All Aboard the Sushi Train

Shinto shrines
This is the bamboo forest from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. It's in Kyoto.
Yoyogi Park's anime and manga
The machiya and tsuboniwa of Kyoto
The bars of Golden Gai
UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient Kyoto
Totally Tokyo
  • Helloooo Tokyo. Get your fix of Japanese culture with temples, sushi, and shopping galore. Soak up Nikko’s outlandishly beautiful natural niceties. Spy Geishas in Kyoto’s Gion district, then get your Tina Turner on in any of the city’s karaoke bars.


    Geishas are trained to sleep with little blocks of wood under their necks. Rice is scattered on the floor, so if their heads slip off the blocks it will stick to their head. Embarrassing. 


    The best value journeys on the planet! On a Gecko's trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Gecko's journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.


    Day 1-3 - Tokyo

    Konnichiwa! Welcome to Japan!
    As travellers are arriving from all over the world, there are no activities planned for day 1. You are expected to attend a group meeting in the evening, however - your group leader will leave a notice for you at the hotel detailing the exact time and place.  Tokyo is a dynamic, modern hub, the thriving capital of an ancient land. Contradictions are everywhere, as hi-tech gadgetry and neon lights play an integral part in the lives of a population steeped in tradition.  As our time in Tokyo is limited, we strongly recommend that you arrive a few days prior to this trip in order to explore the city. Ueno Park, with its many galleries and museums, is a great place to spend a day, the Sensoji Temple is a serene way to pass an afternoon, and the sumo stables are a must-see.
    Optional Activities:
    • Tokyo - Tsukiji Fish Market - Free
    • Yoyogi Park - Free
    • Shinjuku Garden - JPY200
    • Tokyo - Ghibli Animation Studio visit - JPY1000
    • Meiji Shrine - Free
    • Sensoji Temple - Free
    • Tokyo Imperial Palace - Free

    Day 4-5 - Nikko

    We catch the train to Nikko (approx. 2 hrs).
    On our train journey to Nikko, we have a chance to appreciate the spectacular countryside that makes Japan such a fabulous destination. Nikko has been a sacred site since the middle of the 8th century and the shrines and temples dotted throughout the area are inspiring evidence of the city's glory. A visit to Toshugu Shrine in particular is highly recommended. The mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the warlord who controlled all of Japan and whose shogunate lasted 250 years, the shrine contrasts with the traditional minimalist style commonly used throughout Japan. Instead, every corner of this monument is covered in intricate gold-leaf and lacquerwork, paintings and patterns. Alternatively, you can go up to Chuzenji Lake and Yumoto for hiking and natural hot springs (and even optional skiing if the weather permits!).
    Our Ryokan in Nikko has shared facilities and is located within walking distance of the world heritage area.
    Optional Activities:
    • Nikko - Toshogu Shrine - JPY1300
    • Rinno-Ji - JPY400
    • Kanmangafuchi Abyss - JPY200
    • Iemitsu Mausoleum - JPY550

    Day 6-9 - Kyoto

    On the afternoon of day 6 we travel to Kyoto by bullet train (approx. 3 hrs). 
    In the evening, we head out to Gion, the famous Geisha district.  Even today, we can observe the age-old tradition of immaculate geisha girls visiting members of the wealthy elite in small teahouses tucked away down tiny back streets - but only if you know when and where! The Gion Corner is a cultural centre where we can get a taste of Japanese performing arts, anything from flower arranging to a lion dance. 
    Kyoto was once the imperial capital of Japan and as such, is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. With over 2,000 temples, shrines and gardens, Kyoto is a great place to get 'lost' in - so get out, walk the streets and soak up the wonderful atmosphere in your free time.  Our last night in Japan is spent in Kyoto, so make sure you do some last-minute shopping or, in true Japanese tradition... go out for karaoke!
    There are no activities planned for day 9 and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time is 10.00am. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
    Optional Activities:
    • Kiyomizu Temple - JPY400
    • Sanjusangendo Temple - JPY600
    • Sento Imperial Palace - Free
    • Kyoto Tower - JPY770
    • Fushimi Inari Shrine - Free
    • Gio - Ji - JPY300
  • What's Included

    • The services of Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour.
    • Authentic Accommodation: Ryokan (5 nts), Hotel (3 nts)
    • Transport: Transport from one destination to the next is included, however transport to get around the destinations is not included. Geckos trips give our passengers the flexibility to see and do what they want to do.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Meals
    • Arrival & Departure transfers
    • Optional tours or activities
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Insurance
    • Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip

    Safety Information

    Crime levels are low. It is generally safe to walk about at night and to travel on public transport, but you should maintain the same level of vigilance as you would at home and take sensible precautions. Reports of inappropriate touching or ‘chikan’ of female passengers on commuter trains are fairly common. The police advise that you shout at the perpetrator to attract attention and ask a fellow passenger to call the train staff. The Roppongi entertainment district of Tokyo is considered a higher risk area for crime.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    21 Feb 2015 - 01 Mar 2015 Available US $2,030 Book Now
    14 Mar 2015 - 22 Mar 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    28 Mar 2015 - 05 Apr 2015 Fully Booked US $2,090 Contact us
    18 Apr 2015 - 26 Apr 2015 2 places left US $2,090 Book Now
    09 May 2015 - 17 May 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    13 Jun 2015 - 21 Jun 2015 Available US $2,050 Book Now
    11 Jul 2015 - 19 Jul 2015 Available US $2,050 Book Now
    25 Jul 2015 - 02 Aug 2015 Available US $2,125 Book Now
    22 Aug 2015 - 30 Aug 2015 Available US $2,125 Book Now
    19 Sep 2015 - 27 Sep 2015 Available US $2,125 Book Now
    17 Oct 2015 - 25 Oct 2015 Available US $2,050 Book Now
    07 Nov 2015 - 15 Nov 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    20 Feb 2016 - 28 Feb 2016 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    12 Mar 2016 - 20 Mar 2016 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    26 Mar 2016 - 03 Apr 2016 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    02 Apr 2016 - 10 Apr 2016 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    16 Apr 2016 - 24 Apr 2016 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    30 Apr 2016 - 08 May 2016 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    07 May 2016 - 15 May 2016 Available US $1,970 Book Now
    11 Jun 2016 - 19 Jun 2016 Available US $2,050 Book Now
    09 Jul 2016 - 17 Jul 2016 Available US $2,050 Book Now
    23 Jul 2016 - 31 Jul 2016 Available US $2,125 Book Now
    20 Aug 2016 - 28 Aug 2016 Available US $2,125 Book Now
    17 Sep 2016 - 25 Sep 2016 Available US $2,125 Book Now
    15 Oct 2016 - 23 Oct 2016 Available US $2,050 Book Now
    05 Nov 2016 - 13 Nov 2016 Available US $1,970 Book Now
  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    All Aboard the Sushi Train

    Michael - Australia, 30 Dec, 2012
    Overall Rating

    This was my fourth trip with Gecko's I think, and once again I had an incredible time! The Road to Beijing covered amazing highlights and felt a lot longer than it actually was, yet still left me not wanting to go home. Thanks to everyone involved!

    All Aboard the Sushi Train

    Joanna - Australia, 18 Nov, 2012
    Overall Rating

    Both tour guides were excellent in different ways. The trip was amazing, covered all areas of interest & really informative, but fun at the same time. My only negative was coming home - I wanted to stay for longer!

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What to know

The operator for this Geckos Adventures trip is our experienced sister company Intrepid Travel. Your group will therefore be a mixture of Geckos booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers.

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