Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    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.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    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.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Inside Mirakain, Tokyo

Nature, Culture, Science with New Scientist

  • EXPERT-LED GROUP TOUR
Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
10/17/21 10/28/2112 days $8,503 ex. flights $1,17515 Max LIMITED Reserve place

Join us on a special 12-day journey across cutting-edge Japan in autumn to see exceptional landscapes, visit top universities and immerse yourself in the many cultural highlights of this innovative country.

Travel from lively cities to snow-capped mountains and from hot springs to volcanic islands. Taking in the cities of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Kagoshima. Japan is a must-see destination for science and nature lovers, and this tour offers the chance to delve deeper into one of the most fascinating countries in the world.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

1

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

    Tokyo

  • Day 4

    Tokyo - Hakone

  • Day 5

    Hakone - Nagoya

  • Day 6

    Nagoya - Kyoto

  • Days 7-8

    Kyoto

  • Day 9

    Kyoto - Kagoshima

  • Day 10

    Kagoshima - Tanegashima

  • Day 11

    Tanegashima - Kagoshima

  • Day 12

    Kagoshima

Days 1-3

Tokyo

Streets at night, Tokyo, Japan

Spend the first 3 days of the tour exploring Japans vibrant capital, Tokyo. Visit Miraikan Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science and Space Museum TeNQ, amongst other cultural sites.

Day 4

Tokyo - Hakone

Hot springs, Hakone, Japan

Take the train from Tokyo to Hakone. From here, board a pirate boat sailing across Ashi Lake. From here continue by Rope Way to towards the thermal area of Owakudani. Walk the trails around the steam vents and hot springs. From here, drive to your hotel.

Day 5

Hakone - Nagoya

Shinkansen bullet train passing by Mount Fuji, Yoshiwara, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan

Take the train from Hakone to Nagoya then by road to SCMAGLEV Railway Park. The museum focuses on the advances in high-speed rail in Japan.

Day 6

Nagoya - Kyoto

Bullet Train, Japan

In the morning, visit the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. Afterwards, transfer to the station for your train to Kyoto.

Days 7-8

Kyoto

Maiko geisha walking on a street of Gion in Kyoto Japan

Spend the next 2 days exploring Kyoto, the centre of Japans Geisha community. At a private evening dinner with a Geisha on day 7, you will also have a chance to ask questions about the Geisha and their world.

Day 9

Kyoto - Kagoshima

Bullet Train, Japan

Transfer by bullet train from Kyoto to Kagoshima, a journey of around 4 hours.

Day 10

Kagoshima - Tanegashima

JAXA Science Center, Kagoshima, Japan

Travel by ferry to Tanegashima. Visit the JAXA space museum. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was formed in 2003 and is responsible for all civilian space activities in Japan, with activities ranging from basic space research to ongoing space missions.

Day 11

Tanegashima - Kagoshima

Landscape of Sakurajima island and Kagoshima ferry in Kagoshima, Japan

Transfer to the ferry port and return by ferry to Kagoshima. Transfer by boat to Sakurajima Island, famous for one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. It is forbidden to approach the crater but Sakurajima is still delightful to visit, thanks to various observation points and hiking trails.

Day 12

Kagoshima

Kagoshima skyline, Japan

Depart after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your onwards travel.

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.

Flexibility

To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. 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
Shibuya Shopping Street, Japan
Tokyo

Tokyo

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

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

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
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.

Group Tour FAQs

Why should I travel with New Scientist and Steppes Travel to Japan?

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.

Is October a good time to travel to Japan?

Autumn is a pleasant time to visit Japan, as the leaves begin to change colours in Tokyo and in the central regions of the country. The days will be getting cooler in the northern and central regions.

What is the standard of accommodation on this tour?

Japan offers a large range of both Japanese and western-style accommodation.

As part of this tour, you will be staying in mainly western style 3-4* hotels. In Hakone, you will spend the evening in a Ryokan which, is a Japanese style inn found throughout the country. Ryokan is an opportunity to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality, incorporating elements such as tatami floors, Japanese style baths and local cuisine.

Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide 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.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

What is the food in Japan like?

Based on fresh, seasonal produce, Japanese cuisine is renowned for being nutritious and tasty. Rice is a staple ingredient and is generally offered with miso soup as an accompaniment. Sushi is Japan’s most famous delicacy and can be found throughout the country.

Breakfasts are included as part of this tour and will mainly comprise of international food. A number of lunches and dinners are also included and will vary throughout the different regions, but Japanese specialities including a meal at Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurants have been arranged for the group.

Do I need to be physically fit to enjoy this tour?

You do not need to be particularly fit to participate; there are no long walks involved, but there will be a certain number of stone steps and uneven surfaces.

Can I extend my time in Japan?

We can arrange additional days at the beginning or end of the tour if you wanted to extend your time in Japan. Please speak to one of our experts for more information.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?


VISIT OUR FAQ PAGE

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 1 855 2037885

Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
10/17/21 10/28/2112 days $8,503 ex. flights $1,17515 Max LIMITED Reserve 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

Send us an enquiry

Send us a message and one of our travel experts
will get right back to you.

Enquire Today

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


Read More

Get in touch

  • This page is attached to this enquiry