Eclectic, enchanting and gloriously timeless, Japan is a country that is completely unique. Traditions as old as time are seamlessly combined with the modern world's greatest innovations, creating an atmosphere and energy that will captivate you from the moment you arrive.
Glimpses of Japanese culture and history can be found wherever you travel - from the classic Buddhist temples and Geisha dances of Kyoto, to the gardens and castles of Hiroshima, to the bustling markets of tantalizing Tokyo. Simultaneously, the towering skyscrapers of the neon-lit cities remind visitors just how quickly Japan is moving, boasting world-leading popular culture and fashion trends and incredible dining scenes. Indeed, Japanese food is simply delicious and dramatically varied, depending on where in the country you're dining.
Alongside its charming towns and ultra-modern cities, Japan also impresses with its intense natural beauty, with mountains making up a staggering two thirds of the country. The natural terrain is truly varied - ranging from incredible hiking routes past bubbling volcanic springs, to skiing that rivals anywhere else in the world, to sun-kissed beaches in the south.
|Time Difference||9 hours
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. We highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your Doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
British Airways and Japan Airlines from London Heathrow to Tokyo. Flights with Emirates (via) Dubai from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow are also available. Onward connections from Tokyo to Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kagoshima.
11 hours 40 minutes from London Heathrow to Tokyo
14 hours 30 minutes from London Heathrow to Kansai (including layover time)
14 hours 40 minutes from London Heathrow to Osaka (including layover time)
Cherry Blossom Season
An international symbol of Japan that adorns countless postcards, the stunning pink cherry blossom (sakura) blooms between late March and early May. During this time, the country is at its most vibrant, with locals and visitors alike engaging in Hanami - a word that translates literally to 'looking at flowers'. Hanami picnics are often held in parks to appreciate the beauty of the blossom. The flowers are deeply symbolic to the Japanese, their quick cycle representing the transcience of life and its beauty.
Some of Japan's deep-rooted traditions and cultural heritage can be intimidatingly different to our own, though completely unique, fascinating and well worth experiencing when you visit. From tea ceremonies to samurai training to kimono, our Concierge Service can assist in making these 'once-in-a-lifetime' experiences happen.
Riding Japan's iconic bullet train (Shinkansen) is an experience in itself, renowned for its incredible efficiency and high speeds, reaching up to 200mph. It is considered disrespectful to talk loudly or answer your phone while riding the trains.
Things to Note
- Travellers with tattoos needs to be aware that many people in Japan do not look on tattoos favourably. As a result of a dominant, anti-tattoo view and Japan’s fraught history with regard to tattooing, any traveller visiting Japan will likely find that having tattoos makes things more complicated for them, namely if they want to use a pool, spa, gym or enter traditional environments like a ryokan.
- Outdoor shoes often need to be taken off before entering temples, traditional houses and some restaurants, and replaced with indoor shoes. Shoes should be removed on any tatami flooring.
- Photography is generally forbidden inside sacred buildings.
- Different shrines and temples have different rituals and traditions - such as a ceremony of purification with water on entry and the burning of incense. Be sure to respect the tradition of the building you are visiting.
- Modest dress is expected in shrines and temples.
- Many places don't accept credit cards so it is wise to carry cash.
- Bowing is the common greeting and gesture of thanks.
- The English language is not as widely understood as many visitors expect, so don't carry the assumption that locals will be able to speak it.