Journey Through Japan

Journey Through Japan

When: May 16th ~ 25th, 2020

Where: Nagano, Osaka, Kyoto, & Tokyo!



Join pickleball national champion Daniel Moore for a cultural exchange to one of the world’s oldest civilizations as we continue to promote pickleball in Japan! Savor the fresh sushi, explore ancient temples, and witness breathtaking natural landscapes, all while interacting with locals and teaching them about the game of pickleball. This will be a true insider experience as Daniel, who has lived in Japan for most of his lives, takes you to all his favorite spots!



Plan your trip to arrive at Narita Int’l Airport (NRT) on this day.* We will be staying at the Radisson Hotel Narita this evening where we will also have our welcome dinner. There is a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel that takes about 20-25 minutes, please ask at an information desk about the shuttle times and departure platform. We will meet in the hotel lobby at 7:30 PM for a ‘Welcome to Japan’ dinner.


After breakfast, we take a private bus from Narita to Saku, around 3.5 hours away. Once here, we have some lunch before heading to the pickleball courts for play with the Saku Pickleball Club, including time for free play and organized ‘North America vs Japan’ matches. Dinner is with members of the pickleball club at a local restaurant.


This morning we drive 1.5 hours to Shibu Onsen, famous for the snow monkeys of Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Once here, we have our first private clinic with instruction from Daniel so wear your pickleball clothes. After lunch at a local restaurant, we see the snow monkeys, a 30 minute walk each way. We will have some time to relax and soak in the natural hot spring baths (onsen) offered at the hotel, before a Japanese style (kaiseki) banquet.


Today we have our second private clinic with instruction from Daniel. In the afternoon, we visit a local farmer’s house to learn how buckwheat soba noodles are made. We have some time for shopping at a Japanese grocery store, before returning to Shibu Onsen for an optional sake brewery tour. We go out to eat tonight at a mom and pop restaurant with great seafood and other options.


Today we travel from Shibu Onsen to Osaka, about a 5 hr train journey by train. You will have some free time in the evening before we go out to dinner with Daikichi Coverall, a company in Osaka trying to start pickleball in the city. Prepare your Karaoke song of choice because having to sing is a distinct possibility.


Today we will take a day trip to Kyoto, about 45 minutes away from Osaka. Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan with many UNESCO World Heritage sites. We will see shrines, temples and Japanese gardens, as well as many other sights along the way. Please be prepared to walk a lot this day. Dinner is in Dotonbori, Osaka’s lively nightlife district, at a savory Japanese pancake restaurant called Okonomiyaki.


Today we travel around 3.5 hours from Osaka to Tokyo, where the in Japan Open Pickleball Championships will be held. We will have some time to play in Tokyo in the afternoon to tune up for the tournament.

  • Hotel: TBD


Today is the first day of the second annual Japan Open Pickleball Championships held in Tokyo, Japan. This will be the mixed doubles day and we will be at the courts most of the day, with options to take a train back to the hotel if you are finished playing and would like to relax. Dinner will be at a local restaurant with other players from the tournament.

  • Hotel: TBD


Today is the second day of the second annual Japan Open Pickleball Championships held in Tokyo, Japan. This will be the men’s & women’s doubles day and we will be at the courts most of the day, with options to take a train back to the hotel if you are finished playing and would like to relax. Dinner will be at a local restaurant to say ‘thank you’ to all the participants of our trip as well as the tournament.

  • Hotel: TBD


We head back to Narita Int’l Airport (NRT) for departure.

Please keep in mind that this itinerary is subject to change and should not be considered final.

*You will likely have to depart North America the previous day in order to arrive in Japan on May 16th.

**Note: Japanese style accommodation means sleeping on a comfortable futon mattress laid on top of a tatami mat floor. All the rooms will have showers but this inn has hot springs if you want to try soaking in them.

Tour Package


  • $3150 PP Double Occupancy | $3550 PP Single Occupancy | $300 PP Non-Pickleball Player’s Discount


  • 9 nights of accommodation with complimentary breakfasts
  • All meals except 1 dinner and 2 lunches
  • All activities including tours, entrance & guide fees, pickleball clinics, transportation within Japan (excluding JR Rail Pass), etc.


