All Aboard the Sushi Train

Shinto shrines
UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient Kyoto
Totally Tokyo
The bars of Golden Gai
The machiya and tsuboniwa of Kyoto
This is the bamboo forest from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. It's in Kyoto.
Yoyogi Park's anime and manga
  • 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. 


    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

    • Tour leader throughout the trip and local guides at some sites, all accommodation and transport as per itinerary.

    Not Included

    • International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, laundry, tips and items of a personal nature.

    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
    26 Jul 2014 - 03 Aug 2014 Fully Booked
    US $1,990 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,691
    20 Sep 2014 - 28 Sep 2014 Fully Booked
    US $2,070 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,759
    Contact us
    18 Oct 2014 - 26 Oct 2014 Fully Booked US $2,070 Contact us
    01 Nov 2014 - 09 Nov 2014 Available US $1,895 Book Now
    21 Feb 2015 - 01 Mar 2015 Available US $1,950 Book Now
    14 Mar 2015 - 22 Mar 2015 Available US $2,010 Book Now
    28 Mar 2015 - 05 Apr 2015 Available US $1,950 Book Now
    18 Apr 2015 - 26 Apr 2015 Available US $1,950 Book Now
    09 May 2015 - 17 May 2015 Available US $1,895 Book Now
    13 Jun 2015 - 21 Jun 2015 Available US $1,895 Book Now
    11 Jul 2015 - 19 Jul 2015 Available US $1,895 Book Now
    25 Jul 2015 - 02 Aug 2015 Available US $1,895 Book Now
    22 Aug 2015 - 30 Aug 2015 Available US $1,895 Book Now
    19 Sep 2015 - 27 Sep 2015 Available US $2,010 Book Now
    17 Oct 2015 - 25 Oct 2015 Available US $2,010 Book Now
    07 Nov 2015 - 15 Nov 2015 Available US $1,895 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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Bus, Train
2 nights Guesthouse, 6 nights Ryokan

What to know

This trip is run by our sister company, Intrepid.

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