Japan itinerary North to South

  • Duration : 21 days
  • Locations : Sapporo, Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Takayama, Kyoto, Okayama, Miyajima, Fukuoka, Ishigaki

A 3 week trip to Japan and you feel like touring Japan from North to South?

This organised tour with its optimised itinerary is made for you! Start from the natural island of Hokkaido and descend to Tokyo. After passing by Mount Fuji and the Japanese Alps, discover ancient Kyoto.

Visit the artists' island of Naoshima and the sacred island of Miyajima, off the coast of Hiroshima, and finish by relaxing on the beaches of Okinawa.

20-day itinerary

  • Departure city/Airport : Tokyo (Narita : NRT or Haneda : HND)
  • Sapporo (3 nights)
  • Ferry (1 night)
  • Tokyo (3 nights)
  • Hakone - Mount Fuji (1 night)
  • Takayama (2 nights)
  • Kyoto (4 nights)
  • Okayama (1 night)
  • Miyajima (1 night)
  • Fukuoka (1 night)
  • Ishigaki (3 nights)
  • Return city/Airport : Ishigaki (Ishigaki International Airport : ISG)

Please find below the itinerary details.

Tour length : 20 nights / 21 days (+ 1 day at the beginning if you leave from Europe)

PLEASE NOTE: The departure and end dates shown on this page only apply to your stay in Japan. You must therefore leave Europe the day before the first day of your tour. The date of your return flight and that of your return to Europe are identical due to the time difference.

Example : 

  • Departure from Europe : January 1st
  • Arrival in Tokyo (= the date to be selected in the calendar when booking) : January 2nd
  • Return flight from Ishigaki International Airport ISG / Return to Europe : January 22st

Please note that flights are not included in the price of your tour.

This tour information was last updated on June 3, 2024.

This tour is a summary of all our "long-distance" tours: Hokkaido and the northern Japan, Kyushu: The Southern Route, Tokyo to Okinawa Beaches...

Why this trip to Japan ?

  1. A 3-week tour that allows you to visit the major tourist sites all over Japan!
  2. Travel to Honshu and Tokyo via a comfortable cruise ship
  3. After 3 days in Tokyo, leave for Mount Fuji for an unforgettable dinner and night in a ryokan
  4. Take a nature stop in the Japanese Alps: Takayama and Shirakawa-go
  5. Head for Kyoto by high-speed Shinkansen : guided tour of the Gion district awaits you
  6. In Kyoto, a travel angel will welcome you to a traditional Japan Experience house
  7. Reach Hiroshima and the sacred island of Miyajima, before arriving on the island of Kyushu
  8. The Okinawa archipelago will have you seduced by its natural beauty and white sandy beaches
  9. Transport included: Japan Rail Pass, Hakone Free Pass, flight to Okinawa, ferry
  10. Enjoy unlimited internet access thanks to your pocket Wi-Fi
  11. If needed, contact our bilingual Japanese/English-speaking assistance team available 7/7
  12. A number of guided days or other optional activities are available
  13. Benefit from the expertise of Japan Experience, European leading travel agency in Japan.

Your trip in detail


  • Day 1 : Wake up in Sapporo 札幌

    Arrival at Sapporo Airport (New Chitose Airport CTS). 
    Welcome to Japan! 日本へようこそ!

    Upon arrival of your flight at New Chitose Airport, a private taxi will drive you directly to your hotel (see details).

    Check-in at Hotel Unwind or same category hotel 3*. Please note that your documents (Japan Rail Pass voucher, among others) and your pocket WiFi will be sent to your hotel.

    Spend your first evening strolling through the 4500 restaurants and bars of the lively Susukino district!

  • Day 2 : The North's big city

    Huddled under a blanket of snow for most of the year, the city of Sapporo still bears the traces of its colonial past.
    Don't miss:
    - Ôdôri Park, a huge green border that stretches between the buildings and divides the city in two
    - The Sapporo Beer Museum, created in Japan's first brewery (dinner available)
    - The Clock Tower, Television Tower and Three-Eight Tower
    - Nijô Seafood Market
    - The former seat of government and its botanical garden

    Second night in your hotel in Sapporo.

