Best of the Japan Alps & Central Japan Tour
14 Days/12 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, Yamanouchi (Snow Monkeys), Matsumoto, Tsumago, Kamikochi, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Kyoto
If you wish to add extra days in Tokyo or Kyoto, or anywhere else, please let us know, and we can make the arrangements for you.
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. Quite opposite is the huge megalopolis of Tokyo, where the sheer energy level of the city will sweep you away. 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. Kanazawa has one of Japan's best gardens, and is home to many traditional Japanese handicrafts. And Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan, has something for everyone.
You will tour one of the best gardens in Japan, attend an authentic tea ceremony, meet a "Maiko" (Geisha in training), shop in a farmer's market, stroll along a rushing stream in a beautiful mountain valley, climb to the top of a Samurai castle, visit the world's largest fish market, see where the geisha live and work, visit the world-famous Ginza, savor four gourmet Kaiseki-style dinners, and much, much more.
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.
Best of Japan Alps & Central Japan Tour Itinerary
|Day 01:||Leave for Japan|
|Day 02:||Arrive Tokyo's Narita Airport, travel to Tokyo|
|Day 03:||Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo City View, Ginza District, Akihabara|
|Day 04:||Travel to Yamanouchi (Snow Monkey Park), Travel to Matsumoto|
|Day 05:||Travel to Tsumago - Travel to Tsumago, Honjin, Wakihonjin, Rekishi Shiryokan, Free Time, Return to Matsumoto|
|Day 06:||Japan Ukiyoe (Wood Block Print) Museum, Matsumoto Castle, Travel to Kamikochi|
|Day 07:||Kamikochi - Free day|
|Day 08:||Travel to Shin Hotaka Onsen (Shin Hotaka Ropeway), Travel to Takayama|
|Day 09:||Morning markets, Takayama Jinya, San-machi Suji, Afternoon free|
|Day 10:||Travel to Shirakawa-go, Shirakawa-go Open Air Museum, Free Time, Travel to Kanazawa|
|Day 11:||Kanazawa - Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa Traditional Handicrafts Musuem, Afternoon free|
|Day 12:||Travel to Kyoto, Kinkanku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Nijo Castle|
|Day 13:||Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka, Ninen-zaka, Higashiyama District, Yasaka Shrine, Nishiki-koji Market, Gion geisha district, Pontocho Geisha District, Meet a "Maiko", Sayonara Dinner|
|Day 14:||Depart for home/Arrive home|