Sumos, temples and geishas – a Japan journey not to be missed

Serenity abounds in Japan.

Serenity abounds in Japan. Photo: Supplied

Culture-rich Japan is a feast for the senses. From its colourful blossoms to its hefty sumos, the Asian nation is awash with wonders.

“Japan is the most intoxicating place for me,” wrote director Roman Coppola in 2012. “The Japanese culture fascinates me: The food, the dress, the manners and the traditions.

“It’s the travel experience that has moved me the most.”

It’s no surprise Japan is the No.1 destination for Australian travellers in 2023. A survey by Finder found Tokyo eclipsed Dubai, Auckland, Bali and Nadi in the top five travel hot spots.

Discovering the treasures of Japan is best done with a company that knows the country well.  Abercrombie & Kent’s small group tours are ideal for those who want to do more than scratch the surface of Japan’s beauty.

With the Classic Japan – A Luxury Small Group Journey, travellers can take in the sights of Tokyo, Hakone, Osaka, Nara and Kyoto in groups of no more than 18 people.

The journey starts in Tokyo where travellers will try taiko, Japanese drumming, and learn how to make sushi.

In the hot-springs town of Hakone they will tour the Open Air Museum and see views of Mount Fuji.


Learn traditional Japanese arts. Photo: Supplied

Next, it’s off to Osaka by bullet train. The city is renowned as Japan’s culinary capital, so the day’s itinerary is full of sampling the delicious food.

In Nara there’s a feast of cultural sites to enjoy including Todai-ji, a temple complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site that contains the largest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, and Kasuga Taisha shrine, where travellers can experience a Shinto ceremony.

End it all with a trip to the Kehaya-za Sumo Pavilion to see two sumo wrestlers go head to head.


Kyoto, Japan. Photo: Supplied

The final stop is in Kyoto and it’s here that travellers will enjoy a tea ceremony with an attending geiko, as a geisha is known in Kyoto, and maiko, apprentice geisha, who will dance, sing, pour sake and share stories about life in modern Kyoto.

In Japan’s spring (Australia’s autumn), the cherry blossoms or sakura are in bloom and are a beautiful sight to behold. And in Japan’s autumn (Australia’s spring), the red maple leaves are equally as glorious. Take your pick!

Abercrombie & Kent operates Luxury Small Group Journeys to more than 30 countries, and also offer Luxury Expedition Cruise and Tailor-Made journeys on all seven continents.

Call 1300 851 800, visit or contact your travel agent to start planning your journey today.

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