Japan tour, 20 days
Our Japan tour is a unique experience full of contrasts. Tokyo is a modern capital with the latest trends, young and hip, colorful neon signs and peaceful parks and gardens. In Kamakura and Kyoto you find centuries-old Zen temples and hiking trails through the woods. Along the way you'll see at the Matsumoto Castle and in clear weather the sacred Fuji volcano. In Nara, the Todai-ji temple, the largest wooden building in the world, you will find the Nara Daibutsu, a huge bronze Buddha statue. A visit to the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome recalls the end of an eventful period.
Join our international groups with active travelers, of all ages. Most will come from Holland and Belgium, but you will find they have an excellent command of English. Your tour leader addresses the group in Dutch and English. Our skilled land crew have worked with Djoser for many years and make sure things run smoothly.
There is ample time for group exploration. Count on lots of walking. But sometimes, it is great to be able to break off and explore on your own. Your guide can make some great suggestions.
Join us for unforgettable cultural, nature and local experiences!
- Tokyo, excursion Kamakura
- Tokyo - visit Wasabi farm - Matsumoto
- Matsumoto - Takayama
- Takayama - Kyoto
- Kyoto, excursion Nara and visits Fushimi Inari-temple
- Kyoto - Koyasan
- Koyasan - Osaka
- Osaka - Kurashiki - Hiroshima
- Hiroshima, excursion Miyajima Island
- Hiroshima - Kumamoto
- Kumamoto, excursion Aso Vulcano
- Kumamoto - Nagasaki
- Nagasaki - Fukuoka
Day by day
On the Road with Djoser
Djoser's active journeys offer an ideal balance of guidance and freedom. Our guide-assisted adventures cover the globe and feature wildlife, beautiful natural settings, historic sights and authentic cultural experiences. During Djoser travels, the daily schedule is not rigidly set.
The day-to-day descriptions describe the anticipated, or possible daily activities. Our travel days are obviously fixed, but each day the program may deviate depending on the preferences of the group, in consultation with the tour leader. The tour guide offers a program daily, with planned excursions. You are never obligated to participate. Those who desire more freedom may go out exploring or may dine on their own. Your tour leader can offer suggestions for safe explorations and fun restaurants. You will find that Djoser participants will take advantage of this flexibility. We believe a sense of discovery is an integral element of a great trip.
We offer the land program only. Below, you will find the day-to-day description days numbered to correspond with that of the Dutch participants (which includes their transit days from/to Amsterdam). This is so that when you are traveling and refer to this day-to-day description, all travelers will be “on the same page” or the same day number.
Day 1 Travel day for most participants
Day 2 arrival Tokyo (Land begins)
Day 3 Tokyo
Day 4 Tokyo, excursion by train to Kamakura
Day 5 Tokyo
We begin our Japan tour in Tokyo where you have a few days to explore this exciting city. Tokyo is on the east side of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, the Tokyo-wan Bay. You immediately enter the bustling city life and get acquainted with this lively city with its many facets. You can also relax in one of the many parks , which are like oases in the middle of Tokyo.
The famous Ginza district is well worth a visit. With its bustling business center and expensive shops Ginza is the symbol of the economic success of Asia. Also, the Akihabara and Shinjuku demonstrate the success of Japan as a producer of modern cars and electronics. Here you find the latest electronic gadgets for sale. In the district of Shibuya one finds many large department stores and trendy shops for the youth and Harajuku is known for its chic international fashion stores and many small boutiques. In contrast you also see wooden houses, inns, and temples.
A visit to Tsukiji, the largest fish market in the world, is an experience. You see fish that you have never seen before. You can enjoy a delicious sushi lunch or for early birds, a sushi breakfast. Nowhere is it fresher. Also nearby are the beautiful Hama-Rikyu Gardens. From this park you can go by boat to the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. Take some time to enjoy the typical Japanese theater forms like the Kabuki and stylized Noh theater. In Ginza and Shinjuku there are many shows a week.
From Tokyo we make a day trip to Kamakura, in the 13th century, the imperial capital of Japan. Kamakura is located on the azure Pacific Ocean and on the other three sides surrounded by wooded hills. In Kamakura you can not miss the large bronze Buddha statue in the 13th century Tsurugaoka Shrine. In addition to this impressive image Kamakura is full of large and small Zen temples, which are often located in gardens or parks with nice big cedars. The architecture here has the atmosphere of a bygone age. Also you will find in Kamakura good examples of the special Japanese garden.
