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Our best selling Japan Tour!Traditional & Tropical Japan

Traditional & Tropical Japan

16 Nights / 17 Days Small Group Tour
from €6,720 / £6,000 / US$7,550 / AU$11,700 per person sharing (See Dates/Prices below)

Sub-tropical Pacific Island, Amami Ooshima, is one of Japan’s best kept secrets. This is the perfect way to finish an exhilarating journey through Honshu Japan

Traditional & Tropical is one of our all-time favourite tours. Expect once-in-a-life-time experiences. Visit Japan’s most impressive awe-inspiring sites with our local guides who provide informative & fun excursions. Savour the mouth-watering feasts. Explore Kyoto & Tokyo on your free days. Travel around on bullet trains & quirky transport modes. Unwind on a picture-perfect paradise island with crystal clear waters at your feet




Day 1: Welcome to Tokyo - Where East Meets West

Arrive in one of Tokyo’s International Airports (Haneda or Narita).
Our team will take care of you from the moment you exit the arrivals hall where you will be met by our transfer staff on arrival and be taken to your Tokyo hotel.
You will have free time in Tokyo until tour orientation in the evening where you will meet your guide. Meeting time is usually 6pm but will be announced in your travel pack.
Enjoy a welcome dinner at local izakaya (included)
Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Nishi-Shinjuku Premier (or similar)



Day 2: Tokyo City Sightseeing

Breakfast at your hotel
WITH LOCAL GUIDE 09.00 – 17:00
Our popular Tokyo day tour includes:
• Tsukiji Outer Market
• Hamarikyu Garden
• Asakusa Kannon Temple & Shopping Street
Evening free time / Your tour leader will give you guidance on where to go after dark!
Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Nishi-Shinjuku Premier (or similar)


Day 3: Yudanaka Onsen & A Visit to the Snow Monkeys

Breakfast at your hotel
Check out and get ready to leave Tokyo!
After the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, you will move onto a rural village less than 2.5 hours by train and bus from Nagano city to a tiny place called Yudanaka Onsen in Nagano prefecture.
✪ Jigokudani Snow Monkeys ✪
We will visit Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park to watch wild monkey’s bath in the natural hot spring bath at the foot of the mountain. You will be required to walk 1.6km (1 mile) on a mountain pathway to reach the monkeys and the return the same route. So, be sure to wear comfortable footwear with decent grip to avoid slipping.
Note: Most of the time, the snow monkeys can reliably be found in the onsen baths, however the monkeys are wild and free to come and go as they please, thus their presence in the onsen baths cannot be guaranteed. September has the lowest chance of the monkeys being present due to it being mating season and them having an abundance of food much higher up the mountain.
Dinner & Hot Springs (onsen) at your ryokan
*Tonight, you will sleep on a futon mattress on tatami flooring. If you have any issues or prefer to request a bed, be sure to tell us as early as possible! Most ryokans have only a few rooms with western style beds in them (if any at all)
Accommodation: Senjukaku Ryokan (Japanese Style) including Dinner & Onsen


Day 4: Matsumoto & Traditional Takayama

After breakfast, check out of your ryokan and continue your journey to Matsumoto.
Matsumoto Castle (stunning original samurai castle, one of only 12 authentic castles left in Japan)
After lunch, we will take a scenic bus ride (2.5 hours) through beautiful mountain and river valleys, to Takayama. 
Check into your hotel / Free time
Accommodation: Takayama Wat Hotel (or similar)



Takayama Festival (April & October Tours Only)

On our April & October tours, you will get the very special chance to see the Takayama Spring or Harvest festival. Watch the whole town come alive from morning til evening over two full days, with giant festival floats parading the streets, local artisans displaying their wares, street food stalls on every corner, naked or half dressed men running through the streets, and women and children performing their native local dances with great excitement. The atmosphere is something that cannot be bought, only experienced in Japan, unique to this ancient town of Takayama.


