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Japan Winter – 11 Days + Ski Extension

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Route

Tokyo > Tokyo

Days

11
(14 with Ski Pack)

From

AUD$3499

Currency

$2289 (US)
£1799
2289

Days

11
(14 with Ski Pack)

Route

Tokyo > Tokyo

Trip Rating

New* Coming Soon!
Departing from Dec 24

From

AUD$3499

Currency

$2289 (US)
£1799
2289

Trip Overview

Experience the must-see sites of Japan winter blanketed in snow. Indulge in the savoury seasonal dishes and embark on an adventure with a list of winter activities.

Our Japan Winter group tour runs from December 2024 until February 2025. If you are interested in visiting Japan in a different season, have a look at our Japan Essentials 9 Day Tour, Japan 10 Day Tour and Japan 14 Day Tour.

AGE RANGE: 18 - 45 yrs

Stays

10 nights of accommodation

Meals

6x Breakfasts, 1x Lunch, 3x Dinners

Activities

17 included, 12 free-time suggestions over 5 locations

Transport

All transport Day 2 to 11 (or 14). Bullet train, subways & more (Airport transfers Day 1 & 10 excl.)

Crew

Your highly trained OLA Group Leader and local activity guides

Ski Extension

$999 AUD Package
– 3 Day Extension: Lift Pass, Gear, Transport & Accommodation
– Add on at checkout

Stays

10 nights of accommodation

Meals

6x Breakfasts, 1x Lunch, 3x Dinners

Activities

17 included, 12 free-time suggestions over 5 locations

Transport

All transport Day 2 to 11 (or 14). Bullet train, subways & more (Airport transfers Day 1 & 10 excl.)

Crew

Your highly trained OLA Group Leader and local activity guides

Ski Extension

$999 AUD Package
– 3 Day Extension: Lift Pass, Gear, Transport & Accommodation
– Add on at checkout

Japan in Winter! Japan is a fascinating country where traditional and modern elements coexist. The country boasts spectacular natural landscapes, futuristic cities adorned with neon lights, world-renowned cuisine, and a rich cultural heritage.

To maximise your winter travel experience in Japan, we have created an 11-day itinerary that highlights some of the country’s top attractions during the winter season. This itinerary is a twist on our well-known and popular 10-day group tour, perfect for those who are keen to travel over Winter. You will get to learn how to hand-roll sushi, take a Kendo class with a descendant of a real samurai warrior, visit the red-faced snow monkeys in Nagano, opt to soak in an Onsen Hot Spring, admire Mount Fuji’s majestic beauty (weather permitting), and witness the enchanting Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto glitter in the snow.

This trip promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome to Japan! Tokyo Time

Touch down in Tokyo! Arrive at your Tokyo hostel and relax until the evening. Tonight we’ll take you out to feast on Japanese cuisine and meet the rest of your group. After dinner when the crowds have all dispersed, we explore the iconic Tokyo Senso-ji Temple by night.

Accommodation: Twin Bunks – Sakura Hotel Nippori (or similar)
Activities: Welcome Dinner, Senso-Ji Temple
Free Time Suggestions: Tokyo Skytree
Meals: Dinner
Physical Rating: Low

Day 2 - Explore Tokyo: Harajuku, Yoyogi Park & Akihabara

We will begin the morning with a Japan Orientation Briefing where you will learn about simple Japanese customs and phrases to help you navigate your way throughout the country. Then, we will move on to Harajuku, which is the birthplace of Japanese teen pop culture. We will explore the area and enjoy its vibrant atmosphere. Next, we will go to Yoyogi Park, which is home to the beautiful Meiji Shrine.

Later, we will head to Akihabara, which is known as Tokyo’s electric town. You will be amazed by the neon lights and crazy shops. You can challenge each other in the arcades, visit the famous Maid Cafes, or just wander around the area.

Accommodation: Twin Bunks – Sakura Hotel Nippori (or similar)
Activities: Japan Orientation, Tokyo Districts
Free Time Suggestions: Maid Cafe
Meals: Breakfast
Physical Rating: Medium/High

Day 3 - Tokyo: Sushi Making Class & Shibuya Crossing

After breakfast, we will be attending a private sushi-making class. During the class, you will learn how to make Miso soup, three types of sushi, and the secrets behind Teriyaki. If you prefer the vegetarian option, inform your guide or One Life a week before the tour starts.

