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Japan Tours

Japan’s dichotomy of ancient culture and modern progress forms a web of cultural immersion unlike any other. Uncover the secrets of the samurai, indulge in the elegance of sashimi, and fill your imagination with images of looming peaks and colorful cherry blossoms - now available to you on an exclusive small group tour during the height of the bloom. Discover the allure of Japan through Zicasso.

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Sample Itineraries

You can have any trip tailor made for your private travel.

Heritage & Tradition: Majesty of Japan Tour

10 Day Custom Tour

From $3,995

Heritage and tradition shape the majestic culture of your 10-day Japan tour. You can hear monks chant in the Shingon mountain temple and sip tea during a traditional ceremony inside a wooden Kyoto house. Watch Geishas wander past and explore ancient villages set beneath opulent castles. Whether wandering in bamboo forests or viewing the cherry blossoms, you will experience the heritage and iconic traditions that Japan proudly continues.
Best of Japan Itinerary in Seven Days

7 Day Custom Tour

From $2,795

Indulge in first-class comfort and bask in serene landscapes on your 7-day best of Japan tour. You will travel by bullet train to experience the marvels of modern Japan and the unique traditions of the nation’s preserved heritage. Each destination will bring a lasting memory as you participate in tea ceremonies, discover historic castles, witness a floating shrine, and explore iconic temples that capture the renowned beauty of Japan.
In-Depth Cultural Exploration of Japan Tour

10 Day Custom Tour

From $3,995

Discover diversity, depth, and tradition during your 10-day Japan culture tour. From floating shrines to celebrate sushi chefs, modern bullet trains to customary ryokans, your customizable tour will immerse you in the contrasting marvels of Japan. You can soak in hot springs and taste delicious sake, wander through serene gardens and visit iconic temples with each new experience highlighting the historic and contemporary culture of Japan.
A Family Friendly Japan Tour: A Lifetime of Memories...

14 Day Custom Tour

From $5,595

Celebrate natural beauty, preserved customs, and remarkable culture during your 14-day family-friendly Japan tour. Your customizable tour will provide adventures for family members of all ages from relaxing in hot springs to sampling delectable cuisine, hiking mountain slopes to crafting customary swords. Big cities will burst with excitement and sleepy villages will reflect local heritage as your family experiences an immersive mixture of past and present traditions. 
Japan Culinary Tour: Sushi Class, Kobe Beef, Fine Whiskey,...

9 Day Custom Tour

From $3,595

Delight in a foodie’s paradise home to some of the world’s finest cuisines and beverages during your 9-day culinary tour of Japan. You will have expert guides who reveal the secrets of preserved culinary tradition and sample remarkable dishes ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to mouthwatering street food. From master chefs to artful sake, comforting ramen to smokey whiskey, your Japan tour will satisfy the most insatiable appetite.
Japan for Families: Tokyo, Kyoto & Hakone Itinerary...

10 Day Custom Tour

From $3,995

Discover historic secrets and new experiences during your 10-day family-friendly Japan tour. Your custom-tailored tour will immerse your family in the contemporary and historic highlights of Japan in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone perfect for the curious and adventurous. Wander the world’s longest aerial ropeway, learn Japanese calligraphy, and travel on the high-speed train for unique and exciting excursions into the heart of Japanese culture and tradition.
Japan Discovery Tour: Culture, Traditions, and Food...

11 Day Custom Tour

From $4,395

Your 11-day Japan culture tour will introduce you to the traditions, cuisine, and heritage of the island nation with specialist guides knowledgeable about the treasures often overlooked by visitors. Your journey will take you from a traditional sake brewery to a temple tour guide by a monk, a timeless river sunset cruise to celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants. Witness blossoming gardens, learn customary flavors, and delight in the abundant majesty of Japan.
Best of Tokyo & Kyoto Tour: A Tale of Two Capitals...

7 Day Custom Tour

From $2,795

Your 7-day best of Japan tour will capture the essence of Tokyo and Kyoto sharing the contrasts and similarities of Japan’s most famous cities. Your specialist guides will take you on custom-tailored tours that reveal opulent palaces and the intricate work of extravagant craftsmen. You will enjoy the polished life of Tokyo, the traditional charms of Kyoto, and the calming ambiance of Nara while exploring majestic Japan.
Ramen Tour of Japan: Celebrating 60 Years of Instant...

