Touring in Japan...
March 28, 2006 11:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some advice / experiences with tours through Japan (i.e. traveling in Japan with activities etc. taken care of by someone else).

Ideally I would want to go for 5 - 10 days, and it has to end mid-July as I am meeting up with someone else who won't be able to go on the tour.

I don't really care what in particular I see, as long as it's worthwhile. I would love to get off the beaten path a bit and maybe do some (light) hiking(?). I'd be traveling by myself and would hope to travel with a group of people of similar age (mid-twenties), but I'm not picky about that and would also travel alone.

I don't want to waste money, but I'm able & willing to pay whatever a memorable and engaging experience costs. I'll be taking care of my own plane tickets.

I have googled and checked out a couple of sites such as insidejapan and expeditions, as well as previous AskMe threads on traveling in Japan. But I wanted to see what other tour companies you all might recommend and what experiences you all have had, bad or good.

One last note: though I would prefer to tour Japan, I would also be open to traveling anywhere else if you know of a good company/tour that fits my parameters. Many thanks!
posted by thumpasor to Travel & Transportation around Japan (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
One of the great things about Japan is it's size. You'll be able to see practically all of the main attractions within 10 days. I went for 9 and saw quite a few very cool things. I would recommend that you avoid seeing too many temples or shrines. I would limit your visits to one Buddhist and one Shinto. They get kinda repetitive after a while.
posted by matkline at 1:05 PM on March 28, 2006

I've heard some good things about Pop Japan Travel, who have a mix of tours for people who want to do touristy things at reasonable prices as well as those who want to go to Japan because they like anime/Japanese goods. No tours listed for July, but maybe they're not up yet. has some info here on other touring companies. Another good place to ask is at the Lonely Planet Thorntree forums.

One thing to consider is that July in Japan is *NOT* a good season for travelling, especially hiking - the weather is ungodly hot and humid, people often carry umbrellas for shade and towels to mop up the sweat, and it just makes things generally unpleasant. The most popular month for tourism is November, and April-early May is another good time when the weather is pleasant and the scenery is in top shape, as well as there being a lot of interesting festivals and events going on. Summer is pretty slow as far as fun things go, so your choices will probably be more limited than they might be in other seasons.
posted by muscatlove at 10:57 PM on March 28, 2006

Thanks for everyone's advice. I got back a few weeks ago, and used a company called InsideJapan Tours - they put together an awesome tour package with everything I wanted to do. So I guess if I were answering my own question, I would recommend them. July was not a great month to travel there though, agreed.
posted by thumpasor at 3:23 PM on August 21, 2006

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