Japan Backpacker Adventure 13D/12N

Japan Backpacker Adventure 13D/12N

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13 Days From

$3202

$3058

Japan Backpacker Adventure 13D/12N

13 Days Starting and ending in Tokyo

Visiting: Tokyo, Kamakura, Hakone, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka

Tour operator:

Bamba Travel

Tour code:

46781

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 16

Physical rating:

Easy

Age range:

18-90

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

Interests:

Cultural, History, Rail Tours

From:
$3202
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NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Immerse yourself in the amazing culture, culinary delights, technological wonders and enchanting natural beauty of Japan's most important cities in this epic tour. Explore the many sides of Tokyo, learn to make sushi, visit ancient temples and palaces in Kyoto, chill on the beach, admire Mt. Fuji from a pirate ship, travel in a bullet train to Hiroshima and Osaka, walk through a bamboo forest and more, on this Japanese 13-day adventure.

Highlights

  • Explore Hakone, the gateway to Mount Fuji

  • Experience the timeless traditions of Japan in Tokyo

  • Cycle around Kyoto like a local

  • Discover the historical cities of Hiroshima and Osaka

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Tokyo, Japan

Location: Tokyo

Visit to Sensō-Ji temple, Tsukiji Outer Market and Metropolitan Government Building

Welcome to Tokyo! This morning you will meet your Adventure Leader in the lobby of your hostel for a Japan briefing. After dropping off your bags, head to the Asakusa District and visit the Sensō-Ji temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. At lunchtime, you will feast on the freshest sashimi you’ve ever eaten! This will take place at Tokyo’s iconic Tsukiji Outer Market, where you’ll also be amazed by the variety of fish on offer and catch a glimpse of the famous blue-fin tuna. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, don’t worry, your Adventure Leader will let you know where you can grab a bite to eat. After lunch, you will soak up incredible views from the top of Metropolitan Government Building and then take part in some optional activities – either experience one of Japan’s national obsessions (baseball, at a local batting cage) or kick back and relax with a drink or bathe with the locals at a nearby bathhouse.


Day 2: Tokyo, Japan

Location: Tokyo

Sushi making class and Akihabara visit

In the morning, you’ll discover the Japanese art of sushi-making with an unforgettable lesson from an expert, and then sample your creations for lunch! Later, you will visit to Akihabara, the "electric town" and hub of Anime, which is also home to Japan’s most famous J-pop group, AKB48. You will find venues specialising in manga and games such as the Tokyo Anime Center. Here, you can take part in an optional "Made in Tokyo" experience at one of the Akihabara’s maid cafes.

Optional: If you’re up for something fun and different, you’ll also have the option to bring your favourite video game to life with Street Kart! This activity allows you to choose a costume such as Mario or Luigi and race down the streets of Tokyo! (Please note: to participate, you must secure an international drivers permit valid in Japan before the start of the trip). In the evening, you can head to Golden Gai and experience Japanese nightlife!


Day 3: Tokyo, Japan

Location: Tokyo

Tokyo Imperial Palace, Harakuju and Shibuya

Start the day with a visit to the Tokyo Imperial Palace, an abundance of gardens and galleries. Surrounding the home of the Emperor, the grounds are perfectly maintained and are a top attraction for visitors to the capital. Here, you’ll learn more about why Japan’s Imperial Family is so unique. Then continue towards the Harajuku area, which is Tokyo’s fashion district, where you will sencounter punks, goths, technicolour hair – anything goes in Harajuku. Take in the industrial vibes and if you want, grab some hair dye and get involved! you will make your way to Shibuya to visit the Meiji Shrine. This shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. Head to the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world and iconic landmark, Shibuya Crossing and find the Hachiko Statue.

Optional: Stop by Cat Café MoCHA to make some furry friends while enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of cake. If you want to experience some more nightlife, you can explore the streets of Roppongi.


Day 4: Tokyo, Japan

Location: Tokyo

Edo-Tokyo Museum and optional activities

This morning you will head to Ryōgoku to discover Tokyo’s fascinating history at Edo-Tokyo Museum. If you want, you will also have the option to visit the Sumo Museum, as Ryōgoku is known as Tokyo’s Sumo District. In the afternoon, you’ll have the option to learn the ancient art of Samurai and have a chance to see a live sword demonstration in Tokyo’s Samurai Museum. The Samurai Museum not only exhibits samurai swords, armor and guns, but also allows visitors to join in by trying on samurai outfits and having a go at the sport themselves! If you’re into the latest technology trends, you also have the option to experience a Robot Show in the evening.


Day 5: Tokyo - Kamakura, Japan

Location: Kamakura

Train to Kamakura and Visit the Daibutsu Buddha located in the Kotoku-in

Enjoy a delicious brunch in Tokyo before hopping on a train to Kamakura, Japan’s medieval capital, and home to the first shotguns. Kamakura is a seaside Japanese city south of Tokyo and a resort town with many Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines. Upon arrival you have the option to rent a surfboard and head to the beach, as the hostel is moments away from the coast, or you can make the most of this opportunity to sunbathe. You will have the opportunity to explore some of the town’s many ancient shrines, and then hike over to Kotoku-in Temple to marvel at the Great Buddha statue, made of solid bronze, which stands at nearly 45ft tall, even after a tsunami! Afterwards, you will travel to Enoshima, a small offshore island where you can spend some time exploring the temples or you can chill out in one of the many beach front bars and enjoy the sunset.