Accommodation: Takayama Wat Hotel (or similar)


Day 5: Takayama Walking Tour

Breakfast at your hotel
WITH LOCAL GUIDE 09.00 – 13:00
Guided tour of Takayama including:
• Takayama Morning Market
• Takayama Yatai Kaikan (Festival Float Hall)
• Takayama Jinya (preserved Government town hall)
♥April & October tours will experience TAKAYAMA FESTIVAL ♥
Changes to above flow/itinerary are inevitable during festival dates. We will alter according to our local guides recommendation.
Accommodation: Takayama Wat Hotel (or similar)

Day 6: Cultural Activities in Gokayama

Breakfast at your hotel
Check out and move to Gokayama rural region by minivan/coach
WITH LOCAL GUIDE 09.00 – 17:00
♥Cultural Activities ♥
• Washi paper making (take home your work of art)
• Cookery Class making Soba noodles followed by lunch
• Lunch at Soba Noodle restaurant
• Gassho Zukkuri 400-year-old Farmhouse villages
• Enjoy a hot cup of roasted tea by the original open fire & meet the local farmers & workers!
Transfer from Gokayama to Kanazawa by coach/minivan
Check into your hotel Free time this evening ~ explore Kanazawa at night – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Accommodation: Square Hotel Kanazawa (or similar)



Day 7: Kanazawa Morning Tour / Evening in Kyoto

Breakfast at your hotel
Check out and leave bags in storage
✪ KANAZAWA Morning Tour ✪
WITH LOCAL GUIDE 09.00 – 13:00
– Kenrokuen Garden (considered one of the top 3 gardens in Japan)
– Higashi Chaya District (Old Samurai/Geisha District)
– ♥Authentic Tea Ceremony♥
Transfer to Kyoto by express train
Free time Kyoto
  • Dinner with Kyoto Geisha at local restaurant
Accommodation: Okura Kyoto (or similar)


Day 8: The Kyoto Experience

Breakfast at your hotel
✪ KYOTO City Sightseeing ✪
WITH LOCAL GUIDE 09.00 – 17:00
• Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
• Lunch at local restaurant
• Sanjusangendo temple
Afternoon Tea with trainee geisha (Maiko)
Accommodation: Okura Kyoto (or similar)

♥♥Highlight: Afternoon Tea with Geisha (Maiko) ♥♥

You will have the rare chance to sit and have tea with one of Kyoto’s beautiful young Maiko in their mama-san’s teahouse. ‘Maiko’ are better known as a young ‘Geisha’. Training to become Geisha usually starts at a young age (some start at 13/14). Trained in various Japanese traditional arts such as Kimono wearing, flower arranging, traditional dance, shamisen (string instrument), and so on, they spend many years perfecting how to walk, talk, and breath like a Geisha. If successful in their progression, they then move to be a Geisha, usually by the age of twenty or so. Such an interesting experience that you will only find in Kyoto. This experience is not sold on the high street. This really is a special occasion on our tour that we have been proud to offer for many years. So be sure to bring your camera and be prepared to ask questions. Our Maiko are very open and love sharing and listening to your stories too.


Day 9 & 10: Free time in Kyoto (Optional Tours Available)

Breakfast at your hotel
Free day in Kyoto
1. Ancient Nara & Modern Osaka
2. Day trip to Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
3. Self-guided day trip to Himeji’s Samurai Castle
Accommodation: Okura Kyoto (or similar)


Day 11-15: Tropical Paradise on Amami Ooshima

At this stage of your trip you might feeling a little weary – nothing a few nights on a tropical island can’t cure! Amami Oshima benefits from a sub-tropical climate all year round and can boastfully claim the best beaches and most scenic mountain drives in Japan. Your sea-front hotel faces out over the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean with white sandy beaches and the freshest food right at your doorstep. Scuba diving and other water sports can also be arranged from your hotel.
The Amami Islands are a string of eight sub-tropical islands located south of Kagoshima. Amami-Oshima is the main island, and ranks as the second largest remote island in Japan, after Sado-ga-shima in Niigata Prefecture. The sea around the islands, designated as Amami-gunto Quasi-National Park, is blessed with transparent waters, bright colored coral reefs and tropical fish, and is known as a fantastic diving spot. This untouched native island will give you a sample of how the ‘islanders’ of Japan live harmoniously with nature. Amami hills are covered in subtropical forests with rare and distinct plants and flowers; its coral reefs are listed in the World Wildlife Global 200 Eco Regions list; and is most famous in Japan for its Kimono-making made from pongee silk known as Ooshimatsumugi.
On one of your days here, we will arrange a driver/guide to come pick you up and take you on an exclusive tour of the island. You will enjoy canoeing on the forested mangrove lake and taking a glass-bottom boat trip to get up close and personal with the thousands of tiny tropical fish. If you prefer to rent a car and do your own thing, we can arrange this too.
Accommodation: Bashayama Mura Resort (Beachfront Hotel) for 4 nights