  • Day 3 : A glimpse of Hokkaido

    For this second day in Sapporo, you have three options:
    - Continue at your own pace to explore Sapporo's sights from your hotel.

    - Explore the city's surroundings by public transport: Moerenuma Park, designed by the famous designer Isamu Noguchi or the impressive Takino Cemetery, where the architect Tadao Andô has installed monumental statues and a 13 meters high Buddha Hill covered with lavender. As both sites are located away from the city, you should allow for about 1 hour of public transport to get to each site.

    - Rent a car to explore the area around Sapporo, for example the Shikotsu-Toya Volcanic Park. Car rental is optional on this tour.

    Third and final night in your hotel in Sapporo.

  • Day 4 : The sea air

    For the first valid day of your Japan Rail Pass, we advise you to go to the Sea of Japan with Russia in the distance:
    - Otaru, a charming port city (45 min by JR train)
    - And 20 minutes further by JR train, Nikka whisky distillery, the oldest in Japan: selected for its climatic similarity with Scotland

    In the middle of the afternoon, go to the Otaru ferry terminal, 2km from the city centre, and board a cruise ship (see details below). After a night cradled by the waves. Along the Japanese coast of Tohoku, you will spot Niigata the next morning! Possibility of breakfast and/or lunch on board the cruise ship (payment on site).

  • Day 5 : The dynamic port on the Sea of Japan

    After arriving in Niigata harbour at around 9am, you will be able to go to the city centre located 3km away. We advise you to spend the morning in this city, in this "reverse Japan" off the beaten path, by strolling along the banks of the Shinano-gawa river or in the urban park Hakusan

    For lunch, head to one of the many bars and restaurants to sample some of Japan's most famous rice and sake! In the afternoon, travel to Tokyo (2 hours by direct shinkansen, with departures every 30 minutes, included in your package).

    Not tempted by the boat trip? As an option, you can select the Sapporo -> Tokyo day trip by shinkansen and train (1 change, about 8 hours, included in your Japan Rail Pass).

    Check-in at Hotel OMO3 Tokyo Akasaka by Hoshino Resorts or same category hotel 3* (rooms available from 3:00pm).

  • Day 6 : First steps in the capital

    We recommend that you start your visit to Tokyo slowly by visiting the following districts:
    - Harajuku, the avant-garde district 
    - Meiji Jingû, the imperial sanctuary 
    - Takeshita-Dôri, a must-see street in the capital 
    - Omotesandô, Tokyo's Champs-Élysées 
    - Shibuya and its impressive crossroads

    One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can also accompany you to visit the classic sights of Tokyo (optional, from 9am to 5pm)

  • Day 7 : The big loop

    For this second day of sightseeing in Tokyo, we recommend the following "loop".

    Start at Tokyo Central Station, with its original architecture, then head off to visit:
    - Ginza, Tokyo's chic district
    - Tsukiji, the small outdoor food market
    - Hama-rikyû, the Japanese garden between Tokyo's buildings
    - Asakusa, a traditional district and place of pilgrimage, accessible by cruise on the Sumida river
    - Sensô-ji, the oldest Buddhist temple in the Japanese capital
    - Tokyo Sky Tree, 643 metres high, with its panoramic view of Tokyo at sunset

    Between Hama-rikyû Garden and Asakusa, why not enjoy a cruise on the Sumida River ?

  • Day 8 : On the way to visit the emblem of Japan: Mount Fuji!

    In the morning, send your luggage to your hotel in Takayama (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) so that you can travel light for your night in Hakone.

    Leave for Hakone by train (about 1h from Shinjuku station, 1 change, included in your Hakone Free Pass). It is also possible to reach the region via Shinkansen with your JR Pass. Transportation details in your travel diary.

    You will be charmed by the magnificent scenery of this spa resort, Lake Ashi and its view of Mount Fuji (in good weather!). Not forgetting the volcanic site of Owakudani, accessible by cable car.

