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Japan: Kyoto to Tokyo

Join our gay tour of Japan celebrating ancient tradition, modern civilization, and a cultural obsession with cuteness.

Japan is a universe unto itself – a tiny country that combines ancient history with unprecedented innovation. Our trip begins in Osaka then takes us to Kyoto (which is now technically part of Osaka, to give you a sense of the island’s density). After bowing to the friendly deer in Nara Park, we continue to Tokyo – the biggest megacity of them all – where they’ll still be riding high from hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics. So grab your Hello Kitty backpack, choose your Pikachu, and loosen those stretchy pants…between the street food, cooking class, public markets and gourmet restaurants we’ll eat so much Japanese food it will be anything but kawaii.


Quick Facts

  • Who's it for? Gay Men
  • Countries visited: Japan
  • Duration: 9 Nights/10 Days
  • Starts in: Kyoto
  • Ends in: Tokyo
  • Group size: Min 4; max 16
  • Accomodations: 4-Star Hotel (5 nights), 3-Star Hotel (4 nights)
  • Physical Rating: 2/5
  • Theme: Culture
  • Activities: Food Tours, LGBT Activist Meeting, Wildlife

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ride the Shinkansen bullet train
  • Admire Mt Fuji from a Pirate Boat on Lake Ashi
  • Wander Osaka’s Dotonburi District and devour delectable street food
  • Meet the friendly deer of Nara Park that bow politely for treats
  • Wander through a surreal grove of towering bamboo
  • Dress like traditional samurai warriors and learn to use a real sword
  • Wander through an open-air museum where world-famous sculptures are only confined by the nature around them
  • Check out Tokyo’s seriously dense gay scene, with the most bars per capita on Earth
  • Wander through colourful Harajuku where you could pick up something cute at one of their adorable critter cafés

DATES AND PRICES

November 1-10, 2020 (From $6,495.00 USD)
OPEN
  • Tour Prices - All tour prices are in USD and based on double/twin occupancy
    • Tour Price: $6,495.00 per person
  • Single Supplement (Optional) - All single supplement prices are in USD and additional to the tour price
    • Single Supplement: $1,170.00 per person
  • Payment Terms: $750 Deposit / Balance Due 90 Days before trip
  • Guides and Hosts for this trip: Kevin Robitaille
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Tour Map

ITINERARY

Day 1 Osaka/Arrival Day

Kon’nichiwa – welcome to Japan. Things kick off with a Group Meeting at 6PM where you can meet your guide and fellow travelers. After our Welcome Dinner you can make it an early night or grab a drink with the group at a local gay-friendly bar. Please note: an arrival transfer is not included on this itinerary, however detailed instructions for transportation to the hotel will be included in your trip documents. 

Day 2 Osaka

Wake up to a morning tour of essential sights like Osaka Castle and Kuromon Ichiba – the local market that’s equally popular with top chefs, home cooks and tourists. Enjoy lunch on your own or with fellow travelers then rest up in the afternoon. Tonight we head to the neon lights of Dotonbori for a street food tour, where you may taste kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers), okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) and takoyaki (octopus balls).

Day 3 Nara/Kyoto

Oh my Bambi – this might be the cutest start to any day. We’re off to Nara city, where you can ‘fawn’ over a thousand docile deer that live in its namesake park: the animals politely nod to request a treat, and are at ease with all their admirers. Here you’ll also find Todaiji – one of the Seven Great Temples of Buddhism – and Kasuga, the family shrine of the Fujiwara clan. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For lunch we’ll slurp savoury ramen noodles, then check out Nijō Castle. After checking into our new hotel a Group Dinner is included tonight. 

Day 4 Kyoto

Today begins early with a taxi ride to Fushimi Inari, a shrine beloved for the hundreds of distinct red torii arches that line the main trails. Following breakfast back at the hotel more photo ops await. We’ll visit Arashiyama – the city’s towering bamboo grove – and three Buddhist temples: Tenryuji, Kinkakuji, and Kiyomizudera. Tonight you can make your own plans for dinner or join the larger group. Since we have a lazy morning tomorrow,  why not check out Kyoto’s gay scene?

Day 5 Kyoto

Grab brunch at your leisure – we don’t converge until 12:30PM for a samurai experience. You’ll learn about the warriors, dress up in costume, and even wield the traditional sword. Our last activity before an afternoon break will be Zen Meditation. Tonight we’ll go shopping at Nishiki market, then head to a cooking class to prepare our own dinner with some delicious sake.