You can make an optional excursion to the popular town of Nikko, located 93 miles northeast of Tokyo. The city is surrounded by the national park Nikko. Here you will find beautiful countryside with mountains, green forests, lakes and waterfalls that that for the past 1200 years, inspired builders of magnificent temples and shrines. The temples and the environment are on the list of UNESCO.
Matsumoto and Takayama
Day 6 Tokyo to Matsumoto bus
Day 7 Matsumoto to Takayama by bus, visiting Daio wasabi farm
We travel by bus from Tokyo to Matsumoto. In clear weather, you have a nice view of the sacred volcano Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan. We stop at the Daio wasabi farm . This is the largest wasabi farm in Japan and is well known for its beautiful water mills. The farm also plays a role in the film “Dreams” by the famous director Akira Kurosawa. The castle town of Matsumoto was founded in the 8th century in the "Japanese Alps”. The black and White Matsumoto-jo Castle is the highlight of this town and is seen as one of the three most beautiful castles of Japan. In the castle is a museum located on the top floor and you have a beautiful view over the mountainous area. The next day we travel by bus through the Japanese Alps to the picturesque town of Takayama, where we stay overnight. This charm of this village in its isolated location has been well-preserved. You can see many traditional wooden houses, equipped with sliding doors and walls to keep cool in the hot and humid summers. The Open Air Museum (Hida no Sato), where traditional wooden houses are collected from this part of Japan, is worth visiting. In nearby Takayama you can make beautiful walks and you can see the huge contrasts between the large cities and rural Japan.
Day 8 Takayama to Kyoto by train
Day 9 Kyoto
Day 10 Kyoto excursion by train to Nara and visit Fushimi Inari Shrine
Day 11 Kyoto
From Takayama we go further by train to Kyoto. For more than 1,000 years, Kyoto was the residence of the emperor and thus the capital of Japan. The city has still more than 2,000 temples, the most notable in the area are around the station, such as the large wooden Higashi-Honganji and Toji Temple built in 796. The Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) is also a good example of the magnificent temple architecture.
In addition to the many famous historic buildings and temples, Kyoto still has plenty of undiscovered scenic spots. In the area around the Kiyomizu-dera temple you can find small shops, which sell traditional crafts. The gardens around the temples and palaces bear witness to centuries of devotion. Here the Japanese garden design evolved, and magnificent small-scale landscapes were simulated. At the Ryoanji Temple is a rock landscape absent of any green.
During a walk through the old entertainment Gion district you will see many “ochaya" or tea houses where geishas still work. You get the idea that has stood still. A fun way to explore the city is by bike. The Japanese ride their bikes on the sidewalk. From Kyoto we make a day trip to Nara, which in the 8th century, was the capital of Japan. The city is built on the model of Chang-an, the capital of China during the Tang Dynasty. As in Kyoto and Kamakura the modern city is clearly separate from the old monumental part.
Thus, the majority of monuments are located on the outskirts of the city in a beautiful park, which is inhabited by tame deer. In this park is the 160 ft high Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world. The temple houses one of the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world and impressive 23 ft high wooden Nio images. Around the park are even more beautiful ancient temples, some dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries.
You can visit the other side of the park to see the Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha, which is surrounded by 3,000 lanterns. The Shinto temples are very similar to the Buddhist temples. On the path at the entrance of the shrine stand Torii; a traditional Japanese gate that marks the transition from the profane to the sacred.
On the way back from Nara to Kyoto, we visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Along the way you see hundreds of red torii that form a path through the woods. This is a great place to take pictures. On the last day in Kyoto, you can have the possiblity to take the famous Philosopher's Walk in the east of the city. This trail runs along a canal with restaurants, boutiques and craft shops and is a popular hiking spot among the Japanese.
Day 12 Kyoto - Koyasan by train
Day 13 Koyasan - Osaka
We travel by train to Koyasan where the Japanese go to escape the summer heat, but also to the Buddhist temples where they detach from the stress in everyday life. We stay here in a "Shukubo", a lodging in a temple complex. During the dinner, which is included in the price, you get served delicious vegetarian dishes. Again, as with the regular Japanese homes, you swap your shoes for slippers. During our stay, it is possible to attend a Buddhit service in the early morning or at the beginning of the evening. So you get a good impression of the ancient Japanese religious traditions.
