Tohoku: Traditional Japan

  • Duration : 18 days
  • Locations : Kyoto, Tokyo, Nikko, Sendai, Tohoku, Aomori

Discover the many faces of the Land of the Rising Sun in a single trip to Japan : Kyoto, the elegant former capital, Tokyo, the electric capital, and the little-known, rural Tohoku.

Unspoilt nature, mountainside temples, spa towns and charming Japanese countryside:  these are the attractions of this private tour in "Japan from the inside out".

18-day itinerary 

  • Departure city/Airport : Osaka (Kansai International Airport : KIX)
  • Kyoto (3 nights)
  • Tokyo (3 nights)
  • Nikko (1 night)
  • Sendai & Matsushima bay (2 nights)
  • Tour of the Tohoku region including Aomori (7 nights)
  • Tokyo (1 night)
  • Return city/Airport : Tokyo (Narita : NRT or Haneda : HND)

Please find below the itinerary details.

Tour length : 17 nights / 18 days (+ 1 day at the beginning if you leave from Europe)

PLEASE NOTE: The departure and end dates shown on this page only apply to your stay in Japan. You must therefore leave Europe the day before the first day of your tour. The date of your return flight and that of your return to Europe are identical due to the time difference.

Example : 

  • Departure from Europe : January 1st
  • Arrival in Tokyo (= the date to be selected in the calendar when booking) : January 2nd
  • Return flight from NRT or HND airport / Return to Europe : January 19th

Please note that flights are not included in the price of your tour.

This tour information was last updated on May 28, 2024.

Why this trip to Japan ?

  1. An original circuit combining Kyoto, Tokyo and the traditional region of Tohoku
  2. Welcomed at the airport by our team, you will be taken to your hotel in Kyoto by shuttle bus
  3. In Kyoto, a travel angel will welcome you to a traditional Japan Experience house
  4. In Kyoto, a night-time guided tour of the Gion district awaits you
  5. Then head to Tokyo, for 2 days in the heart of the capital
  6. Reach Nikko, in the heart of the forest for a stay in a ryokan
  7. Sendai and Matsushima Bay offers one of the 3 most beautiful views in Japan
  8. Climb to the top of Honshu, to Aomori and its unspoilt nature
  9. Take the train back down the coast of the Sea of Japan to the Samurai region
  10. Discover the haiku of Matsuo Basho at the Yamadera Temple, the symbol of Tohoku
  11. Thermal baths and a hike in a volcano crater await you before reaching Tokyo
  12. Transportation and special accommodation included (ryôkan & Japan Experience house)
  13. Enjoy unlimited internet access thanks to your pocket Wi-Fi
  14. If needed, contact our bilingual Japanese/English-speaking assistance team available 7/7
  15. Benefit from the expertise of Japan Experience, European leading travel agency in Japan.

Your trip in detail


  • Day 1 : Wake up in Kyoto 京都

    Arrival at Kansai International Airport (KIX).
    Welcome to Japan! 日本へようこそ!

    Pocket Wi-Fi collection at the airport.

    Reception at the exit from Customs in English by our airport assistant, who will give you all your travel documents.
    Unaccompanied transfer from the airport to your traditional Japan Experience house!

    Check in before 8 p.m. in your accommodation. A Travel Angel will welcome you, show you some unique details and help you to have an unforgettable stay in Kyoto. You will be able to "live the Japanese way" for a few days, with a space much bigger than a hotel room and a kitchen to prepare good Japanese food!

  • Day 2 : First steps in the old capital

    We advise you to start your visit to Kyoto slowly by visiting the city centre and the Gion district :
    - Kiyomizu-Dera, the impressive water temple ;
    - The historic lanes of Sannen-zaka & Ninnen-zaka ;
    - Kôdai-ji, Kyoto's temple of maple trees and bamboo.

    Finish your day with a stroll through the Gion district and enjoy the sunset.
    Meet your guide at 7 p.m. to start your evening walk around Gion, Kyoto's historic district.
    More details on the exact day and meeting point can be found in your travel guide.

    At the end of this 1h30 walk, your guide will be able to recommend the best places to eat dinner!
    Please note that it is strictly forbidden to take pictures in the historic district of Gion.

