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Secrets of Japan with Spring Takayama Festival - 2017

Small group tour
14 days - From US$8696*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. Stay at a traditional inn near Mount Fuji at Hakone and then journey back in time to discover the Old Town of Takayama, where the Takayama Festival will take place. See the thriving geisha culture in Kanazawa and Kyoto. Japan is a place where ancient traditions remain, while technology races into the future.


  • 12 nights hotel accommodation
  • 1 night Ryokan accommodation
  • breakfast daily and 2 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).

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Small Group Tour Itinerary

Arrive in Tokyo, where you will be met at the airport. Journey to Shibuya by train and visit the Tokyu Food Hall to try some local food. Explore the vibrant neighborhood of Harajuku, take part in a taiko drumming lesson and 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. Enjoy a cruise on Lake Ashi-no for a chance to spot majestic Mount Fuji.

Hotel: Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyo
Hotel: Hakone Yumoto

Immerse yourself in the old-world atmosphere of the Kiso Valley villages of Magome and Tsumago before arriving in Takayama. Filled with skillful artisans and sake breweries, Takayama's Old Town is wonderfully preserved. Discover traditional houses and local museums including the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall and Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum. Enjoy a free day in Takayama. 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.

Hotel: Hida Hotel Plaza Takayama

Visit the thatched-roof farming houses of Shirakawago and learn the traditional art of paper making, before heading to Kanazawa. Wander among the ponds and teahouses of beautiful Kenrokuen Garden. See traditional kutani pottery and kaga-yuzen silk dying being practiced in in the local workshops at Higashi and Nagimachi. Travel 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.

Hotel: Kanazawa Manten Ekimae Hotel
Hotel: Mitsui Garden Hotel Hiroshima

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, sake tasting and wandering historic temples and streets, including the geisha quarter at Gion. Enjoy free time on day 13 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.

Hotel: Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo

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