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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 
Meet friendly locals like this Japanese chef when you take a tailor-made holiday with Alfred&. Meet friendly locals like this Japanese chef when you take a tailor-made holiday with Alfred&.
Alfred&
Japan
Japan

Tailor-made Japan Holidays

Japan will fascinate, astound and enchant you with its off-the-charts level of extraordinariness. Nowhere else on earth is politeness taken so seriously that knowing how to bow at exactly the right angle for any situation is practically an art form in itself and even saying ‘thank you’ comes with its own microscopically detailed unwritten rules.

You’ll see the effects of this remarkable devotion to often bafflingly tiny points of etiquette everywhere you go, whether you’re taking part in a ceremony that lifts a humble cup of tea into a cultural cornerstone, watching a seemingly never-ending stream of commuters moving like well-drilled ants at a frantic traffic crossroads or gazing in awe at the sight of helpers patiently trimming blades of grass by hand in an artfully manicured public garden.

There are certainly sights in the classic sense, from serenely timeless shrines where you can almost breathe in the past to heartbreakingly poignant reminders of mankind’s darker days. But wherever you go on your Japan travels, it will be the people you meet along the way who will help to shape your trip into something truly unforgettable.

If you’re looking to get under the skin of this surprising country, it pays to have experts on hand to pick out the experiences that will stay with you for ever and the accommodation that’s an event in itself. Our Japan small group tour will do just that.

Holiday plans

Japan itinerary ideas

Discover
Things to do in Japan

From steam trains to tea farms: a day in lesser-known Shizuoka

— by Patrick Loyer
Food & Drink
History
Places to go
Scenery
Shizuoka
Hotel Gajóen, Tokyo

Gajóen Tokyo: the hotel that thinks it’s a gallery

— by Claire Ross
Culture
Places to stay
Tokyo

Getting into hot water in a Yudanaka inn

— by Malcolm Holcroft
Places to stay
Unwind
Wildlife
Yudanaka Onsen

Going backstage at Tokyo’s fish market

— by Takeaki Shibuya
Community
Culture
Food & Drink
Trips to take
Tokyo

Hotel Niwa: the secret Tokyo garden retreat

— by Satoshi Ebinuma
Places to stay
Unwind
Tokyo

Learn how to swing a real samurai sword

— by Ken Yoshioka
Culture
History
Trips to take
Tokyo

Wild deer, colourful temples and the world's biggest bronze Buddha: Nara Park, Kyoto

— by Hiroko Wakayama
History
Trips to take
Wildlife
Nara
See more things to do in Japan

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Richard, who's travelled extensively in Japan. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the tea devotee who'll introduce you to the ceremony surrounding Japan's national drink, the noodle guru who'll teach you how to make the perfect bowl of soba and the ryokan owner who'll tutor you in the relaxing art of the onsen.

Freephone an expert 01306230253

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Across Japan

Places to go in Japan

At a glance

Japan Travel guide

Time difference: GMT +9 (winter) +8 (summer)

Flight time: 12 hours (direct flight London/Tokyo)

Currency: Japanese yen (JPY/¥)

Language: Japanese

Electricity: 100 V, 50/60 Hz (flat two-pin plugs)

Telephone code: +81

Tipping: Perhaps surprisingly, given the exemplary levels of service, tipping is not customary in Japan and may even cause embarrassment.

Etiquette: No one expects visitors to grasp all the complex rules of Japanese society, but there are a few basics that will stand you in good stead. Keep your phone on silent mode on public transport; don’t eat while you’re walking along the street; take off your shoes and put on the provided slippers when you visit anyone’s home as well as some temples and restaurants; and definitely don’t blow your nose in public as the Japanese find this rude. Ask permission before taking photos of local people and do not take photos of government buildings, police, military personnel or any political demonstrations.

Religion: Buddhism 79.2%, Shintoism 66.8%, Christianity 1.5%, other 7.1% (many Japanese embrace both Buddhist and Shinto practices).

Visas: You can look up the latest advice on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/japan/entry-requirements. Please be aware that this information can change at short notice.

Vaccinations: Health risks vary depending on the destination so it’s essential to check the specific vaccination and hygiene requirements for Japan on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

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