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  • Tokyo – Matsumoto – Takayama – Shirakawago – Takayama – Kyoto – Hakone/Mt Fuji – Tokyo

    Ascend into the scenic landscapes of Japan, starting in the vibrant capital. Spend a few days in Tokyo exploring all it has to offer the avid traveler. Stand in awe at the Meiji Shrine before shopping in nearby Harajuku and Omotesando. Leaving Tokyo behind, it’s time to head up into the Japanese Alps. There are plenty of hiking and climbing opportunities here for those that want them. Explore the breathtaking Castle in the historical mountain town of Matsumoto. From here head to Nagano and visit the famed heritage site of Zenkoji temple and Jigokudani Park where Snow Monkeys bath in hot spring water.

    Making your way further up the ‘Roof of Japan’, stop in the picturesque village of Takayama, staying in traditional ryokan accommodation. From here it’s also possible to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Shirakawago, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Continuing on to Kyoto, it’s time to get around as the locals do, by bicycle. Head to Toji temple, the tallest wooden building in Japan, then visit Nishi Hongaji temple and finally Nijo castle. The penultimate night is spent in the glorious town of Hakone, the gateway to Mt Fuji and surrounding National Park. Explore the park and ride the world’s second longest cable car before taking the Romance Car train back to Tokyo.

  • Day 1 – Tokyo Arrival

    Arrive in Tokyo, where you will be welcomed by our representative at the airport and assisted with transferring to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
    Overnight in Tokyo


    Day 2 – Tokyo (B)

    This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel for a full day sightseeing utilizing Tokyo’s super-efficient metro system.
    Begin the day with an early morning visit to Meiji Shrine; perfectly timed to avoid the crowds. Tokyo’s most famous shrine is dedicated to the spirit of the late Emperor Meiji and the park that surrounds the shrine is a forest of some 120,000 trees of 365 different species, making your forget you are in the world’s largest city.
    Next to Meiji Shrine is Harajuku – Tokyo’s youth fashion mecca. Whether you are a goth, punk or anything in between, there is a shop in Harajuku that caters for you.
    Neighboring Harajuku is Omotesando, commonly referred to as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysee. This broad, tree lined avenue features a multitude of fashion flagship stores designed by internationally renowned architects within a short distance of each other. Feel free to stop for a coffee in one of the area’s many stylish cafes and watch the beautiful people walk by.

    From Omotesando, take the metro to Ginza.Named after the silver coin mint established there in 1612, Ginza is Tokyo’s famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district. One square meter of land is worth over 10 million yen! Adjoining Ginza lays the Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor. Whilst the Palace itself is not open to the public, you can take a stroll through the Palace East Gardens.

    Our last stop for the day is Asakusa, part of Tokyo’s Shitamachi, or old town. Asakusa is home to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, and is also the city’s oldest Geisha district. The streets around Sensoji have many traditional shops selling Japanese crafts and souvenirs and are a delight to wander through.
    Overnight in Tokyo


    Day 3 – Tokyo – Optional Day Trip (B)

    Today is a self-guided day.Today is a free today for you to explore this amazing city. Make an early start to visit the world Famous Tsukji Fish Market, visit the electronics district of Akihabara or discover Tokyo’s world class museums and art galleries.
    Or choose to make an excursion outside of Tokyo to one of the following:
    KamakuraOne of Japan’s former capitals, Kamakura is a delightful seaside town home to many ancient temples and the Daibutsu, a giant bronze Buddha.
    NikkoSitting high in the mountains of Nikko National Park, Nikko houses the Toshogu Shrine complex and mausoleum, Japan’s most extravagant display of religious architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    We will provide you with detailed information of all the options available to you.
    Overnight in Tokyo.


    Day 4 – Tokyo – Matsumoto (B)

    Today is a self-guided day.Today you will leave Tokyo behind and head into the Japanese Alps.Located 3 hours from Tokyo, Matsumoto has flourished as a castle town since the 16th century. In addition to its historical and cultural heritage Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains and is acclaimed for its beautiful views. Hiking and climbing locations in the mountains are readily accessible by local bus transportation. To the west the Japan Alps rise to heights of 3,000 meters, and are known as “The Roof of Japan”.
    This afternoon you can visit Matsumoto Castle one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan’s original castles. It is a good example of a so called “hirajiro”, a castle built on the plain rather than on a hill or mountain. The castle is also called Crow Castle because of its black walls and spreading wings.
    Overnight in Matsumoto


    Day 5 – Matsumoto – Snow Monkeys – Matsumoto (B)

    Today is a self-guided day.Today you will have an exciting day of travel ahead of you.In the early morning, head to Nagano and continue on by train and bus to visit Jigokudani Parkto see the famous Snow Monkeys.Jigokudani literally means ‘hell’s valley’ due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground, and it is in the baths of this boiling water that the resident Japanese Macaques like to soak in on.
    The monkeys live in large social groups, and it can be quite entertaining to watch their interactions. Accustomed to humans, they can be observed from very close and almost completely ignore their human guests.Whilst the monkeys are most numerous during the colder months, they can be observed all year round.
    In the late afternoon, head back to Matsumoto for another night in this beautiful castle town. If time permits, make a quick stop in Nagano and visit the historic Zenkoji temple.One of the most visited temples in Japan, Zenkoji was founded 1400 years ago and storeswhat many believe to be the first Buddhist statue ever brought to Japan.

