Day 1 - Welcome to Japan
Japan is a magical place where old and new collide. A country full of incredible natural beauty, futuristic cities of neon, world-renowned food, and a culture steeped in tradition. Japan has a way of enveloping you from the moment you step off the plane. The unique culture and friendliness of the people will stay with you forever. From partying in the famous Shinjuku area of Tokyo to walking down the stone paths passing Geisha in the Gion district in Kyoto, One Life Adventures - Japan is a backpacking adventre tour and will show you the best of the country in 10 days. Starting in Tokyo and finishing in Osaka we explore the iconic areas of Japan plus some places off the tourist trail. By the end of the 10 days you would have lived and breathed the Land of the Rising Sun.
Want longer in Japan? Try our 14 day tour!
*Please note that this is an active, fast-paced, backpacking style tour with a lot of walking. Please make sure you're adequately prepared. The majority of our guests on this tour are in their twenties.
Day 2 - Explore Tokyo
We'll start the morning off with an orientation class. You'll learn simple Japanese customs and phrases to help you dictate your way across the country. Once we have learned all we need, we'll head out to the birthplace of Japanese teen pop culture, Harajuku. We'll then move away from all that craziness to the serenity of Yoyogi park which houses the magnificent Mei-ji Shrine. In the evening, we'll head to Akihabara - Tokyo's electric town - and be blinded by the all the neon lights and crazy shops in store. We'll challenge you all in the Sega Centre and provide you with a map with the best things to do so you can explore the area.
Meals - Breakfast
Accommodation: Twin Share with shared bathroom
Included Activities - Language and culture class, Survival booklet, Harajuku tour, Meiji Shrine, Akihabara tour, Senso-Ji
Optional Activities - Maid Cafe, batting cages
Day 3 - Sushi & Robots!
Today we'll head to the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market. Tokyo is famed for its seafood delights and this is the epicentre of where the best fish in the world is found. Once we have toured the facility, we will head over to our sushi making class where our guides here will teach you how to roll the perfect sushi, fry the best tempura and eat sashimi properly. After your sushi lunch, well head back to the hostel for a quick freshen up before heading to the incredible Shinjuku area for a meal of Yakitori and beer. After dinner we will treat you to an incredible show like no other, where robots dance to the theme of thriller whilst lasers and lights bounce off the walls of the world famous Robot Restaurant. Wrapping up the day viewing the world famous Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing
Meals - Breakfast & lunch
Included Activities - Fish market tour, sushi making class, Tokyo Government building look out, Robot Restaurant, Shibuya Crossing
Optional Activity - VR Centre
Day 4 - Hakone & Mount Fuji
Today we leave Tokyo by the aptly named Romance Car to the stunning mountainous town of Hakone. After checking into our guesthouse accommodation situated in the mountains, we will spend the day exploring the surrounding areas on a variety of different transport including Cable Cars, Rope Ways and even a Pirate Ship. Why is Hakone so special? Well, not only is the food incredible but the views of Mt Fuji are pretty spectacular on a clear day. After a day of exploring and taking photos of Japan's most famous mountain, we'll arrange a typical Japanese Nabe dinner in the guesthouse and settle in to play some family games for the evening.
Meals - Breakfast & dinner
Accommodation: Twin Share with shared bathroom in Guesthouse
Included Activities - Mt Fuji Viewing, Ropeway, cable car, pirate ship, rooftop dinner
Optional Activities - Onsen (Japanese bath house)
Day 5 - Temple stay
Today we board the bullet train, a soaring feat of engineering that throws you across the countryside. Along the way, be sure to take in the stunning mountains that pass by all the way to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Takayama. Our accommodation tonight is in a stunning Japanese temple. Never before would you have stayed in more beautiful surroundings, your bed will be on simple tatami mats. In the evening we'll head out for some traditional Sake Tasting and you can even treat yourself to some infamously tasty Hida beef. After all of that, you get a real chance for you to focus on your mindful experience as you sleep soundly in the temple.
Accommodation: Multi-share in a traditional temple. Most rooms with a private garden view
Included Activities - Sake Tasting, Temple stay, a tour of Takayama Old Town
Day 6 - Gion Tour
In the morning your guide will walk you around the beautiful old town and village of Takayama, we'll be sure to stop for lunch before boarding the train back to Nagoya and taking our final bullet train to Kyoto. Famous for its shrines, temples and Geishas, Kyoto is a sure fire way to find your inner peace and get lost exploring its small alleyways. In the evening, we'll walk around Kyoto's Gion district, famous for Geishas (Japan's traditional art form of entertainment), if you are lucky enough you might even spot one.
Included Activities - Gion District Walking tour
Optional Activities - Kimono Hire, Geisha performance
Day 7 - Fushimi Inari & Kiyomizu-Dera
We'll rise early in the morning and take the subway to Fushimi-Inari Shrine. We arrive early to escape the bustling throng of tourists and work our way through the mountain exploring corridors of never-ending red gates. After we'll make our way to Kiyomizu-Dera temple, one of Japan's most famous temples. A stunning bamboo and wooden complex that sits high on the mountainside. After coming back to the hostel and eating breakfast, you'll have the whole afternoon to explore the amazing town of Kyoto!
