Japan: Tokyo & Beyond | EF Ultimate Break
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AsiaJapan: Tokyo & Beyond

Japan: Tokyo & Beyond

9 days, 4 cities25
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From $4019 with flightsPayments as low as $101

Multi-layered red temple with colored foliage in the foreground and a blue mountain range in the background during sunset
Multi-layered red temple with colored foliage in the foreground and a blue mountain range in the background during sunset
A busy city street lined with digital billboards at night
A body of water with trees and a red arch along the shoreline with a snow-capped volcano in the background
A path lined with rectangular red arches
Trip Type:
Activity Level:

Why go?

Like a glitch in the space-time continuum, this trip takes you both centuries into the past and the future. Japan offers everything you could imagine, juxtaposing Tokyo’s modern fashion and live robot performances with Kyoto’s traditional kimonos and tea ceremonies.

Picture yourself

  • Rolling your own sushi with an expert chef

  • Enjoying unparalleled views of Mt. Fuji as you summit Mt. Komagatake

  • Frolicking amongst the famous cherry blossoms of Tokyo

  • Expanding your palate while exploring Nishiki Market

What you'll get

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers

  • 7 nights in handpicked accommodations

  • 7 breakfasts

  • 3 dinners

  • Expert Tour Director

  • 24/7 Support

  • 1 insider tour with a local guide

Map for the Japan: Tokyo & Beyond tour
Full trip itinerary

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Overnight Flight

    Board your overnight flight to Tokyo, the capital of Japan, and the most populated metropolitan area in the world. Which means, that at any given time, chances are you’re not alone. (Cue spooky music.)

  • Day 2: Arrive in Tokyo

    Welcome to Tokyo, where there are vending machines for everything, bright neon lights everywhere, and more Michelin-starred restaurants than the entire rest of the world combined. Soak it all in.

    Today's highlights:

    • Meet an EF representative at the airport.
    • Transfer to your accommodation and check in.
    • Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
    • Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
  • Day 3: Explore Tokyo + Welcome Dinner

    As you take a bus tour of the city—with some walking sprinkled in—it might feel like Tokyo is New York City on steroids. Because it is. But this concrete jungle is more than your typical office space and apartment buildings. You can still find relics of ancient Tokyo sprinkled throughout the city, and a pop culture community that’s off the charts. (The giant plushie standing in the street should be a clear giveaway.) And today, you get to explore it all.

    In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!

    Today's highlights:

    • Check out the latest fashion trends as you walk through the Harajuku neighborhood.
    • Keep pure thoughts as you enter the Sensoji Temple and Shrine.
    • Buy your way through the Nakamise shopping street.
    • Make a pit stop at the Imperial Palace Plaza.
    • Practice your Frogger skills in Shibuya crossing, the world’s busiest crosswalk.
  • Day 4: Free Day in Tokyo + Optional Hakone Day Trip

    Think about what excites you. Perhaps a dog riding a jet ski? Now add a cool hat to the dog, and double how that makes you feel and that’s sort of approaching how crazy awesome Tokyo is. Get to know its many bustling neighborhoods, or spend the day in tranquil Hakone.

    Today's highlights:

    • Time to carpe that diem: think of today as one of those sushi bars with the conveyor belt. Pick and choose whatever comes your way that sounds appetizing to you!
    • Kick back in Koto, schmooze with the cool kids in Shimokitazawa, or learn to speak tuna in the fish markets of Tsukiji.
    • Bow to Mt. Fuji from afar as you head for the hills for an optional but totally worth it trip to Hakone.

    Hakone day trip (extra cost)

    Ride in a cable car to catch stunning views of Mt. Fuji, then cruise around Lake Ashi.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 5: Free Day in Tokyo + Optional Sushi Making Experience

    Today is your day to do as you wish. And if that includes being on the lookout for the unique Kit Kat flavors Japan is known for—from sweet potato to cinnamon to soy sauce to pancake—so be it.

    Today's highlights:

    • Use your time to explore the various districts of Tokyo.
    • Hit up some of the same spots that Shoshana did in Girls.
    • Keep a lookout for mochi ice cream, delicious little balls of ice cream wrapped in gummy rice. It tastes better than it sounds.
    • Eat all the ramen. All of it.

    Free time suggestions

    Time for Tokyo: When it comes to all things Tokyo, the Tokyo National Museum has you covered. Japanese art. Antiques. History. (It’s the oldest museum in the country after all.) This is the place for you.
    Park it here: The Shinjuku Gyoen park is one of Tokyo’s largest parks, and is very popular with Japanese families on a day out. It’s also a great day to see the cherry blossoms (when in season).

    Tokyo Sushi Experience (extra cost)

    Visit the the world's largest fish market to see firsthand how sushi chefs select their ingredients. Learn how to assemble three types of traditional sushi (Nigiri, Temari, and Maki) before washing it down with a Sake tasting.