Day 6 Hakone

Today we continue to Hakone on the Shinkansen, aka Japan’s bullet train. Why not enjoy a Bento Box for lunch onboard? Our only plan this afternoon is a walk through the Open Air Museum. With sculptures by Picasso and Henry Moore it lets you encounter art in a park-like setting. We’ll stay in a traditional ryokan inn tonight, where you can partake in a steamy onsen (a traditional Japanese hot spring/bathing experience). Please note: if you have tattoos that can’t be covered with a bandage or swimsuit/t-shirt, there is a chance you will be denied entry to the onsen.

Day 7 Tokyo/Lake Ashi

Today we’re off to Tokyo with a stop at Lake Ashi en route. We’ll even ride on a colourful pirate boat. It gives excellent photo opportunities of Japan’s highest volcano: Mt Fuji. Once we arrive in the world’s biggest super city and check in to our hotel, consider joining us for an optional dinner in the Shinjuku entertainment district.

Day 8 Tokyo (Shinjuku)

Today we are going to see some of the most impressive sights in Tokyo, so ensure your batteries are charged and you’re prepared for the madness. The Imperial Palace is where the Emperor resides, and is built on the site of the former Edo Castle. Asakusa is a more traditional neighbourhood, and walking through here gives one a sense of what Tokyo felt like a few years ago. If you want to join us for an optional ramen lunch, nothing beats a bowl in authentic Japanese surroundings. Finally, after tonight’s dinner in Shinjuku, we’ll enjoy a gay sake bar tour.

Day 9 Tokyo (Harajuku and Shibuya)

Today we’ll take Tokyo’s wonderfully efficient public transportation to visit the Meiji Shrine, set amidst a 70-hectare forest. From here we can wander through colourful and cute Harajuku, and see the madness of Shibuya, an entertainment and business district that’s home to the world’s two busiest train stations. Our Farewell Dinner tonight marks the official end of this historic tour. All we can say is Doumo Arigatou!

Day 10 Tokyo/Departure Day

As the last day of our tour, no activities are planned. Please note: a departure transfer is not included, but your group leader will provide clear instructions to get to the airport of choice.


GUIDES AND HOSTS

GROUP SALES MANAGER & HOST

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

  • Accommodation
  • All breakfasts (9), 2 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Transportation by private coach and train
  • Expert local English-speaking Tour Leader and Host
  • Hotel porterage

WHAT ISN’T INCLUDED?

  • International airfare
  • Arrival & departure transfers. Detailed arrival and departure instructions will be provided by Out Adventures.
  • Gratuities to guides and drivers
  • Alcoholic drinks not included with meals unless stated in itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance – mandatory for all travellers. Visit www.outadventures.com/insurance for more details.

LGBT INFO FOR Japan

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

What to bring, visa information, required
vaccinations, travel insurance and more.

TELL ME EVERYTHING!

EXAMPLES OF ACCOMMODATIONS

Osaka
Hotel Vischio Osaka
Moderate Room
Osaka
Hotel Vischio Osaka
Moderate Room
Osaka
Hotel Vischio Osaka
Moderate Room
Kyoto
Cross Hotel Kyoto
Standard Room
Kyoto
Cross Hotel Kyoto
Standard Room
Hakone
Tenyu
Superior Room with Onsen Bath
Hakone
Tenyu
Superior Room with Onsen Bath
Tokyo
JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku
Standard Room
Tokyo
JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku
Standard Room
Tokyo
JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku
Standard Room


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CHOOSE YOUR DEPARTURE

From $6,495.00 USD
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Who's it for?

While these trips typically attract gay men, all genders are welcome, and we encourage friends and family to join the fun as well.

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Accommodations

All accommodations on Out Adventures tours include breakfast and are located in areas central to our activities. All amenities are examples only, and may differ from hotel to hotel.

Please Note: Hotel rooms in Japan are very small, so expect very little extra space. Solo travellers sharing a twin room should expect fairly tight quarters.

4-Star Hotels: Very comfortable and well-decorated rooms along with quality amenities such as a stylish restaurant and/or bar, a fitness centre, and a pool/sauna. Customer service is very good, and there is usually a concierge.

3-Star Hotels: Very comfortable and simple rooms along with amenities such as a restaurant and/or bar. Customer service is very good, and there is usually a concierge.

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Physical Rating: 2 - LIGHT

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This trip is fully booked but cancellations occur. If you’d like to be contacted if space opens up, please click “Book Now”, select the appropriate departure and you will be prompted to provide limited information.

If you are a solo traveller willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Shared/Twin Room when booking this tour.

If you are a solo traveller interested in booking a private room, please select single supplement when booking this tour (based on availability). If you are willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Solo Shared.

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