the public.

Upon finishing your tour in Takayama we travel to Nagano, home to nature walks, natural hot springs and never ending mountains.

Hotel
Hotel Buena Vista or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast, we will head to Hokusai Museum to discover the great artworks of Katsuhika Hokusai (1760-1849), one of Japan's leading Edo period ukiyo-e painters.

Winter departures (January and February): You will visit the famous Snow Monkey Park in lieu of the Hokusai Museum. Witness Japanese macaque monkeys soaking in the onsen during the cold winter months. It’s an adorable sight.

Then, we will depart for Zenkoji Temple, which was founded over 1,400 years ago. Continue on to Matsumoto, where you will have the opportunity to see one of Japan's last remaining original castles, Matsumoto Castle. Not far from the castle is Nakamachi Street, where you can see preserved shops, houses and warehouses.

Hotel
Fuji View Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Today we depart Matsumoto for the Mount Fuji area. Our first stop is at Oishi Park on the shores of Lake Kawaguchi, well known for its serene, flower-lined walking path and its spectacular view of Mount Fuji.

Then, stop by the eight ponds at Oshino Hakkai, a small village in the Fuji Five Lake region fed by the snow melt from the nearby mountains. See traditional thatched roof farmhouses and try some of the local delicacies.

Stay the night in the Mount Fuji area and enjoy a special dinner with your fellow travellers.

Hotel
Sunshine City Prince Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today, after departing Kawaguchiko, we travel by coach to visit Mount Fuji's 5th Station, which is halfway up the active volcano. Mount Fuji is the country’s tallest peak and it is considered one of Japan’s three holy mountains. Here, above the clouds, we'll view the mountain’s enormous summit if weather permits. Then we will visit Gotemba Peace Park to capture another breathtaking view of Mount Fuji.

Tonight, we make our way to Tokyo, Japan's largest city and the nation's capital.

Hotel
Sunshine City Prince Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Our first stop today will be Tokyo Tower, which offers wonderful views of the surrounding city from its observation deck. Later, we visit the Tsukiji Outer Market, a shopping district adjacent to the enormous former wholesale fish market. This lively area is home to everything food-related – fresh ingredients, street food vendors, kitchen utensils. There’s great sushi and other restaurants around here, too.

This afternoon, a quick stop at Imperial Palace to see the famous Nijubashi Bridge before we will finish our day in the Shibuya Crossing, the incredible scramble that occurs every time the traffic lights turn red.

Hotel
Sunshine City Prince Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today is a full free day in Tokyo. There is no end to the spectacular sightseeing and activities available to you, as Tokyo truly has something for everyone. Take as much time as you like to relax at your leisure, explore the city, shop for souvenirs and eat the delectable cuisine. Be sure to ask your guide for recommendations on more must-see spots around the city.

Optional Tour - Old World Tokyo Walking Tour

Explore Tokyo's back streets for a shopping experience like no other. 

Ginza District
Ginza is Tokyo's famously upscale shopping, dining and entertainment district. Almost every leading worldwide brand in fashion and cosmetics has a presence in Ginza.

Itinerary
This three-hour afternoon tour with a local guide will show you a different side of Tokyo.

Explore the hidden back alleys of this vibrant city to shop for unique souvenirs and to learn about Tokyo's history and culture. 

Enjoy taking a tour back in time to old-world Tokyo, wander through the back alleys and uncover family-owned shops that have stood for centuries selling handcrafted goods. Snack on tasty traditional treats, from candies to crackers. Shop for the perfect handmade souvenirs to take back home.

Finish up at Mitsukoshimae Station. 

Inclusions

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Food samples

Exclusions

  • Additional food and drink
  • Personal expenses and anything not stated 
Optional Tour - Japanese Traditional Cooking Class
  • Learn how to cook different types of Japanese food, such as sushi, soup and various side dishes.
  • Learn about Japanese ingredients and culinary techniques used in creating homemade dishes.
  • Enjoy your own cooked dish for lunch.

Washoku
Traditional Japanese food is collectively known as washoku, and has received a great deal attention world-wide for its delicious flavours and healthy ingredients.

More often than not, you will find that washoku is not only delicious but perfectly presented.

