All Aboard the Sushi Train
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 - TokyoKonnichiwa! 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 - NikkoWe 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 - KyotoOn 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 to Know
- 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.
- International flights
- Arrival & Departure transfers
- Optional tours or activities
- Airport departure taxes
- 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
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.
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
Jamie - Australia, 29 Apr, 2012
At times there were options to take overnight sleeper trains or buses that would have been a better service time wise, ie from TLG back to Kunming an overnight bus would have been good.
All Aboard the Sushi Train
Fenella - Australia, 3 Jun, 2012
What an excellent trip - from rural Yunnan and the highlight for me of Leaping Tiger Gorge to the other epic sights of China: The Great Wall, X'ian, Forbiddan City, Yangshou and the Yangtze this really covered it all! Travelling in China could be really hard without speaking Chinese but this made it so simple to get around and cover some huge distances (5 overnight trains!) trouble-free.
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.