  • Day 3 : Gold and Silver Treasures

    For your second day in Kyoto, we recommend the following itinerary:
    - The Zen garden of Ryôan-ji ;
    - Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) ;
    - Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
    - The enchanting Philosopher's Path ;
    - Nanzen-ji temple.

    One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can accompany you on a tour of these iconic sites (available as an option, from 9am to 5pm).

  • Day 4 : First steps in the capital

    From Kyoto Station, get to Tokyo in 2 hours and 40 minutes on the shinkansen high-speed train (included in your package).

    We recommend that you start your visit to Tokyo slowly by visiting the following districts:
    - Harajuku, the avant-garde district ; 
    - Meiji Jingû, the imperial sanctuary ;
    - Takeshita-Dôri, a must-see street in the capital ; 
    - Omotesandô, Tokyo's Champs-Élysées ; 
    - Shibuya and its impressive crossroads.

    One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can also accompany you to visit the classic sights of Tokyo (optional, from 9am to 5pm).

    Check-in at Hotel OMO3 Tokyo Akasaka by Hoshino Resorts or same category hotel 3*.

  • Day 5 : The big loop

    For this second day of sightseeing in Tokyo, we recommend the following "loop".

    Start at Tokyo Central Station, with its original architecture, then head off to visit :
    - Ginza, Tokyo's chic district;
    - Tsukiji, the small outdoor food market;
    - Hama-rikyû, the Japanese garden between Tokyo's buildings;
    - Asakusa, a traditional district and place of pilgrimage, accessible by cruise on the Sumida river;
    - Sensô-ji, the oldest Buddhist temple in the Japanese capital;
    - Tokyo Sky Tree, 643 metres high, with its panoramic view of Tokyo at sunset.

    Between Hama-rikyû Garden and Asakusa, why not enjoy a cruise on the Sumida River ?

  • Day 6 : Now for some activity...

    There are still plenty of places to discover, depending on what you want to do : Ueno Park, Yanaka, Odaiba, etc.
    Don't hesitate to book an English-speaking guide for the day (optional) to visit Tokyo's less well-known areas!

    We also offer a range of optional activities:
    - Are you looking for fun? Ghibli Museum, Disneyland or Hello Kitty Park await you!
    - If you're more into themed activities, book a tour of architecture, gardens, home cooking or Noh theatre.
    - Chasing thrills? Try a helicopter ride or watch a sumo tournament (in season)!

    If you wish to continue the visits at your own pace, Kamakura will seduce you. This small coastal town just 45 minutes by train (no reservations required) from Tokyo was once a shogun capital. The great Buddha of Kamakura is the symbol of the city. Our English-speaking guides can help you discover this city full of history.

  • Day 7 : The mountain at the gateway to Tokyo

    In the morning, send your luggage sent to the hotel in Sendai (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) and that you travel light for your night in Nikko.

    In the morning, go to Tokyo station and board a shinkansen for Nikko (1h30 journey, details in your travel guide, included in your package). As the train pulls away from the towering skyscrapers of Tokyo, it begins a scenic climb, snaking through a verdant valley nestled amidst the majestic mountains of Japan

    You will arrive in Nikko in the late morning. Reach your ryôkan, Kozuchi no Yado Tsurukame Daikichi or equivalent, located in the heart of the valley. 

    In the afternoon, visit Nikko, with its many UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Tôshôgû and Futarasan-jinja shrines and the Buddhist temple Rinnô-ji located in the heart of an outstanding natural setting.

    Return to your ryôkan in the early evening, where a traditional Japanese dinner awaits you around 6:30pm. Savor the exquisite meal and then unwind for a relaxing Japanese-style night.

  • Day 8 : The capital of Tohoku

    Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryokan.

    In the morning, travel from Nikko to Sendai along the Pacific coast (2h by train and shinkansen, 1 change, included in your package). Arrival in this lively student city and check into your 3* hotel or equivalent. In the afternoon, enjoy the charms of a lush, green and vibrant city, as medieval as it is modern!

