OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN JAPAN
Forget the big cities - head out to the countryside to explore what rural Japan has to offer and see a different side to this fascinating country.
If you’re planning a holiday to Japan, our travel guide will help you decide where and when to go, and what to do whilst you’re there. Plus, our travel essentials section at the bottom of this page provides advice about flights, visas, vaccinations, currency and an information about travelling with medication.
Our Japan holidays focus on the following areas:
Japan is a spectacular year round destination, however it has four distinct seasons which means that choosing when to go to Japan depends on what you want to do and see during your visit.
Weather patterns and temperatures vary across the four main islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu). In our opinion, the best time to visit Japan is during spring (March-April) and autumn (October-November), when you can expect plenty of sunshine and very little rain, plus of you can witness the spectacular cherry blossom (sakura) season and autumn leaves (koyo).
During the summer months (May to September) cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto are very hot and humid, and there’s typically heavy rainfall throughout most of Japan during June and July (with the exception of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost main island). During the winter months (December to February), days are cool and crisp, with heavy snowfall in Hokkaido and the Japanese Alps.
For further information about Japan’s seasons please read our when to go to Japan guide or call one of our luxury travel specialists on 0203 143 4293.
Our Japan accommodation ranges from modern, luxurious Western-style hotels (such as the Osaka Marriott Miyako, The Hyatt Regency Kyoto and The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon in Tokyo’s Asakusa district), to authentic family-run ryokans (traditional Japanese inns). There’s also an opportunity to stay at a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya (Koya-san) and at a contemporary museum and boutique art hotel on the island of Naoshima. You can view all our accommodation options at the bottom of our Luxury Japan Holidays page.
The suggestions below are examples of holidays which we can arrange and can be tailored to suit your personal preference.
This fantastic holiday is ideal for first-time visitors to Japan. The itinerary includes the exciting cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, plus Hakone National Park and the Japanese Alps.
This itinerary focuses on the food and art scene in Japan, plus it features unique experiences such as staying in temple lodgings in a Buddhist monastery on Mount Koya and spending the night at an art gallery/hotel on Naoshima Island.
This honeymoon itinerary starts in bustling Tokyo. Your next destination is the spectacular Fuji-Hakone National Park and then you’ll spend time in the romantic city of Kyoto. From here, you’ll travel on to Hiroshima and then you’ll visit the hot spring destination of Kinosaki Onsen, before heading to Osaka where your Japan adventure comes to an end.
This itinerary is perfect for those seeking an authentic experience outside of Japan's futuristic cities. This tour includes a self-drive excursion around the picturesque Iya Valley and visits to Japan's lesser-known destinations. Read our Off the Beaten Path in Japan blog.
We encourage all of our clients who are visiting Japan to travel in a responsible and respectful manner. You can read our tips for responsible travel in Japan in our Responsible Travel Guide to Japan.
Arrival & Departure: Our Japan holidays start in either Tokyo or Osaka. You’ll need to fly into Tokyo International Airport, commonly known as Haneda Airport, or Osaka Kansai Airport. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your own private driver who will transfer you to your first hotel.
Depending on your itinerary, you’ll either finish your Japan adventure in Tokyo or Osaka. Whichever city you end in, we will arrange a private taxi transfer to take you back to the airport in time for your return flight home.
Flying time: London Heathrow (LHR) to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND): 11 hours 40 minutes (direct). London Heathrow (LHR) to Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX): 13 hours 30 minutes (with one stop), however British Airways have announced a new direct route from Heathrow to Osaka, starting in March 2019.
Recommended airlines: British Airways, Japan Airlines
Currency: The unit of currency is the Japanese Yen (JPY). There are six different denomination coins in circulation: 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1, as well as four denomination notes – 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000.
The highest denomination note is the 10,000 yen note (Ichiman-en satsu in Japanese). Japan is still a cash-based society and relatively safe, therefore despite their high value you’re likely to see plenty of 10,000 yen notes in circulation.
The exchange rate (as of August 2018) is UK£1 =143.144JPY, US$1 = 111.074JPY and €1 =130.150JPY
Visa requirements: British passport holders can enter Japan as a visitor for up to 90 days without a visa. Those with other passports should check the visa requirements with your nearest Japanese Embassy. You may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket and your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.
Medication: Travellers to Japan should be aware that the use or possession of some common prescription and over-the-counter medicines are banned under the country’s strictly enforced anti-stimulant drugs law. The ban includes Vicks inhalers, medicines for allergies and sinus problems, cold and flu medication that contains Pseudoephedrine and some over-the-counter painkillers, including those containing codeine. Foreign nationals have been detained and deported for offences, therefore we advise you to check the status of your medication with the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate before you travel.
If you’re travelling with prescription medication that is permitted under Japanese law, you’re allowed to enter the country with up to one month’s supply. You’re advised to bring a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating the medical condition that the medication has been prescribed to treat.
Vaccinations: Visitors to Japan should consider the following vaccinations:
There is no need to take any anti-malarial medication. If you’re visiting Japan in the summer or autumn you will encounter mosquitoes, therefore we recommend that you take mosquito repellent with you.
We encourage our clients to travel with a Japanese phrasebook and make an effort to learn some key words and phrases.
When dining with others in Japan, it is customary and polite to say "itadakimasu" ("I gratefully receive") before eating and "gochisosama” ("thank you for the meal") after finishing the meal. For more about Japanese cuisine, read our Japan Food Guide.
If you'd like to plan a holiday to Japan, call our Luxury Travel Specialists for a chat about your dream trip or fill out our no-obligation enquiry form.
Talk to the team
Find out more and tailor your perfect trip with the help of
our specialist team on +44 117 313 3300