11 Day Custom Tour

From $5,979

Your 11-day culinary tour of Japan immerses you in the flavors of ramen and the gastronomic delights of the nation’s four classic broths. Follow the timeline of the cuisine from its origins to its newfound international popularity and delight in the mouthwatering bursts of umami in every bit. As you explore Japan, you will relish in essential regional tastes, the beauty of the scenery, and the majesty of preserved custom.
Spirits of Japan Tour

13 Day Custom Tour

From $6,989

The spirit of Japan will welcome you as you sample marvelous flavor in the pursuit of perfection during your exclusive 13-day Japan culinary tour. Indulge in a celebration of smooth single malt whiskey and coveted three Michelin-starred restaurants serving mouthwatering sushi. Discover a passion for creation, a dedication to artisanship, and a mastery of skill for an unparalleled gastronomic experience sampling spirits, sushi, and Japanese culture.
Off the Beaten Track Tour of Japan

13 Day Custom Tour

From $5,195

Forest therapy, mindfulness, and nature's natural majesty will enchant you during your 13-day off the beaten path Japan tour custom-tailored to your preferences. Your experience will immerse you in tradition at a ryokan, restore your senses with thermal hot springs, and delight your taste buds with customary cuisine focused on seasonal ingredients. The breathtaking scenery of tranquil waters and towering trees will reveal Japan’s treasured beauty.
Japan Tour of a Lifetime: Tradition, Landscape &...

14 Day Custom Tour

From $5,595

Experience the thrill of adventure on your 14-day highlights tour of Japan that celebrates the traditions, scenery, and culture of the island nation. Trek volcanic slopes and bask soothing hot springs. Hear Shinto mythology passed down through generations. Wander through feudal realms in the footsteps of samurai, delight in the serenity of blossoming gardens, and discover regal temples during your trip of a lifetime in Japan.
Discovering the Past and Present of Japan Tour

14 Day Custom Tour

From $5,595

Your luxurious 14-day Japan historical tour will take you through time to experience culture and tradition. You can indulge in delicious cuisine unchanged for generations and witness religious rites that predate customs from the European Middle Ages. Meet with master artisans and sample exquisite sake. Your experience will immerse you in the majesty, wonder, and ritual of Japan that offer unparalleled lessons that will last a lifetime.
Exploring the Japanese Alps Tour

10 Day Custom Tour

From $3,995

You will discover the many faces of the past and present during your 10-day Japan cultural tour. From ultra-modern cities to sleepy villages, you can follow in the footsteps of ancient travelers or plunge into the majesty of technology. Expert guides will lead you on excursions to find authentic accommodations and monkeys lounging in hot springs. Castles, forest trails, and artisan masters will create precious memories in Japan’s Alps.
Best of Kyoto Tour 2020–2021: Culture, Tradition &...

9 Day Custom Tour

From $3,595

Immaculate gardens and exquisite temples will create an enchanting ambiance during your 9-day best of Kyoto tour designed for 2020-2021. You will experience culture, tradition, and custom on an immersive exploration of Kyoto’s serene foliage and ancient heritage sites. Your taste buds will tingle during a tea tasting and when sampling celebrated local cuisine. From feudal palaces to artisan traditions, you can embrace Japanese heritage in Kyoto.
Nakasendo Trail Walk: A Classic Japan Tour

14 Day Custom Tour

From $5,595

Complex history and fascinating tradition will emerge during your 14-day historic Japan tour that follows the Nakasendo Trail. Your specialist guides will lead you on private tours to fine snow monkeys in hot springs and traditional accommodations hidden in stunning nature. You will reflect at a Buddhist temple on a secluded summit and delight in delectable seafood while basking in the beauty and wonder of Japan.
Essence of Japan Tour: An Expertly Guided Experience...

15 Day Custom Tour

From $5,995

Private tours and luxurious accommodations will give you unparalleled insight into tradition, culture, and spirit during your 15-day Japan highlights tour. Your expert guides will lead you through modern cities, hidden towns, and traditional villages. Buddhist monkeys and serene gardens showcase custom while tranquility will emerge from the marvelous landscapes. Authentic ryokan, soothing hot springs, performing geishas, and high-speed bullet trains will reveal the depth and complexity of Japan.
Flavors of Japan: Private Culinary Ten-Day Tour

10 Day Custom Tour

From $3,995

Master chefs, local kitchens, and wild ingredients will scratch the surface of remarkable cuisine during your 10-day culinary tour of Japan. The secrets of Japanese cuisine will emerge as you travel between marketplaces and sake breweries to discover the origins of heritage and preserved tradition. You will sample celebrated dishes and participate in intricate tea ceremonies. From Tokyo to Osaka, you will uncover Japan as a dynamic global gastronomic destination.
Skyscrapers, Sumo & Shrines: Exclusive Ten-Day...