Day 15-17: Journey back to Tokyo for some free time before flying home

We journey back to Tokyo for two final nights in the centre of Tokyo in Ginza area. Your travel pack will contain plenty of suggestions for how to spend it. You will be transferred to the airport for your scheduled flight on your departure date.
You will have the option to join a day trip to Hakone/Mt Fuji National Park on your last day in Tokyo. We will give you the choice to opt out of this if you are tired and feel like doing some last minute shopping in Tokyo.
Accommodation: Imperial 5* Hotel (or similar) for 2 nights


Dates and Prices

Triple Room€6,420 £5,385US$6,675 AU$9,590
Single Room€8,890£7,460US$9,250AU$13,280

Tour Starts:

May 10, 2024

Tour Ends:

May 27, 2024


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Tour Starts:

June 02, 2024

Tour Ends:

June 19, 2024
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Tour Starts:

July 09, 2024

Tour Ends:

July 26, 2024
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Tour Starts:

Sep 06, 2024

Tour Ends:

Sep 23, 2024


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Tour Starts:

October 05, 2024

Tour Ends:

October 22, 2024
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Tour Starts:

May 10, 2025

Tour Ends:

May 27, 2025
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Tour Starts:

June 01, 2025

Tour Ends:

June 18, 2025
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Tour Starts:

July 08, 2025

Tour Ends:

July 23, 2025
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Tour Starts:

September 15, 2025

Tour Ends:

October 02, 2025
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Tour Starts:

October 05, 2025

Tour Ends:

October 22, 2025
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Tour Starts:

April 10, 2026

Tour Ends:

April 27, 2026
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Tour Starts:

May 10, 2026

Tour Ends:

May 27, 2026
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Daiwa Roynet Nishi-Shinjuku Premier (or similar)

Two Nights

Set in a convenient location with a chic and modern atmosphere, get comfortable. Spacious guest rooms feature French-brand beds, and some have massage chairs. Stay connected with free WiFi, and connections for mobile phones are also available.

At Light Metropolis restaurant sample Japanese Modern with a variety of rich Japanese and Western breakfasts. Menus regularly change according to the season. Offerings include homemade smoothies, colourful cold DERI, and the long-established Yamayasu dried vegetable toppings for a Chinese-style porridge. Take a five-minute walk to Nishi-Shinjuku Station and a minute walk to Shinjuku Station. Attractions nearby feature the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and the Samurai Museum.

Kanbayashi Hotel Senjukaku (or similar)

One Night

Founded in 1928, Senjukaku was a famous rural retreat of the Meiji Era and one of the earliest hotels to introduce a mix of Japanese and Western aesthetics. It has been the favorite of many cultural figures historically. During the post-War Occupation, it was also used as a resort by the American army. Rebuilt in 1989, with its wooden beams and family treasures on display, this expansive ryokan resort very much retains the same “modern” mood as the original. Senjukaku’s offerings include garden walks on site, indoor and outdoor hot spring baths and a massage service, as well as superb service from the staff and delicious and generous multi-course meals. In short, Senjukaku continues to uphold its proud tradition as a perfect country getaway.

Wat Hotel & Spa Hida Takayama

Two Nights

Takayama is a nice-sized town, easy to get around on foot. We love this hotel for its quality, onsen, location, and room sizes. You can reserve your own private onsen bath, or use the facilities of the public onsen. Whatever your choice, you can enjoy the relaxed pace in this quaint mountainside town.

Kanazawa Square Hotel (or similar)

One Night

The Square Hotel in Kanazawa is a modern retreat in Kanazawa. Situated close to iconic sights like Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Gardens, it is the perfect place to base your trip to this pretty coastal city. Taking inspiration from Kanazawa’s artistic history, the hotel utilises traditional Kaga colours to maintain an authentic link between past and present. Kaga Yuzen silk dyeing is one of Kanazawa’s most famous traditional arts, and you will find these fine silks adorning much of the interior hereThe hotel is located just a stone’s throw from the popular Omicho Market, a lively shopping area which is central to the daily rhythms of life in Kanazawa.  

Kyoto Okura Hotel (or similar 4/5*)

Four Nights

Okura Hotels are Japans finest traditional hotels providing 5* service throughout. Kyoto Okura is centrally located, just a short walk from downtown.

Amami Bashayama Mura Hotel (or similar)

Four Nights

Bashayama Mura Hotel is the perfect place to simply chill!! Located in front of the cyrstal blue sea, your room comes with the perfect view, one you won’t find in many other hotels in Japan. Spacious rooms, again a rare attraction for hotels in Japan, the hotel is famous for its abundance of fresh seafood, friendly easy going service, and is a popular wedding venue in Japan. Just 20 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from the main city of Naze with a local bus stop right outside the door.

