Cycling in Japan Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Destinations:
Japan
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
MOJ
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Moderate / Challenging

You are moderately fit and have an interest in remote or challenging environments. Some previous experience is required for activity based trips.

16 Days Flight Inclusive
14 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

There is no better way of experiencing the ever-changing landscapes of Japan than on two wheels, as we pedal from the rugged seascapes and wild beaches of the Noto Peninsula to picturesque farmlands and remote mountainous regions of Takayama and UNESCO Shirakawa-go, where we are able to get a close feel for the timeless rhythms and customs of the Japanese countryside. From temples, shrines and market visits, to hot springs and overnights in ryokans – traditional Japanese guesthouses – this trip offers excellent rural cycling without compromising on the cultural elements. No trip to Japan would be complete without a visit to Kyoto, Japan's age-old capital, with its peaceful Zen gardens and geisha districts and futuristic Tokyo: sprawling, inimitably busy and extraordinary.

At a Glance

  • 13 nights hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese guesthouses), some with shared facilities
  • 9 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 90% tarmac roads, 10% country lanes or gravel paths
  • Mainly undulating with a few steady climbs
  • Special cherry blossoms and autmun colours departures
  • Local bike hire included

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle rural roads through peaceful Japanese countryside
  • Discover temples, zen gardens and geisha districts in Kyoto
  • Ride along the picturesque shores of the Noto Peninsula
  • Stay in authentic guesthouses and bathe in hot springs
  • Visit the UNESCO historic village of Shirakawa-go

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is classified as Road, Activity Level: 4: Moderate/Challenging

9 days cycling, average 60km/day (37 miles), Partial vehicle support (with limited seats).

On this trip we cycle more than 500km over 9 days with an average of 60km per day so a good level of fitness is required. We cycle mostly on surfaced roads with a few sections on country lanes, cycle paths and gravel. The routes are mainly undulating but they get hillier on the inland section to Takayama and Shirakawa-go where you will face some steady climbs. A support vehicle (with limited seats) accompanies the rides throughout the tour, except for the city bike tours in Kanazawa and Kyoto.

Routes follow mainly quiet back roads with low levels of traffic, but this does increase when approaching towns. We aim to cycle most of the route door-to-door, with only a few transfers and train rides organised to shorten some distances and avoid busier roads. Most rides will include some short sections through tunnels which are lit.

This trip is great for a first time visit to Japan as it encompasses the varying different aspects of the destination, from the serenity and history of Kyoto to the extraordinary and modern Tokyo.

Some nights will be spent in traditional rural accommodation and guesthouses with shared facilities which do not run along the same lines as western hotels.

Please be advised, bike hire is included and there is no option to bring your own bike on this trip.

Group

There will be a local cycling leader and an assistant leader driving the support vehicle. For groups with 9 passengers upwards, a second sweeper cycling support leader will also accompany groups.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Tokyo
End City:
Kyoto

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Tokyo

    Our tour starts in Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital boasting a unique contrast of ultramodern and traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. With so much to see and do in Tokyo, we recommend arriving a day or two early to explore the array of attractions at your own pace. Exodus can book additional accommodation for you prior departure; please contact our Operations or Sales teams for details and prices.

  • Day 2

    Morning orientation walk and free afternoon to explore Tokyo

    Today we enjoy a half day orientation tour of some Tokyo's highlights, starting from the popular district of Asakusa, where we visit Semso-ji, a Buddhist temple dating back to the 7th Century. We approach the temple via the Nakamise, a shopping street where we can find a variety of traditional, local snacks and souvenirs. We then continue towards the area of Ueno and walk through the beautiful public park filled with temples, shrines and about half a dozen museums. The afternoon is free for individual sightseeing and your leader will be giving recommendations on other must-see attractions in the city such as Shibuya, known for the busy crossing, and Meiji Shrine.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Train to Kanazawa, the gateway to the Noto Peninsula; afternoon cycle loop and sightseeing

    In the morning we take the express train (approx. 2.5 hours) to Kanazawa, in the western Ishikawa Prefecture, an atmospheric town that once rivalled Kyoto as the historical jewel of mainland Japan. After lunch we enjoy a short cycling loop around the city, a good opportunity to fine-tune the bikes whilst enjoying some of the main attractions in town. We will ride through the popular Nagamachi Samurai District, an area which preserves a historic atmosphere featuring samurai residences, narrow lanes and water canals. We also visit Kenrokuen, one of Japan's most beautiful landscape gardens, which is particularly spectacular during cherry blossom and autumn season. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    50
  • Day 4

