All our drivers and guides were great, and we learnt a lot about their history which put us to shame how ignorant we are.
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Whenever one mentions Japan it conjures up many different images and this diversity is evident on any visit. You can visit the country numerous times and never fully embrace the many facets of its rich cultural heritage or understand the modernity that blankets the country.
It is a country where you can travel in the comfort of the world’s most advanced rail network but the conductor will always bow in the respectful ancient manner on departing the carriage. You can explore the tranquil immaculate Zen gardens one day then find yourself deep in the world’s largest metropolis the next. No two days are ever the same and it is certainly never boring!
The four main islands each offer something very unique, from rugged beautiful countryside and stunning beaches to the huge cities. Explore the hidden world of the geisha, walk the ancient Samurai trails or spend a morning with the giant Sumo wrestlers at one of their training stables.
Japan is a year round destination and nowhere will you find the seasons more pronounced than anywhere on earth, from the stunning cherry blossom of spring to the golden glow of autumn the country never fails to amaze with its natural beauty. Summers can be hot and dreamy when all is in bloom and in the winters it is often snow covered – a perfect ski destination!
The food is reason enough alone to visit Japan. You will undoubtedly come across the weird and wonderful but it is always tasty and fresh. There is so much more than “sushi and sashimi” that will satisfy even the fussiest eaters! Okonomiyaki, tempura and tonkatsu are our favourites but there are 100’s of different styles and flavours to explore – be brave and try something new.
Accommodation in encompasses the full range, from the better value “business class” hotels to the best five star international brands and family run guesthouses (Minshuku) to the traditional Japanese inn (Ryokan). Primed with a little understanding stays in either Minshuku or Ryokan can be a great way to immerse yourself in to the real Japan and will sure to be a highlight of your stay.
As with all our destinations our extraordinary tailor-made trips to Japan are always one off personal experiences. We generally recommend a lot of self-guided tours (we will supply the ideas and directions) as this makes the country more affordable and it is great fun travelling by train and interacting with the friendly locals – but we do of course include guides in the areas where you will need them most to show you around and get you right in touch with the local traditions that you would never be able to find yourself!
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