In the evening, we will be heading to Shinjuku. There, we will have an opportunity to see the unparalleled skyline of Tokyo, visit the famous Omoide Yokocho Alley and enjoy some dinner before viewing the famous Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing.

Accommodation: Twin Bunks – Sakura Hotel Nippori (or similar)
Activities: Sushi Making Class, Shibuya Crossing
Free Time Suggestions: Toyosu Fish Market, Songokuji Temple
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Physical Rating: Medium

Day 4 - Hakone: Mt Fuji Viewing & Romance Car

Today we take the “Romance Car” to the stunning mountain town of Hakone. After checking into our guest house situated in the mountains, we will spend the day exploring the surrounding areas on a variety of different transports.

Why is Hakone so special? Well, not only is the food incredible but you can get a spectacular view of Mount Fuji (weather dependent). After a day of exploring and taking photos of Japan’s most famous mountain, we’ll arrange a traditional Japanese Family Nabe dinner in our guesthouse and finish the day playing some games.

If you have asthma/respiratory conditions, the brief visit to Owakudani is not advisable, please speak to your guide for an alternate arrangement.

Accommodation: Twin/Triple tatami mats -Gora Gaku Guesthouse (or similar)
Activities: Mt Fuji Viewing, Romance Car
Free Time Suggestions: N/A
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Physical Rating: Medium

Day 5 - On to Kyoto! Gion District Walking Tour

We’ll grab a quick breakfast on our way to catch our bullet train to Kyoto. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautiful city in Winter during the first half of the day. In the evening, your tour guide will take us around Kyoto’s Gion district, which is known for Geishas (Japan’s traditional art form of entertainment). If you’re lucky enough, you might even spot one!

Accommodation: Pod-style per person -Ryokan Hostel Gion (or similar)
Activities: Gion District Walking Tour
Free Time Suggestions: Geisha Performance
Meals: N/A
Physical Rating: Medium

Day 6 - Kyoto: Kiyomizu-Dera & Fushimi-Inari

We will wake up early and catch the subway to the Fushimi-Inari Shrine, so we can avoid the crowd of tourists and work our way through the mountain and explore the endless corridors of red gates. After that, we will visit Kiyomizu-dera temple, which is one of the most famous temples in Japan. It is a beautiful bamboo and wooden complex that sits high on the mountainside. Later, you can opt in to participate in a traditional Tea Ceremony and rent kimonos. You will have the rest of the day to explore at your leisure.

Accommodation: Pod-style per person -Ryokan Hostel Gion (or similar)
Activities: Kiyomizu-Dera, Fushimi-Inari
Optional Extras: Kimono Hire, Tea Ceremony
Free Time Suggestions: Nishiki Market
Meals: N/A
Physical Rating: Medium/High

Day 7 - Kyoto: Golden Pavilion! Zen Garden & Kendo Class

We will head to the Golden Pavilion, a beautiful gold-laden building surrounded by a lake. Although it is a popular destination throughout the year, it is particularly breathtaking during winter. Witnessing the golden pavilion set amidst the silver snow will make you feel like you are in a fairytale.

Later in the day, we will attend a traditional Kendo class in the dojo where it all began. Your instructor will be an authentic Bushido practitioner, a descendant of a real Japanese Samurai, who will teach you the principles of this respectful martial art.

Accommodation: Pod style per person -Ryokan Hostel Gion (or similar)
Activities: Golden Pavilion, Kendo Class
Free Time Suggestions: Heian Shrine
Meals: N/A
Physical Rating: Medium

Day 8 - Kyoto to Osaka, Osaka Dotonbori Food Tour

Take advantage of the morning to explore before we head to the station for our next destination. From there, we will travel to Osaka where you will have some time to explore. In the evening, we will have a food tasting tour in the famous Dotonbori area. You will be able to experience the food, people, lights, and colours of the “kitchen of Japan”.