  • Airfare to/from Narita Int’l Airport (NRT)
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • JR Rail Pass
  • Japan Open Pickleball Championship Registration Fees

Cancellation Policy

  • 60 ~ 31 Days Prior to Arrival: 20% of the Total Costs
  • 30 ~ 4 Days Prior to Arrival: 50% of the Total Costs
  • 72 Hours or Less Prior to Arrival: 100% of the Total Costs

Please contact us at if you have any additional questions regarding our cancellation policy.

Travel Insurance

We strongly encourage all travelers to invest in travel insurance to both minimize your financial risks of traveling and provide you with peace of mind to fully enjoy the your trip. Travel insurance can provide many helpful resources including refunds or assistance for any of the following situations that may arise before or during a trip:

  • You need to cancel your participation on the tour
  • You need to cancel or change a flight
  • Lost baggage during the trip
  • Stolen items during the trip
  • Medical costs during the trip

We suggest you talk to your insurance provider to ask about the travel insurance plans available to you. You can also compare policies online. Here are two well-known travel insurance providers to consider:

Please contact us at connect@pickleballtrips.comif you have any additional questions regarding travel insurance.

Past Reviews

“This was our first trip to Japan, and our first (but not last) Pickleball Trip. It was one of our best vacations ever! Daniel is the perfect guide and tour leader- super nice, friendly, fun, and knowledgeable. He and our other instructor, Randy, are great teachers. In addition to arranging for us to play with enthusiastic and friendly Japanese players and teams, they gave us invaluable help with our individual games to improve our skills. And they were so much fun to travel with. Traveling by train was a great way to see Japan, and Daniel made it so easy for us; he handled all the arrangements smoothly-from navigating the train system, to taking us to interesting historical sites, to our food & hotels. The accommodations were more luxurious than we expected. The food was varied, copious & oishi (delicious). We also enjoyed getting to know and traveling with the other group members, who were adventurous and fun-loving. In conclusion, this was a uniformly wonderful travel experienceWe are already looking forward to our next vacation with Pickleball Trips next year.”

Laurie V – 2018 Autumn in Japan Participant

“. . . a marvelous adventure into Japanese culture through a variety of experiences—sumptuous Japanese cuisine, ancient temples, bustling trains and subways, traditional Japanese baths, even a romp in a Japanese dollar store! But the best part was making new Japanese pickle ball friends along the way. Daniel is a knowledgeable guide and a skilled pickle ball instructor.  I came home with a full heart and some great feedback to improve my game.  I highly recommend this trip to anyone who likes to get out of the tourist bubble and experience another culture in a more meaningful way.” 

Jeanne H – 2018 Autumn in Japan Participant

“My husband and I just got back from Pickleball Trips’ Autumn in Japan trip with Daniel Moore and guest pro Randy Coleman. It was a first-class experience from start to end including the food, accommodations, and activities. Daniel shared with us his favorite parts of Japan including gorgeous scenery, wildlife, and world heritage sites. We had clinics with Daniel & Randy and got to play Pickleball with Japanese players in three different cities. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys traveling and Pickleball. My husband wants all of our future vacations to be Pickleball Trips! Thank you for the trip of a lifetime!!!”

Farrah O – 2018 Autumn in Japan Participant

“The 2018 Japan Pickleball Trip was fantastic! I would do it again. Let me explain some of the
highlights-and there a lot. First, the hotels and restaurants were great. Each day exceeded the
prior day and my expectations. Second, the trip mixed in small villages with large cities. Third, Daniel Moore is the consummate pro: as a guide; as an expert bus driver; a train navigator; and believe it or not, at Karaoke. The trip took us to World Heritage sites, the Snow Monkey Park, and a castle here and there. Fourth, the bullet trains (with the JR Pass) were easy to navigate (with Daniel’s help), comfortable, and fast. Great way to get around Japan. Fifth, the food was awesome; there were variations at every stop. Daniel took us to out of the way places to eat, and then eat again, and eat again. Sixth, we received Pickleball instruction throughout the trip and played with and against Japanese PB teams and players. This trip is a great way to see, experience and immerse yourself in Japanese culture and do it playing Pickleball. I rate this trip a 10 out of 10.”

Howard V – 2018 Autumn in Japan Participant