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Japan by Rail

22 days Fully Inclusive Classic Group Tour

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Japan by Rail

An all-encompassing journey through Japan, travelling mainly by bullet train and taking in the highlights of all three main islands: Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido. Experience ancient traditions and modern Japan's unique charm.

  • Fully Inclusive
    Touring with Guides and entrance fees
  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 19 , Lunches: 18 , Dinners: 19
  • Flights
    International flights and current taxes
  • Accommodation
    19 nights in 3+ star accommodation
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 28
  • Physical Rating 1
    A reasonable level of fitness is required but it's more about spending time on your feet rather than covering large distances. You'll be getting on and off coaches and boats, walking around the sights and climbing some steps.
    Learn More
    Walking, some steps and time on your feet.
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Classic Group Tour
22 DAYS
From $14,580PP
Fukuoka (2N) Nagasaki Hiroshima (2N) Himeji Osaka (2N) Nara Kyoto (2N) Kanazawa (1N) Takayama (2N) Yudanaka Matsumoto (1N) Suwa (1N) Mt Fuji Tokyo (3N) Matsushima Sendai (1N) Hakodate (1N) Sapporo (1N)
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Tour Highlights

Our Japan by Rail tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.

Day by Day Itinerary

Fukuoka (2N) – Nagasaki – Hiroshima (2N) – Himeji – Osaka (2N) – Nara – Kyoto (2N) – Kanazawa (1N) – Takayama (2N) – Yudanaka – Matsumoto (1N) – Suwa (1N) – Mt Fuji – Tokyo (3N) – Matsushima – Sendai (1N) – Hakodate (1N) – Sapporo (1N)
  • Days 1-2
    Fly To Fukuoka
    Dinner
    DAYS 1-2: Fly To Fukuoka

    Fly to the charming city of Fukuoka, the gateway to the island of Kyushu. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

    Dinner
  • Day 3
    Explore Nagasaki
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 3: Explore Nagasaki

    Begin the day by travelling on the limited express train to Nagasaki. Upon arrival, enjoy a stroll through the Glover Garden, an open-air museum that exhibits mansions attributed to the Scottish merchant who contributed to the modernisation of Japan. Also, visit the Oura Catholic Church and Atomic Bomb Museum before returning to Fukuoka.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4
    Miyajima Island
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 4: Miyajima Island

    Board the bullet train to Hiroshima located on Japan's largest island, Honshu. Upon arrival in Hiroshima, take the ferry across the Seto Inland Sea to the holy island of Miyajima. Here, visit the Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy a momiji manju making cooking experience. Later, return to Hiroshima.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5
    Hiroshima Highlights
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 5: Hiroshima Highlights

    Spend the day in Hiroshima starting with a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum where you will have the opportunity to pay homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Enjoy okonomiyaki for lunch before ascending Orizuru Tower to view the city from above, followed by a stroll through the historical Shukkeien Garden.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 6
    Admire Himeji Castle
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 6: Admire Himeji Castle

    Depart Hiroshima by bullet train, stopping at Himeji to visit the magnificent Himeji Castle, followed by a walk through Kokoen. Continue by limited express to Osaka.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7
    Osaka & Nara Day Trip
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 7: Osaka & Nara Day Trip

    Begin the day with a visit to the Umeda Sky Building followed by a lunch at the famous Dontonburi district. Later, head to Nara and explore Todaiji Temple which houses the impressive Daibutsu, a 15-metre tall bronze statue of Buddha. Enjoy an ink making and calligraphy class before returning to Osaka.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 8
    Kyoto's Temples
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 8: Kyoto's Temples

    Journey by road to Kyoto. Capital for 1,000 years, this enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan. Upon arrival, stroll through the Arashiyama bamboo forest and admire the towering thickets. Also visit Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan's most well-known zen garden and the famous 'Golden Pavilion' Kinkakuji Temple.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 9
    Teas Ceremony & Fan Painting
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 9: Teas Ceremony & Fan Painting

    The day begins with a visit to Kiyomizu Temple temple in Kyoto. Next, immerse yourself in the culture and enjoy the age-old rituals of a tea ceremony, zen meditation and try your hand at fan painting. Also, explore Gion – Kyoto's famous geisha district and centre of the city's traditional arts.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 10
    Explore Kanazawa
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 10: Explore Kanazawa

    Take the limited express train to Kanazawa and upon arrival, meander your way through Kenrokuen, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Also visit the Nomura Samurai House and Kunani Pottery Factory.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 11
    Shirakawago Village
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 11: Shirakawago Village