Nearby is the sanctuary Okuno-in which more than 11,000 lights illuminate a large hall. You reach the property through a path through a garden full of statues and tombs of powerful families. It is a very special atmosphere. After we travel by train for about two hours to bustling Osaka. As Kyoto is a reminder of the past, Osaka is a city of the present.
A visit to a performance of Bunraku, the puppet theater of Osaka is worthwhile. The town is characterized by a network of canals and the 16th-century Osaka-jo castle. In the evening you stroll through the illuminated shopping are and enjoy the delicious Japanese food in one of the many restaurants.
Day 14 Osaka - Kurashiki - Hiroshima by train
Day 15 Hiroshima, excursion by train and ferry to Miyajima
The ride from Osaka to Hiroshima we make with the Shinkansen, the fast 'bullet train'. We get off at the Kurashiki stop, famous for a scenic area around a channel. There are still plastered rice warehouses (Kura), where the rice farmers stored their stock along the canal flanked by willows. Traders shipped the rice through the excavated channel to the port of the city.
Hiroshima http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima is well known because of the devastation caused by the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. The Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome are memorials to this terrifying event. It is amazing how quickly Hiroshima was rebuilt and transformed into a vibrant, thriving city. A fun way to explore Hiroshima is by one of the many trams that crisscross the city. After World War II tram lines were taking from other towns and transferred to Hiroshima, which the city has become a moving tram museum. We take a trip by train and boat to the island of Miyajima. On this island we visit the UNESCO Itsukushima Jinja Shrine, which seems to float on the waterat high tide. Nearby is the famous red torii, against the backdrop of the island of Mt. Misen. This is perhaps the most photographed monument of Japan.
Day 16 Hiroshima - Kumamoto Train
Day 17 Kumamoto, excursion by bus to Asovulkaan
Day 18 Kumamoto - Nagasaki by train
Day 19 Nagasaki
Day 20 Nagasaki - Train to Fukuoka
Day 21 Fukuoka - Land ends
Day 22 Travel day for most participants
OR - The beginning on September 13, 2015 , Dutch participants fly with KLM and there is one additional hotel night included - Land ends Oct 3, 2015.
Or for trips when Dutch fly with KLM
Day 21 Fukuoka
Day 22 Fukuoka - Land ends
After our visit to Hiroshima we leave Honshu and we travel to the southern island of Kyushu. We spend our first night in the city of Kumamoto, dominated by a huge castle from the 17th century. From Kumamoto we make a trip to the nature setting of Aso volcano, one of the largest craters in the world, at an altitude of almost 5249 ft. New volcanoes have already formed in this immense crater. Depending on the wind and the toxic fumes that rise regularly from the crater, it is possible to walk around the crater.
Furthermore, there are several hiking trails through the nature reserve. By train we travel to Nagasaki, where the Japanese first came in contact with the western world.
For centuries Nagasaki was the only link between Japan and the rest of the world. Off the coast of Nagasaki were two artificial islands: one was the destination of the traders from China and the other for those from the West. In the mid-16th century the Portuguese arrived, who were exiled by the shogun in 1614, because he considered the proselytizing of the Jesuits to be dangerous. Contacts with the West were from that time through trade with the Dutch. There was a small and unique trade contact between Japan and the rest of the world, through the Dutch on the small island of Dejima.
The Dutch managed to maintain this special position until 1854. As the country grew, this island ceased to be an important harbor, but it has become one with the centers of the city. In this part of the city, the historical ties with the Netherlands are reflected in works of art and monuments. In the museum you can see objects and prints, which are made by Japanese artists at the time that the Dutch lived on Dejima.
On August 9, 1945 Nagasaki was hit by an atomic bomb, almost twice as strong as that of Hiroshima. After the destruction of at least 35% of the city, Nagasaki became a vibrant modern port. In the center, however, on the Temple Row, are found a large number of ancient temples.
It is possible to take an optional excursion from Nagasaki to the theme park Huis Ten Bosch, the Japanese version of the 'Netherlands' where numerous famous old Dutch buildings are reconstructed in real size. Besides bridges, dikes and canals, there are plenty of modern ecological services provided, including waste disposal and heating. Finally, we stay in Fukuoka.
