Escorted tours of Japan

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Why The Oriental Caravan?

 The Oriental Caravan’s founder and lifelong Orientalist Phil Colley travelled to Japan in the mid-1990s to pioneer effectively the first ever small group tour of this complex, mysterious land. Since then many hundreds of travellers from all over the world have benefitted from Phil’s in-depth knowledge of all things Japanese. And also from The Oriental Caravan’s long experience in the art of making small group tours really work. In short, if you travel with us you won’t just have a holiday but also a unique experience guided by one of the UK’s top tour leaders. . 

Please choose from one of the three itineraries below...


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This classic introductory tour of Japan is highly popular and a holiday perfect for those who want to tour Japan’s most famous sights in Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo whilst also getting off-the-beaten-track to explore the many wonders of Kyushu. Aside from the gardens, our favourite parts are the magical nights we spend exploring the island of Miyajima and joining in for some old time Japanese rock ‘n’ roll in the spa town of Beppu!
                                                  japan tour details...

14 days. Tour start dates: 25/03/11; 21/10/11. Price £1995.


Lake Yunoko


This fascinating tour around Japan’s mysterious north follows the route taken by the haiku poet Matsuo Basho and is named after his famous Japan tour of 1689. We stay in a variety of characterful local accommodation including Japanese ryokan and monastic, mountaintop shukubo. We witness horseback samurai archery at Nikko’s Toshogu festival and learn the secrets of the self-mummified monks of Tsuruoka. We cruise among Matsushima’s pine-clad islets and at Osore San we tour surely one of the eeriest travel destinations of any holiday in Japan - if not the world!
                                                                          japan tour details...

15 days. Start date: 05/10/11. Price £2165.


Shikoku Pilgrims


This charming tour is loosely themed on the life of Japan’s greatest monk, the remarkable Kobo Daishi and is about as off-the-beaten-track as you can get within Japan. We concentrate on exploring the sleepy island of Shikoku, one of the few places in the world that mass tourism has yet to find. We visit the mountain-top monasteries of Koya, bathe in the ancient hot springs of Dogo and explore the isolated valleys of Iya, Japan’s ‘Little Tibet’. Our old Japan hands love this holiday. Join us to find out why!
                                                                          japan tour details...

15 days. Start date: 08/05/10. Price £2125









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             Revised and last updated: November 20th 2013. Links