Enchanting Japan is a dream destination whatever your budget

by Sylvia Pownall

Japan is a lot more than a rugby World Cup destination – and savvy travellers know the best way to experience it is by touring its fascinating landscape.

Home to sumo wrestling, sake, geishas, karaoke and hot springs, Japan is an extraordinary land where you can expect a frenetic pace one day and a tranquil experience the next.

Cassidy Travel has teamed up with its partners in the Land of the Rising Sun to create a selection of expeditions to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

Tours and cruises allow travellers to immerse themselves in the experience, with local guides, central accommodation, and plenty of culture, excitement and adventures to be had.

Japan is a country that’s famously hard to read, so local-led group tours are especially popular.


They offer a wealth of experience – whether it’s meeting soba noodle masters, being led through tuna auctions and sumo stables, staying with Buddhist monks in Koya-san or singing bad karaoke in Osaka.

The all-inclusive ‘Week in Japan’ is a small group tour which explores Tokyo, the regal grandeur of Kyoto, the perfect symmetry of Mount Fuji, Nara’s Todaiji Temple with its resident deer, Osaka and the naturally scenic area of Hakone. (From €4,790, which includes flights and meals.)

The budget eight-night ‘Japan Express’ odyssey (from €1,735, flights extra) allows you to absorb the neon nightlife of Tokyo, relax in the manicured gardens of Nikko and discover thousands of years of culture and history in Kyoto.

A novel ‘Young and Fun’ tour focuses on manga mania, Kurosawa flicks, Super Mario go-karting and other icons of Japanese social culture. (Prices from €1,995 for nine nights.)

A ‘Circle Japan’ cruise for nine nights in September aboard the Diamond Princess (on offer from €2,359) affords an opportunity to savour the country from the sea, as you dine on freshly prepared sashimi, watch street performers in the dazzling atrium, or take in a lavish production show, with a host of cultural excursions to boot.

For those preferring to tread an independent path, flights to Tokyo are typically between €639 and €789, and Cassidy Travel can arrange both accommodation and transfers to suit any bespoke adventure.

“We are expecting that the spotlight which the rugby shines on Japan will ignite interest among holidaymakers in this most seductive of countries,” says John Spollen of Cassidy Travel.

“There are myriad ways to experience it and the breadth of our new programme reflects that.

“With easy flight options through Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Helsinki, Japan is suddenly a very ‘doable’ holiday.”

Prices are per person and exclude flights, unless otherwise stated, and are subject to change.

Packages may be booked in any of nine Cassidy travel shops across Dublin, call 01 873 5000 or see www.cassidytravel.ie.

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