    If you wish to be accompanied for this day, one of our English-speaking guides will reveal all the secrets of the Mount Fuji region.

    Check-in at your ryokan. At night at the ryokan, you will be treated to a tasty traditional Japanese dinner before retiring to your tatami room.

  • Day 9 : The charm of the Japanese mountains

    Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryokan.

    Head to Takayama (approx. 4h30, 1 transfer, included in your package). Once arrived, check into your 3* hotel or equivalent, located in the heart of the capital of the Japanese Alps.

    Enjoy the charms of Takayama  at your own pace, its century-old homes, temples and museums.

    We recommend you to visit:
    - The traditional Kusakabe and Yoshijima houses ;
    - The Yatai Kaikan Exhibition Hall, where old religious festival "matsuri" floats are on display ;
    - The picturesque Shôwa-kan, museum on the 1940s to 1970s ;
    - The old Sannomachi shopping district ;
    - The Fuji Folk Art Museum.

  • Day 10 : Rural & Mountain

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    For today, we propose a day trip to Shirakawago! Board a convenient bus ride (approximately 50 minutes, optional) and immerse yourself in this charming village nestled in the Japanese Alps. Stroll through the village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at the traditional gassho-style farmhouses with their iconic thatched roofs. 

    Consider stepping inside a minka, a traditional Japanese house, to get a glimpse into the local way of life. For those seeking spiritual serenity, a visit to the Myôzen-ji temple, the village's Zen temple, is a must.

    In the middle of the afternoon, head back to Takayama by the same bus. You can also choose to stay in Takayama.

    Second night in your hotel in Takayama.

  • Day 11 : A short trip to Kanazawa or Nagoya

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    On this day, go to Kyoto to meet your Travel Angel and check into your Japan Experience house. Preferably before 8pm. Two routes are available, all covered by your Japan Rail Pass: one by Nagoya, the other by Kanazawa, on the Sea of Japan. Don't hesitate to have your luggage sent the day before so that you can travel light.

    Once arrived, you can settle into your traditional Japan Experience house.

  • Day 12 : First steps in the old capital

    We advise you to start your visit to Kyoto slowly by visiting the city centre and the Gion district:
    - Kiyomizu-Dera, the impressive water temple 
    - The historic lanes of Sannen-zaka & Ninnen-zaka 
    - Kôdai-ji, Kyoto's temple of maple trees and bamboo
    - Nijô Castle, former residence of the shogun
    - Nishiki, Kyoto's culinary market

    Finish your day with a stroll through the Gion district and enjoy the sunset.
    Meet your guide at 7 p.m. to start your evening walk around Gion, Kyoto's historic district.
    More details on the exact day and meeting point can be found in your travel guide.

    At the end of this 1h30 walk, your guide will be able to recommend the best places to eat dinner!
    Please note that it is strictly forbidden to take pictures in the historic district of Gion.

  • Day 13 : Gold and Silver Treasures

    For your second day in Kyoto, we recommend the following itinerary:
    - The Zen garden of Ryôan-ji 
    - Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion
    - Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
    - The enchanting Philosopher's Path 
    - Nanzen-ji temple

    One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can accompany you on a tour of these iconic sites (available as an option, from 9am to 5pm).

  • Day 14 : Between temples and deer

    For the last day in Kyoto and its surroundings, we recommend taking the 50 minute journey to Nara, included in your package.

    Visit Nara, Japan's first fixed capital in the 8th century and discover:
    - The Kasuga-taisha Shinto shrine and its thousands of lanterns 
    - Tôdai-ji, with its great bronze Buddha and the imposing Nan-Daimon gate 
    - Kôfuku-ji temple and its delightful pagoda

    Return to Kyoto and stop to see the sunset at the Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto's immense shrine of 10,000 torii.

    If you wish to be accompanied on this day, one of our English-speaking guides will reveal all the secrets of Japan's first capital (optional).

    Final night in your traditional Kyoto house.

