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Japan Holidays

A gracious and hospitable country, Japan is an astonishing blend of the modern and the traditional, of futuristic cities, snow-capped mountains, excellent food, bullet trains, manicured gardens and ancient temples. Tokyo is one of the most dazzling modern cities on earth and, day or night, hums with a vibrancy that is contagious whilst the backdrop of nearby Mount Fuji is almost surreal. Kyoto is another modern city but also defines ‘Old Japan’. The ancient capital for over a thousand years it harbours a wealth of history with over 2,000 temples and shrines, palaces and museums. In the charming towns of Takayama and Matsumoto stay in a ryokan and explore the Japanese Alps, travel south to Kanazawa, Osaka and Hiroshima or head north to the hot springs and volcanic landscapes of Hokkaido. We have over 30 years experience in planning tailor-made holidays and tours to Japan.

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Places to visit in Japan

There is more to Japan than futuristic cities, high-speed bullet trains and cutting edge cuisine and travelling away from the main tourist centres opens a whole new side to the country. Most visitors initially arrive in Tokyo with its world-class museums, shops, temples, gardens and palaces. Mt Fuji emerges in the distance and the surrounding Hakone National Park offers fine views and plenty of outdoor activities. Further south, Kyoto rightly lays claims to being Japan’s cultural centre. Here there are an astonishing collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over 2,000 shrines. The coastal city of Kanazawa is home to a 400 year old castle then travel on to Hiroshima – a name forever synonymous with the events of 1945. The pretty towns of Takayama and Matsumoto are the gateway to the walks and wildlife of the Japanese Alps whilst northern Hokkaido Island is known for its volcanic landscapes and hot springs.

When to Visit Japan

This is a general overview suggesting when to travel in the country.
Please note that this may not directly apply to any specific itinerary or region.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Key :

 Best

 Good

 Possible

 Not recommended

Japan's temperate climate and four seasons make it a year-round travel destination. Winters are cool and sunny in the south, cold and sunny around Tokyo – the city occasionally has snow – and very cold on the island of Hokkaido which is snow-covered for up to four months of the year. Depending on the region you are visiting the summer, which spans from June to September, can either be warm and humid or very hot. Spring and autumn are generally considered to be the best times to visit Japan as temperatures are, on the whole, mild. The spring is also a popular time to visit as this is when the cherry blossoms are at their best. Rain falls throughout the year but June and early July is the main rainy season although rainfall is intermittent with sunny spells. Typhoons are not unusual between July and September but rarely last more than a day.

Essential Information

Capital: Tokyo Main Language: Japanese
Time Zone: GMT + 9 Currency: Yen (JPY)

Explore The Cities of Japan

Accommodation in Japan

In all main Japanese cities the range of accommodation is extensive and there will always be a wide-range of different options. All major internationally recognised hotel companies are present in Japan and many of their flagship properties can be found in Tokyo. Further afield, in provincial towns and cities, accommodation is usually in smaller, independent, Japanese owned hotels. In nearly all cases hotels will be very modern in both style and design. To fully experience the culture and hospitality no visit to Japan is complete without a stay in a ryokan – a Japanese-style inn. Found throughout the country, ryokans vary greatly in quality and style but all will have a special Japanese atmosphere with tatami floors, futon beds, traditional cuisine and hot spring ‘onsen’ baths.

Japan Holiday Review

Our whole holiday ran smoothly, each day perfectly organised.  At our first hotel the Sunroute Plaza in Tokyo, we found the room to be small with no wardrobe or storage, however the staff were very friendly and the breakfast tasty.  Our day with our Guide, Mutsuko was invaluable.  She was a lovely lady, who gave us the confidence to navigate the vast railway system.  The highlights of our day were the beautiful gardens at the Imperial Palace and visiting Asakusa.

On to Kanazawa, our favourite place, the gardens of Kenroken, although popular were very tranquil and peaceful. We had a lovely day visiting the places as advised on 'Our Perfect Day'.  

Shirakawago was a picture postcard village.  Takayama was certainly an experience, typical Japanese, where our shoes were left in lockers and we went around the hotel in bare or stocking feet.  We even had Japanese clothing to wear around the hotel if you were brave enough to use it.

Our hotel in Kyoto was right in the heart of the station, but you would never have known.  Again we had an excellent Guide in Reiko. We had an energetic day visiting the Bamboo forest, and climbing the mountain to feed the monkeys at Arashiyama, as well as Nijo-jo Castle and the Golden Temple.

We really enjoyed our Tea Ceremony, it was a wonderful experience. All  in all we have had the most amazing holiday. From travelling on the most extraordinary trains, to staying in lovely hotels and experiencing the wonderful hospitality of the Japanese people. We could not believe how clean everywhere was.  No litter, no graffiti and no smoking in the street,  We were impressed by the smartness of all levels of the workers.

So again 'Arigato gozaimasu'  to all concerned for making this a truly remarkable and memorable holiday.

P & R - Japan - July 2018

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Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

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