Welcome to Tokyo!
The legend of Japan - It’s in the name and where better to start our adventure than Tokyo! Tokyo is the largest metropolitan in the world and home to the most top-rated restaurants in Japan, so it's time to explore! Check-in at the hostel, chillax, and in the evening, we'll meet up with your new TruFam to see this stunning city by night. We'll head to Shinjuku; neon lights are shining, the city is buzzing and alive so let's head out. Shinjuku is known for its quirky bars and wild party scene, so be sure to pack your dancing shoes, your favourite shit shirt and a positive attitude. It's going to be a night to remember!
Tokyo, Meiji Shrine & a night on the town!
Rise and shine, we're off exploring Tokyo! Picture this, jaw-dropping architecture, rich history and life-changing experiences. Where are you? The Meiji Shrine! Dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken, a visit to Meiji Shrine is a must-visit in Tokyo and dates back to over 100 years ago. Grab your photos, marvel at this beautiful place and its incredible height as we take a walk through our magical surroundings. Have you ever been anywhere cooler than Japan? We'll answer for you... Absolutely not! Afterwards, we head to the world-famous Senso-Ji temple, Tokyo's oldest temple, and a mirage of jaw-dropping bright red architecture surrounds us. Get that pen out; you're putting ticks on that bucket list! We’ll be travelling via train for the majority of our sightseeing so grab your maps and get to know the local area.The afternoon is free to explore as you please. Head to Akihabara, the electric town, a perfect visit for anime lovers and gamers. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, take a walk around town, devour some delicious street food like takoyaki or yakisoba. They're 10/10 a must try btw. Then we head back and get ready for a night on the town TruFam Japan style! Shibuya is a bustling area nearby famed for it’s delicious drinks and incredible nights out so we’ll head there.
Temples & exploring Tokyo
In the morning we’ll pack up our bags and get ready for tomorrow's travel day! We'll also do some more exploring of Tokyo and discover some hidden spots. Tomorrow morning, we're travelling at the speed of light. You know the world-famous bullet train? That's right we don't do average. In the evening, we'll head out for dinner and drinks and see where the buzzing nightlife takes us!
OSAKA & VIBRANT NEON STREET!
Today we're bidding farewell to Tokyo. It's been insaaaaane, but it's time to head to our next destination. Osaka! We catch the bullet train; we spend the morning zooming through the scenic views, updating our Instagram feed and playing snap with the TruFam. The bullet train is an experience in itself so sit back and enjoy! We've got a big few days ahead! We arrive in Osaka and head to neon street. Fluorescent pinks, yellows and neon greens surround us. Sparkling lights, bustling streets and huge 3D signs, we're in Dotonbori, to be precise! We take a walking tour and explore this sensational city and learn the story behind it. In the evening, we hit the town! We hope you're hungry as we try out some delicious street food before sipping every colourful cocktail insight. Neon street = neon cocktails, right? Pass us a blue lagoon!
Bullet Train & Osaka's Neon Streets
SUSHI MAKING, OSAKA CASTLE AND SIGHTSEEING!
Are you ready to try your hand at sushi making? It's harder than you think! We'll be getting creative in the kitchen this morning and, of course, every good chef must taste their work, so lunch will be a selection of our best dishes. In the afternoon, we head to Osaka Castle, originally completed in 1586 as a display of power and grandeur by the samurai warlord and ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi; Osaka Castle is the most famous attraction in Osaka and spans over 15 acres. So it's a big day out, and the pictures are postcard-worthy.
Sushi making, Osaka Castle & Exploring the city
SPOOKY WALKING TOURS & STAYING IN A TRADITIONAL JAPANESE TEMPLE!
Grab a coffee; we're heading to Koyasan! We'll take a local train, a cable train and bus to get to our next stop. Our accommodation for tonight? A traditional Japanese temple. You know how we do. We said this trip would be legendary. All food is included, so indulge yourself courtesy of yours Tru-ly, all food in Koyasan is vegetarian but trust us it’s foodie heaven. Whilst staying at the temple, get ready to be immersed in the local culture & the temple’s rules for a Tru authentic experience. We head out to explore the local temples before sitting down for a traditional dinner together as TruFam. In the evening, things get spooky… ready to hear some bumps in the night? We're taking a walking tour of the oldest cemetery in Japan. Read that again. The. Oldest. Cemetery. In. Japan. Grab the hand of your new BFF and get ready to learn the stories and history of the cemetery. Dw, it's more peaceful than scary!