    We recommend the following spots :
    - Sendai Media Library ;
    - Kamei Museum ;
    - Aoba-jô, site of the ancient castle, from where you can see the whole town of Sendai ;
    - Zuihôden, mausoleum of the Date clan, branch of the Fujiwara
    - An outing in the Kokubunchô district.

  • Day 9 : One of Japan's most beautiful landscapes

    For this day we recommend a 40min JR train ride from Sendai to see the pine-lined bay that makes this area so famous.

    Cruise through Matsushima Bay, one of Japan's three most beautiful panoramas since the 18th century.

    Visit of the Zuiganji Buddhist temple, rebuilt in the 17th century by craftsmen from Kyoto, and stroll through the center of Matsushima.

  • Day 10 : The Discreet Sacred City

    In the morning, we advise that you have your luggage sent to the hotel in Aomori (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) and that you travel light for your night in Hiraizumi.

    Travel to Hiraizumi (45 minutes by train, 1 change, all included), a village whose religious heritage is classified by UNESCO : Chûson-ji temple and its golden pavilion, the ancestor of the Kyoto temple, as well as the temples and magnificent Môtsû-ji gardens.

    In the afternoon, we recommend an excursion to the Geibi Gorge or...the Genbi Gorge! Just one letter of difference and yet they differ on every count : the first, in the East, is peaceful and classified among the 100 most beautiful landscapes in Japan. The second, to the West, is winding but features an original cafe, which delivers your order to the other side of the river by zip line, to the sound of your national anthem!

    Upon arrival in Hiraizumi, you can check into your same category 3* ryôkan. This is an opportunity to try out the hot springs (onsen), which are common in the region!

    The ryôkan of Hiraizumi are scattered within a 15km radius of the village station. Some, such as the Shizukatei ryôkan, offer free shuttle buses, while others require a taxi, which you will have to pay for yourself (about €15).

    In the evening, traditional Japanese dinner in your ryôkan.

  • Day 11 : Tohoku's most beautiful spa village

    Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryôkan.

    You will then need to head to the north of Honshû island and its capital Aomori. However, we recommend a "stopover" in the area of Hanamaki, a pleasant spa town located 40 minutes by train (direct, included) from Hiraizumi, where you will have spent the night.

    In Hanamaki there is a museum celebrating the literary works of the writer Kenji Miyazawa known for "Night on the Galactic Railroad". This is also the departure point for the SL Ginga steam train, which has a planetarium and is a weekly trip popular with Japanese people from all over the country!

    This is an opportunity to reach a superb nature destination : Tono, 1 hour by train from Hanamaki (direct, included in your tour). This region is the birthplace of many legends, including that of the kappa. 

    Several points of interest are scattered along the stops of this small train line : a sanctuary in the middle of the fields, a cave with a waterfall of over 800m, an old renovated farm...You can also discover them by bike.

    At the end of the afternoon, reach Aomori, in the northern part of Honshû Island, by train and shinkansen (1 or 2 changes, journey included in your offer).

    Settle in your 3* hotel in the heart of the capital of the north of Honshû Island.

  • Day 12 : Heading north!

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Discover this port city surrounded by snowy peaks, with a strong cultural and spiritual identity !
    We recommend the following :
    - The town centre and its port, where the memorial boat Hakkôda-maru is moored ;
    - The fish markets ;
    - The museum dedicated to the popular Nebuta Matsuri festival ;
    - The museum of the printmaker Shiko Munakata ;
    - The Aomori Art Museum, which preserves works by both artists from the prefecture and great international artists, such as Marc Chagall.

    Second night in your hotel in Aomori.

    We also offer you, as an option, a getaway by car to discover the region's nature (snow-covered peaks, dense forests, volcanic lake, bucolic gorges). You will spend the night and evening in a fabulous ryôkan in the middle of the countryside with all the necessary comforts candlelight, because everything works without electricity!

  • Day 13 : In front of the sea

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    In the morning, we advise that you have your luggage sent to the hotel in Kakunodate (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) and that you travel light for your night in Akita.