10 Day Custom Tour

From $5

Your 10-day exclusive Japan tour will reveal the different eras and preserved culture from millennia-old shrines to opulent skyscrapers. You will discover the enticing secrets of sumo and the elegant traditions of sake during custom-tailored excursions with specialist guides. Custom will take center stage in charming ryokans and authenticity will emanate from artisan studios as you explore and experience the hidden perspectives of Tokyo, Hokuriku, and Kyoto.
Discovering Sacred Sites & Preserved Traditions...

14 Day Custom Tour

From $5,595

Travel between the centuries to find sacred practices and preserved traditions during your 14-day Japan cultural tour. Lounge in soothing hot springs and customary ryokans. Sample fresh sushi and seasonal cuisine. Traverse the enchanting pathways of the Nakasendo Trail. From pristine gardens to legends of the samurai, secluded towns to dramatic temples, you will experience Japan's unique majesty with specialist guides on a customizable tour.
Japan Through the Eras Tour: Iconic Traditions to Neon...

15 Day Custom Tour

From $5,995

The layers of history will unfold as you explore heritage and modernity on your 15-day Japan culture tour. The bullet train will speed through the plains while authentic ryokans offer access to hidden hot springs. Buddhist monasteries retain their serene ambiance while the Matsuri festival fills Kyoto with vibrant life. Your expert guides will lead you through contrasting images of historical and contemporary Japanese culture for an unforgettable experience.
Japan Photography Tour: Cities, Castles, Landscapes,...

12 Day Custom Tour

From $4,795

Capture the dreamy and authentic, historical and contemporary during your 12-day Japan photography tour. Your camera will accompany you with specialist guides on a custom-tailored tour as you uncover majesty from traditional inns to the snowcapped Japanese Alps. Discover Geishas strolling beneath blossoming cherry blossoms and witness neon lights shining above a traditional sushi restaurant. From artisan masters to bullet trains, you will discover the picturesque in Japan.
Highlights of Hokkaido Tour: A Paradise in All Seasons...

11 Day Custom Tour

From $4,395

The enchanting prefecture of Hokkaido provides a picturesque paradise in any season during your 11-day Japan tour. You can reconnect with nature in winter as you speed down pristine ski slopes or in spring as you stroll through lush lavender fields. You can relax in the comforting warmth of natural hot springs and indulge in the blissful flavors of fresh seafood as the spirit of Hokkaido endlessly captivates you.
Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka Tour: Japan’s Big 3

9 Day Custom Tour

From $3,595

Bask in world-renowned centers of culture, history, and fine dining during your 9-day Japan tour immersing you in the splendors of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Explore cultural tradition with a customary Geisha ceremony and witness the majesty of pristine nature along Mount Fuji’s slopes. Architectural masterpieces, artisan crafts, and ancient samurai tombs will reveal the contrasts of preserved heritage and modern vibrancy in Japan during your custom-tailored luxury tour.
Highlights of Kyushu Island: Kumamoto, Kagoshima & Nagasaki Tour

9 Day Custom Tour

From$3,595

Kyushu is Japan’s most southern main island; it is also the least visited by foreign tourists. On this 9-day tour, get to know a rarely seen side of Japan as you experience Kyushu’s big cities and stunning vistas. Traveling around the island by luxury motor coach, you are always refreshed for the next adventure, whether it is a cooking class or a visit to an active volcano. As you leave Kyushu, you have many priceless memories, and a desire to experience more of Japan’s cultural, culinary, and natural treasures.

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Kyoto Spring Garden Tour 2020

9 Day Custom Tour

From$3,595

Kyoto's treasure chest of heritage combines sublime enchantment with indulgent serenity. As the lush tones of spring douse the city in fresh bloom, you'll experience the Land of the Rising Sun in all its ancient glory. Majestic gardens provide the focal point, taking you well off the tourist trail to the finest exemplars of gracious elegance and evocative colors. This garden tour continually infuses with culinary delights, artistic brilliance, renowned garden designers, and endless charm.

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VIP Japan Winter Tour: A Journey Into Beauty & Indulgence

15 Day Custom Tour

From$10

Japan in winter is a magical time, when the gently falling snow is an excellent complement to the country’s already stunning natural beauty. On this 15-day tour, travel throughout Japan, seeing the cities and villages which transform into a winter wonderland. As you travel, enjoy Japanese hot spring baths, meet the local wildlife, and eat a variety of delectable food. Though the trip leaves you with many memories, it inspires you to return to Japan in the spring, summer or fall.  

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A Seven Days Japan Itinerary: Kyoto, Hakone & Tokyo

7 Day Custom Tour

From$2,795

At home and work, a week flies by in an instant. Our lives get caught up in a seemingly never-ending routine. Redefine what can happen in seven days, as you tour Japan’s largest cities and absorb its beautiful, scenic nature. Exploring at your own pace, Japan’s endless possibilities make you both the director and star of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.  

