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Japan Unrivalled

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Konichiwa kimono land! And welcome to the ultimate sensory overload. Receive a traditional footbath in your hotel's hot springs in Takayama, explore the Tsukiji Fish Markets in Tokyo & eat teppanyaki and sushi until your inner Lolita's heart is content. This is the only way to be guided around one of the most unique countries in the world.  

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JAPAN UNRIVALLED

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WHAT'S INCLUDED
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ITINERARY
YOU WILL VISIT
Japan Japan +5 MORE
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1
2
3
Tokyo
3 days
Hakone
1 day
Matsumoto
Hida
Takayama
2 days
Hiroshima
2 days
Kyoto
2 days
Wakayama
1 day
Osaka
1 day
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Japan Unrivalled

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  • Julie_828
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled May 2015
  • 27
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Japan Unrivalled -- Fantastic trip!

I’d say that overall, my first Contiki experience was pretty fantastic, though as a new trip that Contiki is offering, there are still a few kinks to work out. I’ve done a good amount of travelling and Japan is probably my favorite country I’ve ever been to. It is SO clean and the locals were SO accommodating and there are just SO many wonderful and exciting things to see and experience there. All of the hotels that we stayed at were pretty nice and well-located. Almost every single activity planned for the trip was great. It really is impossible to choose what my favorite activity was -- the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo (the most hilarious, fun, original show you’ll ever see!), the Buddhist monastery overnight stay, the shopping on Harajuku Street, the delicious Teppanyaki dinners, the sushi-making class, the insanity of the fish market in Tokyo, even just the scenic train rides (bullet train!) from one city to the next… It all just made this one of the best trips of my life. Additionally, the other travellers on this trip were a lot of fun and I made quite a few friends from all over the world! Naito-San, our local guide who stayed with us for the duration of the trip, was incredibly knowledgeable and also had a good sense of humor and just an unlimited amount of energy. Our Tour Manager Jackie was also very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and fun as well! That said, this IS still a pretty new trip that Contiki is offering and there are a few things that I think need to be augmented a bit. This trip covers 7 different cities in 13 days. In several of the cities, lots of activities were planned for us, but some free time was also allotted. For these bits of free time, it would have been very helpful if a map of each city had been provided to us with our hotel, some subway/bus stop info, and perhaps a recommended activity or two marked on it. Our tour manager was happy to give us verbal directions to things, but when you’ve just arrived in a new city, especially where English is not the first language, I needed a bit more than that. Also, I don’t feel that the time was very well planned in Tokyo. The first day was absolutely crammed with sight-seeing, which meant we only got a very short amount of time in some places (about 45 minutes maybe for Harajuku Street, where I well could have spent several hours) and then our second full day was a completely free day, where I just kind of found myself bumbling around a bit, not sure of what to do. Personally, it would have been much better to have split the sight-seeing up between the first two mornings and maybe had the afternoons free (maybe take the group to Harajuku Street for example, and if some people want to spend the afternoon there, they can, or if they want to leave and see other things in the afternoon, they could do that too). Lastly, it took a bit too long into the trip to create some sort of system to make sure everyone on the trip was accounted for as we went from one activity to the next. (Side note: I personally thought that a group of 31 people was too big for a place like Japan. I think the maximum number of people for a trip like this should have been something more like 15 people or so. When all 31 of us would get on public transit, we’d take up the entire subway car, which seemed to be kind of irritating to the locals.) The group was very fast-moving and if, say, we were all going through the entrance to the subway in Tokyo where you have to swipe your card and someone’s card malfunctioned, it was difficult to communicate this to the people at the front of the group to hold on for a minute while this issue was resolved. By the middle of the trip we began roommate checks whenever we’d leave a certain area to make sure we were all there, but this definitely should have been instituted in the beginning. All in all though, I was pretty happy with my trip and would most likely take another Contiki trip in the future!

My Contiki was: --

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8 May 2015 - 20 May 2015

  • Nems
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled August 2015
  • 27
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Japan unrivalled so true.

Ohio gozaimasu, A truly unforgettable trip it was everything I wanted to do in Japan and more. I heard about this tour last year and patiently waited for it to start, worth the wait. Accom. was excellent from city hotels to a hotel in the mountains on tatami matts to a monk temple. Food was different but delicious to try. The tour manager and guide couldn't have been any better, helpful or knowledgeable they made the trip that much more memorable. The group was amazing and we all got along. Best moment would be hrmm the entire trip :D This was a sight seeing tour to make your eyes water and fulfill your desires of seeing this vast country an overload of the senses. I would insanely recommend this tour for any individual who has a passion either for travel, nature, historical content or anything Japanese related. Sayonara.

My Contiki was: Unforgettable-Breathtaking-#RobotRestaraunt

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28 August 2015 - 9 September 2015

  • cicel
  • Booked from Europe
  • Traveled May 2016
  • 29
  • Level 3 Traveller
  • 3 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Best Contiki so far!

