Japan: Tip to Toe

Nature & tradition from Hokkaido to Kyushu

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Japan: Tip to Toe

Group and Custom | 15 Days | Easy Touring
  • Go off the beaten path with Don George, travel writer and GeoEx Japan expert
  • Experience Japan’s spiritual side, including a temple stay on Mount Koya
  • Dine on fresh, local delicacies
  • Soak in onsen hot springs and bed down in traditional ryokan guest houses
  • Enjoy the country’s variety of culture and landscapes that few travelers see

Japan's astonishing breadth of enchanting culture and spellbinding landscapes jumps into focus on this tip-to-toe journey, crafted and led by acclaimed travel writer and Japanophile Don George. Don shares rare insights as he takes us from Zen temples to the stunning Takachiho Gorge. We begin along Hokkaido's expansive plains, then travel south to sub-tropical Kyushu, encountering wasabi farmers, pearl divers, and priests as we go. We delve into traditional Japanese offerings with luxurious onsen soaks, and embark on backroad excursions that reveal ancient castles, towering falls, and Japan's most active volcano.


Don is the best: he's warm, knowledgeable, generous, and has a lovely sense of humor.

– Joan H.

Get to know Hokkaido's urban and natural wonders, including Sapporo's parks and museums A day trip to Lake Toya offers stunning views of Mount Showashinzan, an active lava dome.


We fly to Matsumoto to behold Japan's oldest wooden castle A visit to a wasabi farm accents our experience.


Along Nakasendo Road, an ancient trade route, we stroll well-preserved rest towns on the way to Nagiso A soba-noodle lunch awaits.


Time in breathtaking Ise-Shima National Park includes Ise Grand Shrine  We watch ama pearl divers in action, enjoy an authentic, multicourse kaiseki meal, and savor a luxurious hot springs resort.


Explore sacred Mount Koya with temple visits and dinner with priests We’re dazzled by towering waterfalls and a feast of fresh maguro (tuna) in the beach town of Shirahama.


Flying to the port city of Nagasaki, we discover its sights, including the gothic-style Oura Cathedral and the Atomic Bomb Museum.


Experience Aso Kuju National Park (home to Japan's largest active volcano) and spectacular Takachiho Gorge Fly to Osaka and depart.


Meet Your Leader

Don George

Don is an award-winning travel writer and editor, and a highly sought-after speaker and teacher. He's traveled widely in and written extensively about Japan, not to mention having lived there for two years. Don is currently editor at large for National Geographic Traveler, special features editor for BBC Travel, and editor of GeoEx’s blog, Wanderlust.

GeoEx Japan Trip Leader Don George

Dates & Prices


10/10/19 – 10/24/19   – Limited space; please call

11/5/20 – 11/19/20  


2019 Group Trip: From $21,450 per person


2020 Group Trip: From $22,530 per person


  • Expertise of GeoEx’s travel specialists
  • Services of GeoEx’s in-house air reservations team
  • All accommodations
  • All ground transportation and airport transfers
  • Sightseeing, events, visits, and entrance fees
  • Most meals
  • Bottled water at included meals and while sightseeing
  • Services of a GeoEx trip leader, local guides, drivers, and other staff
  • All gratuities
  • Emergency evacuation services and secondary medical expense insurance

A Journey Built Just For You

Take customization to the next level on a journey fully tailored to you. GeoEx's destination specialists will gladly tailor this existing itinerary—or build one completely from scratch—to suit your style, interests, and time frame. Contact us to see what's possible.

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