Accommodation: Twin Share -Hotel WBF Namba Motomachi (or similar)
Activities: Dotonbori walk, Food Tour
Optional Extras: N/A
Free Time Suggestions: Osaka Canal Boat Tour
Meals: Dinner
Physical Rating: Medium

Day 9 - Osaka to Nagano

Before we head to the station to catch our train to Nagano, we will have some time in the morning to explore Osaka some more. You can enjoy the impressive view of Osaka Castle and then collect your bags from the hotel before boarding the train to Nagano.

Nagano is surrounded by some of the best ski fields in the world and is famous for hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics. In winter, it is truly amazing, with mountains covered in thick snow and beautiful frosted white sakura trees.

Accommodation: Twin Share -Toyoko Inn Nagano (or similar)
Activities: Osaka Castle grounds visit
Optional Extras: N/A
Free Time Suggestions: N/A
Meals: Breakfast
Physical Rating: Low

Day 10 - Nagano, Snow Monkeys and Onsens

This morning, we will be waking up early to explore a winter wonderland that is just a short train ride away. We will arrive at the Jigokudani Monkey Park when it opens to avoid the crowds. After a short walk through the beautiful scenery, you will catch your first glimpse of the famous red-faced Snow Monkeys as they bask in the warm hot spring waters.

You’ll have some free time to spend in the magical onsen town called Yudanaka. There, you can soak in the hot springs while feeling the cool air around you or taste some local sake. In the evening, we will meet up for our farewell karaoke (for those ending their trip tomorrow).

Accommodation: Twin Share – Toyoko Inn Nagano (or similar)
Activities: Snow Monkey Park, Karaoke
Optional Extras: N/A
Free Time Suggestions: Onsen (hot spring) pass, sake tasting
Meals: Breakfast
Physical Rating: Low

Day 11 - Back to Tokyo and Goodbye! (Japan Winter 11 Day Tour)

For those who are not staying for the ski package, it’s time to say goodbye to your new friends who are staying on to ski and catch your train back to Tokyo, which is included in the package. This is where the 11-day tour ends.

Accommodation: N/A
Activities: N/A
Optional Extras: N/A
Free Time Suggestions: N/A
Meals: Breakfast
Physical Rating: Low

Add-on: Japan Ski Package

Day 11 - Nagano to Hakuba: Ski & Snowboard

After having breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed to Hakuba, which is recognised as one of the best ski regions in the world. You will have a 3-day lift pass to enjoy the extensive HAPPO ONE ski resort, so make sure you take full advantage of it. Once you have collected your ski/snowboard gear, you are all set to hit the slopes.

Accommodation: 6-share pod-style dorm – Keimichi Guesthouse (or similar)
Activities: Ski/ Snowboard
Free Time Suggestions: N/A
Meals: Breakfast
Physical Rating: Medium / High

Day 12 & 13 - Hakuba: Ski & Snowboard

Get ready for an unforgettable experience skiing in Hakuba. Hakuba offers a larger ski area and it is known for its excellent snow, mountains, and cultural experiences. Which means you can expect some epic runs and incredible scenery.

No matter your level of expertise, Hakuba has runs for everyone, from beginners to experts. Additionally, there are opportunities for off-piste skiing and snowboarding. The towering alpine peaks in Hakuba Valley make it truly a skier’s paradise.

Accommodation: 6-share pod-style dorm – Keimichi Guesthouse (or similar)
Activities: Ski/ Snowboard
Free Time Suggestions: N/A
Meals: N/A
Physical Rating: Medium / High

Day 14 - Hakuba to Tokyo: Tour Ends

Depart Hakuba for Nagano Station, then take the train to Tokyo. Your trip will finish in Tokyo.

Accommodation: N/A
Activities: N/A
Free Time Suggestions: N/A
Meals: N/A
Physical Rating: Low

Japan 11 Day Tour Itinerary Map including 3 day Ski Package extension, One Life Adventures

Inclusions

Our adventure is led by award-winning and expertly trained tour guides, who promise an immersive experience like no other. Our itinerary is packed with a diverse array of activities, ensuring that every moment is filled with wonder and excitement. From exploring vibrant cities to soaking in serene hot springs, each stop along the way offers a unique glimpse into Japan’s rich culture and breathtaking natural beauty. Rest assured that every aspect of your journey has been fine-tuned with care, as our team has personally tried and tested each tour feature to provide you with the best possible experience.