    This excursion is pre-book only**; if your trip is less than 30 days away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.**

  • Day 6: Travel to Kyoto

    Your trip continues to Kyoto. For you Japanese purists, Kyoto is traditional Japan, with the kimonos, tea ceremonies, geishas, and Zen temples to prove it. Learn all about Kyoto's past and present with a local guide. There are castles, shrines, temples, and one famous zen garden waiting for you.

    Today's highlights:

    • Travel to Kyoto, this is old-world Japan as you imagine in your head.
    • Enter warp speed as you blast through the countryside on a bullet train—up to 200 mph and never late.
    • Walk two steps, stop, take a picture, and repeat as you meander through the ancient city.
    • Visit the Kiyomizu Temple, dating back to 798 (and you thought things in the U.S. were old).
  • Day 7: Free Day in Kyoto + Optional Explore Nishiki Market

    The day is yours to continue getting to know Kyoto on your own. If you’re feeling like you’ve stepped back in time, it’s because you basically have (don’t worry, you won’t run into any of your exes from back in the day…unless they also happen to be exploring Kyoto). This is one of the best-preserved cities in Japan—prepare for a truly authentic experience.

    Today's highlights:

    • Put your sense of direction to the test as you wander the quaint streets of Kyoto.
    • Sample traditional Kyoto cuisine, and don’t be afraid to eat adventurously.
    • Explore the many bathhouses in Kyoto.
    • Wander through the four geisha districts and spot geisha women running to and from work (which is not prostitution contrary to popular belief).

    Free time suggestions

    Made in Japan: Head to the Kyoto Handicraft Center and check out paper, pottery, glass, wood and more at this gallery exhibiting products of more than 100 workshops. The craftsmanship is unreal. The products, on the other hand, are available for purchase.
    Kyoto Clubbin': Party like it’s the 6th century (because that’s how old this city is). Let loose at a local bar or club in the city ranked 4th in nightlife for all of Japan. Make sure you’re well rested, because the party doesn’t stop till the early morning.

    Explore Nishiki Market (extra cost)

    Blink and 400 years goes by like THAT. That’s how long vendors have been perfecting delicacies for hungry customers in Nishiki Market. Take a guided deep dive into local treats and see why chefs call it Kyoto’s Kitchen.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 8: Sightseeing in Osaka + Farewell Dinner

    You’re off to Osaka, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan. Say goodbye to the tranquil Kyoto, and hello to the bright lights of Osaka. If you’re missing home, be sure to swing by Amerika-mura AKA America Town AKA where the Statue of Liberty goes for shrimp tempura.

    Today's highlights:

    • Sample octo-pops (a well-known street food that is exactly what it sounds like) on your way through Dotonbori, Nanba, and Hozenji Yokocho with your Tour Director.
    • Decide once and for all if ramen or sushi would win in a fight for your taste buds’ heart.
    • Make the moat of your trip with a visit to iconic Osaka Castle built in 1583 (get it? Moat?)
    • Enjoy an included farewell dinner with your fellow travelers and go out with a bang.

    Free time suggestions

    Blast from the past: Explore the retro vibes of Osaka’s Nakazakicho neighborhood, one of the only ones to survive WWII. Check out vintage clothes shops, boutiques, and cafes tucked away in grafittied-alleyways. It’s old meets older meets new visitors.

    Farewell Dinner
    Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

  • Day 9: Fly Home

    Sayonara, tomodachi
    Translation: Goodbye friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?

    –OR–

    EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS

    1. Double the fun
    A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

    2. Go ahead or stay behind
    Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

    Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.

Reviews


Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Based on 25 authentic traveler reviews
  • 10/10 recommend

      Hannah, traveled Mar. 2023

    Everything about this trip was amazing! Satomi was the best tour director! So kind and thoughtful and remembered all of our bucket list items and helped us achieve them! She was so great! If you’re unsure about taking this trip, just do it! Japan is so cool and this is a great introduction to the country.

  • Japan 2023

      Anonymous, traveled Mar. 2023

    the best trip. satomi deserves the world and more , so thankful for an amazing tour instructor.

  • EF Japan trip

      Collin, traveled Mar. 2023

    I had an awesome trip. The tour guide Satomi was incredibly helpful and did a really good job with the group. The restaurant we attended for the welcome dinner was excellent and served as a good ice breaker for the group.

  • A Breathtaking Experience!

      Jason Eduardo, traveled Mar. 2023

    This trip to Japan was amazing!! Such an amazing experience! Nsatomi, our tour director was amazing and so sweet! She recommended and showed us places worth going to!!! Definitely book this trip and explore the beautiful culture Japan has to offer! Worth every penny!

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Select your date

Dates: Apr. 17, 2024 – Apr. 25, 2024April 17, 2024 – April 25, 2024

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Total price with flights$4309Due today$150

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