The itineraries in our tours are flexible, and do vary occasionally, sometimes due to weather or on-going events such as festivals which guests may want to see. In addition if there is something else you’d like to do or see on your trip please mention this to your tour leader and we’ll try our best to ensure you can do it.
Age / Requirements / Fitness
The Japan Heartland Tour is suitable for ages of around 12 and upwards, and is ideal for families, couples, and singles alike. All ages are welcome and the eldest guest we've had on one of our Small Group Tours, to date, is 87 — she was one of the fittest members in the group!
Our only hard and fast requirements are English speaking ability (all tours are conducted in English) and a zest for life! While Olympic levels of fitness are not necessary, on average we cover around 4 or 5 kilometres a day and some of the tourist sites we visit have steps, as do some of the stations.
Having said all that, walking is done at an easy pace, with plenty of stops for ice cream and to absorb the sights. In the unlikely event that an excursion is going to be too taxing or if you have another preference, you are welcome to break away from the group at any time. No part of the itinerary is compulsory; we like to keep things as fun and flexible as possible!
As with all our Small Group Tours in Japan we use the extremely efficient, clean, safe and reliable public transportation network. - It's the most efficient way to get around, and by far it's the best way to experience the country and its people. This is not a tour bus holiday with fixed tourist trap set lunches and carpet sales in the afternoon!
We do at times forward your main cases ahead from one hotel to another (one case per person) allowing you to travel light and easy keeping things as fun as possible. If you bring too much luggage with you, or buy too many souvenirs during the tour and require additional use of the service, this can easily be arranged. The service is cheap and reliable.
The minimum number of passengers on the Heartland Tour is two — we believe it’s unfair to cancel tours when the numbers are not larger.
Because we keep the group size to a maximum of 10, unfortunately we have to charge a single supplement of £ 380 if travelling alone. For this you'll be ensured to have a room to yourself for the entirety of the tour, except for when staying at the traditional accomodation, here we may ask you to share a room with another member of the group of the same sex. If you have any questions about this, please drop us a line.
- All accommodation. (12 nights)
- The support of your Tour Leader for the entirety of the tour
- All transportation from city to city including the shinkansen bullet train
- Meet & greet at the airport in Tokyo (either Narita or Haneda) on arrival and transfer to the tour hotel in the city up to one week before the starting date of the tour
- Tickets for airport transfer at the end of the tour (non-guided)
- Most local transport (subways / trains / buses) is covered by the various travel passes we issue, but not all, coming to an overall total of around an additional GB£25
- Authentic Tea Ceremony at a tea house in Kyoto
- Sumida River Cruise in Tokyo
- Baggage forwarding for one bag / case, two times (from Kyoto to Okayama and from Okayama to Osaka). If you would like to use the service more than this it can easily be organized
- Breakfast every morning
- Group meal on Day 1
- Dinner on Days 7and 8 (Kaiseki Ryori on Miyajima Island)
- Dinner on Day 11 (Shojin Ryori at Mount Koya)
- Tour Info-Pack
- 100% payment protection through the TTA (our membership number is U6165)
What's not included?
- Meals, except for the ones mentioned above
- Local transportation that is not covered by the various travel passes we issue for the tour. This comes to around GB£25 in total
- Due to the flexible nature of our tours entrance fees for temples, museums and shows etc are not included. If you visit all the places in the itinerary, the entrance fees will come to a total of around GB£20 for the whole tour
- Travel Insurance. You must take out travel insurance before travelling to Japan, we suggest this is done soon after a booking has been made.
- Flights to and from Japan!