    Head to Akita, the other city in northern Tohoku.
    2 options for the journey :
    - Direct train, 2 hours 30 (included in your offer). A stop in Hirosaki, to visit its (small) castle amidst a pleasant park is an interesting stop.
    - Gonô train line, the "Resort Shirakami" hybrid energy train, which runs along the coast for over 5 hours. Allow for a full day if you stop at one of the 43 stations along the coast, such as the one where you can bathe in an onsen facing the sea. The railway also passes close to the Shirakami-sanchi nature park, a UNESCO-listed primary beech forest.

    One of the most beautiful railway lines in Japan, with unspoilt seascapes. Even the sunset here is considered by many to be the most beautiful in Japan!

    Arrive in Akita in the afternoon and check into your 3* hotel.

  • Day 14 : Following in the footsteps of the samurai

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    A visit to Akita, a prefecture in one of the less visited regions by foreign tourists. Yet its central park, the imposing remains of its feudal castle and its new art museum built by Tadao Andô are well worth visiting. One of the most famous paintings by the French-Japanese painter Foujita is on display in this museum.

    A 45-minute shinkansen train ride, included in your package, will take you to Kakunodate, one of Japan's best preserved samurai towns. Worth a visit:
    - The samurai quarter : Aoyagi residence and cherry bark craft museum ;
    - The shopping district : Nishinomiya residence.

    You can also visit a soy sauce factory and/or a sake brewery outside the city (accessible by train). Stay overnight at a western-style ryôkan in the city's samurai district.

    Traditional Japanese dinner at the ryôkan.

  • Day 15 : The haiku temple

    Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryôkan.

    In the morning, continue south to Yamagata, in the heart of Tohoku ! 3 hours by shinkansen and train (1 change, all included in your package). The prefectural capital of this rural area is a pleasant base for exploring the surrounding area, including the fabulous Yamadera hilltop temple and the Zao volcanic area.

    At noon, after dropping off your belongings at your 3* hotel, we recommend that you explore the Risshaku-ji (also called Yamadera temple) : one of the most famous perched temples in Japan, which inspired several poems by Matsuo Bashô. A breathtaking view awaits you (20 minutes by direct train, included).

    Overnight stay in Yamagata

  • Day 16 : Crater and volcanic water

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    From Yamagata Station, reach the village of Zao in 40min (not included in your offer, €8 to be paid on the spot). You are in the heart of nature in this spa village. Choose from a number of options to recharge your batteries :

    - Cable car and a short hike to the crater of a volcano, where a lake with an amazing green colour is located ;
    - Foot baths in the volcanic water ;
    - Or an onsen accessible to all that can hold up to 200 people at a time.

    After this day in the fresh air, return to Yamagata for the second night in your hotel.

  • Day 17 : Return to civilisation

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    You have arrived for your last day of your Japan tour.

    After a visit to the pottery district of Yamagata, head back to Tokyo on the 2 hour 40 hour direct shinkansen train, included in your tour.

    Settle into your 3* hotel before doing your last bit of souvenir shopping and packing your bags!

  • Day 18 : Sayonara, and see you next time!

    Take a direct transfer to Haneda or Narita airport (included but not accompanied).

    This transfer is by shuttle or shared bus, with other customers departing from the same hotel or a hotel close to yours. These transfers arrive between 3 hours and 1.5 hours before the actual departure of your flight, and stops can be made before you arrive at the airport.

    If you prefer a private transfer at a time of your choice, direct to the airport and with no intermediate stops, select the "Private Taxi to Airport" option.

    Return flight to Europe, North America, Australia.

    Don't hesitate to extend your trip by a few days, in Tokyo or elsewhere... Get in touch and we would be happy to advise you!

    Included in your self-guided tour

  • Accommodation

    - 3 nights in a traditional Kyoto house

    - 3 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Tokyo, close to public transport

    - 1 night in a 3* ryôkan in Nikko, traditional half-board

    - 2 nights in a 3* hotel in Sendai

    - 1 night in a 3* ryôkan in Hiraizumi, traditional half-board

    - 2 nights in a 3* hotel in Aomori

    - 1 night in a 3* hotel in Akita

    - 1 night in a 3* ryôkan in Kakunodate, traditional half-board

    - 2 nights in a 3* hotel in Yamagata

    - 1 night in a 3* hotel in the heart of Tokyo, close to public transport

    The basic rate includes a twin room for two people.

