Japan on a Shoestring – Tokyo to Kyoto

Japan · About Escorted or Guided Tour

Get a taste of both old and new with this six-day tour of Japan. We’ve kept it simple with an itinerary of Japan’s most iconic cities. Experience everything from the bustling energy of Tokyo’s city centre to the rolling countryside of Takayama. And don’t forget Kyoto, a city of peaceful gardens and stunning temples. This trip is a quick and affordable one, so you can tack on more time to go deeper into Japan. Because after this tour, we know you’ll want to.

What's Included

Orientation walks in Tokyo and Takayama. Traditional ryokan stay (Takayama). Free time in Tokyo, Takayama, and Kyoto. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Important Notes

1. Core Tour
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours to form a longer combo tour. As such, the CEO and some group members on your tour may have previously been travelling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, the CEO and some group members may be continuing on together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
Group members on the combo tour, have a 7-day rail pass included in their tour. It will be valid for a portion of your tour and you’ll notice it grants them unlimited access to some transport links. If you’re interested in exploring more of Japan with G Adventures, be sure to check out our ‘Epic Japan’ tour!

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 14.

Meals Included

No meals included


Train, bus, walking.


Hostels (4 nts, multi-share), traditional inn (1 nt, shared facilities).


• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.



Day 1: Tokyo

We highly recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully experience this metropolis.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Tokyo

Get your bearings with an orientation walk before enjoying free time to explore buzzing Tokyo. Opt to check out Yoyogi Park, Asakusa shrine, quirky Harajuku, Shibuya Crossing, or explore the city’s myriad shops and cafés.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

Day 3: Tokyo/Takayama

Travel to picturesque Takayama and take in the quaint streets of the old town – lined with sake breweries and craft shops – on a CEO-led orientation walk. Enjoy the rest of the day to explore the area. In the evening, kick back and relax in a traditional ryokan – complete with tatami floors and an onsen bath.

Included Activities:
Takayama Orientation Walk

Bullet train (4.00 hour(s))

Day 4: Takayama/Kyoto

Board a train to Japan’s imperial capital. Arrive in Kyoto and spend the rest of the day discovering this historic city. In the evening, opt to pick up a local brew and chill out riverside or check out one of Kyoto’s many bars.

Bullet train (3.50-4.00 hours)

Day 5: Kyoto

Explore this culturally-rich city with a free day. Opt to visit some of Kyoto’s beautiful temples, participate in a tea ceremony, or take a calligraphy class. Enjoy a final night out with the group.

Day 6: Kyoto

Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this iconic city.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Interested in Japan on a Shoestring – Tokyo to Kyoto?

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Suzanne Estabrooks

Suzanne Estabrooks

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