Japan is a land of contrasts – a blend of modern cities, ancient culture and diverse scenery and the lush, green countryside dotted with ancient villages, temples and castles.

We visit a number of the better known sites but our local guides take us off the tourist trail and show us the side of Japan where we can dine in local restaurants, stay in traditional Japanese accommodation and, hopefully, get to ‘meet the locals’.

After Tokyo’s cityscapes, fashionable suburbs and diverse shopping districts we travel through the beautiful landscapes around Hakone and Mt Fuji. Visit Matsumoto Castle before we move on through to Takayama in the Japanese Alps - this area has villages that are beautifully preserved and a culture that differs from the rest of Japan.

In and around Nara and Kyoto we visit a number of beautiful gardens, temples and shrines. As we continue south-west, we will visit the castle at Himeji, the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima before crossing to Miyajima to see the famed vermilion Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine.

There is much to see and experience in Japan and our tours can only follow a sample of what there is on offer. Our aim is to provide an introduction to the people and places that make Japan, and that you will, one day, want to return to see more of this beautiful country.