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Japan

19 Oct. - 28 Oct. 2024  |    Spots available  

The land of the rising sun is a fascinating mix of ultra-modern and deeply traditional. Immerse yourself in Japanese life – travel on the legendary Shinkansen express train, spend the night in a temple with monks, soak in the high culture of Kyoto, and experience the latest trends in the megacity of Tokyo.

  • Travel Japanese style on the Shinkansen

  • Stay overnight in a temple with meditation and Japanese bathing culture

  • Keep up with the latest trends in Tokyo

Visual inspiration

Details

Day 1, Sat, 19.10.2024: Touchdown in Tokyo

After your arrival in Tokyo (flights not included), you’ll have the day to acclimatise and start exploring the largest city in the world at your leisure. Let your gay adventure begin!

Travelling on the Shinkansen

Day 2, Sun, 20.10.2024: Next stop Osaka

Today, you’ll embark on a two-and-a-half-hour journey on the Shinkansen express train to Osaka. From the observation deck of the Umeda Sky Building, you’ll get your first impression of the buzzing city. But then it’s time to join in the action – in the high street, it’s shop till you drop! You’ll definitely find some wacky souvenirs for your friends back home. Osaka is known for its delicious street food – your guide will show you where to find the best takoyaki in Japan! As soon as it gets dark, you’ll move on to the nightlife district of Dotonbori. In one of the many cosy izakayas (Japanese pubs), you and the other guys can raise a toast to your gay holiday with hot sake over dinner.

Why Japan?

  • On this tour you’re not a tourist – you become Japanese: you’ll travel on public transport, eat and drink at local restaurants, pubs, and street food stalls; you’ll spend a day in a temple meditating with the monks and enjoying traditional bathing culture; you’ll learn how to make sushi and how navigate your way through the streets of Tokyo with a local (video).

  • Respect – discipline – selflessness: these are the values that govern daily life in Japan. Is this just a stereotype? This incredible journey is worth finding out.

  • With its more than 1,600 temples, the truly fascinating high culture in Kyoto should be on everyone’s bucket list.

  • In Japan, sexuality is kept private and not discussed in public; however, there are encouraging efforts to give homosexuality a platform in the form of vibrant street fairs and an international film festival.

  • Gay bars are not easy to find at first glance, but your local guide can certainly give you tips when it comes to exploring the gay quarter in Tokyo.

Overnight stay in a temple hostel

Day 3, Mon, 21.10.2024: Call of the mountains

After getting off to an early start, you’ll take the train through the scenic mountains and transfer to the funicular for the last stretch of the journey. You’ll spend the afternoon, exploring Mount Kōya - the sacred mountain. Your guide will take you on a fascinating tour of the vast and mysterious Okunoin cemetery. From there, you’ll discover the holy Garan temple complex with its one-of-a-kind revolving pagoda. In the evening, you’re invited to tap into your inner self during a meditation session with the monks. Tonight, you’ll sleep on a traditional futon and tatami mat as well as learn the ins and outs of Japanese bathing culture in the temple’s communal bath. After a restful night, you’ll be woken for morning prayers by the echoing sound of the gong.

Monk statues with crocheted caps

Day 4, Tue, 22.10.2024: In search of enlightenment

After a traditional vegetarian breakfast with steaming Japanese tea, you’ll bid the spiritual heart of Japan “farewell” and continue by bus to Nara. At the gigantic Todai Temple you’ll be in awe of the enormous bronze Buddha inside. If you can fit through the legendary opening the size of Buddha’s nostril, you’ll be rewarded with eternal enlightenment. But even if you don’t fit, you’re sure to feel the energy of this sacred place. In the afternoon, you’ll continue by bus to Kyoto, the former imperial city and cultural metropolis. The first thing on the agenda is a stroll through the traditional geisha neighbourhood of Gion with its wooden merchant houses.

A geisha in Japan

Day 5, Wed, 23.10.2024: Temple hopping

No gay holiday in Japan would be complete without temple hopping in Kyoto! You’ll start with the magnificent Golden Pavilion, which shines majestically from its surrounding gardens. At Ryōan-ji Temple, you’ll feast your eyes on one of Japan’s most stunning rock gardens. Afterwards, you’ll head to Tenryū-ji Temple in Arashiyama. On a walk through the beautifully landscaped garden, you’ll discover streams, hills, and trees in an array of vibrant colours. You’re sure to never to forget the magical atmosphere created by the sunlight shining through the branches of the emerald green trees! 

Golden Pavilion temple in Kyoto

Hotels

During your holiday, you’ll be staying at a variety of hotels such as the sleek Remm Roppongi Hotel and the modern Agora Place. You’ll even spend one unforgettable night at a temple hostel with Japanese monks.

