Head to the Gion area of Kyoto at dusk to see the Gieko and Maiko rushing between jobs in the tea houses. Wandering around the little back streets is like stepping into a time warp - or onto the set of Memoirs of a Geisha.
Miranda, Original Traveller
Japan may not feature high on everyone's travel wish lists, but trust us - it should. There are few more rewarding destinations to visit, in terms of sights, sounds and particularly tastes, but the devil is very much in the detail, and that's where Original Travel comes in. We've now visited many of the highlight destinations, and can make the whole travel experience as smooth as possible with hotel and bullet train reservations and recommendations of the best things to see and do, and places to sample the quite simply sensational local cuisine.
Miranda is here to help give you the inside track.
Why we think you’ll love it
- Of all the places in the Original Travel portfolio Japan is the one that requires the most expert advice, given language barriers and the sheer alien nature of the country. We look forward to explaining how to visit in style.
From the gallery
Tokyo and Kyoto: the Detail
There can be a temptation to try to cram too much into a short stay, but we can put together tailor-made itineraries according to your specific requirements. Tokyo and Kyoto are a shoe-in, but after that the options are endless, with the mountainous northern island of Hokkaido - home to sophisticated ski resorts and Sapporo beer - to consider, or the less-explored southern island of Kyushu and it's onsen hot springs and stunning volcano treks.
The largest island, Honshu, has much besides Tokyo and Kyoto including the revered and perfectly conical Mount Fuji, the deeply moving Hiroshima Peace Park and the elegant wooden houses of the UNESCO Heritage town of Takayama.
Despite some of the distances involved, travelling around Japan can be a hugely civilised experience. Anyone with (bitter) experience of the British rail system will only marvel at the whole process, as bullet and local trains adhere to their schedules literally to the second, and station attendants bow to trains as they leave the platform. Imagine that happening on the Waterloo & City Line of a commuting morning.
All in all this is - in our humble opinion - a destination as fascinating as any on the planet. Uncannily familiar on some levels yet completely 'other' at the same time, Japan is an endlessly fascinating destination that will reward all those intrepid enough to explore her.