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A Custom Japan Tour for Solo Travelers

10 Day Custom Tour

From$3,995

Because of its long history, Japan has so much to offer the modern traveler. On this 10-day tour, discover the best of Japan with the help of expert guides and a specially prepared itinerary created just for you. As you travel between sleepy villages and major cities, stay in the best accommodations and dine on a variety of delicious cuisines. Live like a local by soaking in hot spring baths and participating in a matsuri festival in Tokyo. It is the experience of a lifetime; hopefully, the first of many you have in this amazing country. 

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Japan’s Magnificent North Central: A Sublime Tour of Art, History & Beauty

13 Day Custom Tour

From$5,195

Japan has so much more to offer than its famous big cities. On this 13-day tour, get to known the real Japan as you explore the country’s majestic north and central mountain regions. Stay at inns popular with the locals, and see many sights that are off the beaten path. This tour is guaranteed to provide equal parts relaxation and excitement, giving you the chance to make unique memories that will last a lifetime. 

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Exploring Kyushu & Shikoku Islands Tour

15 Day Custom Tour

From$5,995

With millions of people visiting Japan each year, it seems nearly impossible to find places that are off the beaten path. Yet on this 15-day tour, see the hidden side of Japan as you explore Kyushu and Shikoku. These two islands offer a variety of cultural, natural, and culinary treasures. You travel between destinations at your own pace. This trip leaves you with many splendid memories, and a desire to return to experience Japan’s many other treasures. 

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Japan

How to Book a Japan Tour

Japan is a country where timeless tradition is fused with modern technological advancement, and it feels totally natural. Rich history spans thousands of years and is embodied in Shinto and Buddhist temples. Artisans balance heritage and artistry. Ryokans, bathhouses, hot springs, and the snow-capped summit of Mount Fuji reflect a commitment to traditional customs and the landscape. With exceptional nature, delicious cuisine, and Tokyo’s famous futuristic image, Japan is a wonderful destination to discover the old and new. Planning your perfect Japan tour can be challenging, but Zicasso is here to assist you.

There are three ways to plan and book a trip:

1. Get a customized tour planned and booked by a travel professional. Travel independently on your own schedule.

2. Book a group tour. Join an escorted group tour with a fixed departure date.

3. Plan and book a trip yourself.

Zicasso offers the best solution for a customized tour by matching you with top travel specialists who plan and book the trip for you. Our travel agency division, Marageti, specializes in helping you book an escorted group tour. There is no extra cost to you for either service.

Custom Tours

A customized tour is one that is planned by a travel specialist according to your specific interests, preferences, and schedule. Whether you desire a family-friendly adventure or a romantic getaway, each of the accommodations, activities, and destinations is tailored to your preferences.

The knowledge and experience of your travel specialist make a big difference. Zicasso has spent thousands of hours vetting the best travel partners. We act as a referral service, matching you with specialists that best meet your goals and priorities.

Escorted Group Tours

A group tour offers the advantage of convenience at a great value. The schedule is fixed, the itinerary is pre-planned, and a dedicated tour director travels with the group throughout the trip. A group tour can be 30 - 50% less expensive than an equivalent customized tour.

Out of the many hundreds of group tours, how do you select the right one for you? Our travel agency division, Marageti, has sales agents who specialize in helping travelers weigh the pros and cons of each group tour. We give you personalized recommendations to find the best tour for you.

Goals and Priorities

What are your goals and priorities for the trip? These should drive your decision for either a customized tour or a fixed departure group tour. We are here to help you make the right decisions to make your dream trip a reality.

Must-See Destinations in Japan

Alongside our Japan travel specialists, Zicasso has worked to provide you with recommendations for any trip length. A custom Zicasso tour is designed around your time, your needs, and your desires, but the following suggestions provide great guidelines for your Japan tour.

The majority of travelers from the United States typically spend 7 days in Japan. One week of traveling gives you time to experience the futuristic characteristics of Tokyo, the traditional charms of Kyoto, and the heritage of a customary ryokan. How and when you travel depends on your goals when visiting Japan. Zicasso offers the following examples on where to go, depending on your trip length.

7 to 9 Day Trips

If you have between seven to nine days in Japan, we suggest you spend your time in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone. By organizing your days before your trip, you can maximize your travel and discovery to enjoy the essential experiences. Your Zicasso travel specialists will organize your trip in the best way possible to ensure that each experience is planned around your travel goals.

