Holidays & Sabbaticals to Japan – In a Nutshell
Nowhere else on Earth does the most cutting-edge technology blend so seamlessly with ancient cultural traditions. While Japan’s big cities are larger than life with their futuristic fashions, flashing lights and frenetic activity, the countryside offers some of the most zen and serene surroundings, where life moves at a slower pace to a backdrop of green paddy fields and snow-capped volcanoes. Culturally, geographically and gastronomically fascinating, Japan has so much to offer visitors. Master the art of being a Samurai or learn the ropes of sushi making, hop from tea house to tea house and get under the skin of Geisha culture, wander bamboo forests and cherry-blossom lined avenues, or even conquer kitesurfing and enjoy world-class skiing. Underneath Japan’s lively exterior is a precision and peacefulness that makes it so enjoyable to explore and simply take your time over.
How to Get to Japan
There are direct flights from the UK and mainland Europe – approx. 12 hours’ flight time – into Tokyo and Osaka. If you’re coming from the US, you can take flights from most major cities – flight times range from 11.5 – 14.5 hours.
From Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo and Okinawa you can take onward domestic flights.
Get around by private transfer vehicles or public transport – highspeed bullet trains and efficient inner-city subway.
When & Weather – Japan
Japan’s geographic location means the climate changes from tropical islands in the south and harsh winters in the north. Most visits take place in areas on the main islands which have a similar climate to Tokyo.
Winters are cold but sunny with plentiful snowfall, especially in central and northern parts of the country.
Spring (March to May) brings warm sunny days that are ideal for sightseeing with many seasonal attractions.
Summer starts with the rainy season which is followed by hot and humid weather with temperatures often over 30°C.
The autumn is very pleasant time with many days of unbroken sunshine and comfortable daytime temperatures.
Who will Japan Appeal To?
Its seasonal climate, cities and stunning natural landscapes are best suited to:
- Art, History, Culture and Technology afficionados
- Active travellers
- Solo travellers
Upmarket luxury and boutique hotels and traditional family-run ryokans, relaxed beach resorts and quirky guesthouses.
Off The Beaten Path
- Japan’s remote countryside is rich in natural sights from mountain peaks to island retreats and zen onsen towns with steaming hot-springs. Venturing beyond the bucket list highlights will reward travellers with a more local side to the country. Naruko
- Onsen area is a tiny village, known for its natural hot-springs and its kokeshi dolls.
- Wa No I Kakunodate comprises of a small collection of renovated historical storehouses, which are scattered throughout the town of Kakunodate, a town also known as ‘Little Kyoto’ for its samurai residences.
Beyond the big cities, Japan is host to great diversity of wildlife with around 130 mammals such as bears, wild cats, sable and snow monkeys and over 500 bird species such as the red crowned crane and green pheasant.
Japan Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Traditional Japanese martial arts
- Tea ceremony
- Flower arranging
- Culinary arts
Nagano Heritage is a regeneration project which renovates and preserves ancient buildings in a region known as the Japanese Alps. Many buildings date back over 200 years and have been left to ruin. Nagano Heritage’s goal is to protect their cultural and historical importance as well as preserve the traditional skills of the local craftspeople. Visitors with an interest in culture would find a stay in this area particularly interesting. See: https://naganoheritage.com
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Japan.
No matter how long you would like to travel, we’ll guide you through the planning process to ensure a trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and read the signature itinerary below to whet your appetite.