Japan Tours

Welcome to Dragonfly Tours Japan, where you will find enthralling holidays and tours in Japan brought to you by guides who are passionate about their country and want to share it with you.  In small groups (most of our Japan tours have a maximum of 8-10 people) and with a flexible schedule our escorted tours will show you the best of Japan whilst also giving you the freedom to explore this magical country by yourself.  We have tours throughout the year including incredible last minute Autumn tours to Japan a brilliant winter tour in Japan and fabulous tours in spring 2023

We have over 15 years’ experience in delivering incredibly enjoyable tours taking you through the best of Japan and come highly recommended from our customers – read our reviews.

Our escorted tours in Japan give you the chance to taste the freshest sushi or the potentially fatal fugu (pufferfish), pick up the latest gadget and some antique lacquer ware, soak in hot springs, see ancient temples, visit Zen gardens, explore modern cities and much more. Take in the majestic Mount Fuji on our fabulous Fuji Tour or take in our Northern Routes tour.  Read on to find out more about our selection of tours to Japan. Remember, as well as our scheduled tours, we also provide custom tours which give you flexibility over your itinerary.

The cherry blossom that paints Japan in pink every sping is the most powerful symbol in the nation’s culture. The intimate relationship between natural images and Japan’s philosophy and art is well known and records suggest that the people of Japan have held these pink blooms in high regard right back to the foundation of the country.
Taking in the futuristic high-rises of Tokyo, the ancient temples of Kyoto and the traditions, food and culture of an intriguing nation, this small group tour in the heartland of Japan is ideal for the first-time visitor or for anyone who wants to capture the essence of the country.
The Ancient Highway Tour is a relaxing trip taking in four of the most popular places in Japan. The tour starts in the neon and glitz of Tokyo which makes a neat contrast with the next stop, the somewhat more traditional old capital Kamakura.
The Takayama Festival Tour is a tour of Japan with a difference. You experience the highlights of Japan such as Tokyo and Kyoto, but at the heart of this tour is the experience of the Takayama festival, unheard of by many travellers here, and experienced by fewer.
The Crimson Leaf tour is the perfect choice for an Autumn tour of Japan. Every year when the intense heat of the summer breaks, Japan bursts into flame with autumn colours. At autumn’s peak in November, the mountains, the forests, the urban parks and avenues are ablaze with every kind of red, orange and yellow providing a stunning backdrop for your holiday.
This is a Japanese tour off the beaten track and who, like our ancestors, want to approach Japan through its historical gateway.
A fabulous Mount Fuji Tour. Mount Fuji is the symbol of Japan — its culture, its values; everything it represents. In times past, Fuji was the pivot of Japan’s ancient road connecting the cultural, spiritual and imperial centre of the country Kyoto with Tokyo, the traditional centre of commerce and political power.
The Takayama Reverse Festival Tour is based upon our Takayama Festival Tour but it heads in the opposite direction with some extra tweaks along the path. You experience the highlights of Japan such as Tokyo and Kyoto, but at the heart of this tour is the experience of the Takayama festival.
Unlike our other tours, the Northern Route Tour to Kyoto is a quick paced tour for those who want to see and experience a lot in a short period of time. We take you off the main tourist route connecting Tokyo and Kyoto making the most of the newer bullet train route running north through the rural plains and hills of Nagano.
Tailor made tours


Russ Hewick

Founder / Operations

Etsuko Sakai

Guide / Translator

Mayumi Sorimachi

Guide / Translator

Kaori Sakai

Guide / Translator

Midori Fujimura

Guide / Translator

Haruhi Makino

Guide / Translator


Roy Chappell

We just enjoyed our second holiday with Dragonfly Tours Japan, and had a wonderful time. Russ and his team of guides (including Satoko who looked after us Brilliantly) are terrific, the holidays run very smoothly and the itineraries on offer are great. The small group size that Dragonfly Tours Japan stick to means you get to know your tour group very well. Most evenings are your own so you can choose to eat or drink with others from the group, or just do your own thing if you prefer. Japan is a truly wonderful country. Lovely people, amazing history, fabulous sights to see, and terrific food. And the Yen is about 190 to the pound, whilst it was 125ish when we last went. So Japan offers great value at the moment. You can get beers for around £3 a go and our family of 4 (all adults) enjoyed lovely meals with a few rounds of beers for just £60 to £70 most evenings. If you are unsure about Japan, don’t be! Go see it with Dragon fly tours. You will see and learn so much more than you would if you try to do it on your own.

Allan & Cheryl Robert

Right from the beginning of our Dragonfly Takayama Festival tour in April we had the most wonderful time. Russ replied to all or e-mails very promptly and gave useful advice for our post tour add-on. By the time that came round we were well prepared for travelling unaccompanied. The trip that Russ organised was well planned with lots of variety, enough free time and options. We liked the small group format and using public transport. Russ and Masami were both excellent tour leaders and both had a great sense of humour. Top marks from us all round.