7 Days

Days 1-3: Tokyo

Day 4: Hakone

Days 5-7: Kyoto

8 Days

Days 1-4: Tokyo

Day 5: Hakone

Days 6-8: Kyoto

9 Days

Days 1-4: Tokyo

Day 5: Hakone

Days 6-9: Kyoto

If you have more time (10-16 Days), we recommend:

If you can spend nearly two weeks in Japan, we recommend that you take time to explore beyond the typical destinations of Tokyo and Kyoto. If you have approximately 14 days, you can also visit destinations like Takayama, Kanazawa, and Hiroshima for more unique experiences in Japan.

All Zicasso tours are customized to your preferences, but below is how we recommend spending your time.

10 Days

Days 1-3: Tokyo

Day 4: Takayama

Days 5-6: Kanazawa

Days 7-9: Kyoto

12 Days

Days 1-3: Tokyo

Days 4-5: Takayama

Days 6-7: Kanazawa

Days 8-10: Kyoto

Days 11-12: Hiroshima

14 Days

Days 1-4: Tokyo

Days 5-6: Takayama

Days 7-8: Kanazawa

Days 9-12: Kyoto

Days 13-14: Hiroshima

15 Days

Days 1-5: Tokyo

Days 6-7: Takayama

Days 8-9: Kanazawa

Days 10-13: Kyoto

Days 14-15: Hiroshima

16 days

Days 1-5: Tokyo

Days 6-7: Takayama

Days 8-9: Kanazawa

Days 10-14: Kyoto

Days 15-16: Hiroshima

How many days is enough to see Japan?

Between 10 and 12 days is the perfect amount of time for an introduction to Japan. When visiting Japan for 10 to 12 days, you have enough time to balance the highlights with more off-the-beaten-path destinations. You will also have enough time in the day to relax and enjoy unplanned activities, such as shopping or experiencing the Japanese coffee culture.

Essential Experiences for the Best Japan Vacation

During your Japan tour, you can visit a sake brewery, take part in a traditional tea ceremony, look for Geishas around Shijo Avenue in Kyoto, and bask in the beautiful nature outside of Tokyo. You can also find fantastic gardens, historic shrines, and secluded luxury destinations.

Best Way to Experience Tokyo

Tokyo dazzles with a combination of the past and future. Home to the Imperial Palace, sumo tournaments, Harajuku, and contemporary architecture, Japan sets the precedent  when it comes to respecting heritage while also celebrating the future. During your Japan trip, you can delight in the following essential experiences for your first time in Tokyo.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours in Tokyo (2-3 days depending on pace)

Cultural Heritage

  • Visit the iconic Senso-ji shrine, which reveals history, culture, and design that dates back to the 7th-century.
  • Witness a combination of design and nature at the Meiji Shrine, where an evergreen forest edges the temple that was built for Emperor Meiji and his wife.

National Culture

  • Discover Japan’s national culture at the Tokyo National Museum, which hosts the world’s largest collection of Japanese art, such as samurai swords, pottery, and kimonos.
  • Experience the joy, beauty, and emotional storytelling of Studio Ghibli at the Studio Ghibli Museum.

Sensational Shopping

  • Explore the Ginza District to find Tokyo’s busiest shopping hub and commercial center of palatial stores, exclusive shops, and traditional Kabuki theaters

Best Way to Experience Kyoto

Kyoto is the spiritual and traditional heart of Japan. Ancient temples, traditional teahouses, geisha sightings, and artisan crafts highlight the way locals celebrate their heritage. The following list combines suggestions for essential experiences you can have when visiting Kyoto.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours in Kyoto (2-3 days depending on pace)

Cultural Encounters

  • Experience the custom of a traditional tea ceremony enhanced by the peace and tranquility for which Kyoto nature is known.
  • Delight in a night of regional cuisine in the company of a Maiko, which is an apprentice to a geisha who is celebrated for their song and dance performances.

Tranquil Setting

  • Discover the tranquility of the Enryaku-ji shrine, which crowns Hiei-zan mountain. Here, the dark forests nearly cover any sign of the city.
  • Bask in the famous colors of cherry blossoms during the season in which Kyoto erupts with delicate pink, white, yellow, and green hues.

Local Tastes

  • Explore the fascinating flavors of Kyoto at the Nishiki Market in the heart of town. Here, the traditional aromas, tastes, and dishes shine a light on Japan’s delicious cuisine.

Best Way to Experience Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a city of peace and tranquility. Museums, art galleries, and lush gardens represent the modern community that emerged from World War II after the atomic bomb was dropped. Ruins remain a testament for how far the city has come, while memorials and monuments cultivate reflections of commemoration and peace to the community. During your Japan tour, we suggest the following essential experiences.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours in Hiroshima (2-3 days depending on pace)

Natural Beauty

  • Visit Shukkeien, which is the oldest Japanese garden in Hiroshima. The garden dates back to the 17th-century Edo period and continues to draw thousands of visitors each year
  • Enjoy the stunning view of Hiroshima from the Orizuru Tower rooftop observation deck. The view is a panorama that ecompasses the city before and after the bombing.

