Japan holiday in 12 days

From robot cabarets to rebooting your zen.


Air New Zealand flies non-stop from Auckland into Tokyo's Narita airport.

12 days
1Tokyo4 days
Cherry Blossom at Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan.

Your Japan tour starts here. Take advantage of the well-connected network of trains and buses direct from the airport to Tokyo's city centre. Wondering where to go first? Here are some thoughts while you plan your trip.

Points of interest

  • Refresh yourself in Shinkjuku Golden Gai. An old-Japan city block of tiny 10-seater bars
  • People-watch in Harajuku. Get your own Gothic Lolita accessories
  • See more cherry blossoms than you can shake a fairy wand at in Yoyogi Park in March and April
  • Wander Asakusa's small streets and find lunch in an izakaya, the Japanese version of a pub
  • Get unique Japanese housewares in the Kappabashi area to add to your kitchen
  • See the Robot Show in Shinjuku for the weirdest thing you'll see outside a Japanese vending machine
    2Kyoto4 days
    Woman Wearing a Traditional Kimono, Kyoto, Japan

    Kyoto is only a two-and-a-half-hour bullet train, known as a Shinkansen, away. It's the best way to travel Japan. And if you ever need directions, don't be shy. The locals are impeccably polite and happy to help. If you were wide-eyed in Tokyo, you can slow down in Kyoto and find your zen.

    Kyoto highlights

    • Spot the elegant Geishas amid old wooden buildings in Gion
    • Treat yourself at an exclusive Japanese teahouse or restaurant
    • Not sure what to tip? As in New Zealand, no tipping is necessary. A friendly "Gochiso-sama-deshita", a formal way of saying "that was a delicious feast" with gratitude, is all you need
    • Wander through the Tenryu-ji Temple in the Arashiyama district. Its tranquil old gardens inspire peace and green thumbs
    • Give yourself time for a day trip (or two) to Hiroshima. Marvel at the Itsukushima's Grand Torii Gate in the middle of the sea
    • Make a poignant visit to the A-Bomb Dome within the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park before you head back to Kyoto
      3Osaka4 days
      Takoyaki at Night, Osaka, Japan.

      Hop back on the Shinkansen and within twenty minutes you're in twinkling Osaka. Get ready for big, bold colours and lots of food. The people here like to eat, and we see why. You'll love this colourful and unapologetic city.

      Get the most of Osaka

      • Fill your eyes with neon nightlife in Dotonbori, and your mouth with tako-yaki (that's cooked octopus dough balls)
      • Watch the fireworks sparkle over the canal in summer
      • Behold Medieval Japan at Osaka Castle and imagine its impressive rise and fall
      • Sing your heart out with your friends in your own full service Karaoke suite
      • Not one for Queen covers? Push your belly's boundaries with all the tempting and exotic street food
      • Have kids to entertain? Amaze them at Aquarium Kaiyukan
      • Return to zen with a walk through Kemasakuranomiya Park, overflowing with cherry blossoms in March and April
      • Say goodbye to Osaka with 360 views from the Umeda Sky Building

      Time to head home. If you're travelling between November and March, Air New Zealand flies non-stop from Osaka to Auckland. Otherwise, take a quick Shinkansen to Tokyo and catch your non-stop return flight to Auckland from Narita airport. Grab a bento box in the train station for the journey.

      Arigato, Japan.

        Keep exploring Tokyo and Japan