Japan: Tradition and Diversity

Japan: Tradition and Diversity

18th - 28th March 2018

Regular price Deposit for this tour: £700 Sale

Songlines Music Travel, in association with Master Travel, invites music lovers and travellers alike to the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan. You will be fascinated by its mix of modernity and tradition. Immerse yourself in the variety of sounds and performances of Japanese music as we travel through Tokyo, Mt Fuji, Okinawa and Kyoto.

Accompanied by Paul Fisher, your UK tour leader, you will gain unique access to the artists and musicians of the region and listen to the best traditional music.

In addition, a superb cultural programme will complement the trip. You will visit temples and markets in Tokyo, a castle in Okinawa and cruise on Lake Ashi. You will also have the chance to attend a Geisha show and a Sumo performance.

Full Tour Price: £3,500 Dates: 18/03/2018 - 28/03/2018 | Duration: 10 days

Click here for full brochure


Sunday 18th March: London - Tokyo (D)

PM: After your flight, you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel
Eve: Welcome dinner

Monday 19th March: Tokyo (B)

AM: Visit Engei Hall + Asakusa Kannon Temple
PM: Kabuki Theatre and performance
Eve: Enjoy a performance by Chieko Mori, a Koto player

Tuesday 20th March: Tokyo (B)

AM: Visit the Imperial East Garden and Tsukiji Outer Market
PM: Visit Tokyo Tower and the Shinjyuku region
Eve: Visit local bars such as Mandala Venues of Star Pines Café or The Minami- Aoyama

Wednesday 21st March: Tokyo - Hakone - Tokyo (B)

AM/PM: Transfer to Hakone and visit the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji. Enjoy a Lake Ashi boat excursion, and visit Hakone Ropeway, and Owakudani Valley
Eve: Transfer to the hotel in Hakone

Thursday 22nd March: Tokyo - Okinawa (B)

AM: Visit Ameya Yokocho, an open air market, explore Ueno Park, and visit Akihabara Centre
PM: Fly to Okinawa and wander around the popular Naha Kokusai street
Eve: Live music in local bars

Friday 23rd March: Okinawa (B)

AM: At leisure
PM: Visit the Shuri Castle
Eve: Sanshin performance and workshop by Mutsumu Aragaki

Saturday 24th March: Okinawa - Osaka - Kyoto (B)

AM: Visit Umikaji Terrace and then transfer to Naha Airport for Osaka
PM: Sumo tournament and enjoy a Chindon street performance
Eve: Transfer to Kyoto

Sunday 25th March: Kyoto (B/D)

AM: Visit Kiyomizu Temple and Heianjingu Shrine
PM: Visit Fushimiinari Shrine
Eve: Enjoy a Geisha show

Monday 26th March: Kyoto (B)

AM: Visit the Tenryuji Temple
PM: Visit the Golden Pavilion, Nishiki Market, and Gion Corner
Eve: Enjoy a performance by Tsutomu Tanaka

Tuesday 27th March: Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto (B)

AM: Drive to Nara and visit Nara Park Todaiji Temple 
PM: Return to Kyoto and visit Kasuga Shrine

Wednesday 28th March: Kyoto (B)

AM: After breakfast, transfer to Kansai International Airport for your flight home


Paul Fisher, your tour leader: Paul Fisher went to Japan for one month and ended up staying for 12 years. He started Far Side Music 25 years ago, selling Asian CDs and DVDs, producing albums for independent and major record companies and arranging concerts and tours around the world for primarily Japanese artists.

He has compiled numerous albums including the Rough Guides to Japan and Okinawa. He has also presented a continuous weekly radio show on Asian music for 20 years (FM Cocolo in Osaka and Resonance FM in London), and has made on location radio documentaries for the BBC, CBC and other radio stations and filmed cultural events worldwide for Japanese and American media companies. Paul Fisher also presented a TV show in Tokyo of studio performances of the artists featured on the Rough Guide compilations and written for many publications, including as a music columnist for the Japan Times.

Click here for full brochure

The cost includes

  • Accommodation: 10 nights in hotel accommodation on a twin share basis, with breakfast included. A single room is available on payment of a supplement
  • Transfers to hotel/airport
  • Ground transportation within Japan
  • The services of a Songlines Music Travel Leader and local guide
  • All visits and musical activities as per the itinerary
  • Pre-departure information

The cost excludes

  • International flights to/from Tokyo/Kyoto
  • Visas and travel insurance. Please ensure you purchase adequate insurance cover before you leave home.
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic drinks, dinners, snacks or any purchases of a personal nature
  • Tips to the hotel staff, drivers and guides
  • Anything not specified in the inclusions and itinerary above


Feedback from previous Songlines trips

“This is an incredible tour. We had the privilege of meeting musicians in their own homes and villages – and listening to their music was an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget.”

Tiki Kyte on the Songlines trip to Rajasthan

“I really think these Songlines Music Travel trips are excellent value. You go to a part of the globe that is just so rich in musical culture and you’re guided to all the best music places by someone who has lived there, speaks the language and loves the music. You can’t get better than that.”

Maureen Ni Fann, SLMT trip to Senegal