Latest Posts

  • 7 reasons you should head off the tourist trail to Onomichi

      As an Insider Tour Leader, I’m lucky enough to get to roam around Japan and introduce people to all sorts of incredible destinations – but I always find that the small, intimate places I visit are the ones I end up loving the most. If, like me, you're looking for a side of Japan with plenty of culture and authenticity (without the crowds), I have a tip for you: Onomichi, a skinny coastal town about 50 minutes east of Hiroshima. Hemmed in by low mountains to the north, and with a southern edge defined by the shimmering waters of the Seto Inland Sea (the strait that separates the main islands of Honshu and Shikoku), this little fishing town doesn't find its way on to most travel bucket lists... but perhaps it should! What's more, Onomichi is one of the places that Japan's Agenc ...

  • Japan guided tours in 2022: which one is right for you?

    After so much pandemic-induced social isolation, group tours are going to be the way to travel in 2022. And it’s just as well, because we just so happen to design the best Japan group tours in the world. Hands-down.  For lots of people, Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, and that means you want to get it absolutely right. But how do you know what “right” is for you? There are so many incredible places, from the very northern tip of Hokkaido to the scattered islands of the south. There’s endless fascinating culture, from traditional Buddhist temples to cutting-edge contemporary art. What’s more, each season shows the country in a completely new light. How do you choose?  Luckily for you, we’ve spent the past 20 years helping people do just that. This is our at-a-glance guide t ...

  • Time travelling to Japan

    No travel to Japan for a whole year. It’s the longest I’ve stayed away since 1998, and it’s starting to make me fidgety. More and more, I find myself zoning out of my inbox and imagining myself back in my second home, surrounded by familiar and longed-for sights, smells and sounds. Travel is going to be different after Covid, and so is Japan. But in what ways? Strangely enough, despite all that’s changed in the past 20 years, I suspect that visiting post-pandemic Japan will be a bit like stepping back in time — for a brief period, at least. Japan at the turn of the millennium It’s the year 2000. The Nokia 3310 is the undisputed king of the burgeoning mobile phone market, Bill Clinton is seeing out his final year playing his saxophone in the White House, and the world has yet t ...

  • Why travel with InsideJapan? 

    We know it’s not polite to boast, but before we go any further, it’s important that you understand just how good at this we are. Actually, we’re the best.   It’s a big claim, and we wouldn’t make it if we couldn’t back it up. Of course, Japan makes our job easier by being so endlessly, faultlessly charming — but it can’t take all the credit. We’re pretty sure (in fact, we’re sure) that we can design you a better trip to Japan than anybody else. Why? Well, let’s see.   It’s fun from start to finish  We don’t just mean the trip — we mean the whole process. Whether you’re after an tailor-made itinerary or you want to join one of our Small Group Tours, it’s all about getting to know you, discussing your ideas, and working together to make it the best trip possible. Dream as big as ...

  • The best alternative experiences in Japan

    Sometimes, the best way to get under the skin of Japanese culture is through something you never thought of as Japanese at all.  Take baseball, for instance. It may not scream Japan to you, but seeing how Japanese fans throw their hearts and souls into this quintessentially American sport just might tell you more about Japanese culture than any temple visit could. Sushi, geisha, tea ceremony: we love those iconic, only-in-Japan experiences as much as anybody. But what we really love about Japan is its endless capacity to surprise you, baffle you, and turn your expectations on their head. These are just some of our team’s favourite ways to get a deeper understanding of Japan. (more…)


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