Group

Maximum group size 22 people*

Stays

10 nights of accommodation (13 when including the Addon Ski Package)

Transport

All transport Day 2 to 11 (or 14 if on ski package extension). Bullet train, subways & more (Airport transfers Day 1 & 10 excl.)

Crew

Your group leader & your local guides

Meals

6 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners

Activities

  • Welcome Dinner,
  • Senso-Ji Temple,
  • Japan Orientation,
  • Tokyo Districts,
  • Sushi Making Class,
  • Shibuya Crossing,
  • Mt Fuji Viewing,
  • Romance Car,
  • Kiyomizu-Dera,
  • Fushimi-Inari
  • Golden Pavilion,
  • Kendo Class,
  • Dotonbori walk,
  • Osaka Food Tour
  • Osaka Castle grounds visit
  • Snow Monkey Park,
  • Final night Karaoke

Free Time Suggestions & Optional Activities: Tokyo Skytree, Toyosu Fish Market, Songokuji Temple, Geisha Performance, Nishiki Market, Heian Shrine, Osaka Canal Boat Tour, Tea Ceremony, Kimono Hire, Extended Karaoke, Onsen (hot spring) pass, Sake tasting

Ski Extension

$999 AUD
Optional Ski Package:
– 3 Day Extension: Lift Pass, Ski / Snowboard Equipment Hire, Transport & Accommodation
– Add on at checkout

Night Stays

Our handpicked accommodations in Japan offer a unique experience that blends traditional and modern elements. From staying on tatami mats to modern hostels.

We believe in providing our guests only with the best places that we have personally experienced and loved.

You can choose from twin or triple rooms, as well as multi-sharing options, for a memorable stay that you won’t forget anytime soon.

Z

Multi-share & Twin Rooms

Z

Pod Styles Stay

Z

Traditional Tatami Mats

FAQs

Let’s go through the basics before you meet us on your big adventure to Japan. You are about to set off into one of the most spectacular places on the planet and we want to make sure you’re all ready! If you still have further questions after reading through this section then please get in touch with one of the friendly OLA team who are here to answer all your questions.

What is the age range of this tour?

We have an age range of 18 – 45 years old for our tours. Most of our guests are aged between 21-35 years old, though this range varies to slightly older with certain destinations, and are looking to experience our adventurous “flashpacking” style of travel. Our tours are perfect for people of all different backgrounds to share travel experiences with like-minded conscious fellow travellers.

What fitness level is required to join this tour?

This tour requires a reasonable level of fitness due to the amount of walking involved. There will be some days where you will be walking more than approximately 8-10km. Please bring appropriate footwear for this! If you are on the Ski Extension we advise a moderate to high fitness level, to make the most of your time on the slopes.

Can I book the Ski Extension Package while on the 11 day tour?

No, this tour must be booked in advance either online or with a travel agent.

How much free time is there in Tokyo if I’d like to do some shopping & optional activities like Mario Kart?

While there is free time allocated during our time in Tokyo to explore each area a little further, there isn’t enough free time for bigger activities unless you miss some of the inclusions. If you’d like to do the Mario Kart racing for example, we recommend you arrive earlier than day 1 to give yourself some extra time in Tokyo.

Can I bring a suitcase on this trip & is there a luggage limit?

We would highly recommend bringing no more than 15kg on this trip, and bringing a backpack instead of a suitcase if you can. You won’t need to carry your luggage around during daily excursions, but you will need to transport your luggage between each accommodation so we recommend packing as lightly as possible.

The luggage limit on the Shinkansen (bullet train) is very strict. Bags over 160cm (height x width x length) need an advance reservation and bags over 251cm cannot be accommodated even with a reservation.

Do we have to carry our luggage around with us each day? Is there a luggage delivery service on this trip?

You will need to transport your luggage between accommodations, but during the day when out and about you can leave your luggage safely stored away at the hostel.

We do not offer a luggage delivery service but our guide can direct where you need to go to do it yourself.

I’m arriving at 9pm on day 1, will this be a problem?

