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    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

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    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Inside Mirakain, Tokyo

Nature, Culture, Science with New Scientist

Departure dateDuration
Prices Start from
Tour ExpertMax Group SizeStatus
18/10/2012 Days £6,695 ex. flightsRowan Hooper15 AVAILABLE Reserve your place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary


Science Museums

Explore The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, created by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency.

Hot Spring, Hakone, Japan 2

Volcanic region

Walk the trails around the steam vents and bubbling natural springs.

Maiko geisha walking on a street of Gion in Kyoto Japan 3

World of the Geisha

Enjoy a traditional dinner and evening entertainment with a Geisha in Kyoto.

Bullet Train, Japan 4

Bullet train

Experience the speed of Japan’s legendary bullet train.

Why we like it

This is a one-off itinerary exclusive to New Scientist readers and Steppes Travel clients, with special access to research facilities and institutions. As group size is limited, we advise early booking. As part of our partnership with New Scientist, we have pulled out all the stops on this tour to allow behind the scenes access to some of Japan’s leading science and technology institutes. This is a one-off itinerary and as group size is limited, we advise early booking.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Days 1-3
  • Day 4
    Tokyo - Hakone
  • Day 5
    Hakone - Nagoya
  • Day 6
    Nagoya - Kyoto
  • Days 7-8
  • Day 9
    Kyoto - Kagoshima
  • Day 10
    Kagoshima - Tanegashima
  • Day 11
    Tanegashima - Kagoshima
  • Day 12
Shibuya Shopping Street, Japan


Tokyo is an example of modern Japan testing the boundaries of tradition. One of the largest and busiest cities in the world finds buildings constructed in every available space and raised expressways winding across the urban landscapes high above crowded walkways. At dusk, neon lighting brings a surreal glow to the city. Once a city that lived by its rivers and canals, during the Edo period almost all commerce came to the capital on waterways and although less so now, river traffic is on the increase again.

Hakone - Volcanic region

Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, and is famous for its natural beauty and views of nearby Mount Fuji. The area is very scenic, with lakes including Lake Ashi, wooded hills and the Owakudani valley. The region is situated around a crater created during the last eruption of Mount Hakone over 3000 years ago. Sulfurous fumes, hot springs and hot rivers can be experienced on a walk around the area.

Young Geisha (Maiko), Kyoto, Japan
Geisha, Kyoto


Kyoto offers the classic image of Japan, traditional wooden houses, weeping cherry and the sound of geta (wooden-soled shoes) on the paving stones. The capital of Japan for over a thousand years Kyoto has an overwhelming number of ancient Buddhist temples, majestic palaces and gardens of every size and description, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is also one of the only places in Japan where it is possible to cross paths with a real Geisha, a magical experience.

Kagoshima skyline, Japan
Kagoshima, Japan


Kagoshima is Japan’s southernmost city. It has a bright personality to match its climate and has been voted Japan’s friendliest city nationwide. It’s proud of its past as capital of the feudal Satsuma province, which holds a place in Japanese history. Kagoshima’s backdrop is Sakurajima,  one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and the symbol of Kagoshima. The volcano smokes constantly, and minor eruptions often take place multiple times per day. Located in the middle of Kagoshima Bay, Sakurajima is the area’s most prominent geographic feature.

Mirakain Science Museum, Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan
JAXA Science Center, Kagoshima, Japan

Science museums

In Tokyo, explore Miraikan, Tokyo’s Science and Innovation Centre, as well as the National Museum of Nature and Science, the Space Museum TeNQ, and Japans National Museum of Nature and Science. In Nagoya, explore SCMAGLEV Railway Park and the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. Finally, in Kagoshima, discover JAXA space museum, which is responsible for all civilian space activities in Japan, with activities ranging from basic space research to ongoing space missions.

Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Moderate Activity
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf and the above is an indication of the cost, based on return flights departing from London. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Accompanied by New Scientist expert in Tokyo
  • Accompanied by an English speaking guide
  • Bullet train travel in economy class
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites mentioned
  • Evening with a Geisha in Kyoto
  • Gratuities
  • Accommodation as indicated
  • Transportation throughout

What is excluded

  • Airport transfers
  • All drinks
  • Entrance fees not mentioned
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Lunches and dinners not mentioned

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience Matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Size Matters

Our average group size is typically eight to ten people, smaller than other group tours typically offered – a factor which many of our clients appreciate. Travelling as part of a smaller group provides a more intimate, personalised and relaxed atmosphere.

4.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

3.Like-Minded People

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people – interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

5.Value for money

Our tours are well-priced to ensure you get real value for money. We include gratuities on the majority of our tours and do not pass on currency surcharges. We strive to look after single travellers as well as we can, keeping single supplements to a minimum.

6.Peace of Mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 601 784

Departure dateDuration
Prices Start from
Tour ExpertMax Group SizeStatus
18/10/2012 Days £6,695 ex. flightsRowan Hooper15 AVAILABLE Reserve your place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 601 784

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?

Why Steppes

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