    Cycle from Kanazawa to Togi, along rugged coastline and past fishing villages

    This morning we leave Kanazawa and cycle along the Sea of Japan until reaching the popular Chirihama Beach driveway, where we pedal comfortably on the hard packed sand beach for about 8km. This route is a unique attraction in Japan as it is open not only to bikes but also to cars, allowing drivers to get really close to the water's edge. Small stalls selling hamayaki (grilled shellfish and fish) are set up along the coast from spring to summer and offer a good opporunity for a refreshment stop. En route we also visit Myojoji Temple dating back to the 17th Century and boasting a wonderful early five storied Edo Period pagoda. We continue on the coastal cycling path and then along the dramatic Noto Kongo Coast, often considered the most dramatic section of the Noto Peninsula, until reaching Togi. Here we check in at a traditional Japanese Inn, offering rooms with traditional futon bedding as well as a public bath (onsen)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 80 km / 50 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    400
  • Day 5

    Rewarding coastal ride to Wajima; enjoy scenic ocean views and rock formations en route

    Today we follow the beautiful coastline north of the Noto Peninsula, as we cycle on quiet back roads lined by traditional wooden houses and rice fields. The coastal journey to Wajima is undulating with some occasional steep climbs but the effort will be rewaded by spectacular views of rugged coastline and interesting rock formations along the way. In the afternoon we settle in our accommodation in Wajima, a city centered around a protected harbor on the Sea of Japan coast and famous for its lively morning market.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 60 km / 37 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    700
  • Day 6

    Early morning optional market visit; cycle to Suzu; enjoy coastal views and verdant rice paddies of Senmaida

    This morning we have the option of joining the leader for an early visit to the Wajima Morning Market, believed to date back over a thousand years. Every day vendors and elderly women gather here to sell various goods, including fresh seafood and lacquerware, the most well known local handicraft. We then set off on our bikes and pedal along the remote and rural coastal northern stretch of the Noto Peninsula throughout the day, passing famous picturesque rice fields and salt farms en route. The most famous sight we vist today is Senmaida, a hillside of over 1000 terraced rice fields whose colours and shapes contrast to the background of the blue sea. We reach Suzu late afternoon and check in at our hotel by the sea.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 70 km / 43 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    700
  • Day 7

    Final ride along the Noto Peninsula to the popular hot spring resort of Wakura Onsen

    Leaving Suzu, today we cycle the last stretch of the Noto Peninsula as we follow the undulating coastal route around Toyama Bay. Along the way we enjoy coastal views and a scenic landscape dotted by fishing villages until reaching the Wakura Onsen, a popular hot spring resort which history goes back thousands of years. According to a legend, a local fisherman found a wounded white heron curing its body in the ocean’s hot water. Today the local waters rich in natural salts and minerals are still flowing and their healing properties attract large numbers of visitors each year. We will have the opportunity to soak in the hot springs at our traditional accommodation or in one of the public baths in town - a regenerating treat after days of cycling.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 90 km / 55 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    800
  • Day 8

    Travel to UNESCO Shirakawa-go village by train and bus; overnight in a traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouse

    Today we take a break from cycling and experience a dramatic change of landscape as we travel inland by train and then bus (approx. 3 hours) to Shirakawa-go, a spectacular secluded moutainous region which was cut off from the rest of the Japan for a long period of time. Villages in this area are famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses which were declared a UNESCO site in 1995. Their unique architectural style characterised by steep thatched roofs developed over many generations with the aim of withstanding heavy snowfalls during winter whilst providing a large attic space for the cultivation of silkworms. We arrive in Shirakawa-go in the afternoon in time to enjoy a leisurely walk through the picture-perfect mountain village, with the opportunity to visit some of the oldest buildings. Although not always guaranteed due to limited availbility, we usually spend the night at one or more gassho-zukuri houses, run by a local farmers, allowing us to get a real feel of a Japanese family home.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 9

    Challenging ride to Hida Takayama, at the foothills of the Japanese Alps

    Today is the most challenging ride of the trip as we cycle inland to Hida Takayama, at the foothills of the Japanese Alps. Riding out of Shirakawa-go, from an altitude of approx. 500m above sea level, we gradually climb up 1100m for the first 45km of the route. There are some wonderful views to be enjoyed along the way, from the picturesque shores of Miboro Lake and quaint rural villages to hillsides and forested valleys which burst in colour during the autumn season. On the last section of the ride we will enjoy two great descents before reaching our destination Hida Takayama, often named Little Kyoto because of the similarity of its architecture and quaint atmosphere. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 80 km / 50 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    1300
  • Day 10