The Imperial Hotel (or similar 5*)

Two Nights

A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, this 5 star hotel offers traditional luxury in the heart of Tokyo’s prime shopping and business district in Yurakucho. You will have everything you expect from Tokyo on your doorstep such as, the Imperial Palace, Ginza shopping district, beautiful parks and gardens, and world class cuisine.

Tour Testimonial

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Unique Japan Tours
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
 by Denise
Amazing end to an incredible tour

Unique Japan Tours made our time in Japan so special, especially when we landed on Amami Ooshima...a sub tropical paradise island in the Pacific. They couldn't do enough for us and really know how to put together a well thought out itinerary and route. Professional at all times with clear inside knowledge of Japan - giving us experiences we know we would not have got on our own. At first we thought it was pricey, but when we got there, we knew we paid for what we got! Highly recommend Traditional & Tropical Japan. A whirldwind adventure through the mainland before a sit-back and unwind on a tropical paradise Amami Ooshima. Thank you so much to Hokuto and all at Unique Japan Tours.

Denise & Ciaran (October 2019)

Whats Included

  • 10 nights in carefully chosen 4 & 5* [western style beds]
  • 2 nights in Japanese style* ryokan [Japanese style / futon bed]
  • 4 nights in Seafront Hotel [western style beds]

* If you require a bed for health reasons (1 night only will be on futon), let us know early. We can put in a request but cannot guarantee it.

English Speaking tour leader
Daily local English speaking Tour Leader* (Group Size: 6 persons – 12 persons)
*If your tour has less than 6 people on it, we will arrange the tour on a semi-escorted basis. You will met in each area by our local assistants and guides on days you don’t have private guides).
Private Tour Guides
English-speaking local tour guides in Tokyo, Kanazawa, Gokayama, Takayama, Kyoto, & Amami Ooshima
Transfers & Luggage
  • Arrival & Departure Airport transfers to & from Tokyo hotel (door to door service)
  • Reserved Seats on all long-distance trains including bullet train seats. For smaller groups, a 7-day Japan Rail pass may be provided (allowing full access to JR trains on 7 consecutive days).
  • Luggage transfer when using shinkansen (one bag per person / 2 times)
  • Internal Flights to Amami Ooshima & back to Tokyo
  • Chartered vehicles, local taxis/minivans/coaches on private city tours
Entrance Fees
Included into all sights listed on itinerary
Cultural Experiences
  • Tokyo Sights by Day & Night including izakaya night out, urban Japanese garden, Sumo Tournament (May & September dates), etc.
  • World famous Yudanaka Snow Monkey Park in Nagano Prefecture (snow monkey’s may or may not be present on Sep tour) & Samurai castle of Matsumoto
  • Overnight in rural ryokans experiencing unique Japanese hospitality and onsen (hot spring baths) & incredible R&R time!
  • Kanazawa Tea house visit for authentic tea ceremony in geisha district, visit to one of the top 3 gardens of Japan, local food market
  • UNESCO World Heritage Kyoto: glorious sites, traditional back-streets, stunning shrines, manicured gardens and gorgeous geisha just some of the highlights!
  • High speed bullet train journeys throughout
  • Scenic mountain drives taking in the magical landscape that makes up c.75% of Japan’s terrain
  • Cultural Activities in Gokayama including: Washi Paper Making, Soba noodle making, 400-year-old farmhouse visit, tea with locals, farmers dance
  • Takayama morning market and old worldly village feel
  • April/October: Takayama Festival (very popular)
  • Authentic Tropical Island in the Pacific Ocean experiencing a new ethnicity of island living, tasting different flavours only found on the island, meeting friendly easy-going islanders!
  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 Lunches
  • 5 Evening Meals (1 traditional Kaiseki Japanese ryokan, 2 on island, 2 in Tokyo)
Other Inclusions:
  • Comprehensive Travel Pack
  • My Japan Travel App
  • Local Emergency Contact
  • All Taxes & Accommodation Surcharges
  • Fixed Price Policy
  • Maximum 12 people
  • No hidden Costs
This package does not include:
  • International Flights [We can help with this]
  • Meals other than those specified in the itinerary. Generally, you can expect to pay 1,000yen for lunches and anything from 2,500yen for your evening meals.
  • Beverages consumed at any meal (Water served freely)
  • Baggage Handling (You are requested to carry your own bags so be careful when packing!)
  • Tour Leader, Guide or Driver Gratuity – can be arranged among your group (Optional)















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