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Japan

Japan remains an enigma, a captivating blend of age-old customs and cutting-edge technology. It surprises many first-time visitors that this relatively small Asian nation, recognized as one of the world's most advanced industrialized countries, also holds a deep and fascinating history spanning thousands of years. Even before the construction of many awe-inspiring cathedrals in Europe, Japan had already established its magnificent Shinto and Buddhist temples, attracting pilgrims and admirers with their intricate designs and embellishments. Simultaneously, the nation honed its crafts and trades, paving the way for prosperity through exceptional porcelain, ceramics, and luxurious silk textiles. Despite the challenges of wars and natural calamities, much of this rich heritage has endured or been meticulously restored, making a journey to Japan an unforgettable experience. With a myriad of top-notch attractions, delightful activities, and intriguing points of interest, a vacation in Japan proves to be a wise and rewarding investment of time and resources. A Japan vacation fulfills the dreams of wanderers in search of an enchanting experience. This island nation serves as a captivating melting pot, seamlessly intertwining the past and the future. Witness the mesmerizing blend of history and modernity in bustling cities like Tokyo, where towering skyscrapers coexist harmoniously with ancient temples. Tokyo, the vibrant capital, embodies a city that never sleeps. The cityscape is adorned with neon lights that illuminate the night, while traditional wooden buildings stand as a poignant reminder of the past. The iconic Shibuya Crossing dazzles with its choreographed chaos, as a sea of people crisscrosses the streets. Amidst this urban frenzy, a serene oasis awaits at the Meiji Shrine, inviting visitors to find tranquility in the heart of the bustling metropolis. All trips to Japan have Tokyo as their top-most destination. For those yearning for a more serene and traditional escape, Kyoto beckons as a must-visit destination. Adorned with breathtaking temples, shrines, and traditional wooden houses, Kyoto transports travelers to a bygone era. The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove offers an ethereal wonder, where sunlight filters through towering bamboo shoots, creating a magical ambiance. The Gion district, with its enchanting geisha culture, invites you to step back in time as you wander through cobbled streets lined with teahouses and traditional shops. Beyond the allure of popular tourist spots, Japan's true essence lies hidden in its lesser-known treasures and off-the-beaten-path destinations. To fully embrace the country's beauty, consider embarking on Japan custom tours, where personalized journeys offer a chance to experience Japan like a local. One such hidden gem is Kanazawa, a city exuding old-world charm. With its well-preserved samurai districts, exquisitely landscaped gardens, and captivating traditional arts scene, Kanazawa provides a glimpse into Japan's rich cultural heritage. The Kenrokuen Garden, often hailed as one of the country's most beautiful gardens, stands as a masterpiece that transforms its allure with each passing season. Venturing further away from the tourist hubs, the island of Shikoku beckons with an authentic taste of rural Japan. The sacred 88 Temple Pilgrimage weaves through breathtaking landscapes and enchanting villages, offering a spiritual and immersive experience for the intrepid soul seeking adventure. While Japan custom tours offer a sense of adventure and exploration, Japan private tours provide an exclusive and comfortable experience. Tailored itineraries and knowledgeable guides ensure that your Japan vacation becomes a truly unforgettable one. Among the best private tours in Japan is the journey to the magnificent Mount Fuji, an iconic symbol of the country. This sacred mountain holds a special place in the hearts of the Japanese people and stands as an absolute marvel. On a private tour on trips to Japan, you have the privilege of witnessing the awe-inspiring sunrise from the summit or indulging in the soothing waters of nearby hot springs. For a distinctive fusion of natural beauty and cultural immersion, Miyajima Island awaits your visit. Home to the renowned floating torii gate, Itsukushima Shrine, and friendly wild deer, this island offers an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With a private tour, you can explore the island at your own pace, relishing every moment in this enchanting paradise. Japan private tour packages offer the perfect solution for those seeking a convenient and all-encompassing travel experience. Meticulously curated to cater for diverse interests, these thoughtfully designed packages ensure a seamless journey filled with unforgettable memories, appealing to both cultural enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. A classic Japan private tour package may take you on a fascinating journey to the historic city of Nara. Here, you can enjoy delightful encounters with friendly deer and explore ancient temples, including the awe-inspiring Todaiji Temple housing a massive bronze Buddha statue. Meanwhile, the city of Hiroshima presents a profound experience as you visit its poignant Peace Memorial Park, serving as a solemn reminder of history's lessons and showcasing the enduring strength of humanity. Trips to Japan are an enchanting tapestry of emotions and experiences. From the vibrant cityscapes to the serene countryside, from age-old customs to cutting-edge innovations, Japan never ceases to captivate and inspire. Whether you opt for Japan custom tours, select the best private tours in Japan, or indulge in Japan private tour packages, this expedition promises to be a transformative adventure. Embrace the captivating beauty, immerse yourself in the rich culture, and cherish the moments that will forever reside in your heart. Travel to Japan unfolds a realm of wonders, awaiting discovery, and with each visit, you'll encounter new and alluring facets to explore and relish.