Finding the Past

  • Wander through the unique history of Hiroshima at the 17th-century Fukuyama Castle, which is home to exceptional exhibitions and 500 cherry trees.
  • Tour the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum for a unique perspective of the global movement toward nuclear disarmament.

Special Interests & Activities

Traveling with Zicasso provides you with exclusive access to many activities, excursions, and tours for a distinctive experience. The following information offers insight into our recommended experiences and can be tailored to focus on your unique interests.

Best Food & Wine Destinations

Japan is a dreamy destination for food and wine enthusiasts. The country possesses extraordinary restaurants, obscure eateries, captivating markets, and distinctive cuisine that differs across the eight regions. The food in Japan can range from a celebration of traditional dishes to a unique take on modernizing historic recipes, which highlight more than sushi and ramen to distinguish the diversity of Japanese gastronomy. UNESCO has even recognized Japanese cuisine as an intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. From Michelin-starred restaurants to mouthwatering street food, Japan possesses dynamic flavors found in the cuisine and in the more than 300 wineries and 1,800 sake breweries found across the country.

Yamanashi

Yamanashi is Japan’s largest wine-growing region and has garnered support from Japanese locals who enjoy dining on local dishes that are accompanied by regional wines. With food and wine pairings growing across the nation, wineries across the Yamanashi district have increased their production and tasting rooms to span ancient manicured gardens with bonsai trees, black pine forests, and terraced vines that grow Koshu grapes. The Koshu grape is great for the damp summers and produces wines with citrus and peach notes.

Fukushima

Fukushima prefecture is home to the internationally renowned Suehiro Sake Brewery, which is also one of the few breweries that offer public tours and tastings of sake. The brewery has been in operation since 1850 and continues to produce sake in the customary open-fermentation method. The delicious and award-winning sake ranges in flavor from slightly sweet with notes of citrus and hay to refreshingly fragrant with hints of peach and melon.

Zicasso’s Exclusive Access to Japan Best Wine

Zicasso travel specialists can design private visits and organize exclusive tours of wineries or sake breweries for food and wine enthusiasts. You can experience a private cooking class, dine in an award-winning restaurant, discover the market culture, and sample sake in a historic brewery. You can also learn about Japan’s unique history of wine production and the particular regional flavors from a local sommelier.

Art & History

Japan is a county where culture and tradition are celebrated. The different regions share a unique national identity that showcases their art, which is a mixture of past and present artistic aesthetics. With an inspiring artistic heritage that spans ikebana, the movements of a tea ceremony, calligraphy, woodblock prints, and traditional dance, Japan brings its past into the present to inspire the likes of innovative contemporary artists. Museums showcase the long history of Japanese art, which stems from a long love of nature and a history of silk screens that dates back to at least the 8th century. The wide range of styles that are present in Japan's art reveals dynamic forms of expression and include sculpture, silk, and ceramics. Some artifacts date back to approximately 10,000 BC.

Must-See Art Museums & Attractions:

  • Witness art on the 54th-story of the Mori Art Museum, which houses exhibits on diverse cultures and projects that support the country’s talented youth.
  • Discover how art fits into daily life at the Suntory Museum of Art, which is located inside a modern building with no permanent exhibitions.
  • Trace the styles of historic Japanese art on display in the Kyoto National Museum. Exhibits of the museum highlight Japanese and Asian art from the pre-modern era.

History

History in Japan has been shaped by isolation and proximity to Asia. The country has absorbed culture from abroad and insulated its customs from the outer world for nearly 12,000 years. The past remains prevalent across the country, and traditions remain a large part of national and regional life. Neighborhoods in Tokyo contrast the past with the future, and the city of Kyoto can feel like living in history with its preserved buildings, cobbled lanes, and locals that are often dressed in traditional garments. Temples, shrines, and resorts connect with the natural landscape, and art demonstrates how past communities found inspiration in the surrounding scenery. A customized Zicasso trip will organize custom tours with specialist guides for private after-hour temple visits or demonstrations with artisans who work with Ikebana. We can also organize history-focused small-group tours with a certified guide.

Active Tours

Active tours in Japan showcase the landscape and culture from a unique perspective by unveiling the rugged mountainscapes, local towns, and incredible vistas. We suggest that you enjoy the following activities when visiting Japan.

Hiking

  • Mt. Takao - The mountain outside of Tokyo is a friendly destination that leads to gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji from 1,965 feet above sea level.
  • Mt. Mitake - The trails inside CHichibu-Tama-Kai National Park immerse you in unspoiled nature with waterfalls, small shrines, and beautiful vistas of mountain peaks.

