Experience more with so much included

  • See the famous sights of Tokyo including the Meiji shrine, Omotesando Street, fashion-setting Harajuku and the Akihabara electronic town
  • Enjoy astonishing views of Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi and the hot-spring, mountain spa resort of Hakone
  • Travel at 189 mph on the incomparable high-speed bullet trains
  • Reflect on the horrors of war at Hiroshima’s Peace Park and museum
  • Explore Kyoto on a guided tour, experiencing the former imperial capital and the essence of traditional Japan
  • Discover the ‘Way of Tea’ with a Japanese tea ceremony
  • Discover Nara, Japan’s first capital with its huge bronze Buddha, on a guided tour
  • Opportunity to learn origami, traditional flower arranging or Japanese cooking
  • Return direct scheduled flights with premium economy upgrades available at a supplement 
  • Stay in hand-picked four-star accommodation, including all local taxes, with breakfast and three meals 
  • The services of our experienced tour manager

Selected departures up to November 2019 & March to November 2020

8.6 out of 10  
Read 439 Reviews
At a Glance
4-star hotel accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Programme of daily tours & visits
Travel on the famous high-speed bullet train
15 meals: 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 1 dinner
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage


Japan - an ancient culture of emperors, fierce shoguns, samurais and brutal martial arts. Yet it’s also a place of gentle geishas, colourful kimonos, exquisite garden design and Zen Buddhism. How did a country so deeply rooted in such diverse heritage become one of the most modern and advanced economies on the planet? Pondering such questions is what makes a trip to Japan so incredibly rewarding. Having travelled there once, you’ll feel almost hypnotically drawn back to this truly enigmatic country.

Japan’s roots lie in an ancient feudal culture, with many customs from these times still pervading modern society. The Portuguese and Jesuit missionaries arrived in the 16th century and by all accounts, they were initially treated well, mainly because the Japanese were impressed with their new technology – firearms. Despite trading together successfully for nearly a century, Christianity and western ideas were deemed to be undermining the social order and the Portuguese were expelled. All contact with outsiders was banned for over 200 years. The only country on earth to have been so completely isolated from all external influences, Japanese art and culture developed in its own unique way, until pressure from the US finally broke down the barriers in the 1850’s.

It’s this unique development of its culture which makes Japan so utterly fascinating today. Inevitably, we harbour preconceptions about its complex etiquette, but you need not worry! The Japanese are a truly welcoming people and allowances are made for us ‘strange’ foreigners! Our tour is designed so you not only see the best of Japan, but come home having started to understand it.

Our tour covers three of Japan's capitals, both past and present. You’ll ride on a high speed bullet train past iconic Mt. Fuji, one of the most instantly recognisable places on the planet. You’ll have the option to stay at a typical Japanese inn, bathe in a hot spring, and see the spot where the first atom bomb was detonated. With longer stays in both Tokyo and Kyoto, you’ll have a unique opportunity to get right under the skin of this extraordinary country.

In Tokyo – the archetypal mega-city – you’ll see its most fascinating districts, including the shopping and entertainment mecca of Ginza. It might sometimes seem as if its entire thirteen million inhabitants are all simultaneously trying to get on the same metro train – but everything runs on time and everyone is faultlessly polite. 

Kyoto, the capital city for over a thousand years - and still considered to be its cultural heart - has carefully retained far more of historical Japan than any other major city. With exquisite shrines, temples, Zen gardens and traditional handicrafts such as ceramics, lacquer-ware, calligraphy and woodblock prints, Kyoto is a treasure-trove waiting to be discovered. We have four nights here and a whole day free in the city, so you'll have plenty of time to explore to your heart's content. You might visit a private home discovering the traditional arts of origami, flower arranging or Japanese cuisine, or opt to spend an unforgettable night in a ‘Ryokan’, a typical Japanese inn. We also visit Nara, Japan’s first capital, dating back to the eighth century. Here, traditional culture first took root and it is famous for its great Buddhist monuments and time-honoured festivals. Hiroshima is forever destined to be synonymous with the world's first use of an atomic bomb. Your visit to the Peace Memorial Park and museum, with the shattered remains of the nearby dome marking the epicentre of the resultant blast, will be an unforgettable experience.

Japan, like Europe, has four very distinct and wonderful seasons. Winter can be very cold, but springtime, with pink cherry blossom hanging heavy on millions of trees, is considered a great time to visit. May and June are quieter and warmer, with flowers and plants in full bloom in countless gardens. July and August are the festival months, time of colourful processions, whilst autumn is breathtaking, with the vibrant red and orange hues of maple trees everywhere you look.