In the cozy Fukuoka you can dine at the lovely outdoor waterfront establishments or at one of the many food stalls that can be found on the Tenjin-Island. Here you are shoulder to shoulder with the locals. If you want some more luxury, then you can go to Canel City Hakata, a shopping mall with over 250 shops, cafes and restaurants where a real canal runs through the middle.
Dates and prices
Departure dates 2019
|Land Begins||Land Ends||Price||Availability|
|Jul-28-19||$4,540||1 seats||book now >|
|Aug-15-19||$4,420||6 seats||book now >|
|Aug-24-19||$4,175||8 seats||book now >|
|Sep-07-19||$4,175||10 seats||book now >|
|Oct-11-19||$4,420||7 seats||book now >|
|Oct-19-19||$4,420||8 seats||book now >|
|Oct-25-19||$4,420||5 seats||book now >|
|Nov-08-19||$4,295||8 seats||book now >|
|Oct-27-19||Nov-15-19||$4,115||14 seats||book now >|
|Nov-03-19||Nov-23-19||$4,115||16 seats||book now >|
Departure dates 2020
|Land Begins||Land Ends||Price||Availability|
|Mar-15-20||Apr-04-20||$4,115||18 seats||book now >|
|Mar-22-20||Apr-11-20||$4,115||20 seats||book now >|
|Mar-27-20||Apr-16-20||$4,175||15 seats||book now >|
|Mar-29-20||Apr-18-20||$4,175||18 seats||book now >|
|Apr-05-20||Apr-25-20||$4,175||17 seats||book now >|
|Apr-12-20||May-02-20||$4,175||20 seats||book now >|
|Apr-19-20||May-09-20||$4,175||20 seats||book now >|
|Apr-26-20||May-16-20||$4,175||20 seats||book now >|
|May-03-20||May-23-20||$4,175||18 seats||book now >|
|May-08-20||May-28-20||$4,175||20 seats||book now >|
|May-17-20||Jun-06-20||$4,115||20 seats||book now >|
|May-24-20||Jun-13-20||$4,115||20 seats||book now >|
|Jun-14-20||Jul-04-20||$4,115||20 seats||book now >|
|Jun-28-20||Jul-18-20||$4,115||20 seats||book now >|
Conditions "Guaranteed leave"
Land program beginning and ending at hotel, transport by bus and train, hotel accommodation, dinner and breakfast in Koyasan, excursions according to program, Dutch guide (speaks Dutch & English).
Excluded in our Japan tour package: included in our Japan tour package: land package (begins & ends at hotel), lodgings, transport by bus and train, hotel accommodation, dinner and breakfast in Koyasan, excursions according to program, Dutch tour guide.
Group trip dates denoted with the green "G" (Most Likely to GO)
The dates you see listed in our group tours that are marked with a green "G" are MOST LIKELY TO GO based on this trip's past booking history, for a similar date. Before booking your flights it is important that you check with us to see if the group has enough participants for the trip to GO. However, Djoser is not responsible for costs for flight changes or cancellations if a trip must be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment, which might include a booking cancellation after the trip has been deemed to have sufficient bookings for a "GO".
Costs are listed in U.S. Dollars
Single room from: $475
Estimated Out of Pocket Costs Weekly (for meals, excursions and extra not listed as included) $420
|Extension hotel city #1||TOKYO|
|Double room - total from||$170|
|Single room from||$125|
|Extension hotel city #2|
|Double room total from|
|Single room from|
- Deposit is due upon booking to hold your place
- 20% of total costs due (or $500 minimum)
- Payments by charge card or check accepted
- Balance is due 60 days prior to departure date.
Consulate List: http://www.state.gov/misc/list/index.htm
Passport/Visa Expeditor: TRAVISA http://www.travisa.com/
Currency Conversion Cheat Sheet : http://www.oanda.com/currency/travel-exchange-rates
Accommodations & Meals
Accommodations - The hotels we stay during our Japan tour are comfortable tourist class hotels that are centrally located. They feature all modern amenities and have a private bathroom. The staff is extremely service-oriented as per Japanese tradition. In Koyasan we stay in a "Shukubo" a Buddhist temple where monks prepare our meals (dinner and breakfast included). Here you sleep on a futon (thin mattress) on the 'tatami' (thick, quality floor mats of woven rice straw). In Takayama we sometimes sleep in a traditional ryokan. In this traditional Japanese accommodation rooms are not en suite, but a 'ofuro (shower, hot tub and toilet for common use) located in the the corridor. The Japanese are very fond of hygiene, so do not forget the flip flops for trips to the bath facilities.