Cycling

  • Philosopher's Walk - Kyoto is a bike-friendly city that allows you to cycle the famous mile-long Philosopher’s Walk, which is set beneath cherry trees and alongside a charming canal.
  • Sawara - The small, historic town of Sawara offers a gem for cyclists who are eager to explore the old Edo ambiance along traditional canals and preserved historic districts.

Private Excursions and Special Access

Zicasso’s travel specialist partners have experience with unique activities and insider access. Every excursion and activity is tailored to your interests when visiting Japan to create the trip of a lifetime. The following list offers only a sample of experiences but the possibilities are limitless.

  • Visit a wasabi and tea farm for special insight into the culture of the countryside in addition to spectacular views of the natural setting.
  • Enjoy a visit to an award-winning sake brewery that is not open to the public for a special-access guided tour and tasting.
  • Wander through timeless temples after-hours to find no crowds and a private Daiko performance.
  • Delight in a spectacular panorama of Mt. Fuji with a helicopter tour.

How much is a tour of Japan?

The starting price of a custom-tailored Japan trip is approximately $400 per person, per day. For an escorted group tour, the starting price can be approximately $300 per person, per day.

The cost of a Japan vacation is dependent on several factors, such as the:

  • Length of your trip
  • Season (month) of travel
  • Class of hotel
  • Number of locations/cities you visit
  • Number of guided day tours and activities (e.g., cooking class, wine tasting, etc.)
  • How much you spend on meals, shopping, etc.

A vacation such as this is often the biggest purchase of the year. It will also likely be one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. To get the most out of your trip, we highly recommend using an expert Japan travel specialist to plan a customized Japan tour that is tailored to your specific interests and budget. You can also join an escorted group tour so that most travel arrangements are pre-planned for you. This way, you can travel hassle-free and relax while a professional tour director and guide takes care of all logistics and any issues that may arise.

The cost of a tailor-made Japan tour typically starts at $4,800 per person for a 12-day trip, i.e., at $400 per person, per day during the low or shoulder-season.

This includes:

  • 3-star hotels (shared twin room)
  • Some guided day tours and activities
  • Transportation, such as airport transfers and domestic flights

A 5-star, tailor-made Japan tour, where most services are upgraded and extra unique experiences are included, typically starts at $1,000 per person, per day for a 12-day trip, or $12,000.

Everyone’s priorities, interests, and preferences are different. Submit a trip request on Zicasso, and we will personally match you with an expert trip planner who will help you customize your dream trip or help you select the right group tour while also taking your budget into consideration.

Best Time to Visit Japan

Updated: February 14, 2020

The best time to visit Japan is during March and April or October and November. Visiting in March and April allows you to witness the popular cherry blossom season, but October and November host the red leaves of Nakoyo season.

Early May is when many Japanese people take their vacations, which means that many businesses are closed. During this time, the transportation can be crowded; however, the second-half of May is nice for weather and crowds. Outside of the Cherry Blossom season and Nakoyo season, January is a fantastic month to visit Japan if you do not mind the cold. The skies are clear, the weather is crisp, and the highlights around the country are usually absent of crowds.

The climate may vary depending on the region that you visit around Japan. January, February, and March are great for viewing the hot springs with macaques in the mountains, but the rainy season takes place between June to mid-July. Monsoon season also occurs from August to September.

How far in advance should I plan a trip to Japan?

To ensure that you can have your perfect vacation when visiting Japan, you should plan your Japan trip at least 12 months in advance. When booking your vacation during Japanese holidays or popular times, such as Cherry Blossom season, you are competing with Japanese tourists who are known for booking early. If you book your accommodations six months ahead of your trip, you can find cheaper accommodations, but you are not guaranteed your first-choice in accommodations. If you are planning to visit Japan during Cherry Blossom season, the latest you should book is December. You can also book your restaurant reservations up to two months in advance.

If you are visiting Japan during the Cherry Blossom season, the following list offers suggestions on the best best places to view cherry blossoms.

  • A private wasabi farm in the countryside will often have their own trees. Here, visitors can enjoy the charming colors and natural landscape without the crowds.
  • Kyoto may have large crowds that are eager to view the cherry blossoms, but the city’s prolific parks host plenty of trees for a more tranquil and vibrant viewing experience.

Modes of Transportation in Japan

The best way to see Japan in 10 days is by a combination of trains and private cars. The famous speed trains make traveling efficient between large cities across the nation. If you are visiting small towns or villages outside of the main cities, private cars can help you reach secluded destinations.

