Back Door to the Japan Alps Tour
15 Days/13 Nights
- Introduction •
- Itinerary •
- Map •
- Inclusions •
- 2013 Dates & Prices •
- 2014 Dates & Prices •
- Download Tour PDF
- Optional Cultural Activities
Soaring mountain peaks, open-air hot springs, lush forests, quaint mountain villages and a slow pace make this central alpine area a great escape. Hidden away in its rural and remote valleys are many of Japan's best-preserved post towns, farm hamlets, and traces of the old urban culture. Combined with its beautiful natural scenery, these features make this area one of the most rewarding in Japan to visit.
Tokyo, Magome, Tsumago, Matsumoto, Obuse, Yudanaka Onsen, Kamikochi, Hirayu Onsen, Shirakawa-go, Takayama
Between the imperial city of Kyoto, and the shogun's city of Tokyo, lies the area of Japan known as the Japan Alps. This area of Japan epitomizes the extremes and contradictions of Japan today. The densely populated coastal belt city of Tokyo is a stark contrast with the beautiful natural scenery of the mountainous central area. Though readily accessible, the Japan Alps is still remote enough to have retained traditional lifestyles and architecture.
The Japan Alps is a slow-paced region that has it all, without the crowds. The castle town of Matsumoto, with its striking "Crow Castle" is sure to please with its numerous 17th-century warehouses. You will feel like you have stepped back into 16th-century Japan in the small, mountain village of Tsumago. The stunningly beautiful mountain valley of Kamikochi has some of the best hiking in Japan. The quaint town of Takayama with its farmer's markets invites exploration. The old farmhouses at Shirakawa-go will give you a glimpse of the way of life in 17th-century rural Japan. Visit with the famous Japanese Snow Monkeys as they bathe in the outdoor baths. And Hirayu Onsen has some of the best outdoor baths in Japan.
Every day you'll enjoy the friendliness, fun and flexibility of small group travel by experiencing sights, Japanese restaurants, and family-run ryokans that are off-limits to larger groups. From start-to-finish, all group transportation, group admission fees, lodging, travel insurance, all breakfasts, five lunches, seven dinners, and more are included. All while our tour guide brings Japan alive with exceptional insights.
Back Door to the Japan Alps Tour Itinerary
|Day 01:||Leave for Japan|
|Day 02:||Arrive in Japan, Stay overnight in Tokyo (Shinagawa area)|
|Day 03:||Travel to Magome - Toson Memorial Museum|
|Day 04:||Walk to Tsumago - Nakasendo Highway, Wakihonjin Okuya, Honjin, Afternoon Free|
|Day 05:||Travel to Matsumoto, Ukiyoe (Wood Block Print) Museum|
|Day 06:||Matsumoto - Matsumoto Castle, Daio Wasabi Farm|
|Day 07:||Travel to Yudanaka Onsen, Jigoku-dani Snow Monkey Park, Travel to Obuse, Sake Brewery, Hokusai Museum, Return to Matsumoto|
|Day 08:||Matsumoto - Morning Free, Travel to Kamikochi|
|Day 09:||Kamikochi - Free Day|
|Day 10:||Travel to Hirayu Onsen - Afternoon Free|
|Day 11:||Travel to Shirakawa-go - Myozenji Temple, Wada Home, Shirakawa-go Open Air Museum|
|Day 12:||Travel to Takayama, San-machi-suji|
|Day 13:||Takayama - Morning Markets, Takayama Jinya, Afternoon Free|
|Day 14:||Travel to Tokyo, Overnight in Tokyo (Shinagawa area)|
|Day 15:||Depart for home/Arrive home|