Some examples of our usual hotels (subject to change)
|Tokyo||Hotel Jal City Tamachi|
|Matsumoto||Matsumoto Tokyu Inn|
|Takayama||Hida Hotel Plaza|
|Kyoto||Ibis Styles Kyoto Station|
|Osaka||Hotel Plaza Osaka|
|Kumamoto||Route Inn Kumamoto|
|Nagasaki||Best Western Premier Hotel|
|Fukuoka||Hakata Miyako Hotel|
Single room - Djoser is single friendly! If you are traveling solo, we will match you with a same-sex roommate. If we cannot match you, there will be no additional room charge. For a reasonable charge, you may request single accommodations, subject to availability. Just indicate this preference on your booking form. You will find pricing for single accommodations on "Dates & Prices" page.
Hotel extensions - It is always great to be well rested when you begin a journey such as this. If you would like to book an extension hotel night upon arrival in the city where the land program begins, let us know on your booking form. You will find the prices for extension nights listed on the "Dates & Prices" page.
Meals - During our Japan tour, you can decide where, with whom and what you want to eat. Of course you can eat with the group, but you are free to dine on your own. The meals are therefore not included in the trip (except dinner and breakfast in Koyasan). The tour guide will give you tips for a good restaurant, café or suggestions and for entertainment. Japan is a paradise fine food lovers. The variety is huge. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe have over 500 restaurants with one or more Michelin stars. The food in the less upscale restaurants is of course delicious and high quality, and very affordable! Tokyo alone has more than 160,000 eateries!
If you like fish, you'll be happy in Japan. Usually you get a huge bowl, richly filled with all kinds of delicacies from the ocean. You will be surprised by the number of Japanese sushi bars with delicious fresh sushi and sashimi. Also in many big stores you can get your delicious fresh sushi or a complete Bento bo the typical Japanese lunch box with small boxes with different dishes. Other classic dishes are Shabu-shabu; two bowls with vegetables and meat that you cook yourself at the table in hot oil and Tempura dishes;breaded and fried vegetables and shrimp. You will also come across yakitori; chicken on a skewer marinated in a sweet sauce. You can also find other delicious dishes such as Udon, Ramen, Tonkatsu, Kobe steak, Sukiyaki, Okonomiyaki etc. etc. The Japanese cuisine is one of the most diverse in the world. With almost every meal free green tea and water are provided. There are also plenty of western style restaurants to choose from. including pizza, pasta, burgers or French cuisine.
Flights & Transportation
Booking your international flight - We provide the land package and transportation within the program as described. We do not arrange international flights from or to the United States or Canada. The land program will begin approximately two hours after the arrival of the Netherlands (NL) participants who will be arrive from Amsterdam. The land program will end about 4 hours prior to their scheduled departure time, which allows for time to get to the airport. The proposed flights for the Dutch participants and the land beginning and end times are listed in this section. They are subject to change based on flight delays or changes. We will keep you posted of any flight changes that we are aware of prior to the trip. When scheduling your flights, keep the following times in mind:
Dutch participants' proposed flights: (subject to change)
Airline: Cathay Pacific
NL participants arrive: Tokyo 14:05 PM
NL participants depart: Fukuoka 16:35 PM
Before you book your flight - To avoid flight change or cancellation costs get email confirmation from our office that the trip has enough participants to be a “GO”.
Verify the spelling of your name-within 24 hours - When you book your flights, double check your flight records to confirm that your name is spelled on your ticket exactly as it appears on your passport. Some companies (for example, ORBITZ) will only allow a 24 hour window to correct any errors without penalty. You may incur heavy fees for changes, forfeiture of your flight ticket, or even worse, you could be denied entry to a border upon arrival.
Send us a copy of your flight itinerary - We will forward to the tour leader so they will know when to expect you at the hotel and when you will be departing.