    Travel by road to Takayama stopping en route at Inami for a sake wooden cup making experience and sake tasting. Next, continue to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shirakawago Village to get a glimpse of rural Japan. Continue to Takayama.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 12
    Discover Takayama
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 12: Discover Takayama

    Spend the morning browsing the local handicrafts and fresh produce at Miyagawa market, the Takayama Floats Museum and Takayama Jinya. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 13
    Search for Snow Monkeys
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 13: Search for Snow Monkeys

    Travel to Matsumoto and spend time at the Daio Wasabi Farm to see the plantations and learn about its cultivation. Continue to Yudanaka and head to Jigokudani Yaen-Koen. Walk through a picturesque forested valley to the hot pools where you can search for the famous Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) - sighting not guaranteed, before returning to Matsumoto.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 14
    Matsumoto Castle
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 14: Matsumoto Castle

    Begin the day with a visit to the magnificent 16th-century Matsumoto Castle, also known as 'Crow Castle', due to its intense black exterior. Next, head to a miso house and learn about the process of making this famous Japanese seasoning. Also visit the former post town of Naraijuku before continuing to Suwa.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 15
    Mount Fuji
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 15: Mount Fuji

    Travel to Hakone and ascend 2,400 metres to the 5th Station (weather permitting) for magnificent views of Mt Fuji. Also, enjoy a peaceful cruise on Lake Ashi before taking to the skies on the Komagatake Ropeway. Later, continue to Tokyo by road.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 16
    Tour Tokyo
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 16: Tour Tokyo

    Being the day with a stroll through Hamarikyu Gardens. Next, take part in a sushi making class and enjoy your own creations for lunch! Later, soak up the atmosphere at Sensoji Temple, browse the stalls on Nakamise shopping street and take a drive-by of the Imperial Palace Plaza before returning to your hotel.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 17
    Even More Tokyo
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 17: Even More Tokyo

    Begin the day at the Tokyo Metropolitan Building and ascend to the observation deck for breathtaking views over the sprawling city. Next, soak up the atmosphere at the peaceful Meiji Jingu Shrine and drive-by the world-famous Shibuya crossing. End the day with a relaxing dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 18
    Sip Whiskey In Sendai
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 18: Sip Whiskey In Sendai

    As the tour journeys to northern Honshu, board the bullet train to Sendai, the largest city in Tohoku. Upon arrival, transfer by road to Matsushima and enjoy a cruise on Matsushima Bay. Also, visit Zuiganji Temple and the famous Nikka Whisky factory in Sendai.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 19
    Explore Hakodate
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 19: Explore Hakodate

    Say goodbye to Honshu Island as you board the bullet train to Hakodate located on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. Visit the Goryokaku Tower, a star shaped fortress followed by some time at leisure. This evening, journey on the Mt Hakodate Ropeway and enjoy the fabulous views of the city below.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 20
    Sapporo Sightseeing
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 20: Sapporo Sightseeing

    Board the bullet train for the very last time to Sapporo. Head to the Clock Tower and Odori Park and in the evening, stop by the Sapporo Beer Museum and enjoy a tasting or two, followed by a farewell dinner.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Days 21-22
    Fly Sapporo To New Zealand
    Breakfast
    DAY 21-22: Fly Sapporo To New Zealand

    Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day.

    Breakfast
Japan by Rail map

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Accommodation

We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.

