Mental images of Japan mostly conjure up pictures of temples and cherry trees, geishas and samurai, majestic mountains and reflecting lakes, bonsais and koi in perfectly manicured gardens, with tranquil waterfalls, bridges and ryokan with welcoming tea ceremony or sushi and sumo.
The general sentiment one feels when thinking of Japan is one of serenity and discipline. Present-day technologically advanced and competitive companies and Japan’s clockwork transport thrive on it; its habitants live by it. It seems nowhere else past and present merge so delicately, so respectfully. Japan is Zen-sational.
Hotels & Meals
Japanese cuisine is the food—ingredients, preparation and way of eating—of Japan. The traditional food of Japan is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes, with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. The side dishes often consist of fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth. Fish is common in the traditional cuisine. It is often grilled, but it may also be served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried in a light batter as tempura.
Apart from rice, staples include noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga. Foreign food, in particular Chinese food in the form of noodles in soup called ramen and fried dumplings, gyoza, and western food such as curry and hamburger steaks are commonly found in Japan. Historically, the Japanese shunned meat, but with the modernization of Japan in the 1860s, meat-based dishes such as tonkatsu became common.
Japan has an indigenous form of sweets called wagashi, which include ingredients such as red bean paste, as well as its indigenous rice wine sake.
Japanese cuisine, particularly sushi, has now become popular throughout the world.
Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year. We guarantee you the best protection at the best price.
The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts.
Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections’ Group Service by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.
Belgian travellers (babies and children included) must be in possession of an international, machine readable passport, with at least 2 blank pages, which should remain valid during your entire stay in Japan and an e-ticket that proves you will leave the Japanese territory max. 3 months after your arrival. I is the sole responsibility of the traveler to obtain updated information on all required, appropriate and valid travel documents and for the timely acquisition thereof (international (digital) passport, ESTA procedures, Kids ID, vaccinations, etc)
Travelers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travelers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy or Consulate to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents.
No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to www.itg.be
+ 8h (Winter), + 7h (Summer).
Japan does not observe Summer Daylight Saving Time
Yen; 100 Yen = 0,77 EUR and 1 EUR = 130 JPY (01/08/2017)
In Japan cash is king. Exchange Euro for Japanese Yen before you leave and make sure to take some cash in Euro as well. In international hotels and chain stores payment by credit card is widely accepted. However restaurants may not accept your foreign credit card for payment. The most convenient place to witdraw money from an ATM may be at one of the many 7 Eleven supermarkets.
Japan's expanse and mountainous character allows for differences in temperature and weather. The northern part has a temperate climate with warm summers and relatively mild winters and has four seasons, similar to Belgium. Southern Japan enjoys a warm climate with mediterranean character and really only has two seasons. Winters are spring-like warm with pretty much precipitation; summers are warm to hot with fairly large amounts of rain. Of all Ryukyu Islands, the most southernmost Okinawa Islands enjoy a subtropical climate with winter temperatures which can range around twenty degrees.
There are volcanoes and mountains on all of Japan's islands and elevations range anywhere from hilly to the 3776 peak of Mt. Fuji. This results in terms of rainfall in a different weather pattern that is difficult to predict in advance.
Average Max. and Min. Temperatures (in °C):
A Taste of Japan
The two internationally most well-known cities of Japan are decidedly Tokyo and Kyoto. And that is an absolute gift for first-time visitors. Thanks to their complementary character they are sublime representatives of the land of the rising sun. Fast-track Tokyo is flashy, modern and vibrant; the amiable laid-back Kyoto is typified by its authentic historical sites, samurai and geisha. Combined they are an invincible duet of fascination for the future, dedication to the present and preservation of the past.
- 7 days
A Taste of Japan & Hiroshima & Osaka
This itinerary takes you to the two most famous metropolises, Tokyo and Kyoto, to Hakone near the famous Mount Fuji and to the historic cities of Hiroshima and Osaka. Past and present, war and art alternate here as major themes. From the glitz of Tokyo you travel to the natural beauty of Hakone and Mount Fuji and the authenticity of Kyoto's historic centre. The commemoration of World War II is still a major focus in Hiroshima while the island of Naoshim is an open-air museum for lovers of outdoor art and Osaka proudly presents its feudal castles. Altogether a wonderful and enriching bouquet of impressions.
- 11 days
A Taste of Japan & Mount Fuji
Spit up the two metropolises of Tokyo and Kyoto by a stopover in Hakone at the foot of Mount Fuji and add a whole chunk of nature, hospitality, tradition, wellness and authenticity to your Japan exploration. You overnight and enjoy dinner in a ryokan. To move about freely your Japanese Rail Pass and your Hakone Free Pass are included. Simply delightful!
- 8 days
Many travelers tend to limit their stay in Tokyo to a technical stop or consider it as a mere starting point of their tour through Japan. A sorry mistake if you ask us. The empire's capital s a vibrant and fascinating megalopolis, as is New York the first city which has woven itself so deeply into Connections' DNA. This citytrip proposes a 5-day programme. Just add experiences and excursions you see fit according to time and taste.
- 6 days
Dream Away in Hokkaido
- Onuma National Park
- Lake Toya
- Shikotsu-Toya Nationaml Park
- Usu Volcono
Japan’s second largest island (20% of the total country's surface) only counts 5% of the total population! Welcome to vast landscapes and unrestricted views. Immense meadows, impressive volcanoes and caldera with tropical blue azure waters succeed one another. Viewed from the ocean level or the top, the countryside is simply breath-taking; a wonderful playground for hikers and cyclists alike and within easy reach thanks to your Japan Rail Pass. The trip below will guide you through the southern part of the island where your nature exploration will be interspersed by the urban scenery of Hakodate and Sapporo. Off the beaten path and into Mother nature's creativity.
- 6 days
South of Osaka in the mountainous prefecture of Wakayama lies the sacred mountain 'Koya', respectfully referred to as Koya-San. After your city exploration of Osaka this is a blissful and tranquil green haven only 2 hours ride from the city. To experience the core of Koya-San, accommodation in a temple is indispensable. Whether you like walking in nature, are fascinated by Buddhism, searching for (spiritual) rest and meditation, there is something for everyone on this sacred mountain in Japan.
- 3 days
Takayama & Kanazawa
This is the most comprehensive exploration of Japan. Besides Tokyo, Kyoto, Mount Fuji, Hiroshima and Osaka you will discover the Japanese Alps, in the heart of central Honshu. From Hakone your itinerary will take you to Takayama, a mountain village where the traditional has held the upper hand. That sense to travel back in time is further enhanced in the historic Shirakawago and Gokayama nearby. Kanazawa is still a hidden gem with a unique Japanese garden and a renowned samurai history.
- 14 days