Keep in mind hotel extensions - If the Dutch travelers arrive early in the morning, we recommend that you arrange to fly in the day or night before so you will be meet the group. Some trips involve an immediate transfer from airport to the next town so make sure you will arrive before the others so you don’t miss the first meeting or transfer to the next location. We can arrange an extension hotel night for you. Prices for hotel extensions can be found in the "Dates & Prices" section
If the Dutch participants arrive in the late evening - Should they arrive very late in the evening, the group will have their first meeting in the morning in the hotel lobby. You can check in earlier and relax or explore on your own.
Airport transfer to/from hotel – not Included - If you will be arriving and or departing on the same flight as the Dutch travelers let us know. Then you can join them on the bus for the group transfer at no additional charge. Notify us in advance so we can alert the tour leader. If you schedule your flight at the same time as theirs, or later, you can join them on the group transfer to the airport at no additional charge. Otherwise, you can take an authorized taxi to the first hotel on the list we have provided for you. Private airport transfers can be very costly . If your flight is delayed, they are difficult to reschedule or cancel. With a taxi, you are not charged for waiting time or cancellations.
Useful Links for booking your flights
Local transportation - In Japan we travel mostly by train. These time-saving trains leave more time for the many highlights that Japan has to offer. The train in Japan is very punctual and runs normally to the exact second. Traveling with the Japanese is a cultural experience in itself. What is striking is that the train is not wired and you find many sleeping passengers. At various routes we use the most modern and fast Shinkansen bullet train. This very comfortable trains have excellent service on board and the beautiful cars offer ample opportunity to view the beautiful and varied region. Two legs will be covered by bus, between Tokyo and Matsumoto and between Matsumoto and Takayama we travel by train or bus to the hotel (a short distance from the station). Between Hiroshima and the island of Miyajima we travel by ferry. On the route to and from Koyasan is by train, over a short distance. We also take a bus and a funicular.
Luggage transport during three routes on this trip, you use the luggage transport system "takkyubin" . This is a widely used system in Japan, where the large luggage is sent ahead of the group.
A summary of all trip costs can be found on our "Dates & Prices" page. Prices may fluctuate throughout the year depending on currency exchange, gas costs, etc.
Included in price of our Japan tour package
- Land package (begins & ends at hotel)
- International group - all ages
- Tour leader (logistics coordinator, not a lecturer), speaks Dutch & English
- Time-saving transport 'bullet train' Shinkansen train and
- Guide assistance (speaks Dutch & English)
- Dinner and breakfast in Koyasan
- Rooms with private bath
- Overnight in a "Shukubo" a Buddhist temple
- Tour temple and beach city Kamakura
- Tour Matsumoto castle from the 16th century
- Nara excursion with ao the largest wooden building in the world
- Visit Fushimi Inari temple with hundreds of red torii
- Tour Aso volcano, the largest crater in the world
- Miyajima excursion with UNESCO Itsukushima Shrin
- Deposit is due upon booking to hold your place, 20% of minimum land price or minimum of $500 (see Prices & Dates page for amount)
- Payments by charge card or check are accepted
- Balance is due 60 days prior to departure date
While you are traveling
In your pre-trip information we will send you more information about money matters such as information about local currencies, charge cards, ATM’s, currency exchange, etc.
|Local Currency :||Yen|
|Cash accepted:||Yen. Easy exchange at hotels|
|Credit Cards:||Accepted most places|
Tipping - It is customary to tip for services rendered. The tour leader will organize a tip jar at the beginning of the trip, from which tips to drivers, guides, hotel staff are paid. Depending on the size of the group, each participant will be asked to contribute $40 to $50. This does not include a tip for your tour leader. Tipping the tour leader is appreciated and the amount up to your discretion.
** You will find a list of all trip costs in the "Dates & Prices" section, including your estimated out of pocket costs.
Freedom and choice are important elements of a Djoser trip. In addition to scheduled group activities, wherever possible, you may decide which attractions you wish to visit, and with whom. Unless otherwise indicated, entrance fees are not included in the price, so you have the freedom to make your own choices. One person may prefer to stroll through the market in search of bargains, while someone else may want to relax by the pool, go to a museum, or take a bike ride. Join the guide or break off with others in the group to explore on foot or with the local transport. Some attractions should not be missed, or they are not easily accessible, or are en route to our next overnight location and are therefore built into the program. In the "Dates & Prices" section you will find the estimated out-of-pocket, weekly expenses that have calculated in typical entry fees in addition to meals and other costs.