    Cycle to the castle town of Gujo Hachiman, past little villages, local shrines and paddy fields

    Today we cycle the Hida Seseragi Highway, a beautiful route which follows the swift mountain streams and one of the most popular places to experience the striking autumn colours in Japan in season. Riding past little villages, shrines and paddy fields, we reach the pleasant riverside town of Gujo-hachiman, known for its pristine waterways and its 16th century castle. Before dinner there is time for a pleasant stroll through the vibrant town's centre and along the atmopsheric canals and waterways which are still used daily by locals for washing rice, vegetables and laundry. Time and energy permitting there is also the option to walk to the hilltop castle built in 1559 by the local feudal lord from where one can enjoy wonderful vistas.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 70 km / 43 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    800
  • Day 11

    Cycle along the Nagara River to the town of Gifu

    Today's pleasant and more leisurely ride follows the Nagara River, famed across Japan for its clear water and quiet beauty. Some sections of the riverside are paricularly picturesque during cherry blossom season when over 400 cherry trees in full and glorious bloom. We pedal along the river for most of the day and make a stop in the pleasant town of Mino, a century-old production center of high quality traditional Japanese paper. Our final destination today is Gifu where we should arrive in time for an optional visit to the castle located atop Mount Kinka. Overnight in Gifu City.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 65 km / 40 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    300
  • Day 12

    Travel to Kyoto by train; free time for sightseeing

    Today we have another day off the bikes. After breakfast we travel by train (approx. 2 hours) to the wonderful city of Kyoto. With over 2000 temples, shrines and gardens, Kyoto is a treasure house of Japan's cultural heritage and remains undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. Unlike many other Japanese towns, it escaped the ravages of both the Second World War and modern urban development thereby keeping intact much of the spirit and architecture of traditional Japan. The day is free for individual sightseeing with many highlights awaiting to be explored including Nijo castle, built in 1603 as a residence for the Tokugawa shoguns, Kiyomiduzera temple and the scenic Fushimi Inari Shrine, featured in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. We also recommend a walk in the historic district of Gion, which is at its most atmospheric in the early evening, when the lanterns are lit and apprentice geishas will flit about the back streets on their way to their appointments.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Final circular ride in Kyoto exploring the pleasant district of Arashiyama and two seasonal temples

    Today's cycling loop explores some of the best areas and attractions of Kyoto, heading first towards Arashiyama, a pleasant district in the western outskirts of the city. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. After pedalling through its charming centre, via the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge and bamboo grove, we continue back into Kyoto following a different route. En route we stop for a visit to Ryoanji Temple, the site of Japan's most famous rock garden, and the splendid Kinkakuji (also known as the Golden Pavilion), one of Japan's most iconic landmarks. Finally, we cycle via the famous Philosopher's Path, a pedestrian and cycling path that follows a cherry-tree-lined canal in northerns Kyoto, until reaching Kyoto station where our last ride finishes.
    In the evening the leader will be arranging an optional celebratory farewell dinner in one of the most authentic restaurants in the city.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 40 km / 25 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    200
  • Day 14

    End Kyoto

    The tour ends this morning after breakfast for land only clients.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels and traditional ryokans

On this trip we use a mix of  hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns).

The hotels are usually centrally located and have modern facilities, Wi-Fi, en suite rooms and English speaking staff. All provide hairdryers either in the room or in the shared bathrooms.

During the trip, we also stay in ryokans, comfortable traditional inns where we are able to get a close feel for the timeless rhythms and customs of the Japanese countryside. Ryokans, while comfortable and full of local character, do not run along the same lines as western hotels. Rooms do not generally have private facilities and bedding is generally in the Japanese style with thick futon mattresses placed on tatami mats on the floor. Bathrooms and showers (see section on Onsen below) are generally communal. Almost all the accommodation has its own private Onsen which means you can have a soak as soon as you arrive in from cycling, a superb way to recuperate after a day on the bike.

In the UNESCO town of Shirakawa-go we usually spend 1 night in a gassho-zukuri farmhouse. In the traditional style, guest rooms come with tatami mat floors, futons and a low table. Toilets are typically modern but shared. Due to limited availability the group may stay in different houses near each other and the accommodation may be dormitory style with up to 6 people (split according to gender) sharing a room. Staying here is a unique and memorable experience.