  • Day 15 : A crossroads between two islands

    Head to Okayama by shinkansen (about 1h30, included in your package). Check into your hotel located between the station and the castle.

    We advise you to head out early to explore the castle and its magnificent Kôraku-en park, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, before leaving in the middle of the afternoon for the romantic town of Kurashiki, a 17-minute train ride from Okayama (included in your package).

    Kurashiki, an old commercial metropolis lined with canals will certainly seduce you :
    - Bikan, a district with typical architecture ; 
    - The Ohara Museum, keeper of paintings by Monet, Matisse, Renoir, among others ;
    - The Museum of Popular Arts dedicated to regional history.

    There are two other options for this day: a stop at Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, between Kyoto and Okayama, or a visit to the artists' island of Naoshima (but you will have to get up early!).

    Overnight stay in Okayama.

  • Day 16 : The Sacred Island

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    In the morning, send your luggage to your hotel in Fukuoka (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) so that you can travel light for your night in Miyajima.

    Take the shinkansen to Miyajima (about 1 hour 15, 1 change) then then boat (20 minutes), both included in your package.

    Reach your ryokan near the island's ferry terminal. The time to explore the island has come ! Its Itsukushima-jinja shrine and the great Ôtorii gate built into the sea are definitely a must-see.

    Take the cable car up to Mount Misen and then descend on foot. A breathtaking view of Hiroshima Bay awaits you!

    At the ryôkan, you will be treated to a tasty traditional Japanese dinner before retiring to your tatami room.

  • Day 17 : Make way for history

    Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryokan.

    In the morning, make a brief stop in Hiroshima (30 minutes by train from Miyajimaguchi Ferry Station, with Suica) and visit the Peace Park and its memorial.

    From Hiroshima, head to the island of Kyushu and its capital, Fukuoka, just 1 hour away by shinkansen (included in your package).

    Arrive in the centre of the vibrant city of Fukuoka and check into your hotel located near the central station.

    With its 2000 years of history, the capital of Kyushu has always been the gateway to Asia (Korea and China) and Western culture (Portugal and its Jesuits, Holland). Another Japan, further away from Tokyo, awaits you. 

    Capital of a booming region, Fukuoka is now one of the most dynamic cities in Japan with its many high-tech companies and the hosting of a global event : the Rugby World Cup in October 2019.

    Visit the lively Nakasu and Tenjin districts and their hundreds of delicious and welcoming open-air restaurants at low prices "yatai". A great way to spend one final evening!

  • Day 18 : The capital of Kyushu

    In the morning, be sure to check out Fukuoka's picturesque little surprises, such as Shôfuku-ji temple, the oldest Zen temple in Japan, or the Asian Art Museum.

    At midday, transfer to Fukuoka International Airport (Japan's 4th largest airport, located in the heart of the city) in 5 minutes by metro from Hakata Central Station, see details below.

    Flight to Ishigaki International Airport (direct (2h20) or 1 stopover (3h20). Arrival in the middle of the afternoon in Ishigaki, transfer by airport bus (€ 4, to be paid to the driver) to the city.

    Settle in your 3* hotel in the heart of the seaside town of Ishigaki.

  • Day 19 : Beach umbrellas and coconut trees

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Ishigaki boasts pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and diving. Unwind on the shore or plunge into the vibrant underwater world.

    Discuss a variety of exhilarating activities with your hotel upon arrival. Choose from guided diving adventures with English-speaking instructors, thrilling snorkeling excursions, and more!

    Savor Ishigaki's renowned cuisine, a delicious blend of fresh island flavours. And when the sun sets, explore the island's charming nightlife scene.

  • Day 20 : A lovely village

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Wrap up your Japanese adventure with a trip to Taketomi Island, a paradise just a 20-minute ferry ride from Ishigaki (ferries run every 15 minutes with 5 ferries per hour, tickets included).

    Taketomi is a pedestrian and bicycle haven. Explore charming lanes and hidden corners on foot, or rent a bike (no need to book in advance) for a breezy adventure.