Temple Stay & Cemetery tour
Did you sleep ok? Course you did; last night wasn't that spooky! Today we're picking up the heat... No, seriously, we're kickstarting today with a traditional fire ceremony. A truly unforgettable experience and will have you feeling completely zen afterwards! Goma taki involves writing down your wishes on wooden plates and placing them into the fire. This is believed to burn away their excess wishes and desires to achieve a simple, appreciative life. The fire is thought to destroy negative energies and purify the mind, body and spirit. We're then heading to our next stop, Kyoto! Before we head off, we have a traditional breakfast and visit a local temple for morning prayer and to learn more about this beautiful culture. In the late morning, we head to the bustling town of Kyoto! Home to the world-famous Gion - the Geisha district! Filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) entertain, Gion is a fairytale destination. We walk the beautiful, vibrant streets before heading for a traditional tea ceremony in the afternoon. We walk along Kamagowa river in the evening, sip beer, and watch the sun gown down on another extraordinary day.
Fire Ceremony, Explore Kyoto's Geisha District & Tea Ceremony
KINKAKU-JI GOLDEN TEMPLE & THE FAMOUS BAMBOO FOREST!
Wake and let’s go! First stop, Kinkaku-Ji Golden Temple! No, you're not dreaming; this magnificent two-story temple is covered in gold leaf. Kinkakuji was built to echo the extravagant wealthy circles of Kyoto during Yoshimitsu's time and today stands as a zen temple; with its glistening gold features, travellers come from all over the world to see it. We spend the morning absorbing our serene surroundings. Whilst we're talking of zen... We're heading to the most peaceful, jaw-dropping paradise of emerald green beauty. Did you guess it? It's Arashiyama Bamboo forest! We walk the tranquil, worldly walkway through the soaring bamboo grove. No picture can do it justice, but hey, you can try, plus we guarantee you 50+ likes on the gram with these views. The afternoon is free for us to explore, so we see where the day takes us and get a feel for the night's plan! May we suggest visiting Nara or renting a bike and exploring the backstreets of Kyoto. It’s up to you TruFam!
KINKAKU-JI GOLDEN TEMPLE & Bamboo Forest
THE RED TEMPLES, SIPPING SAKE AND THE ART OF THE KENDO!
If you thought yesterday was epic, wait till you experience TODAY. Temples, Sake and Samurai. That's what we're talking about! We're diving deep into the Tru Japan as we head to Kyoto's famous temple of red gates - Fushimi-Inari. You may not have heard of it, but you've definitely seen it. Renowned for its thousands of red torii gates, Fushimi-Inari is incredible to behold, so we take a walk around! Afterwards, We head to a local brewery to learn about Sake and how it's made. Of course, we sample some, but with a 15%-20% alcohol content, we'll only have a sip or two. It is the afternoon, after all. Later in the day, we head to the main event. Perhaps, the coolest experience of your lifetime? That’s right! We're taking a Kendo class! We're going in full Kendo mode, that's right, we're getting dressed up. Robes and everything! We learn the etiquette of Kendo, we'll practise the basic and learn a variety of moves with the sword! It's just like slicing and dicing Sushi you learnt earlier... Sort of?
Temple tours, Sake tasting & Kendo lesson
We're off to Hakone!
Rise and shine, TruTravellers, we hope you dreamt of slicing, dicing and living your best Kendo life after yesterday's adventure, either that or you're feeling ok after too much sake last night. Today we have a chilled morning before heading to Hakone.
Marvel at Mount Fuji!
Today we're heading for views on views on viewsssss. We take the ropeway cable cart for panoramic views of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji. When we get to Lake Ashi it's time to grab your eye patch and parrot as we're off to board and explore a priate ship. Grab your cameras it's going to be a good'en! Mount Fuji is one of the most notable symbols of Japan, and boy, is it stunning! The views are breathtaking, covered with glistening white snow and lined with misty clouds. Then we are headed back to Tokyo for some more exploring and a final group evening together!
Mount Fuji Views, Pirate Ship & Hakone cable car
All good things must come to an end and today’s the last day of our legendary trip, so have a chilled morning before checkout. Your travel ninja is on hand for any onward travel plans you may have and if you're still looking to explore and sightsee this incredible country. It's been an experience, a Tru-ly unforgettable one. You're a part of the TruFam now, which means you're TruFam for life, so it's not goodbye. It’s see you later. MATA NE! That's Japanese for Later btw!