 A single supplement can be booked only for 7 nights' hotel accommodation in Tokyo, Kanazawa, Wajima, Gifu and Kyoto for a supplement payable at the time of booking and subject to availability. Elsewhere a single room may be available locally on payment of a supplement but, as some of the hotels and ryokans used are quite small, this cannot be guaranteed.

 Onsen (Japanese public bath)

For many visitors to Japan the onsen is a somewhat unfamiliar territory. An onsen is a Japanese hot spring and the bathing facilities and inns frequently situated around them. The combination of a strict bathing etiquette, the fact that nudity is involved and compulsory and that the water temperature is often hotter than most jacuzzis can cause some reluctance for first timers. Once the courage is mustered however, you may discover that a dip in an onsen is likely to become one of the highlights of your visit to Japan. Please note that it is very possible that you will be refused entry if you have large and visible tattoos. The leader will explain etiquette but it is expected that you shower before stepping into the hot spring/bath. All hotels provide kimonos and is the norm to go to the onsen in these and take your towel with you.

Please be advised that the below accommodation listed in each location are the standard accommodations used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar establishments of a similar standard and quality.

Tokyo: Sunroute Asakusa Hotel
Kanazawa: Garden Hotel 
Togi: Kogetsukan Ryokan
Wajima: Route Inn Hotel
Suzu: Noto Jiso Ryokan
Wakura Onsen: Kinpaso
Shirakawago: Gassho Zukuri Houses
Takayama: Wat Hotel
Gujo Hachiman: Onoso Ryokan
Gifu: Hotel Resol 
Kyoto: Hotel Palace Side

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £185.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 5 dinners are included.

Japanese cuisine is usually one of the main highlights of any trip to Japan. It is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes which are usually prepared with seasonal ingredients. Seafood is very common, and it usually comes grilled or deep fried. Sushi and sashimi aside, other staple dishes include Soba or Udon noodles, Sukiyaki (meat, fish and vegetables cooked in broth) and Yakiniku (grilled meat).

The included dinners are usually taken at ryokans (traditional guesthouses) which will serve a kaiseki style dinner, a multi-course meal including a dozen of tiny dishes prepared with locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. When food is not included, your leader will be able to recommend the best local eateries and arrange some group meals for a full immersion in Japan's varied and excellent cuisine. 

Please note that in Japan the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free, strict vegetarian (no fish/seafood) or vegan is minimal or non-existent. The group meals arranged by the tour leader will be in traditional eateries where the choices of vegan dishes may be limited to simple salads or boiled rice, however in In Kyoto and Tokyo a number of vegan restaurants are available. 

You may also find it beneficial to bring some 'cycling snacks' with you from home if you have high energy bars or gels that you like to use during a ride. For those who wish to contribute a kitty is normally arranged and will be used to provide snacks and drinks during the rides.

Transportation

Transport during the trip will be by train, metro, bus and occasionally private minibus. Most rides on this trip are point-to-point so the number of transfers on the trip will be limited. When transfers by train or bus are planned, journeys are generally short (2-4 hours) and comfortable. 

Vehicle Support

The support vehicle will accompany the riders most of the time, however there are only two seats available so you may have to take turns if you wish to skip parts of the rides. Please note the van will not follow the group during the cycling tour in Kanazawa and Kyoto.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Japan has four very distinct seasons, although weather patterns vary across the island. Our aim has been to avoid the extremely cold winters and humid summers and settle for the more pleasant climates of spring and autumn which are more comfortable for cycling. Temperatures in March, April and November will be around 14-17ºC during daytime and as cold as 7-10º C during the night. May, June and October are usually milder with temperatures ranging from 14ºC at night up to 27ºC during the day, although the likelihood of rain is higher during these months.

It is important to be prepared by packing warm clothing and layers for cold weather (especially for the March and November departures) in the interior in the region of Shirakawa and Takayama.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 16 Days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Emirates (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.


Travelling land only: 14 days starting in Tokyo and ending in Kyoto

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Tokyo in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights who will be taking a private transfer from Narita airport to Tokyo on arrival.

If you are travelling on a different flight, arriving before or at the same time as the group and you would like to join the group transfer, please request it at least 6 weeks prior departure. The cost of this transport is included in the trip price if you are able to meet the group and your leader on time. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense. 