Public Transportation

Public transportation, such as the metro in Tokyo, trains, and taxis, can also help you connect to local destinations or sites. Private cars are more efficient but can also quickly increase the cost of your Japan trip. Your travel specialist and local guides will help you navigate the different modes of public transportation and can even travel with you if you prefer this method of discovery.

Your Zicasso travel partner ensures that your logistics are as smooth as possible by including private transfers to and from the airports and train stations for a stress-free Japan tour.

What to Consider When Traveling Through Japan

When traveling on a Japan tour, you must consider travel logistics, safety, and accessibility. The following offers information on important travel considerations during your Japan tour for a hassle-free experience.

Is Japan Safe for Travel?

Japan is one of the safest places on Earth for travelers. Tourists can walk down the street late at night without fear, and travelers have reported losing their phones during their trip only to have it returned later.

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and typhoons, are often concerns for travelers in Japan. Minor earthquakes often occur across the chain of islands, but the country’s secure architecture makes Japan a very safe destination if an earthquake were to occur. During heavy typhoons, trains and airports may close their operations, but this usually does not occur for longer than 48 hours.

Travel Insurance

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

For Families

Japan is a great destination for families. Your travel specialist has a knowledge of the different activities that can be adapted for children and can focus on active excursions like hiking. Your travel specialist will also know the hotels and restaurants that do not allow children under a certain age.

For Seniors

Seniors who are traveling in Japan must consider certain weather conditions during the different seasons, such as the summer’s heat or the rain. Summer is very hot, but the buildings in major cities and towns all have air conditioning. When touring in the heat, guides often stop for coffee or water so that everyone can refresh before continuing. If it rains, you could spend time in art galleries or museums to continue discovering the culture of Japan without losing time to the weather.

For Couples

A travel specialist who understands the best destinations for couples in Japan will focus on a mix of activities and romance. Secluded islands with private gardens, traditional ryokans, exciting outdoor activities, private cooking classes, and unique dining experiences can create an ambiance of intimacy for an unforgettable Japan tour.

For Travelers with Disabilities

Your Japan travel specialist can help you with any logistics associated with mobility challenges by focusing on alternative arrangements. Your specialist will pay attention to the details and focus on important concerns, such as traveling on the Shinkansen bullet train or finding accommodating hotels to ensure that you can enjoy Japan’s culture, highlights, and natural beauty with ease.

Best Airports to Fly In & Out of Japan

The best airport to fly in and out of when visiting Japan is Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND). The majority of flights from North America and Continental Europe will arrive in Tokyo, but the best airport for your departure flight is Kyoto’s Kansai International Airport (KIX).

For most travelers, the most convenient airport is Tokyo’s HND followed by Kyoto’s KIX. The busiest airports in Japan are:

  • Haneda Airport (HND)
  • Narita International AIrport (NRT)
  • Kansai International Airport (KIX)

Find the Best Flight

When flying in and out of Japan, the airport you fly out of depends mainly on the destinations you wish to see. Depending on your travel itinerary, it may be easier to arrive in Tokyo and depart from Kyoto. This way, you do not have to return to Tokyo if you have a limited number of travel days or wish to continue traveling around the Kyoto area. Flights may also arrive in Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT), but this airport is located farther away from Tokyo than Haneda Airport (HND).

Domestic Flights

Domestic flights in Japan are available and efficient. Security is quick, but traffic between the cities and airports is a factor that makes preparation time before the flight take much longer. Traffic and security checks at the airports, even when efficient, can make a flight take as much time as a train. Domestic flights are great when visiting smaller islands but not necessarily when traveling between cities like Kyoto and Tokyo.

Flights Via Zicasso

Zicasso Air Desk is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation by employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso. Our competitive flight pricing, 24x7 Service & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Recommendations for the Return Traveler

When returning for another Japan tour, you can travel into the depths of the cities and countryside beyond the essential destinations of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone. The following suggestions offer our recommendations for where you can visit during your return Japan trip.

Fukuoka

The friendly and sunny city of Fukuoka is comprised of a historic castle and merchant town. Trading history in the region dates back 2,000 years with traditions that once informed the region’s art, architecture, shopping, and cuisine. The city acts as a fantastic base for exploring the greater region while also providing a baseball experience with the SoftBank Hawks. Baseball is a staple of Japanese culture.

Yakushima

Yakushima embraces nature and provides a perfect respite for hikers or nature lovers in Japan. The UNESCO World Heritage island rewards visitors with craggy mountaintops and ancient cedar trees that average more than 1,000-years-old. Yakushima is full of wonder that stems from the secluded setting, pristine nature, and its historic ambiance.

Related Japan Tours by Zicasso

Here is our list of other Japan Tours we offer:

Themed:

Duration:

Specific Seasons of the Year:

Multi-Country Japan Vacations:

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