Included Activities - Kiyomezu- Dera temple, Fushimi-Inari Shrine
Optional Activity - Nishiki Market Tour, bike rental
Day 8 - Golden Pavilion, Zen Garden & Kendo
This morning we'll head to the incredible Golden Pavilion, a beautiful gold laden building, surrounded by lakes which showcase a stunning reflection of the building. After well head to Daitoku-Ji, a quiet group of buildings and temples, away from the main tourist districts, where you can truly channel your inner zen. In the afternoon we head to a traditional Kendo class housed in the dojo where it all began. Your authentic Bushido instructor, a descendant of a Japanese Samurai Warrior, will teach you the way of this respectful martial art, before finishing with a guided meditation reflection to finish off this incredible day.
Included Activities - Golden Pavilion, Zen Gardens, Kendo Class & Guided meditation in Dojo
Day 9 - BAMBOO FOREST, ARRIVE IN OSAKA, FOOD TOUR AND KARAOKE
In the morning, we'll beat the crowds and take the train to the Arashiyama district. This stunning district is flanked by mountainous valleys with a river working its way through the middle. We'll start off by wandering through the Instagram worthy bamboo forest, before climbing the steps up to Monkey Mountain. Once we make our way down, well board a private rowboat and explore the valleys the traditional Japanese way. We'll then head back to our hostel check out and make our way to Osaka! After checking in we will head out into the Dotonbori area to take you on a food tour. There is no better way to view this incredible, living, breathing city than tasting your way through it. In the evening well wrap up our tour with one final Japanese tradition - Karaoke!
Meals - Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: TripleShare with shared bathroom
Included Activities - Arashiyama bamboo forest, Monkey mountain, 30-minute boat tour, Dotonbori Food Tour (4 dishes), All you can drink Karaoke
Optional Activities - Canal boat tour, extended karaoke
Day 10 - Osaka Castle & Shinsekai
After nursing your head from last night’s antics, we thought it is best to give you the morning off to explore Osaka by yourself. Visit the incredibly trendy AmericaTown, wander down the Shinsaibashi Shopping district, give your body a well-deserved rest in Spa World or browse the wonderful world of electronics in Den-Den Town. We’ll meet in the evening and head over to Osaka Castle, a beautiful structure in the centre of the city surrounded by lush gardens. We’ll watch the sunset from here, before heading over to Dotonbori’s little brother, Shinsekai for dinner in the evening.
Day 11 - Nara & Koyasan
An early start today as we head out of the city, 30 minutes on the train to beautiful Nara. As we leave the train station and begin our walk towards the main park, keep your eyes out for the friendly locals on the way. Nara is famous for a city that lives symbiotically with deer and a historically important former capital of ancient Japan. We’ll make our way around the serene park & stunning temples before heading back to Osaka to collect our bags and make our way to Koyasan. After a 90 minute ride, we’ll take the a mix of cable cars and finally a bus to our accommodation deep in the heart of the mountain. Koyasan is a beautiful little temple town, summed up by the tourism boards slogan “If nature does indeed bring mankind closer to the cosmos, then Koyasan is its embodiment”. This your chance to truly live the temple way of life in a real, working temple. Learn more about the monks that dedicate their lives to this area and wander the countless temples and shrines that are dotted all around. Dinner is a very special vegetarian meal made from ingredients sourced by the monks in the local area.
Day 12 - Hiroshima
Wake in the morning to the sound of nature and take part in the morning chanting prayers with the monks. Breakfast is a traditional “temple style” meal made by the monks. Make sure to make the most of your final morning in this truly unforgettable destination. Just before lunch we’ll make our way back to Osaka and head to Hiroshima on the bullet train. After a 90-minute ride, we’ll take the streetcar to our accommodation in the centre of the city. After some down time, we’ll walk to the humbling Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and be taken around this area by our local guide to truly educate you on the area’s astonishing past. View the Atomic Dome, ring the peace bell and say a prayer at the eternal flame. This incredibly important city will live long in the memory. We’ll then finish with a walk around the museum to learn about Hiroshima’s devastating past before grabbing some food and calling it a night.
Day 13 - Miyajima
A later start to the day today as we take the metro to the beautiful Miyajima Island, location 1hr away from Hiroshima. On arrival to this quiet town, we’ll take a short ferry ride to the island. Miyajima is known for its forests and ancient temples. Just offshore, the giant, orange Great Torii Gate is partially submerged at high tide. After disembarking from the ferry, we’ll take an easy stroll around this island, visiting the Miyajima shrine, for incredible views of it’s famous Torii Gate. The rest of the afternoon is yours to wander around the island, grab some lunch and visit some temples before making our way back to Hiroshima. In the evening, we’ll head out one last time as a group for our final day in Japan.
Day 14 - Depart
And that’s a wrap! Today we finish in the beautiful city of Hiroshima, take one final walk around the memorial park or a go for a sunrise run along the river. Your guide will assist you in your onward travel whether you continue to travel around Japan, head back home or join us on another One Life tour in a different, but equally incredible place.
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