17 January 2019 by Simon Langley
Having long captured hearts with its kimono culture and minds with its ultra-modern cities, Japan never seems out of fashion when it comes to travel. But, with the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympics in 2020, “The Land of the Rising Sun” is more in focus than ever. British Airways is even launching a new direct route to Osaka this April – ideal for a full-country tour. As such, if you’re thinking of travelling to Japan, it’s never been more important to book early. Demand is high and accommodation is limited; savvy travellers should look outside of the sporting events. To inspire, we’ve picked out our two most popular trips below.
Our top trip: Essential Japan
This is the ultimate introduction to Japan, taking in everything from Tokyo’s neon buzz to Nara’s thousand-year-old shrines and Kyoto’s imperial-palace heritage. You’ll even explore Hakone’s rural idyll on lake boat rides and mountain railways. Indeed, this curated itinerary offers truly superb value, featuring the likes of bullet-train trips, private tours tailored to your interests and a stay in a tatami-mat ryokan inn. Here, you’ll be treated to kaiseki multi-course dining and soaks in a private hot-spring onsen.
Our top trip: Best of Japan
If you’ve more time, this upgraded offering adds in some extra stops to our Essential tour. You’ll marvel at Osaka’s multi-tiered castle and take in the mysterious floating shrines of Miyajima island. And, you’ll uncover Hiroshima’s tragic past in its shell ruins, learning how the city has turned a new leaf in its teahouse-dotted gardens. As well as two extra nights in a traditional ryokan inn, you’ll also enjoy a higher standard of accommodation throughout, on top of a full range of included touring. Expect everything from cooking classes and an evening with a geisha apprentice to tickets for the Tokyo Skytree – the world’s tallest tower.