I 've done three Contiki so far. One in New Zealand, one in Western USA and this one in Japan just last week. All of them have been amazing and of course different. But I have to admit the Japan one is my top one so far! Why? 1. Tour Manager: Our manager Shannon was top in all ways. Super professional, well organised, funny, always friendly but also able to be serious if necessary. And she is a real Foodie, she knew all the best spots to get all kind of food. #treatyourself 2: Tour Guide: Naito-San was a living lexicon/google. He knew everything about everything. To be honest sometimes it was almost too much information, so I tended to lose attention and drift away. Maybe also because English is not my mother language and he did have a quite big Japanese accent, so for me it was sometimes hard to understand. And he is a sprinter for sure, so if you have him as a guide, be aware of wearing comfy shoes :-) 3. Accommodation: This tour is a bit pricey compared to other Contikis. This is because of the great accommodation. Except for two nights in Hiroshima it's all been 4 Star hotels! Some of them with free Spa/Onsen included (Hakone,Takayama, Koya-San), most rooms with a stunning view into a garden or over the roofs (Osaka!!). Special traditional Japanese accommodation in Hakone and Koya-San were an unique experience even if sleeping on the floor wasn't too comfortable ;-) 4. Japan itself: What a country! I've been to so many places in the world, but I have to say Japan made it to be one of my favourite travel destinations now. Extremely safe and clean, access to clean public toilets (Robot-toilets!) everywhere you go, friendliest people in the world, great public transport (we did most of the tour by train) and so much to see and taste. I like big modern towns like Tokyo, Hiroshima or Osaka. But my favourite parts were definitely the old towns as Takayama, Kyoto and Koya-San where you could dig deep into the Japanese culture and history. Be aware: - Travel Japan as a Veggie might be difficult. Most meals are based on fish/seafood (loads of fish) or meet (chicken, pork, beef) and there is not much salad or vegetable. Also Kobe beef is well expensive (12 000 yen per 100g in a restaurant). Nevertheless if you like fish or beef you will definitely enjoy yourself! - If you’ve got tattoos you won’t be allowed to do Onsen bathing at most places. There is a chance to get a private one in Takayama and the monks in Koya San don’t care. Don’t bring a bikini or swimming trunks, there is no need for it ;-) Also, I think it’s not worth paying extra for the public one in Tokyo if you can have it for free in other hotels. Except you want to see as many naked Japanese as possible :-D - Do the Kimono option! First I thought it might be a bit awkward being European, walking around in town all dressed up. But only the chance to see how difficult it is to get dressed into a Kimono was worth it. Especially if you are a girl and let them make your hair too, you will love it! You will feel like a Japanese princess. And it’s great opportunity to get nice photos! Summary: I 100% recommend this trip. Book it, you won’t regret it! #noregrets

My Contiki was: treatyourself-favourite destination-worth it

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20 May 2016 - 1 June 2016

  • Pink_Macaron
  • Booked from New Zealand
  • Traveled September 2015
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Amazing Japan!!

This was my first big overseas tour, my first Contiki and my first time in Japan and the greatest experience of my life so far. I went from 12th September to 24th September. I knew August is the hottest month in Japan but i found September very hot too! definitely t-shirt and shorts weather. Tokyo was amazing, such a beautiful, vibrant city and so clean! I've never seen streets so clean in my life! Our Hotel was lovely, rooms were big and spotless and our view was pretty neat from the 16th floor. Breakfast every morning was a delight, so many pastries! Did alot of walking, and many trips on the subway. Sushi making was very fun, unfortunately eating it did not agree with me so much! Meiji shrine was cool, set in a lovely park. I even got to see a traditional wedding, which was very special. Harajuku was packed with people but was still fun to look at.The Tsukiji fish markets were cool, but we weren't there for the tuna auctions, something I didn't realise, but was still fun regardless. Hakone was very lush and a lot cooler than being in the city. Our hotel was nice and clean, if a little worn. Unfortunately I didn't find my futon very comfortable but this didn't seem to worry others. Slight downside was that we could only access wifi in the lounge, but for one night this wasn't a worry. Dinner was several courses of traditional Japanese food some of which was tasty, and othhers not so tasty. But they can canter to anyone with special dietary requirements. Matsumoto castle was beautiful and rather compact, and many steep stairs to climb on the inside. Hida was nice, but it was rather damp with the rain. Our hotel in Takayama was a highlight of my trip. Again a lovely fairly, spacious room and nice view over the gardens below. The real gem of this hotel is the patisserie that is on the first floor. Amazing food. there are a few restaurants in the hotel and the buffet one was impressive. Ate there for two nights. Great choice of food. The bullet train to Hiroshima was lots of fun and Hiroshima itself was a beautiful city. Lots of trams!. Our hotel was a few mins walk from the station and was a nice hotel, but with rather small rooms. The A-Dome and the Peace Park and Museum were beautiful and interesting to see. Kyoto was definitely a highlight. Such a beautiful place. Kinkakuji was just as beautiful in person as it is in photos as was Fushimi Inari shrine. Our tour guide Matt, had given us the option of getting dressed up in Kimono one evening while in Kyoto. It was a great experience and we got alot of attention from people in the street taking photos etc. Nara was good, I was less interested in the deer and more in Todai-ji temple which did not disappoint. Wakayama is a beautiful place, and the monks were so welcoming. We had a traditional Japanese dinner, which was nice as the Monks don't eat any meat or fish, along with a traditional breakfast. Our room was clean and looked very new. Futon again. You have a toilet in your room but public baths are the only of washing, so many of us simply had a shower when we got to Osaka. Osaka was great, we all got dressed up and wandered down Dotonbori for some Karaoke that was great fun. we had okonimiyaki for dinner as well as other dishes like chicken, and some octopus tentacles (!!) which was pretty good. Our hotel was really nice and modern and possibly the best sleep i had in all of Japan. The hotel is right above the train station, and right next door buses leave to both Itami and Kansai airports so easy to leave from. Overall, our tour guide Matt was amazing, such enthusiasm and always willing to help and Naito-san was a brilliant guide, so knowledgeable about everything and had a great sense of humour. However we did have to pay for the ME time optional extras in cash, if you wanted to do them, which I was not aware of. We also had alot of late starts, which was great if you wanted to sleep in, but also meant there there were tourists everywhere by the tie we got to attractions. But this was ok. Overall it was a brilliant trip with a great group of people. Would go back in a heartbeat.

My Contiki was: Amazing-Once in a lifetime-Unrivalled for sure

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11 September 2015 - 23 September 2015

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