Question

travel advice wanted

I'll be in Japan for 12 days and want to visit places that are more hirtory/culture related than amusement orientated (no beaches, resorts, rides, etc) does anybody have suggestions or know of tour groups?

Location

Country: Japan

Answers

When where why and what are all missing from this.
When will you come?
Where in Japan?
Why do travel here?
What kind of tour interests you? Activities? Adventure?

I could take you on a bike tour, a hike, or some combo of both but I am not about to start talking to you knowing so nothing about you.

No nonsense tours for no nonsense people.
Go to Kyoto. Any more questions?
if you will be in the tokyo area you can consider:
- "shitamachi" (down town) tours that will allow you to experience a more authentic side of tokyo
- day trips from tokyo can include: mt. takao(hiking), hakone (nature and great views of mt. fuji), kamakura (temples and shrines)
- many traditional culture opportunities from experiencing kyudo( archery) to mon-koh (incensce ceremony) to anything in between can be experienced.
best wishes for a safe and rewarding trip to japan. the more specific you are about your interests or desired experiences the better chance you will have to do them.
If you are coming in spring time, I highly recommend the first and second week of April. If you will be in Tokyo area on the 10th of April, you are able to watch Sumo tounament for free at Yasukuni shrine, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo. Near Yasukuni shrine, there is a beautiful cherry blossom area called Chidorigafuchi. You will enjoy both cherry blossom viewing and Sumo. I don't know when you are coming, it is just one idea.
Kyoto and Kamakura are filled with culture and history.
Kamakura is about 40 mins from Tokyo
Hakone is a beautiful place (near Mt. Fuji) this area
has many cheap hot spa hotels and several museums including
the "Open Air Museum" which is quite popular
It really depends on where and when.
But the all-time fave would definately be Kyoto.

If you need further info just let me know.
If this is your first visit, you should definetely visit Kyoto for sure. If you have spent a substancial amont of time here already, why don't you visit Kanazawa and Noto Peninsula? I can show you around if the schedule allows.
Practical advice for disabled travellers on how to plan for your trip abroad.

Advice on how to stay safe if you are a lone woman traveller or a group of female travellers.

Japan has strict immigration laws. You should not overstay your entry permission or take unauthorised employment. See the Entry Requirements section of this advice for more details.

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.

There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

Travel throughout Japan is relatively easy. Taxis are generally safe and use a fixed meter system for fares.

To drive in Japan, you must hold an International Driving Licence (IDL) and insurance. There are two types of insurance:

(a) Compulsory insurance (jibaisekihoken) which may be insufficient in cases of personal liability.

(b) Voluntary insurance (nin’i no jidoshahoken). We strongly recommend that you buy this in addition to the compulsory insurance. It is compulsory to carry your driving licence with you at all times. UK residents of Japan must obtain a Japanese licence within one year of arrival, and will need both parts of the UK licence when applying (photocard and counterpart paper).

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As Joseph asked... when / where (arrival) / are very important in answering questions.... could you help us with that info first?
Primary considerations are, budget, how many people and specific timelines within regions.
Japan is historically massive, literally there is no limit to what you can see or do. I would suggest that you give us an idea of which cultural aspects you are interested in ( for example, temples, samurai culture etc) and then I am sure that we can narrow down a great holiday for you.
Cheers!
Mark
Top recommended places are Kyoto and Nara. You can spend a week here visiting the different temples and shrines (Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera, Sanjusangendo, Todaiji, Horyuji etc.). From there you can make your way to Hiroshima (top things to see is Miyajima and the A-Bomb Dome). You can then proceed to Nagasaki and see the Nagasaki (the only city open to outside contact during Japan's seclusion period). If you're coming through Tokyo, I recommend Nikko Toshogu Shrine where you can see the tomb of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun. Nearby is the beautiful Kegon Falls. I recommend that you visit during early spring and see the cherry blossoms (sakura) in bloom or during autumn and view the beautiful hue of autumn leaves.

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