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Self Guided Tours

All self-guided tours of Japan listed are designed for the first time visitor as well as for repeat visitors. Some tours will offer more adventure and off-the-beaten-track locations, but don’t worry about this – we will plan it for you – giving you ample information before travelling, hence making it a memorable and exciting trip.

Our self-guided tours of Japan are designed for the independent traveller who enjoys finding their own way around and is up for the challenge of using our access maps to find your way from one place to the next. Part of this experience is travelling around Japan like a local, using public transport and taxis.

Getting around

You will be provided with the details of how to get from A to B in full, so all you need to do is follow our instructions. Bullet trains, steam engines, cable cars, rickshaws, ferries, highway buses – Japan has it all. It is our aim to encourage you to experience as many types of transport as possible.

What to expect

Essential Travel Pack

UJT’s Essential Travel Pack is customised to suit each persons’ needs and requests individually. A lot of time is spent ensuring we have the most up-to-date information, ready to share with you on your unique Japan journey. Such information will allow you to travel stress-free and confidently inside Japan.

Frequently asked questions

When is the best season to go to Japan?

Japan is a country with four distinct seasons.

It is therefore easy to predict temperatures so depending on the temperatures you prefer to travel, will determine what the best season for you will be. If colder temperatures don’t bother you, we recommend going in the Winter for a number of reasons:

  1. Fewer people/tourists at the must-see sights
  2. Less traffic in cities so you can see more
  3. Prices are less peak so we can get more for your money!
  4. Colder temperatures mean cosier atmosphere indoors, especially in your ryokan and at the hot springs (onsen baths)
  5. Make the most of the outdoor onsens surrounded by snow (if going into mountainous regions)

How do I get there?

You arrange your own flight or we can arrange it for you. We work closely with local agents for flight bookings, so if you prefer to deal with just one company for your tour & flights we can do this for you. Simply ask for a quotation when booking your tour. We recommend you communicate your interest in the tour before booking your flight as this way we can advise you on the best options. ALL tours begin and end in Japan. This means you are not limited to just one country either.

How much extra money will I need?

We estimate you will need approximately 5,000JPY – 8,000JPY per day which will be used for personal use only, i.e. some meals, drinks, souvenirs, etc. All other costs such as entrance fees, transport, hotels, and activities will be included in the price.


"I saw incredible sites, met exceptionally nice people, and enjoyed each of the hotels where you found me a room."

Hello Karen,

My experience in Japan was wonderful…once my guides explained the Metro and train systems to me, and I learned how to say “Hello” and “Thank You”.

I saw incredible sites, met exceptionally nice people, and enjoyed each of the hotels where you found me a room.

Thank you for your work to make all of the above true,

Margaret (travelled May 2017)

"The itinerary and accommodation exceeded our expectations."

Hi Karen,

Thank you for a wonderful trip! The itinerary and accommodation exceeded our expectations. Our guided tour in Kyoto was excellent – I cannot speak highly enough of our guide, Keiko, who was knowledgeable, informative and a joy to be with.

One thing you may find helpful in advising others – the bullet trains have plenty of room for cabin size suitcases in overhead open luggage racks.

Kind regards

Jill (travelled May 2017)

Some initial thoughts after our trip:

Everything worked like clockwork.  All the trains and buses were caught on time, the directions were perfect. The hotels were perfect, the Ryokans were delightful, if a little strange (foodwise). Walking the challenging Old Post Road (in a torrential downpour), we were averaging no more than 1 mile per hour.  You forgot to mention the Bear Warning Bells!

The private guides were excellent and added so much to our visit.  JS was the least talkative of the guides, though talking one-on-one, Mary found him quite adequate. The Tokyo itinerary could have been improved. Given that cabs are not expensive, the Tokyo itinerary could have been travelled by cab, saving quite a bit of time.

Travelling in Golden Week meant large crowds everywhere, especially Tokyo.

The visit to Tokyo Skytree (exterior only) was extremely uninteresting.  The view from the top would have been worth it, but tickets needed to be bought beforehand, preferably at least a day before one’s visit. The Imperial Palace Plaza could have been a camera shot out of a cab window.

Thank you for all your work to enable us have a wonderful trip to Japan.

Patrick & Mary (travelled April/May 2017)

All the hotels were great but the Sheraton in Hiroshima was especially nice with big rooms and excellent service

Hi Karen,

Home safe and sound after an amazing trip ( apart from washing our passports ) All the information and travel directions provided worked really well and we didn’t have any real travel problems. Our favourite place was Miyajima and the Watanabe Inn was faultless. All the hotels were great but the Sheraton in Hiroshima was especially nice with big rooms and excellent service. Our least favourite place was Takamatsu who’s best days seem a bit behind it.

Thank you for the hard work in getting our trip together and if you would like any more formal feedback just let us know.

Steve & Pete (travelled on “Lost in Japan” May 2017)

"...We are recommending you to everyone we talk to about our amazing trip".

Hi Karen,

I have been meaning to email and thank you for all the arrangements in Japan. We had one of our best holidays ever due in no small part to the amazing organisation and instructions provided by you. Thank you.

The hotel choices were all excellent, the only comment is that the one in Miyajuma did a very odd breakfast (cold scrambled eggs, cold rare roast beef, cold carrots…) and the reception didn’t really speak English. It would also have been useful to know the last lift down the mountain was 5.30pm, we had to make a mad dash to get up there and back and would have allowed more time if we had known.

The only other negative feedback is that our guide in Tokyo, Junji didn’t speak great English and was very destination driven. He walked our socks off and we didn’t sit down for lunch until 2 pm. He hadn’t arranged anywhere so we ended up in a food hall. While the food was fine it was not a relaxing lunch. We had hoped for a more personalised experience and more information about the sights and the history. Keiko in Kyoto was brilliant.

Anyway, thank you again for all your help we are recommending you to everyone we talk to about our amazing trip.

Best regards

Laura (travelled on Golden Route Superior in May 2017)

"All reservations and bookings were perfectly in order..."

Please allow me to say that Japan was the absolute highlight of our seven months in Asia! Everything about our trip was perfect! We are so incredibly impressed with the planning that went into everything. The itinerary, travel guides, transportation schedules, etc., were all top notch! Every detail was perfectly planned and executed. Both local tour guides were great! Thank you so much for all of your time and efforts! We had an amazing time in Japan and will highly recommend you and your company to all of our friends and family! Take care.

Mike – The Golden Route  June 2014

Self Guided Tours

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