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Secrets of Japan with Spring Takayama Festival

Small group tour
15 days - From US$8225*PP

Discover Japan's contrasts, from its sleek, modern cities to ancient towns and traditional customs. Wander Tokyo's energetic streets and hurtle along on the bullet train. View cutting edge technology at the Toyota manufacturing plant in Nagoya then journey back in time to discover the Old Town of Takayama, where the Spring Takayama Festival will be taking place. Stay at a traditional inn near Mount Fuji at Hakone and see the thriving geisha culture in Kyoto. Japan is a place where ancient traditions remain untouched, while technology races into the future.


  • 13 nights hotel accommodation
  • 1 night Ryokan accommodation
  • breakfast daily and 2 dinners
  • 10 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 (on first and last day of tour only)

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APRIL 22nd

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Small Group Tour Itinerary

Days 1-4:


Arrive in Tokyo, where you will be met at the airport. Walk through Ueno Gardens, then visit the Tokyo National Museum. Explore the vibrant neighborhood of Harajuku and relax amid the serenity of the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Visit the famed Tsukiji Fish Markets before a river cruise to the Asakusa Temple. Travel by train to Hakone, a picturesque town famous for its hot springs and natural beauty.


Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyo


Hakone Yumoto

Days 5-8:


Enjoy a cruise on Lake Ashi-no for a chance to spot majestic Mount Fuji before departing for Nagoya to experience the amazing Toyota Motor Plant. Immerse yourself in the old-world atmosphere of the Kiso Valley villages of Magome and Tsumago before arriving in Takayama. During your stay, the Autumn Takayama Festival will be taking place, a tradition dating back to the 1600s. Discover traditional houses and local museums including the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum and Takayama History & Art Museum. Enjoy a free day in Takayama taking in the Autumn Festival’s floats and traditional puppet displays. Perhaps take the local train to Hida-Furukawa, taking in the sights of Enkouji Temple, white storehouses, old residences and a sake brewery or two.


Nagoya Castle Plaza


Best Western Hotel Takayama

Days 9-11:


Learn the traditional art of paper making amid the thatched-roof farming houses of Shirakawago, before heading to Kanazawa. Wander among the ponds and teahouses of beautiful Kenrokuen Garden. Browse the bustling Omichi Market and visit Nomura-ke house in the former samurai quarter, before traveling by Shinkansen to the seaside city of Hiroshima, which has overcome its tragic past to emerge as a pleasant modern city. Take the ferry to Miyajima Island to see a brilliant red temple and Todaiji gate, a symbol of Japan. Further explore Hiroshima at the famous Peace Memorial Park and Museum, a sobering yet educational experience, and the A-Bomb Dome, a tragic symbol left standing in a ruinous state after more than 60 years.


Kanazawa Manten Hotel Ekimae


Mitsui Garden Hotel Hiroshima

A contemporary hotel in the center of town, this property is located near the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, just a short walk from most tourist attractions. There is good shopping and a great range of restaurants on the doorstep, and easy access to the rest of the city. Rooms are modern and large by Japanese standards, and decorated in chic, neutral tones.

Days 12-15:


Travel from Hiroshima to Kyoto on the bullet train, with a stop at Himeji Castle. In Kyoto, embark on a full day tour, taking in a tea ceremony, and wandering historic temples and streets, including the geisha quarter at Gion. Enjoy free time on day 14 or alternatively, take a scenic train that passes through Arashiyama. End your journey with a once in a lifetime experience enjoying a maiko performance and traditional kaiseki dinner. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience a highly exclusive service that is usually only available through a personal introduction. Enjoy free time to uncover the fascinating culture of Kyoto, before a train transfer to the airport on your last day.


Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

A unique option that doesn't feel like a business hotel, this property offers a great location next to Karasuma Oike station and shops on Shijo Street. The hotel has lovely Japanese touches, including a gorgeous ground-floor garden, Japanese-style baths, and a rustic restaurant serving wonderful food. Western-style rooms and bathrooms are compact yet very comfortable, with wide beds.

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* 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.