GMT +9 hours
An intoxicating country of contrasts, Japan's stunning landscapes, fascinating history and unique culture is sure to inspire.
Japan's unique culture makes it a fascinating holiday destination. From the modern, high-tech capital of Tokyo to the ancient imperial city of Kyoto, this rich country has something for everyone. Mount Fuji is an impressive sight, along with the historic Buddha statues and temples in the region.
- Japan's myriad ancient temples, shrines and traditional geisha districts offer a fascinating glimpse into the country's rich history and heritage
- Visit during late March or early April to enjoy the glorious cherry blossom season
- In autumn see the maple and ginko trees ablaze with vibrant reds, oranges and golds
- If it's your first time to Japan, we recommend our Heart of Japan Tour which includes the iconic cities as well as plenty of cultural experiences
- If you've been before or want to explore the lesser-visited areas, the Treasures of the West tour may be more appropriate, or speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts to arrange a personalised itinerary
Best time to visit Japan
• Japan has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons
• The summer months (June to August) can be very hot, while in contrast the winter months (November to January) are not only cold, but sometimes result in snowfall.
• The most desirable time to travel is spring. From March through until May the climate is at its most comfortable and you may even be fortunate enough to see the famous cherry trees in blossom in late March
• June and July welcome the monsoon rainfalls.
Japan holiday highlights
The capital is a heaving city of dizzying dimensions and flashing neon lights where gleaming skyscrapers tower over a swirling sea of people but tranquil gardens and serene temples lie just around the corner. Technology stores spill over the latest gadgets and Harajuku girls parade the latest eye-catching fashions, yet the city’s roots are firmly placed in history with ancient shrines and the world’s oldest continuous hereditary monarchy.
From Tokyo, head southwest to snow-capped Mount Fuji, a tribute to Japan’s sublime beauty. Towering at 12,388 feet, it is Japan’s highest mountain and can even be seen from Tokyo on a clear day. Revered as one of Japan’s ‘Three Holy Mountains’, it attracts thousands of pilgrims every summer who hike to its sacred summit.
This stunning imperial city offers a stark contrast to high-tech Tokyo. Explore Nijo Castle, where each step on the ‘nightingale floor’ omits a squeak designed to warn against intruders. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture, visit Kanikakuni – a former geisha house. Here, you can dress up in a kimono and learn about the history of this traditional form of entertainment.
Despite its tragic past, Hiroshima has emerged from the dark cloud of the devastating 1945 nuclear bombing as a vibrant and thriving city that boasts tree-lined boulevards, fantastic museums, historic monuments, enchanting gardens and excellent cuisine.
Japan’s second largest city is a buzzing aquapolis often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ due to its numerous canals and river channels. Osaka is also known as the ‘gastronomist’s town’ and ‘the stomach of Japan’ and it embraces its status of a food-loving city, boasting an array of restaurants and food stalls and within its underground maze of shopping malls.
As the final destination on the famous Silk Route, Nara adopted influences from a wealth of different cultures and it is a veritable repository of cultural and historic treasures including some of the country’s oldest temples. The fascinating city can easily be explored in a day.
This dramatic series of mountains bisect the main island of Honshu and host several hot springs, known locally as onsen. This region provides a tranquil contrast after exploration of the bustling cities and journeying through the Alps is a feast for the eyes as spectacular mountain and valley scenery rolls by. Charming mountain towns such as Matsumoto, Kanazawa and Takayama offer an intriguing insight into some of the lesser-visited parts of Japan.