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  • Monday 9am - 5pm
  • Tuesday 9am - 5pm
  • Wednesday 9am - 5pm
  • Thursday 9am - 5pm
  • Friday 9am - 5pm
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Discover our Japan tours

From the ultramodern cityscape of Tokyo to the ancient temples of Kyoto, our small group tours to Japan will take you on an all-encompassing trip of discovery. Our expert tour leaders will show you the cultural highlights as well as some lesser-known hidden treasures. 

Get into the heart of Japanese culture with a stay in a Buddhist temple and family-run ryokan, observe snow monkey bathing in the hot springs of Jigokudani Onsen and whizz across the countryside on a bullet train to explore the city of Hiroshima. Or, for a Japan tour with a difference, go exploring on two wheels with our Japan cycling trips. Discover the coast of the Noto Peninsula, feel the salty breeze rush past as you pedal along Chirihama Beach and stay in traditional Japanese accommodation with futon mattresses and tatami-mat floors. 

Considering a trip to Japan but new to Explore? We've answered some of the most-asked questions about our small group tours. 

Our most popular Japan tours

Japan Discovery Trip code QJS
Best seller
14 Days Call us for prices
Japan Discovery Trip code JS
Best seller
12 Days From NZ$8450 without flights
Japan Discovery Trip code JPH
8 Days From NZ$5210 without flights
Japan Walking and Trekking Trip code WJP
12 Days From NZ$8150 without flights
Japan Cycling Trip code CJA
13 Days From NZ$9010 without flights

What to expect from the adventure travel experts

There's a reason why 96% of customers say they would book with us again.
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Unforgettable experiences

From big wows to hidden gems, our tours leave you feeling that you've really explored.

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Expert local guides

Chosen for great knowledge of their country, and a passion to make your trip extraordinary.

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Small groups & private trips

Group tours average just 12 people & various private trip options are available too.

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We do the right thing

How we operate sets us apart; our flexible booking policy, loyalty scheme & sustainable approach.

Japan tour highlights

A country of vast contrasts, Japan’s facets offer something for every kind of traveller. Be wowed by the immense skyscrapers and blaring neon lights of always-bustling Tokyo, find serenity in the peaceful gardens of Geisha city Kyoto, look out at the perfectly conical tip of Mount Fuji, and unwind in the warm waters of a traditional hot spring.

From navigating bustling cities to taking time out in sacred temples, wandering around idyllic gardens or sampling the magnificent local dishes, our Japan holidays encompass the country’s most thrilling facets. Take a look at some of our favourite highlights of Japan:


Tokyo is a fabulous city for total cultural immersion: you may spend the morning strolling along the banks of the Sumida River or museum hopping, and in the afternoon spotting sumo wrestlers and shopping for swords and every flavour of chocolate bar under the sun. At night the city comes alive – after dark is when you’ll discover just how busy and cosmopolitan the city is. More than 25% of Japan’s total population lives within 50km of Tokyo’s centre. However, dig a little deeper on our Shogun Trail tour and you’ll get to experience the ancient history of this teeming metropolis. Pay a visit to Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji, the Hamarikyu Gardens – a great place for viewing the cherry blossoms in spring – and the Meiji Shrine, for your first sighting of a traditional torii gate.


Next on the list of our favourite places in Japan is the city of Kyoto, vastly different to Tokyo with its peaceful Zen gardens and charming little shops. Kyoto is the city of the elusive Geisha – you may even get to see some of the beautifully-dressed women as you walk along the quaint cobbled streets, nipping in and out of historic tea houses. Our Simply Japan trip includes two days to explore Kyoto, time to walk the path to Fushimi Inari Shrine through the thousands of red torii gates, sample weird and wonderful flavours in Nishiki Food Market, or visit a beautifully manicured bamboo grove. Many trips arrive in Kyoto by the famous bullet train, or Shinkansen, offering another once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Since the catastrophic atomic bombing in 1945 Hiroshima has transformed into a welcoming and thriving city that is well worth a visit. Whilst the poignant memorial in the Peace Memorial Park reminds us of the tragic event, it also inspires with messages of hope that such horrors should never happen again. Another reason to visit is the nearby Miyajima Island, just off the coast of the city, where tame deer roam. As you arrive on the ferry you'll take in the famous view of the floating torii gate. Considered to be one of the most beautiful sights in Japan, these red gates appear to float on the water. Miyajima is included in the itinerary of our Highlights of Japan trip. 

Solo travel in Japan

If you’re looking to travel solo, our Japan holidays are the perfect place to start. Every one of our holidays has been designed to suit solo travellers, and though it depends on the exact tour that you choose, you’ll find that about half of our customers will also be travelling solo. Not only will you get to explore a fantastic new destination, you’ll also get to meet fellow travellers who share the same interests, while we take care of the arrangements.

Best time to go to Japan

Japan is an all-year-round destination. The summer months tend to be hot and humid with a few rain showers, and the winters are cold and crisp with clear blue skies. 

The weather is at its best during the summer season from April to May, but this is also the busiest time to visit Japan and prices are higher. If you want to escape the crowds, book a trip from June to August - it will be hotter and wetter, but you’ll have more space to appreciate Japan’s wondrous sights. 

For a winter getaway with a difference, head to Japan from December to February. The days are usually crisp, cold and clear, and the Japanese Alps will be covered in a blanket of white snow. Travel in February to visit Hokkaido’s snow festival and see snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs of Jigokudani. 

If you want to see Japan’s famous blossom in full bloom, book a trip in spring from late March until mid-April. Or, to see the vibrant Koyo autumn leaves, aim for a trip in the autumn months of October and November. 

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