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• Witness the snow monkeys of Jigokudani
• Visit restored lovely villages of Tsumago and Magome
• Enjoy Kyoto and Nara – the cultural heartlands of Japan
• Visit Kanazawa with its charming gardens, samurai districts and old teahouses
• Learn about the tragedy & triumph of Hiroshima
• Experience Japan's bullet trains
• Overnight in Buddhist pilgrim’s lodgings & enjoy an up-close experience of life in a Buddhist temple

Fact File

• 20 land days
• Starts in Tokyo, finishes in Osaka
• All meals included
• Maximum 16 travellers
• Activity Level: 3


Central Japan is a region of tall mountain ranges and fast-flowing rivers. It wasn’t until recently that roads reached the more remote villages, and today many remain remarkably well-preserved, and evocative of centuries past. Our journey takes us through Japanese history, from modern Tokyo, to end near Kyoto, Japan’s capital for 400 years and the repository of much of the country's cultural heritage. From Tokyo we head first to Fuji Hakone National Park, gateway to Mt Fuji. We visit Yudanaka Onsen hot spring where the famous 'snow monkeys' come to enjoy the natural hot spring baths, just like humans. In feudal times people travelling from Kyoto to Tokyo would use the Nakasendo Way – the road through the central mountains – one of a network of ancient highways. We will visit one of the best preserved sections in the Kiso valley, where the lovely villages of Tsumago and Magome have been immaculately restored. We then continue on to Takayama with its delightfully historic Sanmachisuji district, and lively morning markets. Our travels bring us to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawago, before continuing on to Kanazawa, a vibrant city that retains its traditional charm in the form of gardens, samurai districts, and old teahouses. We continue on to Kyoto and Nara – the cultural heartlands of Japan and World Heritage Sites. We travel by bullet train once again to the modern city of Hiroshima, to learn about the city and its both tragic and triumphant history in the modern age. We return to Osaka to visit the city before we enjoy the special opportunity to stay at a shukubo, or Buddhist pilgrim’s lodgings, and enjoy an up-close experience of life in a Buddhist temple and discover the ancient capitals of Japan before a tour of modern Osaka.

FROM: $10695 USD


  has guaranteed departures


Accommodations are a mix of hotels (13 nights), traditional Japanese style inns (5 nights) with futons and possible shared bathrooms, and 1 night at a Pilgrim's lodge attached to a Buddhist temple with shared facilities. Staying at traditional style Japanese accommodations give us an authentic travel experience. Note: due to the unique accommodations, single travelers (including those paying the single supplement) may need to share with same-sex singles for up to 6 nights). Japan has an excellent public transportation system which we will mainly be traveling on. This will involve lots of walking to and around large train stations, often carrying a day pack containing overnight clothes on luggage forwarding days (approx 6 times). This is considered a walking tour.

Comfort notes

Itinerary - detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo, Welcome Dinner
Day 2: Tokyo Sightseeing
Day 3: Exploring the Hakone Area and Mt. Fuji
Day 4: Yudanaka Hot Spring and Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani
Day 5: Matsumoto Castle & Narai Post Town
Day 6: Tsumago
Day 7: Travel to Takayama
Day 8: Takayama’s Sanmachisuji and Heritage Sites
Day 9: Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa
Day 10: Kanazawa: Sake Brewery, Samurai District, Higashichaya and Kazue Machi Districts
Day 11: Morning visit to Kenrokuen Garden and onward travel to Kyoto
Day 12: Sightseeing of Kyoto and Tea Ceremony
Day 13: Kyoto: Kinkakuji and Ryoanji
Day 14: Travel to Himeji, Visit Himeji Castle
Day 15: Sightseeing of Miyajima and onward to Hiroshima
Day 16: Peace Park and Museum and onward to Nara
Day 17: Todai-ji Temple and Nara Park
Day 18: Mount Koya
Day 19: Morning prayer service, onwards to Osaka
Day 20: Depart Osaka
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