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Best of Japan

Best of Japan

9 Days | From $2299

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Tokyo | Hakone | Kyoto
Family Vacation to Japan

Family Vacation to Japan

12 Days | From $3999

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Tokyo | Kyoto | Osaka | Hiroshima
Cherry Blossom of Japan

Cherry Blossom of Japan

13 Days | From $5249

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Tokyo | Hakone | Kyoto | Takayama | Osaka | Shirakawago

Top destinations to visit in Japan

1. Tokyo: The bustling capital city of Japan, known for its modernity, historic landmarks, shopping districts, and vibrant nightlife.
2. Kyoto: A city steeped in history and tradition, famous for its numerous temples, shrines, and traditional geisha districts.
3. Osaka: A vibrant city known for its delicious street food, modern architecture, and lively entertainment areas.
4. Hokkaido: The northernmost island prefecture is known for its stunning natural landscapes, ski resorts, and hot springs.
5. Hiroshima: Historic city famous for its Peace Memorial Park, which commemorates the dropping of the atomic bomb during World War II.
6. Okinawa: A tropical prefecture comprising several islands known for their beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and unique cultural heritage.
7. Kanagawa: Home to Yokohama, a vibrant port city, and Kamakura, known for its ancient temples and the Great Buddha statue.
8. Aichi: Known for Nagoya, Japan's fourth-largest city, and its cultural sites, including Nagoya Castle.
9. Nara: An ancient city with many UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Todaiji Temple and its giant bronze Buddha.
10. Miyagi: This prefecture is famous for its scenic beauty, hot springs, and Matsushima Bay, known for its picturesque islands.

 

Best time to visit Japan

Optimal periods to explore Japan are from March to May and from September to November, as these months offer a pleasant and dry climate. However, the allure of spring and the enchanting spectacle of cherry blossoms blooming across Japan have become widely known, resulting in larger crowds of travelers during this time.

Experiences you should not miss in Japan

1. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The horrors of the 1945 atomic bombing in Hiroshima need no elaboration, but the city's remarkable efforts to honor the victims and promote peace are noteworthy. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, attracting over a million visitors yearly, stands on the former blast epicenter. The park hosts significant monuments, memorials, and museums commemorating the fateful day. Amidst cherry blossoms, the Peace Memorial Museum exhibits focus on global peace. Discover the Memorial Cenotaph, Flame of Peace, and haunting Atom Bomb Dome—the ruins of an administrative building at the explosion's core. Hiroshima stands as an enduring symbol of peace, embracing countless visitors, including international travelers.

2. Witness the beauty of the Island Shrine of Itsukushima
A brief ferry ride away from mainland Hiroshima lies Miyajima, renowned worldwide as Japan's Shrine Island. Spanning 30 square kilometers in Hiroshima Bay, Miyajima's highlight is the iconic Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto temple devoted to the Princess Daughters of the wind god Susanoo.
Dating back to the eighth century, most of the shrine's structures rise from the waters of a small bay, supported only by piles. During high tide, the sight is breathtaking, with these edifices, including the renowned Great Floating Gate (O-Torii), seemingly floating on water.
Connected by walkways and bridges, the island offers fascinating exploration, especially of its grand halls such as the exquisite Honden (Main Hall), the Offerings Hall (Heiden), the Prayer Hall (Haiden), and the Hall of a Thousand Mats (Senjokaku).