  • Transport

    - Airport transfer to Kyoto KIX

    - Return airport transfer Tokyo > Narita NRT or Haneda HND

    - Prepaid public transport card

    - Japan Rail Pass for 14 days

  • Experiences and meals

    Airport meet & greet

    - Welcome to Kyoto by a Travel Angel

    - Traditional dinner and breakfast included in the 3 traditional lodgings of the tour

    - All the breakfasts except in major cities (Tokyo, Kyoto and Sendai)

    - Night guided tour of Gion, Kyoto

  • Additional services

    - Unlimited internet access with Pocket WiFi

    - Complete digital travel guide sent before your departure

    - Luggage transfer between your hotels in Tokyo > Sendai, Sendai > Aomori and Aomori > Kakunodate

    - Telephone assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in English and Japanese bilingual. The number will be given to you in your travel pack. This phone number is valid for telephone calls and also for WhatsApp.

  • Not included in the price of your trip

    - Flights Europe <> Japan

    - Optional insurance

    - Personal expenses, including meals (breakfasts can sometimes be added as an option at your hotel reception, see details). For other meals, you will find addresses selected by us in your travel pack.

    - Public transport once your transport cards have run out (see details)

    - Everything not mentioned in the section "Included in your tour".

More about your trip

Your tour :

  • The prices displayed on this page may vary according to the exchange rate of the Japanese ¥.
  • Unfortunately, this tour is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
  • Children and babies accepted. From 3 to 11 years old a child rate is offered. In each accommodation, a standard adult bed will be offered to them, and a standard seat will be allocated to them in transport. From 0 to 2 years old inclusive, a "baby" rate is offered. This price corresponds to the allocation of a cot in the majority of the accommodation of the chosen circuit. However, we cannot guarantee a baby cot in each accommodation.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • This programme is subject to change due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other case of force majeure. Please note that due to the current circumstances, any information mentioned is subject to change or modification.
  • Your travel documents will be given to you as follows :
    • Travel diary by email maximum 8 days before departure, and other electronic documents ;
    • Paper documents (airport transfer ticket, transportation card, Japan Rail Pass voucher) and Pocket WiFi upon arrival at the airport by our airport assistant.
  • This tour is not open from 15 November to 15 March. The weather conditions in Tohoku during this period causes the closure of several roads on this tour.
  • Note: In very rare cases, mostly in very high season, steps might be reversed. You will be informed in your mini travel-guide. Thanks for your kind understanding.

Your accommodation :

  • Some hotels may ask you to pay a tourist tax on arrival. This depends on the city and even the hotel, as some do not include it in the booking price. Normally, it is 200¥/night/person (about £1.37/1.93$) but can be slightly higher in 4* hotels. It must be paid in cash at the hotel reception. For traditional Japan Experience accommodations, it is included in the initial tour price.
  • Room size: in Japan, a densely populated country where everything is compact, 3-star luxury hotels are of very good quality but the rooms are often quite narrow (12 to 20m2/129 sq ft to 215 sq ft) depending on the hotel. Please note the size of the single room, between 10 and 16m2 (107sq ft and 172 fq ft). For more comfort, you can choose our luxury 4* accommodation upgrade option. 
  • Double room: Rooms for two people in western hotels have 2 single beds (twin rooms) by default, which can usually be joined together. As an option, you can select a double room instead of a twin if you prefer a double bed. This option is not valid in the Japan Experience house in Kyoto nor in the ryokans (on individual futons).
  • Single room: People travelling alone and wishing to book a single room must pay a supplement at the time of booking. The single room supplement is compulsory for orders with an odd number of participants. Please note that if you request more than two people in a single room, the single room supplement will be applied to all accommodation except for the ryokans (3 and 4*). In fact, as this is traditional accommodation, people with the same reservation are grouped together in spacious rooms for up to 5 people.
  • 3-person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the single supplement, a triple room will be allocated to you.
  • In the case of a group order (> 5 people), it is possible, depending on hotel availability, that not all members of the group will be accommodated in the same hotel. Nevertheless, we aim to keep you close. 
  • Names of the hotels : The names given on the site are for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standing will be scheduled. Hotels, corresponding to local standards, are given as an indication and may be changed on site for hotels of a similar category.
  • In the ryôkan, the rooms have a private sink and toilet. The single-sex collective Japanese baths ("onsen") then act as shared bathrooms, with showers and thermal baths. They are freely accessible, at the times in force on the site. These baths are often not accessible to people with clearly visible tattoo(s). The latter are invited to contact us to evaluate the possibilities of accommodation with private baths or shared baths that can be reserved. 
  • Traditional house in Kyoto: each house has been chosen for its location (transport, shops, temples...) and thus to facilitate your stay. Most of them are either located in the historical district of Gion or on the edge of the Path of Philosophy and the Silver Temple. All lodgings have at least one Japanese tatami room and are equipped with a minimum of 3 beds, either in a single western bed (not double) or on a futon. Do not hesitate to specify in your comments that you want to sleep in a western bed.

