Escorted tours of Japan

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Self Guided Tours in Japan

Welcome to The Oriental Caravan’s self-guided tours in Japan!

For Caravaneers who would like to travel independently we offer a selection of itineraries beginning and ending in Tokyo or Kyoto.

We plan everything: your route, your accommodation and your transport. We also provide local contact details to give you peace of mind so that you can relax and enjoy your journey.

If you would like to be met at the airport we can arrange that for you and can also provide a guide for the entire trip if that is what you would prefer.

These itineraries can be booked in their own right or added as an extension to our existing escorted tours of Japan.

They are an ideal way to see more of the country while you are visiting friends and family or can provide a stress free way to make the most of your stopover when breaking your journey en-route to other destinations.

Please see below for a small selection of possible self-guided itineraries. There are of course many more depending on your requirements….



Discover the best that this vibrant city has to offer guided by The Oriental Caravan Tokyo Info-Pack which includes a good city map. We can provide self-guided sightseeing itineraries suitable to the time you have available or if you would prefer we can arrange for one of our knowledgeable local guides to show you the city. To cater to your interests the itinerary can be agreed with the guide on the day.

Tokyo – Nikko – Tokyo

Combine a day or more in Tokyo with a day trip to Nikko a unique complex of stunning temples nestled in sumptuous mountain scenery.

Tokyo – Yudanaka – Matsumoto – Kawaguchiko – Tokyo

Watch the antics of the famous snow monkeys in Yudanaka’s hot springs, transport yourself back through time in Matsumoto Castle with its 16th c. five tier donjon, the oldest keep in Japan and take in the classic view of Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi on this 4 day self guided excursion from Tokyo.

Tokyo - Kyoto - Tokyo

Do not miss the opportunity to visit Kyoto, the old capital of Japan for the ultimate classical Japanese experience. Enhance the experience by travelling on the famous bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Be spoilt for choice in this city of temples, shrines, museums and gardens. Anticipate with excitement the possible glimpse of a geisha or maiko in the Gion district on the banks of the Kamo-gawa River. Round off each day sampling the delicious cuisine in one of Kyoto’s many superb restaurants.

Kyoto – Mt Koya – Kyoto

If you have an extra two days combine the above with an excursion to Mt Koya. Be transported by train and cablecar to sacred Koyasan, established in the 9thc. by Kobo Daishi founder of the Shingon school of esoteric Buddhism. Stay in a shukubo, temple lodgings where you will be treated to shojin ryori, exquisite Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Wander through the atmospheric forest of ancient trees that leads to Kobo Daishi’s Mausoleum before returning to Kyoto or Tokyo.

Kyoto – Amanohashidate – Kyoto

For an alternative two day excursion from Kyoto travel by train through rice fields and mountain forests to the coastal town of Amanohashidate to see one of Japans ‘three great views’, the ‘Bridge to Heaven’. Take a gentle stroll across the bay on a time-honoured path over a 3.5km sandbar lined with 7000 pine trees which separates the Sea of Japan from Asoumi Lagoon. Ascend by cable car to the recommended viewing point overlooking the bay. It is here that, just as travellers before you have ritually done for centuries, you turn your back to the bay, bend down and view the sandbar through your legs. The sandbar appears to float in midair revealing the Bridge to Heaven. On the second day take a sightseeing cruise in Ine Bay and look back at the traditional fishing village where the houses are suspended over the water.






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             Revised and last updated: November 20th 2013. Links