Small group tour
23 days -
Experience the many faces of Japan, from unique natural attractions to the fascinating history and contradictions of this incredible island. Discover the dazzling streets in Tokyo to antique teahouses in Kyoto. Speed through the countryside on the bullet train and stay in a traditional inn near Mount Fuji. Delight in an exclusive Maiko performance and dinner and walk the absorbing streets of Takayama. Discover the thriving geisha culture and take a touching trip to Hiroshima. Visit the mischievous snow monkeys soaking in the natural hot spring pools of Yudanaka and Matsumoto's magnificent original samurai castle. Delve deeper in the mountains traverse the Japanese Alps via a series of trains, cable cars, trolley buses, ropeways, tunnels and hiking routes. You'll also visit the world-renowned Benesse House on the island of Naoshima, where you'll find works by some of the world's finest modern artists at the exhibitions and galleries dotted throughout the island.
- 21 nights hotel accommodation
- 1 night Ryokan accommodation
- breakfast daily
- 5 lunches and 4 dinners
- day trains
- transport in air-conditioned vehicles
- small group touring
- entrance fees
- luggage transport
- Western tour leader based on a minimum of 7 travelers
- local English-speaking guides
- return transfers (conditions apply).
Prices and Departures
Small Group Tour Itinerary
DAYS 1-3: TOKYO & HAKONE
Arrive in Tokyo, where you will be met at the airport. Relax amid the serenity of the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Walk through the Ueno Gardens and visit the Tokyo National Museum. Enjoy a river cruise to the Asakusa Temple before traveling by train to Hakone, a picturesque town famous for its hot springs and natural beauty and spend the day exploring the Mt Fuji Heritage Site.
Note: Departures which coincide with the Fuji Shibazakura Festival on day 3 will have the opportunity to visit this stunning flower festival at the base of Mt Fuji.
Hotel: Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyo
Hotel: Hakone Yumoto
DAYS 4-5: TAKAYAMA
From your base at a Japanese-style inn, cruise on Lake Ashi-no for a chance to spot majestic Mount Fuji. A thrilling ride on the Shinkansen (bullet train) brings you to Nagoya and then on to Takayama. Set in the remote mountains of the Hida Region, Takayama is renowned for its skillful artisans and sake breweries. Explore the Old Town on foot, stopping at some of the traditional old houses and delightful local museums, and wander a vibrant morning market. Enjoy a free day to continue your exploration of Takayama.
Hotel: Best Western Hotel Takayama
DAYS 6-9: KYOTO & HIROSHIMA
Take the train to Kyoto, filled with shrines and temples, countless teahouses and a thriving geisha culture. On arrival in Kyoto, visit the historic laneways of the Gion district. Embark on a full day tour of Kyoto, visiting Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji temple, Kiyomizudera and the stone garden at Ryoan-ji Temple. Take a day trip to reinvented Hiroshima to visit the informative Peace Museum and Peace Memorial before enjoying an okonomiyaki lunch and continuing to Miyajima Island. Enjoy a free day in Kyoto on day 9 or perhaps visit Nara, which is close to Kyoto. Nara boasts historic World Heritage-listed temples and a tranquil Deer Park.
Hotel: Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
DAYS 10-12: TOKYO
Travel by train to Tokyo and transfer to your hotel. Embark on a tour of the city, taking in a walk of a traditional neighborhood, Yanaka, and a calligraphy class. Visit a famous bonsai museum and historic street market, as well as the Tokyo National Museum.
Hotel: Villa Fontaine Shiodome
DAYS 13-15: MATSUMOTO & YUDANAKA
Journey by train to Matsumoto, where you will tour a wasabi farm, art museum and castle. Travel by train to Obuse, and visit its museum and temple. Continue on to Yudanaka and arrive at your traditional inn or 'ryokan' for the night. Enjoy the onsite onsen and a traditional dinner. Explore the snow monkey park and visit Zenkoji in Nagano, one of Japan's most significant temples.
Hotel: Matsumoto Tokyu REI
Hotel: Yorozuya Ryokan
DAYS 16-18: TOYAMA & KYOTO
Spend a day exploring scenic Chubu Sangaku National Park, a picturesque alpine area with towering mountain peaks. Travel to Kyoto and enjoy a free day getting to know the city's history, gardens or shrines. Take a market walk and visit an old merchant house.
Hotel: Toyama Manten Hotel
Hotel: Ibis Styles Kyoto Station Hotel
DAYS 19-23: TAKAMATSU & OSAKA
Take a bullet train to Takamatsu, where you will join an udon noodle-making class and visit Ritsurin Park. Travel by ferry to Naoshima for lunch and an art gallery visit. In Osaka, enjoy a walking tour and free day to explore Osaka Castle or the observatory. On your final day, enjoy a farewell dinner before your onward transfer the next morning.
Hotel: Takamatsu Tokyu REI
Hotel: Cross Hotel Osaka
* From prices subject to availability and subject to change. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Airfares not included unless otherwise specified. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for credit card payments which vary. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. If you book with Insider Journeys an additional 2% fee applies to credit card or charge card payments (except in North America, where no fee is charged). Insider Journeys general booking conditions apply click here.