During our Japan group tour, the following excursions are included in the program:
- From Tokyo we make a day trip to Kamakura, in the 13th century, the imperial capital of Japan. In Kamakura are beautiful temples in the wooded hills
- Visit to the Daio wasabi farm, the largest wasabi farm in Japan
- We make a trip to Nara, a former capital of Japan. Here you will find the Todai-ji, the largest wooden building in the world. On the way we stop at the special Fushimi Inari temple with hundreds of red torii
- By boat we go from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island where we will visit the UNESCO Itsukushima Shrine.
- From Kumamoto we make an excursion to the impressive Mount Aso, one of the largest volcanoes in the world.
On the way of our Japan tour, our bus makes a stop where you will need to pay entry fees:
- In Tokyo there are too many options to mention but two (free) sights definitely worth visiting, Tsukiji Fish Market and the Meiji Shrine
- Matsumoto you can visit the unique black castle. One of the few original castles from the 16th century.
- The open-air Hida no Sato is on the outskirts of Takayama and is well worth a visit. You will find original wooden houses and workshops from the area
- In Kyoto is a special abundance of temples and gardens of which you some, such as the Gold and Silver temple, must surely be visited.
- In Hiroshima a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum should not be missed
- The artificial island of Dejima in Nagasaki was long the only place where there was contact between Japanese and foreigners. The island is now engulfed by the city, but can be visited as a museum.
There are many other possible excursions. From Tokyo, you can make a day trip to Nikko, one of the most beautiful temple cities in Japan. Visiting a Noh or Kabuki performance is also among the possibilities. Kyoto is located between the mountains, but the city itself is largely flat. This allows you to discover the city by bike. Renting a bike costs less than $14, - per day.From Nagasaki, a theme park which is a faithful replica of a Dutch town with all kinds of Dutch buildings recreated.
When you book a trip we will provide you with more details about necessary documents. Passports should be current and valid for at least 6 months beyond your departure date. If a visa is required, you may need extra pages in your passport for your stamps. Check all visa requirements carefully and leave yourself plenty of time to send and receive documents before your trip.
Travel documents needed
Japan tourist visa needed - NO Consulate link
Visa expeditor - If you are anxious about the visa process, or if you are short of time, you can pay an additional fee for an expediting service. They will look over your paperwork and should be able to guaranty a swift return of your visa or passport. We can recommend TRAVISA.
Health Issues & Insurance
Health - Check for the Center for Disease Control – Travelers information for recommendations. Keep in mind that they may recommend an inoculation or medication such as malaria pills, which may be necessary for one specific part of a country but not another, or for a particular season. Shots are expensive. Make sure to get only what is needed. We recommend asking your doctor for a prescription to combat a more serious intestinal disorder.
When you book a trip we will provide you with information regarding the usual recommendations for the region we will visit. You will be responsible to check with your travel clinic or physician to review your plans and to find out the most up-to-date recommendations and needs for your particular situation. Plan to get your inoculations four to six weeks in advance of your trip. Some offices may need to preorder the medicines so call in advance.It is wise to pay careful attention to what you eat. Also, we recommend you bring medicines such as pain-killer and for remedy for intestinal disorders (such as IMMODIUM). Bring a small first aid kit. Tweezers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, insect repellent , salt rehydration tablets. The tour leader will have a first aid kit.
Climate and altitude changes can sometimes cause illness. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Bottled water is readily available. Excessive alcohol intake contributes to dehydration and makes you more vulnerable to illness. Make sure that you get plenty of rest and enough food and drink during the trip.
Usual Vaccinations - For a tour of Japan, you do not need vaccinations.
The hygienic conditions are similar to those in the States and so there is no increased risk of illness. Of course, it is wise to keep in your own bag a little "travel pharmacy 'with some bandages, aspirin, betadine / iodine, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, etc. pack
Insurance - For piece of mind, we recommend that you procure travel insurance. In the event of an illness or injury, an emergency evacuation can be incredibly expensive and you would want access to the best possible facility. Also, lost baggage or missed flights can mean added expenses, Even events at home may prevent you from taking a trip, such as a lost job or ailing family member. It is important to get travel insurance immediately after booking. Most companies have a brief window (within 10 days of booking) for coverage for a preexisting condition. You will be asked to provide us with travel insurance contact information before your departure.