Book With Confidence

When to go

City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • -6
    1
    -3
  • 77
  • Himeji
  • -1
    9
    4
  • 39
  • Hiroshima
  • 2
    10
    6
  • 45
  • Kanazawa
  • 1
    7
    4
  • 270
  • Kyoto
  • 1
    9
    5
  • 50
  • Nagasaki
  • 4
    10
    7
  • 64
  • Nara
  • 0
    9
    4
  • 50
  • Osaka
  • 3
    10
    6
  • 45
  • Sapporo
  • -7
    -1
    -4
  • 114
  • Sendai
  • -2
    5
    2
  • 33
  • Takayama
  • 4
    9
    7
  • 8
  • Tokyo
  • 1
    10
    5
  • 65
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • -6
    2
    -2
  • 59
  • Himeji
  • 0
    9
    4
  • 51
  • Hiroshima
  • 2
    11
    6
  • 67
  • Kanazawa
  • 1
    7
    4
  • 172
  • Kyoto
  • 1
    10
    6
  • 68
  • Nagasaki
  • 4
    12
    8
  • 86
  • Nara
  • 0
    10
    5
  • 63
  • Osaka
  • 3
    10
    7
  • 62
  • Sapporo
  • -7
    0
    -3
  • 94
  • Sendai
  • -2
    6
    2
  • 48
  • Takayama
  • 5
    10
    7
  • 15
  • Tokyo
  • 2
    10
    6
  • 58
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • -3
    5
    1
  • 59
  • Himeji
  • 2
    12
    7
  • 87
  • Hiroshima
  • 5
    14
    9
  • 124
  • Kanazawa
  • 3
    11
    7
  • 159
  • Kyoto
  • 4
    13
    9
  • 113
  • Nagasaki
  • 7
    15
    11
  • 132
  • Nara
  • 2
    13
    8
  • 103
  • Osaka
  • 6
    14
    10
  • 104
  • Sapporo
  • -3
    4
    1
  • 78
  • Sendai
  • 0
    9
    5
  • 73
  • Takayama
  • 7
    13
    10
  • 41
  • Tokyo
  • 4
    14
    9
  • 77
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • 3
    12
    7
  • 70
  • Himeji
  • 8
    18
    13
  • 131
  • Hiroshima
  • 10
    20
    15
  • 142
  • Kanazawa
  • 8
    17
    13
  • 137
  • Kyoto
  • 9
    20
    14
  • 116
  • Nagasaki
  • 12
    20
    16
  • 151
  • Nara
  • 7
    20
    14
  • 98
  • Osaka
  • 11
    20
    15
  • 104
  • Sapporo
  • 3
    12
    7
  • 57
  • Sendai
  • 6
    15
    10
  • 98
  • Takayama
  • 13
    18
    15
  • 31
  • Tokyo
  • 9
    19
    14
  • 118
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • 8
    16
    12
  • 84
  • Himeji
  • 12
    23
    17
  • 140
  • Hiroshima
  • 15
    24
    19
  • 178
  • Kanazawa
  • 13
    22
    17
  • 155
  • Kyoto
  • 14
    25
    19
  • 161
  • Nagasaki
  • 16
    24
    20
  • 179
  • Nara
  • 12
    24
    18
  • 144
  • Osaka
  • 16
    24
    20
  • 146
  • Sapporo
  • 8
    17
    13
  • 53
  • Sendai
  • 11
    20
    15
  • 108
  • Takayama
  • 17
    22
    20
  • 43
  • Tokyo
  • 14
    23
    18
  • 145
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • 12
    20
    16
  • 73
  • Himeji
  • 18
    26
    22
  • 209
  • Hiroshima
  • 19
    27
    23
  • 247
  • Kanazawa
  • 18
    25
    22
  • 185
  • Kyoto
  • 19
    28
    23
  • 214
  • Nagasaki
  • 20
    26
    23
  • 315
  • Nara
  • 18
    27
    22
  • 189
  • Osaka
  • 20
    28
    24
  • 184
  • Sapporo
  • 13
    22
    17
  • 47
  • Sendai
  • 15
    22
    19
  • 138
  • Takayama
  • 21
    25
    23
  • 58
  • Tokyo
  • 18
    26
    22
  • 135
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • 17
    23
    20
  • 130
  • Himeji
  • 22
    30
    26
  • 162
  • Hiroshima
  • 24
    31
    27
  • 259
  • Kanazawa
  • 22
    29
    26
  • 232
  • Kyoto
  • 23
    32
    27
  • 220
  • Nagasaki
  • 24
    30
    27
  • 314
  • Nara
  • 22
    31
    26
  • 165
  • Osaka
  • 24
    32
    28
  • 157
  • Sapporo
  • 17
    25
    21
  • 81
  • Sendai
  • 19
    26
    22
  • 160
  • Takayama
  • 24
    28
    26
  • 36
  • Tokyo
  • 22
    29
    26
  • 81
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • 19
    26
    22
  • 154
  • Himeji
  • 23
    32
    27
  • 101
  • Hiroshima
  • 25
    32
    29
  • 111
  • Kanazawa
  • 24
    31
    27
  • 139
  • Kyoto
  • 24
    33
    29
  • 132
  • Nagasaki
  • 25
    32
    28
  • 195
  • Nara
  • 23
    33
    28
  • 112
  • Osaka
  • 25
    33
    29
  • 91
  • Sapporo
  • 19
    26
    23
  • 124
  • Sendai
  • 21
    28
    25
  • 174
  • Takayama
  • 26
    30
    28
  • 16
  • Tokyo
  • 23
    31
    27
  • 113
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • 14
    23
    18
  • 152
  • Himeji
  • 19
    27
    23
  • 200
  • Hiroshima
  • 21
    29
    25
  • 170
  • Kanazawa
  • 20
    27
    23
  • 226
  • Kyoto
  • 20
    29
    25
  • 176
  • Nagasaki
  • 22
    29
    25
  • 189
  • Nara
  • 19
    28
    24
  • 163
  • Osaka
  • 22
    29
    26
  • 161
  • Sapporo
  • 14
    22
    18
  • 135
  • Sendai
  • 17
    24
    21
  • 218
  • Takayama
  • 23
    27
    25
  • 57
  • Tokyo
  • 20
    27
    23
  • 131
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • 7
    17
    12
  • 100
  • Himeji
  • 12
    22
    17
  • 104
  • Hiroshima
  • 14
    23
    19
  • 88
  • Kanazawa
  • 13
    21
    17
  • 177
  • Kyoto
  • 14
    23
    18
  • 121
  • Nagasaki
  • 16
    24
    20
  • 86
  • Nara
  • 12
    22
    17
  • 111
  • Osaka
  • 16
    23
    19
  • 112
  • Sapporo
  • 8
    16
    12
  • 109
  • Sendai
  • 11
    19
    15
  • 99
  • Takayama
  • 17
    21
    19
  • 38
  • Tokyo
  • 14
    22
    18
  • 132
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • 1
    10
    6
  • 108
  • Himeji
  • 6
    17
    11
  • 61
  • Hiroshima
  • 8
    17
    13
  • 68
  • Kanazawa
  • 8
    16
    12
  • 265
  • Kyoto
  • 8
    17
    12
  • 71
  • Nagasaki
  • 11
    18
    15
  • 86
  • Nara
  • 6
    16
    11
  • 71
  • Osaka
  • 10
    18
    14
  • 69
  • Sapporo
  • 1
    8
    5
  • 104
  • Sendai
  • 5
    13
    9
  • 67
  • Takayama
  • 12
    16
    14
  • 16
  • Tokyo
  • 8
    16
    12
  • 128
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Hakodate
  • -4
    3
    0
  • 85
  • Himeji
  • 1
    11
    6
  • 32
  • Hiroshima
  • 4
    12
    8
  • 41
  • Kanazawa
  • 3
    10
    7
  • 282
  • Kyoto
  • 3
    12
    7
  • 48
  • Nagasaki
  • 6
    13
    10
  • 61
  • Nara
  • 2
    11
    7
  • 47
  • Osaka
  • 5
    12
    9
  • 44
  • Sapporo
  • -4
    2
    -1
  • 112
  • Sendai
  • 1
    8
    4
  • 26
  • Takayama
  • 7
    12
    9
  • 6
  • Tokyo
  • 4
    12
    8
  • 109

