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Top 10 Thrilling Experiences in Japan

Shinkansen High-Speed Bullet Trains

Glide seamlessly along smooth tracks at speeds of up to 320 km per hour. Landscapes whizz by in this special travel experience, heightened by comfort and amenities in spacious cars with forward-facing seats. Trains are on time, safe, reliable, and an essential experience. Hop aboard this efficient way to cross the country. Ordinary seats are comfortable with generous foot room. Make advance seat reservations for carriages with reserved seats or Shiteiseki. Green cars have larger seats, more foot space and are less crowded. The Gran Class ticket on some lines offers even more space and comfort for a luxurious journey.

Featured Tours: All (except Hokkaido-only tours)

Climb Mt. Fuji

Get familiar with Mt. Fuji to unite with Japan. Climbers stay in a mountain hut before the ascent of 3,880m starts at 3:30am, to arrive in time for sunrise at the summit. Admire views as you wander around the crater of this volcanic mountain. Restore energy with a packed breakfast picnic on the top of the mountain and descend in your own time. The perfect remedy for tired muscles is a soak in hot spring-fed Onsen baths located lower down the mountainside.

Featured Tours: Ancient Trails (Summer only and optional)

climbers at the summit after climbing Mt Fuji Japan

Cruise through Iya Valley

The mighty Yoshino River carves across central Shikoku and Iya valley. Oboke is a rocky gorge believed to have formed over 100 million years ago that centres along 10 km of the Iya River, a tributary of the Yoshino. Take in the spectacular view on a tranquil boat ride within crystal clear waters. Cut off from the rest of the country until early in the 20th century, it is no surprise that Oboke is named to warn of the historical difficulty of traversing this steep and narrow chasm. Look out for the legendary Yokai monsters in this stunning landscape.

Featured Tours: Hidden Treasures

Rickshaw Ride by Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Stop at impressive sites and shrines with a knowledgeable local guide and an authentic rickshaw driver. Kyoto’s Arashiyama district to the west of the ancient city has been a popular destination with nobles since the Heian Period (794-1185). Climb onboard for a memorable ride through a verdant bamboo grove to see the tall trees sway. Dizzy with tree-top gazing stroll the path of strong sticks, as you wade and bathe in the forest light. Then stop at Tenryuji Temple or glide over Togetsukyo Bridge. The challenge is to choose which way to go, the rest is a breeze.

Featured Tours: Gardens and Galleries

Sandankyo Gorge River Boat Ride

At Sandankyo, immerse in the grandeur of nature along 16 km of gorgeous gorges and the Shibaki River, designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. From Kurobuchi Pool and Sarutobi Rock, observe colossal cliffs and a primitive forest. The scenes are worthy of landscape paintings, as sun-dappled trees flicker and are reflected on water. Surrender to nature and feel at one with the trees. Forest bathing in ancient evergreens surrounded by a variety of moss. Search for secrets and uncover a mysterious black stone that tells the history of Hiroshima.

Featured Tours: Gardens and Galleries

Abashiri Drift-Ice Cruise

(subject to weather conditions)

The most southern region of the northern hemisphere is located in the Sea of Okhotsk, from Wakkanai to the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido. Ice is more likely to be thicker in the areas close to Abashiri. From Abashiri Port take an hour-long cruise out into the Sea of Okhotsk. Bob along, mesmerized, as the boat carves a passage through thick ice, emerging like glaciers. Vessels crunch and slice through the frozen seas as ice floats and drifts away. This is an invigorating way to experience the phenomenal ice drift. Warm up on shore after being amazed at this natural wonder.

Featured Tours: Journey to the East (February)

Canoe through a Virgin Mangrove Forest in Amami Oshima

Glide under an arch of line-leaved branches in this natural ecosystem vibrant with life. Transverse the labyrinth of channels, paddle in the unique biodiversity of Amami to observe endemic animals from the water. Subtropical estuaries and coastal tidal flats grow a variety of plants, forming the second-largest mangrove forest in Japan. Flooded by tides, this is the only place in the world to find Ryukyu Ayu fish, who hide out in the basketed roots at the base of the mangroves. Low tide is a paradise for crabs and in Mangrove Park glimpse white- coloured Black Herons camouflaged by white sand.

Featured Tours: Traditional and Tropical

Amami Oshima Mangrove Forest Canoe


Spin around Omishima Island on Electric Bikes

Northwest of Shikoku, adventure in nature on a 70 km route stretching from Ehime to Hiroshima. Shimanami Kaido is surrounded by sea, mountains, and blue skies in a sun-drenched prefecture. Start at the foot of the Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge to cycle along three successive suspension bridges over the Kurushima Strait, and feel the breeze 65 meters above the sea. Follow blue lines along the road that mark the route. Cycle hybrid or e-bikes to reach Omishima Island, then choose to turn back or continue to Onomichi. Refresh with local citrus fruits or a visit to the historic Dogo hot springs.

Featured Tours: Shikoku Secrets

River Rafting in Kyoto

Enjoy seasonal views from the Hozu River, surrounded by mountains as it flows for about 10 miles, or 16 km, from Kameoka to the famous Arashiyama area in Kyoto. The river gorge features a perfect environment for gentle rafting in splendid scenery on a rafting tour. Laugh and play down the torrent for a fun way to experience nature and the outdoors. Enjoy flowing through deep pools, and rapids, with all the thrills of an ever-changing mountain river. Each season brings a delightful view with spring blossoms, fresh summer foliage, or colourful autumn leaves.

Featured Tours: Shikoku Secrets or optional on all Kyoto visits

Winter Sports in Powder Snow

Nestled amid awe-inspiring landscapes, Hokkaido beckons to skiers as a winter haven with consistent falls of deep powder snow, establishing itself as
an unparalleled destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The realm of Hokkaido unfolds with world-renowned ski resorts like Niseko, Rusutsu, and Furano, presenting a fusion of superb mountain facillties, top class accommodations and après-ski dining and entertainment. Immerse yourself in the island’s distinctive culture, relishing local delicacies and unwinding in natural hot springs after a day of invigorating downhill adventures. Hokkaido’s reliable snowfall and world class resorts position it as an essential pilgrimage for those in search of a singular, unforgettable winter escapade.

Featured Tours: Optional on all Japan visits between January and April.

Pre-Tour or Post-Tour Extension (Late Dec ~ late Feb, peak powder period)

JPN_Skier Skiing Downhill On Fresh Powder Snow