Your transport :

  • Flights are not included in this tour. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to include flights in your order: Flights in economy class with stopovers or direct flights, eco-premium or business air upgrades, provincial departures or abroad: we will be able to advise you.
  • The tour departure and end dates presented on this page relate to your stay in Japan. You will arrive in Japan via  from Kansai airport (KIX, not Itami ITM) and will leave from Tokyo (HND Haneda or NRT Narita). You will have to leave the day before from Europe and land at the latest at 4pm in order to be at your hotel at 6pm to meet your travel angel in the traditional house in Kyoto. The return flight is on the same day due to the time difference, with a departure time of 9am at the earliest. Please do not hesitate to consult us for any uncertainty or need for precision in the choice of international flights
  • If the flights have been purchased by your care without the intervention of Japan Experience, it is necessary to send us by mail 1 month before your departure your flight information (flight number, airport, date and time of arrival) to allow us organise your welcome and airport transfer.
  • Airport transfers: The shared shuttle bus leaves from the airport and stops in front of your Japan Experience home or very close to it. Our airport assistant in Kansai Airport will drive you to the platform to take the airport transfer. Afterwards, this hotel transfer is unassisted. If you would like to be accompanied from the airport to your hotel reception please choose the option "Accompanied Airport Transfer".
  • Included in your tour is a pre-charged transport prepayment card of ¥ 1,500 (around £10.30 / 14.54$) (suica or Pasmo brand); and a 14-day Japan Rail Pass. These cards/tickets should cover a large part of your trips during the stay. Upon expiry of the 1,500¥ Transport Prepayment Card, or if the line you are travelling on is not covered by your Japan Rail Pass, any travel will be at your own expense by recharging your pre-paid transport card (at vending machines in all stations and metro stations). 
  • The Japan Rail Pass is a personal train pass for foreign travellers who wish to visit Japan. This pass allows unlimited travel for 14 consecutive days on all Japan Railways (JR) trains throughout Japan. You will receive a voucher to be exchanged at a JR office when you are welcomed at the airport by our assistant (list of addresses provided in your travel guide). You will be asked to show your passport and fill in a form. During this exchange, you will select the start date of your pass. Once your Pass has been activated, it will be valid for 14 consecutive days from the date chosen. To prevent wasting time when you arrive at the airport, you are requested to exchange your voucher upon arrival in Tokyo City. This is because exchanging it at the airport could delay your airport shuttle. With your Japan Rail Pass in hand, just go to the station, show your pass to the ticket inspector at the entrance gates and board any JR train. Trains in Japan are almost all open seating. If you are worried about not having a seat (on a shinkansen for example), simply go to a ticket office and reserve your seat at no extra charge. The Japan Rail Pass covers all JR and Shinkansen lines in Japan. The following journeys are not covered:
    • Travel by metro and bus in the cities (payable by pre-paid transport card, included in your package)
    • Transfers from the train station to the hotels (by foot, bus, metro or taxi)
    • Travel on private train lines (other than JR)
    • Travel on Nozomi and Mizuho high-speed trains (shinkansen)
    • Trips made outside the validity period of the Japan Rail Pass
  • Japan Rail Pass: It is not necessary to possess a Japan Rail Pass which covers your entire stay. This is only cost-effective if it is used for long journeys between the different stages of your stay (especially in shinkansen) which are very expensive. In large cities like Tokyo, only about ⅓ of public transport is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and getting around is relatively cheap (Tokyo metro tickets: £1.71 / 2.42$; Kyoto daily bus card: £4.28 / 5.97$). Thus, providing you with a Japan Rail Pass for more than 14 days (21) would not be cost-effective and, on the contrary, would significantly increase the cost of your trip.
  • If a person taking part in the tour is a Japanese national and a resident of Japan, or a foreigner with tax residence in Japan (including a student), then that person is not eligible for the Japan Rail Pass. Please contact us to get the price of the tour without a Japan Rail Pass. They will have to buy the train tickets for the tour directly in Japan. The Kansai Thru Pass is also subject to the same nationality/residency requirements. This is not the case for the Hakone Free pass. If this person is a Japanese citizen but not a resident of Japan, then he/she can benefit from the Japan Rail Pass under certain conditions (see