You are free to choose your own provider. Over the years, we have recommended Travelex. They offer a variety of plans and most importantly, they are responsive. Should you choose to go with Travelex, you will contact them directly and the cost of your coverage will depend on the plan you choose. The cost will be based over the total cost of your trip and flights, and the amount is also subject to your age. Ask about the TRAVEL PLUS plan and the more economical TRAVEL LITE plan. * Arrange for insurance immediately after booking your trip so that you are covered for any pre-existing situation. TRAVELEX 1-800-228-9792
Djoser travelers are active, enthusiastic travelers of all ages. Join an international group with travelers from the Netherlands, Belgium and North America, who will be the minority group on these trips. Most of our trips range from a minimum of eight participants to a maximum of 20 or 22. You will find couple and singles on our trips. Feel free to call us if you wish to know the demographic make-up of a particular trips (number of singles and age range).
Minimum group size: 8
Maximum group size: 20
What to expect when traveling with an international group - Djoser, Inc. (the United States office) has been a Japan tour operator for several years. Djoser, B.V. (the Netherlands office) has been a Japan tour operator for over 25 years. So together we bring vast experience. Most of our trips are arranged in cooperation with Djoser, B.V. in the Netherlands. Because they cater to the voracious travel appetites of the Dutch, we can offer a vast number of programs around the world with hard-to-find itineraries, with numerous departure dates.
On our Japan tour, you will travel with an international group, with most participants from Holland and Belgium. The international make-up of our groups is the attraction for many regular Djoser travelers and adds another cultural element to the trip. Typically, there are only one to five North Americans per group. You will find that almost all of your fellow travelers have an excellent command of English and most are very willing to socialize. It’s a great idea to extend an invitation to a few travel mates for coffee or a drink early in the trip. They will appreciate your effort and this is a great way to break the ice. It will be easier for them to test out their English skills in a quiet, one-on-one setting. Group members tend to warm up to one another in a day or two. As with every tour group, compatibility has most to do with individual personalities.
The Dutch are experienced and hearty travelers. We attract travelers of all ages and we enjoy the mix! You will find our participants welcome opportunities for independent explorations in addition to group activities. No matter their age, Djoser travelers expect, and are up to lots of walking, hiking, biking, or whatever comes our way. The Dutch and Belgian travelers will fly as a group from Amsterdam. You will meet the group and tour leader at the hotel where you will begin the land program with the group.
Tour Leaders & Support Staff
Our trips are guided by an experienced Dutch guide who speaks Dutch and English. He or she will be responsible for the organizational and technical aspects of the trip. He/she coordinates with the driver, hotels, and other vendors along the way. The tour leader has extensive travel experience and expertise as well as a comprehensive training.
Our experienced land representatives are situated in the destination country you will visit. We work closely with them and they function as the liaison between our office, the guide, drivers and hotels. They are also available in the case of an emergency and their number will be provided on your emergency contact list.
Climate & Geography
Since Japan, stretchs about 1850 miles from north to south, the climate is dependent on where you are traveling and the time of year. Japan has four seasons and the seasons are similar to those in the U.S.. The temperatures of northern Honshu are similar to those of the northern states, and the temperatures of the South Kyushu Honshu and are similar to those of the Southern states. In late March, early April is the time of the cherry blossoms, a time of reflection and celebration for the Japanese. Scheduling travel to seei the cherry blossoms is difficult to plan because the flowering depends on the temperature and rainfall. The spring months of April and May are the most beautiful; the weather starts to warm up and it is mostly dry. April is the best possible time to see the blossoms. In the autumn from mid-September to mid-November is the best time to travel to Japan. The temperatures are still very pleasant and from mid October the leaves begin to change color already. A magnificent spectacle are the parks and mountains of Japan. The bright red Japanese ash trees are impressive. June, and the beginning of September are rainy. In July and August it is hot and you have to take into account probability of high humidity. During this period, it is still fine to travel if one takes into account the temperature and a few showers.
Our trips are organized with weather conditions in mind. On our website, we will provide you with a weather summary of the region: Check temperature and rainfall for specific cities on your trip, during your month of travel at worldweather.org
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