    Overnight in Matsumoto


    Day 6 – Matsumoto to Takayama (B,D)

    Today is a self-guided day.Make your way by bus further up the Roof of Japan to the mountain village of Takayama.Due to its previously inaccessible location nestled high in the mountainous Hida alpine region, this beautifully preserved old town was cut off from the rest of Japan, allowing it to develop its own unique culture.
    Take a step back in time as you wander through the town’s old streets, and make sure you visit one of the many sake breweries for a taste of the local drop, its high quality due to the area’s clean water sources.
    In Takayama you will be staying in traditional Japanese-styleryokan accommodation, complete with tatami mats, shoji rice paper sliding doors and onsenbaths.Tonight, relax in your yukata, or lightweight kimono, and dine on a sumptuous kaiseki multi course meal.Dinner will be sure to include some of Takayama’s famous cuisine, including Hida Beef, said to be the second best in Japan after the world famous Kobe beef, sansai local vegetables and miso.
    An onsen after dinner is highly recommended before you bed down on your futon.
    Overnight in Takayama


    Day 7 – Takayama-Shirakawago (B,D)

    Today is a self-guided day.This morning you may want to make a half day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Shirakawago, famous for it’s traditional gassho-zukurifarmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.
    Gassho-zukkuritranslates as ‘Praying Hands’, as the farmhouses’ steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer, and are designed to withstand the heavy snows which fall in the region.
    In the afternoon you can continue sightseeing in Takayama.
    Dinner will once again be served in your ryokan.
    Overnight in Takayama.


    Day 8 – Takayama-Kyoto (B)

    Today is a self-guided day.Time for one last soak in the onsen before undertaking the 2 hour journey to Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto.The first leg will be on the Limited Express HidaWideview, one of the most scenic train journeys in Japan, winding its way through tall mountains and stunning gorges.You will then change on to the world famous Shinkansen bullet train which can reach speeds of up to 300km/h.Kyoto is home to an astonishing 2000 Shrines and Temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sights.This afternoon you can start your exploration of this fascinating city.
    Overnight in Kyoto


    Day 9 – Kyoto (B,L)

    Today you will see some of the amazing sights Kyoto has to offer, getting around as the locals do – by bike.Kyoto is the perfect city for cycling, no hills and very little traffic, so today’s ride is suitable for everyone. Meet your Tour Guide at Kyoto Station and pick up your bike for the day.Start off with a visit to the Nishi-Hongaji Temple, one of the largest temple complexes in Kyoto just located near the Kyoto station area.
    Last stop before lunch is the ornamental Nijo castle, famous for its Momoyama architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors.
    After lunch, bike to Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion. Originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun, after his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples.
    Next, head further north and visit Ryoanji and its famous Zen rock garden, then explore the Arashiyama with its bamboo forests district before returning to Kyoto station.
    Overnight in Kyoto


    Day 10 – Kyoto-Hakone/Mt Fuji (B,D)

    Today is a self-guided day.Continue to Hakone, the gateway to Mt Fuji and surrounding National Park, famous for its hot onsen springs and natural beauty. Visit the Hakone Open Air Museum containing works of art by world famous sculptors.Tonight you will stay in a traditional Japanese-style ryokan accommodation.
    Overnight in Hakone


    Day 11 – Hakone/Mt Fuji-Tokyo (B)

    Today is a self-guided day.
    Take a full day exploring the Fuji Hakone National Park. Ride the world’s second longest cable car up Mt Owakudani, passing over hot springs and rivers. Take a sailing boat over Lake Ashinoko before boarding a train through the mountains.We will provide you with detailed information of all the options available to you.
    In the afternoon, take the Romance Car train to Tokyo (90m).
    Overnight in Tokyo


    Day 12 – Depart Tokyo (B)

    Today is free until your included shuttle bus or airport train to the airport.

  • Tour Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights
    Tour Operates: Year Round / On Demand
    Tour Price: Available upon Request

    Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.

    Our Services Include:

    • Hotel accommodation in twin room with daily breakfast.
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
    • Airport Meet and Greet and return airport transfers
    • 7 Day Japan Rail Pass for Ordinary Class
    • PASMO Tokyo transport pass at a value of 1500 JYP
    • Hakone Free Pass
    • English speaking local guide in Tokyo (Day 2) and Kyoto (Day 9)
    • All entrance fees and transport on Days2,9
    • Information Pack

    Our Services do not include:

    • International and domestic flights (quoted separately).
    • Meals other than mentioned above.
    • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, etc.).
    • Travel insurance (please see below).
    • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.
    Creating Unique Touring Experiences
    All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a Japan tour to your individual specifications.