Here are our favorite self-guided tours of Japan:
- A quick independent tour of Japan: Explore bustling Tokyo, where you can eat at ramen shops and enjoy the Harajuku district in your own time. Visit the cultural and historic city of Kyoto, interact with geishas and take the time to learn the ancient art of Japanese tea ceremonies. Jump on the legendary bullet train and glide through Japan like a local. Hike in Mount Fuji, the Kinkaku-ji golden pavilion, and more, all on a pre-organized Japan itinerary. Give yourself all the time you need in each place without being rushed around as in guided tours.
- A self-guided tour of Hakone: This gateway to Mount Fuji is known worldwide for its natural springs and stunning surroundings. Spend a few days in the area as you explore Fuji Hakone National Park, wandering solo or with a small group and taking in the history and beauty all around you. Once you are done exploring the area, head to the famous hot springs and have some much needed “me time” soaking up and revitalizing your body in the onsen. Take advantage of the pre-organized bullet train transfers and Hakone area passes that make exploring the area a breeze.
You should narrow your self-guided tour with these awesome travel styles.
- Self-guided itineraries mean that some excursions, such as cooking courses in Kyoto, are pre-booked for you from reputable sources.
- Get the freedom of getting lost and discovering different paths in Fuji Hakone National Park. Uncovering new routes and getting off-the-beaten paths can only happen on a holiday without a designated guide.
- Self-guided tours of Japan allow you to have a lie-in or a chilled day afterward if you need it.
- Self-guided tours often come with either travel or city passes to help you get the most out of your time in a city without forcing you into rigid tour structure.
- Not many people in Japan speak English, so learn some basic Japanese if you are on a self-guided tour.
- Japanese public transport is famously punctual, so try and get there 5-10 minutes early.
- Without a guide, it is your responsibility to adhere to cultural guidance. For example, some onsens do not allow individuals with tattoos.