    As night falls, witness a breathtaking phenomenon – the "Hoshizuna" starry sand. These bioluminescent wonders twinkle on the beach, creating a truly magical experience unique to Taketomi.

  • Day 21 : Sayonara, and see you next time!

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Transfer back to Ishigaki International Airport : 20-minute taxi ride or airport shuttle bus (5€, to be paid on the spot to the driver, 2 buses per hour).

    Return flight to Europe, North America, Australia, with changes in Tokyo, Fukuoka or major Asian cities like Hong Kong or Taipei.


    Included in your self-guided tour

  • Accommodation

    - 3 nights in a 3* hotel in Sapporo

    - 1 night on board the ferry (from Sapporo to Niigata)

    - 3 nights in a 3* hotel in Tokyo

    - 1 night in a 3* ryokan in Hakone, traditional half-board

    - 2 nights in a 3* hotel in Takayama 

    - 4 nights in a traditional Kyoto house 

    - 1 night in a 3* hotel in Okayama

    - 1 night in a 3* ryokan in Miyajima (on or opposite the island), traditional half-board

    - 1 night in a 3* hotel in Fukuoka

    - 1 night in a 3* hotel in Ishigaki

    The basic rate includes a twin room for two people.

  • Transport

    - Private airport transfer to Sapporo CTS

    - Prepaid public transport card

    - Hakone Free pass 2 days

    - Japan Rail Pass 14 days

    - Domestic flight from Fukuoka > to Ishigaki

  • Experiences and meals

    - Welcome to Kyoto by a Travel Angel

    - Traditional dinner and breakfast included at the ryôkan in Hakone and Miyajima

    - The breakfasts in Takayama, Okayama and Ishigaki

    - Night guided tour of Gion, Kyoto

  • Additional services

    - Unlimited internet access with Pocket WiFi

    - Complete digital travel guide sent before your departure

    - Luggage transfer between your hotels in Tokyo  > Takayama and Okayama > Fukuoka

    - Telephone assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in English and Japanese bilingual. The number will be given to you in your travel pack. This phone number is valid for telephone calls and also for WhatsApp.

  • Not included in the price of your trip

    - Flights Europe <> Japan

    - Optional insurance policies

    - Personal expenses including meals (breakfasts optional)

    - Public transport when all 3 cards are exhausted (see details)

    - Anything not included in the "included in your tour" section

More about your trip

Your tour :

  • The prices displayed on this page may vary according to the exchange rate of the Japanese ¥.
  • Unfortunately, this tour is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
  • Children and babies accepted. From 3 to 11 years old a child rate is offered. In each accommodation, a standard adult bed will be offered to them, and a standard seat will be allocated to them in transport. From 0 to 2 years old inclusive, a "baby" rate is offered. This price corresponds to the allocation of a cot in the majority of the accommodation of the chosen circuit. However, we cannot guarantee a baby cot in each accommodation.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • This programme is subject to change due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other case of force majeure. Please note that due to the current circumstances, any information mentioned is subject to change or modification.
  • Your travel documents will be given to you as follows:
    • Travel diary by email before departure
    • Your documents (including your Japan Rail Pass) & pocket wifi will be sent directly to your first hotel in Japan.
  • This programme is subject to change due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other case of force majeure. The order of visits may also be modified. Please note that due to the current circumstances, any information mentioned is subject to change or modification.
  • Note: In very rare cases, mostly in very high season, steps might be reversed. You will be informed in your mini travel-guide. Thanks for your kind understanding.