Remm Roppongi | Tokyo

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Agora Place | Osaka

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Honno-in | Koyasan

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Daiwa Roynet Ekimae | Kyoto

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Day 6, Thu, 24.10.2024: Imperial Kyoto

You’ll start off another unforgettable day of your gay holiday with a visit to Nijo Castle, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The expansive complex covers 275,000 square metres and includes Ninomaru Palace with its amazing “nightingale floors”, which make chirping sounds when walked upon. At Nishiki Market, a narrow, five-block-long street lined by over one hundred shops and restaurants, you’ll have the chance to sample all sorts of local delicacies. The afternoon is free for you to explore Kyoto at your leisure.

The Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

Tour operator

This Guys.travel gay tour is organised and carried out by Marco Polo Reisen, a renowned specialist for worldwide discovery trips for over 60 years.

Day 7, Fri, 25.10.2024: One-way ticket to Tokyo

You’re still not done with Kyoto – after visiting the ornate Heian Shrine and the Imperial Palace, the former palace of the Emperor of Japan, you’ll indulge your taste buds during an interactive Japanese sushi making class at a local restaurant. Reinvigorated, it’s back to Tokyo on the Shinkansen. You’ll arrive at the hotel in Tokyo in the afternoon, and in the evening, accompanied by a local English-speaking gay guide, you’ll explore the open-minded neighbourhood of Shinjuku Ni-chōme, Tokyo’s largest gay district. A truly unique gay experience!

The mega metropolis Tokyo

Day 8, Sat, 26.10.2024: Tokyo adventures

Get ready for the Tour de Tokyo! There’s so much to do in this amazing city that you can only begin to scratch the surface of what it has to offer. The first adventure of the day is riding the Tokyo subway – is it really as crowded as people say? Your first stop is Asakusa where you’ll visit the stunning Senso-ji temple – an absolute must-see. The street leading to the shrine is the souvenir mile par excellence, with kimonos and fans on sale at every corner. From the giant Tokyo Skytree television tower, you’ll have an unforgettable panoramic view of the mega metropolis. Make sure to take lots of selfies! Afterwards, you’ll visit the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno. Feel free to stay as long as you’d like.

Shibuya Crossing, probably the busiest intersection in the world

Day 9, Sun, 27.10.2024: Iconic Tokyo

Today will be wild! In Harajuku, you’ll visit the famous Meiji Shrine before diving into Japan’s pop culture. Get ready to see teenagers in fabulous manga costumes and one crazy fashion boutique after another on Takeshita-dori. In Shibuya, you won’t find any cats in Cat Street, but you will find lots of unique shops, second-hand stores, and cafés. From the Starbucks on the corner, you’ll have the best of the iconic Shibuya Crossing, probably the busiest intersection in the world – another perfect photo op. The afternoon is free for you to spend at your leisure – with a few tips from your guide, of course. After a fun-filled day of gay adventure, you’ll have a delicious farewell dinner with the guys at a local restaurant in the evening.

Prices and services

19 Oct. - 28 Oct. 2024  |    Spots available  

Have a room all to yourself

  € 3429,-  

Share a room with a partner/friend

  € 3179,-  

Price per person includes:

  • Transfers, excursions, and round trip by train, bus, and other public transport

  • 8 nights in hotels in a single room

  • 1 overnight stay in a temple hostel in a double room with a shared bathroom and a typical communal Japanese bath

  • Breakfast

  • Welcome dinner in Osaka on day 2

  • Vegetarian dinner at the temple hostel

  • Meditation in the temple

  • Sushi making class in Kyoto

  • Guided tour through the gay district of Tokyo 

  • Farewell dinner in Tokyo

  • Luggage transfer service from Tokyo to Osaka (during the day), Kyoto to Tokyo (during the day); only light hand luggage available for the overnight stay on day 3

  • English-speaking Marco Polo tour guide in Japan

  • Entrance fees according to the itinerary

  • CO2 compensation – climate neutral gay tour

View of Fujiyama

Day 10, Mon, 28.10.2024: Sayonara Japan!

Your unforgettable gay adventure is sadly coming to an end – we hope you’ve had an amazing time! The express bus will take you to the airport where you’ll board your flight home (flights not included).

Detailed travel itinerary (PDF)

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FEEDBACK

Léo | France

Thanks for everything! It's great that you and Guys.travel exist!The trip to Japan was simply a great gift. An incredibly intense way to immerse yourself in a country and a culture. And travelling with a group of gay men was all the more enriching and increased the fun factor by several octaves.

Finn | Sweden

Thank you so much for this wonderful trip! Every day was full of new impressions, whether temple, shrine, museum, market or sky tower, we had a great time together, wonderful laughter, deep conversations, nice bar visits, simply an unforgettable trip with beautiful encounters, it was certainly not my last trip with you.

David | Switzerland

Thanks to the varied and diverse itinerary, we got to see a lot of Japan in just a short time, gaining insight into daily life there and getting to know the country. Another great thing about the tour was that we almost always travelled using public transport, which enabled us to experience the "pulse" of the country and its residents first hand. The tour included a varied and exciting mix of culinary delights, history, urban life, tradition, nature, countryside, and people. The group size was ideal - we quicky became a small "family".

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