Japanese food is increasingly being rightfully recognised as one of the world’s great cuisines and it goes way beyond just sushi… with teppanyaki, teriyaki, sashimi, yakitori, udon noodles, and a huge variety of sake rice wine. Utilising the freshest possible ingredients cooked without oils, fats or butter, it is a revelation. Even the famous “bento box” packed lunches, available at any railway station, are wonderful to look at, very tasty and excellent value. Despite what you may have heard, restaurants in Japan are certainly no more expensive than at home.

So place preconceptions aside and visit Japan on the tour of a lifetime. Prepare for wonderful service, the world’s politest people and a true assault on the senses. Immerse yourself in this extraordinary culture of contrasts, where the neon lights and gadgetry of huge futuristic cities live side by side with thousand-year old ceremonies, shrines and hot spas.

Your Itinerary

Japan - Land of the Rising Sun

Price Includes

The price for this holiday is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room with single rooms available at the relevant supplement. Price includes eleven nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast and three meals, direct return flights, hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person, all touring as mentioned, all local accommodation taxes, all airport/flight taxes and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager. 

Personalise Your Holiday

Make it Your Own

Geisha wearing red kimono


Japanese origami cranes


Japanese sushi


Traditional Japanese cuisine at the Ryokan Inn

Kimono experience - from £37 per person

Learn all about the traditional Japanese kimono and the intricate art of tailoring one, as well as the type of fabrics, dyes, weaving techniques and patterns used. The kimono is primarily worn on special occasions, but you’ll have the opportunity to try one on.

Origami paper folding - from £37 per person

Get to know origami, the traditional art of folding paper into small sculptures. See how a simple square piece of paper can be transformed into different shapes – perhaps the most famous design is the crane, considered auspicious in Japanese culture.

Japanese calligraphy - from £37 per person

Discover shodo, the ‘way of writing’ with a brush, ink and washi paper. Calligraphy is said to reflect the writer's mind as well as their writing skill. During this lesson, you’ll try your hand at calligraphy and take home your creation, a lovely souvenir.

Sushi making workshop from - £55 per person

Perhaps Japan’s most iconic food, sushi has developed from a method of preserving fish into the bite-sized pieces loved worldwide today. Learn about Japan’s culinary customs as your instructor demonstrates the traditional ways of preparing sushi.

Teriyaki chicken cooking lesson - from £55 per person

Learn to make chicken using the teriyaki cooking technique with a sweet and salty glaze. Your instructor will show you what it takes to make a superb sauce and how to cook the chicken perfectly.

Flower arrangement

Learn how to bring flowers to life through ikebana, one of the classical Japanese arts of refinement, and see how it differs from western floral arrangements. Ikebana emphasises the beauty of space and incorporates branches in addition to flowers and leaves. This flower arranging experience is bookable and payable locally.

Upgrade Your Stay

Spend a night in a traditional Japanese Inn in Kyoto - from £99 per person

For a traditional experience, stay in a wonderful ryokan, where you’ll sleep on a Japanese-style futon and enjoy a beautifully prepared kaiseki dinner. Single supplements apply. For more details of the Ryokan, please click here. Please call us for more information or to book.

Please contact us to add any of the above experiences to your booking.

Tour Manager John on Japan

Useful Information

Visas and Passports

UK nationals do not require a visa to travel to Japan, but other passport holders should contact with the relevant embassy, however, please ensure that your British passport is valid for at least six months after the intended return date.

Whilst care has been taken to ensure that the information provided relating to visa requirements is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in requirements after this time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information. therefore, whilst we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, we strongly suggest that you re-confirm requirements with the relevant embassy prior to travel.


There is a fair amount of walking involved throughout this tour, and as many places we visit as part of this itinerary are in national parks and historical areas, we cannot expect or guarantee the terrain to be flat and even. Whilst this should not pose any difficulty for clients who are in good health, please consider any mobility requirements personal to yourself. If you would like to discuss mobility-related queries, please contact our reservations department.

There is currently no official health advice nor inoculations required to travel to Japan, however, this is dependent on your personal medical history and previous travel destinations. Please contact your GP at least one month prior to travel to discuss any travel and health information.


We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Fact File

  • Currency: Yen
  • Deposit: £200 per person
  • Flight Time: Approx.  11 hours 45 minutes
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time Zone: GMT+8
  • Country: Japan

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport Transfer time
Tokyo - Haneda Airport Tokyo 1 hr Tokyo Tokyo - Haneda Airport 10 mins

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