Itinerary
Today, enjoy your cooking class in the heart of Tokyo. Make your own way to the venue and enjoy cooking Japanese food.

Japanese cuisine (collectively known as washoku) is well known for its refined taste and elegant presentation.

Take part in a Japanese cooking experience and learn from one of Tokyo's most popular cooking instructors, whose book has been published in English. Bring home with you a set of new cooking skills and culinary techniques that will impress your friends and family!

After the class, enjoy your own delicious creation for lunch

Inclusions

  • Make Japanese food (Washoku) such as sushi, soup and other side dishes
  • Learn about the ingredients, culinary techniques and methods used in creating homemade Japanese dishes
  • Eat your very own cooked dishes for lunch

Exclusions

  • Transportation to the activity is not included and must be self-arranged
  • Personal expenses and anything not stated 

Meals
Breakfast

At the appropriate time you will make your own way to the airport for your homeward flight.

Inclusions

  • Small group tour, with no more than 20 travellers
  • Incredible sightseeing including breath-taking Mt Fuji, the UNESCO sites of Shirakawa-go Village and Golden Pavilion, and the charming old towns of Takayama and Kanazawa
  • 13 nights in deluxe 4-star accommodation
  • Breakfast daily and 2 dinners
  • Travel on the famous Shinkansen bullet train
  • Fully escorted by a professional English-speaking tour guide
  • Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
  • In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

  • Osaka - Tour Osaka's thriving central food and entertainment area, Dotonbori
  • Osaka - Wander the Namba-Shinsaibashi shopping district
  • Nara - Discover the Todaji Temple and its great Buddha
  • Nara - Wander through Nara park with over 1,200 Sika deer
  • Kyoto - Enjoy a full free day to explore at your own pace
  • Kyoto - See this ancient capital’s most famous temples and shrines including the Golden Pavilion and Fushimi Inari
  • Kyoto - Travel to Arashiyama to see Togetsu Bridge and the iconic Bamboo Grove
  • Kanazawa - Visit Kenrokuen Garden – one of Japan’s top three landscape gardens
  • Kanazawa - Explore the Higashi Chaya, a geisha district known for its quaint old buildings and teahouses
  • Shirakawa-go - Wander through this World Heritage site with 114 Gassho-style houses
  • Takayama - Explore Takayama’s Old Town with Edo period houses
  • Takayama - Visit the open air museum of Hida Folk Village
  • Takayama - Discover Yatai Kaikan (Festival Float Exhibition Hall) where some of the centuries old festival floats are on display
  • Nagano - Visit the Hokusai Museum to discover the great artworks of Katsuhika Hokusai
  • Nagano - Explore the impressive Zenkoji Temple, which was founded over 1,400 years ago
  • Matsumoto - See one of Japan's last remaining original castles, Matsumoto Castle
  • Matsumoto - Wander the beautiful Nakamachi Street, where you can see preserved shops, houses and warehouses
  • Kawaguchiko - Experience a traditional hot-spring onsen guesthouse with views of Mt Fuji
  • Mt Fuji - Gaze at Mount Fuji‘s iconic peak from the 5th Station
  • Mt Fuji - See traditional thatched roof farmhouses and try some local delicacies in view of Mt Fuji
  • Mt Fuji - visit Gotemba Peace Park to capture another breath-taking view of Mount Fuji
  • Tokyo - Visit the Tsukiji Outer Market, a foodie heaven home to fresh ingredients street food vendors
  • Tokyo - Stop at Imperial Palace to see the famous Nijubashi Bridge
  • Tokyo - Ascend the 332m Tokyo Tower for sweeping views over the sprawling metropolis
  • Tokyo - Visit Shibuya Crossing and join the incredible scramble that occurs every time the traffic lights turn red

Inspiring Sights

  • You may choose to include 1 optional Inspiring Sight throughout your tour, free as part of your package (options listed under 'Optional Tours').

Inspiring Taste

  • Enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner with your fellow travellers in the Mt Fuji area.

Inspiring Stays

  • Enjoy deluxe, centrally-located 4-star accommodation throughout your tour, including a night at a Japanese onsen hotel.