Arriving at 21:00 is not a problem at all, but you will miss the welcome dinner and night walk at Senso-ji Temple. Just be mindful that all public transport into the city stops running around midnight so keep this in mind if any of your flights are delayed. If this is the case, there is information in your welcome email about how to get into the city after midnight.

Where should I fly into? Where do we spend the first night of the tour?

You can fly into Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda International Airport (HND). It doesn’t matter which one you fly into. We don’t offer airport pick-ups on this tour but we include incredibly detailed information on how to get to the hostel from both airports in your welcome pack.

The first night is at Sakura Hotel Nippori in Tokyo. You will be notified in the unlikely case that there are changes.

We are travelling together, can we upgrade to have a private room for all nights?

We cannot offer upgrades to our nights in Kyoto but for the rest of the tour you will be in twins! On the ski extension you will stay in 6 share pod style dorms.

Can I book a single upgrade on this tour?

We are unfortunately not able to offer a single supplement for our Japan tour, simply because it’s extremely difficult to find a single room, almost every room is a twin so it would essentially mean the guest would need to cover the cost of two people to be able to have a room to themselves. However, we will absolutely try and put you with another solo traveler.

Is there much free time in each location?

The itinerary in Tokyo is fairly packed, but you can always stay in an area for longer and return to the accommodation on your own if you would like to explore more. While there’s not much free time in Hakone, in Osaka you will have some free time in the morning before heading to Nagano. In Kyoto you will have a half day free to explore on your own.

Do we need to purchase a Japan Rail Pass?

The Japan Rail Pass is not included and you don’t need to purchase one as we take care of all the transport for you. We try to use local transport for a more authentic experience.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements on this trip?

Due to the nature of cuisine in Japan, strict dietary requirements may be difficult to accommodate in some areas. Many of the broths/stocks which flavour much of Japanese food are not vegetarian/vegan friendly, and many meals contain either meat, fish, or egg elements. We recommend downloading the app “Happy Cow” and asking your tour guide for advice throughout the tour. You may also bring some snacks/supplements with you if necessary, but please note that Japanese customs can be very strict with medication so ensure you double check everything you bring.

Is the return to Tokyo included in this tour?

Yes, if you are on the 11-day tour or the Ski Extension, the tour price includes the return train to Tokyo.

How is WiFi and data access on the trip?

As Japan is a developed country, Wi-Fi and data access is excellent. All the hostels that we stay in have strong and consistent Wi-Fi. If you’d like to stay connected whilst on the road you can pick up a tourist sim card at the airport, these will cost you anywhere between $20-$40 for 2 weeks worth of data.

How much spending money do I need for this tour?

We would advise $600 – $700 AUD for the duration of the 11-day tour. This is a safe amount to cover lots on the tour, however you will have lots of opportunities to withdraw more cash throughout the trip. You will need a bit more cash for meals if you are on the Ski Extension.

On the Ski Extension Package where will we get snow/ski gear from?

The following items are included: Skiing equipment (skis, poles, and boots) or snowboarding equipment (board and boots).

Clothing rental is also available for an additional fee. Contact enquires@onelifeadventures.com.au for more information.

What type of ski experience do we need to have for the extension - e.g. Beginners/Int/Advanced ok?

Any level can join our Ski Extension Package, if you are a beginner and would like to purchase lessons, please contact enquires@onelifeadventures.com.au for more information.

What if I bring my own ski gear, do I send it to the starting place of where we ski?

Speak to our team before you leave to understand what is best to do if you wish to bring your own ski gear. However gear rental is included in the price of the tour.

Is there access to food and drinks while skiing?

The resort has a number of restaurants and cafes you can visit during your days on the mountain.

What type of travel insurance will we need?

Your insurance should cover all activities you are taking part in. For instance, if you opt for the ski package, make sure it’s included in your policy.

Visas & General FAQs

For more information about your visa requirements as well as the answers to more general frequently asked questions, head to Visas & General FAQs

Group Size Disclaimer: Our standard maximum group size is 22 people for an optimal tour experience. However, on very rare occasions, we may accept up to 24 people due to logistical considerations.

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Deposits from $400 AUD

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