Your accommodation :

  • Some hotels may ask you to pay a tourist tax on arrival. This depends on the city and even the hotel, as some do not include it in the booking price. Normally, it is 200¥/night/person (about £1.37/1.93$) but can be slightly higher in 4* hotels. It must be paid in cash at the hotel reception. For traditional Japan Experience accommodations, it is included in the initial tour price.
  • Room size: in Japan, a densely populated country where everything is compact, 3-star luxury hotels are of very good quality but the rooms are often quite narrow (12 to 20m2/129 sq ft to 215 sq ft) depending on the hotel. Please note the size of the single room, between 10 and 16m2 (107sq ft and 172 fq ft). For more comfort, you can choose our luxury 4* accommodation upgrade option. 
  • Double room: Rooms for two people in western hotels have 2 single beds (twin rooms) by default, which can usually be joined together. As an option, you can select a double room instead of a twin if you prefer a double bed. This option is not valid in the Japan Experience house in Kyoto nor in the ryokans (on individual futons).
  • Single room: People travelling alone and wishing to book a single room must pay a supplement at the time of booking. The single room supplement is compulsory for orders with an odd number of participants. Please note that if you request more than two people in a single room, the single room supplement will be applied to all accommodation except for the ryokans (3 and 4*). In fact, as this is traditional accommodation, people with the same reservation are grouped together in spacious rooms for up to 5 people.
  • 3-person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the single supplement, a triple room will be allocated to you.
  • In the case of a group order (> 5 people), it is possible, depending on hotel availability, that not all members of the group will be accommodated in the same hotel. Nevertheless, we aim to keep you close. 
  • Names of the hotels : The names given on the site are for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standing will be scheduled. Hotels, corresponding to local standards, are given as an indication and may be changed on site for hotels of a similar category.
  • In the ryokan, the rooms have a private sink and toilet. The single-sex collective Japanese baths ("onsen") then act as shared bathrooms, with showers and thermal baths. They are freely accessible, at the times in force on the site. These baths are often not accessible to people with clearly visible tattoo(s). The latter are invited to contact us to evaluate the possibilities of accommodation with private baths or shared baths that can be reserved. 
  • OPTION only valid for Hakone ryokan: Enjoy a private Japanese bathroom (traditional or modern onsen) in your room. This option is recommended for mixed couples, families, people who are modest or have visible tattoos.
  • The 4* ryokan (see 4* option) have comfortable futons raised on either western beds in a traditional tatami room. The bathrooms and toilets of the 4* ryokan are private.
  • Bedroom on the ferry to Hokkaido: standard room with 2 bunk beds, a TV and small bathroom. No porthole. Option for a higher quality room with balcony.
  • All lodgings have at least one Japanese tatami room and are equipped with a minimum of 3 beds, either in a single western bed (not double) or on a futon. Do not hesitate to specify in your comments that you want to sleep in a western bed.
  • Traditional house in Kyoto: each house has been chosen for its location (transport, shops, temples...) and thus to facilitate your stay. Most of them are either located in the historical district of Gion or on the edge of the Path of Philosophy and the Silver Temple. All lodgings have at least one Japanese tatami room and are equipped with a minimum of 3 beds, either in a single western bed (not double) or on a futon. Do not hesitate to specify in your comments that you want to sleep in a western bed.

Your transport :

