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Japan is a universe unto itself—a tiny country that combines ancient history with unprecedented innovation. Our gay Japan tour begins in Osaka then takes us to Kyoto. After bowing to the friendly deer in Nara Park, we continue to Tokyo—the biggest megacity of them all. 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.
Kon’nichiwa. Welcome to Osaka. And thank you for joining our gay Japan tour. 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 in this itinerary, however detailed instructions for transportation to the hotel will be included in your trip documents.
For our first full day we’ll wake up to a morning tour of essential sights like Osaka Castle and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of the most impressive in the world. Other highlights will include Shinsaibashi, a bustling shopping street, and Umeda Sky Building, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The impressive structure consists of two 40-story towers that connect at their two uppermost stories, with bridges and an escalator crossing the wide atrium-like space in the center. Our day wouldn’t be complete without a delicious Japanese lunch. The evening is free to enjoy on your own, or join an optional dinner with the group.
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 a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For lunch we’ll slurp savoury ramen noodles upon arrival in Kyoto, then check out a Sake brewery with an included tasting. After checking into our Kyoto hotel the evening is free to enjoy on your own or with an optional group dinner.
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 Kinkakuji (golden pavilion), as well as taking in a rickshaw ride and a traditional tea ceremony. In the afternoon we’ll wander through Gion, where we’ll look out for colourful geishas wandering through the narrow streets lined with traditional wooden merchant houses. 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?
This morning we’ll head out for an hour and a half zen meditation, returning to the hotel around 10AM to give you some rest. We’ll reconvene around noon when we’ll depart the hotel for Nishiki market where you’re free to grab a bite to eat, explore the shops, or perhaps pay a visit to Aritsugu Knives – the shop that has been creating blades since 1550. After the market we’ll head to our samurai experience where we’ll learn about the warriors, dress up in costume, and even wield the traditional sword. To round out the day, we’ll head to a cooking class where we’ll prepare our own dinner with some delicious sake.
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). Dinner is included at tonight’s accommodation. 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.
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.
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. While exploring the city we’ll also make time for a delicious local lunch. Finally, after tonight’s dinner in Shinjuku, we’ll enjoy a gay sake bar tour.
For our final day in Japan we’ll explore some of the quirkier sides of this bustling metropolis, paying a visit to teamLab Planets Tokyo, an audio-visual feast that will engage all your senses on every level. This interactive museum comprises 4 large-scale artwork spaces and 2 gardens created by a world-renowned art collective. We’ll also say Kon’nichiwa to some mini-pigs at one of Japan’s cutest animal cafes. You are free to enjoy the afternoon on your own, and we’ll regroup for a Farewell Dinner to mark the official end of this historic tour. All we can say is Doumo Arigatou!
As the last day of our tour, no activities are planned and you may depart at your leisure. Please note: a departure transfer is not included, but your group leader will provide clear instructions to get to the airport of choice.
My husband and I went on the Out Adventures – Japan tour for our honeymoon and it was fantastic. We had never traveled out of the country before, and Robert and his team handled our 1,000 questions with the patience of saints. Their documentation and organization made the process simple and painless. Once we arrived, we were blown away. Japan is a truly a beautiful country. After we met with our group and our helpful and sweet guide, Joe, we were off on our adventure. Before we knew it, were eating prawns the size of our forearms in a street market in Osaka, finding our inner peace in a Zen garden in Kyoto, watching the sun rise over the mountains in a traditional Japanese onsen, to bar hoping in Tokyo. It was a marvelous trip. The lodgings were fantastic, the food was excellent and we visited so many beautiful sites that our phones ran out of room for photos. We cannot recommend this trip enough!
The Japan trip was well-curated. It provided a great overview of the country; we saw so much! The hotels that were selected were outstanding. They all felt very special and were top-of-the-line. We had a wonderful time and would highly recommend this tour to any first-time visitor to Japan. We felt we experienced all the essential highlights and much more!
I had an absolutely amazing time in Japan! Joe and Frano did an outstanding job filling our days in Japan with amazing activities! I highly recommend this trip to anyone looking to experience the land of the rising sun for the first time!
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While these trips typically attract gay men, all genders are welcome, and we encourage friends and family to join the fun as well.Learn More
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.Learn More
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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This departure is open for booking!
This trip is available but we are close to departure and will need to confirm services such as hotels and activities before confirming you on the trip. The process can take up to 5 business days. If you are seriously interested in this trip, please complete the On Request Booking form and one of our team members will get back to you with next steps.