Your activities :

  • Airport reception is in English. Your airport assistant will be waiting for you at the customs exit holding a sign with the name of the reservation. They will give you your travel documents and take you to your airport transfer. They will not accompany you to Kyoto (this is possible, but optional).
  • An English speaking Travel Angel who is a specialist in Japan will be there to welcome you to your traditional house in Kyoto. They will give you the keys, explain how the house and its facilities work, give you a tour of the area (tourist sites, supermarkets, bike rental...) and answer all your questions. They will be available throughout your stay in case of any problems or questions.
  • The guided tour of Gion lasts around 2 hours and departs at 7pm. Please note that the tour will be conducted in English if your group is made up of travellers of different nationalities. More details on the meeting point in your travel pack. Dinner is not included, but your guide will be able to recommend the best places to eat.

Your meals :

  • Traditional Japanese dinner and Japanese breakfast (mostly savoury) are included in your ryôkan. Do not hesitate to indicate any dietary requirements you may have, we will pass them on to the ryôkan so that they can take them into account when planning the meals. If the ryôkan does not take any of these dietary requirements into account, we cannot be held responsible and no compensation will be issued.
  • Breakfasts which are not included in your package can be added at the reception when you arrive at the hotel. However, you will find many cafés near your hotel serving copious breakfasts, often tastier than those in the hotels, which sometimes have tight schedules and are predominantly savoury. However, if you would like to add breakfast to your offer when you make your reservation, you can select it as an option. Please note that in Japan Experience traditional Japanese house in Kyoto, additional charges apply.
  • Japan Experience houses come with a fully equipped kitchens and are located close to markets.

Your additional services :

  • A pocket wifi is included in your tour. It allows unlimited high-speed internet access. Your Pocket WiFi will be given to you at the airport of arrival.
  • It comes with a small booklet to operate your device (don't panic: simple operation) and a prepaid envelope to return your device at the end of your stay. Your pocket wifi will work naturally until the last day of your trip to Japan.
  • A maximum of 5 devices can be connected to a pocket wifi (phone, tablet, computer).
  • A single pocket wifi is provided for a circuit order of 1 to 5 people. For an order of 6 people or more, a second pocket wifi will be added automatically and at no extra cost to your reservation.

When you buy, Japan Experience offers you 2 types of protection:

Japan Experience Flex : 
Cancellation insurance before departure under conditions.

Japan Experience Protect :
Pre-departure cancellation insurance under conditions and on-site assistance under conditions. 


Frequently asked questions

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  • The guarantee of the first tour operator specialised exclusively in Japan for 40 years
  • A wide range of products to let you Experience Japan from the inside
  • Competitive prices thanks to a single team in UK, Europe, USA and Japan, with no intermediaries
  • Assistance available in Japan throughout your trip
  • specialised team is available 7 days a week by phone or email
  • The best advice thanks to the 3,500 articles available on our website

Tohoku: Traditional Japan

$2,606 per person - 18 days

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