  • Flights are not included in this tour. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to include flights in your order: Flights in economy class with stopovers or direct flights, eco-premium or business air upgrades, provincial departures or abroad: we will be able to advise you.
  • The tour departure and end dates presented on this page relate to your stay in Japan. You will arrive in Japan through Shin Chitose International Airport (Sapporo, CTS) and depart from Ishigaki International Airport (ISG). Initially, you will have to leave the day before from Europe and land at 7 p.m. maximum to benefit from airport services. On the other hand, the return is made the same day taking into account the favorable time difference. Do not hesitate to consult us for any uncertainty or need for clarification on the choice of international flights. Please note for outward and return flights : you will have to make a change in Tokyo, Helsinki or one of the main cities in Asia. In Tokyo and Seoul, please check that the transit airports are the same. It happens that Ishigaki -> Tokyo and Ishigaki -> Seoul flights land at different airports (Tokyo Haneda HND or Seoul Gimpo GMP) from those from which international flights take off to reach Europe (Tokyo Narita NRT or Seoul Incheon ICN ). The domestic flight Fukuoka -> Ishigaki is included in your offer, either direct or with 1 stopover. 1 piece of checked baggage accepted.
  • If the flights have been purchased by your care without the intervention of Japan Experience, it is necessary to send us by mail 1 month before your departure your flight information (flight number, airport, date and time of arrival) to allow us organise your welcome and airport transfer.
  • Airport transfers:
  • Outbound:  Upon arrival in Japon, you will take a private airport transfer directly to your hotel.
  • Transfer Fukuoka -> Fukuoka airport (domestic flight to Ishigaki) : This transfer is by public transport from the central station. 5 minutes by metro from Hakata Central Station, located near your hotel. It's a straightforward journey, with the train arriving directly at the airport. There are 2 terminals connected by a free shuttle bus.
    Cost: 260¥ (about £1.71 / 2.42$, paid with your pre-paid transport card, already loaded with the amount for the transfer). From 5:30am to 12:25am, with metros every 4 to 8 minutes. If you want door-to-door transport, we recommend that you contact your hotel reception to order a taxi. It will cost you approximately £12.85 / 17.83$ for a 20 minute journey.
  • Transfer from Ishigaki Airport to Ishigaki City and back. Airport bus (1 line, 2 buses/hour, from 8.30am to 6pm). About £3.42, 4.75$, to be paid to the driver. If you want door-to-door transport, we recommend that you contact your hotel reception to order a taxi. It will cost you approximately £17.14 / 23.84$  for a 25 minute journey.
  • Included in your tour is a pre-charged transport prepayment card of ¥ 1,500 (around £10.30 / 14.54$) (suica or Pasmo brand); a Hakone Free pass 2 days, a Japan Rail Pass 14 days and flight tickets for the journey from Fukuoka > to Ishigaki. These cards should cover a large part of your trips during the stay. Upon expiry of the 1,500¥ Transport Prepayment Card, or if the line you are travelling on is not covered by your Japan Rail Pass, any travel will be at your own expense by recharging your pre-paid transport card (at vending machines in all stations and metro stations). 
  • The Japan Rail Pass is a personal train pass for foreign travellers who wish to visit Japan. This pass allows unlimited travel for 14 consecutive days on all Japan Railways (JR) trains throughout Japan. You will receive a voucher to be exchanged at a JR office when you are welcomed at the airport by our assistant (list of addresses provided in your travel guide). You will be asked to show your passport and fill in a form. During this exchange, you will select the start date of your pass. Once your Pass has been activated, it will be valid for 14 consecutive days from the date chosen. To prevent wasting time when you arrive at the airport, you are requested to exchange your voucher upon arrival in Tokyo City. This is because exchanging it at the airport could delay your airport shuttle. With your Japan Rail Pass in hand, just go to the station, show your pass to the ticket inspector at the entrance gates and board any JR train. Trains in Japan are almost all open seating. If you are worried about not having a seat (on a shinkansen for example), simply go to a ticket office and reserve your seat at no extra charge. The Japan Rail Pass covers all JR and Shinkansen lines in Japan. The following journeys are not covered:
    • Travel by metro and bus in the cities (payable by pre-paid transport card, included in your package)
    • Transfers from the train station to the hotels (by foot, bus, metro or taxi)
    • Travel on private train lines (other than JR)
    • Travel on Nozomi and Mizuho high-speed trains (shinkansen)
    • Trips made outside the validity period of the Japan Rail Pass
  • Japan Rail Pass: It is not necessary to possess a Japan Rail Pass which covers your entire stay. This is only cost-effective if it is used for long journeys between the different stages of your stay (especially in shinkansen) which are very expensive. In large cities like Tokyo, only about ⅓ of public transport is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and getting around is relatively cheap (Tokyo metro tickets: £1.71 / 2.42$; Kyoto daily bus card: £4.28 / 5.97$). Thus, providing you with a Japan Rail Pass for more than 14 days (21) would not be cost-effective and, on the contrary, would significantly increase the cost of your trip.
  • If a person taking part in the tour is a Japanese national and a resident of Japan, or a foreigner with tax residence in Japan (including a student), then that person is not eligible for the Japan Rail Pass. Please contact us to get the price of the tour without a Japan Rail Pass. They will have to buy the train tickets for the tour directly in Japan. The Kansai Thru Pass is also subject to the same nationality/residency requirements. This is not the case for the Hakone Free pass. If this person is a Japanese citizen but not a resident of Japan, then he/she can benefit from the Japan Rail Pass under certain conditions (see https://www.japan-experience.com/frequently-asked-questions).
  • Travel by boat to Hokkaido: the ferry leaves at 5:00 pm from Otaru harbour, located 2,5 km from the central station. You can travel on foot, by local bus or by taxi at your own expense. There is a large waiting room where you can wait for the ferry. The ferry has a restaurant, theatre and spa, which are available at no extra charge. Unfortunately, people with visible tattoos are not permitted in the spa. When the ferry arrives the next afternoon, a shuttle bus (to be paid for locally) will be waiting to drive you to the JR Niigata. If the ferry from Niigata is not available, we will provide you with a ferry from Tomakomai (1 hour 20 south of Sapporo, accessible by JR train) to Oarai, 1 hour 30 from Tokyo (included in your offer). Same transportation time. No surcharge.