Dave & Gill Renvoize

We note and agree with the general positive comments already submitted by fellow travellers on this trip so will not repeat these other than to say this element of our longer trip was well organised and very enjoyable. We also used Dragonfly to organise extra time in Japan, to see places not included in the Takayama tour itinerary and were extremely impressed with the service they provided. Russ was very responsive to our enquiries, with speedy and helpful responses to our many questions. He turned our vague thoughts into specific options, detailing what was possible in the time available and offering advice on other things we might include. He worked up a more detailed itinerary with price estimates and did advise that with Japan's reopening to tourists hotel bookings in the more popular locations were becoming challenging and expensive. Indeed he did struggle to book hotels, particularly on Miyajima Island, but he persevered and was able to deliver excellent hotels in each of our chosen locations. His planning on our behalf was very detailed, the locations of the chosen hotels allowed easy access to transport and to our intended destinations and most impressive of all was the detailed instructions regarding each journey. We had an itinerary which detailed the best train times, the platform numbers, the locations of coin lockers and even tickets for our reserved seats on the Shinkansen journeys. This made our life so much easier, allowing us to concentrate on the sites visited rather than how to get there. We would certainly recommend Dragonfly Tours to anyone considering any of their standard trips but especially to anyone wishing to extend such trips, as we did, or to plan their own itinerary entirely.

Jacqui Robins

This ‘small group tour’ really appealed to me as it had a great itinerary for those who wished to experience areas steeped in Japanese history and tradition. The tour size was small and the timetable wasn’t too rushed. On the first night of the tour we got to meet our tour group and together with Russ experienced the buzz of Shibuyu and its intriguing colourful nightlife. This was a fun introduction to the tour. At an easy enough pace, every day we got to see both beautiful and amazing historical sites. The traditional meals whilst at our Hakone and Shirakawa-go accommodations were like a banquet. Amazing Japanese delicacies are served in a traditional way. The Hida beef was a real treat and cooked to perfection. After our evening meal in Shirakawa-go, I actually had the best night’s sleep on the floor! Spending time in this UNESCO village and at a traditional inn was a highlight for me. The evening of the Takayama festival our guide Masami took us two solo travellers through the food market stalls. I especially liked the sweet red bean pancakes. It was very interesting watching the old masters preparing unusual delicacies. Masami making this night even better as she knew the ingredients used and traditions. The festival floats next morning were a splendid show of wealth with all the grand floats adorned in red and gold. The marionettes were something very unique at this festival. Later I found an authentic Japanese tea house that served both teas and coffees, along with Macha and other delicious cakes. It was in a gorgeous setting with a Japanese garden complete with bamboo water fountains and small maples trees. Takayama is a beautiful town with some very photo-worthy streets lined with traditional wooden homes, shops, eateries and tea houses. Onto Kyoto, which like Takayama has some beautifully preserved traditional buildings, especially in the Gion Geisha district and another good place for girls to experience dressing up like a Geisha for a few hours. For the last day of our tour, Russ gave provided some amazing memories with a visit to the Golden Temple which put on a dazzling show with the sun reflecting gold onto the lake surrounding the temple. The Ninomaru-goten Palace was next with its large polished floorboards that sang a quiet song when walked on; along with the stunningly painted walls each giving insight into flora and fauna during this time. This busy day finished with a unanimous vote to visit the Kyoto food market. Some of us wanted to wander and others stopped for a café latte. Feeling weary and hungry, I spotted a tempura bar and had delicious prawn tempura. It was a busy, but memorable last day of our tour. I felt Dragonfly Tours Japan was a very well-balanced tour. We weren’t rushed, and most evenings were ours to enjoy how we wished. A well-orchestrated tour from start to finish. Thank you Russ. Feel I hit the ‘JACKPOT’ - 5 STARS

Dragonfly Tours Japan

We have a fantastic collection of tours to Japan in 2023 which deliver the ultimate experience of this fascinating country and will leave you with treasured memories of the most amazing holiday experience. Our tours in Japan have been carefully planned and refined over the last 15 years so you get to see more of the historical sites, take in more of the beautiful scenery and soak up more of the culture of some of the best cities in the world.  Browse our site to see what we have to offer.

Japan Tours with Local Guides

Our tours in Japan are undertaken with local guides who have a wealth of knowledge about living and travelling in Japan. This knowledge, experience and passion enables our guests to get more out of their visit seeing sights and experiencing the very best things that are often missed on tours to Japan that are packaged by bulk operators.

Japan Tour Experts

We only provide tours to Japan, we don’t do tours anywhere else. We have extensive knowledge in guided tours to Japan which we continually refine through traveller feedback and our local knowledge of the destinations in Japan.

Tailor Made Japan

Book a tailor made tour to Japan with Dragonfly Tours and experience this enchanting country at your own speed. Our tailor made tours are for groups of any size, for any time of year and any duration and give you flexibility and control over your itinerary. 

Safe, Secure and Full Financial Protection

You are in safe hands when you book a tour with us.  As members of the Travel Trust Association (TTA) since 2009, all monies paid are 100% secured and guaranteed in the unlikely event of failure.  This coverage is worldwide, no matter which country you are from; or where you live.  Our member number is U6165.

If you would like to find out more about our tours please get in touch and we will answer any queries you may have.  Our tours can be booked online or over the phone.