Japanese, Ryūkyūan
Japanese Yen
Flight time
13 hours and 40 minutes from the UK
time difference
UTC/GMT +9 hours
best time to go
Mar-May / Sep-Nov

Introducing Japan

Japan is a meeting place of new and old, modernism and traditionalism, a high tech future and a rich past steeped with custom. This contrasting nation is both irresistible and inviting. On arrival, you may feel out of your comfort zone but there’s nothing unusual about that; Japan is unlike any other world we know. Give this beautiful country a chance and you’ll soon come to realise that it’s a welcoming land with as many skyscrapers and neon lights as there are blossom trees, lakes or mountains, and it’s a diverse destination with something for everyone. Families travelling with children will be utterly inspired by Tokyo’s beautiful, safe communities and the limitless dining and shopping scene; couples will become completely seduced by the temples and shrines of old world Kyoto; whilst travellers of every age will find peace in the blossom lined promenades of Osaka during Sakura Matsuri when the whole country comes outside for the art of Hanami.

No matter where you go in Japan, you’re guaranteed to find something different and you’ll feel like you’re learning something new every day. Amazing, exciting, ever-changing and stirring; of all the things that define Japan, most of all it’s surprising. From the world’s best sushi to standing soba shops, from the bubbling hot springs of Hakone to unspoilt views of Mount Fuji, and from the most intricately decorated temples of Nikko National Park to the quaint wooden houses in Takayama – Japan is a destination that deserves to be explored at least once in your lifetime.


Japan is the kind of country which makes the exotic, accessible. Families have a chance to enjoy culturally immersive experiences whilst enjoying clean, comfortable and luxurious hotels with all the facilities and amenities you would expect of a well-managed resort. Public transport is excellent in every town, city and region so getting around is an easy task, even with little ones. And there’s a great mix of both city and countryside so there’s plenty to do outdoors including hiking in the Japanese Alps, diving in Okinawa or leisurely walks through the forests and mountains surrounding Kyoto.


Food is a bit part of Japanese culture and chefs see cooking as a fine art that is perfected through years and years of training. This is why you will find so many restaurants and cafes that specialise in one thing, such as sushi bars, standing soba shops, Hakata style ramen shops, sukiyaki restaurants, or robatayaki restaurants. Whilst not all restaurants offer English written menus, most do and many will provide food photographs so that you have a visual reference. Water and green tea are often free in many restaurants so it helps to keep the cost of eating out down. Street food isn’t as abundant here as the rest of the Far East but exceptions include the Nakasu district of Fukuoka, where the street food is quite a famous draw for locals and visitors. Hotels will also offer buffet restaurants at a fixed price.

History and Culture

Japanese culture is truly distinctive and the Japanese people are a proud people. As a solitary island at the end of the Far East edge of the Silk Road trade route, it’s easy to see why Japan stands out in so many ways. From Kyoto’s geisha dance and traditional kimono dress to futuristic cities and an expanding industry of pop culture and kawaii, the culture of Japan is a clash of the ages; a world where old and new collide. Social behaviour and etiquette is also very important to the Japanese, so bowing to greet others and removing your shoes before sitting down at a zashiki dining table is an important thing to learn for foreigners.

Resorts in Japan

Recommended Experiences in Japan

Top Locations in Japan

A holiday to Japan isn’t complete without a visit to the capital. Tokyo is an exciting mix of restaurants and bars, with never-ending shopping, delicious street food culture and a burgeoning contemporary art scene. Eat at the hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the famous Piss Alley (Omoide Yokocho), go bar hopping in the Golden Gai district, book a table at one of the 10 Michelin starred establishments, or find a relaxing oasis at the Meiji Shrine and gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Read more
In Kyoto, you will feel as though you’ve travelled back in time. This beautiful city on the island of Honshu is known for its stunning temples and grand palaces, its serene gardens, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. This is also the place to be for a luxurious kaiseki dining experience, a multi-course Japanese dinner which is prepared using the highest levels of skill and technique. Don’t miss Kinkaku-ji Temple, the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine or the Arashiyama bamboo forest.
The port city of Osaka is a great place to go for nightlife and street food. For couples or groups, Osaka is a dream destination. Some landmarks to check out include the Shinto Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine, the 16th Century Osaka Castle, the ultra-modern Umeda Sky Building, and the Dōtonbori River. For the best street food in the city including tuna jaw, grilled oysters and giant diver scallops on a stick, head to Kuromon Ichiba Market.
For views on Mount Fuji and a hot spring spa experience, spend a few days winding down in Hakone. Set in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, this picturesque town is great if you love the outdoors. Families will find so much to do here and there are many luxurious hot spring resorts offering classic Onsen pools and bath houses. Don’t miss a hike to the Owakudani volcano, Hakone Open Air Museum, camping or cycling around Lake Ashi, and the Hakone Shrine and Museum.
If you want endless shopping, museums, temples and beaches, this coastal city make a great alternative to the popular capital of Tokyo. Street food is also a big part of life here so head over to the Nakasu district to experience the local street eats such as ramen noodles, yakitori skewers and gyoza. Major attractions include the beautiful Ōhori Park, Kushida Shrine and the magnificent Fukuoka Castle.

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