3. Explore the old side of Japan in Kyoto
Kyoto, with over 2000 exquisite temples, epitomizes traditional Japan. Explore splendid gardens and teahouses, a journey through history. Kinkaku-ji, a remarkable sight, gleams with golden tiers mirrored in the pond, framed by pine trees.
Kyoto's rich garden tradition, rooted in monks and emperors, embraces minimalist designs for meditation. The finest gardens reveal personalities through subtle choices like weathered bridges or unique pebbles. The enigmatic Zen garden, Ryōan-ji, features 15 intriguing rocks.
For an authentic local experience, stroll the lantern-lit streets of Gion's entertainment quarter with traditional restaurants. Arrive early on weekdays to savor tranquility, immerse in Japan's living traditions, and cherish Kyoto's treasures.

4. Experience sitting in a Bullet train
Like a space shuttle nose gracefully docking into a station, Japan's high-speed trains traverse the country like interstellar travelers. With speeds reaching up to 320 kph (199 m/h), these trains offer an otherworldly experience of efficiency and comfort. From the pristine and cozy seats, city skyscrapers silently give way to lush pines and idyllic countryside in an instant. While some train models exude a touch of yesteryear with hardwearing carpets and putty-colored luggage racks, their retro-futuristic allure remains intact, unaffected by the passage of time.

5. Take an onsen bath
Trips to Japan offer the timeless allure of onsen hot springs, a cherished tradition for over 3000 years. Harnessing volcanic energy, these hot baths have the magical ability to dissolve your worries away. Onsen can be found throughout Japan, presenting one of the most authentic Japanese experiences, whether soaking in the simple charm of public bathhouses or immersing yourself in nature's embrace within Zen gardens. The serene natural settings allow you to relish the delightful contrast of warm waters amidst the refreshing scent of pine-filled air.
Indulge in this age-old practice at numerous Ryokan accommodations and in resort towns like Kusatsu and Beppu, where budget-friendly options await in public bathhouses. For a literal toe-dipping experience, explore the free outdoor public foot baths in onsen towns, and let the therapeutic waters soothe your senses as you savor the wonders of Japan's onsen culture.

 

Things to know before traveling to Japan

 

  1. Visa Requirements: Check if you need a visa to enter Japan based on your nationality and the duration of your stay. Make sure to apply for the appropriate visa well in advance if required.
  2. Weather and Seasons: Japan experiences four distinct seasons, and the weather can vary significantly. Be prepared for different climates depending on the time of year and the regions you plan to visit.
  3. Language: While English is spoken in some tourist areas, the primary language in Japan is Japanese. Learning some basic phrases or carrying a translation app can be helpful.
  4. Transportation: Japan has an efficient and extensive public transportation system, including bullet trains (Shinkansen), buses, and subways. Familiarize yourself with the transportation options to navigate the country easily.
  5. Cash vs. Cards: While credit and debit cards are widely accepted in cities, cash is still essential, especially in rural areas or small shops. Carry enough cash and consider getting a travel money card for convenience.
  6. Respect Personal Space: Japanese people value personal space, so avoid standing too close to others and speaking loudly in public places.
  7. Cash-Only Businesses: Some small restaurants, markets, and traditional establishments may only accept cash. Always carry enough yen for such situations.
  8. Safety and Security: Japan is a safe country, but like any other destination, exercise caution with your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.
  9. Health and Hygiene: Japan maintains high standards of cleanliness. Carry hand sanitizer and practice good hygiene, especially during flu seasons.

 

 

Why choose Acqua?

Acqua offers access to local expertise through carefully selected tour operators who possess excellent language skills, destination knowledge, and buying power. Customize your trip to Bhutan by choosing accommodation, transportation, activities, and pace. Directly booking with local operators ensures cost efficiency and supports local economies. Acqua partners with established operators for favorable rates, providing peace of mind with guarantees and insurance coverage. By choosing Acqua, you support responsible travel and contribute to community projects.

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