Ancient & Modern Japan

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
4.8 Based on 41 Reviews
  • duration 14 days
  • tour type Small group Request as private
  • age requirement 16-95 yrs
  • max group size 18
  • guiding method Fully guided
  • Tour Code BM-7527
  • Footprint Carbonneutral CO2 emissions resulting from all trips on Bookmundi will be offset via investments in carbon reduction projects.
  • Starts Kyoto, Japan
  • Ends Tokyo, Japan
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • Spot geishas in the Gion district of Kyoto
  • Experience cherry blossom season or beautiful autumn colours
  • Take the incredible highspeed bullet train
  • Explore temples in Kyoto and discover futuristic Tokyo
The "Ancient & Modern Japan" trip starts from Kyoto and ends in Tokyo. It is a food trip that takes 14 days taking you through Kyoto, Matsumoto, Hiroshima and 3 other destinations in Japan. "Ancient & Modern Japan" is a guided small group trip that includes accommodation, transport and others.

Ancient wooden temples, raked-gravel Zen gardens and chanting Buddhist monks juxtaposed with space-age towers, neon lights and bullet trains; the blend of old and new in Japan is captivating. As we explore the southern and western stretches of Honshu, the largest island in Japan, we discover unique culture among the serene shrines and gardens of Nara and Kyoto and the rarely visited mountainous heartland of castles and spas. Our last stop is the vast and futuristic capital city of Tokyo: sprawling, inimitably busy, welcoming and extraordinary.
  • Day 1: Start Kyoto
  • Day 2: Visit Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Ryoanji temple and Nijo castle; followed by Nishiki Market and historic Gion
  • Day 3: Day trip to Nara, ancient capital of Japan. Visit impressive Unesco temples including Toda-ji, housing the largest bronze statue of the Buddha in the world
  • Day 4: Free day in Kyoto; relax in one of the many Zen gardens, walk the popular Philosopher’s Path or experience a traditional tea ceremony
  • Day 5: Day trip to Hiroshima; visit Peace Memorial Park and the pretty island of Miyajima
  • Day 6: Travel from Kyoto to Takayama, a traditional old town set amid the Japanese Alps; visit the Hida Folk Village
  • Day 7: Orientation tour in Takayama and free day to explore the peaceful shrines and temples
  • Day 8: On to the medieval village of Tsumago; short leisurely walk on the Nakasendo trail; train to Matsumoto
  • Day 9: Visit Matsumoto Castle and travel by train to the spa town of Yudanaka; soak in a hot spring
  • Day 10: See the much-loved snow monkeys before travelling by train to Tokyo; evening orientation tour
  • Day 11: Optional trip to Hakone or to the lovely seaside town of Kamakura
  • Day 12: A full-day city tour of Tokyo, including the Senso-ji Temple
  • Day 13: Free day for further exploration; optional karaoke farewell night
  • Day 14: End Tokyo
  • All transport and listed activities
  • All accommodation
  • 3 breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • Group arrival transfer (for group flight)
  • Free departure transfer by shuttle service (must be booked in advance before trip commences with Exodus and is subject to availability)
  • Japan Rail Pass
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation- (limited availability & on request)- 10 nights only at hotels in Kyoto, Matsumoto and Tokyo
  • Visas or vaccinations
4.8 - Excellent
Based on 41 reviews
  • Anonymous
  • On May 07 2019
5 - Excellent
Japan. Ancient and Modern
A superb trip, exploring a wide variety of destinations and experiences. Very stimulating. Wonderful to travel on public transport. I never expected to see and do so much. I loved the traditional wooden buildings / hotels we... Read more
  • Anonymous
  • On Apr 30 2019
5 - Excellent
Konichiwa and arigato!
This trip exceeded expectations in many ways - incredibly well-organised with a good balance between group activities and private exploration. The breadth of Japanese culture, both ancient and modern, was well covered, the... Read more
  • Anonymous
  • On Apr 29 2019
5 - Excellent
Fascinating experience!
You really couldnt pack any more into 2 weeks! We walked round cities (lot of walking), visited temples, shrines, markets, gardens and castles and saw beautiful scenery from the trains. Our guide was very helpful and... Read more
  • Anonymous
  • On Apr 18 2019
5 - Excellent
Fabulous, well paced trip to see the best of ancient and modern Japan
This was a bucket list trip for me and I was really pleased with the pace and the amount we covered in two weeks. The travel dates that I chose were specifically to see the blossoms and although they were late this year, we were... Read more
REQUEST A PRIVATE, CUSTOMIZABLE DEPARTURE By design, this is a group tour. You can however request a private, customized version of this tour for yourself or your private group of people. Private departures are usually more expensive, but come with these benefits:
  • Personal Itinerary can be tweaked and customized.
  • Protected Travel within your own bubble.
  • Professional Access our Travel Specialists' insider knowledge.
  • Privacy Enjoy a tour focused solely on you or your travel group.
Request a private and/or personalized departure To design a private tour, we'll ask you some more information in the following steps.
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