Day 6: Kamakura - Hakone, Japan

Location: Hakone

Old Tokaido Hike, Lake Ashi boat tour, Hakone Ropeway and Sake tasting session

Say goodbye to Kamakura as you hop on a series of trains and buses to Hakone station. When you arrive you will hike along the Old Tokaido and enjoy lunch near Moto-Hakone. Hakone used to be a checkpoint to control traffic along the Tokaido, the highway which linked Tokyo with Kyoto during the feudal Edo Period. Today, a passage of the old Tokaido is located along the shore of Lake Ashi. Later, you will climb aboard a sightseeing cruise with a twist – it’s a pirate ship! From the deck of this ship, you’ll cross the Lake Ashi’s clear blue waters and, on a cloudless day, get an unforgettable view of the famous Mount Fuji. You’ll take the Hakone Ropeway for a great cable car journey that drops you at Owakudani, an active volcanic zone where you can try black eggs – a local delicacy coloured by the sulphuric water they’re boiled in. Change into your kimono after a long hot bath ready to learn about the art of Japanese rice wine during a Sake tasting session! You’ll listen to an introduction about how sake is made, the different varieties and top it off with tasting opportunities to truly understand the art.

Optional: Spend the evening soaking in the sulphuric water of a traditional Japanese outdoor bath, called an ‘Onsen’. (Please note: those with tattoos may not be able to enter an ‘onsen’ in Japan as tattoos are associated with gang culture).


Day 7: Hakone - Kyoto, Japan

Location: Kyoto

Bullet Train to Kyoto and free time

Today you will take the amazing bullet train to Kyoto, city known for its history, temples, shrines and geishas. You’ll zoom across the country, covering around 273 miles in two hours, leaving plenty of time to experience Kyoto later in the day and evening. In the afternoon, wander the hillside streets to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which leads into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari.

Optional: In the evening, you can attend a live geisha performance, which also features a tea ceremony, puppet show, traditional music and more. Or wander through Pontocho alley, full of lanterns and intimate wood-panelled restaurants – quietly sip on sake and look out for geishas wandering past!


Day 8: Kyoto, Japan

Location: Kyoto

Hozugawa boat tour, Arashiyama Monkey Park, Tenryu-Ji Temple and Arashiyama’s Bamboo Forest hiking.

Today you will start the day with a two-hour boat trip down the Hozugawa River. Cruise through ravines and rapids on a traditional wooden raft driven by guides as you meander through the Arashiyama Hills. Later, you’ll head across to the Arashiyama Monkey Park. It’s a tough climb up, but at the top, you can feed monkeys or simply enjoy the panorama of Kyoto below. After that, you’ll visit the Tenryu-Ji Temple, one of the most important Zen temples. With this, you’ll walk around the temple’s gardens, that were designed in the 14th century and are a real show-stopper. Finally, you’ll hike through Arashiyama’s famous Bamboo Forest.

Optional: Pick up Japanese calligraphy skills with a lesson from a master. And in the evening, let your hair down and enjoy some Japanese karaoke with the rest of your group!


Day 9: Kyoto, Japan

Location: Kyoto

Free day in Kyoto

Enjoy a free day to explore Kyoto at your own pace. Some of the sights you can visit are the temples from the Philosopher’s path, the International Manga Museum, or the Fushimi Inari Shrine, with its corridor of thousands of bright red gates.


Day 10: Kyoto - Hiroshima, Japan

Location: Hiroshima

Kyoto bike tour and train to Hiroshima

Today you will cycle around Kyoto like a local! First, you’ll ride over to a Zen temple where you can discover your inner peace with meditation led by a Buddhist monk. Continuing your Kyoto adventure, admire an iconic image of Kyoto: The Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-Ji. Walk around the mirror pond and prepare to be mesmerised by the shimmering golden reflection of the pavilion on the water. After lunch, jump on your bike and cycle around to the Imperial Palace, before bidding farewell to this magical city. In the afternoon, you’ll take another bullet train and venture further west for Hiroshima.


Day 11: Hiroshima, Japan

Location: Hiroshima

Peace Memorial Museum and Miyajima island day trip

Hiroshima, a modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Today, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the 1945 event. Here, you will find out how this city came to suffer the consequences of the world’s first atomic bomb, but you will also learn that Hiroshima is now the standard bearer for a peaceful and nuclear-free world. After a train ride and a short ferry trip to Miyajima Island, you’ll reach the Itsukushima shrine. To avoid angering the gods on the island, the main temple buildings were built on stilts on the shores of the island. Just offshore, you will see an enormous torii gate standing in the sea. At low tide, you can walk across the sand to take a closer look. Make your way back to the hostel and enjoy a free evening to relax.