Your activities :

  • An English speaking Travel Angel who is a specialist in Japan will be there to welcome you to your traditional house in Kyoto. They will give you the keys, explain how the house and its facilities work, give you a tour of the area (tourist sites, supermarkets, bike rental...) and answer all your questions. They will be available throughout your stay in case of any problems or questions.
  • The guided tour of Gion lasts around 2 hours and departs at 7pm. Please note that the tour will be conducted in English if your group is made up of travellers of different nationalities. More details on the meeting point in your travel pack. Dinner is not included, but your guide will be able to recommend the best places to eat.

Your meals :

  • Breakfasts which are not included in your package can be added at the reception when you arrive at the hotel. However, you will find many cafés near your hotel serving copious breakfasts, often tastier than those in the hotels, which sometimes have tight schedules and are predominantly savoury. However, if you would like to add breakfast to your offer when you make your reservation, you can select it as an option.
  • Traditional Japanese dinner and Japanese breakfast (mostly savoury) are included in both of your ryokan. Do not hesitate to indicate any dietary requirements you may have, we will pass them on to the accommodations so that they can take them into account when planning the meals. If the accommodations does not take any of these dietary requirements into account, we cannot be held responsible and no compensation will be issued.
  • Japan Experience houses come with a fully equipped kitchens and are located close to markets.
  • Meals on the ferry to Hokkaido are served in the large restaurant. They are optional, in the form of a buffet and must be paid for on the spot.

Your additional services:

  • A pocket WiFi is included in your tour. It allows unlimited high-speed internet access. Your Pocket WiFi will be given to you at the airport of arrival.
  • It comes with a small booklet to operate your device (don't panic: simple operation) and a prepaid envelope to return your device at the end of your stay. Your pocket wifi will work naturally until the last day of your trip to Japan.
  • A maximum of 5 devices can be connected to a pocket wifi (phone, tablet, computer).
  • A single pocket wifi is provided for a circuit order of 1 to 5 people. For an order of 6 people or more, a second pocket wifi will be added automatically and at no extra cost to your reservation.

When you buy, Japan Experience offers you 2 types of protection:

Japan Experience Flex : 
Cancellation insurance before departure under conditions.

Japan Experience Protect :
Pre-departure cancellation insurance under conditions and on-site assistance under conditions. 


Frequently asked questions

Our commitments as Japan Experience, Europe No. 1 travel in Japan

  • The guarantee of the first tour operator specialised exclusively in Japan for 40 years
  • A wide range of products to let you Experience Japan from the inside
  • Competitive prices thanks to a single team in UK, Europe, USA and Japan, with no intermediaries
  • Assistance available in Japan throughout your trip
  • specialised team is available 7 days a week by phone or email
  • The best advice thanks to the 3,500 articles available on our website

Japan itinerary North to South

$2,997 per person - 3 weeks

Optional services

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