No additional cancellation fees apply for this Ancient & Modern Japan tour. You can cancel the tour up to 71 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 70 days of departure.


For any tour departures within 14 April 2023, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 14 April 2023, a deposit of 15% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 70 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Ancient & Modern Japan tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Ancient & Modern Japan tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are traveling to, as part of this itinerary.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, which provides travellers with assurance that COVID-19 health and hygiene protocols have been adhered to.
  • Group sizes are kept small to maintain a low risk ‘small group bubble’, with an average of 10 guests in each group.
  • Hygiene safety measures and distancing will be followed in transportation, accommodation and meal venues.
  • Several COVID-19 distancing measures have been adopted on this package tour to keep travellers safe.
  • All travellers will be required to be fully vaccinated no less than two weeks prior to travel.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about this tour.
  • Is Asia open for tourists?

    Despite the initial fears of the Covid-19 pandemic, most Asian countries have managed to mitigate its effects. As such, many popular destinations throughout the continent are currently open for travelers with precautionary measures like mandatory vaccinations. A few countries, however, require newly arrived travelers to spend a couple of days in quarantine.

    As of February 2022, countries like Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia are officially open for vaccinated tourists without the need for quarantine. Meanwhile, India and Indonesia are two of the countries that may require you to quarantine for up to a week on arrival. However, Japan, Vietnam, and Myanmar are yet to open their doors to visitors.


  • Do people in Japan speak English?

    Estimates show that less than 30 percent of the Japanese population speak English at any level, with less than 5 percent being fluent speakers. So, the likelihood of encountering a fluent speaker on a random Japanese street is quite low. Most people working in tourist areas do understand simple English phrases, and most signboards, instructions, and menus in these areas are in both Japanese and English. Outside of these places, you will need a lot of hand gestures to get by.

  • How to plan an Asia tour?

    Asia is a relatively large continent, so there are a wide variety of destinations to explore. Therefore, if you are planning a multi-country trip to Asia, the first thing you need to prepare is the list of countries you are interested in along with your starting and ending points. You would also need to decide on the best time for your trip depending on seasonal variations that affect each country. 

    After finalizing when and where to travel in Asia, you should make arrangements for all the necessary travel documents. These would include visas, insurances, Covid-19 test reports, vaccine cards, and so on.


  • What is the best time to visit Japan?

    The best time to visit Japan is during the fall (September to December) and spring (March to May). To get more information on what to expect from each season, read our guide on the best time to visit Japan.

  • Which countries should I visit in Asia?

    Asia has more than enough destinations to meet every traveler’s needs and desires. If you are into adventure, look no further than the mighty Himalayas. Go on an exhilarating hike to the base camp of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, or head for the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh instead. Thailand, with its blend of dazzling nightlife, rich history, and striking monuments, is the perfect destination not just for those who wish to let their hair down but also for travelers looking forward to being part of a memorable cultural experience. 

    Go on a tour to Cambodia, home to the monumental Angkor Wat, if you are into off-the-beaten-path destinations, or choose a Japan tour if you wish to discover how traditions and modernity can be seamlessly blended. The Maldives, with its numerous islands and beaches, is sure to provide you with countless opportunities to kick back on sandy stretches, swim in turquoise waters, and go island-hopping, while the rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia are a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. 


If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.

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