Pricing & Availability

All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price unless a land only option is selected

2024
  • Select Year
  • Select Month
Departure: All
  • Departure: All
1 Room, 2 Guests
  • 1 Room, 2 Guests
  • 1 Room, 1 Guest
    Depart NZStart Date
    Return DateEnd Date
    Price
    Availability

    Additional Price Information

    • Prices include airline fuel surcharge and taxes. Correct as of 1 August 2023, subject to change.
    • Tipping is generally not part of the culture in Japan; however, you may wish to tip your National Escort at your discretion.
    • Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2. Extra nights' accommodation (pre or post tour) or stopovers may be required at an additional cost.
    • Based on departures from Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch
    • Departures from other cities and flight upgrades available on request
    • Land only (Fukuoka - Sapporo) 20 days from $14,380 per person, twin share
    • Single Supplement from $3,280
    • Please note: cherry blossoms are weather dependent and it is not guaranteed that they will be in bloom at the time of your arrival.
    • Price listed is based on new bookings only

    Group Tour includes

    • 19 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 19 dinners
    • International flights and current taxes
    • Domestic transportation
    • 3 star – 4 star accommodation
    • Touring with guides and entrance fees

    Important Information For Your Tour

    Before Booking
    Travel Protection, Booking Conditions
    and more
    Before you go
    Passports & Visas, Travel Guides & Packing Lists, Holiday FAQ’s and more

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