Day 12: Hiroshima - Osaka, Japan

Location: Osaka

Train to Osaka and visit to Osaka Castle

Today, another bullet train will take you to Osaka – you’ll arrive in time for lunch in the Shinsaibashi area. After enjoying your typically Japanese lunch of yakitori, ramen, sushi or whatever takes your fancy, you will take a short subway ride to the Osaka Castle. The castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks as it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century. Take a stroll around the castle that rises above the moat, and don’t forget to check out the 9-level dungeon. Time for a free afternoon! You can choose to explore more of Osaka on your own, have the ultimate Japanese shopping experience in Shinsaibashi or have a rest. Tonight, you will sleep at a capsule hotel – small, private and quintessentially Japanese.


Day 13: Osaka - Tokyo, Japan

Location: Tokyo

Train back to Tokyo

Say goodbye to Osaka before catching your final bullet train back to Tokyo – where you’ll arrive at 4.30pm. Safe travels ahead!


What's Included

  • Accommodation

    12N in shared accommodation: hostels, guesthouses, capsule hostels and a traditional Ryokan

  • Transport

    Train to Kamakura

  • Meals

  • Activities

    Sushi lesson

  • Guides

    English speaking guide

  • Extras

  • Experiences

What's Not Included

  • Other Meals/Drinks

  • Optional Activities

  • Airport transfers

  • Travel Insurance

  • Tips for Guides

  • Personal Expenses

  • Other Meals/Drinks

  • Optional Activities

Check out our Q&As

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

Reviews of this operator

Jonas Nesset(Norway)  

The company is exceptional. When...

Dec 10 2019

The company is exceptional. When I had questions, I always got prompt and professional answers. The excursions that Bamba organized were fantastic! Thank you once again for everything!

Shane Alce(United Kingdom)  

For true explorers....

Aug 12 2019

For true explorers.

Marian Reder(Germany)  

To this day, this is...

Oct 2 2019

To this day, this is the best tour we've ever done together as a couple! The fun activities, great hotels and nice guides worth the money! We were always taken care of and they made sure that we had a good time. This tour is definitely worth taking.

Tanja Ottosen(Denmark)  

The Bamba Team really made...

Jan 9 2020

The Bamba Team really made my journey one of the most memorable experiences of my life! Still so nice and supportive! They handled everything and responded to each question within a few minutes. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone. Especially if you want to do a lot of activities and travel to a lot of different places without feeling rushed. They've also helped me with specific issues that weren't covered by the tour, as well as answering general questions. Thank you so much for making my journey so enjoyable!

Braiden Rowe(United States)  

The tour was fantastic; I...

Feb 12 2020

The tour was fantastic; I was able to visit some of Japan's most beautiful locations, and the accommodations were excellent, with convenient access to the city's best attractions. Also, our tour guide was fantastic. I will pick bamba again and recommend the tour to anyone who wants to see Japan while having a good time!!

Aaron Davies(Australia)  

I only have good words...

Oct 23 2019

I only have good words about our trip to Kenya. The entire experience was totally magical and I struggle to say how fantastic it was. We were fortunate enough to have a brilliant vehicle for ourselves, but we had great luck with David for our guide too. He was very knowledgeable, courteous and nice. Thank you for helping to create this fantastic safari experience. I Highly recommend this company.

Matteo Hoffmeister(Germany)  

Bamba Experience has been the...

Jun 5 2019

Bamba Experience has been the best tour guide I've ever had. Every tour has been a thrilling experience. There are so many things to choose from. Bamba has been extremely helpful in providing us with all of the necessary information for our departures and activities! Bamba has made this a simple and enjoyable experience. I'll certainly tell my friends and family about it! Thank you very much, Bamba!!

Melanie Liu Chang(Australia)  

We organized a trip through...

Feb 20 2020

We organized a trip through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia on the hop-on, hop-off bus. It made the trip so much simpler for us as first-time travelers because we just had to send an email to arrange the bus, which avoided the hassle of looking for the best price and so on! We also had a number of tours included, they were all amazing and saved us the trouble of trying to find the best offers on our own; it also meant we got to see a lot of stuff we wouldn't have seen otherwise. Overall, it was a fantastic experience that I will strongly suggest and use again!

Marius Halvorson(Norway)  

Our Bamba tour of Vietnam...

Jun 25 2019

Our Bamba tour of Vietnam was fantastic. We had a lot of new experiences and all of the help we needed to make this a stress-free vacation. The well-organized accomodation and transportation were excellent. We will certainly use Bamba in the future.

Alexis Helman(Australia)  

I had booked our Uyuni...

Jun 25 2019

I had booked our Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure 3D/2N (Uyuni to Atacama) tour via an Australian travel agency, but they had made an error and refused to assist us or take responsibility. This was very difficult for us because we wanted to have a stress-free honeymoon. I contacted Bamba and I asked if we could talk on the phone so they made the improvements to our tour reservation that our travel agent declined to make. The quality of service was exceptional and they generously offered to us a complimentary gift because it was our honeymoon. I can't say enough good things about Bamba.

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  • Free Date Changes

    Bamba Travel allows you to make 2 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Bamba Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform bamba travel, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Bamba Travel requires a minimum deposit of 20% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 30 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of bamba travel charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 15 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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