Fine Print

Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.

Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.

Instalment Schedule:

  1. At the time of booking pay a $99.00 deposit per person.
  2. Pay a 1st installment of $526.00 per person within 28 days.
  3. Pay a 2nd installment of $1,053.00 per person within 90 days.
  4. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.

This is a land only package.

This package does not include international airfares. If you would like to add airfares to your booking our flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub. The flight portal will allow you to search for all available airfares to your destination. The function works like most general flight search engines allowing you to select your preferred airline, book different cabin classes (eg. Business class) and view flight durations and transit times to your destination. 

The flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub once the following criteria has been met:

  • Your booking is confirmed
  • Your departure date is within 11 months
  • You  have completed your passenger detail form

Visit our Flight Hub for more information on terms and conditions, amending your flights and information on luggage allowances.

It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return. Visas may be required for your destination. For further visa information, click here.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorized as a”3”

Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. While tipping is not customary, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations.

You may also consider tipping your tour leader and driver for outstanding service throughout your trip. Suggested amount for your guide, 500Y per person per day. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.

Twin Share Bedding Configuration
At any time, bedding configuration is subject to confirmation by the hotel and based on availability. While you have the option to select either twin or double bedding at time of booking, our recommendation when travelling to Japan is to choose twin bedding, as the rooms are often bigger than those that have a double bed. If insisting on double bedding, please note that the rooms will be smaller and more narrow. As a general expectation, we cannot always guarantee bedding at all hotel stays.

Single Supplement
Single supplement is $969.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.

Please note when choosing Single Supplement for this deal that you will receive a single room, which is smaller in size than a twin/double room. Unfortunately this is typical for Japan, as the cost to solely occupy a double/twin size room is incredibly high. We appreciate your understanding.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

Group Size
6-20 People

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Fully Escorted - This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

Cherry Blossoms
Please note: cherry blossoms are weather dependent and it is not guaranteed that they will be in bloom at the time of your arrival.  

All participants must be in good physical condition to fully engage in this journey. For the safety and welfare of yourself and fellow travellers, if you are feeling unwell prior to departure, we advise staying home and contacting us to arrange alternate plans.

Prior to selecting your trip, carefully review the itinerary to assess your ability to comfortably manage our travel style. Please be aware that if, based on evaluation by our leader or local representative, a participant is deemed unable to safely complete the itinerary, we retain the right to exclude them from all or part of the trip without reimbursement.

It is advisable to consult your physician for current medical travel advisories and any required vaccinations before embarking. We recommend carrying a first aid kit and any necessary medications in their original packaging, as they may not be readily available during travel. For those carrying medication, it's essential to check your government's foreign travel guidelines for local restrictions or regulations.

To enhance your journey, we are offering guests a choice of the following optional activities (prices are per person):

  • Kyoto Tea Ceremony (Day 4) - $37 per person
  • Kyoto Taiko Drumming Experience (Day 4) - $68 per person
  • Old World Tokyo Walking Tour (Day 13) - $64 per person
  • Japanese Traditional Cooking Class (Day 13) - $88 per person

You may choose to include 1 optional Inspiring Sight throughout your tour, free as part of your package. Optional tours can be selected once you have finalised your tour purchase and paid your deposit. When completing your Passenger Booking Form, you will be asked if you would like to add Optional Tours, where any applicable cost will be added to your final balance. If you choose not to select them at this time, you can choose to add them later by logging in to your Account online.

Please note that you must select your Optional Tours no later than 70 days before departure, after which you will be required to purchase them on tour. Please keep in mind that anything purchased on-tour is subject to availability and prices may vary as you will be paying in local currency. We appreciate your understanding.

Please note that transportation to and from each optional tour is not included in the price. You will be required to make your own way to the starting point of the optional tour, as well as back to your hotel. Your tour guide can provide you with the direction and guidance needed to make your own way.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre Tour Accommodation

  • $204.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $272.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Post Tour Accommodation

  • $204.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $272.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

  • International airfares
  • Airport Transfers
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping
  • Optional Activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

Click HERE for more information on weather in Japan

Departure Dates for 14 Day Japan Premium Small Group Tour

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