The Keisei Skyliner provides the fastest connection into central Tokyo, connecting Narita airport with Ueno Station. A one way ticket is approx. 2500 JPY and the journey takes about 40 minutes. Departures are every 20-40 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from the Skyliner Ticket Counter at the terminal. Once in Ueno you can travel to your start hotel by taxi (5 mins. approx. 1700 JPY) or by metro to Tawaramachi (Ginza line, departs Ueno every 5 minutes, approx. 220 JPY). The hotel is only a short walk from Tawaramachi metro station.

Private transfers are not available on this trip.

Further information will be provided in the final joining instructions which will be sent to you 2 to 3 weeks before departure.

Location start:
Tokyo
Location end:
Kyoto

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Cycling clothing
  • Warm clothes & layers (it can be cold in the mountains- especially for the March & November departures)
  • Cycling helmet (compulsory on this trip)
  • Water bottle
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket or poncho and umbrella
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sun cream
  • Light cotton trousers and lightweight long sleeved shirts
  • Casual clothing (for sightseeing and restaurants)
  • Sun hat 
  • Cash in Yen
  • Travel insurance

A first aid kit is carried on each trip, but you should bring you own first aid kit with diarrhoea treatment, painkillers, rehydration sachets, plasters and a blister treatment kit.

On Day 8, your bags will go ahead to Takayama which means that for the night in Shirakawa-go you will be without your main luggage. This is also the case on Day 11 as your bags will go ahead to Kyoto meaning you will be without youR main luggage again in Gifu. This is necessary to ensure you don’t have to carry heavy luggage on public transport transfers. We therefore suggest that you pack a small rucksack/daybag that can be used for these two nights to store your overnight necessities.

 For March and November departures, please bring extra layers including full-length gloves and a scarf/cycling buff as coastal winds can be cold.

 There are some train journeys involved on the trip and the stations are large and busy – we would advise you therefore try and pack as lightly as possible as you will need to carry your own luggage at the beginning of the trip on the journey from Tokyo to Kanazawa. In most locations, there is a ‘coin-laundry’ service in the hotels, which means you can wash and dry clothes on the move easily. These are not expensive to operate and there is usually time each evening to use them.

Equipment Hire

Local Bike Details: Giant Escape RX3 hybrid bikes (2017 and 2018 models).

A quality local hire bike is now included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.

2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.

3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment

4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

Reading List

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

The Inland Sea by Donald Richie

Shogun by James Clavell

The Roads to Sata: A 2000‐mile Walk Through Japan by Alan Booth

Practical Information

Passport

Japan

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Japan

Most nationalities do not require a visa to visit Japan. South African passport holders do require a visa; but it is worth all nationalities verifying visa requirements directly at your embassy before travel.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Japan

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Japan's Timezone:
Asia/Tokyo JST (GMT +09:00)

Electricity

Japan's Electricity:

100 Volts. Plug types A & B; establishments often take two flat parallel pin plugs (US style). Most battery chargers function at this voltage, but do check their documentation.

Money

Japan's Currency

The national currency of Japan is the Yen (JPY), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (September 2018) of approximately 143 to the GBP, 110 to the USD, 84 to the CAD, 128 to the EUR, 78 to the AUD and 72 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

We recommend obtaining some Yen (JPY) before travelling to Japan, although you should check the exchange rate carefully. The safest way to carry your money is in cash. Japan is a very safe country and locals often carry around large amounts without problems. Alternatively, if you decide to travel with US dollars or Pound sterling, exchange facilities are available only in major cities and towns, including at the airport on arrival.

Major credit cards are not widely accepted (although chain electronic shops generally accept Visa) and only a few ATM's are international debit card compatible. To withdraw directly from an international account (non-Japanese) using a debit card, the post office or 7‐Eleven ETM machines is the best option. Do NOT, however, rely exclusively on use of your cards to access funds.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

A certain amount should be allowed for optional entrance fees and transport fares not included in the itinerary (during free time in cities). The cost of these will of course vary according to individual preferences but a figure of around GBP 80-100 is reasonable.

For meals not included in the cost of the trip, a budget of around 1500-2000 JPY (GBP 10-15) for lunch and 2000-4000 JPY (GBP 15-30) for dinner is reasonable.

 

Tipping

Tipping locals for services is not expected or required in Japan. However, if you feel that your Exodus leader has performed well over the course of your trip, you may want to show your appreciation of their services. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a guide we recommend to budget approx. GBP 30 per person per leader, and GBP 10-15 per person for the driver.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

Ready to book?  Please contact your travel agent